Sermon from this week

Reflection on the Realm of Christ by Mart the Rev

‘Then Pilate entered the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over… But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ John 18:33-38

Do you agree that we can talk more easily about Jesus the man than about Jesus the ‘Ascended Lord’ who sits at the right hand of the Father?  We hear stories told of him and we like the way he saw the world.  We are drawn to him – we take up the call to follow him.  We seek to live like him.  We are part of a community that lives in his way and reveres him.  So far, we can do all of those things and not attend to the risen and ascended dimensions of Jesus that are unfolded in the scriptures.  But these other dimensions to who Christ is are also part of the story!  Actually all of the New Testament scriptures Continue reading

Yummy Tea

Thanks Annabel Langbein for the recipe for Mediterranean Baked Fish and Parsley Mashed Potatoes from the new Simple Pleasures recipe book – amazing!  Anne cooked it – though I went fishing with her and ‘caught’ the sole fillets at Theos in Riccarton (the flounder were far too small to fillet!).  The tomatoes are from our own greenhouse and the parsley was from the garden.  Delicious!

David Cunliffe and the media

I am ever so greatly annoyed at the role the news media played in the demotion of the Labour Party member of parliament David Cunliffe.  David is a long-time friend of mine, so I will reflect a bias in my opinion, and politics is a dirty game and the motivations of any parliamentarian are always hard to read.  But I haven’t talked with David since his demotion to the back-benches on Tuesday, thus what I write is not in any way reflective of his opinions about anything, though, I am sure Continue reading

First Tomato

22 November Tomato!

We picked our first tomato for the season today – about 2 months ahead of the usual outdoors first pick.  It isn’t huge, but it is red!  The others are coming on nicely in the greenhouse!

All Blacks vs Italy

I loved watching the All Blacks vs Italy game over an early breakfast yesterday before church.  I loved the Italian passion and playing in Rome must be a wonderful experience given that city’s place in the history of the world.  I felt that the Italians competed cleverly all through the first half leaving a close and fair half-time score with the All Blacks just ahead.  Clearly the Italians had identified that a rushing defense would stop the All Blacks attacking game.  But such passion has to be sustained to beat the All Blacks and that never really looked likely and the second half proved it.  The 42/10 result fairly reflected the difference between the two teams – the game is 80 minutes long and the last 20 minutes are usually the most telling when the All Blacks play.
What has been startling has been the response of some New Zealand media to the game.  TVNZ were hugely disappointing in their reporting of the game in the 6pm news slot.  Their interpretation was that the All Blacks performed under par!  Really?  It seems that there is an expectation that every attack and set piece should yield a significant result.  I find this attitude and expectation staggering.  In a weekend when the Samoans defeated Wales (the six nations champions) and when other leading teams like Australia, France and South Africa had comparatively modest wins, it baffles me that NZ media are claiming that the All Blacks were sub-par.
Here are a few points I want to offer in response:
1. the All Blacks won – and won well.  It is an 80 minute game and the All Blacks played a great 80 minute game wearing down the spirited and respectable opposition.
2. the All Blacks adapted their game as a response to the excellent Italian preparation and execution of their game plan in the first half.  The Italians were not able to adapt their game and paid the price.
3. the All Blacks never looked like being beaten.  Indeed they were masterful winners.
4. only one person from the starting lineup against Scotland last week was in the starting line-up against the Italians.  How many teams could boast that kind of depth.  If it took some time for this new configuration to find their feet, so what, the result was indicative of the real capacity of the team.
5. the game was hugely entertaining.  The penalty count was low, the rugby was free-flowing, the tries were scintillating, and some players were simply outstanding – Conrad Smith, Cory Jane and Kieran Read were a class apart.  A sustained very good team effort allowed them to shine.
6. Not every thing worked, but there was inventiveness, skillful running rugby, excellent and consistent defence, and flair and imagination.  What more can we ask of a touring team that is intent on strengthening its capacity?  Just one more thing – a handsome win.  And that was what we got!
TVNZ and other media, we have much to celebrate and very little to bemoan!

Bryndwr Street Party Photographs

Prints of any of over 300 photographs I have taken of people at the Street Party can be ordered from St Stephen’s for $2 each.  Proof sheets are available at St Stephen’s hall cnr Ilam Rd & Aorangi Rd – Tue-Fri 9am-12noon. Payment at time of ordering please.  All proceeds will go to support the St Stephen’s Youth Group’s aid of the education of a young person in Chahi, Ethiopia.