Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Turn to hymn number....

Something I like to do on my other blogs is to post songs that have meant a lot to me over the years, so I thought I would do the same on here.

These are all songs that although I may no longer agree with the influencing theology I still enjoy listening to, simply because I like the music, even if at times they make me wonder how life would have been different had I become a pastor.

Mark Heard perhaps more than any other artist made me realise that doubt and struggle is ok, in fact it is the norm.

Michael Pritzl's work has always resonated with me, since I got the first album by The Violet Burning many years ago.

Iona are probably the one band I listen to more than any other, this song is about St Brendan, who probably reached America a thousand years before Columbus.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book Review: Obstacles Welcome

There is a certain genre of business related literature that really gets my goat. You know the kind of thing, a tale of difficulties overcome, profits increased for the shareholders, and the (insert number) steps to success, wealth and happiness. Basically I am adverse to self-congratulatory back slapping, unfortunately Ralph de la Vega's book, "Obstacles Welcome", treads the well worn path of such literature.

A quick precis then, kid from Cuba comes to America, struggles at first then makes good, becomes CEO of a major telecommunications company and decides to write a book of inspirational anecdotes to show how he succeeded, usually accompanied by a natty alliterative number of bullet points.

Enough of the cynicism born of reading tome after tome of such works, de la Vega does have a genuinely amazing story, one which would no doubt have made a better autobiography rather than a business guide to success. But in terms of offering something insightful and innovative, he disappoints at almost every turn, yesterday's news re-worded and presented by a new face is still yesterday's news.

Nothing I haven't heard before and a choppy writing style made this a book that infuriated more than it inspired.