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July 2016

Taming the Email Monster (Part 4)

So how do we manage all that incoming email? Here are a few tips: 1. Make Your Email Inbox an 'In' Box. Make your email Inbox a processing station, not a holding station. Imagine if you left all your paper letters in your physical letter box at the front of your house for weeks on end. What a mess it would be! See you email inbox the same way. How many email are there right now? 50, 100, 500, 1000, more? Learn to process items as soon as possible and get that inbox to empty. 2. Set Up a Simple... Read more →


Taming the Email Monster (Part 3)

Let's face it, we all send emails to other people and add to their inbox. So let's talk today about how to write effective emails. 1. Don't Over-Communicate by Email. As we have already noted, a big source of stress for people, especially at work, is the sheer volume of emails they receive. So, before you begin writing an email, ask yourself: "Is this really necessary?” Sometimes, it is better to speak directly to the person by phone or in person. Email is not as secure as you might want it to be, particularly as people may forward emails without... Read more →


Taming the Email Monster (Part 2)

Yesterday, we briefly referred to the exponential changes that have taken place over the last 500 years in the way we communicate with one another. Today let's talk about some of the challenges of email. 1. We often feel expected to reply immediately. Have you ever had someone ask you if you got their email - yesterday? Long gone is the era where it took 10 days for a letter to a arrive from overseas and you had a few weeks to respond and send a reply! 2. Online messages interrupt our day. Most workers dread the Monday morning over-flowing... Read more →


Taming the Email Monster (Part 1)

Let's do a quick tour of how communication has changed over the last 500 years. In Britain in 1500, only 5-10% of the population could read or write. Wow! What did they do. They probably talked to each other - sharing stories in person. Postcards took off in 1871, resulting in what TIME magazine called an ‘epidemic’. In 1840, the average American sent 3 letters a year; in 1900, that number rose to 69. The telegraph changed everything. A message could be sent across the Atlantic in a matter of hours rather than the 5 weeks it took for 'snail... Read more →


Confessions: A 3 Month License Suspension

Confession time ... Right now I am in the middle of serving a 3 month driving license suspension. Where I live in Australia, there is a demerit point system for driving offences such as speeding, driving through a red light, etc. If you accumulate 12 points or more in a 3 year period of time you lose your license for 3 months. I have been on 9 demerit points for a few years now and I have been driving exceptionally carefully, usually right on the speed limit using cruise control pretty much all of that time. Unfortunately, I received a... Read more →


Our 30th Wedding Anniversary

30 years ago today, Nicole and I were married. She was 20 and I was 24. You never know where the road of life may lead but I couldn't imagine a better traveling companion. Nicole is a person of deep compassion, courage and conviction. She is also heap of fun to do life together with and she is the best mother in the world to our amazing family. Most of all, Nicole is my best and dearest friend. As we come to the last chapter of this first book of our life, I am truly grateful to God and his... Read more →


Living a Life of Gratitude

Prayer and Praise When our kids were little, we used to drive the whole family north from Melbourne up to Queensland in the summer holidays to visit their grandparents. It was a multiple day trip and one of the things I hated to do was stop for petrol. After all, all those trucks, caravans and slow pokes I had been passing throughout the day, would now be passing me. My wife, Nicole always fills up for petrol with about 1/4 tank remaining. I tend to see how far I can go on a tank of petrol. I’ll never forget one... Read more →


Getting Ready to Vote - Australian Federal Election 2016

The 2016 Australian Federal Election season is well upon us and in just 2 weeks time from today (2nd July) we will be going to the polls to vote. Voting is an important privilege and responsibility for every Australian citizen. As people of faith, it is especially important that we prepare to vote in a prayerful and educated manner. I have a personal conviction that it is not my role to tell people how I think they should vote. Neither does our church take a stand with one particular political party or individual politician. However, we do encourage people to... Read more →


How to Connect with God (re-post)

Jesus told his disciples to “abide” in him (John 15:5). They were to stay “connected” at all times. The apostle Paul’s one goal in life was to “know God” (Phil.3:7-11). His prayer for the church at Ephesus was that they might “know Him better” (Eph.1:15-17). But how do we get closer to God? How can we experience God in a more intimate and meaningful way? Different people give different answers: “Get up early and spend hours in prayer”, “Stay up late and write in a journal for hours”, “Fast regularly”, “Go on spiritual retreats all by yourself”, “Memorise lots of... Read more →


Pareto in Practice

As you think about the power of priorities, just for fun, think about these principles: 20% of our time produces 80% of our results. 20% of our relationships produce 80% of our happiness and meaning. 20% the customers make up 80% of the sales. 20% of the people take up 80% of our time. 20% of our products produces 80% of the profit. 20% of the book contains 80% of the content. 20% of the presentation produces 80% of the impact. 20% of the people donate 80% of the money. 20% of the people do 80% of the work. 20%... Read more →


The Power of Priorities

“Most major goals are not achieved because we spend time doing second things first.” Robert J McKain “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” John Maxwell “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” William James. Knowing what is important (our priorities) and focusing our time and efforts on these things is a key to greater productivity and effective leadership. Yet these are two of the most difficult things to get people to do. Conventional thinking is linear and assumes that all activities and tasks are equally important. But research reveals that not all... Read more →