Saturday, June 24, 2017

Camp Out

This past week, we had the privilege
of camping out with a bunch of Yanks,
our girls and the Bauer Family.

A missions team from the state of Delaware, USA
(yeah, I didn't know where it was either),
had come to help out in the work
the Bauers are doing in the community
of Barunga and also in Katherine.

It turned out that Dave and I were able
to go up to Darwin on Saturday night
and pick them all up from the airport
as their original ride was down with a tummy bug.
We managed to get home at 1 AM
safe and sound, with no buffalo
sized imprints in the front of the bus.
(just a whole lot of weary passengers)

So, they had to make do with me,
walking up to them in the airport,
looking them up and down,
and saying, "Yep, that's them! I'm your ride!
Follow me!"

Which, like the Pied Piper, they kindly did.

Our family was invited along to camp out
with them on a friends block out of town.

It was a real blessing for all involved
and it was the first time in our 4 years here,
that the girls were able to get together with
a bunch of like minded teens and just
have fun and do what teenagers do!
(which I think is, talk, and talk some more,
throw around a half empty water bottle as a football,
play noughts and crosses in the dust,
go croc spotting in the dark
along the river,
go snake catching with Pastor Bauer
and so on and so forth)

Emilee acted as the ferry for carting
people and gear to and from the camp.
She managed NOT to lose any passengers.

Our set up was simple but effective.
Of course, I think Dave and I had the best spot
being up above in our rooftop tent.
(Oh, and should I be worried that each
one of our girls is playing with a knife??)

We ate well and the yanks taught us
how to eat hot dogs properly, by roasting
them over the fire.
We served up pavlova and billy tea
and roast potatoes.
(Liberally coated with ash and dust)

Dave drove our 22 seater and took all
of us out to Cutta Cutta Caves to see
the 'underground' sights.

It is always a blessing that no matter
what race you are or what accent you have,
when you are brothers and sisters in Christ,
these differences soon disappear.

What an encouragement to know that
there are others, on the other side of the world,
willing to make sacrifices and
serve the Lord, even in our out of the
way town of Katherine, NT.

I've put together a short video of
the last couple of days.
Sorry it won't be super clear,
being resized to fit.
You get the drift anyway.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What Fits the Bill?

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

In reading over this verse this morning,
I realised that there is only ONE thing that truly meets the high
standards of this verse. Only ONE thing that is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy. And that ONE thing, is the Word of God and God Himself.
(or is that 2 things?)

I have been trying to memorize this verse for a long time, but I always get my
just, pure and lovelies out of order. This verse has been a help to me when I find
myself with unwanted thoughts in my head. When I'm tempted to say that sarcastic
remark to that person who's 'got it coming', or I'm wanting to share that bit of gossip,
or speak that unkind word or serve my own biased justice onto someone.

This verse tells us what to think on instead. It gives us an alternative.
And what an alternative it gives us!

Our minds are very powerful things.
God has blessed us with a free will and a mind that
can think and make decisions. But, oh,
how easy it is to slip into
the negative and the sinful and the prideful.

Here, Paul exhorts the brethren
to think on Godly things.
When you're struggling with your thought life, what
better thing to turn your mind to,
than the Word of God!

What is more true, more pure, more lovely, more just,
more honest, more full of good reports,
more virtuous, more praiseworthy,
than the Word of God.

If we fill our minds and our hearts with God's Word,
His Word will drive away those ungodly thoughts
and fill us with His thoughts and His truths instead.

But how can we expect to have those Godly thoughts in our heads
when we neglect to be in the Word daily.
If we neglect the study of
God's Word and don't hide it in our
hearts by continual
reading and studying and memorizing,
how is it going to be there to call
upon in time of need?

It won't happen by osmosis!

It won't happen by attending
one church service a week,
with our Bible under our arm that
conveniently falls open to
where the Pastor is preaching his
current series of messages from,
because it hasn't been opened to any other passage for such a long time.

No! We have to be IN the Word
to gain benefit from it.
To be able to 'think on these things'
as our verse states,
we have to have put some of these Godly thoughts
into the memory banks of our hearts
and minds, beforehand.

Yes, there are lovely things and
true things to dwell on
other than the Word of God. And often we will
look at creation
and the amazing scenery around us and
use these things as
'good' things to think on. And yes, God
put them there for
our enjoyment. But, even viewing a
majestic scene from
a lofty mountaintop should bring us
to our knees in praise and worship
of the God of creation. These 'things'
should drive us to
reflection upon God and His goodness.
His glory. His righteousness.
His loveliness. His virtue.

So, while I am in need of this verse
and encouraged to think on things of a higher nature,
God's Word should be the goal of my thoughts.
Not just the lovely things around me that distract
me from my wicked thoughts.
But God's Holy Word that leads me to
repentance and reveals the darkness
that lies within me.

His Word and ONLY His Word can really fit the bill
of this verse. It is the only reliable source of all
these Godly 'things' to think upon.

Read it.

Meditate upon it.

Memorize it.

Study it.

Live it.

Psalms 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee.

Monday, June 5, 2017

4 Years in the Territory!

Yes, you read that right.
On June the 1st, it was 4 years
since we moved to the Territory!
The photo above was taken the day we left.

Time has flown by and the girls have
grown up so quickly in those
short 4 years.

We've gone from parents of 5 girls at home,
to the oldest married and gone,
the second oldest married and now a mum,
us now being grandparents,
with only 3 girls at home,
the 3rd with a license and a job,
and the 2 youngest the only ones left at school,
with the 2nd youngest ready to get her learners
in August!

So, if you're feeling old, just look at
us for an example and you'll suddenly feel
young again!

Life changes so fast that its hard to keep up,
but God has been so good
and showered us with so many blessings.

"God has been good, so good,
I have been blessed"

Can't Help Myself

Friday, June 2, 2017

Memory Lane

Okay, so this is Dave and I, with Abbi
when she was a few hours old.
The photos are not very clear,
being photos of a photo,
but wow! how similar little Miriam
and little Abbi look:)

 Miriam Grace McKenna

First Pics

5 hours old
Absolutely perfect

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Sound of Silence

Tuesday night, we took a 12 hour holiday.
Needing a piece of quiet from the noise
of town, we headed out for some
campfire smoke and billy tea.

There was only the sound of silence.

There were some dingoes howling nearby,
during the night
and the occasional truck passing by
a few hundred meters away.
But mostly silence.
Blessed silence.

I managed to find a few little creatures
to photograph. This lizard was a favourite.
Check out his 'dragon' tail.

I enjoyed a beautiful Territory sunset
from the roof rack of the cruiser.
The girls were too busy being pyromaniacs!
And Dave was just chillin'

And of course, billy tea and bikkies.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do any
star photography because of the cloud cover,
but just being out there in the silence
and away from the busyness of
everyday life, was worth missing a few good pictures.

Psalm 46:10a
Be still, and know that I am God

Sometimes, I think, God gives us
the busyness of our lives
so that it forces us to take time out,
to sit and be still and be silent
and listen for His still, small voice.

He longs for us to spend time with Him.
Reflecting on His great love.
His amazing creation.
His protection and providence.
Time to remember what we have to be
grateful for. To take a moment to thank
Him for the blessings He showers upon us.

Don't miss those opportunities to
slow down and see what He has
to teach us in the silence.

Remember to listen for His voice
in the raging storm.
No storm is too big or too loud
that we can't hear Him speak.
We only have to listen.