This is almost my first breather after four very full days. Time to log on and catch up.
Sunday began early at 4:30am (oh jetlag!) But I was grateful for an early start because I had two sermons to prepare. Some of you know that I like to preach without notes and this requires serious immersion in the text. At 8:20am a student arrived to take me to Epping Baptist Church, Sydney, to preach at the 9:00 am and 10:30 am services.
I last preached there 19 years ago. One senior member came up and said: "Do you remember that I wrote to you in the late 1980's to become our pastor?" It all flooded back how Carol and I had received a full package from him, complete with details and warm invitation. I thought how strange that I might have been given a call here, and spent some of my life down-under. You never do know. Several friends turned up to greet me most of whom I had not seen for 10 years, evoking wonderful memories.
The present new minister and wife - Andrew and Rosalyn Hall - arrived a few weeks ago from the UK. They married 13 years ago and met when Andrew was a student at Spurgeon's College. My wife had a considerable role in bringing them together - a romantic story! What a thrill to see Andrew, one of "my" students now pastor of this strategic church.
With a brief afternoon break I was off for a long drive through Sydney to preach at Narwee Baptist church. Over 200, mostly young people, packed the building with such enthusiasm. As I drove back thinking of the day's connections and memories, of what-might-have-beens, and of what-actually-has-happened, I was so grateful to God for this special day in Oz.