Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Zealand Music Month: God Defend New Zealand #NZMusicMonth

May is New Zealand Music Month, so I'm doing my bit by sharing some of my favourite Kiwi music.

For my Grand Finale:  The BEST New Zealand Song of All Time, is in my opinion our National Anthem.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


No I’m not 100 years old, but this is my 100th post.

To celebrate, here’s my most significant posts out of the last 100:

Christchurch Earthquake Take 2 (posted 23 Feb 2011, 118 Pageviews)

The Picture the Earth Drew (posted 21 Jun 2011, currently 263 Pageviews)

Poo flinging monkeys (posted 22 Jun 2011, 112 Pageviews)

2012 - The year of the rebuild (posted 17 Jan 2012, 142 Pageviews)

Goodbye Old Friend (posted 11 Mar 2012, 119 Pageviews)

Thank you to all my readers for your support over the last 100 posts.  I hope you enjoy the next 100.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Outside the Garden

A couple of weekends ago I spent a day on a silent retreat.  It’s the first time I’ve done something like this with a group.  It was an interesting experience sharing a meal with seven other women without anyone speaking.

We came into the garden to meet with God.

There was a cold wind blowing, grey clouds churned overhead.  I found myself a spot huddled under a bush, slightly sheltered from the wind.

The leaves were mostly gone from the trees, which stood starkly against the grey sky.  The lawns were neatly mown, the shrubbery trimmed and shaped.  The garden had been planned and cared for.

Human nature prefers gardens.  Generally, we’re more comfortable when life is planned and orderly.  We were designed this way by our creator.  The last of his creatures, once we were formed we were placed in a garden He had planted for us, and given instructions to tame and tend the earth.

Outside the garden is wilderness, and although we like to look at the wilderness, we’re not as comfortable living out there in chaos.

Yet the same God we meet in the garden is also present in the wilderness.  Before that first garden, when the earth was formless and empty, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters, filling the chaos that was the pre-creation emptiness.

The Spirit of God also fills the times of chaos in our lives, even when we find it hard to meet with him there.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
(Psalm 24:1-2)

(P.S. This post is dedicated to Sonia H.  Get well soon, Sonia.)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Day that Changed the World.

Sometimes when you read the same passage again and again, over many years and decades, it starts to become familiar, comfortable.  It’s easy to lose the impact of how amazing, awesome, terrifying and inspirational the original events described would have been.

This clip was used to introduce the scripture passage at our church this morning.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Zealand Music Month: The Exponents 'Christchurch' #NZMusicMonth

May is New Zealand Music Month, so I'm doing my bit by sharing some of my favourite Kiwi music.

This one was performed at the Earthquake fundraising concert in October 2010.  Back then, there had only been one earthquake to worry about.  Sadly since February this song has become less popular, since there were so many casualties in Cashel Street, and we don't have a Cathedral any more.  I hope it will come back into its own someday - on the other side of the rebuild perhaps - because it's still a great song.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Zealand Music Months: Dave Dobbyn - Welcome Home (Official Video) #NZMusicMonth

May is New Zealand Music Month, and I'm doing my bit by sharing some of my favourite New Zealand songs.

Finally, one from this century.  Dave Dobbyn has matured a bit since "Slice of Heaven", but is still up there as one of my favourite local artists.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NZ Music Month: The Exponents - Why Does Love Do This To Me #NZMusicMonth

May is New Zealand Music Month, so I'm doing my bit by sharing some of my favourite Kiwi music.

Here's a Classic from the 1990's.  Another song every New Zealander knows.

October 2010, a crowd of 100,000 Cantabrians in Hagley Park.  And when Jordan Luck holds his microphone out to the crowd, all 100,000 in the audience can carry the song through.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lying Whispers

Back in January, I was having a conversation with my counsellor about making more of an effort to spend time praying or meditating.

The counsellor said, “You need to make it a discipline, to get up earlier each morning.”

In that instant a thought popped into my head, You don’t want to make this some religious, legalistic burden, now.

Where did that thought come from? It’s not even true – when I do make the effort to pray I don’t feel burdened, I feel lighter and energised.  And since when do I talk to myself in the second person?

“There’s a concept in Christianity",” I said thoughtfully out loud, “called Spiritual Warfare.”

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NIV).

Back when I was a teenager, and first finding my way into faith, “Spiritual Warfare” seemed to be very fashionable in the Pentecostal Church I attended.  It involved lots of loud praying, especially in Tongues, some stamping of feet and waving of fists in the air.  Phrases like “taking authority” and “claiming the blood” were common.

I’ve mellowed a bit in the two decades since then.  But I’ve found the battle is still being fought.  It’s a more subtle, devious kind of battle than what we imagined back when.  The real battle is the insidious lying thoughts that sneak into our minds, and if we’re not careful we take them as our own and agree with them, and end up believing the lie.

Lies like:
You’re unworthy.  Look at all the stuff you’ve done wrong today.
Who do you think you are to write about faith?  When was the last time you really heard from God?
You can’t do it.  You’re not good enough.  You’ll never succeed.

When I face the that thought head on, I can see it for the lie it is.  And the more time I spend immersing myself in Truth, through prayer, and Bible reading, and reflection, the more I seem to spot those lies as soon as they pop up. But how many times does it sneak into my consciousness without me noticing?  And what is it that those lies are trying to discourage me from achieving?

Happy Mother's Day

This is NOT how I had planned to spend Mother's Day.

Update Monday 13 May:
My little bird with the broken wing is now home, and tucked up into bed sound asleep.  She now has two pins holding the bones in her elbow together.
It wasn't the climbing on top of one's playhouse, it wasn't even the falling.  It was the landing that was the problem.

I was going to make some deep and meaningful comment about how this related to Mother's Day and how wonderful mothers are at being there when our children need us the most, but to be honest I'm just exhausted from having spent the last two nights on a narrow stretcher in the children's ward.

Hope all you Mum's out there felt loved and appreciated this weekend.

Friday, May 11, 2012

NZ Music Month: Dave Dobbyn and Herbs - Slice Of Heaven #NZMusicMonth

May is New Zealand Music Month, so I'm doing my bit by sharing some of my favourite Kiwi music.

Another Classic Kiwi number this one - okay, I've been reminiscing.  I'll admit it. But you find me a New Zealander that doesn't know how to hum this tune.

This song was the theme for the animated movie Footrot Flats: A Dog's Tale,  based on the cartoons by Murray Ball.  The movie was released when I was a teenager, but I'd grown up on the daily adventures of Dog, Wal, Jessie, Cooch, Horse the cat, Major the pig-dog, Cecil the ram, Pongo, Rangi, Aunt Dolly and all the other characters.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Something I Do Everyday #photoadayMay

I hug my children.
Sort of linking in with - It’s a sketch not a photo, but that’s okay because I’m not going to do one every day either.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I miss Lent

I miss Lent.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having my coffee and chocolate again.

One thing I did differently this year was to not just “give up something”, but I tried to also deliberately and intentionally set aside more time to pray, read the Bible, write in my journal, and reflect.  Since the end of Lent these disciplines have slipped back into being more sporadic again.

I miss the deeper spiritual connection I felt when I was making that extra effort.  During Lent, the days didn’t roll into each other as much as they do now.  I felt more energised and creative.

I know that if I choose not to keep pushing the snooze button on my alarm, and actually get up to pray, then I start the day more refreshed than if I’d kept dozing during that time.

This isn’t about something I “should” do, like some kind of belated New Year’s resolution.  It’s more that I’m recognising that this is something that actually works well for me when I do make the effort. 

I haven’t been making that effort lately, and I’ve missed it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

NZ Music Month: Poi E - Patea Maori Club #NZMusicMonth

May is New Zealand Music Month, so I'm doing my bit by sharing some of my favourite Kiwi music.

This is another Classic Kiwi number from the 1980's.  And this one is posted in tribute to Nanny Hui Kahu, one of the singers in this song, who passed away 27 April 2012, aged 73, much mourned by New Zealanders. ( - also has a modern re-mix of this song)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Skyline #photoadayMay

Sort of linking in with - It’s a sketch not a photo, but that’s okay because I’m not going to do one every day either.


and for some background see A Holy Place and Goodbye Old Friend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NZ Music Month: Split Enz - Six Months In A Leaky Boat (1982) #nzmusicmonth

May is New Zealand Music Month.

As my little contribution, I thought I'd share a True Kiwi Classic from way back when.  (Persevere my friends - the clip warms up after the first minute).  This song remains a favourite to this day.