Monday, July 21, 2008

July 15-21

It's been raining a lot lately!

It was nice to have a "normal" week after the holiday programs of last week! Ken got busy preparing for his next course that he's teaching at the BCNZ - Interpretive method B covering kin formation, exegesis, and historical perspective from early church fathers to modern. It also looks at the steps from Biblical theology to systematic theology! phew! He has his hands full. It begins the 23rd, so he's using this week to get ahead.

Wednesday was another all music team meeting. This time I had representatives from each team (actually multiple people from each team) attending, so that was a blessing! We reported on the NOISE conference from June, discussed the services from the past month, and began a Bible study on worship which focused on Psalm 63 (worshiping God even when we don't "feel" like it. In this Psalm, David worships God as his sons are chasing after him to kill him! When we don't feel like the atmosphere in church is conducive to worship, we need to remember this Psalm for a little perspective!)
Thursday night was the PLT and Directors meeting. We missed last months (we were at the debate over God's existence) so it was great to get caught up with the other directors and ministries at the church. Please continue to keep the Manawatu parish in prayer as we are seeking another pastor to call...we're hoping that by September we will issue the call.
Friday night we had all the youth over for a movie marathon of Lord of the Rings! It's the last weekend of school holidays for the kids, so they were pumped to use it to stay up 11 hours watching the extended version! They came to our house, so I was able to sneak into our bedroom to get some zzzzs around 1am. :)

Saturday we went to Trinity to record some more songs - one of the youth came with us to record his bass in them. It was really fun. My goal is by the time we're leave in February, to have a cd of 10-15 songs copyright that I can give to some producers in the states! I'm viewing myself now as part time DPM, part time songwriter.
Sunday evening about 12 people came to the movie Bible study of the month - Hancock. It turned out to be an awesome study! The movie itself was about a superhero who wasn't the "norm" superhero (actually he was an alcoholic!) and how one man took an interest in him to help him become the superhero LA needed. After tea, Ken discussed with us the issue of God's calling, vocation, and redemption. Redemption was probably the biggest theme, since Hancock was seen as a superhero that was beyond helping. However, someone took the initiative to help him, and in the end Hancock was able to fulfill his vocation. Sound familiar? God takes us, people who are helplessly beyond helping, and gives us his Son to save us, and now we can live out our calling in Christ!

Monday it was sunny, so we decided to go on a short tramp! Although once in the bush, the clouds gathered round...but it was still a beautiful walk and great way to end our busy week.

The start of the tramp

Winer leaves

A beautiful gurgling stream full after all the rains we've been having

Pep the super hiking dog!

Trying to find the best way to cross the stream without getting wet (the water was icy cold)
An old magazine we found!


Of course, stopped in Woodville for some cheesecake!

We miss our family back home and send all our love to you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 8-14

Well, holiday programs ran this week! Ken ended up not going to Turbo Time on Tuesday with me (not enough room in the cars, and so the leaders up there said he didnt need to come - not exactly a stroke for the ego!) So I helped for the day and made sure the cd we made was working for them for wed and thurs.

Wednesday morning started out weird - the car wouldn't start again! This time it wasn't the battery, but some other connecting part that needed to be fixed. So Ken got a ride out to Feilding with Pastor Rob for Blast. He led songtime alone since I had a music meeting for the conference in October I'm co-planning. The meeting was awesome - it was at Guy Jansen's home and Pauline, Mark W and myself met with him to get the logistics of the conference on paper. It's not until late October, but we still have a lot of publicizing to do. It feels great to have the whole schedule down though. The title for the conference will be Segue: The Rhythm of Worship. Guy Jansen will be speaking on why we worship, and there will be various break-out sessions on worship leading, bands, choral readings, organ techniques, etc. It is going to be so great, especially for the Lutherans of New Zealand, most of whom are leading their congregations (since we are so short on pastors) but have no formal training. This will be a great weekend to learn more about worship, planning and leading in services. Please keep this in your prayers that the Lutheran lay leaders in NZ churches will come to this conference!

Thurs and Friday Ken and I both led music at Blast as well as helped with crafts and storytime. Friday we had 17 kids show up! Wow, what an awesome blessing! It was a lot of fun, although Ken caught a cold and was feeling a bit under the weather again!

Friday night we had a "fun nite" for the youth, playing mini golf from 6-8pm. Mini golf down here is way different than in the states...imagine a mini golf range and that's the mini golf of NZ! Reminded me more of a pool and outdoor store than a game, but we had a great time, so that's all that matters, right? It was neat to see some of the youth from Feilding come out to join us as well!

My toe was itching really bad

The youth playing mini golf

Saturday we had a fun day relaxing with the dog - took her to her favorite store (the pet store) for some treats and a nice long walk at the park where we got soaked! The rains came fast and unexpectedly!

When we were walking around town, we found this new sign: no hats, hoods, helmets, sunglasses...This is starting to get ridiculous! Ken had to take off his hoodie to get inside!

Sunday night was the Trinity pm service - we geared it around Blast and had lots of songs and readings from the holiday program. Although, I wrote a horrible blooper...for Away in the Manger I typed..."bless all the dead children in thy tender care"!!! During practice we laughed so hard. Luckly the team was able to fix the bulletins with little stickers going over the "d" and writing in an "r" - phew!

By Sunday night Ken was finally feeling 100% better! Maybe that walk in the rain on Saturday cleansed his system! :)

Monday we learned some BIG looks like our next stop is South Africa! Themba got back to me saying that they've already began planning for us next year and have our rooms scheduled and everything! Turns out the meeting they were supposed to have in May was postponed to next week in July, but it will only be formalities - they can't wait to see us next year! We don't all the details yet, but if you want to learn more about the organization and where we'll be living, check out some of these websites! Wow - we are sooooooo excited! Watch this spot for more details as we learn them!

The best one to check out to learn more about the team that runs the schools is (check out the "photo album") (check out the "gallery" and watch the vidoe on Reinhild Neibuhr - she is who we are working with currently. Also the documentary is great to watch too). (this is an article the LCMS wrote about Themba)

Also, if you want to see on a map where we will be, the town/village is called Dirkesdorp. It is in the Mpumalanga province and the nearest big city is Johannesburg (which is about 3.5 hours north-west of Dirkesdorp). If you google map it you should be able to find it. :)

July 1-7

It's winter holidays! All the kids are on break and so the holiday programs are starting up next week. At Trinity they will have BLAST from Wed-Fri and the new church plant in Summerhill will have Turbo Time Tue-Thur. I met with the leaders Tuesday night to discuss my role in doing the music for the programs. Ken and I will create a cd for Turbo Time to use since they have plenty of volunteers to help lead whereas Blast needs more leaders. I enjoyed the brainstorming and coming up with song ideas - the main theme for the week will be Jesus Is Our Superhero and the kids will learn about God through David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lions Den and Mary being visited by angels. So, the main theme song for the week will be My God is So Big. We'll teach the kids Lions for Daniel-day and sing a Christmas carol for Mary-day. I love these holiday programs (like mini-VBS).

Wednesday I got most of my work done at church so that I could take time off when Ken gets home on Thursday! Also had our music team practice - we lead this Sunday and we're introducing another new song that I wrote, Psalm 145 (since we're reading Psalm 145 in the lectionary).

Thursday Ken came home, although, he came back sick :( It was probably something he ate or drank that had to get through his system. So he took it easy for Thursday and most of Friday. Friday evening I led the youth band practice and then helped him lead youth group (Pastor Max showed up to help too - the other leader was gone on holidays, hence I came to help). It was great to be working with the youth again - I've missed hanging out with them during Bible studies!

Saturday Tony had his birthday party at 10am at the 10-pin bowling alley! It was really fun, although we didn't bowl so well (it's been years since we've set foot in the alley). That morning the weather also did some strange things - like snow/hail in Palmy! That was pretty crazy and lasted all day until the sun came out in the late afternoon!

Our backyard

winter wonderland!

hail stones

Ken bowling

Pizza party after the games!

Sunday our team was on and God was totally in control - we hadn't all practiced together for three weeks (last week Ken wasn't there, the week before two other members weren't...) but everything ran smooth and the congregation loved the new Psalm song! That's the great thing about being worship director - I can write new music and try it out on the congregation to see if it's any good! :)

Monday Ken still wasn't feeling so well, so we just took it easy and enjoyed resting. Please continue to keep him in your prayers as he battles this bug! Ah, but it is good to have him home again!