This week I'm in the land of the long white cloud, the Maori name for New Zealand.
Had some meetings cancel on me so unfortunately I'll be spending tomorrow wondering through Tongariro National Park expecting to bump into Frodo and Sam.
Aussies find each other over here. Bumped into a guy this morning I sort of grew up with twenty years ago. His father was pastor who fell on hard times and left the ministry, his marriage and his family.
Another pastor heard about the need and organized as much relational and financial support as he could.
It wouldn't be hard for a young man to lose his faith after an experience like that. But because of the support he saw his mother receive that young man not only came through with his faith in tact but is now in the ministry himself.
Caught up with a Kiwi pastor later in the day. Half the week he's an architect, half the week he's leading a church. It's probably more like 75% and 75%.
It wasn't a role he chose for himself. A few years ago the church he was an elder in a church that was imploding. About two thirds of the congregation disappeared. He chose to stay.
When the pastor left, he was asked to step in and rebuild a shattered community. So now he juggles building houses and building up the body of Christ. Both ventures are prospering under God's blessing and he's been on a steep learning curve.
What did I learn from these two unplanned encounters?
Character counts for everything. Blow it there and you can lose your marriage and your family, you can see the body of Christ torn apart.
Yet in both these stories, God's grace prevailed because godly leaders stood up.
Cherish godly character above all else and the kingdom is yours.