Category Archives: spirituality

What’s the Point of Lent? #2: Jesus and the Early Church

This is a mini-series leading up to Lent, which begins in 2014 on March 5. You might like to catch up on the first part, looking at fasting in the Old Testament, before reading this one.  In the Old Testament, fasting is usually portrayed as a spontaneous response to what Scot McKnight calls a ‘sacred, […]

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What’s the Point of Lent? #1: Starting with the Old Testament

No one can be right or wrong about how to celebrate Lent, I realised the other day. Lent is a church tradition, not something instituted by Jesus or the apostles. So we’re all in the same boat, theologically speaking, of needing to figure out how Lenten practices might sensibly and meaningfully connect us to God […]

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Other People’s Grandkids [Guest]

A warm welcome today to my good friend Rob Kilpatrick, who wrote this reflection on Facebook yesterday and let me filch it for the blog. You’ll be glad you read it.   I’m incredibly lucky to be granddad to 11 wonderful kids. I don’t deserve to be but there you have it, grace upon grace. I […]

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Sacraparental Lent with Kids

This is an introductory post to our Lent with Kids series, explaining how and why we’re using candles and a bunch of other things to make Lent meaningful at home. I wrote this several years ago now, and it has become a cornerstone of our family spirituality. Skip to the bottom to see the basic […]

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New Year’s Wishes for You and Yours

On New Year’s Eve, 2013, my little family made a pilgrimage to Cape Reinga, Te Rerenga Wairua, the northern tip of New Zealand, where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea ‘say hello’ as SBJ will tell you, with a dramatic clap of his hands. They clash with a set of white-topped breakers out in […]

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A Northern and Southern Christmas Treat

About a third of you, Gentle Readers, are based in the Northern Hemisphere, where the church calendar was born and raised: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and so on, until Advent begins another church year again. That means that your wintry Advent is naturally an expectant, waiting time that builds to the celebration of Christmas […]

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Advent in Art 2013: Expectation

Advent in Art is a project of World Vision New Zealand for the spiritual nurture of staff. Mark Pierson and Alison Squires curate and produce beautiful sets of cards with reproductions of paintings, Scripture readings, questions for reflection and a ritual to perform. This year Advent in Art features the art of Wayne Forte, reproduced […]

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101 Christian Women Speakers to Discover in New Zealand

At Christian conferences and leadership events I go to and speak at, women up the front are always – always – in a small minority. (It’s the same on all of the governance boards I’m on.) Very often, when I mention this to organisers, they say with regret that they just couldn’t find more women […]

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Advent with Toddlers

Happy Advent, everyone! Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the four-ish-week period leading up to Christmas. Today was SBJ’s first appreciation of Advent. He’s almost two, so I wasn’t sure just how much would be appropriate for him, but lots of things surprised me about the day, so I thought I’d give a full […]

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