Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday meanderings...

Looking straight down Otago Harbour on my bike ride.
Bird visitors- a gull during my bike ride.
Wood Pigeon (kereru) visited while I was chopping wood.  (Playing with my new camera)

Church of Christ History
I have 14 Sundays left - really only 13 because we are soon to have some time off.  I decided to take four of my remaining Sundays to speak about the history and emphases of the "restoration movement" We are variously called, "Churches of Christ" "Disciples of Christ" or just "Christian Churches". Currently in NZ we are called "Christian Churches of New Zealand." Our roots are in the Campbell/Stone movement in America. I am enjoying researching the emphases, radical for their time and day, then trying to work out how the "Spirit" of those emphases should be worked out today. I am proud of my heritage, yet sad that in our NZ Churches the radical breadth of spirit and thinking has been forgotten. I will have to move out of Church of Christ community because my current Church is the only one in our city. For the first time in my life I will be out of this movement or denomination. I have appreciated the freedom of structure that has allowed me to explore different ways of expressing Church. In NZ there have been some leaders of stature, with depth and breadth, who have made a difference in the world. Recent trends tend to make it more like a sect.
On Sunday afternoon it seemed quite a calm day, so I decided to pump up the tires of my bike and go for the first ride since I had my mid-March TURP operation. I rode into town and around the harbour as far as the cycleway went. I then rode home again but by that time there was a head wind all the way home. It ended up being nearly a two and a half hour ride. I enjoyed it, but realised I was not as bike fit any more. The home journey was hard work, my posterior was as sore, and my calf muscles were nearly cramping up. More bike rides are necessary. 
Getting Old
I spent much of the day chainsawing branches I had stored, then splitting the wood. There are obvious things that happens when you get old. There of course are my prostate issues that I am working my way through. But here is another. I used to pride myself on how I could handle an axe. I could split firewood holding the wood in my hand and with several rapid movements of the tomahawk reduce the wood to kindling. I had no fear of hitting my fingers because I could land the axe head exactly where I aimed it. When splitting logs with a splitter or a bigger axe, I was able to land the head at exactly the spot I wanted. If I made a crack, my second stroke would hit exactly where the first hit. These days I have discovered that I cannot depend on such accuracy. What causes this? Am I weaker therefore unable to control the weight? Is it neurological?  Whatever it is, I notice it is happening. It's a bugger getting old.
Asking for money...
Tonight I have been the guest speaker at a Rotary Club. I was there to promote the Night Shelter cause. We are trying to raise $595,000, ideally $650,000.  I enjoyed the environment, I think I did a good job, but I hate asking for money.  I cannot remember when I last preached a sermon asking for money. It is not my style.  I wish I could earn this 650k myself, or win lotto and give the money.  But if we are going to reach the goal, I as chairman will need to do a lot of begging. It is a funny feeling, I have always been an independent sort of person. I need to learn to work in a team and accept that some people's purpose is to give, while my task is to ask.  

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