It has been a few weeks since I posted anything here – I do apologise to those who hang on my every word and who feel like their life isn’t quite right unless they’ve read my latest thoughts. Joking aside, my last post after tasting coffee in Wellington prompted a brainwave and a bit of research. To cut a short story even shorter, I found a gap in the New Zealand internet and decided to fill it with a new website all about the New Zealand coffee scene. Check it out and sign up for regular updates. I’m a bit proud of it.
That’s not what I want to talk about though. Instead, I want to talk about Lent.
It’s no secret that I have a love for coffee, so for someone like me the chance to check out Wellington cafes when the opportunity arises, is a no brainer. Earlier this week I had the chance to take that opportunity properly for the first time while looking after Dan Bremnes during part of his Aotearoa New Zealand tour.
Wellington is well known for its coffee scene and is the home of some Aotearoa’s best cafes. A visit isn’t complete without checking out some of the city’s finest. Most of them are within walking distance of each other so it’s an easy tour to do.
In no particular order here are the Wellington cafes we visited and links for more details. There are plenty of great ones that aren’t listed here but there’s only so much coffee a man can drink in a day without it turning into a dangerous extreme sport. If there are other Wellington cafes you would like to recommend to readers, feel free to promote your favourite spot with a comment.
Dear Auckland Drivers,
I am one of you and I’m a regular bicycle commuter. For the last few years a bicycle has been my most regular method of traveling the 12km between my home and work. I do the trip in all weather, but the fact that I’m a guy on a bike doesn’t define me. I am also a husband, father, son, brother, nephew, friend to many, and a work colleague. I’m a Christian Minister and I serve an organisation working to help the world’s poorest. These things make me who I am more than the fact that a bicycle is one of my chosen modes of transport.
Psalm 29 offers something powerful. It’s no secret that intentional and mindful silence is one of the central practices of my life. It can be too easy to associate that practice with a tame view of God – a safe view of God, and connect it to images such as those given in 1 Kings 19:12 where God is present with Elijah in a gentle whisper (ignoring the potency of what came before). This can lend itself to a familiarity that robs us of something. The closeness that comes with such an approach is important, and should feed our very being, but it’s good to hold it in tension and also allow it to be fueled by something else – God’s awesomeness.
There is a need for us to stop and pause in the stillness, silence, and the space of the contemplative. In so doing we allow God to work in us in such a way that as we step into our relationships with others and the world around us, they, in turn, can encounter the Divine. In this video Phileena Heuertz explains it.
This was a video I used recently, alongside a colleague, to illustrate a point. I love that where others see a building to be destroyed, the artist sees a canvas from which beauty can spring forth. There are so many thoughts that flow from this for me. It’s short, stunning and profound.
I just read this in Tom Wright’s book ‘Simply Christian’
…the task of the church cannot be attempted without the Spirit. I have sometimes heard Christian people talk as though, having done what he’s done in Jesus, God now wants us to do our part by getting on with things under our own steam. But that is a tragic misunderstanding. It leads either to arrogance or to burnout, or both. Without God’s Spirit, there is nothing we can do that will count for God’s kingdom. Without God’s Spirit, the church simply can’t be the church.
He follows this up by pointing out people’s understandable misgivings about the church, resonating with those misgivings and pointing to something bigger. The point is the inseparable nature of God’s Spirit at work in the world and the church, where the church is, simply put, God’s people.