Saturday, October 15, 2011

6 books for $6 and other ramblings

Been a while since I blogged so here goes ...

But first, I popped by the Lions Club book sale this morning. And had a fun time (though it is getting harder and harder to scan books due to my bi-focals) quickly browsing through the many boxes of books.
This is one more thing I like about life in NZ. Other people's junk is often recycled for a good cause. Very little waste.

Anyway I picked up 6 books - all a dollar each (it's a "one book one dollar sale"). Here they are:

Another cook book I know ... but if I can find one good usable recipe from the book
it would be worth the money. Even if the recipe may have to be modified.
So far all the other  $1 cook books I bought have given me at least one recipe that
I actually do use and a one this size and with photos of every recipe ... should be a good one.
And look closely at the sub title and you will see why I bought it ... "Quick and easy recipes ..." :-)

This pocket dictionary was the main reason I actually dropped by the book sale.
Last night Jennifer asked if I had a pocket dictionary handy as she wanted one - useful  reference
when she writes her reports. Found two. This one is the better one.

Always a useful book to have around. Found two - first edition and 2nd edition.
So of course I bought the second edition :-)

Children's book but no less useful. Simple to read and I think will be a good resource
to help younger ones in church get exposed to the many very pressing issues faced by refugees today.
And something I can easily digest to give me quick summary facts about the subject.
Wish I had time to get involved again in refugee resettlement support work but sadly just too much
on my plate. 

So sad to see this book discarded. I know NT Wright's "Simply Christianity" is  the  21st century heir
to this CS Lewis book but this book is still in my top 25. 

A little surprise too to find a John White book. I have always found his books practical
and easy to read. 
Been thinking a lot about matters related to church growth and leadership / vision because by God's grace the church I am in is growing slowly but surely. One thing that seems to dawn on me (still a bit of a blur) is that I seem to lack the modern leadership abilities. (Yup, double use of the word "seem" in one sentence).  By this I mean it is back to the macro and micro ministry thing that has "plagued" (?) me since my early seminary years and early years in ministry. Leadership is often tied in with "visionary leadership" with things such as the ability to "cast vision", anticipating the winds of change, knowing the trends and future trends and making provisions well in advance, charismatic leadership (not necessarily meaning holding to "charismatic doctrines") with the ability to inspire others to follow, full of faith, someone with CEO skills - guiding and training a team of able leaders, able to make the tough decisions, not affected by current circumstances etc etc etc.

I remember very well the advice given to me by Leighton Ford years ago - during the 15 minute slot each of personal time each of us participants were given with him (a national leadership seminar that I got selected to attend by strange circumstances :-)) ... "Think global, act local" ... I can think globally and I am comfortable acting locally BUT still never in a macro manner. Too many things on my mind seem to cause me to become partially paralyzed. I can multi-task but there is a limit.  I seem to be happier and more effective "going with the flow". No mater how I try to set aside my "life walk metaphor of life", it seems I always come back to it again and again.

I do not doubt that I have pastoral gifts as well as a gift of teaching and perhaps now even preaching. And while I can do a decent to sometimes good job in administration, it can clearly get quite messy. As for leadership? Perhaps in a micro way, perhaps in aspects of mentoring or discipleship but leading a church? Hmmm... makes me wonder. Of course what ultimately matters is God's calling as "where He leads I will follow, where He sends me I am prepared to go. For as long as it's in His will, that's the safest place in the world I know" :-) (BTW, not "safe" as in "no problems" but safe as in having God's presence and grace. Thankfully in the church I am in I have wonderful support from my fellow elders and deacons, who among them have strong leadership and administrative gifts. Thanks be to God for this!

I suppose on of the problems and challenges is that in contemporary society, the role of a pastor is no longer the old traditional one.  Now it includes planning, organizing, committee meetings, social work, mission trips, vision casting, training, motivating, counselling, mediating, networking, community involvement, visitation, in addition to the teaching, preaching, baptizing, marrying and burying ..." Not to say all these are burdensome. Some can not only be satisfying but loads of fun at times too :-)

Oh well, lots to think about. And I have other things to do so signing off ....


  1. interesting to hear your thoughts on your job!!

  2. I guess we all need to go back to our understanding of the calling and vocation of a pastor. And our commitment to that understanding even if it goes against the tide.

  3. A little update ... this sort of came up indirectly on Sunday at our church committee meeting. Was a relief to realize that my fellow elders are in significant ways on the same wave length as me on this :-)