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Here's an old story and a new song. My wife and I can both trace our ancestry to the Orkney Islands, and so I've come to love the story of St Magnus, the patron saint of these Isles. Let me assure you, as far back as we can tell our ancestors were different people ;) The story of St Magnus The Orkney’s Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland, were ruled by the Viking king of Norway...

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I confess I'd already had Simeon on my brain. I've been intrigued by the songs that are embedded in the New Testament - and Simeon gives us one of the earlier ones in Luke 2. Its the story of an old man who has held out to see God's salvation 'in the land of the living' (Psalm 27). He is drawn to the temple when Jesus is there to be presented as an 8 day old...

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So I am starting a new job in February. We're sad to be leaving St Peters in the City, Tauranga, but we really feel God is calling us into this new thing. This article does a pretty good job of telling you about it. If you're the praying type, we really need to sell our house and find a place to base ourselves in Auckland. We'll keep you posted.  ...

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Yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent, the day when we focus on the coming of Jesus as the coming of peace. I chose to speak on Mark 4:35-41 - Jesus calming the storm. I'm not completely sure why, but I was intrigued by the manner of the peace that Jesus brings. It struck me that this story could easily be called, 'Jesus unsettles the disciples.' By the end of the story, we get told that the disciples...

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Here's the first part of a message I preached at Flagstaff Community Church on Sunday morning. Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the day when we remember that this season is about hope. However, I think hope is a little slippery. You see, I find myself hoping for all sorts of things. Whenever I see an ad for Big Wednesday, I find myself hoping that somehow I will win 27 million dollars, which is an...

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So yesterday was my first real 'work' day of tour. I had a 15 minute slot at the South Australia Synod of the Uniting Church. About 300 ministers and church leaders were gathered, and I got the final quarter of an hour before lunch, a greatly coveted time slot ;). Later that day I had a music practice with the musicians I will be working with on Sunday at Hope Valley Uniting Church. At the Synod...

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So we're here in Adelaide for our three week tour, sharing the new album, 'Into the Deep' and promoting 'Songs that Unite.' STU is a website run by the Uniting Church of Australia, publishing and promoting songs by local composers, making them available to the wider church. They're doing a great job at it too. They have a committee that assesses each song before its included on the site, so they're taking things seriously. Why am...

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Recently I finished reading a book called, 'Why Johnny can't sing hymns.' It was a pretty darn good read. While I had to make my way past all the overt criticisms of a music form that I actually quite enjoy (that is, contemporary worship music) the author, T. David Gordon (no relation) had some compelling things to say. By trade, Gordon is a media ecologist, which I confess is a profession I had not heard of...

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Here are the One Voice Project, we were excited to hear about this initiative happening down south. Here's Cheryl Harray to tell us about this collaborative project to visualise the praises of God's people, and their testaments to God's goodness. - Malcs The 10,000 Reasons 'Post it note' Praise Project Flagstaff Community Church, Dunedin, NZ The song ‘10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord Oh My Soul) by Matt Redman has rapidly become a well known and loved congregational song...

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My dear friends, Sam and Rach Callander have almost completed a crowd funding campaign to create the Super Power Baby Project. The project is inspired by their daughter, Evie, who died almost 3 years ago. Evie had a rare chromosome disorder. Yet in the midst of all the medical information Sam and Rach were bombarded with, telling them everything Evie would not be able to do, they chose instead to give voice to the wonderful...

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