Daily Thoughts – Defining Slavery

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. (Psalm 118:5)
It’s interesting seeing definitions of slavery and what it is to be a slave. It is fascinating to see images associated with slavery. Slavery, however, is not just a physical, social or economic way of oppression commonly associated with people in chains. Slavery can be seen in the deepest part of ourselves where we long to break free of a controlling thought, habit, past experience or relationship. Some people who live in apparent freedom can be trapped in the worst forms of slavery possible. That is why the cry for freedom is so apt for people from all backgrounds.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd

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Protect All Secret Lemonade Drinkers – NOW

My mate Lloyd on his blog – http://20six.co.uk/lloydd – has made an appeal for classic lemonade drinkers to unity and combat the evil of modern lemonades.

Now I need more clarification on what is defined as classic and what is defined as traditional. I have a concern however that this campaign could put in jeopardy drinks like this one from back in the day.

Join in prayer with me that Lloyd is not referring to this. For the sake of all civilised humanity.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd

Believe In The Best

So Tottenham concede another four goals, eh? I don’t care if they get back from 4-1 down it is still shocking that a team with aspirations for the top four are playing so shockingly.

Anyhow today’s image that made me think is Sky’s latest efforts to woo people to purchase their product. It’s rather intriguing how they’ve subtly hinted at the alternatives without going whole hog and stating their case for being the best thing going. Remember, it’s only believing in better, not believing in best. I often believe however that the enemy of the best is the good – is the better. Sometimes, and I think this is a particular disease of the middle class set of people of which I’d consider myself to be a part, we accept the better without really pushing for the best just because it’s better. As in it’s better than what I was used to, it’s better than the majority of alternatives and as its better then when I get it I’ll be better. Only problem with that is surely the pursuit of the best is something worth going for not in order to show a superiority complex but to completely rest in the best. Surely.

Yet another really neat trick is that if some things can be shifted away from the absolutes into relatives that it’s just cool for me and I don’t have to worry about objective standards. So it’s better for me. That’s all that matters, right?

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd

Daily Thoughts – Freedom and Slavery

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. (Psalm 118:5)

What is freedom? What is slavery? Hardly the questions you’re pondering over the regular morning cup of tea and yet scratching beneath the surface of day to day existence these themes are important to people from all backgrounds of life. Are you really free? How can we help others enjoy freedom? Over the month of October Daily Thoughts will share some tidbits on these topics to help explore these issues and how they affect life as you know it. In the meantime consider this – are you a slave to someone or something?

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd

October – A Month In Preview

A notable step for October is the start of themed months for the work I do at the YMCA. I’m actually hoping the theme itself will be of benefit to life beyond the YMCA but it’s a good base to start. The theme for October is Freedom and Slavery. It’s fitting for a number of reasons including the fact that as October is Black History Month the time can be used to find out a bit more about that particular experience with slavery and Britain’s role in that of course highlighting the abolition deal the bicentennial of which was celebrated earlier this year. The deal of the theme, however, is to see the issue on a wider scale.

For years now I’ve known only too well that freedom and slavery are not just physical, economic, ethnic and social concepts but psychological, spiritual, relational and emotional realities that are expressed only too clearly in every day life. I’m hoping through the month to explore some of the issues surrounding the topic and give some biblical insight on the issue at hand particularly celebrating the freedom available in Christ.

Part of this deal is the return of the Daily Thoughts that was buzzing around in August. I hope to be able to post at least those daily thoughts as entries here through the month. As with September 2006 I’m hoping to post enough entries to cover every day of the month in a bid to step up the discipline of writing which I seek to enjoy and develop.

In the meantime thank you for the continued support to this blog. Reading it, praying for me, all of that kind of jazz really is a big deal for me and for al the busyness and activity I want you to know it is hugely appreciated.

As you remember me in the upcoming month pray with me that whatever activity will actually bring forth productivity that welcomes in all the things of Christ that can make the difference in people’s lives. And as ever it’s all …

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd

September – A Month In Review

So that was the September that was.

My sister Ruth turned 31. My father turned 74. My mate and mentor Hughie turned 45. Far too many birthdays in this month and just when I thought it was safe to get away from the birthdays October will see my brother turn 29 and my best friend at university turn the big 30. I’m sure there maybe other birthdays I’ve neglected to mention, but that’s enough to get my wallet groaning. (This is a figure of speech. I’ve not had a wallet since it was stolen a few months ago. I don’t miss it, but I’m sure another will be useful eventually.)

September has been a very interesting month. I got to see that best mate at university twice after not having seen him since my marital union to the beloved Authrine over four years ago (that be him pictured – oh he of Bury Abroad infamy). I started a special diet over the month for a set period of time to wean me off some of the unhealthy foods that’s too much of my diet. I took part in an interesting meeting of young people in Stoke-on-Trent from different churches who just wanted to do something different and together for the Kingdom. I got to say happy birthday to another friend in the capital city who turned the big 30. I got to play squash again for the first time in months.

The wife kicked off on her academic studies, going for a foundation degree in Youth and Community Services. Met the Regional Christian Spiritual Development Workers (CSD) and was inspired by the work done and the work we’re about to do. I met a guy who’s highly respected in YMCA circles and got to see him in operation which was most intriguing. There’s also scouting a football team that I am considering joining soon. Saw my son perform at the Royal Albert Hall (pictured) and whilst in the capital for the umpteenth time this month also met up with my brother and his wife for the first time in a while. Started a year long part-time training course on missions which I’m hoping will have huge positive repercussions for the work I do both at YMCA and COG.

I visited a dear friend and watched him preach and also shared ANOTHER birthday for a friend’s son who turned 1 year old. Attended another conference in the capital city and learnt a lot about church, also got to eat at a vegetarian restaurant for the first time in my life which was a great experience. Saw one of my fellow CSD’s spirituality workshop for the staff in Burton-on-Trent and I was suitably impressed to see what could be done in Stoke-on-Trent (hence the candle experience). I got excited further about web development through a visit to the guy who’s developed the YMCA’s web-site. I got to look after Deborah and Kev on my own as Authrine and Abigail spent some time in London attending a family member’s wedding. Finally September saw me complete the quarterly Saturday morning study we’ve been doing on Hebrews which marks the last time I’ll be regularly down as the teacher for 2007 with Hughie taking the next quarterly shift as I move to new projects.

It has been a packed month of activities and it doesn’t look like easing any as we go into October. What I am learning slowly but surely, however, is that activity is not necessarily the sign of productivity and some of the best times recently have been times where I can chill, reflect, engage with God in a still, silent, contemplative way and just learn to be and not so much of the do. That will remain the challenge in the time ahead and the coming responsibilities and requirements of me as things progress.

I sincerely hope and pray that October will be a really great month for me and all those I love. Of course with October comes the kick into the final quarter of the year where the clocks go backwards/forwards (delete as applicable I forget at the moment). That should make things all the more fun as Autumn turns inexorably towards winter.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd

Rubi-con and Dancing Mackerel

The other day I was out with a friend and while we were walking I noticed this advert. Now I’m not in the business of advertising products and I’m glad this ain’t the BBC or I’m sure I’d be censured for bringing this up. Anyway I took a careful look at what the key line states and thought to myself – what on earth does it mean 63% more people prefer? Prefer this to what? More people than what?

As I considered this sleight of hand in marketing – remember the percentage looks appealing, that’s quite some statistic – I got rather annoyed that there was no reference to anything else. What makes it all the more tragic was that actually I rather enjoy the brand’s mango drink – quality stuff. Yet this advert sucks. It’s such a sneaky little manipulative piece of advertising that I thought of some alternative marketing, i.e. ‘89% more people prefer Da Man CD’s blog’ or perchance ‘97% more people prefer baked beans’. You cannot sue me for that can you – my source could be anyone I choose it to be!!

Yet the moral of the story that I consoled myself with is back to the thing of truth and integrity. Some sucker’s going to read that advert and actually let it slip into their sub-conscious and fall for their cunning trap. My heart’s desire is that I’m not duplicitous in my language and deceptively manipulative – and believe me being a man who loves words the challenge is to remain transparent and honest in my use of them. The prayer is that through this the sort of life I invite people to live with me is one of wholeness birthed out of reality not fable or fabrication.

I’ve been meaning to post this picture up for over two weeks now. I’ll explain more about my friend Charles in a future entry. For the time being suffice to say on visiting him we chose to have a bite to eat here of all places. Quality stuff! What a name to call your establishment. It was just too good an opportunity to miss – so I didn’t! Thanks for that memory Charles. I hope to share more pleasant memories of my time with a dear friend like Charles soon.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
da man cd