Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru

Appreciating the New Zealand 2014 General Election – Our First

2014 general election nz
John Key of National Party waving to his supporters (Photo grabbed from Stuff.co.nz video)

Yesterday, 20 September 2014, we cast our votes, our historic first participation in New Zealand’s general election.

Towards noon, I and Jewel and Jadyn tarrying along trooped to the voting place, which is at the Waimataitai School Social hall.

We’re glad it’s just over a 100 metres away from where we live.

There were no long queues when we arrived. There’s just one person before me.

I really admired how the person distributing the ballots just simply asked “Are you this person?” (pointing to my name on the Easyvote card).

No ID card, no in-depth scrutiny, no request for person to verify my identity.

Our voting lasted for less than five minutes as there were only two circles to tick, one for party vote and the other for electoral representative.

What’s really amazing and admirable is that the results came out on the late night of the same day.

Towards midnight with 99% of results in, I watched John Key giving his victory speech.

His acknowledging and thanking his strong rival, David Cunliffe of Labour Party for calling him and conceding defeat made the process very honourable.

Such is the gift of democracy, administered well in the spirit of freedom and honesty by the people and government of New Zealand.

Coming from a country where in some places the election conduct is quite the opposite, our first New Zealand general election is like a breath of fresh air.

It is my prayer and hope that Kiwis will always cherish and preserved the democratic and honour system that we migrants appreciate.

Congratulations John Key and the National Party! Congratulations to all participating parties!

Congratulations New Zealand!

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Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, Mission

How I Wish Everyone Would Just “Love Your Neighbours as Yourself”

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Seeing a video on Facebook about how thieves (called ‘sliders’) operate in the US sparked my wishful thinking.

Indeed, when we love our neighbour as we love ourselves, there’s always peace and order in the community.

Committing to this law is much much cheaper than building a fence or installing a state-of-the-art security surveillance system.

Real estate developers in the Philippines try to recreate a neighbourhood and make “peace and order”, “security” and “safety” as their primary selling point. Some would even attach the term “exclusive community”.

A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window remained untouched.
A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window but his car remained untouched through the night.

We thank the Lord for making it possible for us to live in a community where neighbourhood values are very strong.

A schoolmate who lived in downtown Auckland, parking on the street for the night forgot to close his car window. He was so happy nothing was lost nor his car was ever touched.

Well, we could say he was just lucky.

How about these.

We were living in Forrest Hill, Auckland and we were about to sleep at past 10:00 PM when someone knocked on our door.

It was our Korean neighbour. She apoligised for disturbing us. Then she told us that we left our car door open.

Yes it was wide open because our 7-year-old forgot to close it after getting off the car and we’re just parking on the street.

Living in Timaru now, one of our Kiwi friends noticed how I would unlock and lock the door when he comes to visit.

I told him that it’s been a habit in the Philippines to always keep the door locked even if we’re in the house.

There was a time we get off my car as I parked on the side street. Then I locked the doors. He said out loud, “Oh Jonan, you don’t trust your neighbours?”

I blushed a bit and laughed telling him, “It’s just a hard habit to break, mate.”

Well, these are just bits and pieces of why New Zealand is the safest country in the world.

I do believe when people bind the law “Love your neighbour as yourself” in their hearts there would be much peace and order in the community.

In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru

One Year of Living in Timaru

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

Living in Timaru at Trafalgar Street

Today, 14 August 2013, marks our one year of living in Timaru.

Lord Jesus, thank you for being our Rock in a weary land,
our Shelter in the time of storm.

Dear friends and family, thank you for all your prayers and support.

Many believe that Timaru comes from Māori Te Maru, which means ‘place of shelter’. Indeed, Timaru has been a significant shelter for us.

PRAISE GOD, FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW;
PRAISE HIM, ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW;

PRAISE HIM ABOVE, YE HEAVENLY HOST;
PRAISE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST. AMEN.

Posted in Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, South Canterbury living

Work Scheme to Repay Victims of Young Offenders Works Well in Timaru

 

I’m impressed by how the Timaru community redeems the offenders and victims through the work scheme.

Through joint administration of the Child Youth and Family, Timaru District Council and Barnabas Trust, the teenage offenders get paid doing manual jobs around the community such as trimming edges and painting fences.

The money they earned goes to the victims for damages done. Victim Support administers the payment to victims.

I believe it’s a tough project to undertake but retribution has very priceless results for offenders, victims and most of all for Timaru community.

Please click on the image below to read the full article I scanned from The Timaru Herald.

Congratulations to the organisations involved in perpetuating this program. Congratulations Timaru for this noble project!

redeeming the youth

You can read the article on the web too.

Click this link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/8950532/Editorial-Now-this-is-real

Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, South Canterbury living

Tribute to God’s Awesome Goodness

 

As we celebrate our second winter in New Zealand, we remember how good our God is.  In June 2012, we were praying and waiting for the job that’s pivotal to our getting residence visa.

Our 9-month work-to-residence visa was ending 10 August 2012, barely two months then.

God’s Mighty hand at work, He moved people, caused events to happen, and guided us to a places where He wanted us to be.

So, we always thank the Father for the things that He has done and for the things He’s yet to do.

Thank you Lord for being doubly good.

We are also forever grateful to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been with us in our faith journey.

Please watch the video my wife created —Beautiful Sights of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand

 

SONG CREDIT: “Doubly Good to You” by Amy Grant

Posted in Autumn New Zealand, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, South Canterbury living

Autumn Leaf Colours – Salute to Life’s Death Rehearsals

 

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

south canterbury autumn

autumn in timaru

It’s autumn in South Canterbury. The marvelous burst of colours that autumn gives to the surroundings is quite amazing.

As we delight at how autumn changes the scenery from lush green to yellow, red, or gold, we all know that eventually the leaves would become crisp brown.

Then the cold south wind will blow the leaves away. Falling to the ground, the autumn leaf colours will soon be gone.

Yes we all know that the radiant autumn leaf colours are there momentarily. We could look at it as nature’s last hurrah or salute to the coming of winter.

I can’t forget what one of my theology professor told us in class one day. He said that everyday we must rehearse death to ready us for the appointed time.

new zealand autumn

Quoting Psalm 44:22, the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 8:36 “As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Are you aware that indeed we rehearse death daily?

Isn’t that when we fall asleep at night, as we close our eyes and fall into deep slumber, we rest whatever ‘life’ we had when we were awake.

Of course, we’re alive, breathing and just having a good night sleep but who really knows whether we will be awake the following morning? Only God knows!

It is only through His mercy and grace that we are alive both physically and spiritually.

Our greatest consolation is that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is really great that when we are in the ‘autumn’ of our daily lives, we call on to Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord so we can calmly live through the ‘deepest winter’ of our lives.

My thoughts and prayers to all of us who are facing life’s deepest ‘winters’. May the Lord God Almighty strengthen us all as we face sorrow, pain, and other difficulties. May the Holy Spirit protect and guide us all now and in the days ahead. Amen.

Timaru Botanical Garden

PHOTO CREDIT: Autumn is Awesome by Diane King

Posted in Faith, Inspirational, Lent, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, South Canterbury living

Relevance of Jesus Christ in my Life

relevance of jesus christ

Recognising my sinfulness and the fact that I cannot do anything on my will and effort to cleanse me from all unrighteousness make Jesus Christ relevant and important.

As if my spirit was an old rusty and squeaky wheel in need of repair and replacement. And through the cleansing blood of Jesus, I am now redeemed, renewed and truly living.

Acknowledging my need for a Saviour, I found the answer to the question “How can the death of Jesus Christ be ransom for all?

The lyrics of “He Look Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need” express my sentiments so well that I’m always touched listening and singing this song.

Amazing grace shall always be my song of praise,
for it was grace that brought my liberty;
I do not know just why He came to love me so,
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.

Chorus

I shall forever life mine eyes to Calvary,
to view the cross where Jesus died for me,
how marvelous the grace that caught my falling soul;
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.

If you’re still wondering about the redeeming power of the cross, take time to reflect…see your sinfulness, repent, receive and believe that Jesus Christ is your only Saviour and Lord.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Old Rusty Wheel by Ross Waugh