Journal: thoughts on John 16


Last night I had the pleasure and honor to be present at the baptism of one of my star students. A joyful occasion indeed, bringing good memories of my own baptism (see above) at Harmony Church

Prior to the baptism the pastor spoke about what baptism meant and words such as giving your life to God, living for His purpose, according to His plan, guided by the Holy Spirit.

It is in these times amazing in itself to see young people make such commitments. Beautiful. I know I have been there and still am there, so I was also reminded as to how that sometimes poses serious challenges and it reminded me of the story found in John 16.

Jesus tells his disciples that he’ll be going back to his Father and all of them are said at his words, not because they did not allow him the joy of being reunited but because their own interests stood in the way… or so they thought.

Jesus however saw the bigger plan and understood not only that he would be going away but also that it was necessary even, so that “the Comforter, the Holy Spirit could come. Jesus understood that we would actually be better off with His departure.

It is so easy, despite the fact that you made a commitment to live your life His plan, for His purpose, to be blinded for the bigger picture, the picture that you may not be seeing (yet).  I guess the story teaches us that quick relief is not always the best option in the larger scheme of things and that we may sometimes not be fully aware of what the true value or blessing is that comes with certain less pleasurable events situations in our lives. But He knows! Perhaps it helps to ask before being grief stricken straight away.   Nowhere in the Bible does it say that a life in Christ is a guarantee for a challenge and trouble free existence. There may be a meaning of things that needs to be clarified before we put our own, worldly agenda first. All I can add is that I fail regularly, get better at it every day and that He has not let, me down so far.

A Chat with a Friend: Thoughts on Trust and Guidance, John 14 and Proverbs 3


Credits: Michael Pokocky

The other day I was talking with a friend and not long after that I came across some Bible verses that felt quite fitting in the light of our talk. Let me share some thoughts with you.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. – John 14:16-17 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit has is there to give us counsel and a pathway to truth. It is very natural for us, me especially, to think of truth as a body of knowledge to identify right from wrong. Jesus however was not referring to that. Earlier in John 14 Jesus advises that He is the way, the truth, the light.

So, truth appears not so much a set of answers; truth appears to be referring to a person: Jesus Christ!Truth is the tree of life, and not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We want clear, fixed solutions. It is part even of our survival mechanism. The Holy Spirit however wants to give us truth and with that life itself ultimately. But our human nature makes that we are almost naturally inclined to think that we can find that truth, on our own strength more often than not mixing up knowledge with life. I know I have been, and I still am regularly. This condition or human tendency is recognized and it is therefore no surprise that we read in Proverbs

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3: 5-7 NIV)

I remember all to well how I reached a dead end, some years back. I had been searching and either not finding or been disappointed with whatever truth, life I did think I had found.  Christianity was no exception, and I was determined to expose it as a sham, a scam. It was at the time the last viable option. Ironically I ended up becoming a Christian and for the first time in many years, for as long as I can remember in fact, I have found the peace  I was so desperately searching for on my own strength. It is beautifully worded in one Jewish song: Ruach (Spirit).

“Not by might or by power, but by the Spirit of God.”

The matter of being comforted and guided by the Spirit, to follow the Spirit‘s lead, not to find answers but to find life, is not a quest but  a matter of trust. It is already available to everyone of us, its part and parcel of what being a believer is all about. It seems so obvious but in daily life it poses me challenges regularly. We are (I am) so used to living in a world in which we (are made to) believe that we have all the answers that it seems almost unnatural to place our trust completely in God. Yet that is exactly what Jesus did and while his life may have had some incredibly hard moments, he came out the winner. In all this and considering everything I remind myself of one thing: no matter how evolved we are as humans and as societies and civilizations, we have yet to find the answer as to why, if we are so advanced, pain and suffering are still not solved as a human problem?  All the advances we made over the centuries did not solve this problem and the scale has as far as I can see it only gone downhill.

Even though I fail in respect of placing my trust in God, in letting myself be guided, I have not been disappointed wherever I did, even where I did not understand the calls being made on my life. Sometimes matters become more clear along the way, sometimes not (yet).  I will try and am keeping on learning live with it and trust God, until one day I hopefully do see the purpose behind God’s way.  In any event I am peace, that is more than I ever achieved on my own strength for such an extended period. Christianity is not a guarantee for a trouble free life, but it makes a incredible difference to know that it may serve a purpose, you are not alone and that help is at hand to comfort and guide you through any storm.

 

Snow in Christchurch


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Snow in Christchurch, a set on Flickr.

This winter we had snow twice here in Christchurch, quite an amazing happening. Some pics uploaded from around the house.

Photo Journal: To Muntanui, a walk through native bush


Recently we had the pleasure and joy to go and visit our friends Niki and Ewan at their new home and perma-culture adventure Muntanui. Situated in the Nelson Lakes area near St-Arnaud, the Rainbow ski-field and Lake Rotoiti around the corner there is plenty to see and do.

What an amazing place and what great people. I suggest you go and read about their adventure here >>>. Besides having a great time catching up, it was great to have a walk through the native bush that covers part of their land.  In this time of the year the colors were just amazing with the mosses growing on the old trees providing for amazing bright greens, the views and the birds, that could be heard all along the walk. The forest is a great place to walk in any event but this native bush had such a different atmosphere, the old trees, the mosses and fungus, the ferns covering the floor. Amazing to walk through a part of New Zealand’s natural history.

More photos to follow on my flickr photostream soon.

Miscelaneous Uploads


DropfeathersparrowmoonChristchurch cityscape by nightsunset
the screamreflectionsBubble portraitbubblebubblesunset
blue and yellowbutterfly, monarchbutterfly, monarchcatwax eyewax eye
wax eyessparrowmoonmoonsparrowsparrow

In June I got a new camera and tried it out, I am still learning about all the new options ad possibilities but here are some initial results.Some of the picture were already covered in previous blog posts, others have not been online yet. Let me know what you think.

johndierckx’s photostream


Banks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningBanks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningBanks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningBanks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningBanks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningBanks Peninsula Living Springs winter morning
Banks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningBanks Peninsula Living Springs winter morningGolden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011
Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011
Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011Golden Bay Trip 2011

Some winter magic from earlier this year, while trying out my new camera.