A Former Vicar's Corner

Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini

“Any success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success but success of a collective”.

Leonie and I humbly acknowledge your love for us as our waka takes us on another fork in this river of life we share.

We give thanks that we will always be connected to the same source.  In the words of the poet Ulrich Schafer;

We are persuaded by the dandelion

to take to the wings of the updraft…

to parachute into enemy territory…

to fall to the ground…

to be walked on…

to lose beauty…

to die…

and so to give birth to a whole new generation of flyers.

God be with you all as He is with us.  Ka kite ano.  



From Despair to Dancing

It’s 1970, and 10am on a Wednesday morning, and the NZ Company Director arrives from Auckland. The previous month, he had installed me as the Wellington RegionalManager, replacing the previous manger who suddenly became sick with cancer and had to return to Australia. As a site supervisor, the new position and remuneration was exciting and looked rewarding. But now the bombshell…. Sorry but your job is gone and I want you out by midday. Why? Because they had just used me to fill in while they found another manager from the Australian parent company.

Funny thing was, a week later I got a new job grinding fibreglass products as a labourer. Four years later I became manager of that company… but more importantly had also become a Christian.

Though we live in a fallen world where we experience rejection, pain and disappointments, the Lord can move us from despair to rejoicing…..to give us hope when we feel hopeless, help us to forgive when we think we can’t. He teaches us that our identity is in Him and not in what we do or achieve in our own strength.

When we wear rags of “Ashes”, God gently gives us a coat of “Praise.”

He alone gives us courage to face an unknown future.          



The Main Thing

God has given each of us a unique purpose in this life, that is important for us to discover and remain focused on.

An extract from the diary of the great preacher, and founder of the Methodist Church, Charles Wesley, helps explain why he was rejected by the Anglican Church as being too radical.

Sunday am, May 5th: Preached at St Anne’s. Asked not to come back.

Sunday pm, Preached at St Johns. Deacons said get out and stay out.

Sunday am, May 12th: Preached at St Jude’s. Can’t go back there either.

Sunday am, May 19th: Preached at !  A special meeting called and told I couldn’t return.

Sunday pm: Preached on the street. Kicked off the street.

Sunday am, June 15th: Preached in a paddock. Chased off as a bull was let loose during the service.

Sunday am, June 22nd: Preached on edge of town. Kicked off road.

Sunday pm: Preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came to hear me. Praise be to my saviour.

Charles stuck with what God had called him to do. 


What's in a Name?

"Mother, where did I get my name?" asked young Ralph, the youngest of four siblings. "Why daddy and I gave it to you. Why do you ask?"

"Well, Mary said she was named after the mother of Jesus. And John said he was named after one of the disciples and David said he was named after a great Bible hero. Who was I named after?"

"Well, no one in particular, but people will learn to think well of you and of your name, as you do good deeds and are kind and friendly to them."

"Aw gee! I wish I were named after someone." said Ralph.

"Well," said the mother, "there was a great poet whose name was Ralph -- Ralph Waldo Emerson." "Great, that's what I'll tell them. I was named after a great poet."

It is true that bearing a name of someone with a great reputation has an encouraging influence on the namesake.

It is true that Bible names are related by the bearers of such names to their historic meanings.

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." Prov. 22:1  


A Fist and A Kiss

Once strolling through the Henderson Town Centre,  I watched as a man carrying a large cardboard box bump into another pedestrian. Losing his grip on the box it fell to the ground and spilt out itscontents. After an angry exchange of shouted insults, the man moved toward the other pedestrian with a clenched fist, when a sleeve tattooed little Asian man, slipped from the crowd, took the raised fist in his hand and kissed it.

A murmur of approval ran through the gathered watchers, the antagonists relaxed, then the people began picking up the contents for him and the little man drifted away.

I have remembered that as a caring act, an act by a man who might have been a Muslim, an atheist or a Christian.

“My only regret was that I wasn't enough of a Christian to have thought of kissing the fist myself."