Sunday, August 26, 2012

Washing dishes = fun?

Can washing hundreds of dishes be fun? My answer is "YES!" when you do it with people you love!
Saturday night our little church served at the 120th anniversary banquet of the Salvation Army, celebrating their faithful service to the Whangarei community in Jesus' name.

 There's something to be said for working together, getting your hands dirty and pouring in a little elbow grease to get a job done.  We had good 'clean' fun serving food,washing dishes, and rejoicing that God's people have lived out His love in tangible ways!

And as usual, our weekly Kids Club was a huge success again last night!  We continue to find creative ways to study Fruits of the Spirit, as described in Galatians 5, with the kiddos. We'll even be hosting "Kids Club's Got Talent" in a month's time, giving our youngsters an opportunity to display and use their God-given gifts and talents.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Genuine Community

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) dwell together in unity."
~  Psalm 133:1

Kids Club
Genuine community is something that should be experienced among Christian brothers and sisters.
 After all, we are our Father's children, with the same head of household and same spiritual DNA.  A beautiful picture of God's love and care is painted for the world when God's people live out love together IN community, in THEIR community, and FOR THE SAKE OF community.
Kids Club
I took a deep breath, sat back and marvelled at how the Father God filled our little church with a real sense of His Spirit this Wednesday night.  What began as a typical weekly Bible study became a place where genuine love was poured out among each one present, as confession, forgiveness and community took place.  I have no doubts that Jesus was pleased with our conversations, study of His Word, and good old "helping a brother/sister out". We all found deeper meaning of what it means to live as God's holy people . . .together.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rock Solid- Mini Olympics!

Rock Solid has been the topic of a few blog posts over the last year, probably because it is a ministry I so enjoy! Every Thursday I have the privilege of joining with good friends and fellow ministers in Dargaville to hang out with intermediate kids, act like I'm 12, and show Christ's love right in the middle of it!

Last night was no different. We hosted our own little 'mini Olympics' complete with straw javelin throwing, dwarf racing, cotton ball shot put, and of course a bit of pie throwing to lend our support for Scottie's birthday! (Thanks, Jae for all the great game ideas!)

Last night also marked the start of "Discovering Jesus" a smaller discipleship group designed for those students who want to know what it really means to know Jesus on a personal level.  Discovering Jesus meets for an hour prior to our regular Rock Solid activity nights.  4 youth attended Discovering Jesus for the first time last night; would you pray for these kids?  Pray that their eyes would be opened and hearts softened to God's love, that they would choose to follow Him and experience the victorious and hope-filled life that Christ offers, and as a result, change the families and communities in which they live.

Monday, August 13, 2012

No growth in the comfort zone?

Out my kitchen window. winter!
"There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone."

 I don't know who coined this phrase, but there is great truth to it.  Transitions always make me a bit uncomfortable, but they are nothing to fear. As a missionary I'm slowly learning the art of adaptability. . .fully aware that mastery of such an art form will probably take a lifetime! :-)

Sunday "Welcome Back" shared lunch
Time back in Olathe was wonderful, affirming, and to be honest, quite comfortable. But to stay in my comfort zone would be my demise. The mercy of God sends me into the realm of dependency upon Him, for that is where my faith is strengthened and consequently, my relationship with Him. The closer to Christ I am tethered, the safer I am in the storms of life.  So you see, the "uncomfort zone" is really the most secure place for a child of God.

As I settle back into life here in Whangarei, New Zealand I must beware of growing too comfortable even here.  What about you?  Is Proverbs 3:5-6 true of you today:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."
 (New Living Translation)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Heading back to New Zealand

It has been a truly blessed 3 weeks here in Olathe, Kansas and I have enjoyed every minute of it!  In a few moments I will once again board a plane headed west, with the intentions of landing back in Auckland, New Zealand in 2 days' time, followed by a bus trip home to Whangarei.

The "revolving door" that seems to be a necessity in the life of a missionary has once again begun to turn, and as I say good-bye to dear friends and family, it never gets any easier. Please enjoy a few more photos from time here in Olathe.

Lord willing, you'll hear from me soon after arrival back in the Aotearoa, "The Land of the long White Cloud."