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I want to start this post by doing something I would normally be hesitant to do: by quoting the first line of my sermon from last Sunday.

It went like this:

“The first verse of chapter 23 of Deuteronomy says ‘No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.'”

You could say there was a range of reactions from the church. There was some laughter, some blank faces, and a few kids not knowing what to do or say! Mostly bemused laughter. People who would normally be asleep as I talk stayed awake for a couple of extra moments.

I was preaching my third sermon in a series on Deuteronomy, and this one took a look at (some of) the copious amounts of law in Deuteronomy and asked how it applied to our lives today, 3000 years on. I didn’t try and draw any conclusions on that verse though.I was happy to have the Deuteronomy series done because I did find it to be a challenge, although I think that now I am better for it.

The weather has been fantastic recently. Nothing at all to complain about; it has been gorgeous. Since my last post, I have been swimming, and today it was warm enough to be enjoyable! My friend Sophie has been showing me around lots of the local beaches so when I get back home I can feel like I’ve seen a bit of Dunedin. We went out to see the albatross and sea lions the other day, but didn’t manage to sight any albatross.

Unexpectedly (as it wasn’t dusk, which is when they come out of the sea), we did find a penguin. But, as you can see from the picture, it was dead. If you look closely, you will see its spine coming out of its body where its head would normally be. Just thought there might be a few people out there who would want to see a dead penguin.

Dead penguin with spine coming out

Dead penguin with spine coming out

On Wednesday night, I went for dinner with a family from church (the family who donated me my car for the summer). Afterwards Geoff took me mountain biking, which I loved! I was hooning down that hill as fast as I could, managing to stray from the track and introduce myself several times to the local trees. I don’t know quite what happened the final time but I managed to find myself a couple of metres down the hill from the track upside down with my bike on top of me! Every crash was awesome – I was laughing each time but now have a few cuts and bruises to remind me that these things (commonly called accidents) do have consequences. I think I’ve found myself a new sport.

Oh and in other sporting matters, I managed to win my first game of squash! It was a highlight, and left me feeling very satisfied with my progress. Now I’ll have to back it up with another win next week.

Holiday club starts on Monday, so it is all go for that. Tonight I am attending my cousin Gareth’s birthday party – all you can eat restaurant (yeehaa!) followed by laser strike. I hope all that food doesn’t decide to revisit as I’m running round playing laser strike – regurgitated food on the floor could prove to be hazardous to attempts to stay upright.

Hope all is well with you.

Ryan