Monday, December 24, 2007

Rob & Bev's Wedding Day

Rob (my youngest brother) and Bev got married at St Peter's Anglican Church in East Lindfield on 22 December and celebrated with a reception at the International Tourism College at St Patrick's Estate in Manly.
It was great to see Rob & Bev make this committment to one another after being together for the last 4 years. The ceremony was joyous and full of praise for our Lord who gives us the gift of marriage, and the feast at the reception was a true celebration.
Jess and I MC'd the event. While we aren't natural comedians, we got a few laughs and people were very gracious in their comments on our efforts. Plus no one was offended. A great day... it's good to be in Sydney for it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

en-route: the long way (time) down

We have been travelling for 26 hours now. Our bus driver was late, but comical. He told us that the current generation of young men has forced the US congress to consider installing sensors on the toilets of all inter-state buses and planes forcing guys to take a seat so that they "hit the hole" when doing the #1. We had just enough time for a burrito in Seattle airport before boarding Southwest to fly to Oakland and then onto ATA for the 5 hour flight to Honolulu. The dancing girls in grass skirts, who were meant to greet us with hibiscus lei's had gone home by 11:45pm.

After picking-up our bags an hour later, we had 4.5 hrs on our camping mattresses and pillows, in an airport which doesn't sleep. Ukulele music played all night over the loud speakers, lights stayed on, staff moved around us. I'm not sure how much actual sleep I got, but it was good to lie down, relax and close my eyes for a few hours.

Then from rags to riches (or "mud-slums" to "holidays by the sea-side") - Jess and I were the 3rd and 4th people to check-in - exit row seats locked-in, then the first to enter the Qantas Club. A trade-mark long and hot shower was enjoyed, followed by some local fruits (the pineapple and guava juice here rock) and some coffee, of course. No doubt some freebies will make it from the Club to our JetStar flight where the food is not so conveniently priced. Entry to the Qantas Club was worth every penny ;-) ... thank you Qantas!

Our plane has been delayed a little and the palm trees are blowing side ways, so we may be here for a little longer than expected - it's a good place to be stuck! So door to door, we are likely going to crack the 40 hour mark, that's a long way (time) down!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It seemed like a good idea at the time …

In my year working as a travel agent, I would never have wanted to present a client an itinerary like the one I booked for Jess and I five months ago:

14 DEC 2007
Departs: Vancouver by Bus at 08:05
Arrives: SEA (Seattle) at 12:15
Departs: SEA (Seattle) at 15:40
Arrives: OAK (Oakland) at 17:45
Departs: OAK (Oakland) at 19:55
Arrives: HNL (Honolulu) at 23:35

15 DEC 2007
Departs: HNL (Honolulu) at 08:15

16 Dec 2007
Arrives: SYD (Sydney) at 15:50

Travel Summary …
4 hrs 10 mins on a bus
14 hrs 15 mins in airports (+ arrivals in SYD)
18 hrs 20 mins on planes
TOTAL TRAVEL TIME 36 hrs 45 mins

In the Xmas high-season, you do-what-you-have-to-do to use frequent flyer points (thanks Dad!) to get to your brothers wedding cheaply. I’m sure the night in HNL on camping mattresses will be… memorable…

We will be in SYD (recovering from our travels) until 12 January, give us a buzz at my folks place 91XX 7563 if you want to hang-out with us. It will be good to be back!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm procrastinating (a little)

My Systematic Theology exam is done, now an assignment to finish before we take-off for Australia on Friday. The assignment for my Christian Education and Equipping class is to write a bible study booklet on the book of James. I have taught James twice now, with my Year 8 guys in 1997 and in Mexico over the last summer. Now it's time to see how this education and dwelling on James' message over the last 6 months can bring God's word alive even more as I write. I'll get to teach the series I am writing at Ekklesia starting in January, which I am really excited about.

While I'm looking forward to writing the assignment, I am stuck in a brief moment of distraction getting other stuff done - and in doing so, I found a great pic that my grandfather-in-law, Clyde, took on our trip to Victoria over the summer. Beautiful...

Time to get to work!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It’s a small (Anglican) world after all

A few posts back, I reported on J.I. Packer's role in giving some Anglican parishes in Canada the option to “realign” themselves under the diocese of the Southern Cone in South America.

Yesterday, the conservative San Joaquin Episcopal diocese in California also voted to realign itself under the Southern Cone (CNN story). Which means, St John’s Shaughnessy that we attend in Vancouver, may become part of the same diocese as St Paul’s Bakersfield, the church where we were married. It’s a small, small world…

12 Dec Update - The Sydney Anglican's support the San Joaquin Episcopal diocese' move.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

let it snow...

First snowfall of the year - so beautiful to walk through the back streets of Shaughnessy to church this morning and enjoy the: quiet, peace, light and freshness that a new snow fall delivers.

More snow pics on Flickr... note the contrast with the 'Fall' pics I posted there a month ago.
as well as Nathan Tasker in-town for the Spice Girls World Tour kick-off (snapped practicing his 'sporty spice' routine)!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

schism or realignment? prophecy, Packer and patience

Last week was a significant one in the ongoing division that has been growing in the Anglican Church of Canada over some Bishops’ move to a ‘liberal understanding’ of some bible teachings, and in particular the blessing of gay unions, and consequently the ordination of homosexuals into the church.

The way forward for churches like St John’s Shaughnessy (that we attend), is to leave the oversight of the Anglican Church of Canada and come under the leadership of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America (based in Argentina), and directly under the leadership of a retired Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, who will leave the church and take up duties serving defecting Canadian churches for the Southern Cone. For St John’s church plant, St John’s Richmond, the decision has been made. But for St John’s Shaughnessy, who risks loosing it’s property that is owned by the Anglican church of Canada, the decision will be discussed and decided at their annual vestry meeting in February.

A key player in this way forward has been Regent College’ Dr. J.I. Packer, who delivered a speech last week to delegates of a meeting representing the frustrated churches. Dr. Packer, who was described as “a doctrinal Solomon” in regards to wisdom, spoke of the move as “not schism but realignment.” Packer’s speech includes his description of, or vision for, the Anglican communion – high ideals which have lead him to remain an Anglican and be a shepherd to Canadian Anglican’s in this time of crisis.

In 1984, Jim Packer wrote in Keep In Step With The Spirit of how to respond to a personal prophecy that a ‘prophet’ articulates for your life, Packer suggests the only response should be an openness of mind to the prophecy being fulfilled, and also to the prophecy not taking place at all, that is, no action on behalf of the receiver of the prophecy. Packer reflects on a prophecy given to him about why God may have brought him to Regent College:

“we are not to be led by the possibly deluded predictions of self-styled prophets. (I think in this connection of the certainly sincere charismatic prophet who told me in 1979 that God had not brought me to Vancouver to write books, as I supposed, but to lead Christian people through a time of great internal division in the city churches. Well, the churches seem much as they were in 1979, and here I sit writing this book.)” pg. 216

As it turns out, The Lord plans some things in advance (28 years in Packer' case), and through his Spirit gives his ‘prophets’ the message early. It looks like this prophecy was fulfilled, and God indeed brought his servant J.I. Packer to Vancouver, at least in part, to “lead Christian people through a time of great internal division.”