Saturday, November 22, 2008

I am Not God

I spent 4 days last week at the Titoki Healing Centre. I highly recommmend it for time out, opportunity to just hang with God and also for the theophostic prayer ministry, which really helped me more forward on some personal stuff I have been dealing with lately. TPM is focused on people's identifying the lies they believe that are causing painful emotions and replacing these lies with the Lord's truth.

One truth that really struck me is that I am not God. Now I know that is obvious, but sometimes we act like we are God, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.


I really like this quote from NT Wright in Surprised by Hope:

To embrace the ascension is to heave a sigh of relief, to give up the struggle to be God (and with it the inevitable despair at our constant failure), and to enjoy our status as creatures: image-bearing creatures, but creatures nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a world redolent with spirituality

Eugene Petersen, writes of how the Russian novelist, Fydor Dostoevesky challenged him.

He (Dostoevsky) refused to take the evidence that the people presented of themselves as truth; he dove beneath the surface of their lives and discovered in the depths, fire and passion and God. He trained my antennae to pick up the suppressed signals of spirituality in conversations, discovering tragic plots and comic episodes, works in progress all around me. I was living in a world redolent (fragrant) with spirituality. There were no ordinary people!



Eugene Petersen - Underneath the Predictable Planet

Monday, October 20, 2008

What Would Jesus Vote?

Both US and NZ elections are happening very soon. I am very cynical about believers believing that you have to be a Republican to be a true believer (US) or vote National (NZ) because "Labour has brought in anti-christian legislation in the last 3 years." None of the parties in NZ have convinced me yet to vote for them.

The following 2 posts make interesting reading and resonate with me:

Ethics times four
by Paul Windsor and
Tapu Misa: Dangers of playing the God card
in today's NZ herald which says "...most Americans who responded to a Zogby International poll, saw poverty and greed as the most urgent moral crises in American culture - more than twice as many as chose abortion and same-sex marriage."
Somewhere along the line we have forgotten that Jesus had more to say about money than sex. Perhaps economics is a moral issue after all.

I found the debate last week between Helen Clark & John Key very interesting. Apart from issues of ecological sustainability (that really weren't explained very well and we were left wondering what it all means and where the 2 parties differ), most of the other questions were all about ME ie. who will tax me less, make my life more comfortable and safer. Sure, we are in a global recession, but we are still far better off than most of the world, eg. 18% struggle to live on less than US$1 a day.

I have yet to see a party come out and say how we will be "world leaders" in helping with this imbalance. I would like to know what party will do something about our commitment to the UN millenium development goals. In particular overseas aid. Micah Challenge says: "NZ has promised to give at least 0.7% of our gross national income to fight poverty worldwide. At the moment we’re barely giving half of that and are one of the meanest countries in the OECD."

To me that is more important than which parties have more MPs who voted for the anti-smacking or civil unions legislation.

I have no idea what Jesus would vote and I think it would be arrogance to think that I could work that out, but I do know that issues of justice are important to God. How are you deciding who to vote for?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Secondhand Serenade


I love this band. My son got me into them. Their website here.
Listen to one of my favorite songs:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Lying Fallow


Tomorrow we start a 3 month sabbatical.
Today I met with my mentor who encouraged me to lie fallow for a while ,and to wait for the time when God begins to bring new life before breaking the fallow ground and watering the seed. We need times in our lives when we just rest, and for us after 2 years back in NZ working pretty solidly and a total of 10 years working in missions, now is that time.

He shared with me from Isaiah 7 where "people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm" because of imminent invasion (v2), and Isaiah received a word from the Lord that they should not worry as it won't happen and that "Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." (v9) Then in v13 comes the promise of "Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)." It is our prayer that we will really experience the presence of the Lord in this time and that our faith will stand firm.

I have also been challenged by words from The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel, Susannah Heschel, p14 to not fall into the trap of seeing sabbath as being "for the purpose of recovering one's lost strength and becoming fit for the forthcoming labour" but rather as "a day for the sake of life." ie. it is an ends not a means to an end. You work to enjoy the Sabbath, not rest on the sabbath to get back into the work. I hope to view this time in that way - to be enjoyed and experienced as a special season in life.

Being rather than doing is not easy when you have been doing for a long time. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the time and space.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Signs - 6/2 Safe House


A friend of one of our boys is staying over a couple of nights as some stuff was going down at home. It's cool that he sees our place as a safe house and that his olds are ok with him being here. We're noone special, but I remember praying that our home would be full of God's Spirit and that all who entered would find peace.

Also reminds me of one of my favourute psalms (Psalm 46), which starts out:

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.

The last few weeks I have been grateful that our God allows himself to be found when we experience troubles.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fatherhood

Craig McConnell: 29 says:

"I am a pretty good father.

I wish I had been the father I am now back when the girls were little.

Guess how I became the father I am now.

God used my children to grow me up… to father me… to sculpt me a little more into His image. I think God uses parenting to change/parent us more than he uses us to nurture our children (and in saying that I don’t for a moment want to minimize the affect/importance of our parenting upon our kids). At age 27 I couldn’t be the parent I am at 55. I’m not the father at 55 I will be at 70. That’s the way it is."


I can relate, and I hope I will say this when my boys are nearly 30.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Signs 1/2 - Standing in the Need of Prayer


At times I winge about struggling to find genuine community here in NZ. But in the last week, as we have shared some of our troubles with friends and collegues around the world, we have received an outpouring of love, prayer and encouragement. This international expression of the messianic community is a sure sign of the Kingdom.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Signs Recap - Shalom


The idea with this signs series is 5 days of post, one day off and one day recap. One of the recap questions is :

Are we seeing evidence of God’s healing, forgiving, reconciling, and creating work to go on? Is there evidence of God’s desire for shalom.

This week has been one of most difficult of my life (hence no posts on day 4&5). Yet the solitude I wrote of on day 2 has given me a peace in God's presence (most of the time:-)

My wife was rushed to hospital Thursday night, but the acute situation resolved itself and we continue to look for healing and restoration.

Reconciliation and forgiveness are also key themes as we look to help child no.1 face some serious issues at school.

I desire for shalom, in it's complete sense. May Your Kingdom come...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Signs - Day Three

Looking for a sign.
Cool idea came to my wife in the middle off the night, helped us outwit our 13 year old/ Must be God :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Signs - Day Two

God is in the quietness of my house. I'm not really praying, but I can sense His nearness. Solitude is a spiritual discipline that I need to practise more.


The rain comes and goes, beating it's weary path against the solid roof.
It cannot enter, but it never gives up hope.
Trying yet again.
Knowing that one day it will succeed.
Even if it's in a hundred years.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Signs - Day One


Bingham Academy

When I look back over the day I see God at work in the ordinary NZers that do extra-ordinary things in his strength. We had the priviledge to get to know one such couple over lunch today and hear how a farm raised lad turned principal and a physiotherapist have turned around an international school in Ethiopia. As I heard their story, I realize the priviledged position we are in to see glimpses of God in action around the world.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Looking for Kingdom Signs



Steve Taylor is encouraging people to look for signs of God's Kingdom in their daily lives and blog it.

The idea is to
a) look for the Kingdom in your life
b) write a paragraph 5 days in 7
c) reflect on those 5 days once a week
d) make that public

After an awful week last week I need to be looking for God and seeing what he is doing, so I'm gonna give it a go starting tommorrow (Monday).

Join us.

Introduction here, instructions here and here

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stuff Christians like

This website is hilarious: stuff christians like.

If you've ever been a sound girl/guy you will appreciate this one

One:
We've got a new song
We all forgot to tell you
Until our service more

I also enjoyed: Powerpointing for the Lord

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Over the hill?

Turned 40 today. Seem like I have been celebrating it for weeks. My parents took me & Riche out to Windross House Restaurant before vanishing overseas again a couple of weeks ago. Last week I went with some mates up the luge



I got a coffee card from one friend for my favorite drive-thru-cafe (DTC) which I enjoyed throughout the week. Then yesterday my musical present arrived - a cool microphone.

Today I am sharing at a CLC conference in Gordonton (1 hour from home). Riche & the boys surprised me with helium filled balloons and a yummy chocolate cake to share.

Next Wednesday at the office I am shouting cake also.

Wow, I should turn 40 every year.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Go the 'Caines

On a whim, I took the family to their first rep. rugby match at Eden Park last night. Blues (Auckland) vs Hurricaines (Wellington). I'm a 'caines supporter, Riche found out that she was too. Isaac supported the Blues and Caleb the 'caines, because that's what brothers do:-)

It was a real close game but the Blues came out on top :-(

Fantastic night. I wonder if our org would sponsor a corporate box so we could take all returning mission partners for a cultural experience ;-)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Joined the Gym


OK. I'm nearly 40 and haven't done serious exercise for about 20 years, tipped the scales at 90kg, have lots of scary indicators so with a bit of encouragement I finally took the plunge.

I started yesterday, with a bit of fear and trepidation, even forgot my shoes:-) Felt a bit like this:


Hoping to look like this next week...

but it might take a bit longer. Hoping that I can stick at it. I need to!

Seems some of my mates are on similar journeys. Must be the year of the downsize.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mangatepopo River Disaster

Please pray for the families and community here in East Auckalnd after this unspeakable tragedy. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" Psalm 46

Kiwi Chronicles: Mangatepopo River Disaster: "Mangatepopo River Disaster"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sanctification and Duct-tape

My workmate was asked to speak at a church overseas on sanctification.
Here's an example of why I need it, beacuse -"I have not yet been made perfect. But I move on to take hold of what Christ Jesus took hold of me for." Philippians 3:11b (NIrV)

It is dark out tonight. I went to the local gas station with son no.2 to get an ice-cream ('nutha story). After being cut off twice on the way there, I let loose some colourful words at a driver who was stationed over the 3 remaining car parks. then after we finally parked another driver began to back towards us, didn't see us in the dark, got within a foot of us before I tapped her bumper and "politely" asked her if she knew how to drive. Mmm. Maybee I should remember that silence is golden or that duct-tape is silver :-)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bluff

Been on a whirlwind trip of South Island meeting some leaders and mission partners. Flew to Christchurch on Wed, drove on to Dunedin that evening. Down to Gore Friday via Tapanui. Invercargil today and back to Dunedin. Fly home tomorrow night. Fantastic networking time. Had an hour free today so visited the bottom of the South Island - bluff

Also bought a bluff specialty: oysters - YUM YUM YUM!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BMX bails

Well, son no.1 has taken up BMX at the local bike-park. He has proved to be a real boy in the last month with 3 spectacular bails. Here's the 1st one:




Thankfully no serious injury: Look mum:-)



2nd Bail meant a ride home in a ute, a trip to the clinic for a sprained foot, crutches for a few days and a day off school.

3rd Bail was an ambulance trip to the hospital for 9 stiches in a fleshy-cut under the knee :-(


More Photos

He told the nurse he'd be back in a few weeks with a broken leg. I am hoping he doesn't keep his promise. And I am grateful for helmets.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Time given to inner renewal is never wasted


That's a quote from Henri Nouwen in a devotional book I just got out called Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen by Charles Ringma. I believe it, I just need to practise it more. He is drawing me in.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Auckland Anniversary Day


It's Auckland Anniversary day today. We are on holiday anyway, but it is nice to have fewer cars on the road. Also the boys have won a night at the Auckland Zoo, a fantastic zoo.

We drop them off at 2.30pm and pick them up at 9am tomorrow.

They are so excited!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No.8 wire - new blog

I've just started a new blog with the purpose of starting a conversation on issues that relate to missions. Check it out now:

No.8 wire: kiwi ingenuity serving in mission





The latest issue: Incarnation & Re-entry : what is re-entry like for missos and
how did Jesus go with his re-entry into heaven?
You will also see
some back articles from my this blog
If any of these have make you think then please add a comment. They are not the last word, just openings to join the conversation. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Galmi Hospital Redevelopment

Remember my post when we visited Galmi Hospital in Niger?
Here is a video of the hospital and construction work going on. Also check out the website Vimeo, which seems to have better image quality than googlevideo or youtube