Category Archives: Articles

Light in my long night

I’ve finally put a video clip together for the poem I wrote some time ago, set to the cello solo that inspired the words.

It can be seen on YouTube:

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Posted by on 15 July, 2011 in Articles, Personal, Poetry


I thought I was slowing down!!

I used to think I was away a lot before I hopped on the cancer train, however it appears there’s been a bit of activity in the last year.

Bronwen has been completing a Morgan Research poll and one of the questions related to holidays and trips we have done in the past twelve months where we have stayed for at least a couple of nights. I have been away fifteen times and Bronwen has accompanied me on twelve of those occasions. Only one of those trips involved a cancer treatment!

We have been to:
Dunedin – x1 (radioactive spheres treatment & whanau)
Hanmer Springs – x3 (ministry)
Geraldine – x2 (ministry)
Blenheim – x1
Australia (Geelong, Hobart, Canberra, Geelong) – x1
Picton – x1
Wellington – x1 (ministry)
Auckland – x1 (ministry & whanau)
Kaiteriteri – Bethany Park – x1 (Homeschoolers camp under canvas)
Little Kaiteriteri – x1
Riwaka & National Park – x1
Martinborough & Wellington – x1 (sibling reunion)

It may not seem much to most people and the places may not seem that exotic compared to Asia and Eastern Europe where we’ve been in the past. At times it has seemed as if my footsteps are stodgy, but when I look back over these twelve months it is good to realise how much we’ve been able to enjoy together both in short breaks and ministry.

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Posted by on 4 July, 2011 in Articles, Family, Personal


The personal church of the individual

In the dramatic selection of Matthew, the hated tax-collector and Simon, the zealot, as disciples, Jesus demonstrates the weakness of those who pull out of churches because they don’t like certain people or the way things are done. In ordinary Jewish society Simon the zealot would have ‘hated Matthew’s guts’ to the point of wishing mischief and murder on Matthew. In choosing these two, Jesus demonstrated what Jeff Buchanan observed, “that you can only be a real Christian by being with people who are not like you.”


Posted by on 28 June, 2011 in Articles, Devotional


May you Live Life to the Full to the End

That was the title of the Sermon I delivered at both services at Long Bay Baptist Church on Sunday 22 May. The church have been running a series of special Sundays throughout the month of May with messages titled “May you …” covering restored relationships and other crisis situations of life. Because of the battles I have encountered in the last two and a half years I was invited to Auckland to speak on the issue of maintaining enthusiasm for life in the face of impending death. The message seemed to be very well received and can be downloaded by visiting the church website and going to sermon archives. The sermon date is 22 May. There may be other topics that will interest you as well.

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Posted by on 26 May, 2011 in Articles, Devotional, Personal


One of the King’s speeches

After cleaning up at the Oscars, The Kings Speech has generated a lot of interest in King George VI. I have attached the transcript of another radio broadcast speech of the King’s when a new front was opened in Europe in June 1944. Oh to have a King/ Queen, President or Prime Minister who would see things from the same perspective and be bold enough to declare them as King George VI did:

Four years ago our nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God’s Providence we survived that test. The spirit of the people – resolute, dedicated – burnt like a bright flame, lit surely from those unseen fires which nothing can quench.

Once more the supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive, but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. Once again what is demanded from us all is something more than courage – more than endurance. We need a revival of spirit: a new, unconquerable resolve.

After nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war, and met its darkest hour. We, and our Allies, are sure that our fight is against evil, and for a world in which goodness and honour may be the foundation of the life of men in every land.

That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask, no that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the Will of God, and we dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose.

I hope that throughout the present crisis of the liberation of Europe there may be offered up earnest, continuous and widespread prayer. We, who remain in this land can most effectively enter into the sufferings of subjugated Europe by prayer, whereby we can fortify the determination of our sailors, soldiers and airmen who go forth to set the captives free.

The Queen joins with me in sending you this message. She well understands the anxieties and cares of our women folk at this time, and she knows that many of them will find, as she does herself, fresh strength and comfort in such waiting upon God. She feels that many women will be glad in this way to keep vigil with their men as they man the ships, storm the beaches and fill the skies.

At his historic moment, surely, not one of us is too busy, too young or too old, to play a part in a nation-wide, a world-wide vigil of prayer, as the great crusade sets forth.

If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please God, that both now and in a future not remote, the predictions of an ancient Psalm may be fulfilled:
“The Lord will give strength unto his people,
The Lord will give to his people the blessing of Peace.”

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Posted by on 7 March, 2011 in Articles


God’s agents are everywhere

On Sunday evening I was experiencing some acute pain in my right shoulder area. It was affecting my breathing and Bronwen felt I should get it seen to. The duty doctor arranged for a ‘non-urgent’ ambulance to collect me and take me to the Nelson Hospital A & E Dept.

As the paramedic was assessing me, it came up in conversation that I was a christian who had done mission work overseas. Nothing more was said until we arrived at the hospital. The paramedic sent his assistant to do a message, then confided in me that he too was a christian and would I be happy for him to pray with me before we went in. I agreed and was most impressed with the way he prayed: no hollow platitudes or faith avowals. Instead he asked that in whatever lay ahead for me, the Lord Himself would be glorified both in and through me.

Later, the St John’s volunteer who dispenses cups of tea to those waiting in A & E also mentioned a couple of phrases when we chatted about the Christchurch quake, such as “none of us know the day or the hour” and “Christchurch reminds us about building our lives on sand”. My interest was stirred and I soon discovered she was a member of a local Presbyterian church in the right place at the right time on Sunday night bringing comfort to a fellow believer who was in pain.

God has his agents everywhere. It is not hard to recognise them. They are mostly not the loud, brash ones. They often minister with a still small voice of wisdom.

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Posted by on 2 March, 2011 in Articles, Personal