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April 2012
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June 2012

Daily Rhythms of Grace ...

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." [Jesus - Matthew 11:28-30. Message Bible] This teaching from Jesus contains some amazing promises and it gives us insight into what God desires for our lives. God’s will is not... Read more →


Don't Give Me the Facts; What's Your Story?

True Story: Jake worked for a large technology company but was passionate about starting his own business some time in the near future. Through a mutual acquaintance, Jake met Alan, a wealthy investor. They talked over breakfast and by the time they were finished, Jake was convinced that he had found his financing. Alan promised to be in touch with him within a few days with a business proposal. A few days went by and then a week. Jake hadn't heard anything from Alan, despite emailing him and calling his mobile phone multiple times. He was becoming increasingly angry. Then... Read more →


God's Love - Even in the Shadows

God calls us to be a prophetic people who hear his voice, who feel what he is passionate about, and who see what he is doing in our world. Seeing sometimes occurs through a supernatural vision (like Elisha's servant having his eyes open to see into the spiritual realm) or simply through a mental picture in our mind. It can also occur by receiving "insight" (literally to "see into") into what we see with our natural eyes. Jesus often brought out amazing truths about God from the everyday aspects of life. His parables are a great example of this. The... Read more →


The Road Ahead

Ever wondered what the road ahead might look like for you? Thomas Merton captures the uncertainties of life as well as the power of simple trust in God in the following prayer called The Road Ahead. May it be an encouragement to you this week. "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.... Read more →


Reflections from my Sabbatical (Part 4)

So what now? That’s another good question. 1. Personally, I need to re-engage with church life and ministry. I need to get back in harness and up to speed with what God is now doing. I’ll gradually ease back in over the next few weeks. 2. We want to keep the current spiritual momentum going. God’s Spirit is at work. We’re not going to press rewind and play. The church has moved on. I have moved on. I have changed and grown. Other people have too. It’s time to keep moving forward. The Lord said to Moses, “Get up and... Read more →


Reflections from my Sabbatical (Part 3)

What did I learn during my sabbatical? In many ways, I see this moment and season as a significant crossroads for my life and ministry. The Lord once said to Jeremiah, “Stand (stop) at the crossroads and look around; ask for the ancient paths (the old, godly path), ask where the good way is, and walk in it (travel its path), and you will find rest for your souls (Jer.6:16)." In many ways, I have tried to do just that - stop, look around, ask and then walk. I have had numerous thoughts about my life and ministry. Here are... Read more →


Reflections from my Sabbatical (Part 2)

So what did I do on my sabbatical? Good question. The truth is that I determined not to focus on doing too much of anything during this season but rather more on simply being. The last thing I needed was another list of tasks or projects to accomplish. Nevertheless, here are some things that I did do: 1. I focused a large portion of my time on personal recovery. I desperately needed some spiritual refuelling, some emotional replenishment, some physical energy renewal, and some personal refreshing. Over 27 continuous years of church ministry life take its toll. Ministry is highly... Read more →


Reflections from my Sabbatical (Part 1)

Let's face it, most people don't look forward to their holidays finishing and I must admit I wasn't looking forward to my sabbatical finishing either. I had such an enjoyable time. But it is nice to be back … and to see everyone again. I realise that there are a variety of expectations that people may have as I return from my sabbatical: that I will bring revival with me, that I will have a new vision for the future of the church, and some may have thought that I wouldn't come back at all! The reality is that I... Read more →


Coming Back from Sabbatical ...

It is hard to believe that my 12-week sabbatical is now history (click here to read some background to my sabbatical). I had a very enjoyable and refreshing time. I am truly grateful to God and our church for this season. I am feeling so much better and look forward to re-engaging with our church community and leadership team this week, as we continue to move forward into all that God has in store for us. In the Old Testament period, God's purpose for the Sabbath was to help his people avoid making 'productivity' into an idol. It's a reminder,... Read more →


Mark Conner

Okay, so since this is my BLOG, there are a few things you might be interested to learn about me. Click here to begin reading. Posts cover topics such as my favourite food, the music I love, my studies, my favourite technology, and my experience with journalling. You can also read about my sabbatical, which finishes soon. Once I'm back, there will be some new BLOG posts coming your way. Enjoy your day! Mark Conner Read more →


The Most Important Book Ever Written: The Bible

The Bible is the most important book ever written, yet often it remains unopened and unread. The Bible is totally unique. It is different from all other books, having no like or equal. 1. In its composition. It was written over a period of 1,600 years by 40 different authors and in three different languages yet it speaks with a common voice. It has an internal consistency and theme that is nothing short of amazing. 2. In its circulation. It is the most published book in history. It has been at the top of the best seller list yearly for... Read more →


Learning from the Lives of Other People

Everyone has a story. Our story fits into God's wider story - history. It also connects with other people's stories. We can learn a lot by listening to other people's stories and how God has worked in their lives, including their successes and failures. Click here to read a few articles on the lives of a number of influential people. You also might like to check out Warren Wierebe's excellent book: 50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning from the Spiritual Giants of the Faith. Together, let's live and learn. Read more →


Engaging our Culture

Jesus told his disciples to be IN the world but NOT OF the world. Maintaining that balance is a constant challenge for Christ-followers. We can more easily lean towards either extreme, resulting in and isolation or immersion, both of which lead to minimum impact for Christ. On my BLOG, I have written some posts about engaging with contemporary culture. You will find articles on topics such as: engaging our culture, global trends, generational issues, creativity and innovation, as well as on the issues of tattoos and gambling. Click here to being reading. I hope you find your reading insightful! Read more →