This is a poem I wrote for my good mate Ron Watson, who this week leaves Yeppoon to eventually take up an itinerant job pastoring among the homesteads and communities out of Weipa, North Queensland. As the local Uniting Church pastor and as a regular prayer partner we have shared a journey and I’ll miss him.
Our Ron has gone to Weipa
He’s gone there with his wife
He’s had enough of playing church
He wants to get a life!
He’s sick of surface living
Of trying to please the flock
He wants to go in deeper
Till he gets down to the Rock!

The rock of true discipleship
Of dying to yerself
Of looking out for others
Not sitting on the shelf
And waiting till the pastor
Comes and has a cup of tea
So I can whinge about the church
And talk of only me

NO! That’s not the way of Jesus
Not the path the Master trod
The way of true discipleship
That brings us to a God
Who wants to mobilise His people
And, what ere it cost,
Get them out of church and pew
To help him reach the lost

Mind you, he’d seen revival
Over there in Emu Park
The Great Carpet Revival
That grew out of a spark
Of life among the oldies
When suddenly they saw
That faith combined with works
Could do wonders to the floor

Then, as they gathered on new carpet
New ventures came to mind
What about the folk out west
You know, the hurting kind
Then faith turned into vision
Into projects and, you know,
Those Parkies got a passion
To see the Kingdom grow

And back there in Taranganbah
Our Ronnie’s thoughts went back
To a calling deep within his bones
To leave familiar tracks
And find again the paths of faith
The ancient paths of old
The ones that Abraham had trod
That Paul and Silas told.

That took the gospel to the world
And spread the news abroad
The story of God’s favour
And the goodness of the Lord
The story of a Saviours love
The outback needs to hear
We’re off to Weipa, Heather
Do not fear, my dear

For we will tread on scorpions
And pick up snakes that bite
By faith we’ll face the darkness and
Turn back the outback’s night
The homesteads will be Jesus homes
And camp fires all will ring
As praises fill the ancient skies
To Jesus Christ the King

And back here on the Keppel Coast
Our faith is also stirred
We face the darkness also
But our faith is not deterred
For even though our friends move on
There’s One who does not leave
He’ll build his church in this great land
From outback to the sea

But Ron moves on, to Weipa
Goes to Weipa with his wife
Goes to find the ancient pathways
Goes to bring the west new life
Goes to walk alongside Abraham
And Peter, Paul and John
Goes to find what Jesus has in store
For Heather and for Ron


 This is just too good not to circulate. Comes from Terry Somerville from Canada www.totalchange.org  I’ve added a few friends courtesy of PIXAR

cars_portrait_007-small.jpgWhen I first came to “Rejoice Evermore” Car Lot, I was a brand new model. All the other cars thought I was wonderful. They wanted me to get involved with everything at the Car Lot, even though I had hardly any miles at all.  It was great! Each week we would gather together to hear manager Good-Brand speak about being cars, or he would tell us the great designers’ plans for the Car Lot. He is a very wise car, and has many repair manuals and road maps in his office. I like him.

Manager Good-Brand says it is very important to attend the weekly cell-lot. The leaders of the cell-lot are like Manager Good-Brand, except they are compact models, and just have one car offices.  (Manager Good-Brand is the largest model on the lot, and has big fins. He’s been around a long time.)     I’m not sure how the cell-lot is different than the car lot, but I like it.  Until recently I went to cell-lot every Wednesday. We would be washed and have our oil checked, and then…. (this is the most exciting part)  we would have our engines started!  The leaders always tell us to stay in “P” and not push the pedals when the engines are running. But it feels so good to have our engines running that we all want to do it.

One time my friend “Accel” pushed the pedals. (He’s Japanese. He says his name is short for “accelerator”) Anyway, when he pushed his pedals he suddenly shot across the cell-lot and crashed into Volvo, who was quite upset. Volvo said “you new models are always trying to change things, and are out of control.” Accel and Volvo had to see Manager Good-Brand for a long time. They went to the garage and some of their parts were changed. Accel says he doesn’t feel the same anymore and won’t come to cell-lot with us now.    

Occasionally a model called “Prophet” comes to our car lot….unexpectedly. Manager Good-Brand doesn’t like him much. He says his headlights are aimed too high, and when the other cars listen to him the whole lot is in turmoil.  I always listened to him though; he says things that were exciting. My temperature gauge goes up to “normal” when he talks, and it doesn’t usually do that. Prophet always talks about how the great designer made us for the open road. He would say we have power we don’t know about unless we travel the “Kings Highway”.  He always tells these amazing stories about lights from above and signs that point the way. I want to see that!  He also says “don’t wait for your speedometer to move before you go, Just go, and your speedometer will move!”   

One time Prophet talked to me personally. He read my sticker, which I couldn’t see from where my headlights are. He told me how my model had something called “four wheel drive”, and ran best in challenging terrain. We don’t have any of that in the car lot, so I didn’t know how it worked.  But, I thought it must be true because whenever I hear the words “four wheel drive” my windshield washer goes off all by itself.  I talked to Manager Good-Brand about letting me try the four wheel drive, but he said “we have no place for that here. Just stay on the pavement and you’ll be fine.”  

2006_cars_portrait_vw-small.jpgA couple of weeks ago a car named “Missionary” came to visit us. He went on the open road and did what prophet was always telling us about. He has a partner named “Ambassador”. Missionary was all banged up but very happy. He didn’t care about “clear coat” paint jobs and leather seats at all.  He said as long as his engine was strong and faithful he was content. He was getting a tune up in the garage, and told us that once he had his new tires he would be on the road again.  

I asked Missionary lots of questions, and he explained that car lots are supposed to put cars on the road. (I always thought that the road put cars on the lot.)  I told him that Manager Good-Brand had plans for a bigger lot when the ”car lot revival” comes.  Missionary told me he had seen the biggest car lots in the world. He said they were only that way because they put the most cars on the road. He said I had to get out on the Kings Highway, or I would end my days sitting in the back lot. I didn’t want that to happen so I decided I would try it.

Early the next morning I went out on the road.   I stayed in sight of the car lot…. just in case.   I slowly moved from L to 2nd to D.  I felt a surge forward! Something was revving up my engine. It never did this before! I moved so fast! There was so much power. What Prophet said was true; there were signs along the way. They said “Kings Way”, or “Grace Avenue”.  It was great!  Then it happened!   A light from above directed my course! Sometimes, it told me to slow down and stop. Sometimes it said go, and when I did what it said my travels were coordinated with the other cars. Other cars!!! Yes, there were other cars out there with me. I never thought that would happen.

Finally I went back to “Rejoice Evermore Car Lot”. The other cars were excited, but some were concerned. They thought it was unsafe. “What if you go in the ditch?” they said.  “You are only safe in the car lot.”  Others weren’t worried about me, but thought I must need a “front end alignment”.  My steering wasn’t the same as theirs.Over the next few weeks I took many trips onto the Kings Highway.

Finally Manager Good-Brand called me to his office for a talk. He told me I needed to choose between the car lot and the highway.  I asked him “why can’t I do both?”  He said that cars in his lot must be loyal, and I was not doing what he said by going on the road.  He also warned me that when I was on the Kings Highway he could not direct my path.  I said the lights directed my path, but he said it was not the same.

So I chose to go onto the Kings Highway to stay. I just wanted to say good bye, and I hope that you will come on the Kings Highway too. It’s what you are made for.

Your friend, Wheeler