Monday, June 29, 2020

You Can't Handle the Truth!

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We live in a post-truth world. And the crazy part is, what I just said doesn’t need to be true, you just need to believe it. 
Consider any arguments about racism, sexuality, social security payments, character assessments of rich people, taxing the billionaires, and educational strategies for local schools… If the rhetoric is persuasive enough, we don’t care if it’s true, we’ll run with it.
I’m not going to try to convince you what I’m saying right now is objectively true. Consider the facts for yourself.
Can you handle the truth?
In the 1992 film A Few Good Men, Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), a US military lawyer, seeks to defend two US marines from being charged with murdering another marine. There’s that powerful scene where the colonel (Jack Nicholson) is being drilled in the courtroom by the young lawyer on whether he ordered the code red. The lawyer says forthrightly, ‘It’s the truth!’ The colonel bellows out with anger, ‘You can’t handle the truth!’
I think Jack Nicholson is right. We can’t handle the truth. Picture yourself on social media making an angry assertion about something, and then someone provides some evidence for you that shows that you were wrong. Tell me right now - do you back down straight away and admit you were wrong? Most social media engagement I’ve seen says that your pride is more important than the truth.
We’d prefer to hold on to what we now know is false, than admit we were wrong.
We can’t handle the truth.
The truth can cause a shake-up of what we think is right. Our pride can take a beating, and we’re not often willing to humbly admit we got the facts wrong.
Take for example someone who says, ‘Jesus Christ is just a fairy-tale, an absolute fairy-tale. What a load of rubbish!’ Then someone replies with, ‘But, Jesus Christ did in fact walk the earth. He’s not a fairy-tale. You might not agree that he is who he says he is, but he did in fact live and breathe on earth.’ Do you think that person is going to alter their thoughts? Maybe. We can remain hopeful. I suggest this person prefers to live in a post-truth bubble than confront the inadequacies of their own thought processes.
How do I look?
Let me give you a scenario. You and your partner are about to head off to an incredible evening of fine-dining for the annual regional business function. After some time of waiting, your partner walks into the lounge room and asks, ‘Do I look good in this dress?’ If it’s the wife and she looks stunning, you simply reply with, ‘You look amazing, darling.’ Though, what if the wife just doesn’t look great in that dress…?
Be prepared
I’m a firm believer in truth. If I didn’t steal the cookie from the cookie jar, I don’t like to be accused that I did. The struggle I have, is living in a world where there seems to be an inclination to simply find thoughts/ideas/statements that perpetuate someone’s own preconceived ideas without a willingness to be challenged by alternate views. This post-truth world is difficult to navigate through when ideas are held up as true if someone says it passionately enough.
Give someone a megaphone for long enough and you’re bound to find someone begin to follow.
For the Christian, we hold to the truth we understand about Christ and who he is and what he’s done for humanity. These words from 2 Timothy chapter 4, verses 2-5 highlight the point,
‘Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound  doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.’
This post-truth world means we will need to have great patience. We will need to humble ourselves, deal with our pride and learn to use careful instruction. We must keep our head in all situations. 
Because the reality is…
We think we have the truth. We think we know the right path. And granted, some times we might. But in this season, quite often I fear that some who think they have all their opinions down-pat, are actually unable to see beyond their own rigid ideological positions. 
How about we stop for a minute and consider... the other side might just have something worth listening to.
* This article was originally posted at Christian Today Online 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Pete Brookshaw Leadership Podcast - Episode #2 - The crisis that shaped the world

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Easter has come and gone, and we are still navigating our way through multiple crises; a health crisis and an economic crisis.

I don't know about you, but I find that the challenge is to learn how to live through a crisis and as leaders, know how to help others sift their way through the minefield of doubt and uncertainty.

I want to share with you in this episode about 'CRISIS'. How do we move forward in a crisis? How do we cope? What can we learn as leaders to help our people through a crisis?

I'm believing you'll find this episode helpful as I share with you, 'The crisis that shaped the world'. 

SHOWNOTES of EPISODE #2 - The crisis that shaped the world

In Jared Diamond’s 2019 book, ‘Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change' he writes about personal crises.

Jared Diamond’s wife is a crisis therapist, and from her field he borrows a list of factors related to the outcomes of personal crises:

  1. Acknowledgment that one is in crisis
  2. Acceptance of one’s personal responsibility to do something
  3. Building a fence, to delineate one’s individual problems needing to be solved
  4. Getting material and emotional help from other individuals and groups
  5. Using other individuals as models of how to solve problems (He writes, ‘It’s a big advantage if you know someone who has weathered a similar crisis, and who constitutes a model of successful coping skills that you can try to imitate.
  6. Ego strength 
  7. Honest self-appraisal
  8. Experience of previous personal crises
  9. Patience
  10. Flexible personality
  11. Individual core values
  12. Freedom from personal constraints

Pete's 4 concepts to embrace in a crisis:

1. Adaptability
2. A strong foundation of what you believe
3. Clarity of direction for those around you
4. Creativity

The 5 Stages of Grief:

- Denial
- Anger
- Bargaining
- Sadness
- Acceptance

These are the days where we need to know how to navigate our way through a crisis. I hope you've found this Pete Brookshaw Leadership Podcast Episode helpful for you.

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know, 'How do you lead in a time of crisis?'

Peace in the Pandemic

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*This article was originally posted by

There is so much uncertainty in the world. Borders are closed. Shops are vacant. Toilet paper is like liquid gold. Chemists are scrambling to stock hand sanitiser. People are anxious. Unemployment services are overrun. Government websites are crashing.

A friend told me recently, that he works in an industry that simply does not have job security. People are concerned about keeping their jobs, and they're worried about having enough food to put on the table, and having the ability to pay their mortgage. He mentioned that he’s not an Australian citizen, and so while the Australian government are providing a couple of stimulus packages to Australians doing it tough, his circumstances are such that he won’t be the recipient of any of those funds.

None of it.

So let me spell it out. There is just so much uncertainty.

And it feels like that uncertainty is not going away any time soon.

Don't forget to tune in to EPISODE 1 of the Pete Brookshaw Leadership Podcast

So what now?

So the question then is how can we live in such times? How do we learn to reorient ourselves in a world fundamentally different from a week ago?

I wrote an article over a month ago saying that the greatest threat to Australian culture was disunity, and that we needed to move from polarisation to reconciliation. A global health crisis hits, and suddenly Labor State Governments are working with a Liberal Federal Government, and the Greens are helping to pass legislation and the last sitting of Parliament was the most maturity I have ever witnessed in question time.

And so for the most part, polarisation (while it still has its pockets), isn’t what Australians are talking about. We’re talking about keeping our jobs. We’re talking about sustaining small business. We’re talking about how we can possibly visit our relatives interstate. We’re talking about how we find innovative ways for the church to gather online.

We’re looking for new ways to reimagine the world we live in. We’re searching for peace in the pandemic. We’re looking for a way to hold all the moving parts together and find some solace in the process.

A little whisper

The anxiety levels have definitely risen across our land. There is definitely people crying out for wisdom and help in their times of trouble. My heart goes out to each of you.

As I consider the angst and the worry that many Australians have right now, I heard a little whisper that I want to share with you.

God wants to give you peace in the pandemic. God wants you to know of his love for you; that the Lord will never leave you or forsake you (Matthew chapter 28, verse 20).

I hope and pray you’ll find peace in the pandemic. That while the world swirls around you and the rain comes down, the stream rise, and the wind blows, that you’ll be able to stand strong with a foundation of faith in Christ.

Of one thing I am certain

In the midst of uncertainty, there is certainty.

There is certainty in the love of God toward you.

There is certainty in the salvation and hope found in God’s son, Jesus Christ.

There is certainty in the resurrection of Jesus. Amid all the confusion and heartbreak, there is certainty that Jesus has risen from the dead and that one day, those who believe in him, will be resurrected with him (See 1Corinthians chapter 15).

That’s why I’m not buying into the panic and hoarding all my flour and sugar. That’s why I’m not stockpiling toilet paper like it’s a going out of fashion.

I will find peace in the pandemic.

Of that you can be certain.



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