Friday, December 30, 2011

101 things I am thankful about in 2011 (part three)

62. Living in New Zealand. Specifically West Auckland. Beautiful, green, less density, free parking and quiet ... And near enough to the city centre if I ever want to go there. Ha! As if :-)

63. Prayer. The privilege to enter God's presence via prayer at anytime on anything!!

64. The Sunday School children. Well, generally anyway! LOL. Just kidding. Full of life, helpful, friendly ...

65. Reuben and his teams. The worship / music teams and the AV. Wonderful man with persevering and pastoral commitment. Not easy to get people involved and the effort shows especially when I reflect on the situation before he stepped in and the amount of energy and time he took to get us this far!

66. Reflexology and my wife's willingness to use it on me! Really works well. First used internet, then library books, then bought a book and DVD on trademe.

67. My $4 mini study table - tiny thing but us it everyday. Coffee or tea on it in the morning to watch TV, even at night, and to place my notebook etc. Great buy even if doesn't match anything

68. The cars - love my 1996 Ipsum - still running well. Just the right height for older folks so that it is easy to get in and out. Great for packing people in, and used often by others for the towbar feature. Some major repairs needed in a couple of months though - fingers crossed it won't be too expensive.

69. Thomas - my mechanic. Good friend to have and totally trustworthy and very reasonable charges. I leave all the maintenance to him knowing all our family cars is in good hands.  Great service too - I can drop off my car and he drops me home / office and later sends it back and I drop him home if he needs a ride.

70. My wife's 1992 Nissan - great bargain at $1650. Old and I hope it passes its WOF check next month . But it is a smooth drive and Thomas did a wonderful job of putting in speakers and a radio cheap!!

71. My Feijoa trees. Still as tiny and short as can be but the flowers are so beautiful and red and it looks like it will be another great season next year! So big and sweet.

72. Phone cards. Especially when I listen to stories of how expensive it used to be years ago for people to call overseas (especially Malaysia) - we all use it often to call family (and sometimes friends) in Malaysia

73.  The DVS system. Has certainly made the house smell fresher and has helped regulate the dampness a lot! Especially recently with my wife getting allergy related ailments, have to keep the window shut at night and the DVS system helps heaps or it would be extra stuffy

74. Extra insulation. Power consumption has clearly dropped and we have used the heaters much less as the house feels more comfortable and warmer. Good investment

75. Heat pump in the living room. Sure has helped heat up the house faster and it was nice using the air con a few times this year

76-80. Handymen friends. Wonderful things these able friends have done for me and my family - fixing this and that, making this and that etc. Thanks Sam and Cynthia, Greg and Su and Nilesh.

81. Henri Nouwen. Daily does of Henri Nouwen has been very helpful to me.

82. Mono plastic food wrap 600 m size! For anyone who has had to struggle with food wrap (cling wrap), this super size food wrap has made one of the regular things in life so much easier! Thanks Sam for helping me get this.

83. Lions club $1 book sale. It's on almost every month though I only go a few times a year. Always fun to browse through books (even if 90% of them are fiction novels that I am not interested in). Usually find a few gems.

84. Salt lamp. I think it does make a difference. Negative ions theory and I have had less problems with my allergies.

85. Sponge balls. Almost always in my pocket and always useful :-)

86. My dehumidifier. An extra boost during winter. And a great must use when hanging washed clothes indoors. Saves on dryer usage and helps clothes dry so much faster (and also so it doesn't smell funny)

87. Visitation. It's a well received ministry and it is a blessing to do.

88-90. HOUSE. Both having a house to call home and the TV show (can't wait for the new season). Has a different feel than CHUCK but I think these two shows are my top three current TV shows

91. THE BIG BANG THEORY - as in the TV show. My third "must watch show". I love the gang and how they interact - especially Sheldon and Koothrapalli.

92. Books. Book lovers will get this. Just a general thing. Nice to be surrounded by books and read them - even if they are sometimes commentaries :-)

93. My NT cutter and metal ruler. Will count them together but I use them so often and they are constant reminders of good old things and good old days. I bought them when I was an undergraduate in seminary - that was back in 1987 for a course under Low Chai Hok .... and these two things have lasted and lasted (though I have had to buy lots of new blades)

94. Rubber cement! Was amazed when I came to NZ and found that I could not buy it here. Found out this year that it is now being stocked at one speciality shop. But rubber cement is one of my super versatile must have things (Almost like duct tape?.) I use it very often

95. Plastic stackable boxes (when on sale). Another crazy thing but I seem to keep buying them to organize my books and magic stuff. Very useful and cheap. And every now and then I need to reorganize ...

96. Jokes and funny stories. I still collect them and they help keep me sane. I keep saying things like "this will make a good sermon illustration" but never really use them :-) But what would life be without humour?

97. Missionaries. Some are personal friends and others are people my church supports. But I do appreciate all of them for their commitment to missions. And especially those who take time to write and keep in touch (and happily agree to give our church a priority slot and come and share!). Hearing their stories helps keep me and my church connected to what is going on around the world and how important it is to get involved.

98. Preaching. I have grown to accept and feel more confident that I am called to preach. Had a dinner meeting last night and realize afresh (confirmation) that I need to take on more preaching as it is blessing people. Expanded my outside preaching to a second church this year (so now two outside my own church), and next year have agreed to take a slot at a Filipino church camp (but my condition was that it not be the final Sunday slot as I am busiest on Sunday)

99. Pastor's Notes. It has been hard doing this but it has been a good discipline as one of the objectives I made for doing it was to help prepare me to be as fresh as possible for the day I have to take on even more regular Sunday preaching. Hmmm.... and also to try to be more concise and less "cheong hei" as I have the "need" to keep qualifying my statements :-)

100. Opportunities. So many opportunities each year and this year has not been different. Opportunities to help make a difference in the lives of individuals, or small groups, the church, and even the community. No energy, time or ability to take most of them BUT I am glad they are always popping up as it forces me to pray, reflect and act ...

101. LIFE! Yes - just being alive. To be is to do, to do is to be, doo bee dooo be doo! (paraphrased from a T-shirt my mum gave me. It has to do with Plato, Socrates and Frank Sinatra :-)

101 done - though I think there is a lot more!

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