Category Archives: General

On parenting

Have been thinking a bit about this during the week, and especially so having just dropped my daughter off at the wharf to go sailing with her classmates on the Spirit of New Zealand for the next five days or so. The Smiggle bit made me smile, and I could imagine having this conversation in the article with any of my children.

At a profound level, she was absolutely correct. I’m nothing without her. All children change their parents’ lives to the extent that sometimes they replace it. After the birth of his eldest child, poet C.K. Stead wrote that enduring line, “I do not want my life back.” We serve to protect them. They become the central fact of our existence. Food, warmth, love, junk from Smiggle – we break our backs to shovel it their way, and hope they say nice things about us after we’re gone.

Source: Steve Braunias: Father’s days – Life & Style – NZ Herald News

One year ago…

One year ago I was just about to start my current job. Heading back to work this Monday after three weeks annual leave feels like starting all over again (but with the stress levels turned up a few notches).

[Written with trial version of MacJournal. I’m sure I have a license for this, but can’t find the email with it in]

Trying out ScribeFire

Next up on the list to tryout is the browser-based blogging tool, ScribeFire (from This has the possibility of running just fine on both the MacBook and the Yoga, so I’m giving it a go.

First up, I’m grabbing an image I took today for a later post on boardgames. It’s of the shelves in the lounge with a few of our games on it.

And here’s a link to Will Wheaton’s boardgame video blog that I watch sometimes.

And the link to the mother of all boardgame sites – BoardGameGeek: 

Some highlights from 2014

Trying out the MarsEdit blogging tool to put together a few highlights from 2014. Works okay, on the whole, but doesn’t have the ability to easily embed YouTube videos or do Amazon lookups etc. 


Most enjoyable books of 2014

Didn’t really have have a lot of time to read much this year but the following stuck out as memorable reads:

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Most enjoyable films of 2014

A shout out here to Guardians of the Galaxy, but the film I enjoyed most this year (and I watched an awful lot of them on long-haul flights) was Next Goal Wins, the film about the American Samoa football (soccer) team and their quest to qualify for the World Cup.

Most enjoyable TV series

A toss-up here so I’ll have to call it a tie. On the one hand the new Constantine series has some potential to evolve into something interesting if it’s allowed to, while on the other hand I really enjoyed the cancelled series “Almost Human“.

 Most enjoyable trip/event

 The time I spent in Cape Town with the cohorts and advisors from George Fox’s Leadership and Global Perspectives Doctor of Ministry (DMin) programme was a highlight. Looking forward to the next meeting up. 

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[Written with MarsEdit] 

2015 begins…

2014 was a pretty hard year – one hundred miles an hour pretty much 100% of the time with work, home, travel, church things, and health.

Looking forward in 2015 to getting a few new projects underway, finishing off some other projects (including the book on networked theology), and making sure I take my annual leave regularly.

[Written with Ecto]

Anzac Day 2014

The Anzac Day service as College hit the right spot for me today – simple, well-meant and not overly buying into civil religion. It made me think about the collection of resources about Anzac Day that I’ve used over the years when teaching spirituality, contextual theology and public theology. So, I thought I’d list some of those in case they’re of interest to others.

Book sections and articles

Bluck, John. Long, White & Cloudy : In Search of a Kiwi Spirituality. Christchurch, N.Z.: Hazard Press, 1998. (“Not just poppies – the Anzac Spirit” (32-39))

Hunt, Graeme. “Anzac’s Ghost.” New Zealand Listener, 9 April 2005, 32-33.

Hunt, Graeme. “The Folly & the Glory.” New Zealand Listener, 14 May 2005, 19.

Harris, Brian. “Of Tall Poppies, Mateship & Pragmatism: Spirituality in the Australasian Context.” Stimulus 16, no. 3 (2008): 16-20.   

Morris, Paul. “Spirit Abroad: Reflections on New Zealand Spirituality and Identity.” In Spirit Abroad : A Second Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse, edited by Paul Morris, Harry Ricketts and Mike Grimshaw, 217-30. Auckland, N.Z.: Godwit, 2004.

Moses, John A. “Was There an Anzac Theology?” Colloquium 35, no. 1 (2003): 3-13.

Stackhouse, Max L. “Civil Religion, Political Theology and Public Theology: What’s the Difference?”. Political Theology 5, no. 3 (2004): 275-93.

Taylor, Steve. “Scars on the Australasian Heart: Anzac Day as a Contextual Atonement Image.” New Zealand Journal of Baptist Research 6 (2001): 48-74.


Morris, Paul, Harry Ricketts, and Michael P. Grimshaw. Spirit in a Strange Land : A Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse. Auckland, N.Z.: Godwit, 2002.

Morris, Paul, Harry Ricketts, and Mike Grimshaw. Spirit Abroad : A Second Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse. Auckland, N.Z.: Godwit, 2004.

Web resources

Ministry for Culture and Heritage Anzac Day website –

Official Anzac Day website –

School curriculum resources – Anzac Day – Lest we forget / National events and the NZC / Curriculum resources / Kia ora – NZ Curriculum Online


Sons of Gallipoli | Chris Skinner SM (YouTube video here –

NZ Folk Song * Anzac Day

NZ Folk poems * An Old Gunner’s Poems (Various related songs and poems)

NZ FOLK SONG * Goodnight Ruby

NZ Folk Song * E Ihowa Atua


Maori Television’s Anzac coverage –

New Year’s Day 2014

After a couple of years keeping the blog just ticking over I plan to do more with it this year (which will be it’s 11th year on the go). Really grateful for all the people I’ve met over the years through the blog, particularly while working on the PhD.

I’ll probably spend the next month or so working out quite what to do with it, but hope to be back blogging regularly by the end of January.

End of Days

Last day at the University of Auckland School of Theology today – now on leave until January. Odd kind of day – pretty much no one in the building at all after 1pm when our departmental coordinator left, so when I left at 4pm I locked everything up and turned the lights out. A lot of water under the bridge since I started here six years ago and I’ll miss my colleagues.

Photos below (including Helen’s name on my door now for 2014).