Two surreal experiences this week that are drawing me to blog...
The first was a live vasectomy on TV this week. My wife summoned me to watch I suspect to make me feel uncomfortable. However, the experience was more surreal than disturbing. The Dr in question performed the vasectomy using 2 mangos, 2 shoelaces, a brown paper bag and a banana. He proceeded to slice open the paper bag with his scalpel and cut the shoelaces which were inside attached to the mangos at one end and the banana at the other. He did this all with a straight face which made it simply hilarious...especially when he gave the anaesthetic which he described as a "small prick"...
The second was the sight of me working on a Habitat for Humanity building site. I love to help out with these sorts of things but I fear that my building skills take the Humane out of Humanity and put the Rehab into Habitat... Anyway, Ryan Gerten and I took 2 hours to instal a shelf into a wardrobe. We decided that if we were builders we would be poor... Funny happenings included: Ryan drilling a hole through the wall in completely the wrong place - this wouldn't have been funny if I had done it, but Ryan actually had some clue about what was supposed to happen. The Site manager accusing us of installing our shelf crooked - in fact our shelf was completely level - turned out it was the house that was out! These enthusiatic Christians wearing T Shirts emblazoned with: "The Church Has Left the Building: Gone Outreaching". I'm not saying a word. Several pastors posing for photo opps (actually we were just jealous). A fun morning.
Its the day off today on account of a 2 day seminar Friday/Saturday. Caught up on my blog reading...a nice way to waste time: haven't you got something better to do than read this crap?
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Two surreal experiences this week that are drawing me to blog...
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Sunday night was cool. Part 2 of "The Great Omission". A Mum, an aircraft engineer, a pastor/missionary and a speech therapist/volunteer shared about their mission/purpose in life. We then had an "unplugged" worship singing slot with stations for prayer/reflection and communion. Had a nice feel and with the dream team on vocals it sounded awesome. Piano player was a bit "off" - actually I think one of the guitars was just a touch out of tune and it put me off a little. Less was more. Check out Jean's blog for the inside story.
We had our our second community gathering for the year with a great turnout I thought (based on past apathy). Some good questions. I've yet to find my own style for these times. I want to be visionary and lead well. But I don't want to come off like a dickhead charlaton. It was cool at the end to see the whole room praying for our future. It has also been cool to receive 4 excellent nominations since then for our Oversight Group.
Yesterday saw a convergence: the sale of our house and the purchase of our new apartment both became unconditional on the same day! Its been something of a roller coaster ride these past 10 days since we listed the house with agents. We found ourselves in 3 multiple offer situations, the last of which was successful. The effect the "competition" had on the price was that we got our asking price! Thats fairly rare...
The irony is that the people who bought the place contacted us because of the ad WE put on the internet before we listed it! But we would never have got that price but for the competing offer that one of the other agents brought. So while we have to pay commission we got the money we were after and in good time too.
We went to the apartment yesterday for a final viewing before going unconditional. It had grown in our head. But never mind it will be a good next step. You'll see from the picture its cute - a Mediterranean feel. We are having second thoughts about converting the garage space back to a garage - it is such a usable room as it is and we'd likely have to remove the false ceiling if we reinstalled the garage door motor and rails.
So, we're at the point of no return. We've both admitted to a few tears already and I'm sure there'll be a few more. This house has so many memories packed into its 4 years. And yet, there has been a discernible "hand of God" in all this that encourages us to stay positive and look forward to this new chapter. Better have some parties I think to send the place off in style!
Time to head off - I'm moonlighting this morning - my brother in law has employed me as a script writer for a safety video he is shooting for a large corporate. I got him the opportunity to pitch for it through a contact and he very kindly hooked me up to write the script. So, off for a site meeting. The cash will mean that we have the missing $$$'s on the hospital bill - not that we've heard anything for weeks since my assertively drafted counter missive was dispatched!
Posted by BJ at 6:53 AM
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The Great Omission - an excerpt from part 1...
"Imagine the moment of your creation…millions of sperm – the Great Emission, if you like - swimming vigourously towards the egg…
Now how you view life, the universe and everything will profoundly shape how you view the next step…
One sperm, one of millions successfully fertilises the egg and you are conceived, created – and it makes a difference which one, a huge difference – cos it makes the difference as to who YOU really are...
Now here’s the question: you’re one in a million whichever way you see it – do you view your life as a miracle of creation – that one in a million creation that God designed just so, right down to the ripe target of your mothers egg and the aquatic skills of your father’s sperm…
Or are you just a victim of chance? Its random. No intentionality. Life by accident. Dad, how come I got your nose?"
Yes this Sunday I turned to cheap reproductive analogies in order to create impact...I was reading an article recently about what it would be like to have an 8 second delay function as a preacher so you could censor as you go - I'm thinking that some of the people on Sunday night wished they had that function, especially those whose first thought was at the macro rather than microscopic level...
The house selling madness is underway in earnest. Lots of interest and an offer apparently coming today. Its been a bit of a roller coaster so far as we've had 2 multiple offer scenarios fall down at the last minute, including one where the couple changed their mind while the agent was phoning us to advise of the offer...
We're still working through due diligence on the apartment we're buying and trying to determine whether to go with it or not. We feel like the space fits us for the moment, but have had just a tiny bit of trouble with the financing and some well meaning advice that we should reconsider buying an apartment at all. I so much prefer the illusion of certainty in life...not sure how to process this whole thing...
Anyways much I could blog about, but feeling strangely uninspired to do so...
So, I'm gonna
Posted by BJ at 7:01 AM
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Yeah, so it been a while...random rememberings and ramblings...
> We bought a house. Well thats not exactly true. We bought an apartment. Well thats not exactly true. We have signed an agreement - its conditional on selling our existing house and a few other details. Its a 2 bedroom apartment with 2 offices downstairs and a double garage which is carpeted, lined etc which can serve as a seminar room, party space etc (and a garage). We're hoping that the decreased mortgage and the usable space will be a boost for the church going forward and take some financial weight off us.
> Rhys is 6 months on Friday. We have lots of fun. I like being a Dad. I was reflecting this week on my advanced age and how for most of my adult life the dream of being a Dad seemed improbable. Its nice to be proved wrong. eAGHY00HYUJ. That was Rhys!
> I finally discovered why George Bush is responsible for New Orleans. It took a while for some to appreciate that he didn't actually create the hurricane. Still more time for others to realise the federal government is not responsible for state emergency plans. Some were surprised to discover that George did not order the packraping of women in the Convention Centre. And then the final revelation: he did not exercise mind control over those who chose to stay.
But. He still hasn't signed the Kyoto protocal. Finally nailed him.
> I did some surreal things this past week. I chaired an electoral forum in our area. Richard loves to make me do that crap. I know, I know its socially responsible. Bla bla bla. I hung out with Frank Ritchie in the Green Room on Sunday night - this was cool, being in a radio studio while live talkback is going on. I emailed him (across the desk) my deep comments. I went to the National Heads of Churches Meeting in Wellington. This continues to be a weird experience hobnobbing with the heads of the various churches. The discussions are generally interesting even if we often end up falling prey to the lowest common denomination.
> Its our natioanl elections this week. Its a case of voting for the least detrimental alternative: Labour introduced gay marriage and legalised prostitution. National is racist. The Greens want to legalise dope smoking and gay adoption. NZ First are led by a megalomaniac. ACT is THE greed party. United Future is the slut party - they'll go with anyone. Destiny has no destiny. Alliance is PC rubbish. Now maybe if I'd said this at the Election forum it would have been more interesting!
> cession's path to becoming an Established church is now in place. Feels good. More to follow.
Right. I'm off.
Posted by BJ at 6:54 AM
Saturday, September 03, 2005
So its been a week of leave during the best weather we've had in ages in September! I love it when the seasons change on cue... I think we may have started a tradition based on the last 2 years - taking a week of leave in the week that our anniversary falls (30 August). Speaking of falls, here are the falls we went hiking to during our week of leisure. It was a fair bit of fun - we packed the boy into a back pack we purchased for the purpose (and for international travel) and did the family thing. Rhys thought it was great - I think he could have spent hours playing with the strap in the back of my hat! Check out the Photo Blog for a shot. Altogether a good time. That night we went out to dinner just the 3 of us and then Kristen and I went to a movie while his godmother came over to babysit. A nice Anniversary day.
Rest of the week we've been getting the house ready for sale - we've listed it online to try to get our best price, free of real estate fees. The more we have looked at houses, the more we have appreciated the place we have. It will be sad to leave.
Spent some of my week catching up with people, so had a good chat with Deurty on the telephonic apparatus and a very brief interaction with Nate "Dillon" Smith, who was a little shy (he's like that isn't he?) Also had a chance to catch up with Phil Struckmeyer (Impact church) which is always good. Met with Mike Yates for coffee on Wednesday to do the church planters thing - we meet fortnightly to steal ideas from each other. So a resourcing week in that respect.
All things going well, we will put in an offer on an apartment today. It will be a change! No lawns to mow...relatively spacious for an apartment with a small downstairs office area that I can use for church. Will be another interesting chapter in the whole house saga as there are still plenty of things that could close the door. I think some people are a little bemused at the whole downsizing thing, but we feel pretty sure about the process. This week we saw an amazing house that would have been pretty much as good as where we are but maybe $60K less. It would have been an easy move. But, we have been feeling for a bigger drop in the mortgage, to help us take the next step with our savings goals and also to remove finanical constraints salary-wise in the church reaching for its next steps towards established church status. The option we're looking at could also become the church office in due course. As it says in 3 Ephesians 93: "The Lord moves in mysterious ways"
Right, time to jump into this perfect Spring day! Need to wash the house down and clean up the gardens before our first "open home" at 1pm. We only just got the ad up so not expecting much this time. But our ad has been viewed 15 times already! Here's hoping...
Posted by BJ at 7:29 AM