My bubble. Me, two cats and husband with a broken back.
Daily calls to family by ordinary telephone as well as by video phone. Video calls via skype and zoom for home group/friends and church members. Working from home, house work, meals (lots of those), shopping and washing (lots). Painting, gardening and exercise (via zoom/youtube).
With the exception of shopping/chemist and post office visits – which were all completed in one outing, once a week to minimise washing – the 6 foot gates have been shut and the outside world banished.
However as I live close to One Tree Hill and many go walking past my house. I often serenade those that pass with my guitar (practice sessions) while sitting on the hammock… It’s feels good just to contribute to the life of the neighbourhood and enjoy the fresh air in the garden. Occasionally I talk to the neighbours over the fence – generally being nosy as to what item is being drilled/sawed/hammered on now!
I’ve not felt lonely but at times sad and unmotivated. At these times, I note, I require human interaction. A phone call with a friend can help – video calls though – wow you can see a face! But my excitement is building, level 2 is upon us and my bubble can grow. Slowly with a little distance between, I can see family and friends – a few at a time.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has conceived
the things God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Cor 2:9
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jer 29:11
Perhaps a time such as this is the awakening our community needs to turn back to God, let us be ready to share our hope with those who have not.
Warmly, Iris Tanya Stevenson.
10 MAY 2020
How great is His love! How great, how great as always and it never fail.
What a brand new experience for the last couple months. As much as I want the plague to become a history, I enjoy every moment and give thanks to Him our greatest creator for every blessing in my life.
He led me moved into my first house in a good timing last year and let me settle in before this big “thing”. Gave me a perfect companion to turn the suppose-to-be-long-and-boring lock-down period into a warm, joyful and fun time together.
All my worries stay behind Him. Safe families, warm shelter, Mushroom (the rabbit 😊), lots of yummy food (including the newly discovered cooking gift), ability to work as normal but just in a safer place; my freedom of choices to still be able to start a new and better career position in the coming month…
There will always hesitation for a change, but never a doubt for being faithful to him and his unfailing love…
Isaiah 58:11 New International Version (NIV):
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Warmly, Iris Chan.
1 MAY 2020
A sign outside a church reads
“Pray and wash your hands. Jesus is everywhere and so are germs!”
I have not prayed less during the Covid19 emergency nor has Jesus been any less present to me. God truly is my constant, regardless of how much or how little else is going on in my life. I have never used as much soap or hand lotion as I have the last few weeks. Never have I longed so much for fish n chips or been so wary of shopping. The last few weeks have been an odd time when much of what we take for granted has been absent.
Some absences have been wonderful; such as traffic noise and the Easter road toll. However shared meals and chats over coffee have been sorely missed.
God however is never absent. In times of joy and sorrow God remains our most important and constant relationship. If you don’t yet have a relationship with God then my prayer for you is that you soon will.
Now in this time of enforced stillness may you see what you have been missing all along. Blessings to you, in the name of Jesus the Christ
Warmly, Diane Robinson.
20 APR 2020
At the bottom of my yard sits a shack. It’s a little old weatherboard playhouse, lonely and disused, covered in plant life and home only to spiders. Inside rests a single worn chair, and if you were to poke your head inside, you might not know what this place has become for me. A sanctuary.
When the news that lock-down was on its way broke I quietly rejoiced. It seemed like an introverts dream, a time and place to get work done, to be creative, and to rest. In reality, I would grow more unsettled with each week that passed. Living in very close quarters with others meant I couldn’t find the space to be as intimate, real and conversational with God. I gradually lost peace and scheduling, until I found the shack. In the time since, lock-down has meant growing and journeying with God in true revelation and depth that I might never have before imagined.
For each of us living with others at this time, I encourage you to search out a space where you can be truly open, yourself, before your loving creator. It might be a wardrobe, the back seat of your car, or an old forgotten playhouse. Lock-down is a great time to get before our God, be still, and talk.
Warmly, Andrew Brown.
11 APR 2020
"Greetings to the saints having to do everything another way. A season like this gives us plenty of time to consider how faithful and good God is, and soak in the ambience of worship music through YouTube, filling the atmosphere and refreshing our souls. It’s helpful if our minds are stayed on Him. Habakkuk wrote that even if things dry up on so many levels, yet will I triumph in ADONAI, and rejoice in the God of our salvation.
This week I have prepared a mix of songs full of truth and invitation.
Whether you sing or listen, whether they are old or new, let your heart say a resounding Yes. Easter Song - He is risen. Yes! My Redeemer lives. Yes! Be blessed, enter in. Even sing the National Anthem as hundreds of us do at 7:30 each night if you wish. Know that He is God.
Warmly, Bruce McGrail.
29 MAR 2020
"One positive thing about this Coronavirus thing is, it's making us think about community values. And that's a good thing. We're being reminded how interdependent we all are: "We're all in this together."
Jobs we hardly ever think about, supermarket check-out operators for example, have suddenly become "front line". More than ever, we're being asked to act for the good of all. Many, many people are putting in extra yards, going "above and beyond", for the greater good: health professionals, teachers, even politicians! Government and Opposition are working together. And over and over again, our Prime Minister is telling us all, "Be kind."
Kindness is a fundamental biblical value (Micah 6:8, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 4:32). The Christian Gospel is very much about learning to live together as "one body", caring about and for one another. More than ever, let's ask God to help us at this time.