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Top 10 Basketball Players of All Time May 11, 2018

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The fabulous SLAM Magazine have recently published another great collectors magazine citinTop100-Cover-IGg the #100 greatest players of all time. It is a major undertaking and one that will never receive unanimous agreement.

The challenges to any list like this are memory, type of stats we look to and the make up of the league at any one time.  Stats only tell a partial story, the league has had regular expansion which changes the challenge for titles and our memories usually gravitate to the players we remember best. The current players in our league are exceptional and in a couple of years time, the top 10 may well change.

My Top 10 of all time are:

#1 – Michael Jordan and Lebron James (Tied) – These players are stand out and clearly ahead of the field but I do not believe they can be split at this stage. There are so many ‘Ifs’ with Jordan but in a list like this, he took 3 years out and that damages what may have been. Lebron may well sneak ahead after a couple of more seasons but at present these guys are the top of the pile.

#3 – Bill Russell – Words cannot do justice to all that Russell achieved and the way he played the game. He found ways to win and with an unblemished finals record of 11-0 and was a great team player.

#4 – Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (Tied) – Without each other, neither would have reached their heights, the challenge to beat one another rescued the league, brought rivalry to a new level and once again brought the ‘team game’ to basketball. It is more than stats, the aura they brought to the floor, the expectation of winning challenged any competitor before the first tip. As individuals, Magic rises ahead, with the team ethic, Larry marches on – overall – impossible to split.

#6 – Kobe Bryant – The Black Mamba was exceptional and achieved at times when he should not have done. His mentality and drive changed peoples perception of the game and he consistently delivered.

#7 – Wilt Chamberlain – A champion who came second. His failing was being in the same era as Bill Russell but he may have matched his counterpart if he played better team ball. He controlled the rock and dominated so much…but was just a step away from that top 5.

#8 – Hakeem Olajuwon – A powerhouse of a centre who may have won more finger jewellery if it was not for a certain Bulls legend. He brought fear to the opposition and won games with both offensive and defensive intensity, even getting that elusive quadruple double.

#9 – Tim Duncan – Mr Consistency who delivered without the support that other teams had. He led when necessary and took a back seat when necessary – he had it all and the rings to demonstrate it. One of those players who was technically brilliant – with a little more flexibility and support, he may have been in that top 5.

#10 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – He should have been #1 and perhaps could have been. However, that mid career blip that needed Magic to re-invigorate him denied him that stand out brilliance. You can never doubt the talent, the brilliance but the lack of career long intensity denies him so much.

In future, will Kevin Durant or Steph Curry be in the mix? What about Shaq or Dave Cowens?  No list is perfect and all are arguable but we can all be grateful that these discussions are a lot of fun. What about you? Who would make your top 10?

Quote from Mike Breen April 25, 2018

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“Reaching the world requires us to release the church to penetrate society, rather than simply offering more centralized services. Such a church, gradually infiltrating subversively through all the networks of society, will birth genuine city transformation. As church history proves, this is the sort of movement that people will give their lives for. This network of tribes will share common values and the same dream, yet each will find unique and tailored ways to express and live them out in their place of service.”

Mike Breen

Everything has a cost….doesn’t it? April 17, 2018

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In this digital age, we have become accustomed to having things that make us more connected, maybe productive…at no extra cost. Or have we? The recent privacy debacle with Facebook has shown that there is a cost to the ‘free services’ that we inhabit. It is the data we give away, without thought and seemingly without care. Facebook is not alone, think google, yahoo and others…think of credit card companies who know our movements and purchasing….think of store cards that mean changed store layouts based on our habits – the customers. We are in the Brave New World….these things we get for free have a hidden cost. These days that cost is becoming a little more visible.

More short book reviews April 10, 2018

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41msZhS8f1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Haverim – Paul Clayton Gibbs 

I read this one on recommendation and came away encouraged but not blown away. This book is a great place to start if you are new to leading a small group bible study and will give plenty to get your teeth into, practically as well as for thinking. It lays out good practice, handy tips and a philosophy of learning that would be good for more people to adopt. 7/10

 

Image 10-04-2018 at 09.29Canoeing the Mountains – Tod Bolsinger

A book on leadership that bounces off the story of explorers, Lewis and Clark, and utilises the experiences of the author in dealing with new and unexpected challenges. There are the usual aspects of leadership theory, good practical helps and a solid framework on which it all hangs. A well written book that will provide good resonance for leaders who need a level of creativity. 8/10

 

Changes in the Missions World October 3, 2017

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There have been significant changes within the mission world, during the last 2 decades, that are beginning to re-shape our world. Like all things, some are ahead of the curve and others lagging but they are happening as the para-church agencies, and churches, are grappling with seismic shifts that are enforcing new ways of working.

3 of the most important moves have been:

a) a move to partnerships – there is recognition that we are unable to work alone and have to begin working together. This is apparent in both mission agencies and church denominations.

b) Church being central – Agencies in particular are realising the need to work with and alongside the church, rather than ‘for’ the church. For some agencies, this is a change that has radically re-ordered their ministry.

c) Equipping – many mission agencies are moving beyond the ‘doing’ to equipping the saints for works of service. This allows and provides opportunity for a greater contextual ministry in a globalised world and helps the church seed new initiatives. Training is in vogue again!

How these changes are being managed is open for debate but they remain essential. These are exciting days.

 

 

We cannot avoid dangers and troubles…. September 22, 2017

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If the highest aim of a captain was to preserve his ship,

he would leave it at port, forever.”    Aquinas

Too often, we seek for safety and security at the expense of living life to the full. We want the great celebratory moments without the stepping stones of effort, pain and hurt that get us to this point. We should not avoid danger, we should not discount how the difficulties of life mould and shape us and we should never forget that the smallest of things can have the profoundest of impacts in life.

If we were to bleach, clean and remove all dirt and germs from our children toys, they would never develop a healthy immune system. In fact, they would be more at risk of the things that we fear, not less.  In life, do not fear the difficulties and problems, instead learn from them, grow from them and flourish in the new found skills and attitudes that will result.

Your job is not to stay safe on the shoreline but rather to explore the new horizons and the new worlds that are over the sea. Happy sailing!

 

Celebrate what? September 20, 2017

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What we celebrate, we measure.

What we measure, we cultivate.

What we cultivate we become.

We need to think carefully what we celebrate

Remembering a Sister and Friend… July 27, 2017

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Today we were able to share a memorial service with Holy Communion, at St.Andrews, Fulham Field, for a very dear sister and friend, Constance Mirembe…

Click on date for the full post  Thursday, 27 July 2017

More Shortest Book Reviews… July 18, 2017

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51JTz+vygyL“Leading a Multicultural Church” by Malcolm Patten – A practitioner and a thinker who lays a beautiful theological cushion from which we can stand and become a genuine practitioner who engages with the multiple cultures of our cities. There is a depth and reality to this book that should be on the shelf of every ministry in an urban setting, practical, real and helpful. 10/10

 

Doorstep-280210“The World on our Doorstep” by Dewi Hughes – This book answers questions about other faiths, gives tools for how to engage them with Christendom and pitfalls to avoid. A useful book for those seeking to step into evangelism in a multicultural context. 8/10

Numbers don’t matter? Do they? May 8, 2017

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It is easy to get in to the numbers game, not just the counting…ignoring them to. You cannot stand at the extremes, numbers do matter but we have to be careful what the narrative behind them is.

Last week we began our new missional community and, with all faith, said that even if nobody outside of family turned up, we would be happy. This soon changed as we had a number of people who committed to attend – 14 in all and my hopes had been raised, space would be a challenge and we were going to have an incredible start. On the day, we had 9 in total – but not from the group that had committed – just 3 from there. It was a fabulous start and I was (initially at least) disappointed.

Numbers are a guide, they cannot and should not be ignored. However, we must be careful to listen to the narrative behind the numbers and look at the long term success or failure. Jesus was deserted and by the time of his crucifixion was completely alone…..years later, the world was changed and numbers are beyond counting now. We need to track our numbers and learn what the figures say but the spreadsheet should not determine direction of travel or key decisions, for this we need the story.

There were good reasons why a number of folk did not turn up for our first meeting, we will be logging the numbers in the next few months and see the trends. However, they will not prevent us sticking to the calling at hand. We will see a community of believers transforming this area because God is at work and his faithful friends are serving. Some of these things can be counted, some cannot.

Numbers matter but numbers alone are a noose around our neck. They are a part of the story, not the whole. Numbers matter, do not let anyone tell you otherwise.