Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Barack the Builder

So I've had this post brewing for days about the first political scandal that would rock the new presidency of Barack Obama. A kind of mini-Watergate. And with Obama being such an orator, you'd expect that someone else was behind the speeches. I mean look at Milli Vanilli (which turned out to be all you could actually do and it actually be them).

But before I disclosed it to the world, I thought I should google this just to be sure. And of course its already all over the net.

Obama's speechwriter is actually...

Bob the Builder.

"America, can we do it? YES WE CAN."

I guess there's nothing new under the sun.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Christian Parties and the Margin of Error

So, the great experiment should now be discontinued. You'd have been better to vote Bill and Ben than to vote any of the Christian parties. At least that way you'd have a heap more fun:

Kiwi Party 11,659
The Bill and Ben Party 10,738
New Zealand Pacific Party 6,991
Family Party 6,973

And for those who are interested - if all the Christian parties and UF's votes had all been mashed in together, you'd still only get to 44,000 votes which is about 2.2% Party Vote.

Next time give the money to the poor.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

American Blackout Goes Green

So last night cessioncommunity hosted a FilmGuide Screening of "American Blackout". This doco was a compelling look at the US voting system from the inside out. Democrat congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was one of the main figures whose journey played out. It was fascinating to see her ditched from Congress, not by Republicans voting in the election, but by Republicans crossing over to vote against her in the DEMOCRAT primaries! They signed up as Democrats and then voted her off the ticket. Appalling really.

Anyways, a number of people wondered afterwards where she was in the US election just gone. The answer: she was running for President under the Green party banner! America really missed a chance here: she would have been the first US president who was black and a woman...

She didn't win. In fact, she came last.

And she's not necessarily an Obama fan - her election night speech on this site - this report says this:

Green Party candidate, former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), told APN on election eve that even if Obama were to win, the Green Party’s work was still not done.

"I have a different view. It’s unfortunate that we’re not gonna get the kind of change people deserve and need. Not on war. Not that we need and I think people are voting for on civil liberties and social justice issues," McKinney told APN.

"Severing the ties that bind with special interests... the Democratic Party is not prepared to do that, so there are inherent constraints, limits to change. That has not been fully expressed, people have not been educated what those limits are," McKinney said.

"People are saying, George Bush has been so bad, but it’s not the substantive policy-driven change I’m advocating and people are truly expecting," McKinney said.

"I and other members of the Green Party will convene at some point and determine what the future course is. There are so many people who are hungry for a deeper change than is possible within the two party system, so we’ve worked real hard to identify who these people are and I’m sure that we’ll be working on a program to commence November 5th," McKinney said.

Friday, November 07, 2008

One Last Bushism

So I had to do an assignment designing a billboard for outside a church. It was a group assignment but the little cretins who I was assigned to just did it on their own without telling me! Which would have been my preference but I thought it was just plain rude! Anyways, so I ripped off some thinking I'd been doing anyway for RL and here it is - an Advent billboard:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One Man's Vote

Paul Windsor has been remarkably transparent on his blog in explaining his reasoning for voting for United Future. It seems that if the Family Party is the Destiny party, then UF is fast becoming the Baptist or at least the Carey party! I jest mostly. I'm not sure I'm with Peter Dunne on abortion but even in NZ there's no sensible middle ground on abortion. You're either a child murderer or a woman oppressor. So that's hardly a vote turning issue.

I continue to observe and research my own electorate. I discovered this fascinating article in the NZ Herald on the racist attitudes in the new Botany electorates. I love it that the people interviewed didn't want to be classed as racists - more they didn't want anyone to know they are racists! I happen to know the lawyer who faciliatated the local candidates forum who shares a surname with one of the candidates. He may be ethnically Asian but was born in Christchurch. So he's an immigrant of sorts(!) but where do these ignorant whites get off insulting my kiwi friend?

Most fascinating was the voting attitudes of some new immigrants really disturbing! Will this be the most ethnically driven election experience in NZ?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Prophet In the Home Town

Interesting preaching experiences this weekend. I preached the keynote at the Saturday night rally of our National Conference. And also as part of a pastor swap at Shore Grace Wesleyan on Sunday morning.

It turned out to be a very different experience from what happens in the local church "home town" week to week. Here's some of the differences I noted:

  • People are more appreciative beyond the local setting - I think its that they realise you don't have to be there so they acknowledge the effort - especially so at Shore Grace

  • Because people don't know you, you retain the element of surprise - that was clearly the case at both venues - the more unique parts of me were more unique!

  • People don't know your stories - so its a part of the previous point - moments of personal authenticity seem to carry a little more weight - people thanking you for that - not so at the local church!

  • On the other hand, some people don't get you! I guess because they're not as used to the rhythm of your preaching, they miss some of the nuances

  • Sometimes its harder to be all things to all people - in my local setting people come to the church because at a bare minimum they tolerate me - if they don't they won't stay which is of course their prerogative - at the Conference I was told by someone that "you delivered that very well" which I took to mean my content was not as appreciated as my delivery. I don't think I am being over sensitive here - this person weighs their comments carefully :) Simply to say, its harder to hit that kind of crowd (not that I was aiming at this person :))

  • Responsiveness is so dependent on environment - maybe this is not the way it should be or may be I get in the way of people responding to God, but the dynamics of response were interesting in their differences

Anyways, I'm still processing - but it was an encouraging experience.

And I'm still buzzing from an A+ on my preaching assignment from the legendary Paul Windsor. And his comment on one phrase "flippin' brilliant"! I am going to get a T-shirt made. Actually I was glad of the encouragement as I was nervous about the National Conference opportunity - I feel a bit out of place at that level.

Anyways, some rambling thoughts I'm still processing.