Tested By Storms

Sue’s Views
We’ve seen lately the devastation and heartache storms can cause. But one positive is that they often expose what’s really going on under the surface. It may be something practical ….. like leaky roofs or blocked drains. But it can also be emotional ….. like roots of fear or resentment. Every invention of man is put to the most stringent test before being allowed to be sold to the public. We are of far more value to God than a vehicle or machine! He allows us to be tested to see what’s really going on in our hearts and minds. He gives us opportunities to fix what needs fixing ….. and strengthen our weak spots ….. before the big storm comes!


Sue’s Views
We paid a visit to our favourite getaway, Orewa this weekend only to find things have changed considerably! The 1st pic was taken 2 hours before high tide ….. and the 2nd showing some of the after effects. The beautiful beach (when we could actually see it) was covered in shells and debris. Next day ….. things looked more normal but locals are concerned. Maybe living by the coast is not such a good idea 😳


Sue’s Views
Summer is almost over …..  but what a summer it has been! How will you remember the summer of 2022/23? There has certainly been plenty to complain about if we so choose. But the good news is that we do have a choice! Challenging times are always opportunities to reprioritise our lives. To focus on the blessings ….. to magnify the things we are thankful for. Some of the things on my list would be family ….. health ….. deepened friendships. But above all ….. I am so thankful to know my Heavenly Father ….. without whom none of these things would be possible. Because He is at the helm ….. I am excited about the future no matter how bleak it may look. 
‘Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:18


Sue’s Views
The sunflower is a wonderful example of a successful life! The beautiful bloom we see is actually made up of many individual flowers that grow together as one! It gets its name from its habit of following the sun from east to west. When the sun goes down ….. the sunflower tilts its head till sunrise! It is also a very productive plant ….. producing seeds which make a healthy snack and oil. When we do life together ….. and focus on the Son ….. we too will become more productive ….. and bring joy to those around us!

The Potter

Sue’s Views
When a potter crafts a new pot, it spends a great deal of time on the potters wheel. The clay has to be softened and moulded until it’s ready to be shaped into what he needs it to be. It then has to stand on a shelf to dry out for a few days before it goes into the kiln to be baked so it will be strong enough to hold its contents. Finally it is glazed and sealed so it won’t crack. Does any of this sound familiar? If you are on the potters wheel ….. on the shelf ….. or in the furnace ….. know that the Master Potter is preparing you for His use. Good things take time ….. but it’s worth the wait!

‘Though The Fig Tree Does Not Blossom’

Sue’s Views
Like many of us today ….. people in the Bible went through times of destruction and hopelessness ….. and they asked the same questions we do! ‘Where is God?’ ….. and ‘Why is this happening?’ Many have given up on believing God exists. Others believe that ….. if he does exist ….. He is like a Santa Claus character who always makes everything nice and happy! If that’s the case ….. He’s not doing a very good job! Many of the Bible characters cried out to God in anger and told Him what they really thought. Habbakuk was one such person. But God showed Him that what he and his people were going through was ultimately for their own good. He ended up understanding and writing the following words:
‘Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.’

Spiritual Weapons

Sue’s Views
While there is so much sadness and devastation in the world ….. there are also many wonderful things happening. Things we don’t hear about on the News. I’m not denying the tragedies caused by war ….. earthquakes and floods ….. but they can give the impression that everything is hopeless and out of control. However ….. there are signs everywhere of Gods sovereignty! The beautiful thing happening in Asbury, Kentucky is an example of His Spirit at work. I love that it began with young students confessing their sins and repenting before God. God responds to that! We can blame the government ….. the climate ….. or aliens ….. for where we are. But we need to look within ourselves through the eyes of the Holy Spirit and face our own sinfulness. Humility ….. compassion ….. and repentance the most powerful weapons to push back the evil and destruction.


Sue’s Views
I’ve been thinking lately about our 1st Lady ….. Eve! I wonder what she was like. I mean before the dreaded apple incident ….. she would have
 been perfect …… right? But what does that mean? We know she was a perfect helper for Adam ….. and complimented him ….. no doubt she helped him in the garden and gathered food for them to eat. But what did she look like? Tall, short? Was she pear shaped ….. apple …… banana? Did she have straight hair ….. or curls? The Bible doesn’t tell us much, does it? Maybe it doesn’t matter! Maybe appearance isn’t as important to God as it is to us! Maybe her perfection was due to her being created by a perfect Father, with whom she had such a close relationship ….. that she was a reflection of Him? And that’s how He sees all of us, my sisters! You are perfectly beautiful!

Focus On Jesus!

Sue’s Views
Fear of what might happen is one of the devil’s most powerful weapons! With so many tragedies happening around us ….. it’s easy to fall for his tactics. The antidote for fear is ‘faith’! Peter the disciple was able to walk on water during a storm when he kept his eyes on Jesus ….. but the moment he looked at the waves ….. he started to go under. Jesus caught him and said, ‘You of little faith! Why did you doubt?’ Jesus is the same yesterday ….. today ….. and forevermore. Yes ….. there will be more storms! But the same Jesus will be there to walk you through it ….. and to catch you if your faith weakens. The way forward is to focus on His power over the circumstances ….. not the circumstances themselves!

Hang In There!

Sue’s Views
Thankfully the cyclone has now passed us ….. and all is calm again! But many are still facing its fury. One of the first things I checked on was the caterpillars in our garden. I found them happily chewing away and following the course of nature! Some were inside their cocoons which appear to be hanging by a thread ….. but they were safe because they trust their Creator. So my word for you today is to trust God and hang in there!