Simon's blog

Missionary Strategy in Japan

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The JEMA Strategy Forum was commissioned to research a guiding strategy for mission in Japan. They’ve done a lot of research and produced a 65-page PDF of raw data, which will be used to create a strategy document. “The final Strategy Statement will be ready for the 2010 JEMA MLC and Plenary meetings.” It’s now obviously mid-2011, and if that did happen, the Internet doesn’t know about it.

But the great thing about having raw data is that you don’t have to wait for other people to do the analysis for you. You can do your own. Here’s mine. Read more about Missionary Strategy in Japan


After a clean-up of the mission headquarters library* - I’m currently reading and enjoying Gordon MacDonald’s Ordering Your Private World.

MacDonald talks a lot about the need to budget your time and, in that budget, to ensure that you are giving priority to the things that you really mean to. If you don’t, then your time will be filled up by things which are not your strengths, which are imposed upon you by domineering persons, or which look urgent but aren’t.

That got me thinking: is my time being filled by the things I really consider important? Read more about Meetings

Everything must change

Sorry for the lack of posts here recently, but tomorrow we leave this house and Sunday we fly back to Japan, so we’ve been quite busy trying to finish everything off here and pack everything up.

But yesterday I had the chance to have a really interesting conversation with someone. They’re part of a organisation which is having a bit of a revolving door problem at the moment: new workers are entering, sticking around for a couple of years and then leaving. The older workers seem to be quite happy, but the younger ones don’t seem to be able to settle. The organisation is haemorrhaging talent, and I’m not even sure it knows it. Read more about Everything must change

More on AV and proportionality

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Over on Facebook, Jason made a very perceptive comment about my last post. He suggested that my section about FPTP being horrible disproportional was unfair, because the disproportionality between votes and seats is a function of having single-member constituencies, rather than the voting system.

But is it, really? Of course, we can test this. Read more about More on AV and proportionality

Why I'll Be Voting "Yes" on May 5th

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On May 5th the UK will have a referendum on a change of voting system. I will be voting for a change, because I think the order-of-preference voting (technically, the Alternative Vote or AV system) makes more sense than the existing winner-takes-all system. (technically, First Past The Post or FPTP) Here’s why.

AV Doesn’t Throw Away Information

Ezra 1:1-4: God does not play favourites

In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken through Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the soul of Cyrus, king of Persia, and he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom by messenger and also in writing. The message said:
“Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: All kingdoms of the earth have been given to me by the LORD God of heaven, and He has appointed me to build for Himself a temple in Jerusalem. (which is in Judah)

On forgiveness and moving on

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A generally-excellent sermon I heard on Sunday (sadly not on th’Interweb yet) made an interesting point that stuck with me, quoting from Colossians 3:13. (“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another”) The preacher said that forgiveness deals with the problem; bearing with one another is what you do until the problem is dealt with.

And that makes a lot of sense. God did not merely move on from the problem of sin, or sweep it under the carpet, or pretend it wasn’t really a problem any more. He did something about it, something painful and costly which dealt with the problem. Forgiveness has a point of resolution to it.

Now consider a situation where one person declares to others that they need to “forgive and move on” - forgive him and move on, that is. Read more about On forgiveness and moving on