When your life depends on it, you’ll innovate or die

I watched an interesting channel 4 documentary about the development and progression of the use of the plane in the First World War.

The 75 minute documentary has some interesting footage of dogfighting, and explains how this progressed from the skilled amateur pilot to professionals – those who wouldn’t pursue an enemy without being sure of coming away alive.

Having enjoyed time when I was younger playing BF42 where I lost plenty of dogfights, I watched the details with a keen interest. It transpires my whole strategy in gameplay was wrong – I’d dart in quickly hoping to use surprise (when I myself was surprised to see someone in front of me), whereas I wouldn’t manoever and evaluate the situation first (which isn’t necessarily losing the element of surprise). I could only rely then on hoping to bring down the opposing plane with my first burst, or hoping they were scared away if I failed.

Pilots used to practice dogfighting, by cycling around on bikes attempting to get behind one another. Slightly simplistic with only a flat plane (in terms of dimensions), and slightly artificial as the possible variation between minimum and maximum speed is probably out of proportion, but some of the basic principles would have been taught.

A national war did encourage people to develop technologies for the sake of their own lives or the national good. Profiteering was put aside and innovation flourished.

self-illustrating sentences

Illustration and how it enhances understanding and communication is a passive interest of mine. I found the following:

“Craft more pregnant phrases that tend to stick in the mind of the hearer”


Illustration doesn’t mean a story; it could be a single word as in this case. I thought this a particularly good example of a self-illustrating sentence.

I don’t know if I agree with the sentiment expressed, I’m not sure: Is this writer advocating shock tactics?

Visualising speech, in a fun way!

A talk by Dan Pink, an analyst who has studied motivators, has been illustrated along with the talk in the following:

This is fun watching, a great concept, awesome illustration and the talk’s good too!

He discusses how people like to do work for the sake of autonomy, mastery and purpose. He recommends paying people just enough so that the issue of money is out of their thinking and then motivators which encourage creativity and innovation can kick in.

A forgotten biography of Christ

Who is the “Angel of the Lord”/”Angel of God”?
Why did the Angel of the Lord progressively appear less and less in the Old Testament?
– I didn’t know this was the case, but good points are made.
What characterises all the appearances of the Angel of God?
What was Christ doing before He came to this world, taking human flesh?
– at times God’s messenger, God’s manifestation, and the giver of grace in time of needs.

Dr David Murray (who blogs here) gave this address, “A Biography of the Christian’s Savior”:


“A Biography of the Christian’s Savior” will show that Christ’s biography did not begin with Matthew 1:1. Rather, it will show that the eternal Son of God was present and active throughout the whole Old Testament as well. We will look especially at his appearances as the Angel of the Lord.

Life with disabled children

In this weeks Connected Kingdom podcast by David Murray and Tim Challies, there is an excellent illustration I want to capture. I’ve not really considered what it would be like to have a disabled child, and I don’t have close friends with disabled children, so this podcast was a concise introduction to the subject for me.

The illustration is the following:

If travelling to Italy, and you are diverted to Holland, you can’t enjoy the pleasures of Holland if you spend your time in Holland complaining that you didn’t get to Italy. If you do look around, you start to see the windmills, and the tulips, and the wonders of Holland instead.

The two hosts discuss some of the blessings that come from having a disabled child. The podcast continues with an account by the mother of a disabled child.

There will be some good food for thought if you do listen to it.

Sinclair Ferguson on “The Church That Christ Builds”

Dr Ferguson highlights in the following video a new verb in common usage, ‘do’, such as in “How do you do church?”

This, his response, climaxes with:

“When you see how Jesus does church, then how you or I want to do church becomes very secondary indeed.”

From the following lecture at PRTS:
The Church That Christ Builds from Puritan Reformed on Vimeo.

Spurgeon on “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”

“Christ is all in all.” Remember, therefore,

  • it is not thy hold of Christ which saves thee – it is Christ;
  • it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee – it is Christ;
  • it is not even thy faith in Christ, though that be the instrument – it is Christ’s blood and merits;


  • look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ;
  • look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope;
  • look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith.

We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.” Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His suffering, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh ! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.