After a month off social media, Facebook decided the 3 most important things for me to see was 1) a brewing argument about vaccine passports; 2) some other argument about NZ sports and MIQ; 3) a friend’s live commentary of what their kid said after watching TV. Glad I haven’t missed too much!

Bible I’ve enjoyed this past month:

  • Ephesians. Paul’s prayer in chapter 1 never loses its power.
  • Matthew. God has been faithfully feeding our church family from his Word here. Jesus is strong and kind. Compassion flows from his very heart.
  • Daniel. Thanks, Principal’s Hour!
  • Revelation. Our world is broken. Help us follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Come, Lord Jesus.
  • 2 Timothy. Isn’t it challenging that Paul is called as an apostle, preacher, and teacher to suffer for the gospel? (1 Tim 1:11-12)

Creation blessings:

  • Level 3 = wedding! Congrats Tim & Shama, and the Dhinakar and Bhave family!
  • Also @ Level 3 = scooters for the family. We have loved it, even if not all of us can balance on our scooters yet.
  • Also a Level 3 perk = coffee. Thank you Jesus.
  • Cardboard box fortresses and outside race tracks.
  • Our local Tāmaki awa that ebbs and flows so gracefully.
  • 烤鴨 + 燒烤, plus fresh fruit from friends!

Some books I’ve enjoyed this past month:

  • “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane Ortlund. It is as good as they say it is. Thank you Jesus for who You are at your very core.
  • “The Bible in China” by Jost Oliver Zetzsche. This is a fascinating history into how the CUV (和合本), still the #1 Chinese bible, came into being. Lessons on crossing cultures, working in teams, arguments between Baptists and others, and how a literal translation doesn’t necessarily mean readable, or even faithful.
  • “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Arthur Conan Doyle. A bit of light detective sleuthing set during steampunk-era London. The bad guys always seem to be German or exotic, but the kids have been interested (if sometimes a bit scared of “The Speckled Band”!)
  • “Nachfolge” von Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Sehr gut.

Interesting podcasts:

  • Working for the Word by Andrew Case. Excellent conversations on Bible translation. It’s good to hear how translators wrestle with form and meaning, words and thoughts, to best render God’s Spirit-breathed Word to us. N.B. His wife hosts the very good immersive learn-Hebrew resource (Aleph with Beth).
  • The Rise + Fall of Mars Hill podcast. I think it’s well done (if a bit narcissistic itself), and have been reflecting on how much MHC has impacted my own perceptions of success in ministry, Jesus’s masculinity vs. toxic masculinity, the uncontrolled pandemic of celebrity worship in Christian churches, and the need for kindness and humility and to genuinely value our sisters in Christ. A plea for our generation of pastors and gospel workers to learn from the mistakes of celebrity “idols”.
  • Did you eat yet? by season asia. Some thought-provoking conversations relevant to Asians between cultures (the episode on LGBTQ+ is especially good). It’s also helped me to make sense of some of the ministry philosophy shifts behind 2nd gen Asian ministry over the years.

What interesting things have you been reading/listening to? Love to hear your recommendations!