Life changes in a second..truly a second of time.
Change isn’t something that you pay attention to until you’re in it and then it is this surreal space. Capsules around events.
This week we found out that Gaz has Cancer.A Synovial sarcoma.He has had a large tumour removed from his back and is presently recovering from surgery.He is very brave.
It has been shocking and weird. I feel at most times there are four trains of thought and feeling operating. A knowing that it will be ok- how could it not?..thoughts that it wont because it seems illogical .
Utter panic which results in hyperventilating and a surreal supernatural calm that has come in the middle of all of this (calm arrived only after prayer)
The specialist asked me when we went for the very first interview; what my sense of the situation was. How I saw it.I told him that; when I put my hands on garys back' the picture I saw looked like a shark baby' in a pod, suspended in an aquarium.
It turns out that the tumor looks just like my picture.It is a cystic filled space, because of the synovial relation. Synovial fluid.I couldn’t name it because I hadn’t seen it. Sharks are one of the top predators in the sea. Aggressive animals.
I was out walking this week around Portobello. A constitutional, and I was thinking that my life at present felt like an amusement park. Full of people and ticket booths and strangers All the weird stuff of a carnival-roller coasters painted clowns that get in your face carnies.
I spoke to Ruth the next day and she said she had just been to a theme park.I said I felt like I was in one and then was speaking to Ian the same day. I asked how his week was going and he said he felt like he was at a fair.
I started thinking about how life is like this, a surreal place with all of this occurring. there is an advertsiment on television at the moment, promoting new technology…and a tiger jumps thru the screen supposedly into our world. The punch line is ‘a world without border’s'..I like it. ..I am thinking about my paintings and writing and how I am interested in zoos and amusement parks and how life overlaps with these… ‘lions and tigers and bears oh no!’
.All sorts of worlds can have no borders Palestine is a place with no geographical borders it is a place created by hope by people looking for a home.
As a Christian I live in the natural and the supernatural. My worlds has no borders other than what I create…I am learning it is important to keep one ear open and continually ask for Gods guidance. Check out what God has to say. Asked God if he had anything for Ruth today and I got words, then a picture. ‘Your road is clear’ and then a picture of a big clear clean highway that had been cleared by a monster bulldozer. It was tarsealed or concreted with chip in it on it but the margins were still raw with new shoots just poking up at the sides ferns like on the west coast.
I asked Gaz later and he reminded me that Perth is on the west coast of Australia. HA how cool.
I got baptised last Sunday the 4th of July.
I was thinking about putting it off until Gary had more energy. But he was keen to go ahead and it was great. My kids and Max (their friend )in church. I liked that. Some really good words were spoken and the music was wonderful it was like a present. I didn’t know all the songs we sung and they were fantastic. As Zac says ..Turns out Sue wrote the music for the psalms we sung .Clever.
It was full immersion in a pool, which was heated over night. It was lovely and warm, I liked my head under the water all sound muffled.
Janice and Marty spoke some words for me and they were good. Janice spoke of my painting ‘I am good enough’ and how she looks at it every morning and feels pleased. She said that this wasn’t going to be the first and only time I was up front with a microphone. She said she prayed for me this morning and this psalm came to her. Psalm 40 I liked it
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods. [a]
5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced [b] , [c] ;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.
7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll. [d]
8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."
9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.
14 May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"
17 Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.
The week leading up to my baptism and post Garys operation saw me on my knees a lot with my head on my hands. I had read recently about different positions for prayer and I thought I would try this one, its comfortable and dark, easier to relax and just be. One night in the week I was heading to bed and I was a feeling overwhelmed with all my thoughts and asked God for some good scripture. I opened my Bible in Amos and it was chaotic. Battles, limbs being severed and awful things happening. This reflected how I felt and I definitely didn’t want to go there..I glanced to the side of the page and in a small square there was the words…for those who need comfort go to psalm 139 and so I did. It was good and calmed me for sleep. The words didn’t sink in until later in the week but they were reassuring at the time. Two days later Sue texted me ‘psalm 139 verses 13-14.
And then on Sunday at my baptism marty said ‘Kat I believe God has sent this these verses for you…psalm 139 13-14.I have been reading it all week now.
The week following this has been very full with people and I have not had more than a few minutes to myself so all I have been able to fit in over and over is Psalm 139.Another psalm that I read earlier in the week and liked was 34.So I have been in the psalms all week and they are truly wonderful.
This is my talk I did up front of the church for my baptism.
Ian said I could talk as long as I like today he’d better watch out saying things like that.
Hi my name is Kat Taiaroa
I am married to that very lovely man you saw me standing up with before. Gary who is sitting with my three children who are all in church today. God is good.
I am the daughter of Fay and grant Ward sitting in the back.And apart from a few formative years in the Caribbean, I have lived in Dunedin all my life.
I would like to acknowledge my parents and thank them for such a good job in raising me right. It was a very creative environment filled with music and outback adventures.
As children we were not allowed to use the record player but when dad was out of the house the first thing we did was sneak into the lounge and put it on. I spent a large part of my youth listening to Godspell and Jesus Christ superstar. I am sure this was a very crucial part in my development. God wastes nothing.
I want to thank GAZ who jumped up the very second time ever, I was heading out the door to church and said I might come too. And then got baptised before me and has been the best support and companion since. My kids in particular for being themselves and tolerating my music choices these days-there is a lot of worship
And Sue, Tim and their family for all their support and generosity.
I wont single you out particularly Sue, as I know you wouldn’t like that.
Graham and Cathy all the way from Timaru really good to see you..second time in few years you’ve been in church we will have to see who else we can dunk to get you back.
I have some great friends here today. It feels like a party
I started seeking at 15 after my boyfriend was killed on his motorbike, Looking for some answers or at least some meaning. I turned 45 a few days ago. Thank goodness God is patient.
I am stubborn it has taken me a long time to take each step towards where I am now. I have sidestepped many times along the way.
When I was in my early thirties I was talking to a friend who was into spiritualism, she was talking about spirits she had been contacting. I flippantly said to her, don’t you think if you are doing this, you should just be asking Jesus for guidance as surely he would be the biggest white lighter of them all. She chuckled at me but I went home and thought about it.
It was a particularly busy night, I had just started studying full time and was feeling the pinch of juggling home and family. I went upstairs to my art room and sat on a chair with the door closed and tried what I had advised my friend to do. I remember feeling silly and waiting for something akin to a bolt of lightning. I expected a flash.
As I was sitting I became aware of hands on my back. The only way to describe them was they seemed to be made of water and they cooled the heat and tension in me and I felt filled up. It was like I never knew I was so thirsty and I got given the biggest and best drink of water in my life. It was amazing and then I remember one of the children bursting in with a tale of some sort and I was back into the heat of family. I didn’t forget it but I also didn’t pay it any more attention.
About four years ago I became aware that I had been having a discussion with God for some time. I remember getting up one morning and saying ok…if you are real show me. I am a visual thinker I need to see. And then promptly forgot what I had just asked.
I was driving down the Bay road home a few days later and I rounded the corner to Company bay, it was one of those eternity in second moments. I could see everything crystal clear, the leaves on the trees their veins and their true colour.
Everything was in 3d and had this ambient glow like an old painting with metallic edges. It was very beautiful. I remember thinking how cool is that. I was aware of it being another dimension but It didn’t surprise me at all. It seemed very normal and I was like ok cool. I kept on driving and knew that what I had just been shown was my answer..but again busy busy and I didn’t slow down to think about it..just thought I will get back to that.
I made a decision a few months later and said righto I AM going to get to know you.
Everything changed at that point I started seeing the world differently. It went from feeling cold and big to warm and cozy. It became centred. And lots of stuff got harder.
I made decisions to come to church and we started as a family going to parachute Music festival.
Psalm 84:3 NIV Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
I found my first sparrow after a walk on Caroline bay the day after Elsie’s, Gary’s auntie’s funeral. It was naked but alert, and I picked it up.
We found the second one a few mins after the first.
The nest was high up in a Royal palm tree and we had no way of getting them back in safely.
We ended up taking them home with us. They were very hungry and opened their beaks wide every 10minutes or so, cheeping very loudly.
When we got home we checked the internet and learnt that for the first part of their lives they eat regurgitated insects. We didn’t fancy that and so resorted to Re-hydrated cat biscuits which are high in protein. They loved them.
They required feeding every 45 mins to a few hours when they were awake. The birds and I bonded. This I didn’t expect. We called them BI and B2 (bird one and two.)
After a few weeks when they feathered up, I moved them to a bigger cage out side so I could eventually let them go. They quickly escaped and were delighted to find trees. Our cat at the time, was also delighted to find tame babies in the garden and caught one-(B2). I didn’t realise that they required such a long period of nurturing, they just weren’t ready. B1 survived one night, In the morning when I went out on my deck and called him he came flying from the highest tree in the yard in a crazy swooping dance beak open. I fed him all day like that trying to catch him, but he was tricky.The second night there was a deluge and when I went out in the morning and called him no bird came.
I knew he was gone but I still called him for a long time. I felt like I failed completely in caring for them and keeping them safe. Safe also meant keeping them caged. I curled up on the couch and ate junk food and watched daytime tv sobbing. When I talked to my sister in law. She told me about the sparrows in the Bible and how god reminds us of his love.
Mathew 10:29-31Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
I find I have become particularly fond of sparrows and pay attention when they are around
This year at Parachute I found tough. I was sore in my body and unsettled. I felt the lowest about myself I had for a long time. The closer I was coming to making a decision for Christ the worse I felt. I became particularly sensitive to peoples comments and it seemed like there was alot were more of those.
My insides were all jangled.
On Sunday I got up before service feeling quite despairing and asked God for help.
opened a devotional book I had bought the day before called, Walk with me today lord’. The chapter I opened on, was titled ‘You are worth more than a sparrow’ and quoted the previous mentioned verse.
I thought oh that’s nice and went to service.
When the speaker of the day asked if there was anyone who wanted to stand up and give their life over to Jesus, I knew I needed to, but no way was I going to stand up in front of my family who all thought I was Christian anyway.
It was my worst possible scenario. I was thinking that everyone would think I was being dumb and I was feeling really embarrassed in anticipation.
And then the thought came that if I couldn’t do it in front of people who cared for me then when on this earth would I be able to do it. So, I knew that at some stage I was going to do this thing but I decided I would wait until I felt better.
As I was sitting there the churning and buzzing feeling got worse and felt overwhelming. I felt these hands on my shoulders pulling me very firmly and surely to my feet and was quite surprised to find myself standing upright. My knees are not the best for controlled scrambling.
Tears just started pouring out. I was leaking. The buzzing continued in my body as I stood up, dissipating as I stood there. As I raised my head up, I saw Jesus walking towards me with the most amazing smile and welcome. He was delighted and said he had been waiting along time. I felt total love in that moment.
Sue came up to me after the service and hugged me, putting her head on one side she asked ‘did God speak to you this morning? I saw the verse with the sparrows in it and clicked. This time it sunk in.
I thought ..well I hoped that when I did this I would be totally different and wise and never say the wrong thing ,always have the right words. It has not quite worked out that way. At the time I checked myself to see what was different and I realised that I felt peaceful, a sense of peace that I had never felt before. And again another click Jesus is the peace child. I never understood it before. When you ask Jesus in you get peace.
In Church the next time, I heard Ian say with the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy spirit and I got it and how cool how it is and how it all works together and how all are needed to be whole.
My friend Ruth who is with us in spirit today in England has a lovely sister Deborah who I was speaking to recently. She sent me this passage from Joel
Joel 2 v 25 - 26
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten -
the great locusts and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm -
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until
you are full,
and you will praise the name of
the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders in you.
This was read out before the dunking. From Marty Vant Wout
When I was praying for you this week I believe the Lord led me to this.
God says you are a new patchwork quilt. When a person makes a quilt this is usually made from left over scraps of material that have been discarded. And the Lord is saying, today, you are a new patchwork quilt, and you are not made from leftovers that have been discarded.
He has made you from the finest fabric. And God says you have been knitted and woven in a way that is unique, your not like anyone else, you are you and thats who he has made you to be, don’t be any one else. Your not geometrical, formal or plain, he is knitted you in a way that going to bring him great pride and joy and he loves what he’s created in you.
Your design will bring him glory and when people look at you they will see the maker, for he has crafted you in and with his love. And a quilt has 3 layers, there is the top layer which has the patchwork, which is a mosaic of your life, and you have experienced things that have brought pain in your life and difficulty, and through this pain, you will bring life to others, you will bring restoration to many.
The next layer of a quilt is insulation which is the wadding, this represents Christ who is in you, this brings shape to your quilt, and the bottom layer which is the backing, people usually leave this side plain, but Gods wanting to put his design on this to, this represents the rest of your life and as you allow the maker to knit this part of your life, woven in the way of his plans, you are going to see even a greater mosaic of your life than what you have already seen.
Hand made quilts that were given as gifts were gratefully received by others and brought great joy to all that saw them. God has designed you to bring great joy to people, and just watch what he will do through you. You are a gift that has been handcrafted by the master’s hand, and the versesGod has for you are from the book of Psalms.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Know it Kat
Receive it from God
For God has made a wonderful work in you, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
God loves you Kat
God loves you.