Thursday, December 28, 2017

☂Christmas Break

Mandorah Jetty

Well, we were finally able
to take a few days off over the Christmas 
weekend and take a well earned rest in Darwin!

We did some shopping and some exploring,
and with the rain, the weather was quite pleasant
and cool. I actually felt I needed a jumper at one stage!
(seriously, it was a frigid 25 degrees!)

Dripstone Cliffs

So, for those of you who dread my posts
because they're so long winded, I will
refrain from saying too much and just let 
you soak in the scenery! 😋

We drove through some epic rain on the way
up to Darwin and on the way home I snapped
away happily out the window at the beautiful clouds

Some interesting relics 

It's so interesting over at Mandorah,
as we drove approx. 1 1/2 hours to get there 
but you look out across the water,
and wa la! There's the Darwin skyline!
Only 15 minutes by ferry.

P.S. If any of you are wondering if you need 
glasses because of out of focus photos,
don't worry, it's not you, it's my sadly deteriorating,
much loved, much used, much abused, camera.
She's about ready to retire. 😟

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Stop Praying. Start Doing

Sounds counter intuitive doesn't it? We are told so many times in Scripture to pray, that to say, “Stop Praying”, sounds wrong.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing”
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always....”
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”

We see in the Bible, that God gives us clear instruction regarding prayer and emphasises the importance of it. Why then, or when, should we STOP praying?

In some reading I was doing this morning, the importance of times we need to stop praying, was brought to my attention along with this example.

“Imagine telling your children to go clean their messy rooms. Two hours later you walk in and see them sitting on the floor, praying for God to reveal His will about whether they should begin”
Lofty prayers, but no submission. No obedience.

How often is this the case with our prayers? Prayer is clearly NOT what they needed to be doing in this instance. Obedience was.

This example sounds silly I know, but strangely enough, that's how we often handle prayer. We hide behind it. We hope it will cover for our disobedience in other areas that are harder to do than just praying. God keeps telling us the things we need to do, and we just keep 'praying about it' with no steps of action. There comes a time when God has revealed His will, and we need to stop praying, get up and DO His will.

In John 14:15, God says, If ye love me, keep my commandments”

If our prayers are coming from a rebellious heart, and we are not following Him with faith and submission while claiming to love Him, we are hypocrites. Playing a part. An actor on a stage. Lukewarm.

When Joshua was trying to understand Israel's defeat at Ai, God told him to get up! Stop praying.

Joshua 7:10-11 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.

God told Joshua to stop praying and start doing. The better course of action was to go and find the source of the problem and remove it from the camp.

And Joshua did just that.

Joshua 7:16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, 
and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:

God also told several of the prophets to stop praying for Israel

Jeremiah 7:16-17 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

The people were in disobedience to God and pursuing idolatry, so God told the prophets to stop praying. As long as the Israelites continued to rebel, it was pointless to pray.

Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

So, obedience matters. What you're praying for could be coming from a willing heart, right with God, but often
what God wants from you is action. Not more prayer.

Too many times I'm guilty of putting off something I know I should be doing, and just praying about it. “Is it your will God?” When I know full well that it is. I'm just delaying because it's too hard or too humbling.

All too often we pray but don't obey.
But obedience and prayer go hand in hand.

Stop praying about it if you're not willing to obey.

1 John 3:21-22 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

I know for me, I can raise my hand and say, “Guilty”. My prayer 
is that God would reveal to me the areas that I am
failing Him by praying and not doing.
And that I will have a spirit of humbleness and obedience to His will.

Pray and Obey. Obey and Pray. 

Stop praying. Start doing.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ministry Opportunity

Jon 3:16

"God bin laigim ebribodi detmatj,
en imbin jandim im ronwan
san blanga dai blanga olabat,
wulijim ebribodi hu bilib langa
im garra abum det olagijawan
laif en nomo dai.
En mi na det san blanga im".

For the past few weeks, we have had the 
great privilege of filling in for some friends
and getting to minister to 
the people of Barunga in their Sunday morning services. 

What a blessing this time has been to our family. 
Barunga is a small indigenous community
about 80 kilometres south-east of Katherine. 

It has been exciting to see the Lord working
in this community and we have been 
blessed getting to know the people better. 

Dave brought some really good object lessons,
the girls helped with crèche and morning tea
and singing and we were able to teach the people
a couple of new Sunday school songs. 
(while we tried to learn their Kriol ones)

Maddie was able to practice her driving 
skills on the trips home and I enjoyed 
learning more of the Kriol language 
and the life stories of some of the faithful ladies. 

I have tried to put together a short video
to give you more of an idea of the work,
but I will warn you, the quality is not great
as the acoustics in the building are a little interesting.

1 Corinthians 16:9
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me,
 and there are many adversaries.

There is a great door of opportunity
in this community, but the Devil
knows this and does his best
to thwart the work of God in people's
hearts. Please pray that souls will be saved
and lives will be changed and
all the glory will be given to God!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Latest Happenings

Well, this past week has been 
busy as usual, but with 
the added blessing of another
opportunity to share with Katherine
God's love. 

Our church was invited to take
part in the annual Christmas Parade
and we were told we were allowed to hand
out what we like to all!

What an opportunity to be able 
to hand out tracts and goodies to 
the hundreds of people who turned out
for the parade! 

Some of the ladies in the church busily
made costumes and sleigh dog masks
and decorated our much used tandem 
trailer for the occasion
(she has NEVER looked quite like that before)

We were able to walk alongside handing out 
little goody bags with lollies and tracts inside, 
and a banner that had our church name on it. 

One lady must have thought Dave and Justin needed
a hand carrying it as she walked a short distance with them. 

All in all, we were able to hand out 500 tracts 
and could have given out much more
as we ran out due to the enormous number
of people who attended. 

One of the men in the church 
(who shall remain nameless)
made a big hit with his bear costume
and the was the subject of MANY photos! 

It was also a treat to see many of the 
Barunga people there with their 2 floats. 

We have been filling in on Sundays 
in the community of Barunga
and have made many friends.
(more on that in a future post)

I'm not usually in the photos,
but here I am with a couple of lovely 
ladies from the Barunga Church. 

And of course, I HAD to get a picture 
with the cute minion! 

Miriam got to come along as well
although I think she ended up sleeping
through most of it. 

We pray that God will use His Word
to speak to hearts and that we will 
see fruit from our labours. 


Maddie and our front gate 
had a slight altercation on Monday
resulting in 7 stitches in her finger 
and yet another trip to the local hospital! 

We have just wrapped up Youth Group and
Teen Group for the holidays
and are looking forward to a little break,
at least in that department. 

Life flies along swiftly in all other 
areas. But despite our busy lives
and sometimes discouraging times,
God remains faithful and true. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tis the Season Full of Folly
Fa La La La La La La La La!

Yes, another year has almost come to an end and I find myself reflecting. What have I done with the time God gave me? What have I done with another year of opportunity? Did I waste it in pleasing self or did I use every moment in reaching out to a lost and dying world with the glorious message of salvation?

Sobering thoughts. When I stop and think about the 8760 hours I had to serve Him, how many of those hours were actually spent in service to Him.

At this time of year, more than any other time, we have the opportunity to share with others the real meaning of the season. As the world's focus is on buying gifts and eating, drinking and being merry, our focus should be on reaching out and telling others about the miracle of Jesus birth.

This time of year becomes so busy that we can't see Christ for Christmas. It's easy to get caught up in the swirl of activity and the buying buying buying. We hear the carols playing in every store, over loud speakers down the main street, hip hopped versions blared loudly as we do our grocery shopping. But does the world know the true meaning of “Away in a Manger” or “Joy to the World”? And if they don't, is it our fault?

Is it our fault we pass people in the street and give them the customary, “Merry Christmas” instead of sharing with them the beautiful story of Jesus Christ coming to this earth to be born in a stable, humble and lowly, so that He could die for our sins?

Yes, too often I am guilty of just trying to ignore this whole time of year and wait impatiently for it all to be over. The hustle, the bustle, the frustrations of the busyness and the short attitudes that go along with it. Too often, I pass people in the shop, busy choosing that perfect gift for a loved one, filling their trolley with Christmas wrap, tinsel, lights, bon bons, without even a thought of saying something that might help to bring them to consider their eternal destiny.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas in the same way. And yes, some are quick to judge when others do things differently. But, whether you give gifts or you don't, the story of Christ's birth is still the same. The fact that God chose to send His only Son down to earth, to be born of a virgin, so that we might have eternal life, is still amazing! And the story hasn't changed.

We dash around madly, making sure the dining room is decked in splendour, while somewhere in the foggy recesses of our minds, we vaguely remember a dusty, dirty, smelly stable, where our Saviour was laid in a manger and the angels rejoiced.

Sometimes, in our efforts to witness at this time of year, we are guilty of only telling part of the story. Yes, the season is about Christ's birth, but it also brings us to the more sobering thought of His death. As the song so aptly puts it,

Born to die upon Calv'ry, Jesus suffered my sin to forgive.
Born to die upon Calv'ry, He was wounded that I might live”

Jesus wasn't just born and that was the end of it. That's not the end of the story. He was sent down to earth to die on the cross for our sins. He was born to die. The reason for His humble birth was so that He could save us from eternal damnation.

This past year has been a year of opportunity for me. The Lord has brought so many opportunities into my life to serve Him and yet I have failed many times to grab hold of them with both hands, and ask for God's strength to enable me to use these times wisely and help to make an eternal difference in someone's life. We know that it is God that does the work and He doesn't need our help, but He chooses to use us, as imperfect people, to spread the Word and be a light in a dark world.

This time of year can be very dark, metaphorically speaking. A world blinded by consumerism and materialism and everything it can offer. All the more reason to shine our light and shine it brightly!

We can hold our Christmas services and enjoy our festive luncheons, but if we are not out there, being a witness to the lost, telling the whole story, and testifying of God's goodness in our lives on a daily basis, we might as well stay home.

The story of a babe in a manger is easy on the ears and easy to tell, but to tell of a Saviour, suffering and bleeding on an old wooden cross for our sins, in our place, is a whole lot harder.

The shadow of the cross hung over the manger on the day of Christ's birth. It was there, that shadow, right from the very beginning. God knew what He was doing and He was willing to give His only Son to die for us.

THIS is the real story. THIS is the story the world needs to hear. Not only the story of His miraculous birth, but the story of His sacrificial death, His burial and His resurrection.

PRAISE GOD! We serve a risen Saviour!

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Almost 5 1/2 months
have flown by
and this beautiful little
girl is growing up so quickly.

 I've been having some
focusing issues with my
very well worn and much used
camera, which is annoying
me to no end, but with
such cuteness, we can work
with that!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tide Versus Wind

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

For some time now, this verse has been coming up
again and again in my Bible reading and
studies. We recently attended Revival Meetings
in a neighbouring community
and were blessed with many coming and
hearing the Word of God boldly preached.

The Webster Dictionary defines Revival as:
the act or instance of reviving: the state of being revived:
a renewed attention to or interest in something.

Revival is something that has to start in each individual
heart and life. In the life of the Christian, that means,
becoming revived. Remembering our 'first love'.
In the book of Revelation, we see that the church
of Ephesus was rebuked for leaving their first love.

Revelation 2:4
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.

We all know that at times, our Christian walk
goes through periods of growth and we experience
peace and joy abundantly, and at other times, we seem
to stagnate and become sluggish. But our growth
is dependent on us and our willingness to grow.

If revival is a 'renewed attention or interest in something',
then turning our backs on the things that distract us,
renewing our interest in the things of God
and getting serious in our service and our walk with
the Lord will help bring the spiritual renewal that we all need.

As we look at the verse in 2 Chronicles, and we put it into context,
Solomon had just finished building the 'house of the Lord' and the Lord came
to him by night and told him that He had heard his prayer and had chosen
'this place …....for an house of sacrifice'. He then gave Solomon conditions
to follow in order for the blessing to come.

What I find interesting, is that it's so simple to understand
the steps to follow in this verse.

Firstly is our part:

Humble ourselves
Seek God's face
Turn (repent) from sin

Then God will:


We have the human side, our part to be done,
then we have the divine aspect, God's part.
We do our part, He does His. And the same is true of prayer. The divine side is the promise to answer and the human side is to ask and believe.

Here in this verse, God lays out our part clearly
then He tells us what He will do for us.
He tells us to PRAY. But notice that humility comes first.
Humble themselves and pray.....”

It's hard to pray in the right spirit if there is pride in your heart.
We pray, we seek God's face, we ask for answers,
we ask Him to search our hearts and cleanse us
from any sin lurking there, we turn from our sin and God hears.
He hears, He forgives and He heals.

I read an interesting story in my daily studies recently
written by J. Sidlow Baxter.

Some years ago I spent a holiday near the fringe of a lonely bay on the rugged coast of north east England. Toward sunset one day I went out along by the shore to watch the incoming tide, and became much impressed by the power of the wind as it smote the water with its mighty breath.

The weather that day had been fitful, with quickly alternating rainy gusts down from the Cheviot Hills, which sloped away inland,
and become a determined gale,
sweeping down full in the face of the incoming tide.

As I walked along the inmost reach of the beach, partly sheltered from the wind, I could see, just a little way out, where the
wind struck the water; and it seemed as
though the waves were forced back by the mighty impact. I learned from a coastman afterwards, that the wind had
actually retarded the tide to some degree that night.

As I looked out across that wind-smitten tide, I found myself comparing it with the present moral and spiritual situation. On the one hand, wherever we go, we seem to see indications that a spiritual revival might break forth at any time, and people seem to be vaguely longing for it; but on the other hand the forces of godlessness seem more rampant and aggressive than ever.

The tides of God are flowing in- tides of blessing and glorious revival. The tides of God are breaking on the shores of our national life, and there could be a flood-tide of cleansing and salvation.
But there are strong winds of evil beating back the tide!

O that the cleansing tide might flood in ! What can we do? We must PRAY!”

How amazing that the tide could be influenced so greatly
by the wind. The winds of evil are strong.
But oh what God could do with a nation
that would come to Him in humility and pray
and seek his face and repent.

If we as Christians
could really get serious about seeing the lost saved
and having a good Godly witness and testimony
in our own communities, then the tides of God
could flow in and break on our shores.

God is waiting for us as Christians,
to wake up, stand up, throw off our mediocre,
half-hearted, lukewarm Christianity
and start radiating some heat to a Godless world.
Show them that we have something worth having.

Oh that we wouldn't become content
going about our lives, no different to anyone else,
with our lights under a bushel.

I pray that we would be ready to give an answer.
I pray that people would see our light shine
and want a reason for the hope we have.

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh
you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Pray for God to light a fire under you
so hot that you can't help but shout about it!

We have the good news!
We have the Saviour.
We have the Redeemer.
We have the Creator.
We've been washed in His blood.
We are His children.

What is there NOT to shout about?