A Quick Jaunt in the Woods

Don’t you love going to the woods (or the bush as we call it in Australia) – I love the woods/bush – the smell, the silence, the things to do – the getting away from it all.
Tramping, trekking, rambling and hiking are what you do in other parts of the world but here in Oz we call it bush walking and it is extremely even supremely popular in Australia where we have vast tracts of untouched scrub and bush which gives us ample opportunity to indulge in what many Aussies call their favourite pastime.
Let’s see? what are some of the things we can do in the bush?  I checked out the website for the national trust and I gleaned some fabulous clues for my Grandblessings next time we head off bush walking.
Lots of fun in tree climbing – I remember it well – Ahh the memories!
Tree climbing is mentioned in the Bible – Zacchaeus is the renowned tree climber chronicled so well for us in Luke 19:1-10.
Zacchaeus, the Tax collector – hated by everyone – a Jew – one of the people yet turned against his own, to work for the Roman elite – swindling his fellows. He was pretty small – He was despised and looked upon as THE worst of sinners by most people but became completely changed after spending time with Jesus.tree-2093495__340
Zacchaeus the tree climbing tax collector, sees the crowd – wants to be part of it – realises he has no hope – no one was going to let him see what was going on (remember he was hated by the crowd), so he hitches up his robes and runs ahead and climbs a sycamore tree. Pretty funny really. This little guy climbing a tree.
A sycamore tree is pretty leafy so I suppose he thought no one would see him tucked up there in the branches but as we know the story so well, Jesus knew him before he even thought of climbing that tree. Jesus got him down even went to his house (you can imagine what the crowd thought) and changed Zacchaeus life forever.
His life was changed from one who people hates to a person who is willing to help others.
Zacchaes trusted Jesus so dramatically that he was changed in such a dramatic way.
I personally can vouch for how Jesus can change lives – he changed mine in a most remarkable way. I was so lost in sin, so self-centred and so full of myself it astounds me that my sweet wife has managed to stay married to me for so long. Even she can see such a huge difference in my life to the guy she married all those years ago and all she can do is to praise God for it.
tree-climbing-765143__340Like Zacchaeus of long ago neither of us didn’t have to attend some amazing course to make us aware of where we were failing as a person – he and I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway! – But what we both did do was to meet Jesus – Him up a tree and me by reading a book (Driven by Eternity by John Bevere) the ONE amazing experience delivered completely in differing ways changed both of our lives for good.
We both trusted Christ and were both bowled over by His forgiveness, mercy, grace and love. Both of us repented of our sins and let Jesus change us from the inside out.
How about you? Are you ready to be changed? You can’t change by yourself – Believe me I tried for donkey’s years – only one person can change you and that person is Jesus.
Another amazing thing to do as kids in the bush is….
It’s a great past time in the bush – When Ben, my Grandson came to visit -we used to love to build cubby houses (as we call them in Australia) in the bush not far from our home. You guys call then DENS but we still love our CUBBIES.10176
We’d choose a spot – maybe even in a tree, use what ever was around – leaves, branches, twigs – you name it we used it and we would build THE most amazing creations.
God wants to build amazing creations out of the mess we made in our own lives – He looks at our lives and, where all we can see so often is just rubble, twigs, branches and dried up left overs, he sees what could be there – he sees His creation and what/who Jesus died for.
The story is told of a guy who fell into a muddy ditch. The poor guy tried as hard as he could to dig himself out but the more he tried the deeper he got.
Along came a friend of his and said “Mate, how did you get in there? I would help you, I promise, but I’ve got a lot to do today my diary is choc-a-bloc – if you are still there when I get back I promise I will haul you out – good luck bro”
Next along came the Pastor from the church down the road, saw the man, and said “Brother my poor brother how did you come to be in there?” The poor guy explained and asked for help – “Of course I’ll help” said the Pastor – “I’ll go to the church and pray for you straight away – God bless you my friend”.
Then the guy met Jesus, without so much as a word, Jesus threw His strong arms around him and lifted him out of the ditch, washed Him off, bandaged up his cuts and abrasions, re-clothed him and virtually made him a new creation.
The guy couldn’t help himself, His mate couldn’t help him, even the pastor couldn’t help – only one person can help you out of the messy cubby that you have built for yourself and that person is Jesus.
You can try all you like – you can go to whom ever you choose – you can pay extraordinary amounts of money and time visiting all sorts of gurus and healers but when it all boils down, Jesus has the answer.
Jesus can not only clean you but also your cubby – He can make you into a real warrior for Him. He can do what seems like the impossible and make you a completely different person.
There is heaps to do in the Aussie bush – I remember again when young Ben and I used to go bush bashing as we called it back then we just loved….

We had so much fun building boats sometimes out of all sorts of stuff we found and floating them down the creek that runs not far from our home and right in the middle of a typical Aussie bush, especially straight after a heavy downpour – so much fun and we got so so filthy – all fun when you are a grandfather of a ten your old.
God has a mighty plan for you and me – Ben and I didn’t have a plan for our boats at all we just had huge fun watching them floundering on the rocks and quickly sinking.
God’s plan for us may seem strange at times and completely coming from left field but be sure that God always knows what he is doing, not like Ben’s boats who were rudderless, captainless and completely out of control and at the mercy of whichever way the tide took it.
stream-703293_960_720Often we make so many mess-ups and even when we don’t know what we are doing we can rely on God that he indeed does now what He is doing and he doesn’t “mess up”.
Let’s not be like Ben’s boats in the muddle of raging water. Let’s not be at the mercy of whatever tide is running at the moment. Let’s put our hands in the hand of God and let Him lead, I know I did and I have never regretted it.
Sure, things haven’t been all that plain sailing but this one thing I know for sure is that God will never let us go. If he brings us to it, in His mighty plan for us, He will certainly see us though it.
God bless you this week – Keep focused on Jesus – He will keep His hand in yours

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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