Monday, August 30, 2004

Gone Fishin'

I'm away this week - surprise 1st Anniversary vacation for Kristen...she was surprised! That's two surprises I've sprung on her this year! Oh and there's another surprise: we're having a baby in March 2005. That's makes 3 I've slipped past her in 12 months...


Sunday, August 29, 2004

A Common Theme

A funny thing occurred to me: NZ's areas of strength in the Olympics have traditionally been rowing, kayaking, sailing and equestrian. Common theme? We do best in sports when we're sitting down!

This has only been confirmed by our medals so far:

Womens double skulls (rowing) - gold - sitting down
Womens 3000m Pursuit (cycling) - gold - sitting down
Mens Triathlon - gold AND silver - some sitting down plus some lying down
K 1000 (kayaking) - silver - sitting down

Does this say something about our national psyche?

I just finished commenting on the US basketball team's dismal performance on Deurty's blog so I'm somewhat blogged out for the day. Great cessionIcore meeting yesterday followed by an awesome creativity forum for our next 4 series. But before I go, a trivia question for all you keen followers of sport:

Who are the current Olympic champions in rugby? No cheating by looking it up!


Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Famous One

So this week has been media week. Started with an interview for our local paper on what we're doing at cession using the "Pastor with an MBA" angle to create a story. Feels a bit weird but it is one way of reaching people with what we're doing - particularly dechurched people who might check us out. I don't think too many unchurched will roll up because of a newspaper article.

Tuesday, and I was meeting with the CEO of the Rhema Broadcasting Group about some possible contract work - I don't think thats gonna fly but it was nice to meet the guy and share stuff. It may yet lead somewhere unexpected.

Then this reporter rings yesterday from the main evangelical Christian newspaper and want to interview me to do a story. The MBA, the church plant, the connection between the 2 (Oh and I hear you were a lawyer). So we set up a time and I burble incessantly for 50 minutes about anything and everything. Maybe someone will be encouraged? I don't know - I guess its about the cross-pollination of ideas and so forth. Her funniest question was: Do lawyers make good pastors? I should have said, "Yes, it helps us judge people better". What I did say is that it develops your critical thinking skills and teaches you to process vast amounts of information quite quickly, which was good if you were essentially unqualified theologically!

I'm also chairing a Mayoral debate in September in the school auditorium we use for services - hoping to engage people by demonstrating our commitment to the community and put a public face to the church. Just a small hook but it seemed like a good idea!

All to get out the good news of the truly famous one. It just feels a bit odd. For some reason no one seemed that interested in the current part time job I have: providing home care for my mother...


Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Had a good night Sunday but left with a question: do we need to educate people on what a good sermon is? Or alternatively, do we need to teach people HOW to listen to sermons? These questions may seem a bit banal but remember I have only recently started preaching weekly. I enjoy it a lot, but have had some interesting personal questions to ponder in recent weeks.

> Issue # 1 arose when a high quality couple presently outside our leadership team (by choice) asked the question: can we have some inspirational preaching, you know where the preacher just shares what God lays on their heart? The usual caveat about how good the "teaching" was currently was of course given! "Real" preaching is therefore not prepared. Its a stream of consciousness response to the Spirit's prompting. I decided that was pretty much a load of crap. Be interested in other views, but for me its the marriage of spirit-prompted preparation and "in-the-moment" responsiveness that counts.

> Issue # 2 revolves around the question of what makes for a good diet of preaching. I had a comment from someone that we do too much inductive preaching and that he had some (unnamed) concerns about that. I think he needs to consult his seminary lecture notes (he's a student) as to the differences between inductive, deductive and narrative preaching. We tend to mix it up. But behind it lay the question: when are you going to do some real preaching? Expository, line by line, squeeze every shred of literal meaning from the text. Like Jesus did. Hmmm.

> Issue # 3 You know when Jesus preached it wasn't the Bible. It was stories and metaphors and rebukes and warnings and wisdom...

> Issue # 4 This Sunday's message was well received. I still have some questions about its quality. Is it enough that it works? I think the reason it worked was because it was very applicable, contained a lot of common sense, had just the right amount of shock value and was often quite funny. But it contained very little scripture. Biblical worldview for sure, but overall lite...

Well, just my ramblings. The combined impact? I need to prepare better. I am concentrating on releasing more energy into my preaching. I videoed myself preaching (well I didn't actually do the videotaping) and was surprised how much better I had got. But plenty of room for improvement.

Here endeth the lesson


Monday, August 23, 2004

Some Unanswered Questions

> Why is it that a European woman won the 100m?

> Why is it that no one asks that question?

> Is there a necessary correlation between the world's worst headache and the arrival of a Sunday service speaking slot?

> Why does a baby take seconds (in some cases) to make and 9 months to gestate?

> Why is it that I can preach an objectively poor sermon and yet people can be more enthusiastic than normal about the content?

> Why is it that Finland wins the most Olympic medals per head of population?

> Why is it that anyone gives a crap about John Kerry's war record in the first place?

> Is there a gap between what good preaching entails and people's expectations of good preaching?

> Why is a horse?

> Why is it that I have an interview with the CEO of NZ's largest Christian radio network tomorrow?

> Why is it that my mother follows me round the house as I clean it for her?

> Why am I not in bed resting up from the onset of the 'flu'?

> Why am I the Jonesboy?

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Let there be light...

Alright so I was a little dark on the Olympic Basketball previously...but that was before NZ beat the world champs (not the USA) and then the women's team beat China. This is good. Big weekend in rowing and cycling for us Kiwis. Did you know NZ is 2nd in the word on medals per capita across Olympic history? Does anyone know who the top performer is? Answer on Monday.

Did a presentation to academic staff on the Wesleyan church at the Bible College yesterday. Seemed to go OK. Have an NCD session this morning in relation to the parent church. Could do with the time to write my message...but I think that if I download my collective musings from the week the message is actually written in my brain. You never quite know till it appears on paper. Should have time for that this afternoon.

Started my new job yesterday. I am doing my mothers homecare as she recovers from surgery. She gets $10.40 ph from the government for employing someone. So the 15 hours a week will help while I am off contract with the Institute. Still praying "the Thompson Prayer": "more money, not more work please God"...

Well, into the day. One good thing: I don't have to mow the lawns today - I got them done yesterday. Ahhhh, freshly manicured lawns!


Friday, August 20, 2004


So after being robbed the other night in the B'ball the Kiwis beat the World Champs Serbia! The big question on everyone's lips: will the US even make the finals. Once again we are reminded that international basketball is a whole different ballgame. Then tonight the Kiwi women's b'ball team beat China - the Asia Pacific champs. Fun to watch. Big weekend for the Kiwis with multiple rowing finals and Women's cycling 3000m pursuit. We have world champs competing in both disciplines so our best chances for medals!

Anyway, tired tonight. Did a presentation on the Wesleyan church at the Bible College today. Seemed to go OK. Started my new job today. Taken on looking after my mother 15 hours a week at $10.40 per hour. Should help hold things together till the next contract in 6 weeks. Praying the "Thompson prayer" at the moment: "Lord, send money, not work!"

See ya


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Now That's Funny!

I thought this was funny - Ron Benson in the latest Leadership Journal newsletter:

My Emergent Guilt

How did I get here, dancing off-beat, and out of touch?

I'm sorry. I've tried. But I just can't do it.
I used to be known as a real progressive type. Entrepreneurial. Adventurous. Cutting-edge. In my Midwestern, conservative church circles, I was known as a firebrand of innovation.
I brought drums into church. I introduced drama to worship. I encouraged the gradual abandonment of the hymnal. I bought one of the first video projectors at 300 lumens (we had to darken every window in the building and put towels in the door jambs to keep out the ambient light). I showed a secular film clip once as an illustration (from The Sound of Music), and one time I used a secular song to make a profound introduction (Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford). I took off my tie before preaching. And I baptized some people in a lake.

I've done it all. And not just for fun, either. It's no fun to be labeled a radical. It's no fun having a church member write hate notes questioning your seminary's slipping foundations. It's no fun to be called into your district superintendent's office to face people threatening to split your church in half because of "that karaoke teen music."

But I did it. For the cause. I did it because I wanted to reach people. My motives were pure.
So, why can't I embrace the emerging forms of worship? I feel guilty for not climbing on this next, new, postmodern, first-century bandwagon. Why can't I bring myself to rename our church "Journey" or "Flood" or "Vile Sinners Reunion"?

Honest, I have no trouble with candles—in their place. Which is on Christmas Eve. But every week? And not just one candle, but hundreds. Someone's going to get burned. Isn't this contributing to global warming? I know it makes me sweat.

Could everyone just sit down, please? All this movement makes me dizzy. Why do we have some standing, some sitting, some kneeling, some lying on the floor, some hands up, some hands all over my shoulders?

I've tried the Journaling Station. I sat on the little stool with an orange crayon in my hand and a blank place on the paper tablecloth in front of me. I scribbled a little, making crosses. I made three crosses. I made three crosses on a little hill. I put three little "V" shapes in the corner for birds. I wanted to be inspired and inspiring. I wanted to be enraptured with artistic worship. I wanted to be filled to overflowing with creative juices.

Maybe that's it, I thought. So I meandered over to the Creative Juices Bar and whispered an order for a raw mango and pineapple. Some chanting started, a kind of repeating the first line of Leviticus 18, "Say this to your people, 'I am the Lord, the Lord your God.'" I wondered if they'd be getting into further exegeses of the chapter when a conga-line came by and swept me up.

With one hand still clutching the smoothie, the other on the waist of a large guy with a buzz cut and no shoes, I was pulled into the line. How did I get here, dancing, off beat and out of touch?

I felt someone grab me and I was yanked out of line and put in a chair. Whatever was left of my smoothie had spilled around the room, so I was given a cup of water in his name. I sat, sweaty and dazed, and realized it was the pastor who had saved me. He sat, caring for me and staring at me, and he with piercings and tattoos and all features of this progressive, entrepreneurial, adventurous, cutting-edge movement. He smiled at me and pointed with grace toward the exit.

Many are called, few are chosen.

OK, God. I will go back to my Maranatha music, my three-point messages, my Kensington Community skits, my references to The Matrix. But I pray that one day, a hip, cool life form will crawl up from the ooze of my modern heart, and with slow, deliberate effort, emerge.

But first, please just let me keep this raw juice down.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Its Raining Again!

I suppose it could be worse - its snowing in much of the rest of the country (somewhat unusual for us here in NZ). But I am officially over the wet weather. Bring on the summer. I've missed most of the summers these past years being in the US. Caught just a little bit of good weather at either end...but even my pasty white corpulence is desperate for some sun...

Just watched NZ get robbed by the refs in the Olympic Basketball v China - Sean Marks dunked right over Yao Ming! Awesome. Takes it to 3 points down. One of the NZers makes sure that Yao Ming doesn't miss the fact that he was just monstered and gets a full 2 handed push in the chest that drops him to the call from the ref...hello?! They also got robbed against Italy - 30 seconds to go, 2 points behind, going for the 3 pointer, foot tripped by the Italian call from the ref?! Hey we're not that good so what's with that?

Its been a moderately productive week this week. One thing that I am enjoying is the more collegial relationship that is emerging with Melissa - she's my one day a week, voluntary, kind of associate pastor...I find it motivating to have someone to bounce ideas off - too often this year I have ended up being isolated. Also today I have a regular (we've done 2!) fortnightly coffee with Mike Yates, pastor at the Shore Grace church plant (see the website in the links). Seemed to make sense that we hang out and see what we can offer each other in the way of support.

Well, I'd better get moving - I'm way behind on marking my law assessments - the bummer is I think I've actually officially come off the payroll, yet because of my slackness these remain unmarked! Its so much harder to work not being paid even knowing that I've already taken the money and run! Oh - I have a new job for the next 6 weeks: looking after my mother as she convalesces from back surgery. Its like $10 per hour, 3 hours per day - I know its not great but the government pays for the care and I may as well get paid for doing what we would do as a family anyway. It should help keep things afloat while the next law contract comes around - I think I have just negotiated some work starting in October - my law boss wants to see me today so I'm hoping that its not about the October contract and that maybe she has some other work for me!


Monday, August 16, 2004

Love Actually

Good times with the launch of our new series love,actually. The movie poses an interesting question: "Is love actually all around?" I had fun comparing the love of ice cream to the love of mothers - and suggested that one shouldn't treat mothers in the same way that we do ice cream. I also indicated that the practical outworking of my love for my wife was quite different than that displayed for the NZ Rugby team...People were impressed I believe with my drawing on those profound prophets for the new generation The Darkness "I believe in a thing call love" (sung in high falsetto). But I think I may have lost just a few with my quoting of Denis de Rougemont (a French writer who wrote "Love in the Western World"):

“love ceases to be a demon only when he ceases to be a god”

CS Lewis is often credited with this statement which he cites in support of his contention that human love at its height tends to claim for itself a divine authority. God is certainly love. But the reverse is not true: Love is not God. A subtle but seductive deception.

Some new faces along again this week to the cessionlcommunity Sunday gathering. A family new to the area, a young woman in a difficult defacto relationship, some visiting Americans out here with Habitat, a young woman recently returned from a missions trip to Russia who knows some of our people, a bunch of teens from who knows where, my brother-in-law Brad (unfortunately my nephew was sick so we didn't see the family)...nice to see him fact he was still there at close up time when we pray together, so I prayed for him...hoping to catch up with him this afternoon over the video he shot while there.

Right, time to go - off for my Monday morning reflection, planning, meditation, coffee...then lunch with my sister-in-law (Claire's sister). Should be good.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

Advance then Retreat

The Advance

Had a great time away with the cessionlcore team on Friday night. Deep community and a watershed moment for this team's development. Working through Lencioni's 5 Dysfunctions of a Team and had a significant time of sharing on individual strength and weakenesses. We were then joined on Saturday morning by a number of sub ministry leaders and some talent for the future. What was most interesting to me was the resonance of the Hybel's DVD we used with much of what I observed. The Hybel's DVD was one of his addresses from the last summit: on Testing Leaders. It was almost comic to watch this DVD and then see people immediately afterward passing and failing some of Hybel's tests! It only goes to show that its very hard to fake leadership. So one of the things I took from the weekend was a clearer sense of who is capable of making the step up, who clearly is not and some for whom the jury is still out...

The Retreat

I'm writing this blog at 3am in the morning having just watched the NZ Rugby team bumble their way (live) to a defeat against South Africa. It was a close game, close enough that the team that made the least mistakes was always going to win. That was not us. I find it infuriating to watch sport in those circumstances. People doing stupid things that they would not normally do. Add to that some odd tactics at times and some plainly bizarre referee calls at crucial moments and you've got 2 hours of early morning frustration. Now I have to go back to sleep b4 the alarm sounds at 6am. We cannot win this series - the last game between Australia and South Africa will decide it. That sucks. I would hazard deep reflections on sport and its hold on me, but I can't be bothered...


Friday, August 13, 2004


Heading off tonight for our cession leaders' advance (no retreating here...) Looking forward to it, but actually am a bit nervous - perhaps its anticipation? Have cessionlcore up there tonight and then some of the others join us tomorrow - sub ministry leaders and talent. A chance for dreaming, visioning, praying, training...should be interesting!

Check out for a very funny Bush/Kerry cartoon - it takes a while to load but its worth it.

Bye for now...


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Mid Week Check-in

A big week in so many ways:

  • Had our first staff meeting for cession! This was kind of funny: Me, the pastor, who is paid 10 hours per week to start this church and Melissa, newly licensed, who is trying to give a day a week without pay. But it was nevertheless a staff meeting and I won't hear a word to the contrary. It was different. We have met before of course...but it was different meeting this time. I enjoyed the change - we would have weekly meetings but we would use up all our time if we did that so we'll move from monthly to fortnightly - I am excited about how even this small investment will help our focus.
  • Jacob our missions guy (cessionlcompass.) and I met up yesterday with the first cession missionary yesterday to talk about her forthcoming trip to Guatemala - she will work with YWAM in meeting the needs of orphans, urban poor etc Very exciting and a watershed in the life of the community
  • Had a great planning meeting for cessionlconnect last night - we have this new series coming - love, actually - looking at love and relationships with an outreach edge to it. Lots of fun doing word association exercises. Excess frivolity. But also a significant community time stimulated by 2 searching questions - Since we last met: what has made you laugh the hardest? How have you been hurt? Wow, instant community - just add water...
  • We sent out our prayer letter ie blog reference (you can check this out in the right hand menu to this blog) and got over 20 hits on the site in 24 hours! Thats some prayer team! Also had a very generous and supportive personal communication within minutes which was somewhat humbling.
  • Deep discussions with my mother following major back surgery. Its great having a captive audience...
  • cession retreat planning is exciting me - we're taking away our core leaders plus some talent for a day retreat. Should be good.
  • And last but not least, the entry of my Mother in law, however cautiously, into the blogging world - a welcome addition! Check out the comments section to my previous post...

Well thats all from me...couldn't sleep this morning so have already been going hard for over 3 hours and its not even 9am! Good to have some stuff cleared away!


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

House Calls

Someone once said to me, "Maybe you'll be the new Bill Hybels." They meant well. You only have to meet people like Hybels to know that people of that quality are exceedingly rare...and yet like all of us exceedingly human. But there is a sense in which people who have pioneered, people who have been a part of great achievement become role models for us. And, if we are not careful they become the yardsticks by which we subconsciously measure ourselves. And there is a pride that can become associated with that, what Nouwen equates with the second temptation of Jesus - to be spectacular.

Well, I have begun acquiring a reputation around the area as part of the newly planted cessioncommunity. I would love for it to be associated with my dynamic preaching style, but in truth my preaching is over-intellectual, somewhat 2 dimensional in expression and sometimes a little too esoteric. I'd give a lot for it to be because of my phenomenal success in building teams who achieve at a high level, but the reality is I struggle too much with my own individualism and laziness to build truly great teams. I'd even be glad of a reputation as a sagacious counsellor who dispenses wisdom and insight to the amazement of all. The truth is I'm often insightful but overly directive and impatient.

No, I have made my breakthrough quite unintentionally in an area hitherto unknown in the realm of momentous pastoral achievement. I have scaled heights that luminaries such as Bill Hybels and Rick Warren have never been credited with. I am becoming known as: "the housework pastor." We have this couple who are struggling with a difficult pregnancy and a tendency to become unsettled with church commitment. They also happen to be friends. And because we are right now working on our pastoral response teams we didn't have it quite sorted out how we could care for them. I had some time so I went round and vaccumed a bit and washed some floors. Next thing I hear its being spread around a community women's group run by another local church that many of our women go to, along with women from all over the area. I'm not sure where this is going to lead but here are a few ideas:

  • I could write a book: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Getting That Annoying Bit of Dust Out of the Corners;
  • I could start a movement: "The Vacuum-Driven Life" - How to suck the most out of daily living;
  • Maybe I could edit a translation of the Bible and THIS time make sure "cleanliness is next to Godliness" actually gets in there

I think this could be big. So, if you have ideas on how I could turn this into a phenomenon please let me know!


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Radical Connection

Well that was the theme of tonight's service, the last in our (UN)Orthodox-Y series. Its been a great series. I hope its been shaping us in the values area. I really enjoyed preaching from John 13 and in particular Jesus' washing of the disciple's feet - there's a lot in that passage. I took the angle that Jesus' relationship with the 12 disciples demonstrated a quality of human connection that we should aspire to - that as Jesus determined to reveal the fullness of his love to the disciples (after 3 years of doing a pretty good job of it you'd imagine) so we are to practice a fullness of love to each other. So I talked about the radical love which inspired Jesus to this act, the radical example he displayed as a teacher/master/mentor and the radical decision that we are faced with when Jesus challenges us to "wash each others' feet". It was great to illustrate these points with awesome examples from the life of the cessioncommunity. We used a cool DVD clip, the name of which escapes me, with this great line used in talking about human connections: "the answer must be in the attempt" - radical connection with each other is something to be experienced as a choice in the now.

Personally I benefited from some time off keys - had a chance to soak in God's presence and felt a large burden of self-imposed angst lift. With it came the realisation that I can't take the experience of that moment with me, I can only choose to live in that place second by second, minute by minute. The same kind of radical connection that has to be chosen in the now. It made me realise how hungry I was for that kind of experience of God. It was a relief to know God's peace in my life.

Looking forward to tomorrow. I really want to achieve some stuff this week!


Friday, August 06, 2004

Out of sorts...

Not sure why...but feeling a bit out of sorts today. Actually its been a growing sense of discontent. Its not anything external I suspect. There have been a couple of things that have happened this week that have knawed away at me. But there is plenty to celebrate as well. I just feel flat and am prone to excessive timewasting in search of some kind of "up".

Had a good small group on Thursday. They were all feeling really positive about cession and excited by the growth in numbers and depth. It was nice to see.

I'm having breakfast with a guy from cession tomorrow. Pray for me if you have a minute - wisdom and patience - I'm concerned they (his family) are having trouble fitting in at cession and this is a bit of a pattern for them. "Let him go", I hear some of you yell! But I'm still too idealistic I'm afraid and I know he takes more energy than I have to give but maybe...

Anyways, its late. Merry 6 August.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Mother of all...

It seems to be the week for family encounters. Sunday my brother (see blog below). This week:

My mother had surgery yesterday. She's had this really bad back for some time. So Kristen agrees to take her in and I go round before they leave to say good bye. I knew I should pray for her but something in me didn't want to. Weird. Anyways, my much more spiritual wife leaves me with no choice: "Why don't you pray for your mother?" she says, right in front of my mother! That's teamwork I I pray and it is a God moment. Mum has been coming to church on and off this year - she even gets on well with the senior pastor - but I'm not sure her and God are really on intimate terms. The op went well. We''ll see.

Then my brother-in-law and I were talking about video stuff. I invited him and my sister to our next series @ cession "loveactually" and this sparked a whole discussion on marriage and children. He remarked, "No one told me about the fine print with marriage - children" He went on to describe the pressures associated with having children and how much that had come to bear on them. It really helped me in shaping this series to reflect on the very real needs out there right in the forefront of people's minds. And I think they might come:

  • Love Is...
  • Love and Marriage
  • Love and Conflict
  • Love and Communication

I'd go to a series like that...actually I am!

Off to visit the sick. My mother. Off to feed the paw. Her cats.

The Good Son

Monday, August 02, 2004

Baby Steps...

Had a great night last night with the cessioncommunity - here are just some of the thoughts whirling through my head:

  • My brother and his wife came along - they are good friends with Melissa and Jacob so had come to support M's ministerial licensing. Greg used to be in the church in the "old days" so it was awesome to hear from him after the gathering how impressed he was with what we were doing. Credibility: a baby step. Greg works in advertising and is one of those guys who can match the theory with the practice without appearing to even think about it - he was very complimentary about the multi-media - with Greg that is not so much about what we did, but why - we had some particularly strong elements. Engagement: a baby step. Jacob emailed me this morning to let me know the upshot of their post gathering coffee. Both Greg and Jackie were taken by the significance of the communion time and how "real" the whole night was. Greg left the church because it didn't seem real to him. Authenticity: a baby step.
  • Melissa got licensed. It was awesome. We've been deliberately playing up "acts of community" as we have been working our way through the (Un)Orthodox-Y series on the church - dedication, communion and then this week. It was a significant moment of community - the prayers, the gifts (I had one of the women Melissa has been mentoring do one of the presentations) and then Melissa leading us in Communion. She was really nervous but I couldn't help but feel this was a significant next step for her ministry: a baby step.
  • There were lots of other great moments for me - one of our new core leaders helped out with Communion for the first time - we joke she is making everyone else look bad cos she is an unbelievable team-building leader. Liz, who joined us this year after returning from overseas ran the kitchen solo for the first time - you have to know her to understand what this means for her development. Our new children's ministry leaders stepping up for kid's ministry. New guy on bass. Young guy on the fringes running powerpoint, lights, DVD's did an amazingly accurate job. Baby steps. Lots of them.
  • Then there was the influx of guests from the wider church. Is it pride for me to want them to see us at our best? There is a bit of pressure being a church plant within a small denomination. Especially when the national superintendant stands up and spells out to everyone that they're looking to church plants like us to lead the way! So, I was proud to see the team pull off a very significant gathering - from the sung worship, to the video and other visual elements, from a dinner for 75+ to the new people that had been invited, from Melissa's preaching to Jacob's worship leading. I felt a bit like the proud parent with the extended family over for a BBQ and wanting everyone to see how advanced the baby is! That, and feeling a bit like the arkward toddler trying to walk fluently as we make this church plant thing up as we go...So it was nice to see the baby walk and talk. Baby steps...

Was that the pitter patter of little feet? No it was just the cat.