Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bush Will Win

And he will win well.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Kingdom Builders '04

Well this post is a little late in coming, but I'll post it anyway.

I attended Kingdom Builder's Conference the other week or so ago. On the whole it was average. But one thing stuck out above the rest. Ravi Zacharias came and spoke. That man is onto it. He gave a summary of where the Western World was at. It was spot on. He showed 5 things that had led to the state we are in. Shall I tell them to you?

Anyway, the most memorable quote from his talk was this:-

How do you reach a generation that listens with it's eyes, and thinks with it's feelings.

Good question. Comments are not only expected, but required.

Job Front

Interesting news is coming, but will be a while. I will let you know as soon as I feel like telling you. Suffice to say, that I believe I have a reasonable chance of getting the job. Maybe. Haha.

Mark, did you notice how me and Jono moved your car for you at the wedding? We were blocked in, so we decided to re-park your car for you - without getting in. Hehe.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Busy Busy

Right, I have about 60 seconds.

1. The interview was ok, but I have a feeling that I won't get the job.

2. My sermon this Sunday is no longer on Romans 9, but Romasn 12:1-2. Be there! Romans 9 is on the back burner for a while.

3. My mind is stress central at the moment.

4. Working then tramping this weekend, but will be back for sermon.

Well looks like I'm 'Gone in 60 seconds'.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Job Interview

Tomorrow being Monday, I have a job interview at 14:00. It is for a Research and Development Job within Tip Top. Here's hoping!

God bless ya'll.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Leader's Retreat

We started off at 9 on Friday from my house in Christmas road. Andrew took his parents new car, and I took the Alfa. We drove to Thames and had a quick bite to eat there. I selected a curry steak pie. It was hot. You could actually see curry powder on the steak. Mmmmmm.

We then travelled up the Kauaeranga Valley to the visitor centre. Here we purchased our hut tickets. This put a downer not only on the consolidated purse, but the spirits of the group, because we found out that the Pinnacles track is closed due to an unsafe ladder.

However this did not mean we couldn't go up to the hut and stay there, so we continued with our plan. We drove up to the end of the road and parked our cars. Unfortunately a steady rain had set in and nobody was particularly keen to get out. Eventually everyone was rounded up, and we began the Billygoat track. The rain soon stopped, and we began a steep walk. Soon we had beautiful views looking back down over the Kauaeranga river.

For dinner on Friday (3rd September) we had mince, and pasta, cooked in the luxurious Pinnacles hut. We passed the evening by playing Mafia, which we taught to a couple of Germans who were up at the hut. They caught on quite quickly, and it made the game interesting having new players with different styles.

After a reasonable nights sleep, with only one snorer, we had a good sturdy porridge for breakfast, and mucked around for the most part of the morning. Towards midday, we looked at youth leadership. I had prepared a study, which contained the following three points:-

1. C.I.A. youth leadership is primarily about kingdom relationship building.

2. Kingdom relationship building requires long term commitment.

3. Kingdom relationship building has eternal benefit.

I might post about these in more detail later.

We then had a nice lunch of hot dogs. Man they were good. I especially enjoyed the carbonified onion.

The afternoon took a different turn, with Scum coming into play. There was much blustering and self inflation during this game. However there was also humiliation for those who thought their God-given place was the President's seat, when in reality they ended up in the seat of the scum. Reminds me of one of those Parables Jesus told. Don't put yourself in the important places, as you may be humiliated by having to move down!

Dinner promised to be impressive, but actually failed to deliver. Jono promised us his famous curried sausages. What we ended up getting was more akin to sausage soup. Nevertheless, it was tasty, if not viscous. After dinner, Kurt the hut warden got out a mini generator, and gave everyone a slide show about the history of the area. It was really really good. Some of the kauris in the slides were just incredibly big.

After the slide show we taught a few of the young people who had arrived Mafia. This proved to be another fascinating evening of Mafia.

The next day, being Sunday, we had a watery porridge for breakfast, and prepared to leave the hut. We walked up to the junction and from their we went our separate ways. The girls and Andrew took the 2 hour Webb creek track out, and Dwaine Jono and myself took the Moss creek (read really hard) track. We intended staying at Moss Creek for the night. We started this walk at 10:30. There were many what we called 'demos' along the way. A demo occurs when we show everyone else what can happen if we do such and such. For instance, Dwaine gave a demo when crossing the stream. It presented us with the dangers of using slippery stones on stream crossings. I gave a demo of how difficult it is to get up when one has fallen over on ones side in mud with a heavy pack on. Jono demonstrated time and time again for us how certain grasses could cut ones hands, and how to fall on ones backside, so as to protect other parts of oneself. So all in all the track was a great learning experience. I would conservatively estimate that there were at least 50 demos on the way to Moss creek.

Along the way mud was often above knee level. Some kind person had put the odd polished stump on the track so one could stand on it instead of in the mud. Only problem with these were that they often caused an unplanned, sorry I mean demo of how much mud one person could wear.

We got to Moss creek, and decided to continue down the treacherously steep track to the car park. The sign said another 3 hours. The time was 16:00. We thought that we may need to tramp for a bit with torches, so we set ofF at a cracking pace but the descent was pretty steep, so we made our way carefully down. Jono even slipped at the very same spot where Peter sprained his ankle last time I tramped here. It did become dark, but we kept close togetehr, and went slowly so as not to lose the 'track'. In some places it was at the very least cheeky to call it a track. Nevertheless, we made our way out, and arrived at the good old Alfa at 19:00. During the day we stopped for a quick morning tea, lunch, as well as a short afternoon tea. All up it took us eight and a half hours. Not bad.

Two Eye Catchers From Real Issues

Growing tax take threatens democracy

Our economy is booming and the government's treasure chest is bulging. The total tax take figures released last week show a rise of 40 percent since Labour took office. Since 1999, the government has collected an extra $34 billion.

The government has more of our money that it needs. More than reason or justice demands.

So why can we not have tax cuts? The move from 33 cents in the dollar to 39 cents for those earning over $60,000 was obviously unnecessary. That rate now affects 10 percent of all tax payers rather than 5 percent two years ago.

There are a number of very good and just reasons why any government should not take an excessive amount of tax off its citizens. First, it gives the state too much power. It is a temptation to manipulate its citizens' favour with handouts and to consequently build up an expectation of dependency. The danger is that rather than being primarily used to help the poor, excessive funds will be used to increase the number of dependent votes.

Democracy is threatened as more voters get tied into the status quo and the government continues to be tempted to support a captive voting bloc.

Collision of religion and politics

Media coverage in New Zealand of the horrible events in Beslam, Russia, has shown little insight into the important context of both history and religion. The identity of the Islamic terrorists appears to have been obscured and the silence on the religious faith of those killed is disarming.

In the region of the Russian Caucuses Mountains, which is predominantly Muslim, the area of Ossetia is the only Christian enclave; its 700,000 residents are almost all of the Orthodox faith. It is there that the Islamist terrorists deliberately carried out the slaughter of children, women, and men.

What we need is some depth of media investigation on issues such as this where religion and politics collide. Religion and politics are inextricable. The common false assumption is that the secular media is neutral and religion prejudiced. Worldwide, the intersection between religion and politics is going to become more intense, so understanding the two in context is even more vital.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Selection from "The Screwtape Letters" - C.S. Lewis

I read this book recently and was amazed at how good it was. This particular paragraph really struck me.

"...You no longer need a good book, which he really likes,to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday's paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes, but in conversations with those he cares nothing about on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that; at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, "I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked". The Christians describe the Enemy as one "without whom Nothing is strong". And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Post for the Benefit of Alana

It seems as though I need to give an account for my lack of blogging.

On the go at the moment:-

1. Preparing the studies and preparing for the youth leaders retreat (starting tomorrow).

2. Preparing for tramping straight after leader's retreat, to Moss Creek.

3. Preparing for 2 sermons.

4. Preparing for a church overnighter which I am organising at the Pinnacles.

5. Preparing to apply for a job.

6. Preparing to play a piece of music I have written.

I will let you all know how they all go. If I remember.