Thursday, January 25, 2007


Mr Tickle and his friend The Vacuum Cleaner

I had to take Aimee to the Dentist at Greenlane Hospital on Wednesday. Aimee was not looking forward to having her teeth drilled.

We being sensible parents had not told her that her teeth would get drilled, she'd determined that all by herself.

Of course Aimee was wrong, there was no drill.

There was however, Mr Tickle and his friend The Vacuum Cleaner.

All I can say is that the Dentist really knew her stuff, especially when it comes to special children.

Sadly however, the system still sucks, as the dentist refused (wisely) to do any of the teeth that would require sticking a big needle in Aimee's mouth to numb the gum. What this means is Aimee's other two teeth that require attention, will have to wait whilst an appointment is made (space in the schedule is found) for her to be put under and have the work done.

The main problem being that if between then and now, if her holes get any worse, she may have to loose another adult tooth.

Aimee however came through the experience with flying colours, as a complete meltdown was expected!

Thanks be to Mr Tickle and the amazingly compassionate female dentist.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Do The Shoes Make The Man?

My exercise programme ran out of steam at the end of the week. With my workload at work reaching critical mass and my current pair of Nike boots falling apart, I did two days of walking/jogging and two days of cycling, before calling it quits.

With Parachute on the horizon, and a weeks holiday at my parents house looming, all hope of setting up a routine seemed to be fading to obscurity.

Critical mass on the work front however has passed, with an extension being added to my work, and my wife saw an advert for Rebel Sports 30% Off Sale.

So along to Rebel we went. Saw some nice Pumas, looked at the price, figured out the discounted price and then spotted the small print.

Oh well, theres always Nike at Dressmart.

Off we go, all the way to Dressmart, only to be disappointed at the Nike shops lack of real discount.

Yes, I'm looking for a bargain. I don't really see the point of paying hundreds of dollars for shoes made by some one on a buck a day in an Indonesian sweat shop.

So back to Rebel we go, and the Pumas that won't be discounted because of the small print.

But wait, at the checkout the lovely checkout girl adds on the discount to the already discounted price. Sweet!

My $129 Puma Kiyan II Running Shoes only cost me $55.

Now I'm gonna have to make sure I get my fifty five bucks worth out of them. Tomorrow I pound the streets once again...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hope in the Darkness

Coffee Table Books are normally over priced and pretentious. Used by people to make a statement about who they are to who ever they have allowed to visit their abode.

Hope In The Darkness is an over priced coffee table book. But rather than make a statement about who you are, it makes you think about who they are.

Donald Miller (author, Blue Like Jazz) puts it quite well:
Though Jeremy’s remarkable eye for beauty and Jena’s equally descriptive words, Hope In The Dark allows us to visit the people of Africa, realise their strength, imagine ourselves in their struggles and wrestle with the realities of this world.

$39.99 is a little steep for me, but I have the advantage of having already flicked through a copy - they just arrived at our warehouse today, but if you're looking for something not only to grace your coffee table, but also remain deep in your thoughts, pop into Manna and order yourself a copy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sex God



You can’t separate the two, apparently.

According to Rob Bell, this physical world is intimately linked to deeper spiritual realities. And so, in order to make sense of sexuality, at some point you have to talk about God. With beauty and unusual insight, Sex God explores this connection.

And to think, I haven't even gotten round to reading Velvet Elvis yet... maybe I should stop reading graphic novels and war stories...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Love My iPod

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Blog Alert!

There's a new blog in town, and no, it's not one of mine. The creative mojo coming out of this new blog totally blows me away however, so go and check it out. Further more, blogline it or bookmark it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Apple and the Church

A few days ago Bill Gates launched Vista by calling the next ten years The Digital Decade… a couple of days later, the world stood still whilst Reverend Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, and ushered in The Fourth Digital Decade.

So what does this have to do with the church? Keep reading.

Steve Jobs and Apple do it time and time again. They put on a flashy presentation, and then deliver a product that isn’t going to be available until a future date. In relation to the iPhone, it hasn’t even got FCC approval yet.

But what happens next? Apple’s fan boys go crazy, shoutin’ an a holloerin’ raising their hands an a calappin’, just like any Sunday morning in a big Pentecostal church.

And then there are the sane people. They suddenly realise that there’s something missing in their lives, step forward and become converts.

It happens every time. People sign up, put money down, get in line and wait for a product that isn’t even available yet.

It’s kinda like what the church does, flashy sermons designed to get people to sign up for a product that they can’t get until after they die.

And it’s not just the Pentecostal churches that use flashy presentations, the church has done it for eons, even the so called traditional church uses visual techniques to get people signed up – the ornate buildings, purple robes, shiny golden ornaments…

The trouble is, as any sane Apple fan boy will tell you, just converting to Apple isn’t enough, you expect to be wowed over and over again, with new products and presentations.

Where does it end? And what happens if Apple suddenly releases a boring product, with realistic expectations? Everyone would loose faith.

So what’s the solution? I don’t have one; I just come up with outrageous claims and cynical comparisons. Maybe it’s all about how Christians live their lives, and to be honest, I could do with improving mine.

And that my friend is what I’m going to look at this year.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

10 Weeks to a Better Body?

If you look closely you can see the sweat dripping off my flushed face. You probably don't want to, but hey, it had to be said.

In December last year I ordered the 10 Weeks To A Better Body workout DVD for review from Roadshow, mainly because it had a workout that you could transfer to your iPod.

How cool is that thought I.

Of course, a month after receiving the DVD all I've actually done is put the 30 minute workout on my iPod. Nothing else. So a couple of nights back we decided to try out the Core To Go workout on the DVD.

By the end of the warm up I was about done for, and then the real workout started. Needless to say I didn't make it through much of the real workout before collapsing in a depressed, sweaty heap on the floor.

So, tonight after dinner we decided to leave the kids at home and attempt the 30min iPod workout. Walking, stretching and jogging our way back and forth down our street, keeping our house in clear view.

I'm more than happy to say that we managed to complete the whole 30 minutes and aim to continue doing so 5 nights a week.

Of course, I'm not expecting the whole thing to live up to it's name, after all the DVD package does stipulate that it is designed for people with a good level of fitness, but maybe something along the lines of 25 Weeks to a Better Body and I'd be happy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday is for...

Apparently Church started up again yesterday afternoon, with a social gathering around a BBQ. The Read family however, decided to be a bunch of sinners and have their own we're-not-inviting-anyone-else BBQ in sunny South Auckland.

Seeing as it was so hot, we even got the sprinkler out...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The 3 Colors of Ministry

Last year Brett gave me the book, The 3 Colors of Ministry to enable me to discover and develop my spiritual gifts.

It spent some time collecting dust as I struggled with any enthusiasm to read it after having a quick look at it.

But slowly I started to read it - it's been a struggle, and I got up to a part that I detest; the multiple choice questionnaire, designed to tell you what sort of a person you are. I hate these things as the options never seem to apply to me.

Oh well, I have to do this part to continue on through the book, so after three days of procrastinating, I put pen to paper and filled out the survey.

surprise, surprise, I ended up scoring my self middle-of-the-road. My circle was bang in the middle. I was the perfect Christian.

So I decided on a different approach, I found some one who knew me better that I did myself. My wife. I got my wife to fill it out for me, and then discussed it afterwards, tallied up the results and came up with a answer.

It turns out that I'm not a perfect Christian, I'm a Peter Christian.

You are quite active in ministry, but not everything that you do is very well thought through. Probably even the approach of this book will be "too theoretical" for you (which explains why I struggled to start reading it). Trust me; that is not true! The "theory" of this book could be especially beneficial for you. When studying this book, pay special attention to those areas you don't like much. (oh, great, that's really going to encourage me to continue reading!) Most likely you regard certain concepts as "unspiritual" just because they might be unfamiliar to you.

Stay tuned for the next exciting edition of The 3 Colors of Jonathan...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

No Small Churches

When you think of Charles Spurgeon, you probably don’t think of small churches and small congregations. In fact Spurgeon seldom preached to fewer than 6,000, and on one occasion his audience numbered almost 24,000 and this before the invention of the microphone.

During his lifetime Spurgeon preached to approximately 10,000,000 people and became on of history’s most read preachers.

But Spurgeon himself is a testimony to the power of a small church.

On Sunday, January 6th, 1850, a blizzard hit England, and 15-year-old Charles was unable to reach the church he usually attended. Instead he turned down Artillery Street to the local Primitive Methodist Church, finding only a few people standing around the stove.

The Preacher didn’t even bother to turn up.

Finally a thin-looking man stood up and read Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. The speaker, struggling for something to say kept on repeating the text until he spotted young Charles in the back and pointed to him with a bony finger, crying out “Look young man! Look! Look to Christ!”

Spurgeon later said of that day, “As the snow fell on my road home, I though every snowflake talked with me and told of the pardon I had found.”

On his arrival home his mother saw his expression and exclaimed, “Something wonderful has happened to you.”

It had, and in doing so proved that smaller ponds often yield the biggest fish.

Friday, January 05, 2007

We don’t need a revival.

Over the holidays whilst I’ve been happily painting my little metal men, my wife has been reading me excerpts from Killing Fields, Living Fields.

It is a fascinating, if somewhat disturbing book about the situation in Cambodia under Pol Pot, and how God was active even in the darkest of hours. It’s a book I’m going to have to read sometime, when I – or if I - get time.

But it got me thinking, which is never a good thing, cause my thoughts just go way off on a tangent. But if my memory serves me well, I’ve read a number of biographical type books around the subject of the persecuted church, and they all seem to have one thing in common.

God works well in times of darkness.

It’s almost as if God works best when we Christians don't have the freedom to do what ever we want. During times when Christians have to put there lives on the line.

Put simply, when to be a Christian, it’s all or nothing.

So why is it that the affluent Western church always seems to be crying out for revival, when in reality we should be crying out for persecution? I mean the last thing we need is for the Christian culture to grow, without having a fresh foundation of solid, blood-sweat-and-tears faith for it to stand on.

Of course if I start to cry out to God for persecution to sweep the land, I might not have the luxury to keep on painting my little metal men, or watching DVDs, or even working in my current job.

It’s a dilemma.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Checking the mail

The zombies decided to check the mail. All they found was junk mail and bills.

Ok, so you're probably wondering what the? Well let me explain, I started a blog called little zombies a while ago, but never had time to build it, so I decided to consolidate all my blogs, and thus, this is my first little zombie re-post.

And yes, I was inspired by the little people blog.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jacob does SingStar

Monday, January 01, 2007

John Wesley

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
- John Wesley