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Friday, 30 December 2011


 Well, this Thursday post is late once more and the last one for 2011.

Twelve months ago, this past year was about to begin.How have you journeyed this year? How many hills and valleys have you had to navigate?

Did your world seem bright, an adventure waiting out there?

And then did the journey seem daunting?

Not so much colour and you so small?

Each year as we prepare our Christmas letter, it never ceases to amaze me as we list some of our own hills and valleys just how much has happened in the past months. We are thankful this last year did not contain too many valley experiences. However, as we get older so do our friends and families.

My Uncle Reg and my son's father-in-law died this past year. Even today is the funeral of a friend from our Maitland days. Sylvia McGregor-Skiner was a beautiful woman within and without. For several years she was the Director of Nursing at our local state church's Nursing Home where Ray was the chaplain.

One thing we did not write about in our annual letter is the valley of these last days from just before Christmas when our five grandchildren were diagnosed with whooping cough. They are still not all out of the woods with that horrible disease and have more days on another antibiotic which we trust will work better for them all.

And those hill-top experiences? Thankfully there have been more of those than the valleys. After years of trying to convince my dear husband that his devotional meditation writings need to be published so other besides myself can be blessed and challenged by them, his first two books have been released and the response to them has been very good. His book for adults about God's take on children was short-listed in the CALEB award and he presented his first writer's workshop at the Word Writers Fair in Brisbane this year.

We have thought of ourselves as being a "team" during these forty-seven years of marriage and ministry together. I am just so thrilled that now Ray is also sharing the delights - and challenges - of being a published author! I so enjoyed having the book launch of my own last book, Justice at Baragula, shared with the launch of Ray's two devotional mediatations.

We also share book-signings together which have proved to be great fun times.

Now we are looking towards anothe new year journeying together. Where will it take us?
Will the valleys become deep chasms?
Will those hill-tops also be mingled with mountain-top experiences?

So many times we do need that help along the journey.

I simply cannot express it any better than Ray has in the following:


The journey we travel in this life
Brings its happiness and strife
We leave our faint histories
Of failures and victories
And to all but our Maker
The journey is a mystery
For He alone knows
The joys, fears and blows
Felt, yet unexpressed
In the heart suppressed.

The journey we travel in this life
Can bless or cut as a knife
And many a wound or scar
Has our spirit marred
Seen only by the Creator!
He has heard our silent cries
Counted the constant sighs
Seen doubt and faith wrestle
For our soul’s mastery
In time and for eternity!

The journey we travel in this life
Where spiritual darkness is rife
Is challenged by Christ’s light
To walk by faith not sight.
Here our choices there abide
From which we cannot hide
Before the throne of God!
But do we stand alone
Rejected, out of favour
Or accepted, with our Saviour?
                                                                                        © Raymond N. Hawkins July 2011

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