Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Varied Skills

The area of the floor framework rebuild.
Preparing the wall frames for new cladding.
Lots of nails into hard old timber.

I am totally exhausted tonight. I was up late last night, and out of bed early this morning working, doing sermon/service preparation. This afternoon while weary, I am valuing the things I can do well.
Assisting with Renovations
Last weekend through to this weekend my wife and I spent the equivalent of four days in town helping our daughter and son-in-law renovate one of the rooms in their house. They have an old house and have done a heap of renovations over the years, and we have helped in all of them. They are very clever with these things.  The four of us work very well together, the women sort out a project, while my son-in-law do the heavier construction type things. We synchronise very well. The first day we were stripping sarking off the internal walls, and then took the skirting board off. We discovered that in one little area the floor was rotten. We stripped some floor boards off and found the frame underneath also rotten. The young couple thought about it for a night, thinking perhaps that we might need an expert carpenter.  I had told them how I would go about fixing it but I knew they had to make any decision. The next day they asked if I was prepared to help them fix it. So last Monday we rebuilt the frame work, and replaced a solid floor. We have been continuing with the progress ever since. Yesterday I calculated that I hammered in around 220 nails. I LOVE this work and am enjoying the sheer physical effort involved and I love the fact that I can do it.  I look at the finished task and feel good about it. I am being helpful. I am making a difference.
Transport and Tools.
 I am pleased with my van. Today we went to the hardware store and loaded 15 sheets of Gib (sheet rock) into the back and transported them to the project. We have carried long lengths of timber and heaps of tools. I am pleased too with the variety of tools I have. When working on this renovation I have hand tools and electric tools for the job. It is a great feeling having this independence and variety which enables us to get the job done. Tools are an investment!
Today I led the service at the local Church. I put a huge effort into preparation, and it went very well. I could see people during the service smiling, nodding in agreement and obviously enjoying what was on offer. When I had a dialogue session, there was free, spontaneous sharing of ideas. I have also noticed that on the days that I am down to lead the service there is a extra good attendance at church. I received very warm feedback after the service and I came away saying to myself, "Yes! I am good at this, perhaps getting better!" 

So here I am, tired, exhausted but deeply pleased at the variety of my skills, the abilities my tools and van let me have and the impact I can have in different ways. I am, howeverlooking forward to a brief holiday in a few days time.
Proud to be a New Zealander
The New Zealand Rugby Football team (the All Blacks) have won the World Cup, the Webb Ellis Trophy. They played the final against Australia in a stadium in England early this morning our time.  They beat them 34 to 17, and even the Australians admitted that they well deserved to be world champions. But the thing that made me even more proud is that they behaved themselves with humility, grace and dignity. 
On the same weekend the New Zealand Women's netball team beat the Australian team 58 to 47. This little country, of 4 million people, with limited funds is competitive on the world stage. I was doing computer work this morning in preparation for the service, while my wife was looking at the rugby on TV in the lounge. I would quickly skip to the on line updates, and at one stage the scores got quite close. I ended up going into the lounge and watched the final minutes of the game, enjoying them because in them New Zealand were successful in putting the game beyond reach. As our captain, coach and some players were interviewed I choked up with pride. There are lots of problems in our country, but I love its ethos and the egalitarian atmosphere. I am a proud New Zealander.

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