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I find myself thinking about holiness a lot these days.One of the defining narratives that has shaped my understanding is Moses and the Burning Bush (in Exodus 3). Moses sees a bush burning without burning up. He goes over to investigate. He is addressed by a voice who names him and commands him to take off his sandals because he is standing on________? That's right, 'holy ground'.This story, along with others gave me the impression...

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Here are a couple of resources for worship this Sunday if you're dealing with the story of Thomas and his 'doubt'.Firstly, this great video which might serve as a call to worship. Its from the genius' at theworkofthepeople.com.Secondly - here's my song 'Scars' which begins with Thomas' struggle to believe and moves into an acknowledgement that God uses all our doubt, all our wounds and makes them testaments to grace and hope....

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Starting this weekend, my good friend, Adrian Taylor and I are going to be leading Lenten Reflective services around the place. They will feature Adrian's poetry and my music. We've talked about a creative collaboration for some time, and this is the form things have taken. Adrian's collection, 'Watchings' create the framework of the evening, with my music creating space for response and reaction.Here's one of my favourite pieces of Adrian's work:To begin;From here lie...

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[caption id="attachment_1033" align="alignright" width="300"] Not Owen and Sally, but their photo was in black and white too.[/caption]On Saturday I had the privilege of taking part in a service of thanksgiving for Owen and Sally's 60th Wedding anniversary. They had been married in St Paul's Presbyterian Church, and every ten years had celebrated and recommitted to their vows in that same place. I was their minister for 4 of those 60 years, and it was humbling...

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I just had an email conversation with a good friend who is a youth pastor, about some lyrics in a worship song. The song is by Bethel and has the line, 'heaven looked away' in it. We'd had a brief conversation some time ago about this lyric and today we fleshed it out some more. Here's the gist of what we talked about. The issue with the Bethel line, and Stuart Townend's, 'The Father turns his...

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Like many people of a protestant-evangelical persuasion I have a persistent (is nagging a better word?) voice in the back of my mind that I should be doing more with my time, my life, my money, my energy. Never is this voice more vociferous (great word huh, gosh I hope I used it right!) than in relation to my spiritual life. I have lived with a constant sense of 'not doing enough' with regard to...

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Here's a message I shared at Omokoroa Community Church last Sunday. You can warm up by reading Psalm 32:1-7.Many of you will have heard that something noteworthy happened in New Zealand Cricket last week. For the first time in our 84 years of being a Test playing nation, someone scored 300 runs, by themselves. Brendon McCullum, Black Caps captain, batted across 3 days for 750 minutes to bring this up. You could watch the LOTR...

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[caption id="attachment_993" align="alignright" width="300"] Abraham with the three visitors. Gen 18[/caption]So I've been thinking, learning and listening a bit recently, about a concept I will call, 'the anonymous Christ'. Its the idea that Jesus will show up at times and in ways that we didn't see coming. We are well familiar with this idea. But what about if we flesh it out? What if Jesus can arrive unrecognised and proceed to minister among us, still...

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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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