Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Random Week

Its been an up and down week or two for me.

The down first, I got the dreaded tummy bug last tuesday night. Consequently spent Wednesday and Thursday wishing I was dead, even after the worst had past.. it has taken till today to truely feel over it all.

On to the Up! ..
Church and Biblestudy have been great, and the people there are my 'home away from home'. Of note: Bevan (73yr old widow) invited me round for lunch after church on Sunday. He cooked up a quality.. ah.. bachelors meal. Which I enjoyed but more to the point we had some really good chats about his life, Ashburton and our church. Truthfully his meal was better than anything I'd have cooked that day, I am thankful for any meal that contains 3 veg!!.. I mean. one is a good start, right..

I have started leading the Yr8-10 guys and girls on Friday nights and Sunday morning. My first week went really well and I am excited for a few upcoming things:
i) The series I'm running through on Mark
ii) Easter Camp.. with kids from all over NZ. Promises to be a crazy event!
iii) Youthgroup night out in two weeks to the Crusaders v Waratahs match. Go the 'Tahs!

David Jensen, Minister, continues to be a great encouragement to me. It is clear he cares for each and every person who walks through the doors.

Other thoughts..
I'm still a massive fan of expensive ice cream with frozen chocolate topping. Life's little pleasures can only get so good!

Ricky Ponting: Cricket's answer to Mohammad Ali

Massage Therapy.. 1hr a week. I can't quite express how much this has improved my experience of NZ.

keep it real people

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hampstead vs Burnham

Very glad to report that we had a good, clean win this week down at the Burnham Military Base.

The boys came together well in the forwards even though passages of the first 20min were a little disjointed. Burnham opened up with some promising good hard running but some good attacking play and tactical kicking lead by captain courageous, Siola Fifita, kept us camped inside the opposition twenty-two.

After a disallowed try touched down by Christmas, Siola then crossed for the first points with a spearing dart between the Burnham centres.

Flankers Canadian Dave and Satisi Taufa were solid in defence and as always Lua was a cement truck with the brakes disabled.

I did get my first try in NZ, very glad to get one before the season started. Classic situation, short ball off Outside Centre Steve Paese 40m from the line..

The game finished 12-5 as the wind was strong down the centre and the second half turned into a defensive marathon. New recruit
Brian Parsons (BP) had a sure footed run in the second half showing signs of promise for what looks like a very smooth backline.

Back in the clubhouse the Burnham cooks supplied a quality greasy meal to satisfy the hungers and we watched the Brumbies falter to the Blues. Indeed paying the price for sending Giteau to the Commonwealth Games.

Anyway, photos below.

1. Scrum time
2. My Bodyguards - Simone and Lua
3. Rakaia Hotel on the way home.. nice.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hampstead vs Harlequins

It was a sorry day for Rugby over here.

The game was called off at 35mins due to fighting. There's not too much to say really. As far as I'm concerned there are 2 reasons why people play sport.
i) To enjoy the game (contest) and have fun.
ii) To win.

I don't mind which motivation someone may have to play, but it was clear yesterday that a third reason had come up on the bus from South Canterbury.. To hurt, break and destroy anyone that was within arms (or boot) distance. I got rucked in the back of the head.. Francis didn't take that too well, then another guy got kicked.. and our boys again responded with a flurry of fists. Then after two more blews .. (This was all in 10mins) the referree gave one final notice.. after which Lua flatened their no.8 in the very next tackle.

Below: Lua isn't small...

Game over.

For the record we were up 7-0.

After such a hollow and disappointing start to the day it was quite interesting to see how the teams still managed to shower.. get changed and socialise for 3 hours after the incident.. I could hardly believe it.

Francis and Myself at the clubhouse

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sick Day

Called in sick today..

Got an extra 5 hrs sleep, feeling a thousand times better than i have all week. Though the reason I'm home is that I corked my thigh on Alipati's knee and my leg turned into an over-cooked hot cross bun. The good news is that i've booked myself into a 1hr massage for 2pm.. pure joy.

Sunrise, that I usually miss, this morning was sensational. Didn't get out of bed for it, it was too cold and I was having enough trouble rolling over let alone rolling out! So i just took a photo from my pillow. I can enjoy God's gifts from bed, brilliant.

ps. pure coincidence that the Kiwi's vs Windies Test match is on today.
I swear..

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thoughts from Above

I have found a great church to be part of, praise God.

Ashburton Baptist is only a 5-10 min walk from my house and I have been going for about a month. The men have been very welcoming and I have joined the mens group on Monday nights 7:30pm.
(I'll have to go straight from the gym.. but it is a men's group)

One thought from Sunday..
A quote from the wall in the prayer room at church:

"Let your heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God."

Something to mull over and summed up by my new thought -
Holy Discontent

i'm sure it has roots in something one of the great Godly men that have taught me may have said,.. (Ken Moser, J Moff, The Strut and Diggers, and now David Jenson, my new minister)
For me, I concentrate a lot on being content with MY life.. but I don't spend enough (if any) time thinking about what God is not content with in this world and how I interact with it.

example, God says Deut 5:16 "Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

For us we relate to the land as heaven right.. but when I'm not honouring my parents God's heart is being broken. He blessed me with loving, generous parents after all!


Hampstead vs Temuka

We had our first game of the year on Sunday..
(never had a Sunday game before ?!)

Long story short we won 52-12, a great start to the season. Many of us have never played together, so despite our obvious problems (fitness for the last 15mins) we were all quite happy. Sorry, no photos - will fix that for next week.

I kicked 5 from 7.. but could do alot better.
Felt good to finally get a run after almost two months of running around and wondering why!

Next week - Harlequins.
This will be a much harder game with a lot more islanders in the opposition side. Testing times I'm sure


Little Ash

One of the great blessings to come to the family in the last year has been the birth of Ash Gray. She's a lively one.. full of funny faces and plenty of character. I'm sure everyone's first thought is 'cute'.

Sadly, I won't be seeing much of Ash, but D does send photos regularly. Here are a couple which I love. She will turn the ripe old age of 1 on April 11.

I'm sure it will be a big bash! A

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Pre-season Training

Our first pre season game is tomorrow, we've been having fun trying to get fit for what will be a long season by the time I'm done during October.

Here are just a few of the guys, L to R
Sisi (Francis) Ula, Manasse Nonu and Dave Nielsen. Davey has come from Canada to learn the southern hemisphere game. He's in the Canadian U/21's so keep an eye out for him in the future.
Both Francis and Manasse have played for Tonga. I can tell you, trying to move Francis at training is harder than trying to pick up a car and throw it! I'm glad he's on my team. Below is just a fun pick after some touch a few weekends ago.