Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Fifteen volunteers held a most successful workday on the main track up Mt Karangahake, It was twelve months since our last workday on the main track due to lockdowns in Auckland. During this period Tauranga and Turua members worked on County Rd and so we didn’t try that area this time but concentrated on the mountain. Gorse was the main problem and we removed many small gorse. Our work in the past has ensured that the gorse are young and small. One group of eight worked at the summit where there is an old established thick infestation and then they worked their way down meeting the group of seven working their way up the mountain. The mountain is still drawing visitors; one from Argentina, an English woman and two from USA as well as New Zealanders. The groups were well satisfied with their efforts. We plan to return in October and cover other tracks too. Volunteer hours 180.

We celebrated Barbara’s 70th birthday with enthusiasm and suitable decorum. Thank you to Jill and Barbara for their preparation of sumptuous meals. On Sunday we hiked from Homunga Bay along the coast to Waihi Beach stopping at Orokawa Bay for a shared devotions on lessons on the Christian life form our experiences in nature.

What does nature teach us about the Christian life? Let us learn from nature; Gods creation. Here are the various thoughts from the eleven who walked and met for devotion at Orokawa.
Water sustains life and the water vapour that provides our rain for drinking water and water for plants is like the life giving gift of Christ giving life to all man.
The sea is so vast and so deep and so is God’s love. There is much that lies below the surface of the sea like so many wonderful creatures from the 0.5mm micro plankton to the 30m long whale of 150 tonnes. The whale is the largest of animals and yet it feeds and lives on krill 20-50mm in length. God provides for the animals of the sea.
We experience the waves and wind of life with all its problems but God can give us strength and stability in various conditions.
The trials of life can buffet boldly like the sea for the sea is never completely calm and serene and can be stirred into a storm. God gives us strength to withstand.
The sea is active and rarely still. Life is like the sea. It can be peaceful yet also wild, tempestuous, buffeting, smashing, untamed, tempestuous, forceful and powerful. We need a faith to withstand.
The sea has provided food for all who seek fish and fish has sustained humans for centuries. We are taught to be fishers of men ie to share spiritual food.
The sea is cleansing using its salt and wave action. Christ may cleanse our past for us.
The sea is freely moving like racing waves over the surface of life, it moves us and awakens us to new shores. The sea is strong yet may be calm yet yielding, subtle yet beautiful. How do we respond?
The sea carries the ripples from disturbance of a calm sea. How far do those ripples go? How far do our actions go? The full influence of Christian example and witness is never known.
The sea reflects the sunlight and shimmers in the moonlight. Do our lives reflect our God and maker?
The sea can be controlling us with currents and tides and sweep us off course or even overwhelm. Can we be swept off course in the Christian life?
The sea is made up of many drops of water. “We know only too well that what we are doing in our Christian life may be nothing more than a drop in the ocean but if the drops were not there the ocean would be missing something”. Mother Theresa.
The pohutukawa trees are amazing for the way they grow in difficult places where their roots are exposed and the soil eroded. Isaiah 61:3 Christ is making trees of righteousness.
Sea birds must be strong and meet all conditions. We need strength too in our lives and that strength of purpose and will come from God. .
Follow the track markers. Isaiah 30:21 This is the way walk you in it. Isaiah 55:8 Neither are your ways my ways.
The scenery of the walk is “my cathedral beneath the stars” [Jim Reeves song]. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2
The sunrise heralds a new day with warmth and light. The resurrection brought a new day for all who accept with warmth of the spirit and the light of the world.

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