Water Lillies

Sue’s Views
Water lillies can teach us some wonderful lessons. Even though their roots are at the bottom of the pond ….. they always rise to the top and float above the water. They make use of the nutrients from the mud to blossom and beautify their environment. Sometimes ….. we can be ashamed of our roots. Maybe we come from a dysfunctional family. Maybe we have roots of rejection or feel unwanted. Maybe we are uneducated ….. or maybe we have made mistakes in the past. We can let that drag us down or ….. like the water lilies ….. we can use it to make us rise to the top.

New Opportunities Await

Sue’s Views
2020 has been a difficult year without a doubt ….. but one thing it has taught us is that life is unpredictable. Many plans this year have had to be cancelled. Hopes have been dashed as small businesses have gone under. Families have been separated because of closed borders. But it has also made way for new ideas that would have gone undiscovered if not for Covid. Like this fern ….. there are many branches yet to be unfurled. Who knows what opportunities lie ahead? So don’t give up! Keep moving forward. Pray for greater understanding ….. and be ready to receive new revelation of God’s purpose in your life!

New Every Morning

Sue’s Views
The fresh and vibrant colours of spring always remind me of God’s mercies that are ‘new every morning’. The word ‘mercy’ means undeserved favour. It means being spared of the punishment I deserve ….. and instead being given forgiveness. It’s not something to take for granted ….. but to be thankful for each and every day. Each new morning comes with the opportunity to start over with a clean slate. Now that is something to celebrate!


Sue’s Views
As the family grows there are more and more birthdays to celebrate. This month has been Israel’s ….. and today is Frank’s! Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to thank God for family ….. friends ….. and the life He gave us. It’s an opportunity to tell out loved ones how much they mean to us. It’s also a great opportunity to eat cake! 🎂🎉

The Counsellor

Sue’s Views
Are you feeling weighed down by your circumstances? Life has a way of throwing things at you and it’s easy to let them pile up. I experienced a bit of that this weekend. I decide to go for a walk and a talk with God about it! As I poured my heart out ….. this beautiful kereru flew onto a branch in front of me and just sat there. This has happened to me a few times now and I believe it’s God telling me He is with me. The bird always reminds me of the Holy Spirit. He is gentle and yet powerful. His presence changes the atmosphere. He diffuses anxiety ….. and brings peace and assurance. He is the best companion anyone could ask for. And He is always there ….. never too busy to hang out. He not only listens ….. but He is also a great Counsellor! He’ll show you what’s going on ….. and how to move forward. He’s there for you too!


Sue’s Views
It’s Labour Weekend in NZ and many will be enjoying a break. It was founded in 1840 when a carpenter won an eight hour working day for NZers. It was decided that we need to rest for eight hours ….. have eight hours of family time and recreation ….. and work for 8 hours. I wonder how many of us live that way now! Balance is very important for a healthy life. Do you need to make some changes? Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

The Process

Sue’s Views
Do you sometimes feel dissatisfied with where you are? Do you feel like you were born for more? Does it seem like you are going down when everything in you wants to fly? Welcome to the life of the caterpillar! He dreams of spreading his wings ….. but finds himself more and more confined. Dreams usually take time and patience to be fulfilled. Just when it seems like it will never happen ….. your dream will be fulfilled. You’ll realise that the process was as important as the end result!

Turn off the Sun

I remember watching a TV program once about the sun. It was so interesting, so fascinating… and yet quite terrifying. Solar flares, temperatures that are out of this world (no pun intended), explosions and nuclear activity that dwarfs the most advanced nuclear weapons. One of the scariest things was the fact that solar storms were causing solar flares which could reach close enough to the earth to have a huge and devastating impact on our lives here! …And all this from our lovely, warm, life-giving sun! It’s the same sun that allows photosynthesis to take place in plants so they can be nourished, the same sun that sunflowers turn towards throughout the day, the same sun that leaves our bedsheets feeling fresh and dry, that melts the winter snows away to make way for spring, that warms us, brightens our day, and is vitally important to everything that exists on this earth. If it died out, life on earth would die in a matter of minutes. How could it be such a… dangerous and scary thing?  

It’s funny, but I used to get a similar feeling about reading the Old Testament… what a scary God He was! Killing people, burning entire cities, flooding the earth and wiping out all (except 8) of humanity and his creation. I liked the New Testament much better… that was about our Jesus, our compassionate, merciful, loving, humble, servant Jesus. And yet… He told us many times in the gospel accounts, “if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”. What, you mean that same Father who allowed serpents, sent plagues, exiled His people, and poured out His wrath on those who disobeyed?   

I realised that, in all honesty, I really didn’t very much like a lot about that Old Testament God! I’ve heard many people say something like that. Maybe He’s not really like that, or maybe He changed when Jesus came, or maybe that was all just written by flawed people with an agenda. But… what if we just have a bit of a soft view of God? Do we see him as more of a Santa Claus figure, a jolly Father, or just a quiet and warm sunshine that is here to meet our needs? Maybe He is some of those things in a way… but do we forget the nuclear activity, the solar storms, the holy anger, the light so bright it would blind us if we saw Him face to face?  

I guess the thing is, knowing the truth about the sun makes me a bit afraid and uncomfortable… it’s something I want to keep a safe distance from. Imagine the heat as you approached it in a spacecraft, doing as best as we could to design a protective suit that could withstand the temperatures. I’m not sure I could say to that sun as I approached it, “I don’t like that you’re this hot! Please, just turn off the heat!” The sun couldn’t change it’s properties, change it’s make-up, it’s temperatures, any more than God can change who He is. Just because I don’t like the heat, doesn’t mean He can just turn it off. Like He said to Moses, “I AM that I AM”. His most common name, Yahweh, means “I AM”. The very meaning seems to imply something unchangeable, no matter how we feel about it.  

So… why was Jesus seemingly so different from this aspect of God? Or was He? How easy it is to forget the Jesus who also whipped people out of the Temple in His Holy anger… and who had some firm and direct things to say about those who were supposedly the keepers of the law given by His own Father, and who spoke often about the eternal fire and warned of the darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. And yet He still reflected God’s kind nature perfectly, because the truth is that the Old Testament God the Father (and the same God the Father He is today) is also very merciful, kind, compassionate, and loving! (Just read some of the Psalms, especially Psalm 136!). Jesus was very aware of our weaknesses and temptations, He was human as well as God! But He was also aware of the bright and Holy presence of the Father, a presence He loved, and a presence that He came to make us ready for.   

The thing that we don’t often like to think about is, the gospel is bad news before it’s good news… the bad news is, there’s a fiery sun, a Holy God, a solar storm that we can’t withstand, that would melt us in a second, no matter how good or protected we think we are. It seems to me that it’s not because He is temperamental, controlling, angry, or down on us… but because He is so Holy (pure, clean, bright, with no darkness or shadow), and we (because of the fall in the garden back in Genesis) are so… not. And there’s nothing He can change about that, except… the good news is, there is! He has made a way! Or, if I thought of it this way, He has made a spacesuit of protection so that we can “boldly come before the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16), we can approach that hot but loving sun, and we won’t be burnt. Instead, we will find help, love, protection, provision, mercy! That suit of protection is the blood of Jesus, the full truth and acceptance of His redemptive work for us on the cross. It was freely given, and it was costly… more than all the money, time and sweat spent on all the space exploration in the history of the human race. 

“Consequently, he (Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25


Work Ethics

Sue’s Views
Work is a necessary part of life ….. and we can teach our children good work ethics from a very young age! By giving them age suitable tasks we can prepare them for something they will spend a lifetime doing. Things like making their bed before school ….. tidying up before using technology ….. helping with daily tasks ….. can help them become self disciplined. It’s often easier to do it yourself ….. but the long term results are worth the time and effort!


Sue’s Views
It’s not easy to find peace and quiet these days ….. but it’s something we all crave deep down. It’s not just about the absence of noise and activity ….. but the presence of the Prince of Peace. He is present in the middle of a storm ….. in a busy shopping mall ….. in heavy traffic ….. and in the turmoil of everyday life. We can’t always escape these ….. but we can always find Hiim and receive His peace. When life gets a bit frantic ….. and emotions become a roller coaster ….. remember He is right there! May you know His shalom today!