meditations

Genesis chapter one: God and creation

MEDITATION. I heard someone say where is God in today’s world which has gone to custard? If God was the creator, has he left us now? Is God an absent landlord?

Looking at how God created the world according to Genesis chapter one, shows God made an investment in creating the world like a caring father makes an investment in attending to his sons and daughters. Why would God change? Continue reading “Genesis chapter one: God and creation”

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Brought up in a home for boys was hard, then life turned for the better

Around the world with your baggage

2002. It’s no easy road finding God. At least, for Ian Head (Pictured above). In 1956, he was going to end his life by jumping off the Westminster Bridge in London. A pull to go to the remotest part of the world was stronger. Ian arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, later that year. It was not until 1987 that the emotional baggage he brought with him started to fade. Continue reading “Brought up in a home for boys was hard, then life turned for the better”

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Classic, foreign and Hollywood all feature on spiritually significant list

Top one hundred “spiritually significant” films

2005. First there were the Top 100 American films of the 20th century. Then followed the top one hundred cinematic comedies and thrillers. Recently, top movie songs were honoured. After lengthy discussion and debate among a group of web users, the Top 100 “spiritually significant” films ever made evolved and were announced in June this year. Continue reading “Classic, foreign and Hollywood all feature on spiritually significant list”

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SLT sees training for Christians as wholistic, for life, and from “God’s perspective”

God’s rule and reign in every area of life

2000. God’s perspective must filter into every area of your life, says Barbara Thomas member of the Strategic Life Training board.

“God’s principles apply to every area of life. It’s not just for Sunday’s or church meetings or that you deal with any area of your life differently,” she says. Continue reading “SLT sees training for Christians as wholistic, for life, and from “God’s perspective””

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Retail outlet for Christian resources has quite an extensive range

House of Hope making a difference

2000. Petone’s House of Hope (In New Zealand) was born out of a “fairly evident need for resources and ministry”, explains shop manager and chairman of Jubilee Ministries, Selwyn Stevens (Pictured above). Continue reading “Retail outlet for Christian resources has quite an extensive range”

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Support for church initiative to instill values into council planning

Recovering “village values”

2003. Pictured above: The Hutt City Council. A community charter initiated by local churches and adopted by Hutt City Council aims to support Lower Hutt as a safe and connected community, what Lower Hutt Mayor John Terris calls an effort to recover “village values”. Continue reading “Support for church initiative to instill values into council planning”

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Community get-together an opportunity to look after each other

Antidote for fearful society

2002. St. James’s Anglican Church in Lower Hutt hosted a display of local community and social help organizations throughout the week ending with an ecumenical service on October 20. Continue reading “Community get-together an opportunity to look after each other”

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Children from India inspire Kiwis to lend a helping hand

Compassionate response to unemployment

2001. While watching a slide presentation of underprivileged children from India at a house group meeting, Ken and Wendy Fraser were impressed that God wanted them to help unemployed people in the Hutt Valley (in New Zealand). Continue reading “Children from India inspire Kiwis to lend a helping hand”

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Penalising approach not welcomed

Backing for beneficiaries

2005. A church agency representing the views of the national representatives of four mainline churches (in New Zealand) is concerned that a government bill at select committee stage will unduly penalise domestic purposes beneficiaries who do not establish paternity of their children. Continue reading “Penalising approach not welcomed”

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“They were coming because they wished to meet with other people”

Loaves & Fishes only community meal

2001. The Community Outreach Mission for the Salvation Army Crossroads Community Church in Lower Hutt (in New Zealand) runs the only regular community meal in the city. Continue reading ““They were coming because they wished to meet with other people””

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“We don’t think this year we are facing a major shortage”: Presbyterian secretary

Minister shortage changes methods

2006. The thirty-one advertised ministerial vacancies in Presbyterian churches throughout New Zealand do not constitute a major shortage, according to the church’s assembly executive secretary Dr Kerry Enright. He conceded, however, that parishes with smaller numbers could not attract ministers. Continue reading ““We don’t think this year we are facing a major shortage”: Presbyterian secretary”

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“We are never consciously investing in prohibited investments”: Anglican church

Anglican Church is not wealthy and does not invest in “sin”

2001. The Anglican Church in New Zealand invests socially, and social responsibility is of high priority. Chief Executive of Trust Investments Management Ltd, Peter Jansen, says the Anglican Church is not a wealthy church and does not invest in sin, in response to a 2 September Sunday Star Times article that investigated the Church’s finances. Continue reading ““We are never consciously investing in prohibited investments”: Anglican church”

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Was there enough room to move?

Parking problems

2007. More Lower Hutt residents want to go to the library on a Sunday morning than go to church. Response from a Hutt library survey of 3700 residents showed changing library hours to start at 10am was popular. But this means parishioners from the adjacent Anglican St James Church would be competing for parking spaces at the morning service, according to representatives from the church. The church rents 23.5 carparks to the Hutt City Council for public use during the week, which could be cancelled, according to The Hutt News.

By Peter Veugelaers

Published 2007, Challenge Weekly

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Applied theology of the Lord of the Rings sold out

2004/2013. David Moxon became an Archbishop of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and then the Anglican representative to the Vatican in Rome for five years. This was a little of a trajectory of his activities in my interview with him starting with the interview in 2004 and then the interview in 2013. Starting with older The Lord of the Rings news. Continue reading “Applied theology of the Lord of the Rings sold out”

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Is the first Hobbit movie a ‘religious word’ or principle or something which can change at the heart level?

2013. This is Anglican Archbishop David Moxon’s “review” of the first Hobbit movie via an interview I did with him in 2013. Continue reading “Is the first Hobbit movie a ‘religious word’ or principle or something which can change at the heart level?”

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“A serious misunderstanding of Tolkien’s intentions” says Bishop in response to critic’s malinging of The Return of the King

2004. I interviewed David Moxon (pictured above), the then Bishop of the Waikato (in New Zealand), about The Lord of the Rings movies that were released in the theatre. It seems quite timely to publish that interview in light of the latest ‘incarnation’ of the Lord of the Rings in the media. Here is David Moxon’s “review” of The Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson This is an unofficial review but an interview I had with him in 2004. Continue reading ““A serious misunderstanding of Tolkien’s intentions” says Bishop in response to critic’s malinging of The Return of the King”

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To present advice in a way “that is cool and appealing to young people”

Launch of ‘alternative’ youth magazine

2002. In Manchester, UK, an alternative young people’s magazine was launched, which is especially geared towards those in the Church. Continue reading “To present advice in a way “that is cool and appealing to young people””

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People still trucking into Bible college

Enrolments steady at Bible College of NZ

2007. Bible College of New Zealand enrolments are holding steady although they are well down on those of the early 2000s. Figures have declined in the past two years because of a drop in the number of international students.

The college expects 650 full time equivalent students this year at its national campus in West Auckland, nine regional centers, and distance learning center – the same as last year. Continue reading “People still trucking into Bible college”

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New Bible materials are a ‘fundamental reshaping’ of older resources

Salt makes way for Light

2004. Scripture Union is making fundamental changes to their range of published resources which will take over from the old range of Bible materials in September this year.

Salt, a range of published resources to help leaders of children’s, youth, and all-age church-based ministry to run learning sessions and weekly services, will be succeeded by Light. Salt has been active since 1984, though Scripture Union has been publishing a similar church-based curriculum for over 60 years. Continue reading “New Bible materials are a ‘fundamental reshaping’ of older resources”

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Sitting down with a Bible teacher: “Jesus Christ is the only relevant issue, churches are not”

Unique man with a unique message

2000. Bible teacher and author Charles W. ‘Chuck’ Missler is described on his ministry website, Koinonia House (khouse.org), as a “unique man with a unique message”.

Mr. Missler was speaking throughout New Zealand over the Easter period and beyond. Continue reading “Sitting down with a Bible teacher: “Jesus Christ is the only relevant issue, churches are not””

poetry

Praise

Taking the sheen off the praise

When what was delivered was good,

I got to get away,

Get back to the place where I am understood.

Many years ago, an utterance of certainty,

Which I forsook,

Could they be so right,

When the praise is so good,

And delivers in ways that are wonderous.

I lift my soul and hand go up, the arms raise

Wonderful release,

No more the exercise of pain,

Inflicted by something unseen,

The shine comes back,

And I’m found again.

amreading

The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update

AMREADING. As well as my other readings, I’ve been looking into The New International Bible Commentary. The first edition was released in 1979. This second edition is part of Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series.

What’s different? The basic text used is changed from the Revised Standard Version to the New International Version (NIV).

What is it? A commentary is a verse by verse or chapter by chapter-by-chapter detailed analysis.

What do I think so far? Continue reading “The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update”

notes--writing

A vow of poverty to write

DEVOTIONAL. Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man, as if I am rich, which I am not.

Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all…

Continue reading “A vow of poverty to write”

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Missioners OMS share testimonies from abroad

OMS – Reaching the nations for Christ

2000. OMS is reaching the city of Medellin, Colombia (pictured).

Over the last year OMS International has seen growth in missionary numbers and new directions in missions with a greater emphasis on international partnership with the emerging national churches on “mission fields”, says New Zealand National Director Denis Shuker.

Continue reading “Missioners OMS share testimonies from abroad”

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‘Focus on the future’ for national church

Shifting priorities

2005. The Presbyterian Church is consulting with parishes and presbyteries to decide on the priorities for the church’s national tasks.

Focus on the Future is a series of meetings with parishioners being held in the North and South Island and encourages written submissions.

Continue reading “‘Focus on the future’ for national church”

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“This vision to be a place of hope and inspiration and love for all has been growing in my heart for over 20 years.”

Church steps out in faith to build $7m worship centre

2006. The Presbyterian Church in the South Auckland village of Clevedon (a town in New Zealand; see picture below) has paid $1.2 million for 8ha of rural land on which it hopes to build a $7 million “worship centre”.

Clevedon, in South Auckland, New Zealand

Continue reading ““This vision to be a place of hope and inspiration and love for all has been growing in my heart for over 20 years.””

poetry

We

Weatherboards, straight across—

A roof, four walls.

I see.

Over there, I see you.

Close and near.

Not in that house they built.

You are to me,

A person.

Not etched in a wall

In the pew

The one who gave or did not

You are not a plaque.

But you are you

And I do

See you.

That’s all I see.

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“After a while there was a need to have clear leadership”

Baptist churches face shortage of pastors

2006. Larger Baptist churches are having difficulty filling senior pastor roles meaning nearly half the pastor vacancies in Baptist churches are either for congregations of 300 or more or in multi-staffed churches.

Continue reading ““After a while there was a need to have clear leadership””

poetry

Ways

The plan is this.

That it goes to plan.

What is the plan?

No pain in the game that’s lived in this life to get to where I need to be,

The need is great, no doubt I feel it strong,

Needy me, needy me,

Needing to get there,

Abide by the plan,

On hand,

Focused and dry,

No doubt in my mind

Got to do it do it do it

There is no turning back

Going forward, on track

Cannot stop, got to go,

Get in that place,

Where I want to go,

All obstacles I will put asunder

Until my life has got to where it wants

Then will I be?

Will I be settled within?

Calm and collected?

There will always be room for the break –

Into something new,

Jump right in.

I’ll stop what I do.

And go that way, the way

For it’s as fresh as new.

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Annual appeal and rebranding church website

“Together we can help Kiwis in need”

2004. The Salvation Army’s theme this year is “together we can help Kiwis in need” elaborated in a breakfast presentation with a series of short messages about the work of The Army and their annual appeal. One hundred and twenty years serving New Zealanders was celebrated at Booth House in Wellington, April 16, which also looked forward to Salvation Army Week, to kick off on April 28 until May 4.

Continue reading “Annual appeal and rebranding church website”

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“A decision was made to go contemporary”

Brethren church goes modern

2001. It was do or die for a small Brethren church in Petone that was vulnerable to losing members, especially youth.

After approximately four years of soul searching and seeking God on their situation, a decision was made to go contemporary and be a place where people find reality in community.

Continue reading ““A decision was made to go contemporary””

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A house for pregnant teens

Home to grace pregnant teenagers

2003. When Treena and Marcus van Rijssel purchased a house in Wellington last year for the purpose of housing and supporting pregnant teenagers, two pregnant girls approached them to use the facilities which were not furnished or decorated. One of those girls has gone on to appear on Kids – a TV 2 documentary about teenage mums.

Continue reading “A house for pregnant teens”

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Church leaders working together

Partners in Ministry – From relational unity to functional unity

2003. A “rookie” pastor found that churches were not co-operating as strongly as ideal, and he desired a greater unity. It was not enough to motivate Stefan Schlogl, Pastor of Victory Christian Centre, to action but when God spoke to him about initiating fellowship between ministers in the Hutt Valley, he immediately sent letters to some of them sharing his vision.

Continue reading “Church leaders working together”

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Church unity at ‘high level’ and revival anticipated

Harvest expected in Lower Hutt

2000. Unity between churches in Lower Hutt Valley is unprecedented says Facilitator of Partners in Ministry, Seth Fawcet. He says many people who have been in Lower Hutt for a long time are testifying they have never had this sense of unity.

Continue reading “Church unity at ‘high level’ and revival anticipated”
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Conform?

One huge negative compels me to write today. I am sorry because there are positives as well. That one negative is, being expected to measure up to a standard of excellence that is expected of everyone.

There was an ethos to live up to, a vision to achieve. They were “building people of excellence”. An eighty hour work week was the ideal. If people did not like what they seen and heard, to go away. The implication is that we do things our way. A fortress mentality. But, what happens when you inevitably do not measure up, or if you do? And by someone else’s standard. I mean, is this for everyone? And is there guilt at not measuring up? Then, people were asked to submit to the leadership and be “blessed”. This was the final straw. Now, it was becoming controlling, one was being asked to come under obedient submission to the so-called authority. To become prosperous I presume.

But the measure of a church should be the measure shared of Jesus Christ — who loves me not for what else I can do, not for how much work I will do, and not for how many dollars I can make. Prosperity is the impossible standard for many, the domain of the business or company, but they will tell you to think big. For Jesus, the measure of success was not how much the wealthy young man had, but by how much he was willing to follow Jesus. The Christ who does not impose a vision or direction, but asks the question. Where we are free to be ourselves while listening and learning from Christ alone. And one to another share a mutual appreciation and spiritual intimacy because of Jesus in our lives.

poetry

Lonely

How can they offer the world hope if their houses are filled with lonely people?

I lift my heart to skies and give it to God and see what was meant to be.

Caring to see rightly, tenderness holding tightly.

But just another club sandwich at the café.

The walk of life grinds on stuff, somehow, it affirms the very life in me.