Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Sixteen people turned up to do a walk from Maraetai through the Omana Regional Park. After our usual circle-gathering for intros and prayer we set out from the carpark by the boat ramp at 2:20pm beginning with a grunt through the bush of Platts Mills Reserve coming out on Maraetai Heights Rd. We walked along this road and on to Maraetai School Rd and Te Puru Drive before entering Omana Regional Park. From this point we followed the Perimeter Track through grass, bush and wetland and on to the Beachlands-Maraetai Walkway, going past the campground and coming to the kids playground. A rainbow adorned the sky to the east. The playground was laid out with sculptures of birds and a waka (canoe), plus some picnic tables where we had our afternoon tea break.

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John gave the devotions about God being our heavenly Dad. All Christian believers belong to the family of God, more intimate than our blood families. Common misconceptions of God are that he is distant, uncaring, stern, demanding, impatient, angry, takes the fun out of our life, controlling, manipulative, condemning, and unforgiving. All these are completely wrong, God is intimate, everywhere, kind, compassionate, full of joy and love, patient, slow to anger, loving, gentle, protective, full of grace and mercy, and forgiving of all our sins and wrongs through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. As children our loving parents fed us, provided our needs, taught us to talk, arranged our schooling, trained us in housekeeping by giving chores, scolded and disciplined us, took us on outings to meet friends, cared for our medical needs, gave career guidance, and blessed our leisure interests. God as our Dad is like this and much more, through the mother-heart of the Holy Spirit. When you see a child in the street with a parent, think of yourself as that child in God’s arms, cradled, led hand in hand, and much more. John told of recent instances of schoolgirls beaten up by bullies at a fast-food place running outside and using their phones to call mum and dad. When we strike difficulty or suffer an ordeal, our Dad is right there to call upon. Jesus is our Wonderful Counsellor.

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We went back along the Beachlands-Maraetai Walkway and Tracey’s Walk following the coastline, having to bring out raincoats and umbrellas as a band of rain passed over. After taking shelter outside a boating club bar, we got back to the carpark at 4:25pm.

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COST: carpooling from The Bracken $10