Daily Prompt: Retrospective – The on prem solution.

via Daily Prompt: Retrospective

A retrospective change.  We throw our hands in the air, and with a deep sigh say it again, “We can push a retrospective change, do you have a P1 incident”.   We have become professional application cowboys, after months of building an application, of testing, and testing and testing, somehow joining the dots seems to take a lot longer these days, than in the days of on prem, in house, on shore.  Now its an in the cloud, managed solution off shore.  Its no longer a box in my server room connected via Lan, but an internet enabled black box in the ether somewhere, and no one seems to care where the somewhere is, that is someone else’s problem.

So we push the retrospective change and the problem goes away… for now.

As I watch a relationship disintegrate, unable to find any one string that can begin to unravel the big ball of mess it has become, I wonder if I could push a retrospective change here.  Would it be possible to identify where it all began to go wrong and raise a change request and retrospectively go back and fix it.

The harsh and angry words she said, raise a change request and go back and erase them with words of gentleness and kindness. The silence he kept, raise a change request, go back and fill the silence with words of love and forgiveness.

If we built relationships like we build applications, in an agile and concentric manner. Start with a minimum viable product, “I like you, you like me, lets have a coffee and perform a product test to see if this might work”.  Hmm coffee was good, lets have another, and product test again.  Yes went well, lets try a systems integration test, “You like taking long walks and reading, I like watching football and going to the pub most nights”…. nope wrong component, try again.

But we don’t, we meet with long glances across the room with a great deal of alcohol fueling the electricity.  Then we end up in bed, systems integration and End to End testing before we have even started with a product test, there are no test scripts, we dont check if data is even moving between the systems, but hey it looks good and felt good… WCPGW.. what could possibly go wrong.   If we are lucky its a one off and we throw the pieces in the trash the next day. If we are not.. we do lots more of SIT and E2E no test scripts in sight, and then settle down for the User acceptance testing.  OH BOY do the bugs start flying then…. and 6 months in and 10 months in you look at each other and wonder what the heck you were thinking.

Come to think of it we do build relationships like we build applications.  We come to the business as application gods, full of blarney selling an all singing all dancing beautiful application.  We build user stories that could never be met because well, they are user stories that will be built by charming and lovely people in another country who have no way of interpreting the rash comments made by users.  But we nod wisely and say YES of course we can build that. And in the drunk atmosphere of money and hope we shake hands, skip the coffee and jump into bed.  What could possibly go wrong…




Religion and its Happy Holidays

via Daily Prompt: Cherish

Religion lies … all the time. Big nasty whopper type lies.  Not fibs or porky pies, but huge neon lit fabrications that suck the stars out of your effervescent sky.

It saunters up to a glorious beautiful book, flicks contemptuously and arrogantly through its pages, cuts out that which fits its theories, paints pictures of the god it wants to find in there, a god that helps it control and manipulate a human kind that have forgotten they are beloved, and then plasters them all over its sepulchers.

Then it invites these lost and lonely human beings to come see its death dealing laws and threatens them with that very death if they don’t bow and scrape to its angry god.  Ah but first it preaches a false love, a sickly sweet, sugar coated, poison laden hook that catches you unawares.  It could be anything that feeds your need, “Gab it and grab it”, “God loves you… put your tithe here”, “Jesus loves you and took your punishment from his wrathful Father, fulfill your obligation here”.. “Are you lost and lonely, come to Jesus he will make it all better… but only if you come to Sunday services every week, meet 2x weekly for bible study and prayer, oh and join the rota for children’s church and coffee on Sundays, and most important of all, Tithe, Give and it will be given to you… as the good book says.”  Religion holds you at arms length, giving you a clear hierarchy for you to aspire to but never reach.  Pastors and priests who are better than you, who don’t come to serve but to lord it over you as their flock, making sure you toe the line, holding you accountable when you trip over each of their laws etched across the floor of their sepulchers.

If only we knew how none of this is necessary.  it is all a subterfuge to divert humanity from the God who strew the stars in the sky to the religion who sucked them out.  Religion that created a box for you to live in and gave you a plastic torch to charge the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling to give you false hope when things looked grey.

God has no need of subterfuge, or lies or portraits and tithing plates.  He smashes down prison walls, gets up close and personal, wrapping you in an embrace that does not end.  He calls you BELOVED, and says ” I am your Abba, your Papa, you are my child, there is no one like you.   I have called you by name.   I cherish you as I cherish my own first begotten Son, who entered this world with Joy to be the cure for the dis-ease that ferries you into the religious trap.  No walls can hold you as they did not hold Him. No lies can keep you down, the Spirit that raised my Son from death to life, is the same Spirit who raises you now, who wipes the tears and religious scales from your eyes, and then lifts your head so you can see the beauty of the stars again”.  Then mystery comes to live inside of you, Christ in you the hope of glory.    Here He is, not a Son murdered by an angry violent dad, but a beloved Son and brother who brought the cure for our sickness so that we could know who we truly are again.  Our eyes are opened, the fog is cleared and like the prodigal son we return home to a Father who hoicks up his robe and sprints out to meet us with overwhelming joy.  Who prepares a  feast for us as a welcome home and invites the whole of heaven to join in.  Religion has no part in this.

Pretty little lies

What do I know.
I know that because of Jesus, because a brother I didnt know I had saw me, loved me and then sacrificed himself for me so that I could come home.
I could leave the dark, desolate, alone lands and come home.
There would be no repercussions, no remembering who I was before I was home.
It would be dark… and then light.
It is impossible to go back surely.  Once adopted.. ?
Satan seems to try and hang “old” stuff on you. To draw you down a path that looks like it leads to those nether lands, but it dosent actually exist any more.  Right?  All that “before stuff” is gone, incinerated.  In the power of a love that has no darkness at all.
So what is it that we fall into…? Maybe forgetting.  We forget.
We get caught up in the mad whirl of things and forget.. but why.
Why does the mad whirl of things cause us to forget?
Maybe because the mad whirl of things is not made up of our counter culture, our surreal society.
The mad whirl of things is made up of all that we were taken out of.  All those things that keep society going without the God who made us.
So it is geared to make us forget.. it does not change who we are or remove who we are, it just makes us forget.
The forgetting means our heart is not protected, it is not guarded and we become weak and feeble as Satan drapes us with lies.
Lies that become like mud as we walk, lies that catch at our ankles and trip us up.
Lies that have no grip on the shoulders of a guarded heart.
Lies that burn up as soon as they touch the most outer extremity of our hearing, when our heart is guarded.
Lies about our past failures,
Lies about who we are,
Lies about how we look.
Lies that can appear as truth.
Lies that keep us small and in the dirt.
Lies that hold us on the milk.
Lies that keep us in old truth, afraid of the new.
Lies that prevent us becoming.
Guard your heart, Beloved of God.
Remind yourself daily, who you truly are.
Polish those words written on your heart
Dont let the dust of worry and fear settle over that which is etched there,
causing you to forget.
Guard your heart, Beloved of God.

Ocean of God

How much of our life is floating on the ocean of God
Although in reality the whole universe is firmly established on his ocean,
all held together by him  in LOVE and driven by his currents of Mercy and winds of Compassion.
Our head desperately hangs onto an illusion of control.  We dip our  toe into this ocean with trepidation, maybe splash in the waves on the shore a little,  but it really is all an illusion,  there is no shore, we are in the universe on the ocean that is our beloved God.
He loves us so much that he allows us those illusions of control so that our minds are not blown as he gently takes us on a journey into himself.
So we stand on the Island of self – false self, so a figment of our own making -busying our selves with life on this “dry” land.
Again we dip our toe in every now and then but basically live a dry life.
A life that believes it is rooted in earth.  God allows us that Illusion.  coaxing us off the land into a boat.  We climb in the boat, but it has no oar’s, although it is a rowing boat, so most of our self is still on shore.  All an illusion of control as the boat is still tied to the land.  For in reality everything rests in this ocean of God.  Who holds all things together.  Thinking now about the sheer size of God in a very limiting earthly way makes me realise the utterly unique thing that happend when God came into man.
THis 4th, 5th, 10th millionth dimension being, outside yet through space and time took  of this/his infinity and placed it in a child, in a cell to become part of man so we could find ourselves again, although to him we had never been lost.  He has to limit himself to the laws he had to put in place to govern our world at the macro level for quantum laws which are very similar to infinity laws wont look good to our finite eyes at a macro level – everything would fly around and our very finite minds would disintigrate.  So God gave us the God Particle or Higgs bosun, this infinite particle which holds the finite world together.  So apples fall down, things appear predictable while behind the front of the finite everything races around in apparent random chaotic profusion  of Joy.  Controlled by love which purvades everything.
Once you catch this your eyes will start to see miracles all over the place.  so nature becomes just a reflection of finite and infinite in harmony until we stomp through in our jack boots and control fetish.  So infinite God brought infinity together to create finite space and time.  He pulled it all together out of himself and created the tangible, finite 3 dimensional space time continuumn.
Oh Grief
So I stop pretending I can be in control by refusing to “believe” only what my finite senses can detect and I leap out into the vast unfathomable arms of my Father  The ocean that is infinite beloved God.  Love is the power of this ocean, directs its currents and winds.  On a beautiful yacht, sailing the currents and winds, sometimes needing sail and sometimes needing depth and currents

Fear is not the final word

A couple of things happened this week (yes it is only Tuesday!) which ticked all my “enneagram” #5 boxes. I found myself withdrawing into my safe place again, my protected, safe, introverted space where only carefully vetted people and circumstances penetrate.
It didnt feel like fear, it felt like this wider space that I know God has called me into was too exhausting, too time consuming and just too much effort when my physical circumstances are so hard right now. I had all the excuses stacked up in my head.. I’m exhasuted Lord, I’m in pain Lord, I’m working Lord, I, I, I, I… just feel safer here right now, thank you Lord but no thanks.
Then I read Terry Hershey’s “Sabbath moment” early this morning. He pulls no punches and captures totally where my heart is at, even if my head is elsewhere.
He says:

“Is it possible to live from wholehearted vulnerability?”
“Fear says, “I’ll make you safe.”
Love says, “You are safe.”
But here’s the deal: If you live from the heart, it may (or will) hurt. You may be misunderstood. You may be called crazy. People will shake their heads (or, like Hachi, pat you on the head) and remind you, “He’s not coming back.”
It doesn’t matter who we are, there are times when we are certain that we are not enough. What we say is not enough. The work we do is not enough.How long we wait is not enough.
Even so, I want to know in my heart–like Hachi, like Jacob–that fear is not the final word. ”

You need to read his whole Sabbath Moment to get the context http://www.terryhershey.com/fear-is-not-the-final-word/

In this very uncomfortable place, this zone of no comfort, this place where vulnerability is all you have and yet because it is such an anathema to others you receive judgment as having an agenda or … well actually I don’t know what the or’s are.
Wholehearted vulnerability receives a pat on the back, it has become a buzz word, a tag to add to your facebook or twitter feed, but don’t live it… whatever you do don’t live it.. because it’s a broken place, and like the homeless person on the street, people will pass you by averting their eyes.
BUT… I realise my heart loves this place, I quite like being that homeless person, there is freedom in not having to wear the trappings of my old protected self, encased in an identity that people feel safe with, are not uncomfortable dealing with.
So what to do, do I stay with what my heart knows, what my heart KNOWS or do I crawl back into the other space for a while just for a bit of respite? Although that is my head space, it really is a no brainer, I KNOW whom I have believed 2Ti 1:12 …. “Still I am not ashamed, for I know Him Whom I have believed and am convinced of, and I am utterly persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed to Him until that day. ”
So, the climb goes on.

The God Obstacle

God stands in your path, as you march around the mountain, picking flowers as you go, drinking coffee and eating cake.
All you see is an obstacle as you quickly glance ahead, so you carry on chatting, or reading, or flicking through your ipad and move to the left a little to navigate it.
You have done this a few times, and then carried on.
But this time the obstacle is going to move to the left, or the right with you.
As you carry on your conversation with your life you are surprised subconciously that the obstacle is still there, so you keep walking left to move around it as there has always been a way around before.
Suddenly the mountain is before you and you can go left no more, as you turn you subconciously think that surely you can go forward round the mountain again now, but no, the obstacle is still there.  You stand a little, not really engaging with this, conversing with your slowly devolving life, until you begin to feel a little uncomfortable, a little less sure.  Suddenly you are acutely aware of the deep waters below all the froth and the bubbles you have been doggy paddling in for so long.  Your ipad, your phone, your life becomes quiet, and suddenly you hear it… this deep rumbling call to look up.
So you do, …

The desert and the spring

There is a state of walking this Christian life that is desert like. It is that place that kept the Jews in the wilderness for 40 years. Where they listened to each other, and grumbled and moaned and griped and nothing was good enough. God sent manna, God sent quail, God sent water, but nothing brought gratitude out of their hearts.

This is not because they didnt know God, they had a mountain of fire and smoke, they had miracles galore but what they didnt have was a still small voice.

So they ate dust, dirt, sand… their grumbling words, their mean spiritedness sat like sand on their lips and on their tongues.

They listened to each other not to that still small voice. They were so loud in each others ears that they drowned out any other voice.

We today are so loud in each others ears that we miss the crystal clear life giving water of God, of our Father leading us. We seek our own opinions and others far above and beyond Gods. It is easier to abdicate the throne of our Queen of hearts listening to her King to grovel in the sand with others, than to wait and rest and learn the new walk of the Kingdom. Only in desperate times do we suddenly put our ear to the ground to hear him and the underground spring bursts forth.

We are not in this only for the desperate times. Father longs for us to walk with our hearts joined as one to His, listening in an attentive state ALL the time. Yes it is possible. It is possible to lovingly listen to those who care, but to not let those voices weigh in over and above that voice that is the high call of God, the stream that bubbles underground but longs to burst out and flood the desert.

Fear keeps us locked into the myriad voices that surround us, so much so that we have become used to the sand, it almost tastes like water sometimes. Meanwhile we are becoming dessicated, dried out, husks of our former or possible true selves. And our Queen of hearts is dressed in rags and living like a pauper while super tramp the imposter stomps around our palace throwing his weight around.

Take a moment and back away, empty out all that is in your mouth, let go of all that is upon you and surrounding you, take an hour, a day, and wait and listen, you will hear that tumbling underground river, give it time and keep listening it will grow louder and break out and flood the desert, and your mouth washing away the sand and dirt you have lived on.

It is not easy to get there, because you not only have to stop but you have to wait in the stopping, you have to listen and you have to hang in there. Patience in the waiting, trusting that as you wait, your King is knocking down walls to get to you. Leaping on the high places, pushing over mountains, bringing that cascading river from the depths of your earth, up and out of your mouth, over you through you and filling your desert with the life giving water you so desperately have been dreaming of. and drenching those around you in the overflow.

But you have to wait, he has to break through all the crud and crap of years like sediment in a kettle in a hard water area that has never been cleaned. The “cares of this world” creep up on us so subtly, we think “We have to pay for this, we have to have that, we have to provide this”

This is my experience of a God who answers, who is mystery and yet who is a wide open book for us to walk into every page and live with, in and through.