Wednesday, 5 November 2008

What's in it for..... others!!!!

Its election time. Politicians are out trying to get as many votes as they can on elation night. The trouble is, people have so many different ways of deciding who to vote for. Some people vote the same way every time, or just vote for the party they parent's voted for. Or against the parent there parent's voted for. Others take hours poring over each parties manifesto and work out who to vote for that way.

As the Telstra Clear ad says, we have become a society where people are asking the question “what’s in it for me?” Or maybe we have always been so. Whatever way it is, that seems to be the way many people approach deciding the way they vote in elections. They vote for the party which will offer them a few extra dollars a week in tax cuts. Or so they will get a student allowance when they study. Or for whatever the election bribe happens to be that year. They make their vote on the based on what’s best for them.
But is this the best way of doing it, voting purely out of self interest? I don’t believe it is. I believe that as Christian, it is my duty to look out for the needs of others. The Bible is clear on this.

Mark 12:31 the second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Romans 13:9 the commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Isaiah 1:16- 17 Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Psalm 146:7-9 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free,
 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.
 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The Bible is clear: we are to love others and stand up for the disadvantage, the poor and the sick. This is how we are called to live our whole lives. And this is also how we are called to vote. Some Christians seem to have the idea that the government (or state) should not have to look after theses people because ‘The Church” should be doing it. But the truth is we do this with our votes, as much as we can thought organised church activities. This is the second of the two great commandments, and should be the focus of our lives, including the way we vote.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Nathan's Election predications

Ok, with about a week and a half to go, it’s probably time I do a post or two on the election, considering I studied politics. Now, a week and a half is a long time in politics, and it is always considered foolish to make prediction as to the results. Nevertheless, I thought I would make some predictions as to the results, just to see how I go, before I turn my thoughts to the slightly more serious matter of how we should vote.
- National will get the biggest proportion of the party vote, around 45%, although probably not much higher.
- Labour will get around 35-37% of the party vote.
- The Greens will be the only other party to get over the 5% thresholds, probably around 6 or 7%.
- New Zealand First I’m picking won’t get over 5%, and survival is dependent on winstone peters winning back tauranga. Although if anyone can make a came back its Peters, so don’t be surprised if he does win his seat back.
- Rodney Hide, Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton will all hold their seats, and thus there parties will get back into parliament. However, they will all only get around the 1-3% of the party vote, and will have 1-3 seats each.
- The Maori party will win one or two of the Maori seats off Labour, although I’m picking labour will hold on to at least one of them, but will get a smaller % of the arty vote than this, and will overhang the parliament.
- No other party will get into parliament.
- The government will be lead by National, with support from the Maori party and United Future, and if they need it Act.
I think they key to this election is going to be the seat of tauranga. If Peters can win it back and get New Zealand First back into parliament, National will have issues forming a government as they have ruled him out. If he can’t win it back, National will win. It’s interesting that most of the minor parties have taken one side or another. Last election there were three centre parties which could have gone either way- New Zealand First, United Future and the Maori party. This time however, National has ruled out working with New Zealand First and United Future has said they will only go with National. Only the Maori party are still official open to going either way, although things can change depending on the results.

Oh yes, and barack obama will win the US election

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Weird things about Auckland

Seem s like I am overdue for another blog post. I went to Auckland the other week. Here is a list of some of the weird things about Auckland form my observations.
- Some of the bus stops have napkins in them. What a way to decorate a bus stop!!!
- In Narnia, they have animals which talk. In Auckland, it’s the buses. “The next stop is Britomart...”
- One bank had a drive though. For the recorded, it was a National Bank.
- A shop on Queen Street had a Phoenix jersey.... IN THE WINDOW!!!!! I thought we went Auckland anymore!!! Or maybe they want to be Wellington.
- Queen Street is full of currency changers, New Zealand souvenir shops, jewellers, books shops and Aucklanders.
- One book shop had a Bible in the new age section.
- Manna had a self help section!!
- The trains a pulled by diesels. Wellington’s electrics are way better. Faster, and better for the environment. There were people dancing on the train as well.
- It’s built right on top of an active volcano fled. Although that’s not that weird, when you consider Wellington on a major felt like, Christchurch in just the right place to get smog and Parmy is built in a hole. Yep, our forbearers share knew a good place for a city when they sore one.
- There is a shopping mall in like, ever suburb. They go with the volcano’s I guess, there one of those in very suburb too.
- Going to places by boat. I had to use the ferry to get to parity much anywhere.
- They have “Wendy’s” which is a burger takeaway, and “Wendy’s” where you can buy Ice cream and drinks.
- Jasmine Taylor. She proves the impossible.... that there really is such a thing as a decent Aucklander. Some other people proved that too, now I think about it.....
- The Warehouse’s had signs saying “Auckland’s lowest price on DVD’s and CD’s”... in Wellington colours!!! See, they really do want to be Wellington!!!

I think there was probably some more, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. I was a good week and a bit, but it was a relief to hear over the intercom on the plane. “Ladies and gentlemen, was are about to begin the decant into Wellington...’ He also said something about Gentlemen making share they wife’s are in the upright position and ladies to check that their shoes matched there outfit.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Google Games!!!

Google games a fun, something to do while you are waiting for other pages to load.....
Here is one I like. You google “ yourfirstname looks like” and see what comes us. And you need quotation marks, or else it won’t work.
Here are some of the answers I got.

Nathan looks like a monkey!
Nathan looks like a random guy who forgets to shave
Nathan looks like a caveman
Nathan looks like the Big Buck Bunny
Nathan looks like Evan almightily with the beard
Nathan looks like a little angel.
Nathan looks like a homeless man
Nathan looks like Jesus

And here are some other people.......
Matthew looks like one of those football guys with a 3 month pregnant belly.
Sarah looks like Hermione Granger!
Michael looks like a drag queen in one of Paul’s porn videos
Melissa looks like she has something sneaky planned
Natalie looks like that truck driver from Pee Wee
Rachel looks like a fluffy pink cupcake
Kirsten looks like she just crawled out of her coffin, ready to feed, but the lights are hurting her eyes
Evan looks like someone who died
Dave looks like a pixie fairy
Stevie looks like a historic ruin.
Jamesy looks like a girl....
Karen looks like a modest Jewish milkmaid
Nathaniel looks like it is he who has been slapped about the face
Andrew looks like a drug dealer
Jasmine looks like a cross between Christina Ricci and an Oompa Loompa
Richard looks like the smooth talking bad boy who makes girls go weak
Ash looks like an aunty
Ben, looks like a grotesque gnome or troll and displays an equally ugly personality: he kills the family's dog and cats....
Jared looks like he has a lopsided Dora the Explorer haircut
Ruth looks like a young woman who can arouse an old man.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Graduations are also very auspicious occasions.

I have now graduated!!!!!!!!! I now have the piece of paper to prove that I have a degree. And it’s meant to last 500 years, due to the fact that it is make out of goat skin. If it doesn’t last 500 years, I might have to sue Vic.
So what does it mean?
1) I really do need to find another job.
2) I now have letters after my name!!!!!! Yep, I am now official Mr Nathan Thomas Bayliss, B.A. Although I don’t think I’ll ever use it, as that would be showing off.....

Some highlights of graduation include
- Walking down the middle of the road in funny clothes. Lambton Quay to be precise. Along the same rote as the Lord of the Rings stars went before the world premiere of Return of the King!!! And I was right near the front. I also got to hang out with Anna form 1st year cell group back when I started uni.........
- Listening to the mayor say staff. Can’t remember what, but hey.
- Going to watch Evan walk across the stage and get some paper. I also got to see five or six people I know at that ceremony too.
- The person who was meant to be next to me didn’t turning up. That meant I had to be “row leader.” All that meant was that I sat at the end of the row, and had to follow the direction of the usher, rather than the person next to me.
- Putting a hat on. “By the authority of Victoria University of Wellington, I, Tim Beaglehole, Chancellor, grant on the persons whose names are entered on the roll of graduates the degrees, diplomas and certificates there appearing, and are hereby admitted to these degrees, and awarded these diplomas and certificates in this university.”
- Walking across the stage. And getting a song. And shaking hands with the pro chancellor.
- Getting a degree!!!! Yay, three years of work!!!!
- Singing Gaudeamus!!!! Hehehe, I’m so glad I learned it at Rongotai. But it didn’t help when they didn't change the slide to the second verse till it was almost over........

And my ceremony has made it to the national media, for three different reasons
-A M.A graduate decided to turn the draft of her thesis into clothing. She also wears shocking pink...
- The student speaker couldn’t make it, as she got stuck at Auckland Airport due to fog.
- Joel Cosgrave, VUWSA President decided to wear a t-shirt to promote Men’s sexual heath. Only it wasn’t really appropriate for a graduation ceremony.

So another auspicious occasion. But also, an infamous one!!!!! Getting into the media for three things counts as infamous to me. So that my new favourite word...... move over auspicious.........

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Follow your dreams?

It seems to be popular theology in the church at the moment that Christians should "follow their dreams," as they are from God. The thinking seems to be that our dreams must be from God, and therefore it is our duty to follow them. But its this relay what the Bible teachers us?

It wasn’t Moses’s "dream" as such to free the Israelites from Egypt- he argued with God for quite some time, claiming not to be the right person for the job. David had a dream to build a temple to God, a dream which was not his, but Solomon’s to fulfill. And it was the "dream" of most, if not all of Jesus’ disciples for much of Jesus’ ministry that Jesus would lead a rebellion against Rome and restore a Jewish kingdom. However, God's plain was to establish a kingdom which was not of this world.

Now, Im not saying that all our dreams a bad. God does sometimes give us a desires or dream to do something. But it does not always follow that all our dreams are necessarily from God. We need to discern, though a lot of prayer, by talking it through with Christian friends and weighting the "dream" against was we read in the Bible whether, or not they are from God. Sometimes it will be that God is calling us to something new, other times he may not be.

So where does this idea which, if not blatantly preached is subtlety practiced by many Christians, came for? I think part of this is a symptom of the church making our hearts king in our Christian faith. We say that to became a Christian you must "give your heart to Jesus." Many of the songs we sing on Sundays talk about us "giving our hearts to God." Christianity is described by many Christians as being "a relationship with God"- a heart thing.

But Jesus Said clearly that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30) Many Christians today stop at heart. But heart is not followed by a full stop but an and. This is not an ether or. Its an all of the above.

The sad thing is that it seems to me that a lot of Christians are not just trying love God with only their heart, they have somehow gotten this idea that "the heart is good, the mind is bad." That is to say, they seem to believe that the mind can be corrupted by the devil, but the heart can’t. I have even herd a speaker at Parachute say one year something along the lines of "the devil can’t get into your heart. That’s why Jesus want to get into it."

Maybe I haven't read my Bible well enough, but I don’t recall the part where Jesus and the devil decide to play hide and seek. I do however, recall a number of places in the Psalm where the Psalmist ask God to purify there heart (one example being Psalm 51:10.) If we need God to purify our heats, than they must be corruptible.

We must get back to loving God with all our hearts AND all our soul AND with all our mind AND with all our strength. The Bible also says that if someone is guilty of braking one part of the law, they a guilty of breaking the whole law. Therefore, one can not love God with all there heart if they are not also loving his with all there soul, mind and strength also.

God will give us the desires of our hearts, when there desire came form him. We must remember however, that not all our hearts desire are form God. We still live in a war zone, and there is still someone out to temp us away for God. And this someone has access to our hearts, and well as our minds, our soul and our strength.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

the M and M weeding

Things I learned over the 5 days I was in Parmy for Michael and Melissa weeding.
-Weddings are very auspicious occasions.
- If your grooving to music in a car, and you to at traffic lights, you might get spotted and luaghed at.
- Tanks are awesome.
- When asked questions by a radio station, "Jesus" can work as an answer.
- Everyone in Parmy has a dog.
- Macdonald’s is a great place for grooms to hang out before weddings.
- Ash likes play ultimate frizbe, huarb gardening, jelly westing and country music.
- Jasmine like poking her friends on Facebook, huarb gardening, kite surfing, wide pig hunting and playing doctors and Norse’s.
- I have a illustrious male modelling career.
- manual cars really are a lot harder to drive than automatics.
- Michael likes whispering sweet nothings into Melissa ear.
- Auspicious is a cool word.
- Weeding photos are a lot of fun.
- Karen Lau is an great peoet.
- Fi can’t remember that much about 1st year cell group, bar that Al had the wrong number of toes.
- Kate and Chris monkey love the IRD.
- Smoking can be dangerous for your health.
and finally and most important..
marriage is like a wombat.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Twenty somethings: the churches unreached generation?

Is it just me, or is the church in New Zealand doing a bad job at reaching out to, and supporting those in the "twenty-something" age group? It's a conviction has been growing in me for some time. 
The church is doing an okay job of reaching theses in their teenage years. It’s becoming had to find a church without an employed youth pastor, let alone one without a youth group these days, and there are a large number of events, publications and programs aimed at teenagers today. And we seem to be doing an okay job of reaching those middle aged and older. The many parenting and marriage based ministries around is one example of this.

 Now I don’t want to dis all these ministries, many of which do a fantastic job. Be we seem to forget that people don’t go from being an eighteen year old school kid to a 30 year old mother or father with a middle class job over night. And there are a few stars in this ministry vacuum. Marriage preparation causes and ministry to university students such as TSCF do existed and do an awesome job. However, much of this work goes unnoticed and underfunded by the church at large. TSCF for example have only around 2000 people on there database of supporters. Churches as a whole do not see 18 to 30 year olds as groups to minister to. Yet as I beginning to learn, people in this age group face many challenges.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

A tribute to Kylie

Kylie Palamo, a workmate of mine, sadly passes away on Saturday, after a battle with cancer, aged 30. Today I attended her funeral. "Smiley" Kylie was a fantastic workmate, with a laugh and smile which will be remembered by everyone who met her. Her kindness made her popular with everyone. Visits to the music bar were always a moment to remember when Kylie was there. Kylie's Faith and many friends and family helped her get thought the last mouths of her life. We will all miss her heaps.
God bless you Kylie, and rest in peace,

Monday, 7 January 2008

Same staff I’ve bean thinking about

Who is the God who we as Christians worship? Is he a God of Love? Of justice? Of Wrath? Is he our Father? Our king? Our friend? Our Shepherded? Our judge? The truth is that he is all these things. And more. We worship a many dimensional God. All these characteristics belong to the God found in the Bible.

Yet many of seem to reduce him to just one of these. There are many who talk about the love of God, but forget that  he is also a Just God, that he is therefore also a God who punishes those who continue to disobey his. There are others who tell everyone how God is going to punish them for everything they have done wrong, while forgetting that God came to Earth as a human to save us. Others seem to worship a God who is nothing more than a mysterious best friend, while forgetting that he is king and Lord over their life, while others have great respect and fear of God, yet they don’t know his as their heavenly father.

The truth is, God is such an awesome and complex God, that we can never know all his characteristics here on Earth. If we could, he would not be the God of the Bible, but a figment of our imagination which we have called God. Yet this is no excuse for us to focus on one fascist of God’s character and call that God. Now at one level, God is simple. Jesus said that we must receive the kingdom of heaven as a child would. At one level Jesus really is the answer to everything. But this God who calls us to receive him as a child takes an eternity to get to know.