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Showing posts from April, 2010

My top 10 iPhone Apps

At the moment, with piles of boxes in my garage, filled with things I once thought I needed, I am keenly aware of the perils of having too much stuff; and that anything that isn't necessary to fill some legitimate need or other is too much. There are, on the other hand, a couple of things that I am very pleased to have right now. The big black Subaru Forester I swan about in for instance. It is fast and handles well. It is comfortable enough that after 3 hours driving it I can get out and do a day's work. It goes pretty well on a gravel road, and I suspect (though I haven't tried it yet) that it will go equally well in snow. And it has a port for plugging in that other thing I am pleased to have: my iPhone. The iPhone is, of course, a telephone, and it works pretty well in that department. It sends texts and it relays voice calls. It doesn't have a forward facing camera so it can't do video calls, but my last phone could and I never, but never used that feature, so

Finding Stuff

I went for supervision this morning and took this photo with my iPhone of a leaf on Paul's patio floor. It hasn't got a thing to do with the words that follow, I just like it. In July I am going to take some annual leave and we are going to visit my daughter Bridget in Qatar. There is an itinerary sort of planned and there have been lots of excited texts passing back and forth between us and the Middle East because we still don't have an internet connection and can't email or skype. Last night was time for finalising tickets and all went well except for one small detail. Or to be more accurate, two small details: passports. We couldn't find them and we couldn't book the flights without them. Our house is cosily furnished but still the garage is filled, wall to wall, corner to corner, floor to about waist high with boxes, boxes, more boxes and yet more boxes and somewhere in the middle of all that junk were two passports. It was needle in the haystack stuff; wel

Why I found Avatar a bit disappointing

A couple of nights back I found myself on my own and not at home with an empty evening stretching out before me. One of the handy apps on my iPhone informed me that Avatar was playing in 3D at a theatre not 5 minutes walk away with the next session starting in 30 minutes. So I toddled around the block, bought a ticket, a set of 3D glasses, a large latte and found my allocated seat. I'd wanted to see this movie for a while, and hadn't because I strongly suspected that Clemency wouldn't enjoy it, but now, with all the ducks in a row, I leaned back into the semi-sofa comfort and expectantly put on the specs. The 3D system uses some sort of polarising arrangement and works beautifully. Little leaves and seeds and things drifted out of the screen and looked like they were going to land in my lap. Canyons opened terrifyingly in front of me. Spacecraft loomed menacingly or darted about nimbly according to script requirements. Wow! Amazing! And the CG effects! Even more Wow! Doub

Stage Presence

Copyright unknown On Wednesday we went to hear the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Or see them, I suppose, but anyway, to sit in those ridiculously uncomfortable seats in the Dunedin Town Hall while they played some bits of music. We lucked out and got the row just near the stage where there is sort of an aisle and thus some leg room. The conductor was Pietari Inkinen, a young man with amazingly well cut hair and a glittering future ahead of him,both as a conductor and as a violinist by all accounts. He led the NZSO through a very lively and accomplished performance of a cycle of tone poem by Bedrich Smetana, whom I had never heard of though no doubt I should have. Then there was a short break while the chairs were shifted about - the musician's, not the listener's - and an expectant hush as the people in the white ties and/or black dresses all took their places. Pieari Inkinen walked out again, confident and self assured, and stood on his little platform. Then a young woman

The Just Shall Live By Faith.

I mentioned last post the three young people from YWAM who visited us during their Faith Week . Watching them bustle around the house so full of youthful Christian energy made me think, with a pang, of myself at their age, the age when this photo was taken. I was converted to the faith of Christ at 21 and in 1975, a couple of years afterward, went to work for a fellow Christian who ran a window cleaning business in Christchurch. My fellow employees, both about my age, were Graeme Carle , who is now senior pastor of Hillside Church in Auckland, and Marcus Arden who was then, is now and perhaps forever shall be a travelling e vangelist . We cleaned the windows in Noah's Hotel in Christchurch, and the days were spent in long and earnest and inventive and hilarious discussions of the Bible, life, the Bible, the universe, the Bible, and everything. And the Bible. A month or so into the job two things happened simultaneously. Firstly we three employees developed the growing convictio


Last Saturday evening it poured with rain when we had our annual new fire service at the Cathedral. Trevor, the dean, pointed me in the right direction, the choir was in extraordinary voice and everything went as smoothly and beautifully as it should. At the end of the service Clemency told me that we were to have a few extras at home that night: some young hitchhikers had found their way into the service and had nowhere to sleep. What with us not being short of space and everything, our place seemed a logical answer to their immediate need. It turns out they were students at a Discipleship Training Course being run by YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and Saturday was the first day of their Faith Week. When the course curriculum gets round to faith, the kids are not expected to exegete the main Pauline references nor to paraphrase the principle meanings of the Greek pisteuo . Instead they are given $20 each, dumped at some remote spot and told to return to base in a week, having depended

Wedding Photos

This is a link to a slideshow of wedding photos from Nick and Charmayne's wedding. As you can see the quality of the photography is superb. The quality of the subjects is even better.


I spent most of last week in Southland. I preached and talked to people and drove and celebrated the eucharist and drove and talked to people and drove and talked some more. Wynston and Lorraine Cooper gave me somewhere to sleep and provided me with interesting conversation and showed me some of the parts of the countryside I had never seen before, for example Curio Bay where there is a petrified forest. Amongst the slowly eroding composite rocks ancient tree trunks lie exposed to the actions of surf and wind and rain. Some of the trunks lie straight along the ground, scattered around like pick-up-sticks. Others are stumps of trees that must have stood upright when they were petrified sometime in the Jurassic period; that is sometime before even birds and flowers were invented. More ages ago than my mind can get itself around these long straight patterned rocks were living things. Now they are being turned to sand and are slowly being washed onto the ocean floor. At some equally unim