Adorable pig from 1995

Babe

(Certificate G)

1995. Just like a nursery rhyme, Australian film, “Babe”, is about a farm pig who thinks he is a sheep dog. After being won by farmer Arthur Hoggett (interesting name) at a fair, the pig Babe embarks on a journey and makes friends and enemies of a bestial nature in the process. Great entertainment, “Babe” is winner of Best Comedy at the Golden Globes this year and a box office hit.

 

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers. Rating from 1996.

Published 1996, GiveWay.

All considered, but not all chosen

I’ve been reading and my reading cast a thought. That music is significant in the lives of others. It could equally apply to movies. I’ve heard it before, and I considered it again and it became more inspirational this time. That if movies are a significant reality in people’s lives, then I as a reviewer and writer of film must relate to this reality and do so genuinely. Hence, I have changed my review category to be called “review mix” in that various films, music and books are considered. However, although I may consider all movies, in the end I do not choose every single one.

Back in 1998: at the Oscars, would it be night of “Titanic”?

Oscar mania

1998. Within the typical Hollywood environment of movie deals and money making comes an event that pats the best filmmakers and artists that year on the back. It seems innocent enough. It’s all about celebrating, partying down, and giving out awards (and some artists really do deserve them). Because of this glamorous night Oscar winners are certain to accrue more money from moviegoers to go into producers’ accounts. It is really an advertisement to one billion people worldwide. It’s the Oscars. Continue reading

Preparing devotional books in my mind’s eye

I have enough devotions for the equivalent of a book’s worth of devotions, one month’s worth, but with the second book, another month’s worth, there is still some editing and additional writing to be done. I am writing and editing at this stage. I am thinking of publishing though.

The challenge of change, but Steely Dan’s debut underwhelms

Can’t Buy a Thrill

Released November 1972. Written 2022.

Written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The vocals are by Fagen, Becker, David Palmer, and Jim Hodder. Donald Fagen also played piano, electric piano and the plastic organ, Walker Becker played electric bass guitar, and Jim Hodder played drums and percussion, with Jeff Baxter (guitar) and Danny Dais (guitar). Gary Katz produced the album. Can’t Buy a Thrill boast the most interesting lyrics and perspectives of 1972. Continue reading

The word with those connotations: ‘sly’

The Word for Today is ‘sly’. It means having a nature that is cunning and deceitful. The key here is in the nature, otherwise the meaning of the word would fall. Without cunning and deceitful emanating from a nature, sly would just be cunning and deceitful but that can’t exist by itself. Somone is cunning and deceitful. Someone is sly. Sly is an adjective so it describes an inner nature. Someone exists or lives in that nature. He is sly.

I always have a reservation about this word because it implies a bad or wrong centered nature. But is describes a reality. Sometimes there are people we may come across that are sly which is scary. But sly is a word I keep at a distance and use it rarely as the word must fit the character, the story, the sentence, etc.

Children reviewing films

Can a child review entertainment? We were asked to review Gandhi. Gandhi is a “mature” film, but the kids wanted to watch E.T. and The Dark Crystal. But could we have reviewed those fantasy films let alone Gandhi and reviewed them effectively? It can be done, by some. Continue reading

Traditional themes and classical style action

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Released January 14, 1944. Review written 2022.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is at a basic level a story of revenge. Yet we see and feel plenty of classical style action, adventure, love, and honour. It is a romantic style film. Based on the Arabian Nights tale, Ali Bab and the Forty Thieves was released on January 14, 1944, which puts it among the Golden Era of Hollywood filmmaking. I would like to see a Christian film with the same premise, where an Arabian Tales paced-epic is transported to a Christian-based romantic adventure. Continue reading

Update: devotional writing

Eventually got around to writing a devotional this week, and am thinking about how to publish the devotions I have, as one publisher cannot work with me due to their way of doing things (i.e. delivery of renumeration), so have thought of self-publishing e-books. But I will check out traditional publishers first to see if there are any others that are suitable.

Actuate

Writers actuate. They cause a character to act in a particular way which is the meaning of actuate. In real life, there are people who would like to actuate. They would like to have you act in a particular way. Sometimes, they succeed. Actuate is one of those action-orientated words that describes the way of the writer on a character and the way of a person on somebody else. These can fuse to produce a story that is realistic–the actual manipulation of a human being as a character in a story. These can make for disturbing unpleasant stories or ones where we can detach.

The outlook is better

How does one respond to recent events such as the last three years? One mustn’t blame. It was his fault or someone’s fault. But if one survived and can see an opportunity in the mess, then one comes out with a better outlook and attitude than without. Adversity can make one see life anew. If one finds trouble, one adjusts their temperament to survive. One does not give up but can turn over with a view to stay alive and live. One can even think about how they relate to the Creator: what is my relationship with the Creator of the world like? How can I draw closer to God during adversity?

It’s quite easy really

A Christian perspective is quite easy really when it comes to it. Sure, one can think of theological and sociological things to bring up, while the ordinary, everyday filmgoer bites into an ice cream, and popcorn flows all over the place, but a Christian perspective is just this: it is reacting or responding to a film as someone who is a Christian. It is just reacting to the material and if faith is important to a Christian then there is a reaction or response that kind of way.

A nice place to post

This week I have been starting to post my pieces of writing through blogger as the other place was not technically working for me. Another place, Substack, requires a lot of work to get subscriptions to your blog, so I find blogger just a lovely place to post my older and newer work and get an audience where there are no hassles. Here’s my latest piece, here.

Feeling right

I spent a few spare hours of writing a couple of interesting posts (if I must say) on my new ventures with Medium and Substack, but my initial feeling was to not start out with it. To leave it be and not do it. The initial feeling was confirmed when the response to my posts and marketing of them were minimal. It’s not encouraging going ahead. Yet I forced myself to think harder about what other kinds of material I could produce so this material may come to fruition someplace else or closer to home base.

On new posts

This blog has been various shapes and forms of which I think it has been a matter of experimenting with shape and form and content until coming to something satisfactory or a composite of all those. I trust that Talking Writing or peteswritingnotes.com is this, which brings back my notes on the writing life more to the forefront as well as keeping with positing old articles, etc, and new pieces when possible.

My aim, in the long-term, is to produce e-books (or some variation thereof) of articles and reviews, the kind of things I have been posting here for the last six months as well as include the material that did not get published here.

So, I am pleased to present Talking Writing…And Posting Writings which I trust is more in the form I find manageable. It means I can write freely about the writing life and publish writings when I like. A lot easier to produce and in turn brings more variety.

“You have a feeling that you are doing something worthwhile”

New Year’s honour for Wendy

2004. Lower Hutt woman Wendy Zamanek says it’s neat to be listed on the New Year’s honours list. Receiving the Queen’s Service Medal for Community Service not only makes her proud, but she says the award recognises the two women’s organisations that she sweated blood and tears for during the 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading

Back in 1927: the first Hardy Boys mystery tells of a not-so-distant past

The Tower Treasure

By Franklin W. Dixon

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Released 1927. Review written 2022.

The first Hardy Boys mystery The Tower Treasure was in the words of your grandfather or great grandfather, who read the book when it came out all those years ago (almost one hundred years!), an “exciting page turner”. Continue reading

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

Saying it without having to explain

There can be a difference between writing a review and giving a view. A review stays within the parameters of review: explain your reasons for accepting or rejecting a piece. But a view can state the view without necessarily having to explain things in detail.

Although there are two kinds of views: one which can be explained and the other is like being asked a question about what you thought and answering without explaining why. You just say it. So, I intend to write more of that kind, where it is like someone asks me, what I thought, and I say it. These are typically short.

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

“Important” healing ministry given permission to work in archdiocese

Healing prayer ministry proceeding cautiously

2006. The facilitator of the School of Healing Prayer, set up last year in the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, says the healing ministry is a neglected area because “Satan has been getting his own way for all too long and has nearly succeeded in killing off the healing ministry, especially in the Western Church.” Continue reading

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

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

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

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

The echo

Time makes such amends

For what’s missing in time

Just when life seemed hopeless

Along came time to soften wandering through the pages

 

Maladjusted by my unravelling

Depth and meaning were the challenge to my soul, but

Time had a way of healing,

For relief from superficialness.

I found soothing in an echo from time

The breeze blew toward me,

A grace I was assigned

Misaligned, I was, but saved despite the swirl of agony

In a moment of time

“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

“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 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

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

A quiet week overall

August 29th—September 5, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, 2022. My session at the listening post produced music that is almost acceptable then you listen to the second track on the album and it’s all downhill from there. Yes, there were one or two stand out tracks and on another one something like noise.

YungBlud seems to have the release of the week in 2022. This self-titled album sounds good but it’s something I would pass on not only for the lyrics I have reservations on, but the sound just did not resonate with me personally. Christian music is sounding quiet this week in 2022.

A “viable alternative for young people”

Fifteen issues strong but still a way to go

2002. Since 1998 Soul Purpose magazine has targeted Christian and non – Christian young people aged between 12 – 25 years.

The magazine has reached its 15th issue and while the crew could rest on their laurels, Founder and Chief Editor Hamish Stevenson feels they have a long way to go. Continue reading

“Our focus is to encourage and motivate youth”

Zeal Studio a first for Wellington

2002. In the heart of Wellington City [in New Zealand] is the first semi-professional recording studio in the city managed by Christians, says FX Audio Manager Mat Barnes. Youth center Zeal’s latest development is FX Audio, a recording facility for college students and young bands so they can venture confidently into the music industry. Continue reading

A quiet week

Album releases for the week of Aug 13th – Aug 20th 

For the years 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012.

And Aug 12th – Aug 17th, 2022.

Dates will be more consistent overall next time.

The week’s findings: Christian contemporary music (CCM) with that beat sound should not be discouraged if the content and music work together to help someone Continue reading

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

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

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

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.

One or two in the mist

Had a flurry of writing over the Easter period and beyond for some devotions I was trying to get through and published. Those ones were safely rejected I think all of them, but I am not counting, so I have an idea there is one or two that are on their list to publish at some stage. Wait for the cheque in the post. The rejections when they come don’t hurt as much as they used to. I am not counting.

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

Programming that contribute to spiritual and ethical development recommended

A good chance for “spiritual” broadcasting

2002. The Television New Zealand public broadcasting charter will gradually come into effect but TVNZ will not have an obligation to reflect programmes with a direct spiritual flavour as this will not be part of their objectives, unless there is a change to the charter before it becomes law.

Continue reading

Legal ground to apply pressure to NZ on Air and Parliament

Christians in secular radio and television

Law change in religious broadcasting gets apprehensive response

2000. The law change in religious and spiritual broadcasting in New Zealand means that church groups as well as minority groups should, by legislation, expect their fair share of radio and television programming, but has been responded tentatively to by some Christians working in secular radio and television.

Continue reading

Hosanna World Outreach Centre was host of “inspirational” youth conference

Conference sparks up and inspires youth

2004. Being in the same room as [New Zealand sports stars] Michael Jones, Ma’a Nonu, or Linda Vagana might intimidate most New Zealand teenagers. 1Touch, a youth conference organized by Lower Hutt’s Hosanna World Outreach Centre, gave young people the opportunity to listen to their star’s testimonies on how they succeeded in life, which included a little autograph hunting.

Continue reading

‘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

Responding to the issue with heart and mind

To Be or Not to Be?

2000. Norman has always been a man of decision and authority; in fact some people have found him difficult and boorish.

He has recently, at the age of 56, suffered a heart attack and then, some four days after a severe stroke as a result of a blood clot detaching itself from the wall of the heart. The brain swelling after the stroke made his condition much worse and it was feared that he would die. He was ventilated and treated vigorously for his heart, lung and brain damage.

Continue reading

Beautiful churches with “great acoustics, cool pulpits and loads of leadlight”

Church used for acoustic concerts

2004. New Zealand recording artist Bic Runga is on her one-month Acoustic Church Tour playing at 10 churches on a 16 date tour.

Bic Runga is a 26-year-old singer songwriter, signed to Columbia Records in New Zealand, and with two albums to her credit, Drive and Beautiful Collision.

Continue reading

A genre filled with life

When is the abundant genre appropriate to write today? Perhaps not these days. But what about past days? Future days? Sometime ago in a person’s life? What was the narrative? Somehow, what is it? The abundant genre is about blessings, full of blessings, over filled with blessings. Even those blessings in disguise…hidden ones, silent ones, quiet ones. Still filled ones. Even goodness.

Powerful poems

Reading poetry is what I’ve been doing more of recently as a writer of poetry must read it to see how published poetry is done. One poem I read reminded me that poets choose subjects and write a poem on that subject. Choosing subjects is what poets do, but it is not the only basis for a poem. It is one of the ways to write a poem.

This poet obviously choose ‘freedom of expression’ as her subject and wrote an effective, even convincing argument for it. I was compelled by the subject because it was well done and made the point effectively. It even made me think about freedom of expression and asked how many of us are really good at it. I mean some people just dominate the argument…As you can see poems have power.

Church relaunches with expansion

New $5.5 million building shows growth in Hutt

2007. A church’s $5.5 million building investment in an old relocated Mitre Ten shop is further evidence of growth in the Hutt Valley.

The Hope Centre, in Lower Hutt, previously the Hutt Christian Covenant Church, has re-launched because of rapid growth and attracted hundreds on its opening day.

Continue reading