Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sweet Jesus

You've heard the saying concerning working with children and animals? Add to that electric appliances...Sunday night, it being the finale to our Great Expectations series, I decided to add to the anticipation of Communion by cooking bread live in the service. I have done this before with great success...not this time! When the moment came and I lifted the lid of the breadmaker I was greeted with something that looked only a little like bread.

So, I tipped off one of our resourceful people to go see what she could find...there'd be bread in the kitchen...a cake maybe? No. Just chocolate. Lots of it. Dark. White. In Christmas shapes.

So we consumed the sweet body of Jesus Christ, not to be confused with sweet was quite a moment! I guess I shouldn't have preached from Acts 8:28

Still with 3 seekers there, 2 of whom accepted the invitation to take communion, I'm not complaining - we even had a first timer pray aloud, go figure?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

It was about this date 20 years ago that a sceptical 19 year-old atheist gave the God he didn't believe in 1 week to show himself. I'm always drawn to that rash challenge this time of has never quite been the same since! For me, there has always been a palpable sense of the incarnation - to go from someone UNABLE to believe in any way in a God and then to miraculously literally overnight experience a subjective revelation of a God...well its really too hard to explain adequately. But it has always meant for me that one day there was this place without God and the next there was this whole new vista of spiritual experience.

Anyways, it makes Christmas a very real time of joy, remembrance etc for me.

Today we open soon as a little boy wakes up! And then its off to family for the day. Brunch at my brothers and then down to Tauranga for a Jones family reunion.

Whatever you're doing this year, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Immaculate Conception

So, speaking of virgin births...did you know that the whole immaculate conception term is a horribly misapplied in colloquial chit chat? I've often heard it used to describe the role of God in Jesus' conception - ie Jesus was immaculately conceived because God was his Father and therefore no actual sex took place. When you add to that the literal meaning of the word: without stain or blemish, you're left with this horribly Victorian sense that it is the act of sexual intercourse that is the issue. Jesus was immaculately conceived, without stain or blemish, because there was no sex involved. Which is actually quite wrong as it turns out!

Its the identify of the mother, Mary that fuels the CATHOLIC doctrine of immaculate conception - MARY was the one given special grace by God so that the taint of original sin did not pass to Jesus. Interesting huh?

Protestants still go for the virgin birth mostly, but opt for the idea of Incarnation - the miraculous conception of Jesus - but not the immaculate.

All this to say it's Christmas soon...

...And: we're expecting our second child in July 2007. The world's worst kept secret!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Blog Under Construction

Alright, so I finally switched to the new blogger thingie...and so with it a change in template. Work to do yet so don't feel offended if I haven't linked you yet...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Borat: The Anti-Christ?

So I went to see Borat, or should I say Boor-Rat, on Monday. Much of the content was lewd and obscene. I didn't catch the censorship rating but I hope it was high. For a Jewish guy he's remarkably anti-semitic and quite gypsy-phobic - that could be cultural I guess, so who am I to judge? I was surprised that he seemed to like black people (he marries one in the end). I think he has a connection with that Ali G guy who is a blackguy who gets quite a lot of prejudicial for being very whiteskinned for someone of his race. There was one scene where a pastor, who seemed like a very sincere man of God to me, left a dinner party because a prostitute arrived. You can see why that was a very biblical choice for a man in his position. His English was very good for someone from his country and it was great to hear the national anthem of Kazikstan in English - whoever translated it did an excellent job because it still rhymed after translation.

It was cool to see him make a commitment to Christ and I hope it was for real. But its hard to tell because some bad stuff happened after that which made me wonder.

Anyway, I'm glad I seen it so I can have an opinion on it.


Friday, December 08, 2006

New Grace

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to freshen our dinner graces. Its been a long while since "Meet the Parents" redefined the possibilities. At last something new to help.