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September 2007

A Theology of Self Care

The Apostle Paul gathered the leaders from the church at Ephesus for some parting words. He had been with them for a few years and they had experienced an incredible revival in their city and beyond. We don't have this meeting on DVD but thankfully someone took some notes of what he said (see Acts 20:17-38). In the midst of some important heart-felt instructions, Paul said: "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock ..." (Acts 20:28). Notice the order ... look after yourselves as a first priority THEN the church or people entrusted to your care. How often leaders... Read more →

Leadership Development Event

One of the best leadership development events in the world is the annual the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Bill Hybels and his team always put together an amazing line up of speakers all with the specific focus of helping people develop their leadership gift. A few weeks ago this years summit was held in Chicago with satellite connection to 110 sites in North America enabling 65,000 leaders to participate in this event 'live'. Now through the Global Leadership Summit, another 83 sites around the world will experience much of the same event through delayed video presentations, resulting in around 100,000... Read more →

A Night at the Movies

Going out to see a movie or hiring a DVD can be a fun way to spend an evening, especially with family and friends. However, choosing a good movie is quite another thing. To save the 'hit and miss' approach, it pays to check out as much as you can about a movie beforehand. One of the best sites for this is Focus on the Family's web site. It has an excellent coverage of a whole range of movies, as well as music and television programs. You may not always agree with their final assessment but at least you'll know... Read more →

The God Delusion?

Walk into any Border's Bookstore and you'll see Richard Dawkin's latest book The God Delusion somewhere amongst the Top 10 non-fiction books. Dawkins is one of the world's leading and most outspoken atheists. He believes that religion and the belief in God are the source of most of the world's evil and that we'd all be better off without it. In this book he emphatically states - "If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down." Mature Christians can benefit from reading such books - simply to be aware... Read more →

What Would Jesus Say

In the early 1990s, Lee Strobel, teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church at the time, shared a series of messages entitled "What Would Jesus Say." His goal was to help people see well-known personalities as Jesus might see them. Through people such as Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Donald Trump and even Madonna, Lee endeavoured to introduce people to God's heart, talking about topics such as success, sexuality, forgiveness, prayer and leadership. I like the concept. We are called to walk in Jesus' steps - to know his heart and his mind, and then to be his hands and feet... Read more →

The Emerging Church

The emerging church is a recent organic movement among postmodern believers seeking to practice the way of Jesus within contemporary culture. Eddie Gibbs' and Ryan Bolger's book Emerging Churches endeavors to provide a pulse on this diverse grassroots movement. They define emerging churches by nine practices. In their opinion, emerging churches: (1) identify with the life of Jesus, (2) transform the secular realm, (3) live highly communal lives, (4) welcome the stranger, (5) serve with generosity, (6) participate as producers, (7) create as created beings, (8) lead as a body, and (9) take part in spiritual activities [p.45]. These are... Read more →

The Multi-Site Church

Up until this time, the two primary ways for a local church to fulfill the Great Commission has been church growth and church planting. Church growth has focused on growing a congregation in one location, often through the use of multiple services. Church Planting has focused on starting new churches in different locations with the intention of reaching new people for Christ. Both church growth and church planting have had a relative measure of success over recent decades. A new emerging model is the multi-site church, which is somewhat of a blend of the two. A multi-site church is simply... Read more →


A 'mega-church' is defined as a church with over 2000 people attending each weekend. The number of mega-churches around the world has continued to escalate exponentially despite a variety of criticisms. Foundationally, we need to acknowledge that the church in Jerusalemin the first century was a mega-church with 3,000 people joining the 120 disciples on the very first day (Acts 2:41). Fairly soon there were 5,000 men in this church (Acts 4:4), meaning that if you included women and children, this church was most likely over 10,000 people in number. That’s a mega-church! Amazingly, despite it’s size, this first century... Read more →

Kevin Rudd - When Our Past Comes Back to Haunt Us

News this week revealed that the Federal Labour Leader, Mr Kevin Rudd, visited a New York strip club back in 2003, where he also drank too much. What do you think? How do you feel about this incident? I have three responses: Disappointment. I have met Kevin personally, he has visited our church, and I have heard him speak publicly about his faith and Christian values. In light of this, it is disappointing to hear of this incident. It contradicts the persona Kevin has portrayed and attracts criticism of hypocrisy. People, especially leaders who are Christians, are expected to 'practice... Read more →

"Look Mum, No Notes!"

For the last year, I have been speaking my main messages to our church without using notes and without a pulpit to stand behind. This has been a big change for me. I've been speaking for over 20 years now and although there have been a few shorter messages I've given where I haven't used notes, I've usually taken my Bible and 6-10 pages of typed out notes to the pulpit each time I speak. So why the change? As part of a course I did on preaching last year, I was challenged to consider speaking without notes. My instructors... Read more →

A Journal Begins

August 10th, 1978 was a tragic day for our family. I was 16 years of age. We had a Bible College student named Robert Muthman living with us in our home in Portland, Oregon (USA). Robert was swimming with some friends and he tragically drowned. We were shocked, as was his family and our whole church community. We couldn't believe he was gone - so young, so much potential. Why? We didn't know. We couldn’t fully understand. Robert was passionate and 'full on' about his relationship with God. At his funeral they read from a journal he kept. It was... Read more →

My Studies

One of my passions is personal growth. I want my life to be a life of 'progress' so that I develop my full potential (see 1 Tim.4:12-15). I want to be the very best I can be - for the glory of God and then benefit of other people. Growth happens through personal study, learning from others, and through life experience. I have also found great benefit in formal training. Right after I finished high school, I completed a two year Certificate of Theology at Portland Bible College in the USA. I wasn't sure about my future back then but... Read more →

Christians and Politics

God has called us as Christians to be 'salt' and 'light' in our world. This includes every sector of society, including government. It is exciting to see more and more Christians aspiring to roles in politics. This is so important as we need people with Christian values in these influential positions. Some people are called to have a voice 'in' politics. Others are called to be a voice 'into' the political arena. One such person is Jim Wallace, director of the Australian Christian Lobby. Jim and the ACL are doing an outstanding job bringing a Christian perspective on the key... Read more →

Catch the Wind

Catch the Wind - that's what I want to do in my life - discern where God is at work, where his Spirit is moving, and then catch the wind! What an exhilierating feeling to be carried by the wind rather than living through your own effort. It's a bit like the difference between rowing a boat and sailing a boat. Rowing is all about your own effort and what you can do. Sailing is about positioning yourself to catch the wind - a power not your own. If the wind doesn't blow, you aren't going anywhere BUT once you... Read more →

My Favourite Fun Things to Do

My favourite fun things to do include ... Playing basketball Walking our dogs with Nicole Hanging out with my kids Spending time with friends Looking after my tropical fish aquarium Reading Playing pool Watching a good movie Watching sport on TV - NBA or Geelong Cats Playing the piano Cooking Driving Nicole's red Mini Cooper with the roof off (when she lets me, which is not often!) Posting on my blog ... Read more →

My Favourite Foods

I enjoy eating ... At home, Nicole always cooks tasty food ... and I can cook a pretty good bolognaise (with bruscetta), thai curry or asian stir fry. Fast food ... can't go past a Whopper with Cheese ('the burgers are better at ...') BUT I'm trying to eat more healthily ... so my current favourites are Nandos (chicken wrap and/or BBG wings) or Subway Resturants ... I love Italian, Japanese (especially tepanyaki), Thai and Indian Drinks ... can't beat water, juice or a caramel thickshake Nibbles ... fruit, nuts and yogurt covered museli bars Did I mention Tim Tams?... Read more →

My Favorite Technology

I use a DELL laptop with Vista and Microsoft Office software. I also use an Asus Eee PC 1005PE for travel, which I love - because the battery lasts over 12 hours. It uses a started edition of Windows 7 as an operating system which I like even more than Vista. Outlook 2007 is my favorite program for keeping my life organised. I sync my Outlook files (email, calendar, contacts, and tasks) to my Nokia E71 mobile phone, so I can send and answer email wherever I am as well as keep in touch with other key information. I also... Read more →

The Blogging World

According to wikipedia, a blog (a portmanteau of web log) is "a website where entries are written in. 'Blog' can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs." I've been visiting a... Read more →