Learning how to sell

One of paradoxes of my life is that on the one hand I’m anti-consumerism and the constant accumulation of possessions and on the other hand I own a shop and I want it to sell more goods. In fact I’m currently at a convention with a focus on growing the industry by persuading people to buy more. I justify this by thinking of the good that can be achieved a) by the projects we sell and b) by the projects we as a business are committed to. So here’s the…

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Book Review: What matters most?

This is another book review and although the subject matter is different (youth ministry) from the norm it’s title ‘what matters most?‘ is a good question. Doug Fields essentially calls people to say ‘no’ more often, that over-busyness can kill the soul, that saying ‘yes’ to everything and everyone leads to a crash. At the heart of our society is the view that we must be busy to be meaningful, the more purpose, drive, action we have the better.In contrast of course there’s a whole generation that have the opposite…

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Book Review: The Good, The Bad & the Difference

In a different twist on living an ethical life this book on ‘how to tell right from wrong in everyday situations’ is both witty, entertaining and thought provoking. Dealing with the moral conundrums of life such as ‘can I accept a free promotional holiday if I have no intention of taking up the timeshare offer at the end of it?’ Of course many people don’t know the basis for their ethics and if Randy Cohen was writing in another time and place he might come up with different answers. Some…

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Book Review: Bono on Bono

I’ve long been a fan of the music of U2, I like their big themes, big sound and big personality and they’ve always been unafraid to address the spiritual, I have most if not all their albums and saw them live at Wembley Stadium in the summer of 97. Now I’ve just finished reading ‘Bono on Bono – conversations with Michka Assayas‘ and to be honest I loved it! First because it’s essentially the transcript of conversations it is eminently readable. Secondly because Bono has a sense of humour and…

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God is Green and not nuclear

It’s not often in the UK that you get intelligent documentaries that combine faith and the environment. Last nights’ ‘God is Green’ on Channel 4 was the first that I can remember. You might even be able to watch it here (although you’ll need to do the free register thing). It was great to see Christians and American evangelicals included being proactive about something other than the world ending or voting for George Bush. Long may that continue. The evening’s viewing took a curious turn as I watched a parliamentary…

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How to discover inner peace

When mail arrives from a credit card company it usually takes the most direct route to the recycling bin but today it caught my eye and made me look inside. Barclaycard were offering me inner peace! There on the envelope was a promise to ‘open up to inner peace’ and to be honest up until today I didn’t realise inner peace was a commodity, but clearly I was wrong. Consumerism has led people into debt and a credit card company presents itself as the solution to ‘bad financial karma’ –…

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Book Review: Intelligent Church?

This is a book review for Intelligent Church by Steve Chalke and Anthony Watkis. It’s subtitled ‘a journey towards Christ-centred Community’ which sounds great. The concept that the church is proof that God is love is a very attractive and compelling idea, although we all know in reality it often falls a long way short. The book is ok, if you’ve never read a book on this subject before it’s a good place to start. If you’ve read this author before or on this subject before then it’s a forgettable…

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A new food challenge?

This news article made me think – as if my head wasn’t full already thinking about where I shop. I’ve never been tempted to become vegetarian on the basis of cruelty, although I think farms should take reasonable care of animals, I don’t have an ethical problem with slaughter for food. I like the taste of meat and the thought of giving up pork, bacon, beef, lamb and the rest makes me slightly twitchy. But the fact that meat production consumes so much resources and makes a significant contribution to…

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