Thursday, September 28, 2006

not ashamed youth

Every Monday, I look forward to opening my email and receiving an encouraging email from Andrew of Not Ashamed Youth. I have been getting them since January, when I signed up at Parachute Music Festival to have them emailed to me.

Now, I know that I am really not in the youth category anymore, being nearer my mid-thirties than in my youth - eeek! Did I say that? It hardly seems like yesterday when I was though, and these emails are so worth receiving, see below for what was in this weeks email, so appropriate for what I am going through right now with my parents being in the country.

I especially like how he makes Christianity real, not airy-fairy. It's one of my pet annoyances when people try to make out that following Christ makes you somehow above others, better than them - like that is ever true, after all we are still human!

"Hey Dione!

“I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18

Last weekend I was preaching in the Wellington Promise Keepers youth event called “Transition”. I was preaching on the relationship between fathers and sons (as Transition is an all guys event) and finished up using a clip from Terminator2. It’s the scene half way through the movie where Sarah Connor (the main Character) is watching her son John playing with the Terminator, she says, “Watching John with the machine it was suddenly so clear. The Terminator would never stop, it would never leave him and it would never hurt him. Never shout at Him or get drunk and hit him or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there and it would die to protect him.” I remember watching this movie on TV years back and hearing those words and the thought hit me, “that sums up the Father heart of God.” God is always there for us, He will never leave us, never yell at us, never hurt us, and ultimately He sent His one and only Son to die for us, to save us from our sins that would have led us to our eternal death, He died to protect us. God the Father loves you and me and there is nothing we can do to make Him love us any more or any less, He loves you and me just so incredibly much. I know when I am holding our new baby Abby, my heart is filled with just so much love for her yet that is nothing compared to the love our heavenly Father has for us. I love that saying, “if God had a fridge, your picture would be on it.” Now I don’t know what your relationship is like with your earthly father, you might have an awesome relationship, or there might be stuff there that you need to work through or let go of. You may not even know your Dad, there’s a cool verse in Psalm 68:5 where it talks about God being a “father to the Fatherless” but in it all my hearts prayer is that wherever you are at with stuff that you would truly know that you are loved by your Father in Heaven, that He absolutely adores you and wants the very best for you. So this week make sure you spend some time with your Heavenly Dad because He is wanting to spend time with you. Bless ya heaps and take care,
Andrew. "

Just click here if you want to receive the weekly inspire - it's well worth it!

news|violence in school

Primary teachers say we're at risk too
28 September 2006

Children as young as five with severe behavioural problems are committing extreme violence against primary teachers and other pupils, teachers say. Other young kids with gang affiliations are turning up to class drunk, or high on cannabis or P, and being encouraged to deal drugs to classmates.

The claims emerged at yesterday's New Zealand Educational Institute annual conference – a day after secondary school teachers spoke out about spiralling classroom violence, labelling schools "battlegrounds". The Secondary Principals Association has called for violent pupils to be removed from schools rather than teachers having to act as social workers.

Education Minister Steve Maharey said parents were not setting clear boundaries for children's behaviour. Addressing classroom violence is a "top priority" for the Government.

Kawakawa school teacher Noeline Lemon said violence and disruptive behaviour was affecting primary teachers' health, as disruptive children increased in numbers, from new entrants to year 8. Some teachers were resigning because of stress.

Hawke's Bay special education adviser Vicki Vaughan said the growing problem of pupils exhibiting dangerous behaviour stemmed from a "dearth" of good parenting skills. Schools needed more resources to safely deal with violent kids. "We're getting children in preschool who are acting out – kids who are so violent that teachers can't restrain them. "These students have cognitive, physical and emotional delay. They place teachers and peers at risk and their behaviours have significant impact on the learning opportunities of other students." Ms Vaughan said she worked with primary and intermediate pupils who "aspire to and are being recruited to the Mongrel Mob". They were encouraged by adults to use and sell drugs at school and wanted to wear gang colours to class.

NZEI national executive member Ian Leckie said primary teachers were being kicked, bitten and threatened daily. Many felt unsafe in their classrooms.

"Teachers are in danger if there are not sufficient supports available for severe behavioural difficulties."

Mr Maharey said parents needed to set clearer behavioural boundaries for children. Severely violent pupils should be dealt with by police and removed from schools. The Government had invested millions of dollars in specialist teachers and resources to tackle behavioural problems, but more was needed.

"Social issues can't be dumped at the doors of schools."

I agree that social issues can't be dumped at the doors of schools, but Steve Maharey, they are being dumped there - SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Schools are like social glasshouses, if you want to see where our society is headed just take a look at our primary schools. Bullying is a huge issue - one that can't be fixed by just putting a sticking plaster over the problem. My 8 year old daughter came home from school last year with finger mark impressions on her neck. She has high functioning autism and now attends a satellite class through a "special school" because our government can't/won't fund enough teacher aide help for her to be able to attend a mainstream school. She is not violent - although she does have impaired social developmental delay, and I realise the above article is not about her as such. Yet, something has to be done. Teachers should not be afraid to teach, and children should not be afraid of going to school.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

* potential *

* possible, as opposed to actual
* capable of being or becoming
* possibility; potentiality
* a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed
* someone or something that is considered a worthwhile possibility
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

On Sunday, God impressed the word "potential" upon me - just one word - but a word that means many different things to me. Some negative, as in "Dione has lots of potential, but lacks motivation" as written in many school reports growing up. Some positive, as in potential meaning gifted with many talents, therefore having the ability to make a difference. And I think that God meant for me to take it both ways - a wake-up call and a reminder that He has given me many gifts and talents - He wants me to use them, to make a difference. WAKE UP - stop wallowing in the grief of the past, what kind of parent's my parent's were or weren't - GET OVER IT!

Since Sunday, I have had this word reverberate in my brain - can't get rid of it, it won't leave me alone. So I am going to let it. I am ready to let go of the past, and live in the now, preparing for a future when I can use my talents (my potential). I AM GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I WILL NOT BE AFRAID ANY LONGER!!! I am now more afraid of what will happen if I don't do this... Fear of rejection, of mankind, of "what will people think" has held me back for far too long.

So meet the new me...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

INTEREST|Reverse graffiti confounds authorites

Paul "Moose" Curtis creates his art by erasing dirt from public surfaces. 200609131246

British authorities aren’t sure what to make of the artist who is creating graffiti by cleaning the grime of urban life. The Leeds City Council has been considering what to do with Moose. "I’m waiting for the kind of Monty Python court case where exhibit A is a pot of cleaning fluid and exhibit B is a pair of my old socks," he jokes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

NEWS|Wars 'robbing youths of school'

Children at a school in Ivory Coast
Only a small number of children in conflict zones enjoy an education

At least 43 million children around the world are unable to go to primary school because of armed conflicts, according to a new report.

Save the Children organisation has launched a global campaign aimed at pressuring world leaders into helping deprived youths into formal education.

The charity wants to get three million children into education by 2010.

Universal primary education by 2015 was one of the Millennium Development Goals signed in 2000 by world leaders.

According to Save the Children, any efforts to increase opportunities for children's education will end in failure if the millions living in conflict zones are not given the same opportunities as those in more peaceful areas.

States affected by conflict will by their nature have more to achieve to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Save the Children says.

While the proportion of women and children among civilians injured or killed in war remains high - at approximately 80%, according to Unicef - the amount of educations aid that reaches those caught up in conflict remains low, Save the Children says.

Without extra aid, dedication and political will, the charity says, few of the millions of children currently out of school will ever receive an education.

Failing states

The countries with the worst education records also have unhappy histories of conflict in recent years.

In Somalia, which remains without a functioning central government, more than 89% of children are not in school.

Mary, a Sudanese schoolgirl

That figure is far worse than even other poorly-performing states, but the numbers remain unacceptable to the charity.

In DR Congo, which recently held democratic elections in the hope of sealing an end to a long-running conflict, just 35% of children attend school.

In Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world, 41.7% of children are out of school, according to figures collated by the charity.

And in Nepal, where a Maoist insurgency has dominated rural life for a decade, almost 27% of children are not being educated.

In Angola, Save the Children estimates that as much as $180m (£97m) is needed to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

Rights and wrongs

Rewrite the Future, due to be launched in 40 countries simultaneously, demands that national governments focus on providing facilities for children's' education.

It will also call on major international aid donors and humanitarian agencies to prioritise education provision in times of conflict and conflict resolution.

Key demands of the campaign include:

  • An emphasis on training teachers and improving standards, as well as ensuring that children and teachers are protected from armed violence
  • Increasing the numbers of children, especially girls, in education
  • Teach human rights and promote justice in the school curriculum
  • Ensure that a percentage of funds raised by the UN during emergencies is ring-fenced for education


Somalia 1,580,000 89.2
DR Congo 5,290,000 65.2
Sierra Leone 431,000 59.1
East Timor 75,000 58.6
Eritrea 312,000 57.1
Central African Republic 354,000 57.0
Ethiopia 5,994,000 53.1
Sudan 2,405,000 51.1
Republic of Congo 292,000 47.6
Burundi 536,000 46.5
Haiti 572,000 45.6
Chad 577,000 41.7
Pakistan 7,813,000 39.3
Angola 533,000 38.5
Guinea 493,000 38.1
Nigeria 7,662,000 38.1
Cote d'Ivoire 955,000 36.2
Afghanistan 1,139,000 33.3
Liberia 142,000 30.1
Papua New Guinea 231,000 27.0
Nepal 1,049,000 26.8
Iraq 818,000 22.2
Uganda 1,068,000 21.1
Uzbekistan 491,000 19.7
Zimbabwe 498,000 19.5
Burma 968,000 18.1
Rwanda 206,000 15.7
Cambodia 301,000 13.6
Colombia 497,000 10.6
Sri Lanka 22,000 1.4

Source: Save the Children

Monday, September 11, 2006

sad story - NZer's corpse may have lain in Sydney home for two years

09 September 2006

A New Zealand man may have been lying dead in his Sydney apartment for nearly two years, a report today suggested.

Mitchell Nodier, in his 50s, was found dead and badly decomposed when police broke into a three-storey Housing Department unit in The Rocks area of central Sydney yesterday morning, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.

Police said the remains were lying on the floor and an autopsy would be performed over the weekend.

Resident Ron Quinn said he had last seen Mr Nodier nearly two years ago.

"The last time I saw Mitch was about 21 months ago when I lent him $20 to buy seed for the lorikeets that he fed from his window.

"I started slipping notes under his door asking for the money back but never saw him again."

Mr Quinn said Mr Nodier's letters had piled up in the foyer but neither he nor other residents of the seven-unit block thought it was unusual, thinking Mr Nodier might have "gone bush" or have been in jail – he had told them he had been to jail before.

"You know, the windows have been open up there the entire time and the lights have been on while he had been gone," Mr Quinn said.

The discovery follows a June Housing Department audit of 60,000 tenant which found others dead in their homes.


today's verse

Isaiah 46:4 (New International Version)

4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

just another bad day...

I feel like the Krystal Meyers song - below - says it all.

I am tired of dealing with people, the stress of family, friends etc. Life shouldn't feel this hard - will it always be this way? I'm tired, sad, and a million other emotions at the same time. I don't feel like fighting for what I believe in anymore - just too tired. Not sure if I even want to post this even. It leaves me feeling bare and open. I want to crawl under a rock and hide. I hate confrontation - especially when hurtful words are spoken.


Disconnected from it all
The weight of the world
Has pushed me to the wall...
I surrender
To you I'm giving in
Come take me
Save me
I want to start again
I'll open my broken heart
'Cause I've reached the end
And you are the way to begin"

The Way To Begin

- Krystal Meyers

Dear God
It's me again down here
Don't wanna sound insincere
I'm lost
Sometimes you're so unclear
What can I do?
I'm feeling so far from you

Disconnected from it all
The weight of the world
Has pushed me to the wall

I surrender
To you I'm giving in
Come take me
Save me
I want to start again
I'll open my broken heart
'Cause I've reached the end
And you are the way to begin

I've seen a million empty smiles
Living in denial
I don't wanna live like that
Where nothing's real
I hate how it is to feel

Disconnected from it all
I'm breaking
I'm aching for something beautiful


All the riches in this world
Couldn't fill this great big hole
It takes something so much more
Only you can take me
You can make me whole


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

News - Education officials scrap plan for religion crackdown

1.00pm Monday September 4, 2006
The Education Ministry has backtracked on plans to issue guidelines that would have highlighted a ban on religion in state primary and intermediate schools.
The guidelines would have made it clear to schools that prayers or Christian karakia in primary schools would have been illegal in most circumstances under the Education Act.
But principals, Bishops and opposition MPs all criticised the proposed guidelines as unworkable and unnecessary.
A spokesman for Education Minister Steve Maharey today told NZPA the plan, which the ministry had developed independently, had been canned.
Last month the ministry said it had come up with the guidelines in response to a "modest stream" of complaints from parents.
The advice reiterated that religious education and observance were illegal in primary schools' normal hours under the 1964 Education Act.
Since 1877 such activities have only been able to take place on a voluntary basis, when normal classes are closed.
Education Ministry senior manager Martin Connelly said the new guidelines clarified schools' legal obligations under the Education Act.
It also proposed a change so students no longer had to be formally excused from religious activities. Instead their parents would have to request they be included.
The guidelines said "whole of school" religious activities, such as prayers at assemblies, should be avoided as they may put indirect pressure on pupils to participate.
A briefing paper presented to MPs said overtly religious karakia were okay in kura kaupapa as long as parents were advised they were part of the institution's special character.
This was because they were inextricably intertwined with Maori culture and custom.
It was also accepted that the teaching of Maori culture to other primary students could also have an element of religion as long parents were warned in advance.
Officials said the guidelines were merely advice, but schools were still free to make their own decisions.
However critics said the guidelines were confusing and decisions should be left to schools and their communities.
- NZPA (

interesting... I wonder what they would have done to our national anthem?!? scrap it?? School's couldn't possibly sing it at assemblies because it would be forcing "religion" on the innocent children's minds

God Defend New Zealand

Māori Version

E Ihoā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whaka rongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hë
Māu e whakaahu kë,
Kia ora mārire

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū a tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tana tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;

English Version

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nation's van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.