Photo Journal: The Mornarch Cycle


We were blessed again this year with a large number of monarch butterflies coming down to lay their eggs here in the garden. It’s a miracle every time to see the eggs  turn into minute yet quickly growing caterpillars and from that the transformation that takes place where the butterfly is a hidden promise within the chrysalis to finally see it come out as a beautiful butterfly.

And how amazing to see how they have sort of become a part of the family and family life. It is very easy to forget how special it really is to have the butterfly land on you and sort of hang out until he’s ready for his own journey.

The Power of Prayer and Accepting Responsibility for an Answered Prayer


I ran into this  story online:

Texas beer joint sues church…

2009-10-29 / Editorial
Laugh A Little

In a small Texas town, ( Mt. Vernon ) Drummond’s bar began construction on a new building to increase their business.. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.
The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”

An e-mail sent bya former Grove Hill resident

Source: Clark Country Democrat

Comment

What an illustrative story. Here we have a congregation that sees their prayers answered, and perhaps also their own smugness. In any even it reminded me of the story of Peter, and how he denied the name of Christ.

We pray for certain things and we expect our prayers to be answered. And how miraculous: the prayers of this congregation were answered. At that point our human fallen nature hits in again. They get smug about the works of God.  What a lesson is in there:

In faith we ask God for certain matters and expect (as promised) that our prayers will be answered. The trap we should not fall for however is to be proud for the wrong reasons (and the use of the word smug indicates they were). If your prayers are answered so directly and you feel a need to boast, than at least acknowledge the source of your success: God, the one you have been praying to. The Bible is clear on the subject matter. In John 5:19 we read:

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

But of course there is the temptation to be proud about not God’s work but our own amazing prayer skills. And that’s where we go wrong. Paul understood and explained this to the Corinthians in his first letter (1 Corinthians 1:31):

31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:31 Jer. 9:24
Having said all that what was really striking is the denial when the risk of being sued became apparent. Again what a lesson is in here. If we see our prayers answered are we willing to take the associated consequences of that. Personally I would say all of a sudden it becomes a faith question: IN FAITH YOU PRAY RESULT, and by the looks of it that got answered, DOES IT NOT MAKE SENSE TO EXTEND THAT FAITH TO A POSITIVE OUTCOME OF THE COURT CASE? If it was God’s will that was done here, how likely would it be that the court case would lead to an adverse outcome for the church?
And even if they would have been found on the receiving end of a successful court case for the bar owner; what is more important, God’s will or your wallet? It reminds me a bit of the story of the young rich man that wants to follow Jesus in Matthew 19
The Rich and the Kingdom of God

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

I guess the church in the US showed us again an example of how we may be claiming to be following Jesus, to live a Christian life yet when it threatens our earthly existence, even just the financial side of it, how ready and willing are we for real. There are many out there that end up facing severe consequences, even death, as a result of their faith. Look at the early Christians look at those areas where Christians are persecuted. What would you do if you were convinced that your prayers were answered and find yourself faced with a POTENTIAL liability? WOULD YOU DENY HIM, HIS NAME, OR WOULD YOU FACE UP TO THE CONSEQUENCES EVEN IF THE MAY BE FINANCIALLY SEVERE?

What do you say?

Cass Bay, a Remarkable Conversation, a Missed Opportunity, Thoughts on Xmas


Today after an awesome service at Harmony Church, I took the boys out for a “rock throwing party” at Cass Bay, just past Lyttleton this is a fantastic little bay to spend a quiet family afternoon. We had lunch out by the sea, had a contest on who could let his rock bounce on the waves the most times, looking for crabs and other little animals, all in all a great afternoon with the boys. I even had some time to read a guitar magazine in between the picnicking.

And just look at the picture on the left to get an idea of the scenery absolutely stunning. Considering that it is raining when I write this post, I guess I can consider myself blessed for this afternoon in the sun, with my three fantastic boys while mama’s out with her sister having good bonding time as well.

I guess if there’s one thing I believe it is that no present can make up for quality time with your children. And while it is quality time for them, it is also quality time for me, not just because I have a good time with the boys but because they remind you of this important edge that children have over adult: as being completely reliant on, loving and  trusting your parents, not hindered by any doubts, freely ands open towards a world of new discoveries every day, while at the same time protected where potential harm may be looming. In a sense that is also what my first year as a Christian was all about, if anything it was about learning to be a son again.

On the way back to the car we stopped for another half an hour so the boys could lose some more energy on the playground at the parking. While were there, that had been there before we came out was parked there. In it were three people in their twenties.

While the boys were out in the playground, the two passengers came out, and by the state of their appearance and the way they talked, considerably drunk and I do not rule out more than that. Their talk was aggressive, especially to the third member of their party, a female.

My boys kept on playing for some longer and it became time to get home for diner, so of to the car we went, which was parked right next to theirs. On the parking lot the female driver of the car, had another sip of her RTD and asked me if I needed more room. I was quite alright thanks. And than all out of the blue it came:

I have been watching you four for the last 45 minutes or so and I am so jealous of those boys.  I wish I had a father like that. My Father and mother never had had any time for me. I got all I needed and wanted and more in terms of things as long as I shut up. but never any time like you here on the beach with your boys.

I asked the inevitable question:

“Is that why you are out here on the piss with two guys that are treating you like dirt? Let me guess, you paid for the booze didn’t you? Regrettably I am too old to be the father of such a rebellious girl.”

“I’m 24 how old are you than?”

“46 and set in my ways.”

“Do you live in Lyttleton as well?”

“In Russley near the airport”

“Is that close to Hornby?”

“Yup”

“Man you really could have been my father, but you look so fit still. Fitter than those two blobs.” ( I learned now that this refers to fat or lazy (or both) people).”

“I’d adopt you in an instance my little charmer if I knew I would be able to handle a girl like you.”

That turned out to be the apparent soft spot and tears came in her eyes.

You’d have nothing to handle if I felt welcome and loved at home, if I actually had a home.”

And this is where the missed opportunity came in, as could have told her,  so much in line with what I heard at morning service, about the father heart, about how Jesus, how God loves us. How we can all have a Father that is more than happy to spend as much quality time with us as we wish for. I could have prayed with her, I could have given her a Bible, as I always have at least one spare copy in the car. But with my three boys in the car and two aggressive and drink male specimens heading back to the car to see what was going on I chose for the safety of my boys.

“What’s up mate, is she giving you a hard time?”

“Nope mates, we were just having a good chat.
I don’t know whose girlfriend she is but treat her well, she’s precious.”

“Yes sure”

The girl stepped out of the car as good as she could and gave me a hug.

“You, you are an awesome father, mary fucking Christmas and whatever to you your boys and looking at the ring your wife or ex. I love you”

Thanks sister and I love you too.

I looked at the two big dudes, flabbergasted and wild, her, and my own boys and decided that it was time to move on. My own boys safety first. Before I hit the Lyttleton Tunnel she was right behind me with the boys in the back. She followed me at least half way home. Then at a traffic light she pulled up on my right side. And when the light when green she waved, I waved back and she made a u-turn. The boys, by now curious , were asking if she was my new girl friend lol. I explained about house and home and love.

It kept on recurring to me that being a provider, actually refers to being the one that offers a home, a loving and nurturing environment with room to grow,  as opposed to a house, a building . And this girl was the living example of how no material stuff can’t make up for the experiential love of parents. I decided to put my thoughts to the test.

” Boys I was thinking: how we could maybe give away you Christmas presents to Fajana (our vcision child adoptee) and friends. You trade it in for a speciual day with mama or papa”

“Can we  at least keep ine small one under the tree?”

“Sure you can”

To my surprise they all agreed that that was ok. While we could sing praisesabout that, in fact it illustrates what is high on the priority list of at least my children although I think it reaches wider (given my earlier talk).

Perhaps as parents we could consider that one gift that can not be bought at the Warehouse, that special bargain that only parents can give: undivided love and attention, special family time, whether on top of all this material stuff or as suggested. Perhaps we parents could all make providing a home in which lout children feel special, loved and nurtured a first priority, and that means that above all Spending Time with out children a priority. So that despite all the material stuff they do not end up on the piss driving around so as to avoid being at the house that was never a home with loving, compassionate and nurturing parents.

I know what I have to work on this Christmas and thereafter, what are your thoughts?

Alert: Suspicious females want access to houses, Christchurch


Through Neighborhood Support this press release came in from the Christchurch Police.

Suspicious females want access to houses

Police are concerned with young females attempting to gain access to resident’s houses.

There have been several incidents in the Northern Christchurch Area where a female aged between 18 to 35 years has approached elderly residents asking to use their phone and or toilet. On some occasions they have been allowed access to the house.

Police are concerned that this person or persons are using this as an opportunity to steal items from address then or later.

Sergeant Todd WEBLEY of the Papanui Police said “If you don’t know the person don’t let them in your house”.

Police suggest that they are to be directed to the nearest public toilet or the phone is handed out the door to them to use.

If anyone has any suspicions about someone wanting access to their house they are asked to call the Police.

Sergeant Todd WEBLEY

Papanui Police

Ph 374 1717

 

Securities Commission Warning: Illegal Share offer by IRA NRG NZ Limited (INNL)


8 December 2010

News release

The Securities Commission warns people of an illegal share offer by Ira NRG NZ Limited (INNL) and its sole director Simon Romana.  The Commission has banned the company’s website and the content of the website has been removed.  There is no registered prospectus for the offer.

The website of INNL described INNL’s plans to generate electricity and sell it to the national grid.  The website included claims of future income that are not substantiated on the website.  There were no assumptions disclosed relating to the prospective financial information as required by law.

“The public offer of shares by INNL is illegal as there is no prospectus.  Any purported allotment of shares to investors would be void and of no effect.  People should not invest in this company until it complies with the requirements of the Securities Act 1978″ said Securities Commission Chairman, Jane Diplock.

INNL was incorporated in March 2010.

Ends

Contact Rebecca Barclay 04 471 76666

More about this company can be found on the company’s website at http://www.aworldwithoutoil.com/ as well as an investment statement.



 

 

 

Photo Journal: My Smallest Audience Ever


We love our animal visitors here and again this year we are pleased with the monarch butterflies laying their eggs and offering us the opportunity to see those eggs turn into the beautiful butterflies.

But as you know I play guitar, and it is always great to play for an audience. But this audience must have been the smallest in size ever. While playing through some new material this moth landed on my guitar and must have been there for quite a few minutes. It was as if giving a private concert. Amazing.

Photo Journal: Curbside Beauty


The other day I was walking around and praise the Lord I brought a camera. Martin Luther once wrote that God does not just write the Gospel in the Bible alone but also in the trees, flowers, the skies and stars. Well it certainly seemed to be true when I saw these very ordinary side of the curb being decorated by these amazing creations. Otherwise uninteresting outside fences and curbside decorated by flowers that somehow managed to find a way out of the garden to please the eye of the innocent by-passer.

Or what to think of more color than my camera seemed to be able to handle.

Flowers: they seem to never get boring and spectacular time and time again.

And thus an otherwise unnoticed part of the street that ‘no-man’s land’ between the end of a garden and the start of the street was transformed by the beauty of these amazing creations.