8 July 2018

Evonne and I are going away for a couple of weeks driving around the lower North Island in parts we haven’t traveled before.  They’re about the only places we haven’t visited yet in NZ so we’re looking forward to it.  It’s a great country where we are, but having lived in a variety of NZ towns and cities, what we’re really blessed by is having known some wonderful people around the country.

People are so key aren’t they?  The views around NZ can be some of the most spectacular in the world, and that’s speaking without any prejudice; they really are.  But the thing which we often think about is catching up with friends and family living in the various parts of the country.  We think about them, how they’re getting on etc, and no doubt, they think of us.  It’s a really great blessing.

And our local group here of family at First Church is just the same.  There’s something very special about doing life with a bunch of folks who frankly, are thrown together, and yet all have that one thing in common; we love Jesus.  He’s the key in our friendships, in our relationships, in our getting to know one another.  We all come from very different backgrounds with very different life-stories, yet we find ourselves as one.  We all go through ups and downs at times and yet we have one another to lean on and be encouraged.  We can even irritate one another at times, but somehow if we’re willing, we get through it, just like a natural family can do. We also go through great happiness’s and joy which we can share with one another which in turn, gives them joy.  Life here in this part of God’s church family is good, because it is just that, God’s family, warts and all.

So folks, enjoy your relationships here.  Live alongside one another as we come together week-by-week to celebrate life and above all, praise God.  Get to know one another, invite each other over for meals or coffees and begin to understand and experience the fullness of what it is to be the family of God.  It’s good.

So while I’m away only for these two weeks, if you have a need, then please speak to an elder.  They’re only too willing to help or at least point you in the right direction.