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Testimonial from Rodger Leather

Jillian is Colin's sister. Rodger andJillian together with two of their children (their older children are adults), Brendon and Ashleigh, live at Maungatapere, a rural town just West of Whangarei. They have for many years had a citrus nursery business which they run from their own home.

The solution that got Quiet Times working in the family

The key to our success was doing Quiet Times together as a family.

We have always wanted to have a daily Quiet Time and teach our children to do the same. We see this as of extreme importance because as we do so, we find out how God wants us to live and we learn to "hear his voice."

We have tried twice as a family to get this method off the ground, but after a while, failed both times. This was because we did it individually and usually in the evenings, when there was competition from other things, especially the TV. Often the Quiet Times became an ordeal - something we had to do, usually last thing at night.

As a family, we decided we had to get our priorities right. We needed to find a time when we could all do it together, when we were fresh. That time was 7:30 - 8:00am, just prior to the kids going to school. To achieve this simply meant getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier and being a bit more "on the ball" with our time. This was the turning point for us. It has become part of the morning routine and no longer an ordeal. We each do our own Quiet Time in the lounge for approximately 15 minutes, then come together and share what we feel God is saying through His Word. We finish with a short prayer time.

Why this strategy is working

This routine is a wonderful thing for our family for many reasons:-

Daily routine

Our children are learning while they are still young to have a daily Quiet Time. They see the importance of it and are establishing a pattern for life. This is something I have really struggled with for years.

Open communication

This time together helps keep communication happening. Our children talk to us about what's going on in their lives and we often use these issues as a subject for our prayer time. For example, relationship problems at school or exams they might be facing. We are able to guide them a little on how best they might respond to situations and to follow it up with prayer. It is exciting when we've seen things change as a result.


It is wonderful to be able to pray for each other at the start of each day - even if it is quite brief. Brendon and Ashleigh are learning to pray more confidently and our faith is being strengthened when we pray together.

Hearing God's voice

When we ask God to speak to us as we read His Word, we are learning to hear His voice. Sometimes we may struggle or feel that we are writing things down out of "our own head." At other times we feel excited because God has spoken to us more personally. We, as a family, are learning to have faith that we are hearing from Him, even when we don't feel we are. In this way we are deepening our relationship with God. I am so glad Brendon and Ashleigh are learning this while they are still young.

Recognising our blessings

Each day as a family, we try to share a blessing from the previous day. Usually these blessings are not dramatic, but sometimes they are.

In the years since we began doing Quiet Times, there have been many times when we have been able to see God working in our circumstances.

I can remember once, we had an order of citrus trees ready. That night we had a heavy frost and the trees weren't under the frost protection. The leaves on the trees froze and when the sun came up, turned opaque. The trees looked terrible. The truck was coming soon and we did not have time to replace them. However, by the time the trucked arrived, the trees had thawed out and looked just fine. They went on the truck as planned. We felt very strongly that God had come to our aid.

There have been times too, when He has amazingly saved us from making wrong choices, and even stopped us from spending money unnecessarily.

When we look for blessings each day, it is amazing how often we can see God at work in our lives. So as the old hymn goes, it is a good thing to "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!"

Sharing wider

The sharing with other families has also been important to our own family. Besides having a lovely time of fellowship, we are encouraged by the feedback we receive when we share the reading we like best during the week. Attending this gathering of families also helps to keep us "on track" at home.

But one of the most important things for us is that Brendon and Ashleigh have made friends with the teenagers there. They are committed to growing in their relationship with God, but also have heaps of fun together. They are all good influences on one another. This is extremely important as this is a very vulnerable time in their lives.

We highly recommend that families give priority to establishing a time to "Walk with God" each day.

Footnote by Colin

The reason I asked Rodger and Jillian to share their testimony is because of their determination to make Quiet Times work in their family. They were also the first family to succeed in getting the QT/Sharing Time established.

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