Our youngest daughter lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, which has recently experienced quite a bit of rain and flooding. She sent us a link of a photographer who decided to have some fun in the rain. Christchurch photographer Sarah Webber’s photoshopped flood pictures are very creative and fun.
Category Archives: New Zealand
When the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in overtime in Super Bowl LI three weeks ago, Carol and I watched the game in a pub in Wanaka, New Zealand. Since New Zealand Daylight Time is 18 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, the game came on during lunch time on Monday, February 6.
We were in Wanaka for our youngest daughter’s wedding. On that Monday, the guys went one direction for a bachelor party; the girls another direction for a bachelorette party; and the parents went on a safari of the region. Since our tour ended by 1PM, Carol and I found a pub to watch the Super Bowl.
We learned later that the bachelor party started out at a pub watching the game. Thinking the game would only last 3.5 hours, the host scheduled several adventure activities like jetboating and off-road racing. As it turned out, it meant that the guys left the Super Bowl with five minutes remaining in regulation. Consequently, they missed the Patriots tying the game in regulation and winning in overtime.
Some people view a relationship with God in the same fashion. It is simply one of many good activities and options in their life. As long as heaven is secure, how important is fellowship with God on a daily basis?
That is a question the apostle John addresses in 1 John 2:28-3:3. Using one of his favorite terms, John encourages his readers to abide in Christ. He explains that abiding demonstrates one is part of God’s family and will prepare a person for Christ’s return. Those who abide in Christ will be prepared to meet him when he returns.
Q: Why should I abide in Christ? (2:28a). A professor in grad school was fond of saying, “Until you answer the why question, the price is always too high.” John seems to anticipate that question. After telling his readers, “abide in him,” John goes on to give several reasons after the phrase, “… so that …”
A1: You will be prepared for Christ’s return (2:28b). The return of Jesus Christ will be more than a Sunday School awards banquet. We will stand before God and answer for how we lived our lives. No one wants to be embarrassed because they are unprepared. We want to be able to enter his presence boldly rather than cower in shame in a corner.
A2: Abiding reveals whose family you belong to (2:29). In the same way that a child has their parents’ eyes or nose, so righteous living is the family trait of those who are part of God’s family.
A3: Abiding reveals your attitude about God’s grace (3:1). Rather than view God’s love in a “ho, hum” manner, John expresses a sense of amazement. “Look at that! We are called God’s children. Unbelievable!” Our sense of security comes from recognizing what God has done for us.
A4: Abiding allows God to transform you (3:2). John explains that God is in the process of transforming us from “then” to “now” to “not yet.” One day, we will be like Christ. As great as our experience with Christ is right now, it is only the tip of the iceberg compared to what it will be later.
A5: You will stay prepared for Christ’s return (3:3). John comes full circle when he explains that the hope of heaven produces purity on earth. We are to engage in a continual process of moral purification.
When I became an instructor with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries some 30 years ago, I had to promise not to teach a WTB event with sin in my life. Each time the faculty gathers, there is a ceremony where we are asked to recommit to that promise. Next week, I will be in Georgia where Phil Tuttle, the president of Walk Thru, will ask me if my life is pure. I want to make certain of my answer so that I am not ashamed when the question comes.
In the same way, the one who abides in Christ will be prepared to meet him when he returns. Abide in Christ. Be prepared when he comes back.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on February 26, 2017. It is part of a series of sermons on The Letters of John. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.
A long day of traveling
|Sunday, February 12||8:30AM NZDT (New Zealand Daylight Time)||Arrive at Queenstown airport 2 hours before flight||2 hours|
|10:30AM NZDT||Flight leaves for Auckland||2 hours|
|12:30PM NZDT||Arrive at Auckland – 3 hour layover||3 hours|
|3:30PM NZDT||Flight leaves for LAX||12 hours|
|Sunday, February 12||6:30AM PST (Pacific Standard Time)||Flight arrives at LAX – 6 hour layover—flight delayed one hour due to snow storm in Boston||6 hours|
|12:46PM PST||Flight leaves for Boston||5+ hours flight|
|9:30PM EST (Eastern Standard Time)||Flight arrives at Boston – Get luggage and car||30 minutes|
|10:00PM EST||Drive home in snow storm||2.5 hours|
|Monday, February 13||12:30AM EST||Fall into bed|
|Total time of travel||33+ hours|
|Cost of the trip||$$$$$$$|
|Wear and tear on the body||!!!!!!!!!!|
|Celebrating Caitlin’s & Andrew’s wedding & spending time with family in New Zealand||Priceless!|
We are in Queenstown, our final night in New Zealand. We took the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. From there, we had a magnificent view of Queenstown and the surrounding countryside. We even picked out the hotel we’re staying in. We enjoyed a dinner at Taco Medic and dessert at Cookie Bar. We even discovered that Hell is a real place down under (just a little theological tongue-in-cheek).
Tomorrow morning, we begin the long journey home. With flights, layovers, and drive time, it is 30+ hours of travel. It’s been a fabulous trip.
After leaving Wanaka & the wedding party, we headed south to Milford Sound. The drive from Wanaka to Milford Sound was quite stunning with fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. While in Milford Sound, we took a Discovery Cruise through the fjordlands. (Milford Sound resembles the fjords in Scandinavia with the mountains dropping into the sea.) Part of the cruise took us to the Underwater Discovery Center. It was a spectacular day, especially so since I spent my birthday with most of my family.
While it was cloudy and a bit foggy and rain sprinkles, last month they had 26 days of rain, so they said we were there with good weather.
We also saw a rather colorful van at the Milford Sound Lodge where we were staying. None of us had seen a treehouse camper before.
Today, we left Milford Sound and are now in Queenstown. We start the homeward journey tomorrow morning.