Featured Posts

time (zone) travel

September 12, 2021 |

I often dream of travelling back in time.  I love history and think it would be so cool to pop in, here and there.  However, right now, sitting in Auckland’s strictest lockdown yet, it is memories, not dreams, that fill my imagination.  I’ve been reflecting on the great privilege of my working life — spending…

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partnership? yeah, nah!

June 2, 2024 /

The 100% Pure New Zealand website, with its collection of Kiwi slang, describes ‘Yeah, Nah’ in this way: Kiwis are exceptionally agreeable, so even when they want to disagree with you, they’ll throw in a “yeah” as well. Basically, “yeah, nah” is a non-comittal way of saying no. As in: “Do you want to go…

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resonate

May 13, 2024 /

With teaching preaching being a common denominator (almost) throughout my working life, building a library of books has been a serious endeavour. There was some serious joy that flowed last year when they were all brought together, finally—and in alphabetical order, of course… One of the key skills to nurture in preachers is an observation…

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laapataa ladies

May 7, 2024 /

Barby and I took a quick trip back to India last week. We watched the new Bollywood movie, Laapataa Ladies—which translates as Lost Ladies. It is as authentic and immersive an experience of India, in just two hours, that you could wish to have. Well, make that four hours because we watched it twice, with…

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gladness and sadness in cochabamba

April 21, 2024 /

This was my third visit to Cochabamba, in Bolivia. On this occasion we gathered for the annual meeting of our Global Leadership Team (GLT). We like to rotate around the ‘home-places’ of our team members, giving each one the opportunity to offer hospitality. We had planned to go in March 2020, but first visa troubles…

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moving stories

April 17, 2024 /

This month I started my 16th year working with Langham Preaching. It still feels like a “pinch me” reality, as my brother described this work for me this past week. Or, in the words of the Apostle Paul, it has been “a grace given me”… In recent times each year’s highlight has remained unchanged and…

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cuddy: wonderful and weird

April 2, 2024 /

Cuddy is the affectionate name given to St Cuthbert, patron saint of Northumbria, “the birthplace of Christianity in England” (305). Cuddy tells the story of the ‘life’ of his dead body because “his death is far from the end of the story” (122). He was a shepherd-lad from Melrose who was called by God to…

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five days in egypt

March 17, 2024 /

While the start of the first day wasn’t great (with my suitcase not arriving with me!), the next few days in Cairo were filled with things to enjoy and to remember—as always seems to be the case. [NB: in my ‘Featured’ posts on this blog’s home page are memories of earlier visits to Egypt]. a…

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images that teach (5): the lid

February 21, 2024 /

A curious thing happens in our society today. A person who asserts that death is the end and that there is no heaven can still be heard longing that a loved one be ‘looking down from above’. For those with ears to hear, this kind of thing happens quite a lot. What is going on?…

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is there a meaning in this (old) text?

February 6, 2024 /

Today is the day when New Zealanders give special attention to Te Tiriti O Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), the text on which our nation is founded—and signed 184 years ago. But how is it that old texts convey meaning in today’s world? This is a question that is never too far away for interpreters…

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not so with you

January 24, 2024 /

It is sickening. In recent years there have been these waves of stories about spiritual abuse in pastoral leaders. Yes, it is like a wave—building out there in the ocean over many years and then crashing down onto the beach, one after the other. The bigger waves (the ones we hear about) have tended to…

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About Me

paul06.16

the art of unpacking

After a childhood in India, a theological training in the USA and a pastoral ministry in Southland (New Zealand), I spent twenty years in theological education in New Zealand — first at Laidlaw College and then at Carey Baptist College, where I served as principal. In 2009 I began working with Langham Partnership and since 2013 I have been the Programme Director (Langham Preaching). Through it all I've cherished the experience of the 'gracious hand of God upon me' and I've relished the opportunity to 'unpack', or exegete, all that I encounter in my walk through life with Jesus.