Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bloody Hands

Have you ever had someone's blood on your hands?  I don't mean figuratively.  But literally? Take a look at the foto - that is someone else's blood drying on my hands!

Sunday afternoon, I was out for a run, had my headphones on and just cruising. When I'm jogging, I kinda tune out everything else except for my running music (Redman, Tomlin, Mainstay, Jeremy Camp, etc) - I don't notice nor acknowledge much unless it is to nod hello to another runner, or unless there is an emergency.

Well, that afternoon, there was such an 'emergency'.  As I was just getting into the run, I notice a car slam on its brakes right in the middle of the street.  The driver then jumps out shouting and waving his arms.  I couldn't quite make out what he was yelling about - my my earphones were still in.  At this point, I started thinking - ok, is this a drive-by shooting?!?!  Is there gonna be another car cruising by with a guy hanging out the passenger window with an Uzi - I seriously was ready to dive behind parked cars! (Ok, maybe one too many James Bond movie).

But there were no other cars on the street that lazy Sunday afternoon and the driver was gesturing wildly at the back seat of his car and still yelling.  My next thought - ok, his wife is having a baby!  And he wants me to deliver his baby!?!  (I seriously was thinking of Will Smith in Men In Black, when he had to deliver the alien baby - ok, I really gotta cut back on the movies!).   Anyways, the driver was still yelling frantically - at another person on the sidewalk ahead of me.  This person looks at the man, looks at the car in the middle of the street and keeps on walking!  So now, I am just about abreast of the car and the driver turns to me and yells - 'hey mate, help me mate, help me!'  He had a weird wild look on his face, so being the kind of guy I am (weird and wild), I hurried out into the street and up to the car, taking my earphones out.  That was when I heard and saw that there were two dogs in the back seat killing each other - literally!  Somehow, they both had each other by the neck under the chin, right where the jugular would be - their jaws were locked and they were growling.

And then I noticed all the blood - not from the dogs, but from the driver - a young man in his early twentys.  He obviously was driving along when the dogs began to fight in the back seat and he most likely reached back and tried to stop them and got a nasty bite on his forearm, and it was bleeding pretty badly, dripping blood all over the car, the dogs' heads and the street as he's waving the bloody arm about.  But he was still yelling frantically for me to help him break up the dogfight.  So he starts kneeling on one of the dogs, pounding it with his fist (not hard, but enough to try to get it to loosen its jaw).  All the while yelling at me to grab the other dog and pull him out of the car.  Yeah, right - with him bleeding from that nasty bite!

But I wasn't thinking - I was just riding high on adrenaline and jumped into the back seat and grabbed the other dog by the back of the neck with both hands and yanked as hard as I could, putting all my weight behind it.  But the dog wasn't letting go.  So we tried it a second time - the young man pounding on his dog and and yelling at it and me yanking with all my might (which isn't much normally, but hey, adrenaline does somethin' to ya) and yelling at my dog to stop!  And lo and behold, the dogs separated!  I yanked my dog out of the car, still holding him by the scruff of the neck, still pumped on adrenaline.  That was when I noticed what kind of dog it was - some kind of boxer mix, not pure-bred, but it had the muscular shoulders and jaws.  And that was when my knees went a little weak and it hit me that I could've been bitten pretty badly if this dog decided to turn on me, there in the back seat of some guy's car.

In any case, the guy yells at me, 'thanks mate'.  I yell back at him (remember - adrenaline - normal volume wasn't an option) - 'hey man, you gotta get that bleeding arm taken care of!  I'll drive you to the emergency room!'  He yells back 'no, thanks mate, I'll take care of it!'  I yell again 'let's go to the hospital!'  He yells 'thanks mate' then picks up the boxer, literally chucks the dog into the trunk/boot, slams it close, slams the back doors close, gets behind the wheel and screeches off down the street at breakneck speed.  And leaves me standing in the middle of the street, with my earphones laying on the ground and with his blood drying on my hands.  Suffice it to say - that was NOT my normal Sunday afternoon run.

Ordination - Miguel

Here's the service from our home church where Miguel was ordained as pastor of the CCM Spanish Fellowship. Congrats!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Phamily Elf 80's

And here is a video of Becks and the girls doing their dance...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Phamily Elf Hip Hop

Here is another video we did. Hope you enjoy it...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

CC Murrieta Spanish Fellowship

During the year that we lived in the USA, between leaving Germany and coming to New Zealand, I had the privilege of serving as pastor of the Spanish Fellowship at our home church - Calvary Murrieta.   It was a special time that we had with the Spanish Fellowship - we were able to help them during the time that they didn't have a pastor, but more importantly (for us at least), they were one of the reasons that helped us get through the re-entry stress of coming back to our home culture after over a decade in Europe.  They accepted us into their fellowship and really made us feel at home.

And during that time as their leader, we got to know Miguel and Elva and their 5 wonderful kids.  Miguel is a true servant of God - he was always ready to do whatever I asked, like wash my car, do our laundry, cook, etc.  (just kidding!).  But truly Miguel was a humble man who was ready to serve in any capacity - from cooking at potlucks, to setting up tables to teaching to translating.  He was basically my right-hand man!

And it makes me so proud of him and his family that our home church ordained him this past weekend!  That they saw Jesus working in and through him and simply recognized that.  So from the Phamily to Miguel, Elva and the kiddies - we're so proud of you guys!  And are so thankful of all that God is doing in your lives.  And are privileged to have you guys as friends!  Thanks for your friendship, prayer and support!

Here's a video of the ordination in the Spanish Fellowship.  Miguel will also be presented before the main body at CCM next weekend.

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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Another Phamily Disco...

Here's another video that Becks and I did. We were groovin' to the tunes!

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Phamily Christmas Disco

Since it's only a few weeks (AHHH!!!) to Christmas, the kids and I put together this little dance video to get us all into the holiday spirit. Ahhh, doesn't it bring back memories for some of you?!


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Friday, 19 November 2010

Calvary Wellington 'P' Party

As part of our efforts to get to know one another better, we have had some 'fellowship nights' where we come together to just have fun.  A couple months ago, we had a Quiz Night, which is pretty popular here in NZ.  That was great fun as we broke up into tea, competing with one another to see who could get the most correct answers to some very outlandish quiz questions.

Then this past week, we had a CCW church 'P' party which included games that start with the letter 'p' and a potluck with foods that start with 'p' and the highlight - we were to dress up in costumes that start with 'p'!  We had painters and pilots and pop stars and pirates and many others.  Below is a slide-show of the evening.  Enjoy!

PS - if you are not a Star Wars - Clone Wars fan, you might not get what Jesaiah dressed up as (I didn't!).  It's a character called Plo Koon.  Kids, these days!

PPS - Oh, and if you can't tell what Dariah is dressed up as, let me help. She couldn't make up her mind so she went as a pirate-platoon sergeant-police girl. Got it?! It was supposed to be pirate-princess-police girl. ;-)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Angel Tree

Christmas time is always a great opportunity to reach out and to bless others with the love of Jesus.  We as a fellowship will be getting behind Angel Tree Project from Prison Fellowship New Zealand.  It is a great chance to practice what the Bible teaches us...

Remember the prisoners as if chained with them...
since you yourselves are in the body also.

Hebrews 13:3

Here is a quote and video from the Prison Fellowship website for NZ - www.pfnz.org.nz.
Angel Tree is a Prison Fellowship Program that provides Christmas toys to prisoners’ children who might otherwise be overlooked during the Christmas Season. When mothers and fathers are behind bars, their children also do hard time.

While Prison Fellowship coordinates the program, it is very much a combined effort.  Prison chaplains, Christian volunteers, churches, ministry and social service organisations come together to purchase, wrap and deliver over 3000 presents each Christmas to the children of prisoners.

By every measure, prisoners’ children are the most severely at-risk children and youth in New Zealand. They are at a greater risk than other children from child abuse, neglect, illiteracy, crime, violence, incarceration, teen pregnancy, depression, premature death and substance addiction.

We sometimes don’t appreciate that these children are the unwilling victims of crime.  Our efforts go some  way toward linking children with their imprisoned parents.  International  research shows that where imprisoned parents can maintain a link with their children, the children are more likely to respond positively to school and to their parents, and less likely to offend or truant.”

But the positive impact is felt more widely than that.  Prisoners who have neither the money nor mobility to provide Christmas presents, often feel helplessly frustrated when they think of their children during this time.  That in turn can result in anti-social behaviour, withdrawal, and depression.  It provides a crucial link between children and their imprisoned parents.

Check with your local fellowship to see if they are taking part in this awesome outreach and ministry.  And check out this video...

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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do...

Just recently, our 10 year-old said he has committed to reading through the Bible.  He's starting in Genesis and going through.  And our 8 year-old said she is reading through Revelation every morning.  And that without us telling them to or saying much about it at all - except to say that all Christians should read their Bible.  I think the most telling words from our 8 year old - 'I don't see Daddy reading anything except the Bible!'  She doesn't see me when I am reading commentaries or the news websites or facebook or emails, etc.  All of my 'books' are pretty much digital - except for my Bible.  So obviously that is all she sees.

But that aside, they see me reading my Bible so that is what they do also!  Isn't that the way our faith should be - caught as well as taught?!?

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that YOU BECAME EXAMPLES to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.

1 Thess 1:5-7 (my emphasis)

Paul writes in 1Cor 11.1 - imitate me as I imitate Christ.  I guess that is what it's all about - following an example and being an example.  Are you an example?  What type of example? (believe me, I also have some bad habits that I don't want my kids to pick up!)