Some life stuff is hard to cope with, or demands something of us. These posts call us to rise to the challenge, and with God’s help, to overcome.

I have just spent a very pleasant hour or two viewing the bonus material that came with the DVD of Pixar’s wonderful tale  Finding Nemo.

The studio tour on the bonus DVD took in animators, sculptors, colour and lighting experts and heaps more. Here is what I learned:

Working as a group is not easy, but necessary.  There was no room for prima donnas. Everyone had to be willing to let go of their pet projects, personal views and definitely their egos, so that TOGETHER the job could be accomplished.

Preparation is vital. They spent years in research,  storyboarding and colour scripting, developing characters and trialing their ideas. And all this before going into full scale production animation.

Commitment is essential if the job is to get done. Finding Nemo took three years to make. The guys said that many times they felt they could not go on – but they did!

Truth and sincerity are essential components of communication. One animator spoke of how he had to open the lid on some very painful memories of loss, in order to animate a sad part in the movie, when Dory speaks of feeling lonely. He used his computer camera to act the dialogue and used hos own facial expressions to help animate the fish. He said that he knew it had to come sincerely from his heart if the audience were to believe it.

Personal experience is the key to effective communication. The whole team were taught scuba diving, so that they could experience what the underwater world was like; seeing it and feeling  added to the reality they would bring to the screen.

Encouragement was high on the agenda. There were times when the product  days of work had to be readjusted, because it wasn’t quite what the director was looking for. But this “nuancing” was accompanied by encouragement and positive comments.

Oh yes, one other massive thing that I saw…despite the hard work, they all had fun!!! They had time to goof off, enjoy each other’s company and relish the completion of the task.

I can’t be effective in communicating what I believe, unless I take on board these lessons. Are there any in my list that have caught your eye?

Photo credit: Ryan Guill via photopin cc

Sky News online carried this story today:

An Australian man who stopped countless people from jumping to their deaths at a notorious Sydney beauty spot called ‘The Gap’ has died…
Mr Ritchie would simply walk up to people standing close to the edge and ask gently: “Is there something I could do to help you?” which would often be enough to make people rethink their actions…
He told his daughter an offer of help “was all that was often needed to turn people around, and he would say not to underestimate the power of a kind word and a smile”

The Gap is an ocean cliff in eastern Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Photo by Adam J.W.C (wikipedia)

Hundreds of people have been saved from a needless death by the kindness of this man. He was on the alert for those in need. He didn’t leave the responsibility to others. He acted with kindness and a smile.

I may never know the undercurrents of hurt, anguish, fear and torment that flow in the lives of those I meet. But maybe a word of kindness and a smile can lift them a little. I have noticed that miserable looking check out assistants, for example, often brighten up and become lively and engaging, when I smile and say something pleasant to them.

Don Ritchie has been a challenge to me to maintain a caring attitude and not be shy to ask: “Is there something I can do to help you?”

You can read the news story and view the video here.


Laying roofing felt

Torching on the mineralized roofing felt . Photo from iStockphotos

Today I am finalizing the appointment of a company to do roof repairs on our block of flats. We have a residents’ committee and, as the secretary, I was responsible for inviting inspections and quotations from several roofing companies.

Cowboy builders

How do we sort out the “cowboys” from the bunch? How do we know what really needs doing? Fortunately, nowadays roof inspectors carry digital cameras. So I and the others on the committee were able to see photos and video of the roof in every part – the good, the bad and the ugly (forgive another cowboy/western reference!).

From our position on terra firma we could never see on the degraded roof felt, broken tiles, loose pointing, ripped flashing and blocked gutters. We needed someone higher than we are  to see the detail of all the work that needs to be done. He recorded it and showed it to us on his laptop.

God’s snapshots

I also need someone higher than me in my spiritual life.  How else will I get the true account of  work that is needed to be done in me? Only God has the full picture.

Whenever my conscience is pricked, then the snapshot has been taken of an area of damage that needs to be attended to. Like the roof, it is dangerous to put off dealing with it. Attitude problems, lack of discipline, selfishness…oh I have seen God’s photos!  I came across them in the album – the Bible.

It is a common saying: “He knows all about us and loves us just the same.” But it is true and it is a comfort. I can put all my trust in my heavenly Father to lovingly and completely deal with my problem areas, if I cooperate with him.

Has God asked you to do something that you have never done before? Is the thought of it a bit scary and is that fear and strangeness of the task holding you back?
Take a look at this video, of a 4th grade (9 or 10 years old) girl who makes her first ski jump. Scary? Yes! Exhilarating? Definitely!

That is what the will of God seems like sometimes. But without letting go and allowing God to bear you along, you will accomplish little for him.
Let go! You can do it, with Christ as your helper! Let the momentum build and then leap forward into God’s perfect will for you. That sure is exhilarating!


Alarm clock

Image by Flikr user kobiz7


I have often wished for an extra hour or two in the day, and an extra day or two in the week, so as to finish a task or prepare for the next one. It is when the deadline approaches that I realize the value of the time that was wasted, or not used as well as it might have been.

Charles F. Kettering was a man of many talents – a farmer, teacher, engineer, and inventor. He had more than 300 patents in his name. How did he manage to pack so much into his life? This is what he said:

The future is that time when you’ll wish you had done what you aren’t doing now.

Procrastination is indeed the thief of time. I am learning not to put off what I can do today. Right now I am in the middle of a massive practical project and the only way it will be accomplished in time is if I stick at it and do what I can each day. Then, when the deadline is upon me, everything will be in place and I will be ready.

And what about the spiritual deadline?

Robert Moffat, the missionary to Africa,said:

We shall have all eternity in which to celebrate our victories, but we have only one swift hour before the sunset in which to win them.

“One swift hour”…yes a whole life is that short, in comparison to eternity. It is worth devoting that entire life to God’s purpose for me. I have never regretted following Jesus Christ and using the energies of mydays,  months and years to further his plans. But there is so much more still to be done, so many God-given dreams to accomplish, and I’ll fulfil that potential unless I press on.

None of us knows how long our life will be, and it is wise advice to “live each day as if it were your last”. In other words,  give each goal our best shot.

Do you have any plans and dreams that are still only in the bud? If they are of God, and if you work in partnership with him, he will give you the energy and motivation to accomplish them!



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SLICES OF MY LIFE are little slivers of my experiences. I have many interests and this blog is my way of keeping track of what I see and learn. Some of it brings a smile to my face, uplifts and encourages me, or makes me think deeply. I hope you enjoy what you read here as much as I enjoy writing it!