Tuesday, January 15, 2008
A Happy New Year
I preached at Knox on Sunday on Ananias being sent to meet Saul in Damascus in Acts 9. The headlines were that God speaks to Ananias personally, that he deals with his questions and fears graciously, that he puts his reputation on the line by telling Saul what is going to happen before he calls Ananias and that Ananias responds immediately and communicates acceptance and love as his first act. We remembered at the start of 2008 that God knows who we are, that God knows what he is doing, that God has a plan for our lives and that God is with us and will be with us in the year ahead. The picture at Eastbourne kind of encapsulates a lot of what the message was about. We put our hand in the hand that takes hold of us and face the future together.
We headed down to South Island for a few days in the New Year. Susan MacDonald joined us from Edinburgh and our friends Keith and Raewyn hosted 11 of us at their bach in the Marlborough Sounds. Their holiday house is only accessible by boat so just getting there was a lot of fun.
It was great to spend time in such a beautiful place and to have some adventures together.
Much fun was had in wet suits by the "wet suit gang who made a bang".
We especially enjoyed "biscuiting" or "jet bobbing" depending on your terminology.
I delayed my debut till day 2 but compensated with an extremely impressive water entrance with triple salko and double toe loop which earned me 5.8 from the watching judges - before we even got going.
Even Alastair had a go and held on when Mum and Dad both took an early bath.
It was not that easy staying on and we had some excellent wipeouts which were much enjoyed.
Lara Croft came too and was a fine example to one and all in her new wetsuit.
We spent a couple of nights in Hanmer Springs at another holiday house, visiting the seal colony and Kaikoura, sampling the Hot Springs and the Adventure Maze and having a few hours shopping in Picton.
It was amazing how well the children all got on together and we had a great holiday. All too soon it was time to go back to the airport again. Our visits to the airport tend to be quite emotional. There were a few tears shed as the Marshalls boarded and we stayed and watched them fly off into the sunset.
It has been good to be reminded through cards and emails over Christmas that friendship can be sustained across the miles. One of the good things is that the vagaries of the postal system have spread these good wishes over a 6 week period! Note we do blame the vagaries of the postal system - not the vagaries of our friends!