Our friends the Pritchards came up to spend the weekend with us — it’s our last weekend in our house. We’ve selected tenants to look after our place while we travel, and they’ll be here from next weekend!

David, Jason and the two boys — Jacob and Jayke, decided to borrow a friend’s boat and go out skiing. The day turned out to be excellent fun for everyone. David and Jason were especially inspired when they pulled up at a houseboat and met the owners. Marie and Graham were encouraging when the men described our philosophy and chosen lifestyle.

Marie on the houseboat, January 2011
Marie chatted from her houseboat.

Graham sitting in his boat
Graham was leaving his boat just as the guys pulled up and started chatting. (He was happy to stay!)

It seems that older couples — whose children have already grown up and left home — are the ones who can see most clearly the benefits of keeping the family unit together through the foundational years. Marie and Graham were also encouraging about our desire to travel, as that is what they like to do now.

David writes:

As we grow this new mind (the mind of Christ) we learn to trust God our Father. We have clearly seen that every situation and every event that we experience is designed by Father and is potent with purpose.

Jason, Jayke, Jacob and myself were all geared up for a fun day out boating. We were travelling at close to top-speed along the Logan River, heading seaward. Jason noticed a Portabote and wondered aloud if it would be a good idea to stop and see if we could have a conversation with the people who owned it.

There are two minds that reside within me — the “carnal mind” and the “mind of Christ”. The mind of Christ is always at work building God’s kingdom by establishing relationships and by being love.

The instinctive reaction/mind-of-Christ eagerly desires to head out into uncharted social territory and to do the will of the Father. The carnal mind is the voice in the head that second guesses my instincts. This mind sows seeds of doubt, suspicion and fear.

If I wait around long enough (this may only be a few moments), the carnal mind will get its foot in the door and convince me to indulge in selfish notions such as — “I’m having fun right now and I don’t want to stop”, “conversation requires effort and I’m feeling lazy”, “those people don’t really want to talk to me/us, we will inconvenience them”.

Praise God that Christ is indeed rising from the dead (from within me) and instinct is gaining the upper hand. Those carnal thoughts flee from me as I resist them and the boat swung around and sauntered up to Marie and Graham’s large vessel with attached Portabote (a runabout).

The ensuing conversation could be described as a special encounter with kindred spirits. If you are a charismatic Christian, you would call it a “Holy Ghost moment”. If you subscribe to mainstream Christian evangelicalism, the term is “lead by the Spirit”. If you’ve been influenced by Eastern mysticism, then this would be an “enlightened encounter”.

Jason and Graham enjoyed sharing technical boating knowledge specific to the Portabote and general seamanship. Maree and Graham also encouraged us all to develop our passion for the unschooling philosophy and lifestyle. This couple have not lived in traditional housing for many years. They delighted us with stories and anecdotes of the various boats, motorhomes and other living arrangements that they have enjoyed.

Out of blue, Graham pronounced that although the wind was indeed whipping up the water, we would nevertheless have an enjoyable day. He gave us details of how much water our vessel would take on and in what manner this would happen. Graham assured us that these conditions would not even come close to placing us in jeopardy and that we should proceed with confidence.

So we did. He was right, of course. Thank you, Father.

Isaiah 46:9-10 ~ For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning.

The encounter was mutually confirming and encouraging. All present were enriched.

The men had such a good time together. It was a lovely day out on the water — everyone came back a bit sunburnt and in need of a rest!