A Tune With A Strong Ring To It

Dear God,

I’m not sure whether I feel old or young again.  Kathy did music tonight and decided to go retro and got out the ‘Ring of Praise’ Books.  Some excellent lyrics in some of them, but right now I feel like I’ve been to an 80’s churches gathering, I will probably be trying to sing songs I only half remember all week, and right now I’ve got ‘Shine, Jesus, Shine’ going round and round in my head and driving me nuts.

I had a good chat with the Strongs, though after the service, and they helped me sort through a lot of questions that came up through Philippians as well as talking about my lunch tomorrow with Gina.  We spent some time praying about that, which was good.

The Strongs were, a long time ago in a past life, my youth group leaders.  They’re great people and I still look up to them.  Bernadette – Bennie is one of those people who seems to just ‘get it’ when you try and explain something.  She’s warm and empathic and lots of fun.  She used to play some really fun practical jokes on Oliver.  It’s amazing what a wife can get away with that a bunch of youth group kids could never dream of. We had a pact with Bennie – we left the guys alone and she’d get Ollie.  I think Oliver had a similar pact with the boys. Not sure how it would go down some places, but it used to work.

One time Oliver came down to a camp in his ‘station car’ (ie the old bomb that he used to drive to the station and park there everyday and drive home again and use for nothing else) and Bennie came down later. Overnight Bennie, the other leaders (one of whom was a 4th year apprentice panel beater and backyard mechanic, and there was another in the second category)& a few of us older kids pulled the main parts of the car to peices and laid them out neatly like they do the human skeletons in Bones.  Took ages.  I don’t think I’d ever seen Ollie look so stunned.

“I thought we had until Monday.”  He said blandly, trusting that she’d planned the clean-up.

Later in the day we were outside near the car park and opened the pre-printed study guides.  The talks for the weekend addressed what it means for us to be part of the body of Christ.   Ollie had already been using an illustration about how a car fits and works together.

The car went the next day.  Bennie had arranged for a Christian friend who worked for a wreckers to pick up the parts later on in the weekend.

I do believe that was the weekend that her sleeping bag was stitched up at the mouth (the zipper had been glued in place long ago).  And about a third of the way down.  And then about another third of the way down to the bottom.  And boy was it cold that year!

Good thing she had a quick unpick in her camp survival kit.  You should have seen that kit – it had everything and a bit more.  She was prepared for anything that would happen in the normal flow of events or for her own adventures.  You never knew what she’d be up to.  But it was never the same.  She would always outdo him – but never make a fool of him.  And there was almost always something that would help his talks or our discussions along.  Although, she’s always said she probably over-did it with the car – it over powered the study.   Clever lady.  Lots of fun.  But the first one to put everything down and appear by your side before anyone else noticed you needed somebody.  She’s the one who first taught me what it meant to really be part of Your Church body.

Father, thanks for the Strongs, their sense of fun and their teaching from your word.  Through them you laid some great foundation stones.  Father I thank you for all that you’ve done, you gave your Son freely for me, and I thank you for … aaak I’m being drawn into the “Ring” … Lord, I thank you for everything that you’ve done in saving me.



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