The FIDE-O Blog: The Private Prayer Language Error


Some today believe that they have a special spiritual gift of praying to God in “tongues.” The problem with this belief is that the Bible does not teach any such gift. Those who claim to have this gift believe that in their prayer time the Holy Spirit takes over their voice and they begin to speak unintelligible words to God. To defend this practice they use Romans 8:26 and 1 Corinthians 14:2-3.Let’s discuss this error for a moment.

Read the full post and especially the comments via The FIDE-O Blog: The Private Prayer Language Error.

My comment after reading the posts and the comments

Wow what an amazing discussion for a new Christian to read.

It all raises but one question to me:

I read 1 Corinthians 14 and all the other references. Personally I do not believe that there is a need for such lengthy discussions on this matter. In the end it has nothing to do with what we do or claim but what God does, what the Spirit does isn’t it?

All the references are great encouragement to me but I keep on coming back to 1 Corinthians 12:11:

“All these (gifts of the spirit which includes speaking in different kinds of tongues, see previous verses) are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”

Perhaps just accept what happens around you, in and through you as gifts as he determined? The gifts of the spirit and being baptized in the Holy Spirit the way I understand it, comes with a range of potential gifts. Personally I have no doubt that I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit yet I have never spoken in tongues other than with my youngest son with who I do this as a game. I am grateful every all for all the other gifts that came with that. I am in utter bliss when I see the fruits of it all.

Then again I may well be misunderstanding it all. Thanks everyone for such an amazing range and richness of insights. What a great way of learning.

Photo Journal: Winter Magic in Hagley Park


What a glorious day today I felt an urge to make pictures but also to clear my head and just be quiet. I ended up in Hagley Park and even if I would have had an urge to talk, sing, pray out loud, I was so blown away by the scenery that I would not have been able to speak a word anyway; it felt at times like I was walking through a fairytale. So, I’ll keep it short and just let the pictures do the talking.

It was an amazing play of mist, light, sunbeams and with that shadows, lines and sun rays and other magic.

What’s left to say but ‘what an amazing collaboration between Creator and the created.’  All I could do is stand back in  awe. I suggest you go and check it out yourself.

From the Old Box: Old Mobile Phone Pictures Redone


When I stumbled upon the enormous amounts of pictures I have been taking with my old mobile phone some weeks ago when cleaning up the inevitable mess on my hard drive, I relived the joy of starting of with what is basically a very low quality picture and challenge myself to try and make something out of it that is still pleasurable for the eye. At the time I remember how so often I was frustrated about the quality and so happy when some of the pictures had a nice quality or something extra. Now finally starting to understand more about this incredible photo editing software I am amazed again at what simple mobile phone pictures end up looking like.

Hagley Park

Amazed by the colors that I did not see before to see an ordinary little photo transform to impressionist painting. It seems like every time we wander along the Avon it looks a bit different depending on the season and the time of day.

An otherwise ordinary tree was caught by the light an its silver trunk lit up amazingly.

One of the many ponds in the Botanical Gardens showed this amazing play of color, light, shadow and reflections in the water.It was as if the white of the flowers in the front made everything else look softer on tone.

On another walk the trees appeared particularly incredible as a result of a mix of dark skies an at the same time the sun trying hard to break through.

The amazing colors of the sky and the fine pattern of branches, an amazing view.

And there it was finally the sun breaking, and all people were happily accepting the light that day. As for the tree: it was as if it had left open this opening in its crown for the light to shine through.

Light Through the Trees

We had been driving to the West Coast and we had been encountering rain, rain, rain. During our stop, a bit of sunshine broke through the clouds in beams that you could almost touch. It let for a beautiful scene when it came through the trees.

The Massive Trees in a Park in Singapore

What an amazing walk this was. These trees were enormous and provided nice an beautiful shaded walkways on an otherwise sunny, moist, beautiful day in Singapore.

More to come soon so keep coming back here.

I am the Gate


Another mobile phone picture. It reminded me of John 10:9

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

I am the gate? When Jesus compares himself to the door or gate one should keep in mind the way things worked in those days. The sheep pen in those days (unlike the gate in the picture) only had one entrance/exit. Very often the shepherd would sleep in the entrance thus functionally being the actual door.

Through this metaphor Jesus tells us that He is the means by which the sheep (us) may enter into the promised fullness of life. It is also good to remind ourselves, in these times of religious pluralism and syncretism  that Jesus did NOT say I am A gate but THE gate, so as to keep us reminded that through Him and through Him only we are saved. Furthermore he presents us with a certain liberty ‘to come in and go out’; in His presence we are able to live our lives in freedom, peace, protected and in His presence we’ll  find ‘good pasture’ or a fulfilled life.

Overcome Writer’s Block With Plinky Prompts (via WordPress.com News)


Do you ever think “Ugh, I’d totally write a new blog post, if I just had something to say?”

It maybe me but is this not the world upside down? If you have nothing to say than perhaps say nothing.

At the same time, looking at the questions I could imagine this site offering just another option to say something else for a change or it could just give you an idea.

But really, if you are getting anxious about not having something to talk about on your blog and start looking around for “fixes”, does that not mean that your blogging activity has just progressed to being a compulsion, perhaps even a compulsive disorder that needs serious attention?

Having said all that I do like the idea and will probably sign up myself.

Do you ever think "Ugh, I'd totally write a new blog post, if I just had something to say?" Or maybe, "I'm sick and tired of writer's block but I don't know what to do about it!" We've all been there — those days when the light bulb seems dim, if not burned out. To give you a little creative push and get that writerly mojo flowing again, we've added a new service called Plinky.com. Each weekday, Plinky provides a prompt — like a question or a c … Read More

via WordPress.com News

The Historicity of Jesus Christ


Kristopher Bate

Thinking Faith Ministries

Will speak on The Historicity of Jesus Christ

Canterbury Youth Services

472 Cranford st, Papanui ( above Chipmunks )

7pm, Saturday the 24th July 2010

Come & bring a non-believing friend!

Free Entry

For details contact Ramana / Seema

Ph. 0274412217 Email: ramananv2002@yahoo.co.uk

Proposed Changes to Employment Law in New Zealand


John Key and Kate Wilksinson announced a number of changes to employment law recently.  While the information is publicly available it is somewhat scattered over various government web sites.  The draft Bill relating to these changes will be subject to public submission once it has been referred to the relevant Select Committee.

  1. 90 day trial period extended to all employers regardless of size of the business.
    This will require prior agreement by the parties. Certain criteria will need to be met before employers can dismiss people within this period.
  2. Employer is to provide employees with a signed employment agreement.
    Where the agreement is not signed, the employer will have to provide an unsigned copy.  This proposal is designed to clarify uncertainties caused by case law.
  3. Amendments to the justification test(103A of the Employment Relations Act 2000).  This will require the Employment Relations Authority to look at what a hypothetical fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances at the time the dismissal or action occurred. On that basis a dismissal or action by an employer may be deemed justified.
  4. Substance over Form Changes are looking at having overall fairness prevail over the process as is currently the case under the Employment Relations Act 2000.
    Changes proposed include: taking into account employer’s resources, avoiding unnecessary scrutiny on process and a stronger focus on the key elements of fairness (proper investigation, communicating with the employee, giving the employee a reasonable opportunity to respond to concerns, fair and open minded consideration of employee’s explanations, verify whether or not the employee has been treated unjustly).  In essence the changes are a codification of case law requirements.
  5. A Code of Employment Practice relating to disciplinary and dismissal procedures.  Finally I would almost say.
  6. Easier access to Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation).
    Theoretically this should assist employers and employees in risk assessment at an early stage and avoid costly litigation.
  7. Allow the Employment Relations Authority to give priority to mediated cases.
    An incentive for mediation of course. Sometimes however cases simply are not (or no longer) suitable for mediation and this amendment could cause prejudice to parties or force them to undertake a mediation knowing that it will not succeed.
  8. Allow the Employment Relations Authority to advise when mediation is impractical or inappropriate.
    This could tackle the issues identified under 7.
  9. Allow mediators and Authority members to make recommendations to parties about how the problem may be solved.
    Parties have 7 days to decide whether or not they agree and if they agree the recommendation(s) become binding.
  10. Allow the Employment Relations Authority to dismiss vexatious or frivolous claims. There will be is a right of appeal.
  11. Allow the Employment Relations Authority to penalise parties who do not attend investigation meetings and who file late claims without good reason.    The first change I get, but the second proposed change I do not.  Would it not be easier to just dismiss a late claim altogether?
  12. Removing reinstatement as a primary remedy as reinstatement is rarely practicable or reasonable. Reinstatement will still be available though, but where appropriate.
  13. Treating personal grievances which are not actively progressed as withdrawn.
    As long as notice is given by the ERA of such intention this seems a good move that should assist in clearing backlogs of dormant claims.
  14. Developing a code of professional ethics for employment advocates.
  15. Union access to workplaces after consent by the employer
    Consent however cannot be unreasonably withheld and would have to be for a lawful reason.
  16. Employers allowed communicating directly with staff during bargaining, including about terms of any settlement offer.
    I guess individual bargaining will still be prohibited.
  17. Cash for holiday time allowed for a week of holiday.
    Only employees will be able to request the change and although employers may decline the request without giving a reason, they can’t force an employee to accept cash in exchange for annual leave.
  18. Simplifying the way payment for sick leave, bereavement leave, public holidays and alternative holidays is calculated for employees that work irregular hours.
    The proposal is for the pay rate to be calculated by averaging the gross earnings for the preceding year or less.
  19. Allowing employers and employees to agree to transfer the observance of public holidays to another identified working day.
    This would enable people of non Christian faiths to take days off to enable them to observe different holy days.
  20. Proof of sickness or injury within 3 consecutive days of an employee taking sick leave, so long as the employee’s reasonable costs are covered.
    The employer would no longer need reasonable grounds to make the request.  I could foresee this causing practical problems.
  21. Increase (doubling) of penalties to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for employers who do not comply with the Holidays Act.
  22. Making the Employment Relations Authority more accountable and judicial in its conduct and decisions.
  23. Formalising the conduct of Authority investigations.
  24. Search and freeze orders to be issued by the Employment Court only.
  25. Allowing the Employment Relations Authority to remove matters to the Employment Court of its own motion as opposed to when a party requests such a move only.
  26. Right to cross examine witnesses during Authority investigations.
    This will make the Authority much more like a court, cases will inevitably take longer and will encourage more legal representation.  Effective cross examination will require professional involvement but at the same time I see it as a good thing that will end up serving justice.
  27. Allowing the Authority to consider whether minimum legal entitlements could be bargained away before they refer a matter to mediation.
  28. Preventing minimum entitlements being negotiated away in mediations. Entitlements such as minimum wage or holiday entitlements will still be allowed to be the subject of negotiation but not reduced below the legal minimum.  27 and 28 are related changes.
  29. Allowing a party to withdraw a claim in the Employment Court without affecting the claims of another party in the same proceeding.
  30. Allowing people between 16 and 18 to enter into binding agreements with their employers.
    Such agreements are currently subject to approval by a court.
  31. Giving legal definition to the role of Labour Inspectors to give them greater powers to manage complaints and support businesses to achieve compliance.
  32. Allowing Labour Inspectors to enter into enforceable agreements with employers so as to allow willing employers to avoid legal proceedings.
  33. Allowing Labour Inspectors to issue Improvement Notices similar to the notices of Health and Safety Inspectors.
  34. Allow for penalties and interest to be awarded in the case of long-standing and repeated non compliance with a demand notice(s) that require employers to comply with their obligations to pay wages and allowances.
  35. Allowing Labour Inspectors to seek a penalty action from the Authority where the employer has failed to provide a copy of an employment agreement.
  36. Increasing penalties.
    Double the maximum penalties to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for employers who do not comply with the requirements of the Employment Relations Act.
  37. Allowing the Employment Court to deal with pre-proceeding discovery regardless of whether the matter is or is intended to be brought before Authority or Employment Court.
    Discovery lies at the core of the justice system and this change is applauded as it stimulates better assessment of the strength of cases and justice on the basis of the facts.

Overall, I guess these changes can be applauded for they have the potential to bring back a balance that has been lost under labour and have to potential of more efficient and effective justice.