Friday, 29 October 2004

October Blog

It is now just over six weeks since I posted this website. There has already been some encouraging feedback from various places around the world. That has been most welcome. I do appreciate hearing from you and will endeavour to respond to all.

The top photograph on the home page was taken in the north of New Zealand and shows the Hokianga Harbour, on the shores of which we had our first retirement home, and where we had eleven memorable years. There we were blessed by an almost constant flow of people, who came to visit or to stay with us, some for fellowship, some to ask us questions or to seek our counsel, and others just dropping in for a chat. We trusted Father to bring those He chose to bring, and we were often amazed by His surprises.

One of our favourite walks was along the beach to the entrance to the harbour, and that is Margaret on the "pilgrim path", climbing the hill up from the beach.

I want to acknowledge the tremendous help I have had from Melody Smith, a young sister in the Lord, who has guided me through the technical minefield of setting up the site, and also to Wayne Jacobsen for his encouragement to venture into cyberspace with my writings.

Recently I was thinking about the story of the rich young ruler, who came to Jesus asking what good thing he must do to inherit eternal life. He had been a morally upright person, but he knew there was something, some spark of real life missing. You all remember Jesus answer. "If you would be perfect, go sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me." And the response of the young man," He went away sorrowful for he had great possessions." I imagined someone coming to Jesus to ask how he could enter a better way of church life than he had known in the institution, even although he had been deeply involved and even successful in that environment. I heard Jesus say," If you want that better way you have to give away all you have had of that organized church life and simply follow me." And I could see the man turn away because the price was too high. He had "great possessions in the institution, position, prestige, power, a big successful ministry, and he could not bring himself to lay it down.

I have seen people in exactly that situation. They have heard the call of the Lord to that simple non-institutional way of simply following Jesus and responding to him from day to day. In their hearts they know it is a better way, but their possessions restrain them and they turn away. But I also know others who did not turn away, who laid aside the old way and stepped out into the relational community of Jesus-followers and who have found Church in new and richer dimensions.

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