Saturday, November 11, 2017

Awwww❤❤

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
Pray
Seek God's face
Turn (repent) from sin

Then God will:

Hear
Forgive
Heal

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?


































Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Pain May be Part of the Plan

Pain, suffering, trouble, adversity, temptation, affliction, can exercise a wonderful ministry of spiritual discipline, refinement, and enrichment.

Some flowers, as the rose, must be crushed before their full fragrance is released. Some fruit, as the sycamore, must be bruised before it will attain ripeness and sweetness. Some metals, as gold, must be flung into the furnace before they reach full value and purity The old oak log must be laid on the fire, and the flames encircle it, before its imprisoned music is set free.

So is it with the saints. It is true with many of us that we must be laid low before we will look high. We must know God's smiting before we can appreciate His smiling. The Potter must break the vessel before He can make out of the same material a new and beautiful vase. Our hearts must be broken before their richest contents can leak out and flow forth to bless others.

But whenever God sends a trial with one hand, He gives grace with the other. Thus trials become triumphs. Burdens become wings. Affliction, instead of being a bed of thorns and a pathway of nettles, becomes a quilt of roses.
The very things which seem to break us are the things which really “make” us.

Lo, God is in the hurricane, and instead of driving us to destruction, it beats the scared mariner into that safest of all harbours,
the encircling arms of God's love!” J. Sidlow Baxter

In reading this passage this morning, I was reminded how true it is. That 'pain may be part of the plan'. I also realised that I wasn't able to explain it any better, so I decided to write out the whole passage to share.

So often, we think that 'pain' in our Christian walk is not supposed to happen. We get the idea that if we're walking close to the Lord and serving Him faithfully, that we won't struggle with trials and disappointments.
Where in the Bible do we find that??

1 Peter 4:19
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God
commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing,
as unto a faithful Creator.

Did you get that, “according to the will of God”?
Meaning, it is the will of God that we suffer. He alone knows what's
best for us and what we need to endure in order to become more like Him.
And because we are all unique individuals, we have tailor made sufferings
to bring us closer to Him and to refine us and rid us of impurities in our lives.
As I've written so many times before, trials are often blessings in disguise.

There are certain people in Christian circles, that have this idea,
that if you're suffering, then you must be sinning.

Well, I know one thing. My Lord Jesus NEVER sinned. Was perfect.
Sinless. Holy. Righteous. And yet, read this verse:

Hebrews 2:10
For it became him, for whom are all things,
and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory,
to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

The Lord Jesus Himself even suffered! The Crown of thorns
was in God's eternal plan. The Cross was but a step to the throne.

When we look at suffering in that light, we might just
change our perspective on how we view our trials.

Here we have the Lord Jesus, the only sinless and perfect
being, suffering as part of God's plan.
Suffering so that we might be free.

There are so many discouragements and disappointments
in our lives and often we feel like all we do is struggle and battle on a
day to day basis. But if we could only grasp that it may be part of the
plan and that God has a purpose and a work to do.

Would we look at our sufferings in a different light? Would we be able to be
content to go through the furnace of fiery trials? Could we hold
our head high and give praise to a righteous God who knows
exactly what he's doing?

And when we come out the other side,
would we be willing to thank Him for the trial, and praise Him for the
blessing it turned out to be in our lives?

Our trials can become triumphs and our burdens, wings.
It all comes down to our response to Him.
Are we resisting the purifying work of the Lord in our lives?
Or are we letting it drive us into the 'encircling arms of His love'.

















Friday, October 20, 2017

A DAY OUT IN KAKADU


On Wednesday, we went for a drive.
Ok, so it was a 730km round trip drive.
A drive, nonetheless.

We've been flat out lately, and at the
moment, Wednesdays (after Dave does his
morning milk run), are his only days off.

So, at 9:30am, we headed north to do a
small jaunt around Kakadu as the girls
have never been there, and Dave and I have only
done a brief loop through there
on the way home from Darwin once.


I know, we've lived here for 4 years
and it's in our backyard, but you know how
it is. Time for work, but none for play.

I have always wanted to see the notorious
Cahill's Crossing, noted for it's saltwater
crocodile population, so we headed off
in search of these magnificent creatures.

I don't think we picked the right time of day
as we only saw 4, but hey, now I have
an excuse to come back again!



There is a viewing platform, for which
we were grateful, so we were able to watch
from a safe distance. We also watched a kite
swoop down and score its lunch!


This fella lay on the bank for the longest
time, then, when he'd had his fill of photos,
he slowly slunk back into the water
and disappeared into its murky depths.


Of course, we had to drive across
Cahill's Crossing, while it was at a safe
level, just to say we'd crossed it.
If you're interested in seeing
idiots trying to cross it when the tide
is coming in, just read our local papers
and you'll get your fill.


As we had limited time, being a
one day getaway (and Dave having to
get up at 3:30am the next morning), we
couldn't explore as long as we would have liked.

So we quickly made our way to the Ubirr
Art Sites and the famous Ubirr lookout.
WOW! WOW! WOW!


Now, we've seen some pretty amazing
and spectacular views in our travels,
but this was breathtaking!

Unfortunately, we only had 10 minutes
or so on top of the rock, before
we really needed to be heading home,
so, yet another place I have to come back to.
The sunsets are super impressive up there,
and of course I want to capture that one day.


Chloe needed to get her selfies with Dad.
(a very rare occurrence)


Interesting rock art that is
NOT as old as they say it is, but
still very interesting.


And a beautiful storm rolling in overhead.


All in all, in our travels that day,
we saw quite a lot of wildlife.
Donkeys, Horses, Buffalo (which headed
bush once we slowed down beside them), a Snake,
4 Crocodiles, Cattle, Jabiru, Brolgas,
Kites, Fish, a Bandicoot, a lot of
different birds, numerous cane
toads (most of which we squished)
and countless insects that are now
splattered across our windscreen
(and we know the last thing that went through
their minds, don't we?)
Surprisingly, no dingoes or pigs ??


Arriving home at just before 9:30pm,
we were weary but happy we
were able to grab a  
small break in the busyness of life.

 
I've put together a short clip below,
of our adventure, but as per
usual, it's not as clear as I'd like,
having to resize it for the blog,
but hopefully, you'll get the general picture.


All in all, there's a lot of Territory
(scuse the pun)
to explore here in our neck of the woods
that we've yet to discover.

Next stop........
Litchfield National Park.












Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Barunga Revival Meetings

Photo compliments of Jen Bauer
Last week we were blessed to be
able to attend the revival meetings
out at Barunga. This is a small community
80km southeast of Katherine.

Our friends Jen and Patrick Bauer work
with this community and hold services and
Bible studies and Kids Club there.

We were able to take our bus out each
night with a load of Katherineites.

It is always a blessing to be out there
and see the way the Lord is working in this community.
There are some really lovely, faithful Christians
out there who are committed to serving the Lord
and seeing their families saved.

Our girls had a great time with all the kids
there and made some new friends.

Anyone and everyone was invited and
as usual, the local dogs took up the invitation
and were faithful every night.
(there was only one small dog fight after
service, during refreshments, which caused quite a stir)

We were encouraged through good preaching
from Pastor Ken Chapman (Darwin)
Pastor Justin Stanley (Katherine)
and Pastor Patrick Bauer (Barunga).

Much prayer went into these meetings
and we are excited to see what the Lord
can and will do through the preaching of His
word and any decisions made for Him.

Praise God for opportunities to worship Him
with other likeminded Christians in
surrounding areas.

Please be in prayer for the ministries
here in Katherine and in Barunga.

We serve a great God and nothing is
impossible with Him.



Photo compliments of Jen Bauer

Friday, October 6, 2017

In Need of Some Cutenessđź’•

Yeah, I'm sure you all need
your fix of adorable Miriam!









Random Happenings

Well, life has been a bit crazy for the last
few weeks, so I am going to post some
photos of random happenings at the Holmestead
and around the traps.


First things first. A couple of weeks back, I was privileged
(or stupid enough??) to take a group of 8 teens
all the way over to Queensland for the
Malanda Youth Camp!

All in all, despite sickness upon arriving home,
(which is still ongoing)
we had a great time and I managed to keep my sanity!
(Oh, no, that's right, I lost it years ago).


Well, we flew out from hot and dry Darwin
to experience some Malanda Mizzle for the
first couple of days at camp, but then it cleared up!
The girls were reminded of how life goes on
whether it rains or it doesn't, and games must be played
whether you freeze to death or not!


Yeah, let's throw water in each other's faces while
it's raining and we're all out here freezing and
trying to catch pneumonia???


Some great games with the giant earthballs!



Emilee, of course, surrounded by
her adoring mob!


Of course, bonfire night and time for
testimonies of the Lord's goodness
And some time during the week
for scripture memorization.


Then of course, the epic water slide
for the teenagers!
This year, battling with the beginnings of the flu,
I decided to give it a miss. Sigh.
(that, and, I'm old and it hurts more now)




Some goofing off with the Leaders
and the camp speaker,
Chris Dagan.


And, yes, Dad went totally nuts this
year at camp. A sign of his old age.
(it DID wash out before Sunday)


When it was all said and done,
our teens were talking about next year!
So, you never know, Malanda, you might
see us back again in 2018.

NEXT HAPPENINGS.....


The next thing in random happenings,
is that we had our first rain of the season
on October the 1st after 170 days of no rain!!
Yep, that's it. Dry season over, let the build up begin.

Phew. Gone are our 10% humidity and lovely
warm days, now begins our super humid, 40 degree
weather, clouds building, storms coming, rain falling and
soon, the grass will begin to turn green,
and it will be out with the lawn mower after 6
months in the garden shed.
Ah well, it was great while it lasted!

BUT WAIT............THERE'S MORE....


Today, we were able to hold a
Youth Fun Day with the youth group kids
here in Katherine.

As you know from previous years,
we usually run a Holiday Bible Club each year,
but this year, we were down on helpers and
time and good health and were just plum wore out.

So, we were able to run a half day of fun
and food for the kids!
Amazingly, we didn't have to pull out the first aid
kit at all!! Miracle!!

The kids enjoyed competing for ribbons
and eating to their hearts content!

We also brought out the puppets for an appearance
and they helped Dave with an object lesson,
which involved a very moldy sandwich, a very
oiled and greasy sandwich, and a sandwich that
had been run over by a truck! Literally!


What a great privilege we have to work with
these young lives and to teach them of God's love
and the hope they can have in Him.