Showing posts from May, 2011

Happy Birthday Nina

Today is not only the supposed end of the world, it is the commemoration of the death of my little sister Nina, who would have turned 40 today. I remember her vividly. She was born in Rarotonga this day, 40 years ago. She grew up in the Cooks and we returned home when she was around 5. I was 10 years older, the proud big brother. I remember looking after her, changing her nappies, baby sitting, reading books endlessly to her. She taught me to love in many ways. She went to Pigeon Mountain Primary, Bucklands Beach Intermediate, and McLeans College. She was not sporty, but she was bright. She was also beautiful. She went off to University and did zoology. She had a tough time, lost her way, and her life went downhill. She had an ectopic pregnancy after and was damaged permanently. This caused her to spiral downhill. She got into drinking. Ultimately, she died some 17 years ago from an alcohol binge sadly – aged 23. The 6 day period of her coma was horrendous, death is never good; it is …

May 21 the End of the World? Why you should enjoy the day and not worry, Part 3

I have had yet another thought of the return. One of the things that I ponder on a regular basis when thinking of the Second Coming is the way in which the Jews of the time envisaged the first coming of Messiah. Anyone who has looked into it even to a cursory level knows that the Jews at the time were divided over what to expect. Some anticipated God's direct intervention with no Messiah involvement (e.g. Sadducees). Others expected two Messiahs (Qumran), a priestly and a political. Some envisaged a warrior Messiah (Zealots), a political Messiah (Pharisees), others more spiritual and apocalyptic. It is hard to be sure what dominated, there were multiple expectations.
It all came down to interpretation of interpretation of the texts of Judaism. When Jesus did turn up, most Jews didn't recognise him at all. Most saw him as a prophet at best (e.g. Mark 6, 8). When he didn't forge an alliance with the Jewish leaders and lead them in a revolt against Rome, but focussed on polem…

May 21 the End of the World? Why you should enjoy the day and not worry, Part 2

As I sat at the gym rowing a nice 15k, a passage came to mind from 2 Thess 2:1-11, it seemed kind of relevant. I thought I would quote it in full:
'Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,
2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now r…

May 21 the End of the World? Why you should enjoy the day and not worry

So it's all over the news, even the secular media, the world is ending on May 21. Here I will give reasons why this is nonsense responding to the information behind the idea at
Jesus didn't even know the day or the hour. Despite his claims, we can't take this guy seriously! When he appeals to Dan 12:4, 9 it is nonsense, Jesus specifically taught we don't know when it will happen, and then gave a series of stories in Matt 25 to tell us to be ready on that basis – no one knows. There will be signs, but it will come as a thief in the night.
His method of working through to the end of the world is nonsense. Check out; It is a form of Gnosticism, so common among Christians. They think they have the secret 'code' which gives…

Please pray for Mindy and Amy

I have been frustrated lately. Being a lecturer at a bible college, Laidlaw, and having a wife who is a pastor, can become a little inward looking (to say the least). I love my life but I am usually researching or talking with Christians. Not that I have a problem with Christians! They are my family! Trouble is, I love talking to unbelievers and have been really frustrated lately and have been praying about this issue – asking God to lead me to more opportunities.
Anywho, I went shopping today and met up with Amy again. Amy works in the local Foodtown, a lovely Chinese woman. I spoke to her on the day of the Sept Christchurch earthquake when I was shopping and talked about how Esther, our youngest, was in Kaiapoi at the time, right on the epicentre, in a rickety old scout cabin. I told her how thankful I was. She told me of a woman she knew down there. Just a non-descript but real human encounter on a day NZers were kind of at a loss. Anyhow, today I bumped into her again. I often do, …

A Karpotic Renewal: It is time

A while ago I blogged on Philippians and suggested in the final paragraph that what is needed is a karpotic renewal (, let me elaborate.
In the 60's across the world, there was a renewal in the mainline churches in many parts of the world; what is commonly called the charismatic renewal. It involved the outpouring of the Spirit on mainline churches who, in many cases, lacked the spiritual vibrancy of the Pentecostal churches. People had fresh experiences of the Spirit. Many spoke in tongues. There were signs and wonders, and refreshed zeal for the gospel and life. In my own denomination, the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ), many churches experienced growth. Indeed, many of the stronger PCANZ churches in NZ even today, can trace their current strength to this wave that swept them.
Sadly, during this time, there were many churches that experienced division. Many saw the tongues and oth…

An Idea: What if The Strong Helped the Weak?

An Article Published in Challenge Weekly in May 2011
I had an idea the other day, and thought I would share it with you. Recently a friend of mine who attends a very large Auckland church shared with me that the church was full of musicians. I asked them whether they were involved in the worship teams of the church. She responded that they weren't; rather, these musicians preferred to get in, enjoy the service, and shoot through, without getting involved. This got me thinking.
In Auckland (and other contexts) there are many churches. Most have a terrible problem with getting musicians together to do a decent job of their worship. Some even use backing tracks as they can't get together a team. Some have musicians that can't handle the changing music forms of today. On the other hand there are big churches with multiple worship teams, musicians and leaders. Here's my idea. How would it look if these big churches made the active choice not to hold onto all these people but…

The Breakfast Beer

A couple of blog posts ago, I mentioned the Double Burger, and how stupid it was to make such a song and dance about it ( All that achieves is that people will go out and try it. On Breakfast (TV1) this morning, there was a discussion of the breakfast beer, something also mentioned in the Herald People are up at arms that there is a beer being marketed for breakfast, which will supposedly cause people to drink more, in an already out of control binge drinking culture. Well, without doubt we have a huge problem with alcohol binging. Twenty people die a week, and innumerable people are victims of alcohol induced violence and accidents. My own family was struck by this a few years ago, when a very close relative died of alcohol poisoning. So, yes, at the one level the breakfast beer is bad news.
But again, the naysayers are wrong to make a big issue of it. If…

Hone, Don, Kiwi-Saver: Politics Is Getting Exciting Again

A few weeks ago the election looked like a done deal. The National juggernaut was rolling on, John Key seemed impregnable, labour was in disarray, they would smash Labour and the left. Then Dad's Army conscripts Dr Don Brash, Hone sets up a new party, and national start to do some things that are likely to shift some voters toward labour. Suddenly Labour is back in the game. Without doubt, Act will do better under Don B. He is a better option than Rodney H, and will get back some of Act's traditional supporters, and will draw some new ones; people who are freaked out at NZ's borrowing, who want to reduce the welfare state, want to reduce any favour to Maori, and so on. Don B might also drive a few toward Labour, as people want to avoid any govt with him in it. It also gives Labour a message. Most of its message looked silly because half of what they want to criticise, they set up! Now, they can just tell the world, a vote for National, is a vote for Don B – and vice versa.…

The Double Burger

If you don't like the KFC double-burger, and you want it banned, and you go to the media to tell the world, you are dumb. In the history of the world, has there ever been a better publicity program for something. Those who hate the burger have inadvertently employed the media to promote it better than one could imagine. Were I KFC, I would be laughing all the way to the bank. Cracks me up to be honest. The Greek word idiot─ôs comes to mind. The thing is, that the burger is not any worse from you than some others on the market. Then there is the news today that it is superior for diabetics because it does not have the sugar. Mind you, that is a double-edged sword, as many diabetics (type 2) are in this position because of obesity – so they should partake in something else. The food-police have been given a good spanking on this one. I am planning to head over the local KFC for lunch today to check it out, want to know what all the fuss is about.