….propaganda as they say? Worldviews? Human experience? What one is essentially? Faith? Religion? Politics? It matters. Continue reading What does one fill poetry with?
Taking the sheen off the praise When what was delivered was good, I got to get away, Get back to … Continue reading Praise
I was reluctant to headline this post the way it is, as it may sound too selfie. But poetry interests many people so it’s the poetry that counts here. Then I ask, how do I intersect with poetry? Continue reading “Poetry and me”
AMREADING. As well as my other readings, I’ve been looking into The New International Bible Commentary. The first edition was released in 1979. This second edition is part of Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series.
What’s different? The basic text used is changed from the Revised Standard Version to the New International Version (NIV).
What is it? A commentary is a verse by verse or chapter by chapter-by-chapter detailed analysis.
What do I think so far? Continue reading “The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update”
DEVOTION. Jesus’ lesson of the fig tree may be better understood as a figure of speech that teaches us something rather than give an ordinary description of life. Continue reading “Extraordinary figures of speech”
For more of my reviews one can go to my blog Worth Seeing Reviewed. Here are old and recent reviews. … Continue reading Worth seeing reviewed
When Jesus Returns (David Pawson)
169 pages, Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1995
REVIEW. Are we living in the end times? Christians have maintained that one of the marks of the end is that Jesus will return to earth to take his people to heaven or to set up a new world. David Pawson says he argues what the Bible is saying about the return, in When Jesus Returns.
Dark Crystal, The
Released December 17, 1982
REVIEW. Jim Henson (formerly of The Muppets, he died not long after this film) and Frank Oz (the voice and original performer of Yoda in Star Wars) directed this fantasy film set in a world of exotic creatures and beings, all performed by humans in puppet-like manicures where movements are given the appearance of puppets.
Released May 21, 1982
Annie was one of the few movie musicals of its time, the early 1980s. It is based on the Broadway musical which in turn was based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie. The movie was a crowd pleaser and a box office success.
Someone predicting the ending of a story makes sense when there is an explanation for the prediction.
DEVOTIONAL. Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man, as if I am rich, which I am not.
Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all…
A double feature of author David Pawson this week, who was an itinerant Bible teacher. I review Pawson’s The Road … Continue reading A double feature this week
Once Saved, Always Saved? (David Pawson)
BOOK REVIEW. 168 pages, Published 1996, Publisher Hodder and Stoughton.
This 1996 book explores the “once saved, always saved” doctrine. The general belief of once saved always saved is that when someone believes in Jesus, they can be assured of going to heaven and not hell. They cannot lose their salvation even if they lose their faith. Author of the book David Pawson says many evangelicals accept this view, but within that there is a spectrum of belief.
Pawson explains in the book that once saved always saved has its roots in the patriarchal period but is not what the early church taught. The focus there was more on salvation from sin.
From the early church to the church fathers, through the Middle Ages, and into the church reformation, to the revivals of the 18th century, Pawson has obviously plied careful research skills to provide an historical overview of the topic. As well, there are philosophical points of interest and practical concerns related to the topic, and two appendices. The last appendix is about the disciple Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Pawson makes comments and critique and through it all Pawson builds a clear and convincing case against once saved always saved.
The Road to Hell (David Pawson)
BOOK REVIEW. 255 pages, Publisher Anchor Recordings LTD Copyright 2007, 2011, 2014.
The Road to Hell ends with the words, “on which sober note we conclude our study”. David Pawson’s The Road to Hell does have that kind of tone at times: it can sober one up.
Had a flurry of writing over the Easter period and beyond for some devotions I was trying to get through … Continue reading One or two in the mist
In the Bible, in the gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 16 verses 24-28, a follower of Jesus Christ is challenged to live life in such a way that when he is judged by God, he will enter into life, rather than spiritual death.
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.
Anti-slavery film likely to be shown here
2007. The pending release of a movie garnering Christian support in Australia is gathering interest in New Zealand.
The Star Wars Archives Episodes IV-VI
509 pages, hardback
The Star Wars Archives is about the making of the first three Star Wars films. Film historian Paul Duncan interviews the creators and cast and crew to create a narrative of the making of the films as well as include developmental material such as from first drafts of screenplays. There are plenty of photos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Envisaging and innovating the future Church
2002. Wellington Pastor Anthony Walton views writing books, including his latest, Future Church: Church by Design, as a leadership tool for producing vision, “casting a direction the church needs to head down”.
Just adding the word may have provided accuracy when one could have missed it out. But is it true?
Has the move towards assisted dying in New Zealand (and other territories for that matter) shown a lack of belief … Continue reading This week’s question
Martin trial “illustrates need for better care”
2004. Hospice New Zealand is saddened that Lesley Martin felt pressured while providing care for her mother and emphasized the need for more palliative care specialists in New Zealand.
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.
New idea. This week I’ve decided to present a theme in three pieces, two articles and a review. The theme … Continue reading Facing mortality is the topical theme this week
Born of a woman every day; We are never alone in this world. The family of humans Reborn every day. Continue reading With you
As crude as the priest put it, The answer he gave made sense, Although I questioned the expression, The answer … Continue reading A life giving word
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.
Quite a character, in fact — as every movie cop should be. – Gordon Gow on the idiosyncratic features of … Continue reading Unique characters
More kids trigger expansion
2006. Knox Presbyterian Church in Lower Hutt (New Zealand) is undertaking the extension and renovation of its Grimes Hall at a cost of nearly $750,000.
When is the abundant genre appropriate to write today? Perhaps not these days. But what about past days? Future days? … Continue reading A genre filled with life
Reading poetry is what I’ve been doing more of recently as a writer of poetry must read it to see … Continue reading Powerful poems
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.
A reviewer assumed a screenwriter/director was driven by anger to make a work, but being driven by this emotion seems … Continue reading Writing in anger
Like Ibsen, he knew that to create is to judge oneself From the article “Film Autobiography” by Oswell Blakeston (Film … Continue reading The mirror
As I am progressing my sentence, and stuck for the right word, I try and use two words. Why use … Continue reading One word says it
Cancer victim keeps the faith in face of death
2014. A junior doctor struggling with bowel cancer believes he had the God-given strength to finish his studies, qualify as a doctor and work whilst being treated.
He has also been overwhelmed and lost for words at the generosity of sympathizers.
Church steps out in faith to build $7m worship centre
2006. The Presbyterian Church in the South Auckland village of Clevedon (a town in New Zealand; see picture below) has paid $1.2 million for 8ha of rural land on which it hopes to build a $7 million “worship centre”.
Kind of nice, but bitter The taste of convenance Easy. Homemade. Over there, not. Nowhere to find. In the place … Continue reading Bittersweet to hunger
Antiochian archbishop visits 2007. The head of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand visited Canterbury and … Continue reading Archbishop visits every year on church matters
A straight line I go alone Steps along the way The spring is infectious Buoying me every day Veering not … Continue reading Strait through
Singles seeking support
Members of Christian Friendship Fellowship (NZ) are gathering at Queen Charlotte Sound this Easter from all over New Zealand for one of the fellowship’s major get-togethers of the year, the “Significant Singles” camp.
I better write this While it is not compelling me, but Impelling me to. While not knowing why, I have … Continue reading Feeling today
I have no idea of the matter but I trust the reference book is correct. This is on the matter … Continue reading Not widely known
Old way is creaking and groaning
Mark Pierson, of Cityside Baptist Church in Auckland, sees huge numbers of people leaving Western churches as a great opportunity.
The rain is about to fall. So, they told us. But it didn’t come. They all breathed a sigh of … Continue reading Alive
He had been drinking instant coffee for years. At home. Every day, the same brand. The same mix. The … Continue reading Stuck
Kids relive Easter
New Plymouth primary schools have experienced the Easter story close up at a local Baptist church over four days of outreach to mostly year three to year six schoolchildren.
The day long A miracle at the end She saw everything all white And not a drop of negativity passed … Continue reading That day passed into
Weatherboards, straight across— A roof, four walls. I see. Over there, I see you. Close and near. Not in that … Continue reading We
Baptist churches face shortage of pastors
Larger Baptist churches are having difficulty filling senior pastor roles meaning nearly half the pastor vacancies in Baptist churches are either for congregations of 300 or more or in multi-staffed churches.
March 28 is Children’s Picture Book Day. This brings back memories and inspiration. I must bring out that picture book manuscript I wrote all those years ago…
It’s been thirteen years since I first started devising and writing a tale and this week I revisited the story … Continue reading As it was on the schedule…
I looked up. peace overcame the dreary sky. the clouds left behind, a ray of light broke through Shining bright … Continue reading Looking up
The plan is this. That it goes to plan. What is the plan? No pain in the game that’s lived … Continue reading Ways
Champion of moral certainties
New Zealand Anglican and Presbyterian Church leaders have extended their sympathies to Catholic Church.
You think you know it all. I got to help you, son. The other guy is coming with a message … Continue reading Help me see
“Together we can help Kiwis in need”
The Salvation Army’s theme this year is “together we can help Kiwis in need” elaborated in a breakfast presentation with a series of short messages about the work of The Army and their annual appeal. One hundred and twenty years serving New Zealanders was celebrated at Booth House in Wellington, April 16, which also looked forward to Salvation Army Week, to kick off on April 28 until May 4.
God loves us more than we can love God God gives more to us than we could give to God … Continue reading The giver
Church face-lift goes with new market image
Move over the religious services column in Saturday night’s newspaper. Advertise in a movie theatre, or the local rag. That’s what a Brethren church did in an attempt to re-invent itself in the eyes of the community.
Brethren church goes modern
It was do or die for a small Brethren church in Petone that was vulnerable to losing members, especially youth.
After approximately four years of soul searching and seeking God on their situation, a decision was made to go contemporary and be a place where people find reality in community.
Home to grace pregnant teenagers
When Treena and Marcus van Rijssel purchased a house in Wellington last year for the purpose of housing and supporting pregnant teenagers, two pregnant girls approached them to use the facilities which were not furnished or decorated. One of those girls has gone on to appear on Kids – a TV 2 documentary about teenage mums.
God did his work And I am proud of the work he made. It was awesome that he rested after … Continue reading Labour’s love
Aglow New Zealand encourages women to become whole in body, soul and spirit in an age where it can be fashionable to focus on form rather than content.
Call to boost aged care
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services is challenging the Government to sufficiently fund rest homes and hospitals of elderly people, and says a 3 percent funding increase is too little too late.
Impacting Christians and non-Christians
“We exist so that God, working in and through us, will use us, to help people know, apply, experience, embrace and proclaim God’s truth on marriage and family. The result is godly families reaching others with God’s truth”, explains Andy Bray, Director of FamilyLife (in New Zealand), a ministry that encourages a variety of couples at different stages in life in their marriages and roles as mothers and fathers.
Doubly successful in marriage
A retired New Zealand vicar who’s been blessed with two long, happy marriages knows the secret of success.
Cecil Marshall, now 86, was married to Barbara for 40 years. After her death 18 years ago he was devastated, but remarried and has enjoyed another 17 years of marriage to Margaret.
“Special Presence” at Sydney Games
The YWAM New Zealand outreach team experienced a “fruitful” three weeks at the Sydney Olympic games this year says Jay Granat, team leader.
Calling Kiwis to the Olympics!
Blood, sweat and tears is going to flow from thousands of people worldwide at the Olympics this year. And it will not be just the athletes. The YWAM 2000 Games outreach in Sydney, where the Olympic games are being held in September, will be well underway with an estimated 3000 people. Lots of travelling, little sleep and battling crowds is the order of the day, but promises to be one of the most memorable and exciting times in someone’s life. The NZ organizers are looking for 250 New Zealanders to take part.
Appeal for cyclone-struck Niue
Christian World Service (CWS) is raising money to contribute to the rebuilding of cyclone-damaged Niue.
Cyclone Heta devastated Alofi and the only hospital on the island on January 6.
Caring Christian community
Twenty years ago a person who had a psychotic experience may have been admitted into a hospital ward for years.
That same person or a person with the same set of symptoms may never enter a hospital today because there is better care in the community and more support for the family. The illness can be treated without necessarily having to be admitted into hospital.
Deft defying acts, skills she said. Looking good. Cool. Beautiful. Got to, when getting the coffee. In front of you. Continue reading Keeping up Appearances
Hand of friendship to state schools
The missionary on your doorstep is something vital for the Church to recognize, says Helen McGhie, National Chaplaincy Coordinator of the Churches Education Commission (CEC).
Advancing religious education in state schools
Religious education seems to have no place in a secular society, but there are those who want to change this.
Whetting my appetite on a diet of malnutrition things I am supposed to not eat but eating them anyhow no … Continue reading Integrity
And some came from across the ditch
An intercessor encouraged New Zealanders to get involved supporting Australian Christians in praying for their country at the National Solemn Assembly in Canberra.
Partners in Ministry – From relational unity to functional unity
A “rookie” pastor found that churches were not seemingly co-operating as strongly as ideal and he desired a greater unity. It was not enough to motivate Stefan Schlogl, Pastor of Victory Christian Centre, to action but when God spoke to him about initiating fellowship between ministers in the Hutt Valley he immediately sent letters to some of them sharing his vision.
I got my coffee and wish time would stop because it is National Gormet Coffee Day. I would go home to have dinner, but since it’s Rid the World of Fad Diets & Gimmicks Day I don’t go home. My wife is trying to replace her fad diet with a real one and I want Gormet burgers with my coffee. Just imagine it if I went home. For a start, I can’t even cook my own meal…
“People at the bottom of the heap” are the focus of Christian based Wellington City Mission.
May our farewells speak blessings until we meet again Continue reading Until we meet again
A palatable easy rock sound coupled with some interesting philosophical lyricism leading more to unbelief than belief, in the face … Continue reading Stuck
New Zealanders will be consulted this year on climate change and related issues, initiated by the Government.
According to the Cabinet paper, early decisions and directions, more public education about energy efficiency choices and actions available in the residential, commercial and other sectors, is to be considered.
First impressions of work can be favorable, but later, an objective eye may see the flaws and blemishes. It should … Continue reading If one is in doubt before submitting
Why fat is “big business”
Janeen Norwicki laughs. “The fat thing is in now,” says Janeen Nowicki. “It makes me laugh. They’re so late getting on the Ferris wheel really.”
Janeen runs Big, Bold and Beautiful aerobics. When she started the business nine years ago, she says fat was not in and she engaged the services of a marketing consultant friend who believed in her. Now, she has eleven contracts a week.
No, not laughable Breezy, uplifting and touching A hint of how much I love you She’s rich but not annoyingly … Continue reading Appeal
Songs like, but Are they any good? Hey, does it indicate my self-centredness– That I don’t like songs like these? … Continue reading Songs like these
Forgiveness is a good choice
You could be twenty steps away from forgiving someone who has hurt you. Yes, forgiveness is a process.
Twenty steps may seem onerous. It’s a lot of work for busy, occupied people, who are under other stresses without bothering with the ones they would rather forget.
According to church consultant Dr. John Savage many people have never learned a strategy to forgive. There is advice out there however.
Autopsy is a television series from Britain’s ITV studios that analyses the events around the untimely deaths of famous people. Dr. Jason Payne-James looks at the cause of death that is on the celebrity’s death certificate but looking closely at the evidence he concurs with the certificate or comes to another conclusion.
The subjects of the series are people well-known in film, music, and sports. The days leading up to the deaths of actors Robin Williams and Heath Ledger, and others, are analyzed.
In the episode I am looking at today, the life and death of the Irish-born, Manchester United footballer George Best is scrutinized.
There is a difference between abandoning something and abandoning ship. Abandoning ship means whatever you were occupying is abandoned for … Continue reading Abandoning one project isn’t abandoning the ship
To give sight to the blind
Vision 2020 is Christian Blind Mission International’s (CBMI) latest development.Continue reading “Blind Mission casts a vision”