Bits and Pieces from Neil Stiller

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

G-day, and welcome to my . . . well, it's my home pages really.
But I think the contents are far too ramshackle, haphazard, jumbled, to be called a home.
Maybe BITS AND PIECES is more appropriate.  Yet, despite the haphazardness, it wouldn't surprise me if a common theme could be detected running through most of the stuff here.
Anyway, I have grouped these bits and pieces on pages with the following menu headings:


imagesI see a big gap between the times and the society in which the Bible was written and the world in which we live our lives today.
Yet, I stand in awe at the way the Word of God, written so long ago, still speaks God's message of mercy and love to us today.
But that awe doesn't include the way in which I, and the church, is usually communicating that message to the world in which we now live.
I wonder if the way I'm approaching the Bible is really enabling, or freeing, books written centuries ago to speak to our world today.
On this page I look at the Bible in general, and then at the first 11 chapters of Genesis.


On this page there are some bits and pieces that I hope may enable worshipers to relate better to what goes on in liturgical worship. I know all kinds of worship resources are available these days. Yet there are some I haven't been able to find. So I jumped in and developed them myself.
For as long as I can remember, I have thought it's an advantage to know what theme best ties together the readings used in each Sunday's worship service.  I mean a theme that proclaims God's GOOD NEWS for that particular worship service.
Over time I have come up with themes for every Festival and Sunday in the 3-year Lectionary.  I'm happy to share the results of that work.  Particularly to help those involved in PLANNING worship services.  AND to assist those attending worship to PREPARE themselves for worship at the coming service.

I have also looked in detail at the PSALMS chosen for each Sunday.  It struck me again and again how profound is the faith, the praise, and the prayer that radiates from the Psalms.
But often that doesn’t actually happen when these psalms are used in worship.  The worshipper may even get the impression, from the language and pictures used in these psalms, that they don’t really speak to the situation, or even the faith, of those gathered for worship.
I have been hoping for a long time to find some kind of adaption of these wonderful prayers and songs of praise so that they clearly shout out the faith of those who have used them in the past.  But that hope hasn't been fulfilled.
So I’ve taken the bull by the horns and reworked all the psalms used in worship, trying to make them a little more up-to-date and usable in Christian (as opposed to Old Testament) worship.  Of course, you may regard my efforts as a complete waste of time.  And that may be true.  But that doesn’t depress me at all – because in the process taking the bull by his horns has given me one of the rides of my life!

And I've been looking for more resources for PERSONAL PRAYER AND WORSHIP.  So I have made some slight adaptions to the adaptions I have made to encourage the use of psalms in personal worship.
There is also an order for Prayer at the end of the day, called COMPLINE, which has been used in monastic communities for ages. I have found this of benefit as before-bed prayers. So I have adapted this order for personal use.

I've also made the LORD'S PRAYER somewhat 'pictorial' to help me pray this prayer, rather than just saying it.


I know newspapers are getting very old-fashioned these days.  But nothing beats the detailed and extensive picture of human society that newspapers give.  Just think what we may learn if we happened to discover a newspaper from, for example, BIBLICAL times.
Well, why not??
All it takes is a bit of imagination.
On this page there are newspapers that will take you into the daily lives of Jesus, and his disciples.  And into some other situations involving people in the Old Testament.
And even into the town of WITTENBERG at Martin Luther's time some 1500 years after Jesus.

And if the situation makes newspapers too hard to imagine, the personal diaries of people can come to our rescue.
Some of my bits and pieces imagine the discovery of diaries kept by people like Abraham and Moses and Joshua.

I find prophets to be the most intriguing people of all.  Imagine what their personal diaries would be like!  Imagine what we'd learn about how they tick.  And about their personal relationship with God.


images-5The PARABLES Jesus told are great stories. Many of us almost know them backwards.  But sometimes the incidents in the lives of the characters in the parable are hard for us to understand because they don't depict incidents from our lives today.  And we end up listening to an explanation of the parable instead of the parable itself.  So I've tried to find situations from life today that are comparable to the stories Jesus told.

As I read Paul's LETTERS in the New Testament I often imagine what it would have been like to be there in the congregation to hear a message from St Paul.  Recently my imagination did a back flip.  I imagined what it would be like to actually receive a letter -- no, a series of emails -- from St Paul now, to hear his message to me and to the Adelaide congregation in which I worship.
Well, recovery from recent surgery and the stay-at-home instructions regarding the COVID-19 virus allowed my imagination free rein.  My back-flipping imagination set to work to re-address his letters to me.
Anyway, I thought I'd share the results with you.  Even if these results may be little more than boredom relief - for me and for you.

 No, don’t ignore this page.  It MAY be that you could join me in enjoying these challenging and enjoyable CRYPTIC puzzles.  Or you may make a firm decision to forget about them forever.  Either way, you will find out why I enjoy them.

Finally a collection of SHORT STORIES.  

I wrote them just for the fun of it.  Most of them, though, also have a serious intention.  And that's the main reason for including them in these pages.


BY THE WAY, these bits and pieces are what happens:
- when a Lutheran Pastor retires in Adelaide,
close to the 'headquarters' of his church;
- when he needs a break from gardening;
- when he has some time between wood-carving projects;
- when it's too hot or too cold to muck around in the shed;
- when he has 'misplaced' his wife's list of jobs to be done;
- when he has overlooked the requests made by his grandkids to go to places and do things;
- when he needs more than cryptic crossword puzzles to keep his brain active;
So . . . the lesson you might take from this page is

7 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces from Neil Stiller

  1. Very straightforward and clear to get to all your writings. You have done a lot when you list them all like the above. I must get Sonia to have a look. She may have a comment or two to make.
    I also am pleased to say that I have already read all these writings and they are all very enjoyable. Anyone who wants to attempt them will enjoy the read.


  2. Thanks Neil,
    I look forward to using your work for reflection and enlightenment.
    I’m assuming you have not put copyright on your work, but of course I will attempt to note you as the author and source. I plan to share your ‘Bethlehem News’ in the Advent Christmas season.
    God bless, Peter Hage (St Mark’s Mount Gravatt, QLD)


  3. Wow what a find, I was just browsing the lca worship pages when your page popped up.
    Thank you for this valuable resource. We have printed off the 2nd Bethlehem edition to share with all at our Carols night this Saturday, and commandeered a small space under the editorial for our Christmas Service times. I look forward to using your work for lent and Easter.
    blessings Kerry Groch Pastoral Care Worker Our Saviour Rochedale Qld


  4. Best resources website I have come across and it’s all for free. Thank you so much. I teach in a Lutheran School and we need more of these engaging resources, which also boost literacy.


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