Family

Think Win/Win

In his best selling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey noted that when it comes to healthy relationships, mature people think “win/win”. Win/Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all situations, agreements and solutions. With a Win/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and are committed to the action plan - there is something in it for everybody and everybody wins. Win/Win sees life as a co-operative, not a competition. One person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others -... Read more →


Happy Mother's Day (2016)

[Watch this message] It’s Mother’s Day: a century-old tradition of taking time to thank and honour our amazing mums. Mums are special people we owe so much to - in addition to our very existence! Most mums are faithful, loyal, hard-working, loving and caring people. We honour and applaud them today. Of course, Mother’s Day brings a variety of emotion with it – gratitude, if you had a great mum, some sadness and pain if you had a difficult or absent mum, and grief if you have lost your mum or wanted to be a mum but haven’t yet been... Read more →


Jesus as a Child

Luke gives us some interesting insight into Jesus' self-perception ... as a 12 year old. Luke 2:41-52. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they... Read more →


Responding to Domestic Violence

Right now, our vision as a church is to see over 10,000 stories of transformation. Recently, we have had a number of moving stories about individuals coming out of domesitc violence situations. These are people who once felt isolated, hopeless, and helpless. Now they feel cared for and looked after. These stories provide hope for anyone affected by domestic violence. Domestic violence (sometimes referred to as ‘family violence’ or ‘interpersonal violence’) is defined as “a pattern of coercive or controlling behaviour used by one individual to gain or maintain power and control over another individual in the context of an... Read more →


"Porn Kills Love" by Josiah Conner

We fight the drug of porn with the power of love Ephesians 5:1-14 [Josiah Conner kicked off our Modern Family series last weekend with a message entitled "Porn Kills Love" (watch or listen). Here is a summary, along with some reflection questions] Steak: We have taken the good gift of sex and turned it into something it is not. Steak: food is for eating (we have twisted sex into something it isn’t). 1. Think about the ways that sex has been twisted away from God’s intention. 2. The dictionary defines pornography as: Sexually explicit writing, images, video, or other material... Read more →


Looking for a Baby Name?

Looking for a baby name? In 2014, around 1 in 10 Australian babies were given one of the Top 10 most popular baby names; a total of 30,581 babies. There were more than 2,189 boys named Oliver and 1,796 girls names Olivia last year. Keeping the top spot from 2013 is Oliver, the top boy baby name in Australia for 2014 having overtaken Jack and William which were 1st in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Oliver was the top boys’ name in all 6 states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, TAS) while William was the top boy baby name in the... Read more →


Say 'No' to Domestic Violence

As a pastor and church leader, I have a confession to make: The church has not handled the matter of domestic violence well. Let me be more specific: 1. We have not done a good job of helping to prevent domestic violence, of confronting it when it does occur nor of helping those involved - both the perpetrator and victim. 2. There has been too much ignorance about the prevalence of domestic violence. Many church leaders have failed to believe that it can happen, even in Christian homes. 3. There has been much erroneous teaching about ‘submission’, ‘authority’, and ’obedience’... Read more →


Two Simple Questions to Improve Your Marriage

In most marriages, one person is wired a little more relationally than the other. Often it is the wife ... but not always. If so, husbands, find a quiet time and place and ask your wife these two simple questions: 1. "How would you rate the current state/health of our marriage on a scale of 1-10?" 10 being you should start your own marriage seminar, 1 being you desperately need to attend a marriage seminar. No negative numbers, please. Note, that it will probably be lower than your score. Don't start an argument about that! 2. Then ask her, "What... Read more →


When Families Break Down

Divorce and Remarriage In Matthew 19:1-9, we have a record of the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus with a question about divorce, a hotly debated topic of his day. Everyone today has or knows a friend or family member who has been divorced and possibly remarried, or maybe we have even gone through that experience ourselves. Stories of family breakdown are usually filled with pain and heartache – for spouses and for children, if they are involved. Here in Australia 43% of first marriages end in divorce and the rates go up with second and subsequent marriages. One in three... Read more →


Re-Thinking Family

Let’s talk about the family. There have been many popular TV families over the years – Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show, Friends, The Simpsons and now Modern Family. Some people say that television shapes the culture while others say it simply reflects the culture. A few would even say it is 5 years behind the culture. What we do know is that today’s families are changing and facing tremendous pressure both from within and without. Complex questions are emerging about such matters as blended families, same-sex attraction, as well as divorce and... Read more →


Mother's Day

This coming Sunday is Mother's Day. I realise that this can be a difficult day for some people. Maybe your mother passed away recently, or you don’t have a good relationship with your mum, or maybe you always wanted to become a mum and it hasn’t happened. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. It is, however, a good time to honour all of the mums. They are amazing people. Both Nicole and I lost our mothers a few years back now (Joyce Conner and Renata or 'Oma' Meyer). That's a good reminder to all of us to love... Read more →


For Parents with Young Children in Church

A friend pointed me to a very good article recently in the Huffington Post religion section by Jamie Bruesehoof to parents with young children in church (especially relevant when kid's church is having a break during the school holidays!). Here is it: You are doing something really, really important. I know it's not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring. I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant car seat and the diaper bag ('nappy bag' for the... Read more →


Reaching Millennials

Research in America shows that 59% of millennials (also known as Gen Y) drop out of church after attending regularly as a teenager. For the past decade, Barna Group has been working to understand this important age group. After interviewing more than 27,000 millennials and conducting 206 studies of this group, they have amassed a significant body of knowledge on millennials. Now they are sharing that knowledge via a special section of their web site that contains research, articles and carefully curated information on this elusive and often confusing age groups. Check it out at barna.org/millennials. In many ways, Australia... Read more →


Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day, a time to honour all of our dads. I am thankful for my own father and the positive role model he has been for me, despite that fact that he was an orphan and never had either a father or a mother his entire life (see his biography This is my Story for more). He has done his best to be the kind of father to my sister and me that he never had. I would also like to thank our three amazing kids - Josiah (and daughter-in-law, Shelley), Ashley (and daughter-in-law Malisa, if there is... Read more →


You and Your Father

Tomorrow is Father's Day in Australia. Unfortunately, when it comes to dads, the news is not all good. Steve Biddulph, in his best-selling book Manhood, estimates that: * 30% of men don’t speak to their father. * 30% have a prickly or hostile and difficult relationship. * 30% go through the motions of being a good son and discuss nothing deeper than lawnmowers. * Only 10% of men are friends with their father and see them as a source of emotional support. Those are sad statistics! In an ideal world, we need to feel love and respect for our fathers... Read more →


Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dad (Pt.2)

3. Instruct Clearly Father God does not leave us to figure out life by ourselves. He gives us clear instructions about every area of life and explains why his way is full of wisdom (Gen.2:15-17. Deut 30:11-20). God's words are contained in the Scriptures and they present his will and best wishes for our life. They are for our good – our ultimate benefit – not because he wants to take the fun or enjoyment out of life (2 Tim.3:16-17). As parents, we are to instruct our children in God's way of living (Eph.6:4). We are to make our expectations... Read more →


Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dad (Pt.1)

It's that time of year when we honour all the dads – Father's Day. Let's talk about fathering and who better to learn from that the greatest father of all time. No, not me – Father God. The God of the Bible has revealed himself as one God existing in three persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We have the opportunity to be "born again" spiritually into God's family. God wants to be our Father and we can be his children (John 1:12-13. Rom.8:13-17. Gal.4:4-7. 1 John 3:1-2). With the breakdown of marriages and family relationships... Read more →


The Anatomy of a Father (by J John)

With the celebration of Father's Day this coming Sunday, I thought this post by J John on "The Anatomy of Fathering" was appropriate ... In the New Testament God is described as a father, and human fathers are to be imitators of God the Father. Fathering requires many skills and one way to think of them is in terms of parts of the body. Fathers need: 1. A Heart Children need to be loved, with a deep caring love that is more than an emotion. Children also need to know they are loved. The Bible talks about God as a... Read more →


Modern Family (Pt.3) - Singleness

Today, let’s talk about being single. Singles are people who have never married (because they chose not to marry or have not found a partner) or those who have been married but are single again because of the death of a spouse or through divorce. This includes single parents. American theologian Stanley Hauerwas argues that Christianity was the very first religion to hold up single adulthood as a viable way of life. Nearly all ancient religions and cultures made an absolute value of the family and of bearing children, which was seen as the only way to significance and leaving... Read more →