This Tuesday will be four weeks here in Dunedin.

Time is going fast, I suppose. I have been in my flat now for a two weeks, and for the first time tonight I will have flatmates. They have all been away in various places, and three of them arrive home today. The only one I have had any contact with is Jono, and I will meet him tonight when I pick him up from the airport. It will be great to meet the others and have some company in the flat.

Yesterday was the first day of the cricket test match between New Zealand and the West Indies, which happened to coincide with Dunedin having some very nice weather. So I went down there with a young guy Matthew from church and we had a great time. It was so hot I wanted to get my shirt off (I already had my stubbies on) but I didn’t want to be the first person to be topless. So when the 60 year old just down from me whipped his shirt off mine was off in a flash.

Tonight I am going to the ballet! Sophie and Amanda (two of the girls in the family I stayed with for the first couple of weeks) have their end of year performance, so I’m stoked to be able to go along and watch. I don’t know much at all about ballet, so last night Jacqui (mum of the girls) gave me a quick run-down. Actually, when I was staying with them Soph and Amanda taught me a few ballet moves, so I will be able to assess the dancers with a critical eye based on my previous experience.

I have played a couple of games of squash in the last two weeks; I am very sorry to have to say that I was beaten in both of them. Two middle-aged guys taught me a lesson in how to play, and I discovered that I’m not as fit as I think I am; squash is tiring. I’m hoping to improve while I’m down here so that I can thrash any of you who dare challenge me when I get back up (as well as starting to win some games down here).

Church has been going well. I spoke last Sunday on Philippians 3:12 – 4:1, it was about becoming like Christ, so I used a snowboarding metaphor; how when you are snowboarding it is your head movement which helps determine the way you turn.  My point was that just as Paul (the apostle) had his eye on the goal of becoming like Christ, so we needed to keep our eye on that same goal, just as we keep our eye on the direction we want to move in when we are snowboarding. In other church news, I forgot to turn up to a pastoral care meeting on Wednesday because I thought it was at 2.30pm when it was actually an hour earlier. Luckily I escaped without punishment.

One of my fellow students from Carey, Bruce, is at a church down here over summer too. The church is just down the road from mine, and the two churches have a bit to do with each other. My pastor Mike offered my preaching services to Bruce (who was having to preach continuously for three months), so next Sunday (the one before Christmas) I am preaching at their church on the story of Zaccheaus, the man who climbed the tree to see Jesus and then had him back for a meal, even though he was a ‘baddie’; a socially outcast chief tax collector.

Hope everyone is well, I’m thinking of you and missing you.

Ryan

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