Tag Archive: dpchallenge


food

i love movies. But the other day i was sitting at the table with a group of guys and we spoke about movies for an hour and a half. It was an event so i felt kinda trapped in the seat i was in at the restaurant. And my head wanted to explode, because as much as i love movies, speaking about them for an hour and a half [in which everyone was pretty much regurgitating their opinions and holding on to them so not even change or wrestling or deep thought happening about movies which may have been a little bit better] in a row at that particular point in time felt a bit wasteful to me.

Because we all left that moment with pretty much the same amount of knowledge or belief we had started with and no evident change of opinion.

And i feel like to a large extent, when you put a group of people together who don’t know each other that well [and often when they do] they conversation will typically go to movies, sport or food and perhaps combinations of the three.

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Which is largely why i have enjoyed the Deep Dive Conversation Dinners so much. By now you probably know the vibe – invite 7 to 10 other people around for a meal around a specific theme or topic [So far we have done church, race from the perspective of ‘why do you live where you live?’ and more recently money] and spend a good four and a half hours really diving deeply into it.

One of my favourite parts is the phone basket we have at the door where everyone switches their phone off and sets it aside for the evening so that we can all be completely in the moment.

Another favourite is the food which we view as ‘the breaking of bread’ which of course has special spiritual significance as well. One of the ideas behind these dinners has been taking arguments off of Social Media and getting people face to face around a meal to see if that argument can’t be transformed into a discussion where people may still leave with different points of view, but where they will have hopefully at least have listened to each other and been open to hear someone else’s perspective on an issue and more importantly their story.

Then there is the conversation. tbV and i typically don’t start with an agenda [[in terms of where we want to end up] but we do have a plan of how to get the conversation going and it changes every time depending on the theme. With church and location we invited people by way of introduction [which took most of the evening as people got to ask questions and push back and raise concerns or ask follow up questions as stories were shared] to share a little part of their journey as far as the theme was concerned and with the money one we had some prompts such as ‘In my family money was a source of…’ and ‘The messages i received about money, success and happiness from my culture were…’

THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN

The next Deep Dive Conversation Dinner tbV and i are planning is around the question of Food. What we eat, how we eat, where we get our food from, the ethics and morality of food and more… we are hoping to do this sometime in August although it may have to happen in September as August has some weekend events coming up.

But next time around i am hoping that there might be four other dinners happening on the same night or around the same time. Not on the theme of Food particularly, but on whatever theme grabs you. The idea is to grab a topic of conversation that you would like to invite some friends and maybe even some people you don’t know as well [Hello Facebook friends] to gather around and really chew on for an evening.

i have had people in the Northern Suburbs, in Durban, and even Americaland express interest in running a dinner and i would love to help [if you in any way feel like you need it] provide some momentum and guidance for those to take place.

All i ask in return is some form of feedback to post on the blog [to share the story with others] – was it great? was it horrible? was it awkward? [it usually starts off that way a little and that’s okay] was it deeply transformative?

So IF that sounds like an experiment or a challenge that you would be up for [and let’s call it something that should happen in the next six weeks so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen the same time as ours] then leave your name in the comment section [for accountability] and drop me an email at brettfish@hotmail.com and i can share some ideas as to how we invite people, what we do on the night and tbV and i will commit to helping you with format/starting inspiration if that is something that feels like it would be helpful.

brave

[For some Deep Dive Dinner Conversation around Money, click here]

[For Deep Dive Dinner Conversation dealing with Race and specifically Location, click here]

Who is in? 

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So one of my new favourite virtual [for now] friends, Dante, whose incredible Micropoetry can be found over at Original Dante, challenged me to a duel [well kinda, cos he already pulled his trigger in his own fight] which i had already kinda done in someone’s comment section, but there is no verifiable proof, so i decided to take him up on it…

OD is the reason i got interested in, and brave enough to try, Micropoetry and even though i still suspect my Micropoems are not short enough, they are WAAAY shorter than my regular poems [and getting there] so hopefully there is hope [ha ha, yes that!]. so how could i resist? And he already has a way too ridiculously nice nickname for me which also helps me to believe…

Step Away From The ‘E’

And the Rules to this No-Letter-That-Precedes-F-Or-Follow-D challenge are these:

The rules:

  1. Write a whole paragraph.
  2. Without any word containing the letter “e”.
  3. By reading this you are already signed up.
  4. Challenge at least five bloggers to do the challenge.

You should totally jump across the virtualness of space and go and check out OD’s submission, which was flawless.

But in the m antim , h r  is min :

Staring at cracks on a part of my wall I had not paid much mind to until this occasion, I thought about how much intoxication it might bring to a tiny ant, struggling to carry a biscuit crumb across its cliff-like contours. What quantity of obstruction would it vanquish or would this straightforward [from my outlook] provocation snap its will in two? In an instant though, I was shown that my lack of faith in my microscopic companion was without foundation, as it [I could not confirm if this was a boy or girl at this point] took aim and simply slid down a portion of flaking paint that I had hardly known was an option. As I was busy watching all this, my mug of Chai had grown significantly cold.

i would love to see the following people give it a try, just because i know they will totally own the challenge:

Megan Furniss

Dave Luis

Catherine Jenkin

Nick Frost

Valerie Anderson aka tbV

And she is probably way too busy for this nonsense but i would love to read the piece Jamie The Very Worst Missionary comes up with, and since she missed my book launch recently, i’m sure that this would be about fair, right?

Apologies If you’ve already been nominated before, otherwise If you haven’t, I hope you accept. Looking forward to reading your posts!

12 apostles

next up, we see Jesus select the 12 who He designates as apostles and makes some very interesting choices…

so take a look at Mark 3 verse 13 to 19

to see the next post on unity, not denominationalism go here.

i am not a big fan of tradition whose only purpose in life is “we did it this way last time”

last nite, the beautiful Val and i celebrated Christmas eve with a few of our neighbors from Potter street where we have lived the last 19 months and are 5 days away from leaving… it was a fitting end to have a house full of good food, laughter and excited wife squeals and dances as the snow we had hoped for and asked for and desired so much decided to put in a guest appearance.

it was a really fun and feel-good evening and really quite simple to pull off.

and it could quite easily have been different! we could have rocked out on a lavish two person feast and just gone wild on our favourite foods and desserts and made it all about us. we could also have saved ourselves the effort of cooking and cleaning and made a reservation at some local restaurant and let someone else do the hard work.

but we decided to reach out to some of those who we have befriended this year. to some who may have spent Christmas by themselves. and to those who have emphatically welcomed us into their lives and space.

christmaseve                                                                                                                                    i suspect it had something to do with us both coming from families who specifically at Christmas [altho many other times as well] made a special effort to reach out to those who are lonely or alone or less fortunate than themselves…

we may not have fully grasped it as children and may even at times have been resentful as to why these ‘strangers’ are invading our space and taking a part of our time and our cherished favourite foods… but the moment we understood it and realised the significance of this simple act demonstrating the life belief we hold to and try to live out, it started to make the most sense in the world…

so we invited some friends around. we prepared a whole bunch of yummy food [including an amazing wife experiment involving sweet potatoes and marshmallows as a main course item] and we decorated and we prepared a fun question activity and we jumped and dance and sang when snow started to fall in the midst of it all – and we had the most amazing and hopefully transforming meal and evening.

i am not a big fan of tradition whose only purpose in life is “we did it this way last time” but tradition that is soaked with purpose and meaning and absolutely dripping with Love… well, that is something that we will have to keep coming back to, year after year…

and i would love to hear stories from anyone else who did something at Christmas that involved reaching out to someone different from those expected… please share.

commonchange

So yesterday i wrote a post sharing a deeper glimpse into the future life, work and ministry of the andersons over here – we will be joining a non-profit called Relational Tithe with a working platform called Common Change which, in a very big nutshell, gathers resources from a group of people and then uses them to meet advocated needs from people within the group.

It is a very exciting project and both Valerie and myself are super amped for it. Neither of us are huge fans of the whole asking people money in support thing [although i have less of a problem when it comes to spending other peoples’ money on something i really believe in, it’s just the asking that is generally awkward] but this looks like it is the way this thing has to go – we will be committing to an 18 month period and so it will be a closed ask [as opposed to “support us for the next ten or twenty years”] which makes us feel a little more comfortable as well.

I shared yesterday that Common Change is in line for a matching grant which means that if people pledge donations of up to $1000 then Giving of Life will match whatever is donated up to and including that $1000. Currently Common Change is sitting on $225 and so has $775 to go. The deal has just been sweetened for us by Common change committing to using the $1000 extra they get [if reached] towards our plane tickets and this is where you come in.

This is a way that you can make a donation towards a really great project [the money raised will go towards admin and site hosting costs to ensure that 100% of the tithed money from the groups continues to go towards the needs being met] and also contribute towards our flights back here [mid Feb] and the start of our next journey.

So if you are able to donate $5 or $10 or even $50 or $100, every little bit helps a lot and it will take a whole bunch of people donating a small amount to reach the $1000 pretty easily – if you would like to do that then head here and add your bit. If you don’t have money to donate [or even if you do] there is also a space on that page to vote and the top three receive some kind of bonus [if you sign up via Facebook and Twitter you get two extra votes which you can use – voting is free and i don’t think puts you on any spam lists]

thank you for your time and interest and possible donation or vote… every little bit counts…

[if you want to be more personally involved in our journey then drop me an email at brettfish@hotmail.com and let me know how you would like to be involved]

brett is sad.

he has just read another facebook status of someone who has clearly had a dispute with a friend of theirs.

instead of going directly to that person, face to face, one on one and with much hope, love and positive anticipation seeking restoration of the friendship, and a righting of the wrong, that person has decided to air their frustration and anger publically for everyone to see.

another cringeworthy facebook status. brett reads it. brett is sad.

brett takes a sideways glance at the mirror and tries to think back on times he might have used his facebook status or twitter tweeting to take a dig at someone, for something they did to him, or perhaps even simply something he perceived was done ‘to him’ [this does not make him any happier]

but for now as an outside third party, who has absolutely no idea what the wrong that was committed was, except that someone now is a ‘bitch’ and the likelihood of that sparking a search for restored relationship feeling not altogether high, brett wrestles internally.

he wonders if there is any hope that if he addresses the issue that it will make any difference at all. what if he was to write a blog about it? surely everyone who read the blog would sit back and realise, ‘Wow, I have been that person. I have taken offence publically at someone instead of personally going to them and seeking relationship and restoration from them. Never again will I go to my Facebook or my Twitter status as the place where I vent at people who have done me wrong. From now on I will go directly to them. I will seek relationship with everything I have. I will look at myself and where I possibly have gotten it wrong and take ownership of that.’

but he’s not sure they will. brett suspects it will be the age old dilemma. the people who will read his blog and click ‘like’ and hit ‘share’ and comment favorably will be the ones who do not rush to Facebook statuses [stati?] and Twitter to air their hurts and disappointments at people. they will be the ones who, when offended, will firstly take a look inwards to see if they themselves are the cause of any of that offence; they will be the ones who approach their friends with love and the invitation to talk it out gently; they will be the very ones who didn’t need to read the blog in the first place.

restoration of relationship

the choir belts out another verse…

while the diva sits sulking in her dressing room.
outraged by the fact that the specifically requested brand of bottled water was not delivered.
that the green M & M’s outnumbered the brown ones two to one.
that the curtains are ‘that horribly garrish olive green’

so why does brett write that blog, if he knows he is preaching to the choir and that his words are drowned out by the world-is-against-me sobs of the barricaded-in-her-dressing-room songstress?

because brett is forever hopeful.
always holding on to the ‘what if’.
what if… someone were to somehow accidentally stumble across his scribbled out thoughts and see themselves reflected back and somehow hear the distinct melody of a different, better way of doing things?
what if… as a result of reading the this, someone went directly to go and erase the that and decided instead to drop a brief note into their friend’s inbox, an invitation to meet up and see if things can’t be worked out differently?

it is the ‘what if’ that compels brett to think it is worth having a go.
and so he does.

aka “Frankly my dear, i don’t gif!”…

i was asked the question: are animated GIFs the stuff of junior high-school hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millenium? What do you think?

i think this angel shooting an arrow into a pink butt might be significant in helping us come up with an answer to this one…

if you have to ask me my professional opinion [and by “professional opinion” i mean my opinion] i would have to go with the latter – in the same vein as “cute animal videos” and “animal quotes or message posters” i have not been overly impressed with the animated gif phase of the interwebnet [and then all the people left? why? i kinda implied something bad about animals or pictures of animals – that never goes down well. oh. don’t you want to save the orangutangs? look, i am NOT going there again… and i love World of Birds just for the record!]

at their most, they can be slightly amusing and raise a smile, but they’re not going to be making me snort liquids through my mouth any time soon [the benchmark sign of appreciative humour] and so i would have to categorise them way more heavily as junior high-school hijinks.

or weird… some of them are just plain weird – bring in the exhibits:

and if that does not convince you, then there is ‘chasing rose’ which to me is a little bit freaky and reminds me of some kind of horror movie where the protagonist is this thorny love rose who is coming in for the hug…

i’m not quite sure we’re at “the political cartoons of the new millenium” just yet… [give me a break!]

so perhaps, if we are all very, very quiet then they will get bored and fade quietly into the distance and we can pretend they never happened… think this is likely? as likely as a stoppage to “cute” cat and other animal pictures, as likely as Aragorn ‘one does not simply think animated gifs are the political hijinks of the future’ posts and as likely as Gangnam style pop star Psy not appearing on any awards show stage in the next twelve months…

let’s face it, they are here to stay, but just because that is true does not mean we should look a gif horse in the mouth…

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