Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Returns

Here's a shot for Gran & Grandad of their 4 children. It was taken on the balcony of Hugh's place, south of Shannon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Wanderings #4

I'm back at 1 Woodfield Place. Here's a picture of the blossoming cherry trees along Louie St, taken by Grandma a few days ago. They were past their best, but still, you get the idea.

I finished up at the Conference about 11am today, then made my way back to Hastings. Its a long walk! Fortunately, I had a car.

The Conference dinner last night was held at the Mission Estate in Taradale. Good food, not too noisy, and not excessively late.

Thanks for the advice about not contacting work, Jono, but I didn't follow it. Now I'm actually on leave, I'll try to make myself as inaccessible as possible.

I'm taking Gran & Grandad out to dinner tonight. I've got used to eating at winery restaurants while at the Conference, so we'll try another one tonight, St Georges, which is just down the road.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing tomorrow. Maybe go to the A&P show for a little while, maybe do the shops in Hastings. Any requests anyone!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Wanderings #3

Today is a bit of a blur. 11 different speakers on a variety of topics. Some were interesting, some were a yawn.

Here is a photo of the room I'm in for the next 2 nights. The motel is only 4 months old, so its all nice & new. I'm 3 storeys up, looking out to sea. There is a huge spa bath next to the bed. Shame is, I'm probably not going to have the opportunity to have a soak in it.
Time to go. I have to get ready to catch a bus to go out for dinner. I hope its better than lunch!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Wanderings #2

First of all, can anyone tell me why the date and time of these posts are way out?

Secondly, I will try to keep this brief so as not to bore you.

Thirdly, no pictures today, sorry.

Got up, went for a run, went to church (good sermon on John 2 & 3), had lunch with the Wickens at the Opera House Cafe, visited the Te Mata Cheese Factory and bought some Brie (same as what Sonya & I had in Hokitika), went to Napier with Lynn, registered for the Conference, checked out the motel where I'll be staying, had a caramel frappacino at Starbucks and a good chat with Lynn, back to Mum & Dad's for a pancake tea, and now doing this.

So, what did you do today?

This house across the road from Mum & Dad is for sale. I think Sonya would like it but its on a section about the same size as ours. It needs some trees around it too.

This one would suit our lifestyle better, don't you think?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Wanderings #1

Well, I've made it to Hastings and here's a shot my of hosts, Ma & Pa McGarvey. Apparently, there has been a slight mix-up in the bookings - they thought I was only staying tonight at their place, then going to stay in Napier for the Conference, but I am only booked in from Monday in Napier. So it looks like I'll be out on the street tomorrow night.

The flights were uneventful, apart from some minor bumps. I lisened to a Don Carson message while I waited at Christchurch airport for my flight to Napier at 12.05pm.

Two men were seated across the aisle from me on the Napier leg - an Englishmen and a Maori. I tried to read my book but couldn't help overhearing bits of their conversation, from which I gathered that the Englishman was a former cricketer for England, now living in Queenstown. He looked vaguely familiar but I've no idea of his name. They talked (well the E-man, mostly) about the power of positive thinking for much of the journey.

Mum & Dad picked me up at Napier airport and we drove to Hastings in their hybrid Prius. Very quiet & smooth. They took me to New World in Hastings for lunch. Wow, Jono, you should have seen it. A supermarket, a petrol station and a cafe. I took some pictures of it on my phone but forgot the cable to download them, so you'll have to wait until I get home to see them. The supermarket has just recently been extended and upgraded.

The rest of the afternoon has been sitting and talking. Aunty Lynn and Dale came over at 4pm and have not long left. Its warm here, but the weather is starting to change - there's a southerly coming.

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Happy Wanderings .....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Worthy Cause

My daughter and I are members of a volunteer team that is planning to go to Uganda in August 2009 to help out at an orphans' village. The main goal will be to build a house or classroom at the village, and we are now raising funds to cover the building costs by asking people to sponsor "Bricks of Hope" at $10 per brick.

If any of you would like to contribute, then you can write out a cheque made payable to "Greymouth Anglican Parish Watoto" and send it to Greymouth Watoto 2009, c/- P O Box 27, Greymouth. Alternatively, you can make a direct credit to the Greymouth Anglican Parish bank account 060705-0378767-00 (National Bank, Nelson) with "Watoto 116-12N" as the payment reference.

If you make a direct credit, would you please post a comment and tell me so I can confirm its gone through.

Tax receipts will be sent out to those who ask for them and who provide an address.

Please note, the funds being raised are NOT for our travel costs, etc. Any contribution you make will be used for the building project.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Everybody wants freedom – freedom from debt, freedom from responsibilities, freedom from bad relationships, freedom to do as you please. But freedom is a paradox. To be truly free, you have to submit to something. To be free to play beautiful music, you have to submit to the rules of music. To be free to love someone, you have to submit to their desires. To have social freedom, everybody has to submit to the just laws of the society they live in.

Another way of saying this, is that you cannot have freedom without form. There must be limits and controls on freedom or else it degenerates into chaos. God has established these limits with an absolute standard of right and wrong, which is represented in the Ten Commandments. The laws of New Zealand were originally based on this standard, as they were in other countries with a Christian heritage. It is this that has given us social freedoms – freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of choice. The problem is that our society has pretty much abandoned the divine standard that these freedoms were built on, yet we expect the freedoms to remain. We are dreaming.

As we abandon God's moral standard, it is reflected in our society. We scratch our heads and wonder why we have all the social problems that now afflict us, when the answer is staring us in the face. But we refuse to submit to the forms that would prevent this chaos. Instead we abandon them in the name of freedom!

The end result will inevitably be the same as we have seen throughout history and throughout the world when God's ways have been abandoned – either anarchy or tyranny. For instance, how many Communist countries can you name that haven't governed by tyranny! Some would say that our present government is already subtly taking us down this path.

What does this have to do with faith? We can only save our country if we as individuals are saved. The Bible says about Jesus Christ that “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”. Jesus Christ came into this world and died on the cross to set people free – free from the penalty and guilt of sin, free to love and serve God and others. Belief in Jesus as the Lord of the universe and as your personal saviour brings freedom.