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Showing posts from April, 2010

Thoughts on Hong Kong 2

Another day, another wander through the bustling streets of Hong Kong. I went to a wet market first. Amazing. Fresh food everywhere. Occupation, Safety and Health would not condone the hanging meat. I thought of 1 Corinthians 8, 10 and the temple meat markets. People seemed comfortable buying it as the 'butcher' cut of strips of the hanging red flesh. There were live fish, can't get fresher than this. The fruit and vege's were brilliant.

Travelled on a tram. So many options here for public transport, all efficient and cheap as. Auckland MUST get its act together. Went by ferry to Kowloon and got hammered by Hawkers trying to flog off replica watches, tailors wanting to fit me with tailor made clothes, etc etc. It was fun fending them off.

Saw a couple of beggars. Only a few. I couldn't help giving a few bucks here and there. The rich man and Lazarus.

As I write, the sun is out on day 3, there is blue sky behind the smog!

Went to the Vine church last night and Andr…

Thoughts on Hong Kong 1

So, I am in Hong Kong. Thoughts!
1. Busy as! The place is teeming. People everywhere. Traffic makes Auckland look like a quiet day in the office. People going everywhere. People people people.
2. White faces are rare. There are few Europeans here.
3. Relaxed Frenetic! An oxymoron I know. The place is continually on the move. Yet people seem ok about it. there is an absence of the anger and frustration I feel in NZ.
4. Pollution! Man this place is polluted. The readings are so high! (http://www.epd-asg.gov.hk/) I have yet to see the sky, yet it is not cloudy! Not healthy. If the warming of the world's atmosphere is caused by humanity, we are in serious trouble. This can't be healthy either. Apparently they sometimes have to close the schools it is so bad.
5. Different schedules. The world goes from 11am to 11pm. In NZ it goes from 9am to 6pm, with the odd late night. The night life here is rocking. It is as busy at 10pm as at any time of the day.
6. Public Transport Rocks! Eve…

Avatar and a Flight to Hong Kong

So I am off on my jaunt. It is a good one: Hong Kong - Rome - Athens - Corinth - Delphi - Thessalonaki - Kavala - Philippi - Istanbul - Troy - Gallipoli - 7 Churches Ephesus etc - Patmos - Dublin - Cork - Wexford - Carmarthen - Cardiff - London - Paris - Cambridge - Oxford. Will be able to sing, 'I've been every man, I've been ...'

On the flight I ate the meals, read some of Julian Batchelor's book Evangelism (more on this in a later blog). I was going to save the soul beside me, but there were two empty seats instead. So, I watched movies on and off... as you do.

I watched Avatar. About time you will say, and you are correct. It was a stunning movie - and that is a big statement when one considers I was watching it on a plane screen and not in 3 D. I found its message challenging.

On one level it can hardly be called 'Christian.' The 'god' is the spirit of the world. It is very pantheistic, panentheistic. As one might expect from James Cameron, …

Anzac Day, Conflicting Thoughts. A Confession.

I never quite know what to do with myself on ANZAC day. On the one hand, as time roles on from WW2 this is becoming the defining day of our nation. Together, New Zealanders, Maori and Pakeha, fought together with the Allies to overcome the threats from Kaiser Wilhelm and then from Hitler, Japan and their partners. Not to mention the other wars in Korea, Vietnam and more recently, the Middle East. There are great stories of NZers sacrificing themselves with great valour. So many died! According to NZ History on Line (http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/ww1-overview) 18,500 died in WW1 and 11,928 in WW2. There were many more injured and deeply marked.

I know what was at stake in these wars. Both sets of enemies from the two great wars were hell-bent on conquest, spreading their power through Europe, the Pacific and beyond. In Just War terms, the wars were justified with the Allies standing for justice and against the spread of evil. 

I realise I live in a wonderful peaceful nation because …

What's God Up To On Planet Earth?

Tomorrow night at Laidlaw College Auckland NZ at 7.30pm is the launch of my new book, What's God Up To On Planet Earth. A No-Strings Attached Explanation of the Christian Message. It is publised by Affirm/Castle. It is the culmination of years of work which began when I became a dedicated follower of Jesus at 24.

My first engagement with Christ was at 13 when I heard the Christian message and was convinced of its truth claims. I didn't carry through on this in a family that was pretty opposed to the faith. I remember crying out to God that it was too hard and that when I left home I would follow Jesus. When I left home in my early 20's I found myself working through many struggles and eventually realised God was calling me to honour what I had said. Eventually I relented and turned to Jesus and became a disciple. It was fantastic, I was liberated and my life took on meaning. My excitement at being a Christian and the wonder of Jesus grows everyday!

From early on I started …

Another Resurrection Thought

Isn't it ironical that new life started in a tomb, so appropriate. Jesus, laid in Joseph's tomb, thoroughly dead, as the separated blood indicated. Sinless, he overcomes death, and is raised to life; the only man to overcome death through righteousness. That moment of resurrection is the beginning of a new creation. In the midst of a space set for death, life begins. From there it flows to all nations. The river of life flows from a scene of death and despair. I like that thought.

Of course, it is Jesus himself who is the new temple (Ezek 40-42). It is Jesus upon whom the glory of God comes (Ezek 43). It is from Jesus that the river that brings life flows (Ezek 47). The water flows through all the world, the Spirit of God, released to all humanity by God. It is fresh, full of life. Is there a play on fish and 'I will make you fishers of people'? Are humans the fish as life flows out, they are 'captured alive' and fill the river? And they eat from the trees that…

Jesus the Tree of Life

One way of thinking about this wonderful day is that Jesus is our tree of life. In Eden, God placed one tree in the garden which would sustain humanity with life, the so-called 'tree of life' (Gen 2:9). In Ezekiel 47:12 Ezekiel speaks of trees lining the river that flows from the temple of God, the leaves of the trees bring healing. In Acts, Jesus is hung on a tree, another way of describing the cross (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29). In the new heaven and earth, the new Jerusalem, where heaven and earth are merged, eternal life granted, evil vanquished and our joy complete, the tree of life will be found again. In its leaves will be the healing of the nations (Rev 22:2, 14, 19). The problem of the tree of knowledge and good and evil which brought death is resolved, access is now free to the tree that sustains. 
In a spiritual sense Jesus is the tree of life. John goes close to this when he describes Jesus as a vine. We are grafted into Jesus (cf. Rom 11:17-24). We are branches in t…

True Humanity Revealed: Easter Friday

According to Paul, the cross is foolishness to the Gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews. Why? For the Greco-Roman world the story is absurdity. The supposed ruler of the world born in the backblocks of Palestine, where the annoying Jews lived... nonsense. The supposed ruler of the world allows himself to be betrayed by his own friend, is handed over to the Romans, and refuses to defend himself... futility. The supposed ruler of the world powerless, weak, pathetic, naked, humiliated, ridiculed, abused, mocked, rejected, on a cross... pathetic. The supposed ruler of the world, dead... Yeah right! The supposed ruler of the world resurrected... spurious superstition. The supposed ruler of the world commissions a motley group of Jews to go and take over the world without the use of a weapon, through service, through death... utter rubbish. No, this Jesus is nothing. Another pathetic false Messiah killed by the might of Rome.

For the Jews the story is impossible. He was a promising gu…