Monday, October 12, 2009

Mid Oct 09 excting catch up ramblings

Have not really been blogging for a while as I have been busy. Of course some of you might comment "What's new!?" :-) But it has not necessarily been a negative "busy".

On church building project ...

Our church building committee made their presentation on Sunday and I think most if not all of us are excited about the progress and the possibility we may see our building come to fruition in a year's time! Our building committee has been simply incredible in terms of their commitment and hard work and they way they have managed to reduce the cost of the building project.

Still, it is going to stretch us to the limit if we go for it but at least it looks possible. Faith is needed especially in the light of our high commitment to missions, having to pay my salary (LOL!), having an youth pastor intern next year (one of our member's will be taking a a year off to study at a Bible cum ministry training institute), and our expanding community outreach. All these means we will have more expenses even without a building project! And we do not have any millionaires or big businessmen to fall back on! :-)

What was especially exciting and to me a great encouragement was that the Local council PIC of the "well being" of our community chose yesterday to finally drop by to visit our church. I have been getting to know her quite well and we have met a few times (Personal meetings as well as council organized meetings). I did not realise she had come (as she came in half way through the sermon but just in time to listen to the building presentation). It was good for her to meet some our church members, and see first hand the kind of church we are and how we are seeking to help our community. She was very supportive and has even offered to help promote some of our community outreach events. For her to come and visit on her day off (she is not a Christian) was indeed an encouragement to me and to have her commend us for wanting to stay in the community especially since 3/4 of our members do not live in this community.

On the local community...

Our community is very neglected compared to the other communities in many ways that surprised me. I found this out from a community meeting I attended. Our church building (add on) will go a long way in being a centre to bless our community.

On Mission trip ...

Been working too on our short term mission trip to Cambodia. This will mean extra work and preparation and more so as I will be going with a whole new team except for one person who was with me last year. Some of you know the kind of "expectations" I have for STM's I lead time I expect members to put into preparation :-). Very exciting.

On community games ... and other activities

With the start of Thursday night games, I have one less free night. But it is good to see some of the neighbours back and hopefully a few newer neighbours will join us.
Really praying for a good build up to our annual Dec BBQ (we had a great crowd last year and when I recently spoke to some of our neighbours, they mentioned fond memories of the occasion. One neighbour is even keen to "perform an item" :-) And this year we are adding in carolling ...

Carolling ...

Am excited about this as are many people. Restarting carolling in church. Have got a good team put together and next comes the hard part, meeting, practicing and deciding what to do and where to go. Obvious venues with be homes and our Christmas Service would be a great time and place to give presentations. I am hoping that we will be able to do some door to door to selected neighbours!! And there is a great opportunity to make friends with a new retirement village (not in our community but pretty near). Carolling would be a great way to start making the connection. The manager seemed keen about it when I met her a couple of months ago. Hmmm...

On Bible studies ...

It is great too that another Home group (Care group) has decided to use the Bible study materials I am promoting. This means though I need to block out time to prepare them. But I enjoy preparing the studies and it is exciting as people are learning to do inductive style Bible study! Three out of five groups now are using the materials and enjoying them!

On Magic ...

The one thing I am behind is my "magic show" preparation for the Light Party. Getting tougher to find the time and energy to focus on basic practice ... not to mention working on a routine. Only a couple more weeks. A bit of pressure there. But it has now become a regular feature that can help draw in the children in the community.

On preaching...

Starting this coming Sunday, I have 7 sermons to prepare and preach (i.e. for October till December). A bit daunting but at least I have finished preparing this Sunday's sermon :-) and I have done the basic work for at least 3 of the other sermons. It will be a good gauge to see whether I can take on a heavier preaching load for 2010. I have been trying to be consistent with my preparation of my weekly "Pastor's Notes" to help me gauge whether I can keep being "fresh" over a long period of time.


Baptism service planned for end of November. Exciting but it does mean organizing classes so that's another extra thing on my "to do list"

On mentoring ...

I am glad for the mentoring sessions I had in Malaysia. First with Soo Inn and Sivin, and later with Colin and Joe Jim. Learned much from each of them. All of them blessed me so much.And here in NZ, time spent with my church's former pastor and one of our former deacons has also taught me much. Both are much older people with years of experience and wisdom. This will help me so much with my more "formalised" mentoring times with a young leader in my church, and for next year also with our youth pastor intern. It still kind of "scares" me but I think it is vital for strong spiritual growth (both the people I want to help and for myself too).

Vegetable plot ...

Yup, I am actually planting some vegetables - setting aside a few hours a week to work on a small plot in my backyard plus some potted plants to plant some vegetables!! So far, my carrots are doing well. Still tiny but clearly coming out. My strawberry plant (just one plant) now has a couple of strawberries that are now half red!! My chilly plants - some of the seedlings are sprouting (hopefully as it grows I won't discover that they are actually weeds! LOL)
My "serai" plant is actually doing okay. Not large enough to use but it's not dying :-)
My chives are actually coming out okay. Small amounts but it is clearly chives. My tomato plant is doing great. Very healthy. I have two more given by Sunday School a few weeks ago to plant and they seem okay only but in all fairness to me, they will need some time to grow.
My beans - no sign of any life :-( But hopefully in a week or so?) And yesterday I planted french bean seeds.


Looks really challenging. Will of course blog more on that later on but would appreciate prayers for wisdom. One thing I hope to do is to take a course on Maori history and culture. It's a formal one year course (NZQA approved) with exams, field trips, assignments etc. The good part is that it is done via self study packs with a tutor you can call on. But it is supposed to need 10 to 15 hours of study time a week. Will I be able to find the time even though I think I should be able to do it with less time?

Okay time for brunch ....


  1. hahaha, it's so funny how you are worried about your seeds growing to look like what they are supposed to look like!!!!! :)

    very busy schedule. don't blame you for not blogging. i need to take time to recenter myself.

  2. My gardening skills are pathetic. When I embarked on my vegetable patch, I told everyone who asked me about it that I am going to plant in a "biblical manner".

    By that I meant ... Scatter seeds and hope they grow. Then when plants have matured I will hopefully see that some plants survived from among the weeds! :-) I do not dare do weeding as I can't tell the difference *sigh* :-(

  3. one of my academic mentors who loved gardening but can't do it anymore because of her lung disease once told me that a weed is a plant that's growing where you don't want it to grow. :):):)

    i know how you feel though. i have a black thumb myself.