Resources for faith and life
Welcome to 'Conversations' ...
Worship, prayer, preaching, inspiration and song
from Aotearoa New Zealand
The blessing of God be upon you and go with you
The authority of God be over you and around you
The grace of God be in you and freely given by you
The peace of God be yours, this day and every day. Amen
New material ...
A series on Acts, including Pentecost. ACTS series
and we are now into a new series on 1 and 2 Samuel, leading from Samuel into David. SAMUEL series
Updated material on weddings, and some work-in-progress about the Commitments of marriage.
I've finished updating my Communion resources, adding more and getting them all properly formatted. I hope you find some stuff in here to inspire and assist you.
New section: Material about my family tree, ancestry, where my ancestors came from in England ...
Dedication of the offering (please stand)
We stand to give you the honour, Lord of all,
in our lives and in your world.
We give what we can spare
knowing that so many have so little.
We entrust our anxieties to you, all the troubles of the world
trusting only in your great mercy and grace.
In the sharing is the blessing
In our love may your Kingdom come
From this week's sermon:
In our Gospel story today Jesus interrupts the grief of the community for the 12-year-old girl. Stop your wailing! She is not dead at all, just sleeping! As Jesus stepped into that house he announced himself as Lord of life and of death. For Jesus, death was not an impermeable barrier, not a threat, not an enemy. Jesus and Jesus alone crossed the line between life and death and back again. He reached across and brought the girl back with him into the land of the living, and brought her family from devestating loss to utter joy.
It’s a curious detail that Mark records the Aramaic words that Jesus spoke – Talitha cum – and then translates them into Greek “Up you get, girl”. Obviously, as Peter and the others told and retold this story, the actual words of Jesus echoed in their heads and were always part of the story. Just 2 words: ‘Talitha cum’. It is a gift to us, to hear Jesus’ simple power and authority flowing down through the centuries. I hope that one day when death comes close and my time has come, I hope that in that moment I will hear these words and feel Jesus take me by the hand and lift me up. For he is my Lord, in life, in death, in life beyond death.
Hannah’s Song: 1 Samuel 2
Hannah was Samuel’s mother. Read her story in 1 Samuel chapter 1; chapter 2 records her mighty psalm of praise, The Song of Hannah. Here’s my version:
My heart sings in the Lord, who lifts me high!
My mouth boasts, my enemies fall!
Joy is mine! Salvation is here!
Nothing is holy but the LORD,
No one comes close,
No solid rock but our God!
In the Lord …
All words and actions are judged
Powerful weapons get smashed
The vulnerable get clothed with strength
Those who have stuffed themselves get to beg for food
Those who starve get to eat their fill
Those desperate for a child are given seven children
while those with plenty fade away.
Yahweh is Lord of life and death
he opens the way to the grave
and he opens the way to life.
Some he makes poor, some he makes rich.
Some he throws down, some he lifts up.
The Lord has a heart for the poor;
he raises them from the dust,
pulls them from the rubbish dump,
invites them to sit in the place of honour.
The Lord cares for his faithful people; he lights their steps;
we do not succeed by our own strength.
Those who oppose him will be silenced,
shattered, scattered, stumbling in the dark.
Yahweh is Lord of the universe;
he set the earth on its foundations,
he thunders through space
and judges to the ends of the earth.
The Lord gives power to his king; he will raise up his Messiah.
In 'Conversations.net.nz' you will find:
GOD ... resources for worship, especially 'Calls to worship' and confession
- prayers and home-grown 'psalms'
- Communion liturgies
- all-age worship ideas & reflections for children's ministry
PSALMS ... reflections on Biblical Psalms
interpreted and reworked for prayer and for use in worship
LOVE ... poetry, discussions on marriage & intimacy
and dramatic explorations of Biblical love stories
... reflections on grief and death
SONG ... original music, for worship and for kids
... and lots of lovely photos!
Because I believe ...
that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true!
that growing to maturity in Christ takes work
that courageous honesty of heart and soul is required
that worship is wonderful
that each person is a taonga, a treasure,
no matter the age, assets or abilities
that the local church is the hope of the world.
In conversation ...
... chatting with friends over coffee
... finding words for the moments and movements
of mind & body,
my spirit alive with God-Spirit
... getting to know Jesus Christ,
ever curious as to what he would say and do
... bringing every fibre and phrase into the eternal conversation of Father Spirit Son
... conversations with children and elders,
with church as it is and as it might be
... with my people in my place and offered to everyplace
... with pain and with celebration,
with beauty and with scars,
with the sacred and the ordinary,
with scripture, song and silence.
All material here is copy-right free; you are free to copy and paste to your heart's content. I just ask that you acknowledge the source and help promote my website.