Oak Hall provides value-for-money low-cost holidays enabling people time away for rest and spiritual refreshment/reinvigoration, either at Otford Manor in Kent, or overseas. Many of those on Oak Hall expeditions (aimed at the 20s/30s market) are single. A number of ATOM (A Taste of Mission) trips work with projects that Oak Hall supports in Serbia, Thailand, Peru, South Africa, the Phillipines. Staff are largely voluntary workers who are enthused by this vision. I have worked for Oak Hall as a Tour Leader since 2007, having been on several of their holidays beforehand.
The song “The Faltering Child” (re making choices), beautifully sung, written by Chris, head pianist! Brian Draper’s book Spiritual Intelligence was launched, officially released this Friday… J John said the manuscript arrived on a day when he didn’t really have time, started with a quick look, then read the whole thing in one sitting! [There was certainly a long queue for signed copies of the book at the end of the evening, I suspect Brian may have run out of copies!] The idea was created by Danah Zohar in Re-Wiring the Corporate Brain, and Brian wanted to build upon that with ideas from Ecclesiastes.
“If I had a photo of another woman in my wallet, should my wife just say, oh, that’s OK, or should she be angry and demand to know who it is… if I was turning to that woman for advice, would my wife believe me when I said “I love you”. “No, I would expect her to be hurt/angry – she has every right to demand that I keep myself for her. I want to, I love her, I made vows to her.”
Idolatry = adultery to God, it’s unfaithfulness, we have prostituted ourselves by bowing to idols.
A child asked whether God was in the house (yes), in the kitchen (yes), in the marmalade jar (yes), and then clapped the lid on and said “Got Him”. If we think we’ve “Got Him” in our hands, then we’ve lost touch with him… God can’t easily be captured.
Superstitions are a form of idolatry, usually coming from habits (e.g. not walking under a ladder [although I always think that's more about a paint pot not landing on my head!]) or a belief in protection. Phrases such as “Touch Wood” (and removing 13th floor from hotels and 13th row from airplanes) acknowledge that there are other powers at work.
J John appears to know a lot about the Freemasons… the Church of England Synod did a study into whether Freemasonry was compatible with Christianity – with an answer of a resounding NO!
- Freemasonry is characterised by deception, and lower level members don’t really know what is going until they reach at least Level 4.
- It is often seen as a charitable organisation, good for networking, job opportunities, social status, etc., therefore often seen as harmless.
- Freemasons meet in Lodges which contain temples, where they kneel at at altar, swear oaths to sacred laws, and at the 4th level, start to worship specific Gods.
- Curses are prol
ific, and level 4 and above pledge lifelong silence BEFORE hearing material… and curse themselves to death if they reveal secrets.
- At the 30th level, Freemasons declare that Lucifer is God (i.e. the Devil, the complete antithesis of God!)
Jesus himself, who came to make God visible, made in God’s image (as are we).
Before Jesus, John the Baptist was a great preacher (and if you think that J John is aggressive, you should have heard him… calling people snakes and vipers!).
The only image on your heart/mind shoudl be Jesus, replacing the focus on all those other things.
The sixth commandment is simple… murder is a serious crime which once committed cannot be undone, and appears in many different terminologies (e.g. manslaughter, serial killing, etc.) in the newspapers on a daily basis. The term “Road Rage” made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1997, and of course there are associated terms such as ‘Air Rage’. 42% of those in the UK workforce noted that they have been yelled at at work, with many reduced to tears.
Violence is pumped into our culture by the megatons… e.g. films such as Die Hard are not constructive models of anger management! We can also break this commandment through passive action – e.g. if we see someone freezing/hungry and do not help them out, we may be letting them freeze/starve to death.
It’s not just about inflicting physical pain, but actions and attitudes can cause harm, e.g. grudges, resentment and prejudice, etc. Our language is full of venom: e.g. “Drop Dead”, and “If looks could kill”. J John argues that there is a thin line between violence of feeling and violence of action, and its often with those that we care most about that we get the most angry with/hurt the most.
- I need to admit my anger (if we don’t talk about it, we’ll take it out on others; there is justifiable anger – the Bible is full of stories of God/Jesus expressing anger, and we need to seek to do the same – express it non-destructively)
- I need to deal with my anger immediately (“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist” “Those who fight fire with fire end up with the ashes”. Don’t give a piece of your mind (you may not be able to afford to lose it), but seek to be a peacemaker. It takes more inner strength to forgive than retaliate… let God give justice).
- I need to understand anger (Anger usually covers a hurt, which covers an expectation, which covers a need… need to uncover these).
- I need to stop and think before I speak (If you speak when you’re angry, you’ll probably make the best speech you wish you’d never made)
- I need to ask God to fill me with his Holy Spirit (seek self-control, asking God to influence thoughts, words and actions; society tries to reform people, Jesus can transform)
My random wanderings around the web tonight started with an email from Barbara Sher… I picked up her “What do I do if I want to do everything?” before I went travelling, and it was a great revelation (I need to do the activities, although I read the book cover to cover!)… scanners are not diletantes, but exceptionally intelligent with a lively sense of curiosity! Listen to Barbara Sher (geniuspress) talking about ideas she’s been working with for over 30 years (or follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/barbarasher):
John Williams, aka “The Creative Maverick” (first came across in careershifters… yes, this man is a true scanner!) is the obvious man to follow. Inspired after a retreat with Barbara Sher, he set up Scanner Central in London (no, I’ve not made it there either). For the April event we’ve apparently just missed Beyond Chocolate (which I remember seeing on the TV at some point, if it’s been around for a while).
- Checked out “Gifted Adults” on Google, see also here, after Sher indicates that many scanners are also gifted adults… I fit quite a lot of the bulleted list, but I’m definitely no introvert! Is that a form of cyberchondria?.
- Yesterday I found myself on Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness pages
- In December I went on a course with Chantal Cooke, Nick Williams, Niki Hignett
- Tonight I downloaded ‘The Imposter Syndrome‘ article…, I can remember talking about this with one of my PhD supervisors (Professor Joyce Goodman) – it’s very common amongst female academics, apparently! (Also on “Changing Course” with Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter… who works with Nick Williams!)
- Checked out “Anybody“, which looks to challenge the links between culture and body image.
- Rechecked Serenergise, where I gained my ICF-Accredited coaching certification.
- Rechecked PALS, which I need to see if I can unzip now I have a laptop that works… David Lett and John Evans, who have a vision to get more life-coaching style skills into schools.
- Checked out “The School of Life“, where you’re being asked to rebel against APPLYING for jobs, and to create your own job spec, and see if employers pick up on it. Well, why not?
- Read an article on Eric Gill, recommended by @tonywatkins on Twitter…. for whom I’m supposed to be writing an article tonight, instead of which I’m surfing. I’ll get there!
- This morning I read C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters” – thought-provoking stuff (see p.46, where Screwtape encourages Wormwood to let the humans think that ‘religious’ is just another phase to go through…)