Friday, December 31, 2004

Lazy Week

Nice week on the home front - just hanging...doing all those things I mean to spend time doing - going to the gym, cleaning out filing cabinets, reading, emptying cupboards, watching DVD's (we set up our lounge as a cinema with the church projector!)...its been good. Wednesday we bought cheap baby furniture (unpainted) and then some we spent the afternoon applying the first coat. Then I went out on the street and erected a white picket fence...nah...but the day is fast approaching...looking forward to it.

Caught up with Jacob and Melissa on Tuesday - they came for lunch and stayed for dinner! Playing scattergories and Mexican train (dominoes). Nice times. Frank and Melva came over last night and we played Lord of the Rings Risk (The Trilogy Edition). Melva won. By a long way. The analyst in me couldn't help but be impressed by the way she went about it. Very clear goals which she played consistently to...then watched Antone Fisher which was a good watch...enjoying getting to know this couple...tonight we're celebrating New Year at the home of 2 couples from the cessionIcommunity who have moved into this large house together. Should be fun!

I've been a good boy and not worked all week, but have been left holding the baby for this Sunday morning's service so I'm gonna have to organise and execute it. No worship leaders, sound techs, projectionists etc. So its gonna be a non singing, intercessory focussed effort - shouldn't be too hard to find something to pray for...just a tad resentful that everyone else gets to take their holidays...need to get over always...

Speaking of which, not sure what to think about the whole tsunami thing. I've stayed at Patong Beach on Phuket Island, Thailand. Walked on the beach. But I find myself somewhat unaffected at any deep level by the whole thing. Even vaguely annoyed the Sri Lankan cricket team have cancelled their tour and gone home. We'll give to the relief fund, I'll pray, I'll remind people that more than 10 times the people have died than died on 9/11 but my heart is not broken the way I guess God's would be. Interesting theological issue: is God's heart broken by things that are indirectly caused by the laws of nature he put in place?

Still pondering,


Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Day After...

Well, another Christmas is over...but the first I've spent in NZ in 3 years...I think the novelty of a white Christmas is still something to enjoy...I think we'll do snow next year...

The midnight service @ cession was great - a good crowd in and what can only be viewed as some very positive responses to the message through communion. A number of people responded in significant ways...and it wasn't an "easy invite" - I didn't leave too much room for people to just participate for the sake of it. That was pretty cool. Preached on "The Parable of the Great Banquet" in Luke 14 drawing in the image in Isaiah of the Messiah as a Mum came too which was cool and she even brought a friend!

Christmas Day I was on keyboard duty and my sister and her family came! My sister participated in communion for the first time to my knowledge since she got involved in the Anglican church (briefly) as a teenager.

We spent Christmas Day with family. Tried not to eat too much. Scored lots of coffee and red wine - as presents I mean, not by consumption! Present of the year was a new coffee grinder - a burr grinder which is a superior wife did very well. I'm coffeed out today as a result!

Managed to get all the new technology working:

  • My new PDA (IPAQ) which I saved my birthday money from 2003 and 2004 to buy - a contact got it for me cheap so I ended up with $10 to spare - that's some serious delayed gratification!
  • A digital camera funded by various cash gifts from the last few months which we wanted for baby photos for our US family
  • A web cam for a family Christmas reunion over the internet - was a lot of fun seeing everyone!
  • A DVD player - part of Kristen's present haul - I wasn't going to get one but got a deal through my sister that gave me 2/3 discount! How could I resist?

Slightly amazed we have all this stuff. Sometimes that whole provision thing is quite arresting. Anyway, a day of lazing around today, watching cricket and DVD's with my wife - I got her the DVD of the first movie we saw together, so we enjoyed watching it again.

More of the same tomorrow I think.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Something Old, Something New

Tonight we celebrated Christmas Eve its not a typo but rather a transplanted Hinterman family tradition now retreaded for NZ conditions. Kristen's family would celebrate Christmas Eve Eve together on the 23rd because they knew: first, that they'd be traveling on Christmas Eve and second, that the general mayhem of an extended family Christmas Day would overshadow some time together as a nuclear they would eat pizza and drink chocolate malts made by Papa Chris on a malt maker brought over on the Mayflower, while watching (sappy) Christmas movies...followed by the unwrapping of presents on Christmas Eve morning...

So, this year (tonight actually) we ran our own version with my late wife's sister, husband and kids - we remain very close and the family has formed their own unique and warm relationship with Kristen. But, we won't be spending tome on Christmas Day...thus Christmas Eve Eve! We ate superb homemade pizza - onions, mushrooms, olives, ham, shrimp with just the right dash of chilli and seasoned with black pepper and basil...followed by chocolate milkshakes and homemade jam tarts...we watched Elf on DVD - I rigged up a big screen and made the kids line up with their tickets...stole the church's projector and we were away! Then presents! Great fun.

Anyways, bed time now - I have all these new gadgets to play with - more on that tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Prayer Blog

The prayer blog is updated (finally) can access it from the menu...


Monday, December 20, 2004

Counting Down

Its countdown week...Christmas Eve service @ cession this week - the last in our "Which Fork Should I Use?" series. Plus a Christmas Day service @ ECW which is my job to organise...need to do something creative as we usually get a walk up crowd...have to roll out the carols as well...I hate carols...I am the Christmas Grinch...

And then its holiday time - probably 2 weeks. Have to say I'm looking forward to a recharge of the batteries. No plans as yet but keen to make the most of the break.

Fun night last night @ cession. Highlight(!) of the evening was the kids...we've been doing this thing in the gathering having the Christmas story read around the Christmas tree, but this week we also had the kids come do a song they've been practising - the service was called "Gifts For Jesus", the idea being that people would bring gifts for Jesus, in this case a song. Well, you know what they say about working with children and this case it was children singing a song ABOUT animals - 2 of the young boys took off underneath the staging during the song! A hapless parent pursued them...only to have one of them emerge with a cheeky grin from the other side. Hilarious. Almost as funny was the wrong lapel mike being turned on and the voice of "Mrs Kristen" coming through from back in kids, "Mrs Kristen will use the glue"! Melissa, who was about to speak, was very funny in reply, "We'd better switch that lapel mike off before we hear Mrs Kristen ask for the scissors..."

The joy of giving.

I got to play with this evil looking pitchfork as I did my recurring "forks" meditation around Advent. I have just about used up every meaning I have in my brain around the word forks - in the road, as in chess, as in cutlery, as found on a bicycle, as in the branches of a tree, as used for toasting marshmellows, as used for spear fishing (trident), a tuning fork, the pitchfork...any donations for week 4 would be gratefully received especially as it relates to Jesus! I am the fork of life...

Anyways, time to stock the pantry for the onslaught. Actually, maybe I should just buy in salad. Either that or book in for liposuction. Nobody warned me about the sympathetic pregnancy...


Monday, December 13, 2004

Baptisms are cool!

We had a baptism celebration yesterday which was cool. Very cool...actually freezing! Its more spiritual that way - you know it will stick if the water is really cold. Jimmy and Nicola are an engaged couple who joined the church plant team for cession while still sorting out their allegience to Christ. They were believers but on a journey toward becoming disciples. Imagine the celebration we had when they announced their decision to become engaged and to live apart for their engagement to honour God and each other. The community wrapped around them and provided accommodation for Jimmy when he moved out of the house they had been living in together. So it was great to celebrate their baptism together. I marry them in February '05. Leana has been a bit of a faith-wanderer. She connected strongly with the community this year, joined a small group, established a mentoring relationship with Melissa (our associate pastor) and has served in various helping roles since. She invited her family and heaps of friends to her baptism which was very cool. A touching testimony of how her Father had died when she was young and that she had raged at God for much of her life only to discover that He was a true father to her.

Message went well at the gathering later that evening. Some days you're in the groove. Good responsiveness from the gathered, including some of the families/friends of the baptised.

This week I have some nailing down to do of some key initiatives for next year. Trying to cement people to take point on small groups, outreach events and prayer ministry and have meetings related to each of these. Also continuing on the forward planning game.

Anyways, better get underway...


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Feeling sweaty...

I know I'm not the only one...but I have this love-hate relationship with exercise...I always feel great afterwards, enjoy the sense of achievement, love the competition with myself and appreciate the opportunity to live longer because of it...but the battle is in getting there! Anyways, I got there this morning which is why I'm S-W-E-A-T-Y!

Sunday was great, with a number returning from the previous week's cafe outreach and a heap of friends and family there for a dedication. We started a new series leading up to Christmas - week 1 we unpacked the place of Sabbath in our lives - Melissa did a great job on the message round the metaphor of our cups being filled...we have this dining table as part of the set and draw on different elements from the setting. Included her husband popping the cork on a bottle of fine red wine as she spoke on the aroma of had to be there...

Got a heap of ongoing planning to achieve this week. I find I avoid this when I'm on my own - I prefer the engagement with others but they have to work during the week so I guess thats why I get paid the big bucks...

This coming Sunday we baptise 3 of our community! Looking forward to it, although the pool we're using is solar heated only - translation: there's no ice on the surface...

Anyways, better hit the showers...for everyone's sake...


Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Week That Was...

Its been a whole week since I blogged?

Actually, for some reason I've been a bit listless and lacking. Came to the end of the teaching block on top of some big church commitments and just stopped...cleared the marking of assessments away plus my 2 holiness essays...a few early nights and I'M BACK! So while I've been a bit tired this week I have managed to clear the decks.

So, last Sunday we had 120 people turn up to our cafe outreach - thats pretty good when you understand that our core community is 70 people. Some great connections and we're hopeful that a number of them will be with us this Sunday as we start our new series: "Which Fork Do I Use?" Preparing For Christmas Dinner. You wouldn't believe the food either, the decor and the whole feel of the place - what an unreal team we have!

It was cool because the Saturday was our final cessionIcore advance for 2004 - it was great talking about how far the community had come and then to see it go another step forward the next night. We got a bunch of things laid out for next year and it feels good to be organised and have a number of new ministries rolling out in '05. A great team of people.

Also had our first Council meeting with me as National Secretary. I went out and bought a large broom and swept vigourously in preparation for this meeting. Thursday's meeting was a good next step for the "new order" and I think there was general appreciation at the prospect of strategic discussion emerging from beneath the clutter of meaningless administration. I'd probably see me as obnoxious and insistent but people seemed to enjoy being organised. There are some people who need to learn some hard lessons about bringing clear recommendations rather than thinking they can turn up with 4 page reports and expect discussion of them...I'm not sure that I'm everyone's best friend it has to be said!

So today is relatively free which is nice - I spent the day off writing my holiness essays - so its good to not have more than 2-3 hours of work to do and no sermon to write either, so even my Sunday afternoon is looking OK between services. Luxury!

So, I need to start thinking Christmas shopping. My wife has nearly finished buying. She has given me a list of things she wants. This could be seen as demanding and unromantic - however the list is long enough (!) for there to be some measure of surprise and ultimately its nice to have the back up of a sure thing if I don't get inspired to be original!

Right. Girding up the loins. Polishing credit card. Shop.