The Miracle of Easter

“God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son…” John 3:16

The events over the past weeks in New Zealand have surely shown the contrast between good and evil. We have witnessed many people responding to an evil act with hearts full of neighbourly love, many acts of kindness and a tremendous tribute of gifts and flowers. Led by our Prime Minister, people have shown their grief in many ways and as a nation we can be thankful that many do want to see such an act of evil overcome by goodness.

However, even though there are many heart-warming acts of generosity and self-sacrifice in this world, none can compare with the one we celebrate at Easter. As we celebrate we remember the sacrifice of God’s only Son.

It is with a deep sense of wonder we read again the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We marvel that God the creator of the universe, loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die a cruel death of a condemned man on the cross.

Not only condemned to die, but deserted by His friends and mourned only by His nearest and dearest. Yet painful as that lonely death and rejection was, it was almost an unimaginable act of reconciliation between God and His created people.

Human nature has changed little since the time of Christ. The suffering, the cruelty, the rejection and the indifference of that original Good Friday is with us still and the need for forgiveness is as great as ever.

Equally, the sense of new life, the knowledge of redemption, the chance of a fresh start, all of which are implicit in the resurrection, are as real and necessary to faltering mankind today as in the past. Christ’s life and death opens the door to a new dimension to our lives. This is not a matter of following teachings or observing a set of rules or rituals, for Jesus was more than a teacher and a prophet. He established and proclaimed a new relationship between the Creator and the created, between God and His people, revealed in His sacrifice and triumphant resurrection at Easter.

It is a gift so great and yet is it freely there for all who would accept it.

Happy New Year!

To many those words bring about feelings of hope and resolve at the beginning of each New Year. Many resolve to make better decisions, eat better (and less) food, to exercise more, to spend time doing more meaningful things, to love more deeply, to work more efficiently and so the list goes on. It takes a lot of strength and courage to change make these resolutions work. Many give up.

For Christians, however New Year does not usually have any unique significance and there is no biblical narrative informing us to make New Year resolutions. But this does not mean to say we should not take time to reflect on our relationship with God in the past year and the changes that are needed as we go in to a new year.

We believe that spending more time reading and studying God’s Word will show that we are intentional in growing our relationship with God. We in CWCI~KYB want to encourage you to set aside time this coming year to join a Bible study group or start a group whereby you can study God’s Word together. As the theme for our Girl’s Getaway Weekends coming up in February and March is ‘The Spirit-Filled Life -
Knowing the Holy Spirit as a loving friend and powerful helper’. We recommend the Know Your Bible, Holy Spirit study.

The following are excerpts from the Leaders Guide Units 6 and 9:
“Change can be necessary. It can also be unsettling. In relationship with Jesus through his Spirit we find ourselves being changed: from death to life; from thirsty to satisfied; from enmity with God to peace with God; from hard-heartedness to soft-heartedness. All this is possible only because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for us. When His Spirit enters our lives, we can be sure we will never be the same, nor will we want to be.

The Holy Spirit builds believers into a new holy temple (the symbol of God’s presence with his people). Therefore, Christians are to demonstrate unity and are to work at developing this unity. The best demonstration will always be godly, harmonious relationships based on patience and humility. Christ’s body, the church, suffers in effectiveness and reputation when divisions make Christians work against each other. So we must ask, how healthy are our relationships within the body? Let’s ask God to strengthen our unity by the power of his Spirit among us.

While Christians are one in unity, they are also an organism of incredible variety. The Spirit gives gifts to every believer. These gifts are to prepare God’s people for service and to mature the church. Everyone can contribute. Each person is needed, and their work is of great value.

Paul also makes it clear that our gifts will prove ineffective tools, unless we use them in love. Our attention must always be focused on the good of others, not our needs or glory. Personal benefit will come as a byproduct of modelling the servant attitude of Jesus.

Paul also commands believers to ‘keep on being filled’ with the Spirit. What an intimate relationship we can enjoy with God the Holy Spirit! He is the power who can restore and enable. The practical evidence of being filled with the Spirit will include fellowshipping with other believers in the word, heartfelt worship, having an attitude of thanksgiving, and living in mutual submission.”

May the Spirit’s presence in our lives this coming year be our ongoing source of strength, enabling, hope and joy.

“I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help you and tell you about me. Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27

Lorraine Harvey


Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries - the wonderful summer fruits that we all enjoy are now appearing in the markets. As we enjoy these summer delights over this Christmas season let us be reminded of the fruit of the Spirit:
love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

When God sent His only Son into the world it was to demonstrate His love for us. He wanted us to know Him through His Son, to know forgiveness of our sins through His death on the cross and to rejoice that He is coming again. While here on earth Jesus prayed that we would demonstrate God’s love in our lives, so that it would show we belong to Him.

If we are then to demonstrate God’s love in our lives this Christmas season, we need to refresh our understanding of what it means to show God’s wonderful love to others. He who is love has set His love upon us, and calls us to love Him and others in return.

Just as the season produces more fruit for us to enjoy so we look for more ‘spiritual fruit’ that this love produces. It is the fruit that grows naturally out of our relationship with Christ and not something we produce by self-effort. The following verses from God’s Word remind us that the fruit we produce is for the benefit and enjoyment of others.

Love: “Children, you show your love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.”
1 John 3:18
Joy: “Nehemiah told the people, ‘Enjoy your food and wine and share with those who didn’t have any to bring. Don’t be sad! This is a special day for the Lord, and He will make you happy and strong.” Nehemiah 8:10.
Peace: “God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. This peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:8
Patience: “His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything and you will be truly happy.”
Colossians 1:11
Kindness: “God’s servants must not be trouble-makers. They must be kind to everyone...”
2 Timothy 2:24
Goodness: “Do your best to improve your faith by adding goodness..”
2 Peter 1:5
Faithfulness: “Our first duty is to be faithful to the one we work for...”
1 Corinthians 4:2
Gentleness: “Always be gentle with others...”
Philippians 4:5
Self-control: “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7.

This Christmas season,
“We pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.” Romans 15:13

Lorraine Harvey

Speaker: Beth Allison - Australia

For more information click on the Registrations tab.

More than a holiday weekend, more than chocolate!

Tuesday before Easter, as I walked towards Queen Street in Auckland, I passed two women carefully carrying cardboard trays of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. There they were rather large chocolate bunnies wrapped up in brightly coloured foil sitting beside huge chocolate eggs. A morning tea treat for the office staff I reflected!

A sign outside a restaurant also caught my attention, 'Come in this Easter for the best hot-cross buns in Auckland'. Chocolate and hot-cross buns! As I observed my walking companions all obviously hurrying to their work places I wondered what Easter really means to them. The receptionist where I was headed added to my thoughts as she remarked thankfully that Easter Friday and Monday are holidays; a long weekend to dash to a favourite holiday spot, for a good rest and a bit of fun with the family or time do all those things that you have promised yourself to do.

As a follower of Christ, I am blessed to know that Easter means far more than the above. The Christian focus at Easter is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Christians celebrate Easter because it reveals the heart of Christianity the story of a God determined to rescue a planet that is out of control.

We hardly need to be reminded that we live in a troubled world. You only have to watch the television news to get a dose of the world's woes. Easter therefore speaks to us of rescue, of renewal and of the way to peace.

God so loved the world that, right at the beginning, He made a rescue plan to end sin and not destroy sinners. This plan was at an enormous cost to Himself. God sent His Son, Jesus to pay that price. He paid for our sins by His death on the cross, but on the third day He was raised from death triumphing once and for all over sin.

This is the beauty of Christianity humanity does not have to pay the debt for its sin because God Himself has done it through Jesus. This is what Christians mean when they say that Jesus paid it all for their sins.

Will you, this Easter holiday weekend, recognise and celebrate the fact that God Himself through the person of Christ loved you enough to enable you to experience forgiveness of sins and a restored relationship with Him now and forever?

"The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
Here is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world!
He is the one I told you about."

John 1:29-30
Lorraine Harvey

... however, more is yet to come! Check out the Events tab....

What a blessing over these past weeks on our Tour with Emma - the weekends were a feast of gathering together and sharing in fun, fellowship and great times of remembering back 50 years and the other events just as special too!

A huge THANKYOU to all who came along and joined us! It was just great to see you there!!

New Thoughts for a New Year - 2018

Think the same way that Christ Jesus thought:
Christ was truly God.
But He did not try to remain equal with God.
Instead He gave up everything and became a slave,
when He became like one of us. Christ was humble.
He obeyed God and even died on a cross
Then God gave Christ the highest place
and honoured His name above all others.
So at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down,
those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
And to the glory of God the Father
everyone will openly agree,
"Jesus Christ is Lord!"
Philippians 2:1-11

It has been encouraging this Christmas to read of all the 'good' actions of many people as they have helped those in need, the lonely, and those who in their circumstances would not have the means or the heart to enjoy Christmas.

Giving, thinking of others, being kind, showing love, expressing joy and peace have all been in the headlines this Christmas. One news headline gave the impression that, Christmas is the time when we do good toward others and that we 'should' be good at Christmas. In response the question we must ask is, 'Why just Christmas time'?

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians encouraging them to think of others as an ongoing way of life, not something that happens once a year.

Be concerned for others, live in harmony, be united in what you think, be humble and consider others more important than yourselves, care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought. Paul reiterated these 'good actions', in his other epistles, adding, patiently put up with each other, forgive each other, serve each other with love, offer each other a helping hand, encourage each other, live at peace with each other, accept each other and most importantly love each other.

In John 13:34-35, we read these important words of Jesus. "But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.' If we put into practice this command to love each other, our eyes and hearts will be open to the needy, the lonely and those who desperately need Christ, not just once a year but every day! And as we sacrifice our lives in the name of Jesus He will be honoured and glorified.

Lorraine Harvey

A Thought for CHRISTMAS 2017! Devotion by Lois Loan

Lois Loan of Invercargill, along with others, was committed to setting up CWCI in Southland in 1973. Her involvement on committees and boards continued up until a few years ago. Her faithfulness in encouraging women to be involved no matter their age, family and work commitments was well known and the phrase; w.w.w. @ women worth watching, is often repeated by those who were invited to be involved at committee and board levels. Lois went to be with her Lord and Saviour on Saturday 18th November, 2017. Lois loved writing - her history of CWCI Southland and her many stories in a 'lighter vein' are a joy to read. The following story written by Lois helps us focus on the wonderful Christmas gift of the inheritance we have in Christ.
All of us at some time or other expect to inherit something.

Boxing Day was always the day we celebrated Christmas at my father's parent's home. My grandmother was rather an austere person with very strict ideas as to how we should behave but on this day, she showed a more gentler spirit and always had a present for each of her many grandchildren. They were of course practical and we knew not to anticipate frivolous things like toys. One year the dear soul had knitted yards of lace with fine needles and cotton. Each granddaughter was given a piece long enough to be attached to linen to make a tray cloth. I'm ashamed now to say I did not value the time and effort she put into this gift! It was, though, kept carefully in a drawer or cupboard as I moved into different homes through the various stages of my life. I never destroyed it but I just forgot about it. Years later I saw what one of my cousins had done with hers. I was astonished at how beautifully she had used it. As the centrepiece on her dining room table, your eyes were immediately drawn towards it. She had so valued this little piece of heritage. As I think of it now, I think of the inheritance we have in Christ Jesus.
Some is yet to come when we meet Him in Glory, but there is much we can claim here and now. To name a few we have the:

  • The promise of Eternal Life
    "For God so loved the world that
    He gave His one and only Son.
    That whoever believes in Him
    shall not perish but have
    eternal life." John 3:16

  • The promise of Abundant Life
    "I have come that they may have life,
    and have it to the full." John 10:10

  • The promise of Abundant Power
    "Now to Him who is able to do
    immeasurably more than all we ask or
    imagine, according to His power that is at
    within us." Ephesians 3:20

  • The promise of Abundant Supplies
    "And my God will meet all your needs
    according to the riches of His glory
    in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

    Take time this Christmas to thank the Lord for this wonderful inheritance and gift we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Speaker: Emma Stokes, Tauranga

    .... the Lord blessed our Girls' Getaway weekend with Emma - book for our upcoming weekends in February-March 2018.

    Don't miss out - it will be a special time of blessing as we celebrate the goodness of our God over 50 years of CWCI here in New Zealand.

    Start your year in the best way! Bring your friends - see you there!

    Looking forward to our 2018 Getaway Weekends - 50 years of CWCI in NZ

    To request your copy by email
    please contact Sue on

    The Joy set before Him - an Easter devotion

    Debbi Bryson's messages on, "Today I Choose Joy", at our Girls' Getaway Weekends in February March were inspiring and challenging. A friend who attended one of these weekends recently greeted me with these words, "It has been such an encouragement to choose joy through every circumstance this week".

    Yes, it is a choice! In Hebrews 12:2 we read of the choice that Jesus made when, "For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus chose to go to the cross to die for you and me!
    This Easter as we focus on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ let us be reminded of His coming from and returning to His Father.

    Luke's Gospel 2:10, tells of His coming, it was announced with joy, "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people''" Then we read in Luke's Gospel 24:54, of how the disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy, after they saw the Lord Jesus taken up to heaven.
    The coming of Jesus to earth and His returning to the Father are told with great joy and it was with joy He endured the cross, fulfilling His Father's will and purpose.

    Jesus explained to His disciples in John 15:11, "I have said these things to you so that My joy will be in you and your joy will be complete."

    We too are invited to practice and participate in God's true joy.
    Let's pray for one another this Easter season. Pray for the grace to grow in Christian joy, and as the apostles saw on that first Easter, that our joy will be contagious.
    Lorraine Harvey

    A New Year thought!

    T-shirt reminder from Kaikoura during the recent earthquake!
    When Jeff and Carol Reardon of Kaikoura were asked why they had decided to help the trapped tourists in the camping ground by providing food, he replied:
    "It's not hard to be kind aye?"
    Not for one moment did they think this act of kindness would become an important encouragement to the area that had been devastated by the 7.8 earthquake.

    We do not know what lies ahead of us but we can be prepared in our hearts and minds to know how to react not only in emergencies and difficult situations but also in everyday living as we interact with others.

    Reading God's Word every day prepares our hearts and minds and reminds us that to be effective witnesses of God's loving kindness we must show it in all we do. Praying about the people you will meet in the day will surprise you!

    Paul writes to the Philippians 2:3-11, these words, " be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves"

    There are many references in God's Word about considering others and being kind to one another. So what is kindness? It is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don't deserve it, and who frequently don't thank us for it. Basically kindness means a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others.

    Paul continues and exhorts us not only to consider and care but to,
    ...." think the same way that Jesus Christ thought:
    Christ was truly God.
    But He did not try to remain equal with God.
    He gave up everything and became like a slave
    When He became like one of us.
    Christ was humble.
    He obeyed God and even died on a cross.
    Then God gave Christ the highest place
    and honoured His name above all others
    So at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down,
    those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
    And to the glory of God the Father
    Everyone will openly proclaim
    "Jesus Christ is Lord."

    This coming year, 2017, let us each one,
    thank God for His kindness,
    and ask Him how we can show this kindness to others.


    If we want a truly meaningful Christmas this year, we need to understand the true meaning of Christmas. I believe that starts with understanding the person of Christmas, Jesus Christ.

    For over 2,000 years debate has been raging about who Jesus really is. There have been many and varied explanations. Some say, He is one of many gods, others a created being, a high angel, a good teacher, a prophet and so on. The common thread of all such explanations is that they make Jesus less than God.

    But the biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger that we read about in the gospels was the incarnation of God. The Apostle Paul writing to the Colossians captures the essence of Jesus' divine nature and the truths that make Christmas truly wonderful and meaningful.

    Let your heart dwell on the wonderful truth, that Jesus Christ is God.
    Read Colossians 1:15-20 and see,
    who Jesus is, what He accomplished, and the future He holds for us.

    "Christ is exactly like God,
    who cannot be seen.
    He is the first-born Son,
    superior to all creation.
    Everything was created by Him,
    everything in heaven and on earth,
    everything seen and unseen,
    including all forces and powers,
    and all rulers and authorities.
    All things were created by God's Son,
    and everything was made for Him.
    God's Son was before all else,
    and by Him everything is held together.
    He is the head of His body,
    which is the church.
    He is the very beginning,
    the first to be raised from death,
    so that He would be above all others.
    God Himself was pleased to live fully in His Son
    And God was pleased for Him to make peace
    by sacrificing His blood on the cross,
    so that all beings in heaven and on earth
    would be brought back to God."

    Lorraine Harvey

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    CWCI has been blessed! For those who have attended the Summer reTREAT meetings it has been a real joy to be refreshed and renewed in God's Word. We have been challenged and encouraged as we have listened to Lisa Watson, President of the CWCI International Board.

    Speaking from Psalm 23 and the Gospels Lisa helped us to see Jesus as the Good Shepherd 'who cares' for us in every situation and circumstance. The Shepherd who calls His sheep by name and whose sheep know His voice.

    Continuing the Good Shepherd theme and celebrating Easter let us focus on the words of John chapter 10. Here Jesus tells the people that He is the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.

    Jesus also says He is the gate for the sheep, verse 9, "I am the gate. All who come to me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture," and further in verse 10, he says, "I came so everyone would have life and have it fully. I am the good shepherd and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep." Again in verses 15,17,18, he says, "Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep."

    "The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so I may receive it back again. No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do."

    After Jesus declared he was the Good Shepherd, He willingly went to the cross and gave up His life for His sheep. The Good Shepherd gave His life, He gave it away freely and voluntarily, for the sake of the sheep, that they may be delivered from death and might have eternal life.

    Jesus had the power to give up His life and the power to receive it back again. He died and on the third day 'received His life back again' for the sheep whom He knew, and who when called, would know Him and follow Him.

    This Easter take time to give thanks to the Good Shepherd, read His Word, hear His voice calling you by name, leading you and loving you so much He gave His life that you, 'would have life and have it fully,' verse 10.

    Lorraine Harvey


    I do love the refreshing patches of green grass in the city. Since coming to live in the Auckland CBD my husband and I have so enjoyed taking our daily walk in such a different environment from where we were previously living. Our street has its own little park and monument to the first church built in Auckland plus a lovely epitaph to the Reverend Churton. We often read these words and are refreshed and encouraged. Walking through Albert Park we marvel at God's amazing creation. The trees look so old and wise! Britomart Place provides green grass to relax on and children love to play on the fountains that spiral up from the pavement. The Atrium also provides greenery; the walls of plants are restful to the eye. I note that many people take full advantage of stopping off to enjoy the rest and refreshment that these special places provide, however the majority do not, they continue on their hectic way rushing from one place to another without a thought to what they may be like at the end of the day. We are all inclined to try and do more than is expected of us. We need to ask the question WHY? Does God expect us to run ourselves frail? I believe we need to take time in our busy schedules to STOP spiritual snacking and take time for real food!

    Psalm 23, (CEV), helps us to focus on the 'spiritual food' the Lord wants to give us. Imagine the sheep looking at the shepherd and saying, "He is MY shepherd, He lets me rest, He leads me to.., He refreshes me, He leads me on the right path". Here is the responsibility of the shepherd to let us rest, be refreshed and restored from the busyness of life. Then our responsibility is to walk and follow as He leads us on the right paths and through the dark valleys, affirming that He is always with us. What is more the sheep says, "I see your rod of protection and correction and I feel safe and secure".

    Next we have the guest looking at the host saying, "What an amazing treat, I feel honoured, my cup is full and even overflows". Both the sheep and guest say, "Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will stay here with my host forever".

    How important to allow God to give us the spiritual food we need and then be ready and active to walk on the path where He leads. Too often we divert off the path and do more than He asks and we miss His call to rest, restore, refresh and rejoice!

    Lorraine Harvey

    The CWCI KYB Summer reTREATs - both weekends and events, are a great place to come and rest, be restored and refreshed. See details under Events and Registrations on this website.