ANNIVERSARIES ARE IMPORTANT
Some may say it is a sign of old age and that I am simply reminiscing, but I think ANNIVERSARIES ARE Important. For example almost 4 years ago we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary, and took the opportunity to renew our weddings vows. It was a significant day for us.
Next week we celebrate 10 years of living in this country town. Because of being in the Ministry almost all our married life we have never stayed in one house for the whole period we have been in any Ministry positions (although we were in one Ministry position for 11 years, but the College relocated so we did too).
We had planned and discussed that we would move into a Retirement Village when we ceased fulltime Ministry, and had checked out a number of places, in Sydney and the NSW central Coast, but none met our need. We were seeking to regularly come to this area to visit Margaret’s sister and her husband, (who was suffering with cancer) we mentioned our desire re: Retirement Villages and they took us around, we saw this place (we have now lived in for the last 10 years) and immediately felt it would be perfect for our needs. Australia was in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, so we wondered how quickly our house in Sydney would sell. On our return to Sydney we put our house up for sale, and had an offer WITHIN 24 HOURS). The Lord had given His peace in our hearts regarding the move, and after negotiations our home was sold. In April 2009 we moved to this town. For the first time in many years (because of our ministry interstate and overseas) the sisters were now in regular contact and communication with each other. Our Brother in law passed away, and went to be with the Lord, so the girls even became closer.
I was saved at the age of 10, and for the next 10 years lived in my Salvation Army/Holiness Churches bubble). At 20 I was exposed to Pentecostal teaching, and for another almost 50 years lived exclusively in my Pentecostal bubble. Some remarkable things began to happen soon after we arrived here in this country town, for example on a day bus trip arranged through our brother in law I met 2 local Baptist pastors and their wives, at the end of the day trip they asked me if I would like to join them weekly for coffee and fellowship (I was blown away at their kindness and invitation). A few months later the local Baptist Pastor (in our town here) asked me if we could meet weekly (one on one) again this blew me away). The moment we had arrived we had gravitated to the local Pentecostal church (of my denomination) but after 18 months, we had to make the decision to withdraw (which was a difficult decision) but after much prayer and discussion we did. The question then was where do we go now? We could drive 30kms in at least 3 directions and find another Pentecostal church (of my denomination) but we wanted to be part of a LOCAL CHURCH, so decided to begin fellowshipping at the local Baptist church. We sat quietly observing and taking it all in for a considerable period of time, (it was such a different world to the bubble I had been in for nearly 50 YEARS). We have now been in this church for at least eight and a half years, we are now in membership and I serve on the Leadership Team. If you had told me this would happened 10 years ago, I would have laughed my head off. After our brother in law died, Margaret’s sister began worshipping with us, until she recently went to be with the Lord having contracted Motor Neuron Disease. We are so glad we had these last years with her here in this region.
I continued my overseas travelling ministry for some years until some health issued intervened. The Lord has since then clearly led me into a Writing Ministry and an Intercessory Ministry. for which I continually thank Him. The other exciting thing for me is that the Lord has so opened up the Word of God to me in new and exciting ways, the Holy Spirit continues to lead me into ALL TRUTH, as the Word says He would. I am no longer in a Pentecostal bubble (but what I call a BODY OF CHRIST bubble) and have the sweetest of fellowship with dear brothers from many different streams in the Body of Christ.. I unashamedly still consider myself Pentecostal, and thank God for the present move of the Holy Spirit, and the function of His Gifts and Ministries in the 21st century. I have also now recognised as a result of the Holy Spirit’s leading and direction some of the extremes and perhaps unbalanced practices and emphasises of the present day Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement, I have learnt though NOT to throw out the baby with the bath water, or as is said in Asia, eat the fish and spit out the bones, but do as the Bereans did SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES (ACTS 17:11)
There has not been a SINGLE MINUTE in these last 10 years have we ever doubted that we came here IN THE WILL OF GOD. So it is with much rejoicing I prepare for our 10th Anniversary of living here in Moe. I don’t know how many more years I have before I go to be with the Lord, or He returns for His Church, but I look back over 67+ years of Christian experience and thank God for His leading and direction. Every major step over the years we have taken has been as a result of His clear leading, and every step took us deeper into Him, and to increased blessing and ministry effectiveness TO HIM BE ALL THE GLORY.