Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Kiwi Christmas!

Meri Kirihimete from New Zealand! 

     For those of you in the northern hemisphere shivering in the cold and snow, here is a little something to make you smile (or jealous)!  I had the wonderful gift of spending Christmas with the Careys at One Tree Point, about 35 minutes from Whangarei. Nigel and Jae Carey are fellow Nazarene pastors in Dargaville and good friends of mine who invited me to spend Christmas with the whole Carey clan  at their parents' beach house.

    The day was sunny and warm, with the Puhutukawas in full bloom, and children's giggles echoing through the house. Though I am 10,000 miles away from home and family for my favorite holiday, this was not  a bad way to celebrate!  :-) I was absorbed into their family, even getting me presents including a new couch for my new flat back in Whangarei.  Yes, a couch!

 You know, "It takes a long time to grow an old friend."  I've no idea who coined this phrase, but they were right on, and their words have passed through my mind many times since the big move to New Zealand 3.5 months ago.  Before moving to New Zealand, I was living and ministering among "old friends", those whom I really knew and who really knew and understood me.  I was a bit spoiled to be honest. We spoke the common language of shared experience and life together over a number of years.

Now I find myself blessed immensely by friends who may not be "old", but have a similar bond because we are siblings in the global family of God.  There really is a special unity and bond among believers worldwide, and it is all because we have the same Father; we all carry some of our Father's family traits.  In some of my friends I see my Father's eyes, that look that says, "Don't worry;  I see the bigger picture."  At other times I see His mouth in the warm smiles that seem to speak of acceptance and grace.  Even the wrinkles in the foreheads of some reminds  me of my Father God, as if they sing the melody of age-old faithfulness and loyalty.  Whatever it might be, I see the Lord in my brothers and sisters here in New Zealand and know.  .. I am not far from home.


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