Monday, 25 January 2010

Mission Statements and impact measurement

They are important but.......

We are looking more and more at measurable outcomes, in CMS, using a particular model: Inputs Outputs Outcomes Impact

You can almost hear the seven dwarfs singing: 'I,O,I,O its off to work we go'


Measurement tool can be very helpful. You can see how Wiki have used such an evaluation of their own impact

I liked this breakfast analogy to help explain the model

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Analogy of breakfast.

Taking breakfast is the process

Good bread and cheese is input

Filed up your stomach is output

Sufficient calory intake is outcome

Sufficient energy to do your daily work is impact

But as the Christmas angels cartoon suggests some measurable outcomes are difficult to sell to potential donors!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

History of Wireless Phones in Afghanistan

Thanks to Khalid for sending me this story:

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, American scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion, that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago. Not to be outdone by the Americans, in the weeks that followed, a group of English archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story in the Guardian, UK read: "English archaeologists, finding of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the Americans. One week later. A local newspaper in Kabul, Afghanistan reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture behind Darulaman Palace, Mullah Nasruddin, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Nasruddin has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Afghans had already gone wireless”.
Doesn't that Just makes you proud to live and be from Afghanistan!

Pope2You - 'Priests get blogging'

a little mouse sent me a tweet about a telegraph that the Pope is now connected. And just how connected is amazing.... The Vatoican's new website has Facebook YouTube, Pope2you multiplayer (video) iphone app (video, audio & text) , YouTube, flikkr gallery and an amazing participatory photoworld montage of messages of peace (sent in via email) in all the 5 langauages above.

It is a very impressive site: brilliant branding, a model of modern communcations in a world of social networking. It must also have cost a fortune!

Pope tells priests to get blogging

Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to use the internet "astutely" and make the most of opportunities offered by modern technology.

'Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audio-visual resources – images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites – which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelisation and catechesis," he said.

Priests, he said, had to respond to the challenge of "today's cultural shifts" if they wanted to reach young people.

YOU can also follow a blog about the pope's here A blog on our Pope, the new evangelization of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the mission of the Church, and the tyranny of relativism...

But I for one need to get back to my i-phone. Now where is that APP ?

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Popular Quotes

I came accross a site full of popular quotes : Here is my selection

Mark Twain

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening.

Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth."

Mahatma Gandhi
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

Albert Einstein
"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting
different results."

C.S. Lewis
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

Apple Computer Inc.
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square hole.
The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can
change the world, are the ones who do.

Eleanor Roosevelt
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
That's why we call it 'The Present'."

Julian of Norwich
"All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well."

Friday, 15 January 2010

Church Attacks: Voices from Malaysia

I recieved the following from Bishop Ng Moon Hing in West Malaysia

Dear Friends,

After a tense situation in Malaysia with 9 churches and a school been attacked, we have finally experienced a calm atmosphere for the time being. The lastest attack two days ago was on a Sikh Temple. The Sikhs also use the word "Allah" in their Scripture. The police is trying to do their best to maintain order. Many negotiations are underway to defuse this situation. The political parties are doing their part and the government authorities are doing theirs. Church leaders have been meeting with the authorities to find a way forward for peace and harmony.

I sincerely wish to thank all the churches for staying calm and praying. Your prayers are indeed helpful and powerful. Violence will not bring peace. Though the solution is still far away, the present dialogues and meetings have certainly brought everyone into the picture to at least try to understand each other. We hope to work towards the idea from toleration to respecting each others presence, contribution and dignity. This is the concept of 1Malaysia.

I urge all churches to be vigilant. Archdeacon Steven Abbarow said this after visiting All Saints Taiping on Sunday 10 Jan:

Yesterday, morning I visited Joshua Ong. When I arrived at All Saint's Church. Joshua told me that the MB of Perak YB Zambri and the OCPD are on their way. This was a surprise, as we were fnot given any notice of this earlier. They came with reporters, politicians, special branch and police personnel.
The MB assured us of support, police protection and felt that this the work individuals who were emotionally upset and not a coordinated affair and expressed his firm stand against such actions and told us not to react. I thanked him for the assurance of support and assistance. I also told him that we have not and will not react emotionally but will pray for the peace of the country, and that I am very concerned about the situation and hoped the authorities will catch the perpetrators. He said they will do all they can.

In the meantime, I have been informed by the Lay Reader in COR, Kuala Kangsar, that he kept vigil in the Tadika room on Sunday night and noticed a motorbike and a car and the riders, driver and people in them were watching and looking at the church. He came out of the Tadika, and they just bolted off. He called the police and they immediately sent a patrol car and stationed two officers there. The leaders took these precautions as they heard that at the Police station people overheard that they were very concerned someone may try and do something on COR. They also were informed and heard from the neighboring bus terminal and stalls and the coffee table talk, mostly non-Christians, that the church next door will be in trouble.

Rev Alakumalai of St James KL related that he saw a few young people loitering outside the church. He went to them and was told that they were sent there to 'protect the church'. Feeling uneasy over it, he reported to the police for the police station is only next door. Immediately seeing the police, the so-called 'protector' fled quickly. Two policemen were stationed overnight at the church.

I believe after the storm there will be some calm. God has a better plan for the Malaysian Church. Let us continue to discern His Will.

Those from overseas, let me assure you that we are fine and well, only a bit jerked and slightly shaken. If you are planning to visit Malaysia please do come, don't change plan. Thank you so much for your prayers and e-mails of concerns and encouragement.

May the good Lord continue to lead and watch over you!

+Moon Hing

Adrian Plass: 'looking good, feeling bad'

I attended an evening with Adrian Plass, the author of a sacred diary of Adrian Plass aged 37 3/4 (followed by another edition aged 45 3/4) He is a gifted and humerous speaker with a helpful obsession with 'trivial pursuits', being naturally playful, light-hearted, flippant indeed frivolous. A man after my own heart.

It was part of Blokes Tour hosted by the Coign.
It was a great evening enhanced by having free beer and nibbles in the break and a free book at the end. (I like freebies) He suggested that there should be Christian men's magazines: 'PrayBoy', 'Repenthouse' and 'Amen Only'

I particularly liked his helpful suggestions for would be charismatics who do not have 'the gift' It is possible to act as if and get away with it. This is from his book 'Looking Good, feeling bad - the subtle art of churchmanship' which I picked up on the bookstall A pdf version is available.
The Art of Speaking in tongues.
All you have to do is recite the names of the Sri Lankan cricket team from the early 90s. Give it a go...... in a 'dull monotone in a prayer meeting' or 'delivered boldly with a slight slurring'

Marvan Atapattu

Sanath Jayasuriya

Hashan Tillakaratne

Suresh Perera

Aravinda de Silva

Romesh Kaluwitharana

Muthia Muralitharan

Kumara Dharmasena

Artuna Ranatunga

Mahela Jaywardena

He goes on to write:

A colleague and acquaintance of mine actually had his recitation

of the Sri Lankan cricket team interpreted by the lady next to him

as a call from God to build a community launderette in the village of

Cowfold in Sussex.

The world needs such wise-fools as Adrian Plass. Interesting that he and his wife ahve now shifted to Scargill House in N Yorks to help in its ressurection as a retreat and conference centre.

The Scargill Movement

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Dostoyevsky: faith and unbelief

The following is all from the handout that Alexis produced for sacred:space on Sat night. A mixture of talk, film clip (BBC Crime and Punishment) reading (The Idiot), dialogue (Brothers Karamazov) and guided meditation using quotes from his books with candles, icons and orthodox music. An excellent, thought-provoking evening. And even the snow and cold made it feel more like St Petersburg.
Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky

Dostoevsky is widely recognised as the father of existentialism. His insights into the human condition have had a huge impact in both literature, philosophy and psychology: as far-reaching as Nietzsche, Freud and Kafka. His novels mark the dawn of the modern era with his intense exploration of human pscyhology in the troubles political, social and spiritual context of 19th century Russia.

“Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.”

If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.”

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.

“To live without Hope is to cease to live.

“To love someone means to see him as God intended him.”

“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

“A just cause is not ruined by a few mistakes.”

“The soul is healed by being with children.”

Major Works

1846 – Poor Folk

1864 - Notes from the Underground

1866 – Crime and Punishment

1867 – The Gambler

1869 – The Idiot

1872 – Demons

1875 – The Adolescent

1881 – The Brothers Karamazov

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Pastor of burnt Church speaks out

Response from Rev. Ong Sek Leang,

Senior Pastor of Metro Tabernacle Church

Rev. Ong Sek Leang is the Senior Pastor of Metro Tabernacle Church.

There were three torching and attempted torching of churches. The administrative office of Metro Tabernacle in Desa Melawati was completely gutted. The Molotov cocktail thrown at the Church of the Assumption along Jalan Templer in Petaling Jaya did not explode. But The Life Chapel in Section 17 Petaling Jaya suffered some damage to the church's front porch area.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The name of Allah

A friend John T has sent me the following in response to the whole 'Allah' debate

So where did the name Allah come from? Prior to the rise of Islam and for some time afterwards, Aramaic was widely used among Jews and Christians in the Ancient Near East and many Aramaic words were borrowed into Arabic. The usual term for God in Aramaic was Alâh(â). It is the term that Jesus would have used. It is used as the term for God in the books of Ezra and Daniel, in the Jewish translations of the Bible (the Targums), in the Talmud and in the Aramaic Bible used by many Middle-Eastern Christians today. When Judaism spread across Arabia, it brought many Aramaic names and terms, including Alâh(â). When Christianity followed, the Christians used Aramaic Scripture and liturgy in most of Arabia and Mesopotamia. As a result the Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians introduced many Aramaic words and names into Arabic. In a research paper entitled “Who was ‘Allah’ before Islam?”, I present evidence from pre-Islamic inscriptions and manuscripts to show that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians were using Allah as the name of God in the centuries prior to the rise of Islam.
(This is being published by William Carey Library in Rethinking our Assumptions About Muslims.
A prepublication version is available.
It should be noted that Muslim scholars do not like to admit that the Arabic of the Qur’an has loanwords, and they suggest that the name Allah is derived from the expression al ’ilah, meaning “the God,” with the article of uniqueness. The word ’ilah is related to the Biblical Hebrew words ’eloh and ’elohim, meaning “God,” as well as to the Biblical Aramaic words elâh and alâhâ, so regardless of the derivation, the word is related to the Biblical terms for God. The prophet of Islam claimed to preach a continuation of the message of the Jewish prophets and the Messiah Jesus, so it stands to reason that he would use the same names that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians were using. Evidence for this is found in the Qur’an itself. For example, it cites the claim of Christians that Jesus is Allah. This claim is rejected in the Qur’an, which says, “In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary” (Sura 5:17, Yusuf Ali translation). The very next verse in the Qur’an criticizes Jews and Christians for claiming that they are “sons of Allah” (Sura 5:18). So in addition to other historical evidence for the pre-Islamic use of Allah by Christians, the Qur’an itself reflects a situation in which Christians were already using Allah as the name of God.

click for the source

Rising Tensions in Malaysia

Tensions are rising in Malaysia particularly in KL when 4 churches were attacked as a protest. The controversy stems from a ban on a Catholic newspaper, The Herald, using the word 'Allah' in its Malay-language edition. The Kuala Lumpur High Court struck down the three-year old ban on non-Muslims using of the word 'Allah'.
Whilst the main Islamic Polictical party, PAS, agrees with the ruling, there are others who do not, including one main Islamic Youth movement, Abim.
As the article points out Christians in the middle East have been using the word ‘Allah’ for God for centuries - before the coming of Islam in fact.

Inivitably as well as the official and more formal communications through the media, the world of social networking comes into its own at times like this....

Some of my Facebook friends are from Malaysia. So they and other Twitterers have been pointing to articles and making comments through their updates:

Church & Christians showed dignity, restraint, compassion. Contrast with t/ arsonists & protestors. Such excellent PR.

Eddie in his Kouya Chronicle explores some of these complexities from a translators perspective in his article 'what's in a name'

But I'll let the Bishop of West Malaysia Moon H. Ng have the last word
KL situation is not too good. Three churches are torched. One more not sure how bad. Cars with Christian stickers are smashed. ...... We are meeting the PM to talk. Pray for peace and harmony. It is a sad episode.

Pray we will and pray we must .....

Thursday, 7 January 2010

'Ice and snow' The Mullah's wager

Mulla Nasruddin made a wager that he could spend a night on a near-by mountain and survive, in spite of ice and snow. Several wags in the teahouse agreed to the adjucate.

Nasrudin took a book and a candle and sat through the coldest night he had ever known. In the morning, half-dead, he claimed his money.

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"Did you have nothing at all to keep you warm?" asked the villagers.


"Not even a candle?"

"Yes, I had a candle."

"The the bet is off."

Nasrudin did not argue.

Some days later he invited the same people to a feast at his house. They sat down in his reception room, waiting for the food. Hours passed, and they started to mutter about food.

"Let's go and see how it is getting on," said Nasrudin.

Everyone trooped into the kitchen. They found an enormous pot of stew, under which a candle was burning. The water was not even tepid.

"It is not ready yet," said the Mulla. "I don't know why - it has been there since yesterday."

more such stories are available on