And then there were 3

Last night was our farewell to the Herden family who have been part of our Upstream team since the beginning.

Earlier this year they bought a house back in Lesmurdie and in a few weeks time will move back there. Its been interesting observing how the economic boom here in Perth has affected our team. Two families who were renters were pushed to the limit as rents rose and it become increasingly foolish to throw money down that drain. Earlier this year the Masons left to head for the bush and now live in Narrogin where they bought a cheaper house and can live more easily. And for similar reasons the Herdens are now off having bought a home back where we originally started.

Its a huge challenge to balance the tensions of responsible stewardship and authentic discipleship. No one wants to ‘sell out’ to the middle class dream and just buy a house and fall into line like everyone else, but then it is foolish to throw $350.00 + /week down the gurgler on rent when buying is just a bit more expensive.

To some degree our team has been a victim of the boom as younger, less financial families have struggled to make ends meet and have made the choice to ease the burden. Decisions to move on are obviously more complex than that, and there are other factors involved, but economics has been a very real factor for us to deal with.

So last night we had a final meal together and gave gifts and spoke words of love and encouragement to one another as we parted. Its not like we will never see them again, but distance does make a difference and we know it will be much harder to catch up.

Danelle ‘ran’ the night as I actually felt very sad at the loss of some friends who we have known for 11 years now and didn’t feel up to it. I have felt this move way more deeply than I expected. I have been totally in support of Andrew & Simone moving on and buying a place of their own and getting established. It has felt like the right thing to do for several reasons. However in the last few weeks I have felt their loss very deeply and am really sad that we won’t have them around any more.

We first met Andrew & Simone when we moved to Lesmurdie back in 1996. They were teenagers in our youth ministry and quickly became close friends and people we loved. So our connection goes way beyond the Brighton adventure and right back to one of the most formative times of both of our lives. We have been with these guys thru single-ness, engagedness, marriage – we were the best man & chief bridesmaids and then to kids and moving away from the hills. They were with us thru a time of ministry that was unique and very formative for us. They have seen us in some very good times as well as some pretty ugly times.

Last night we had a very simple time of giving gifts and putting in letters what we just wouldn’t have been able to express fully in words. There were plenty of tears and hugs and a lot of love as we brought this chapter to an end. Emotionally it left me pretty wrecked, but again grateful that we were sad at their leaving – not secretly breathing a sigh of relief.

It was beautiful seeing the kids say their farewells also. Our kids took some time during the week to write letters and buy gifts for the Herden kids and their kids chose one of their favourite toys to give to Ellie & Sam as a way of helping them remember them also.

If you aren’t part of our team this probably reads like interesting information and maybe it sounds ‘kinda nice that these guys care for each other’, but for us it has been much more wrenching than that and I know we will feel their loss deeply.

These are always the risks we take when we choose to enter significant relationships though. Much more convenient to keep it shallow and distant. Much more painful, but also much more joyous to really share life with people and to do it thru the good and the bad. As friends we have had our share of times when we have disagreed or not always connected well, but we have been able to work thru it all and grow a relationship that has been valuable and mutual.

I realise that these last couple of posts have been a tad melancholic, but that’s just life at the moment. What is that old saying?… “Sometimes you’re the dog and sometimes the tree”?… I don’t like dwelling on sadness and pain – partly because I don’t operate at the emotional level all that well, but I began this blog partly to chronicle the journey we have been on and this is part of it. Its part of an ongoing story that has been both exhilarating and at times despairing. (Even raving optimists have times of despair.)

I realise some of you may worry about me as I write this stuff honestly.



A few people have expressed concern for us and how I am ‘coping’. While I’m being quite honest on here I’m not seeking pity – nor am I about to have a breakdown. I just want to tell the truth about this journey and for those who have been reading here for a while this is where its at. It has high points and low points – much like life really…

You can robin hood dvdrip

start to worry about me when I sound like a ‘victorious living’ nutjob! Right now I’m fine & we’re fine, but we are sad.

We are also praying and seeking out at least one or two families to join our team. As I wrote before it seems most people are seeking ‘good teaching, quality worship & a kids program’, but we aren’t seeking to deliver on those expectations in the normal way.

Anyway, if you are reading this and live in Butler and would like to be part of what we do then drop me an email or give me a call. Or if you live in Timbucktoo and are willing to move house then maybe we should talk too!…

1 thought on “And then there were 3

  1. Quote of the day, courtesy of and Kipling;

    1. Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.

    2. Trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too.

    3. Wait and don’t be tired by waiting.

    4. Being lied about, don’t deal in lies.

    5. Being hated, don’t give way to hating.

    6. Don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

    7. Dream, but don’t make dreams your master.

    8. Think, but don’t make thoughts your aim.

    9. Meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.

    10. Bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.

    11. Watch the things you gave your life to broken then stoop to build ’em up with worn-out tools.

    12. Talk with crowds and keep your virtue.

    13. Walk with kings but keep the common touch.

    14. Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.

    15. Don’t eat your ear wax.

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