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May 2008
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July 2008

A Personal Check Up (Pt.1)

It's hard to believe that we're half way through another year. At the mid-way point of a year it's good to pause or take a brief 'half time' to do a personal check up. Most of us don’t like doing check ups – whether it be the doctor or the dentist. We’re too busy and we don’t like pain or the fact that something may need attention. But the truth is that check ups help us ‘define reality’. They tell us the truth – so we can then make appropriate changes … for our own benefit! A good check up... Read more →


Love for a Lifetime - Building a Great Marriage (Pt.6)

Today we will look at the fifth key to building a great marriage ... 5. Grow Together Spiritually As followers of Christ, Nicole and I have found that our relationship with God is a vital part of us reaching the fullest potential of our marriage relationship. After all, intimacy has a spiritual dimension to it. Spiritual vitality makes a difference when it comes to the quality and sustainability of any marriage. Lack of a quality spiritual life is often at the root of most relational problems. Here are some interesting statistics: 1 out of 3 marriages end in divorce. 1... Read more →


Love for a Lifetime - Building a Great Marriage (Pt.5)

Today we mve on to look at the fourth key key to building a great marriage which is … 4. Effective Conflict Resolution Everyone has arguments, conflicts, crisis and problems. We sure have … lots of them! The outcome either hurts the relationship or helps it. It’s what we do about our problems that is most important. After all, marriages with the biggest problems don't necessarily break up. It's the way you respond to problems that determines the future of the relationship. Problems or crisis confront every relationship and no one enjoys them, but strong families are able to respond... Read more →


Love for a Lifetime - Building a Great Marriage (P.4)

So far, we're looked at friendship and partnership as two keys to a great marriage. Today, we'll look at the third key to building a great marriage which is …. 3. Good Communication Someone once said, “Marriage is one long conversation, with an occasional disagreement along the way.” A good marriage requires continual quality communication with each other. When communication breaks down, so do marriages. Good communication is essential to a successful marriage. A leading marriage counselor says that 50% of divorces result from poor communication. There are different levels of communication: clichés, facts, ideas and opinions, feelings and emotions,... Read more →


Love for a Lifetime - Building a Great Marriage (Pt.3)

Yesterday we looked at the importance of building your marriage on a foundation of friendship. In the best marriages, the husband and wife are best friends - for a lifetime. Today, I would like to share with you what I think is the second key to building a great marriage ... 2. Partnership Nicole and I are not only friends, we see ourselves as 'partners' in life and ministry. Understanding the role of the husband and the wife is very important. Genesis 1-2 tells us the story of how things were in the beginning – according to God’s original design.... Read more →


Love for a Lifetime - Building a Great Marriage (Pt.2)

A great wedding doesn't make a great marriage. A great marriage is something that is built over time - patiently and intentionally. I think there are five things that build a great marriage. Let's look at the first today ... 1. Friendship In Genesis 1, the reason God created Eve was to be a friend or a partner for Adam. He was alone and needing relationship with someone compatible to him. When I first met Nicole, the thing that I first thought was that I could enjoy spending the rest of my life with her (at least my life wouldn’t... Read more →


Love for a Lifetime - Building a Great Marriage (Pt.1)

This weekend, Nicole and I celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. Nicole and I met in Rockhampton, Queensland in December 1984. My good friend, Peter Leigh, and I were travelling to Townsville on holidays and stopped by to visit some friends we knew from a small church there. On the weekend, we went four wheel driving with some of the young people, including Nicole. We had lots of fun and a huge mud fight! Nicole moved to Melbourne a few months later and we began going out the next week. We were engaged 10 months later and married 6 months after... Read more →


Comfort

Have you ever noticed that bad things sometimes happen to good people? It’s one of those contradictions in our world. It doesn’t always make sense. Think about Job, a man who lived back in Bible times. He had a whole bunch of bad stuff happen to him … even though he was a good man who lived a good life. His friends started out by just being a comfort to him, which was good, but then they tried to figure out ‘why’ all of this bad stuff was happening. They thought it might be because Job had done something wrong... Read more →


Example

Take a moment to think about the people who have had the greatest positive influence on your life. I’m sure there’s at least one or two you can think of. Then ask yourself what it was about them that caused them to impact you so much. Summarise it in a few words. I’m sure you’ll discover that it was the character of their life that made the biggest impression on you, not so much their talents, their gifts or their abilities. It is things like love, faithfulness, enthusiasm, passion, persistence, and integrity that influence us. This shows us that our... Read more →


Generosity

If you are a parent, have you ever taken your child to McDonalds, bought them a meal, and then suddenly felt a little hungry yourself? You reach over and ask for a few of their fries and they respond by quickly pulling their fries away from you and saying “No!” How do you feel in that moment? I start to think … “Do you know where those fries came from? I paid for those fries!” Then I think … “I don’t need your fries anyway. I’ve got enough money to buy all the fries I want!!” And … “I can... Read more →


Money

Money … everyone wants more of it. Somehow we think it is the answer to all of our problems. No doubt money has great power … for good or for evil. It all depends on our attitude towards it and how we use it. One of your goals should be to be financially ‘free’. In other words, to have your needs met and enough to give away. That’s a good definition of ‘prosperity’. A great plan for achieving this is the ’10–10-80 plan’. It goes like this … Every time you receive any form of income give away 10% of... Read more →


Decisions

Decisions … we make them every day. Yet, think about how important they really are. You might have heard the funny story about the successful businessman who was asked by a young man what the key to his success was. After thinking for a moment, the businessman answered, “Good decisions, that’s the key”. The young man then asked, “How do you make good decisions?” After a pause, the businessman said, “Experience, that’s how you make good decisions.” Hesitantly, the young man asked one more question, “How do you get experience?” Once again the businessman paused then answered, “Bad decisions!” Well... Read more →


God's Sheep

Each Christian is described as one of God’s 'sheep', who He personally loves and cares for. He delegates this responsibility of care to leaders in the church, or shepherds who represent Him on earth. Notice Jesus’ last concern as He spoke to Peter before He ascended to heaven. Three times He said to Peter, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). He wanted Peter, as a prominent leader in the early church, to have the heart of a shepherd and to care for each individual. Each local church is similar to a sheepfold, where a group of God’s sheep are being cared... Read more →


Discern, Don't Judge

It's amazing and saddening to see the amount of literature that has been produced in recent decades by Christians that is aimed at judging other churches or ministries and even going to the extreme of labelling them “demonic” or “of the devil.” Yes, it is important to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and stand for truth. However, we must focus on the fundamentals of Scripture and the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, not on minor controversial issues. We should also do everything in the spirit of Christ, which requires a loving and sensitive... Read more →


Love, Don't Hate

God has commanded us to love other Christians who also love Jesus! We have been called to bless, not curse. We are to pray for God’s blessing on other churches and ministries. We are to rejoice when they grow and sorrow when they struggle. One of my friends in ministry, Peter McHugh, who pastors a large church in our city, says, “If the church across town is growing then my church is growing.” What a wonderful attitude to adopt. We are working together for the benefit of God’s kingdom. We are not in opposition or competition with each other. God... Read more →


Be Humble, Not Proud

No ministry or local church has it all. No one has a corner on the truth and no one has arrived. No one ministry or local church is God’s only instrument or the one true church. We are all parts of the body of Christ, which is made up of every Christian and every church that declares Jesus Christ as Lord. Each one of us is special and unique, but we also need to value the uniqueness of others. Humility demands that we have a sober or balanced view of ourselves. We must not think of ourselves more highly than... Read more →


Be Inclusive, Not Exclusive

In Mark 9:38-40, we have an interesting story involving Jesus’ disciples. While travelling along ministering in various villages, they observed someone else ministering. They said, “Jesus, we saw someone who is not one of us casting out demons in your name. Should we tell them to stop?” Notice how their reaction revealed an attitude of pride and exclusiveness that Jesus had to rebuke them for. This story reveals some common attitudes that can easily become part of our way of thinking concerning other churches and ministries. Like the disciples, we need to change our thinking patterns in order to adopt... Read more →


My Favourite Bible Verses (Pt.3)

Here are a few more: Joshua 1:7-9. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is... Read more →


My Favourite Bible Verses (Pt.2)

Here are a few more of my favourite Bible verses: Matthew 11:28-30. Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." NLT Philippians 4:13. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who... Read more →


My Favourite Bible Verses (Pt.1)

The Bible was written to enable us to know God. It reveals his heart and mind, as displayed in the story of his work throughout history. As we read, and listen to his Spirit in the text, we can come to know him in a personal way. Not only that, the Bible contains many inspirational and comforting thoughts for all kinds of times and seasons in our life. It is God's wisdom for life, written down for our benefit. Here are a few of my favourite Bible verses: Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you," says... Read more →