Category Archives: On line messages

7 August 2020 – Morning Reflections continue during level 1

MORNING REFLECTIONS UPDATE

Be alert and look for opportunities to encourage and help people.

We are on high alert but don’t always notice the obvious, the beautiful, or the needs and changing circumstances of those around us. We are reminded to be alert – ready to pray, aware of the enemy’s attacks, and always ready to give a reason for the hope we have.

 

Morning reflection – are you a Christian? Following Jesus and what that means today.

The first followers of Jesus were only called Christians in the city of Antioch around 44 AD. Before this they were Jewish people who followed Jesus, and at one point called “people of the Way”. Today we reflect on what it means to follow Jesus in our generation as we seek to hear His voice.

 

Morning reflection – Encourage one another. A few thoughts about building up one another and encouragement at this challenging time.

 

21 July 2020 – The lockdown series from day 31 to the present – Covid-19 conversations through the months

The lock down series from day 30 to the present –  a series of short talks posted on YouTube during the  COVID-19 Pandemic.

Day 1 of L3 lockdown – new opportunities and creativity – don’t wait a month of Sundays – just do it

 

Day 2 of L3 lock down – be still and know – becoming more contemplative and restful and non-anxious

 

Day 3 of L3 lock down watch what is getting in your home that is traumatising you and you families

 

Day 4 of L3 lock down – Mayday and a new month with new opportunities to try new things courageously

 

Day 5 of L3 lock down – 2 May – traumatic things in our lives and ways to move forward to wholeness

 

Day 8 of L3 lock down or day 42 cultivating inner life and the possibility of a new begnning ahead

 

Day 9 of L3 lock down or day 43 – cultivating the inner life in the journey from lament to joy

 

Day 11 of L3 lock down – even parrots get depressed so it’s no surprise we do too

 

Day 12 of L3 lock down – VE day 8 May 2020 – reflections on faith and fear.in this stormy time.

 

 

Two sleeps before L2 lock down and some thoughts on the hope of nations that does not disappoint.

 

Day 2 of L2 lock down – don’t take people and loved ones for granted as we won’t be around forever

 

Day 5 of L2 lock down – how we make sense of the purpose of it all at this time

 

Day 7 of L2 lock down – the peace and presence of God in the face of struggles beyond our control.

 

Day 9 of L2 lock down – Ascension Day Reflections – access to the Father through the Son.

 

Day 15 of L2 lock down – Persistence in Prayer and not giving up

 

Two days before Sunday 1 of L2 – reflections on life and church.

 

MORNING REFLECTION – SEVEN THINGS ABOUT THE SPIRIT AT PENTECOST

 

 

Friday Reflection – From Pentecost to Trinity

 

Day 1 of L1 lock down – thoughts on dying, living, and entrusting our lives to the Lord each day

 

Day 5 of L1 lock down – thinking about where we have been and being thankful for our new freedoms.

 

Day 8 of L1 lock down thankful always while living in the power of his peace.

 

24 June 2020 Morning Reflection – our present sufferings and the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

Day 30 of Level 1 lockdown – Dealing with fear and anxiety in this changing and challenging world

 

Morning Reflections – hitching a ride and lessons from the yellow-billed ox pecker and the buffalo.

 

 

Morning reflection – learning from a herd of elephants on the move towards a key destination

 

 

Morning reflection – The faithfulness of God who does not change like shifting shadows steadies us

24 April 2020: the lock down series from day 21 to day 30 – hope and courage from various angles.

The lock down series from day 21 to day 30 –  a series of short talks posted on YouTube during the  COVID-19 Pandemic.

Rest and peace for our inner lives:

 

Bumper sticker witnesses: what do we advertise in difficult times?

 

It’s Friday but Sunday is coming:

 

Dealing with doubts:

 

Encouragement in valleys of deep darkness…

 

Captain Tom Moore and the one another factor:

 

Those who know tell those who don’t know

14 April 2020: Day 20 of lock down and the story of the chocolate parrot

New opportunities await us – letting go of the past and moving towards a new future.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind

 

12 April 2020: day 18 of lock down and Easter Sunday – hearing the voice of Jesus in the dead-ends of our lives.

Readings: Matthew 18:1-10; John 20:11-18

 

 

 

 

10 April 2020: Good Friday during lock down – loving and serving like Jesus

For reflection:

John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Mark 10:43-5: “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

9 April 2020: Day 15 of lock down – Day 4 of Holy week also known as Maundy Thursday.

Reading for reflection: John 13:1-35

A lot has happened this week. In every sense. Around the world, in our country, in our homes, and hopefully in our hearts. Holy week has taken us on a journey with Christ from Palm Sunday into the temple which he cleansed, back to the temple for his teachings, and that time of waiting once Judas had gone off to negotiate his capture for money.

The Pandemic has dragged millions of people through stress, heartache, anxiety and separation. Nearly 90 000 families have been bereaved, many with little opportunity to mourn and farewell their loved ones in the traditional formal way. Add to this more people heading for poverty and unemployment than we would ever wish for. The prospect of failed businesses.

Each of us here In New Zealand has had to figure out how to manage our “bubbles” in the most non-anxious un-chaotic way. And for people who follow my vocation, it’s Easter. The most significant time of the year in our faith. Busy time indeed.

I lost track of the days yesterday. But I do know that tonight is Maundy Thursday. The night of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The night in which ceremonial foot washing (I failed to get anyone to let me wash their feet last time I tried) reminds us of Jesus the servant leader. The suffering servant. The dying servant. The one who calls our name at tombs and dead ends (a little preview of Sunday’s message slipping in).

When I think of foot washing I think of much more messy stuff. The nursing and caring staff around the world who deal with bedpans, adult nappies, cleaning us up when in our frailty we become as dependent as new born babies. Suddenly washing feet doesn’t seem so bad.

“Maundy” has its roots in the word for commandment. Jesus gave one new commandment to add to and flavour the rest. Loving your neighbour as yourself always sounds like a kind of quid pro quo. Like the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A nice ethic of reciprocity.

The new commandment is more like the risks that our medical staff around the world live with now. Love one another as Jesus loves us? How did he show his love? Sacrifice. He gives his life for us. So are they.

It’s a bit too close to the bone really, and highlights the agony of a vocation that can kill you and leave your beloved family behind. I don’t know if we can get our heads around that. Clapping for them and cheering them on is good. (Get them the proper PPE stuff please.) Staying at home is better than just cheering and clapping – we do it so that we can kill off the spread of this Covid-19 scourge. Being on our own is not a great sacrifice compared to those who have given their lives for their calling. Given their lives for ordinary people like you and me who become patients through no fault of their own.

Have a lovely Easter weekend at home dear friends.
Be at peace.

We are not alone.

8 April 2020: The lock down series days 10 to 14 – taking us with Jesus into Holy Week.

The lock down series. A series of reflections taking us into Holy Week.

Self care, discovering his peace, the days of cleansing, teaching and waiting. I especially recommend day 11 if you needed his peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 April 2020: Reflections on Day 9 of lock down – resilience and endurance. How are you coping?

Reading: Romans  15:1-7

The story is told of a learner policeman who was writing his final exam before graduation. The last question in the paper described a horrific incident after a major fire caused by a road accident. A tanker had crashed into a house, and the whole thing had exploded. A crowd had gathered, and injured people were lying all over the place. While that was happening, some looters were smashing windows and burning couches in the street. There were bleeding people all over the place. The question read – “you are the only policeman on duty at the time. What do you do?” The man’s answer went like this: “you take off your uniform and mingle with the crowd”.

It’s day 9. Day 7 was the worst for some of us. I have no idea why. I do remind you of that kiwi bloke who survived the Wuhan lock down. Remember? The guy who said the thing he regretted the most was not getting a haircut before it started? He said – the first two weeks are the worst.
Like the policeman recruit in that story, sometimes you just want to take off your uniform and mingle with the crowd. You don’t have energy left and things are simply overwhelming.

Nine days nutty. Then you consider Terry Waite who was held hostage 1763 days. His first four years were in solitary confinement. He’ll be 81 next month.

Resilience. “Resiliens” in Latin means to rebound or recoil. I think its sometimes an unhelpful thing to teach children. Resilience is okay – its just that you don’t always bounce back that quickly. It’s more of Peterson’s “long obedience in the same direction”. Or to share the quote I saw on a colleague’s page today which I have had on my “about you” page for many years:

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
(Mary Anne Radmacher)

Resilience – yes, but add endurance.- the capacity to withstand wear and tear or unpleasant and difficult situations. We have the blessing of our relationship with God – prayer – the Scriptures, especially the Psalms which are well supplied with impossible and overwhelming situations in which people cry out “how long?” In those hymns the writers don’t always bounce back – they sometimes crawl back. Or a crack of light breaks through in their darkness. Often they are reminded of God’s faithfulness in the past – or they remember a better day, and a spark reignites hope, faith, and confidence.

Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 is a good way to end this reflection: “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Col 1:10-12)

Be at peace. We are not alone.

 

2 April 2020 – Coping with a different world at war

Some thoughts on coping with the new normal in lock down day 8 – in New Zealand.

A short reflection for today on dealing with anxiety and change.

Read: Philippians 4:4-7