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April 2013
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June 2013

Church Sells CD of Silence

We live in an increasingly noisy and wordy world. Sometimes it can be hard to find a quiet place just to be still from all of the voices clamouring for our attention. In light of this, we shouldn't be surprised at the following news item ... A church in England has recorded "the sound of silence" on to a CD which has become a surprise hit with its congregation. Members of St Peter's Church in Sussex, England recorded "a little bit of the silence" of the building's atmosphere. The recording features the ambient sound of footsteps, voices, background traffic noise—but... Read more →

Dealing with Overload

Ever feel overloaded? Overwhelmed? Ever wish there were a few extra hours in the day or maybe even an extra day in the week? If you are anything like me, there are so many things to do and hardly enough time to do them in. This requires us to determine our priorities. Today and the coming week will most likely be busy but what will they be busy with? It takes discipline and focus to ensure that we keep first things first and not get swept up in the urgent or the trivial. Here is a helpful article by Tony... Read more →

The Joy of Not Knowing It All

I was reading the apostle's Paul's first letter to the Corinthians last week and came to chapter 13, the great love chapter, a chapter I have read hundreds of times. The following statement jumped off the page at me: 1Cor.13:12. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. NLT Here is the leading theologian of the Christian faith, who met the risen Christ personally, who... Read more →

Henri Nouwen on Finding Our Identity in Christ

From Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen (1932-1996): “Aren't you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don't you often hope: 'May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.' But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us... 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 →

Kid's Doctrine

How's this for some kid's doctrine, taken straight from Sunday School ... "The first book of the Bible is the book of geniuses in which Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree." "Noah’s wife’s name was Joan of Arc." "Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night." "Samson slayed the Philipines with the axe of the apostles." "Unleavened bread is bread that is made without ingredients." " Moses went to the top of Mount Sianide to get the 10 commandments and the seventh one is, 'Thou shalt not admit adultery'."... Read more →

The Life of a Preacher's Kid

I am a PK - a "preacher's kid" or a TO - a "theological offspring", as my father used to call me. Growing up in a pastor's or minister's home is not easy. Many people think you should be perfect or at least have an extra holiness gene. It's just not true. Your surname brings all sorts of pressures and expectations, many of them unrealistic. No wonder far too many PKs drop out of the church and some from faith altogether. I am a survivor. People often ask me why. It's hard to explain ... but a few things I... Read more →

Modern Family (Pt.2) - Parenting

You can become a parent in an instant but learning the art of parenting can take a lifetime. Children don’t come with instructions but thankfully we can glean God’s wisdom through the Scriptures, from other effective parents, and from the common sense that comes from life experience. God describes himself in parental terms (as a “Father”) and calls us his “children.” Each one of us has the opportunity to be “born again” spiritually into God's family (John 1:11-13. Rom.8:14-16. Gal.4:4-7. 1John 3:1-2). No matter what our natural family situation may have been God wants to be a perfect spiritual parent... Read more →

Happy Mother's Day!

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, a day to honour mothers all around the world. Mother's are special people who we owe so much to - in addition to our very existence! Mother's are faithful, loyal, hard working (where do mother's go when they want to resign?), loving and caring. We honour and applaud them at this time. My mother, Joyce Conner, was an amazing person who had a huge impact on my life, before she passed away very suddenly back in 1990. We miss her very much but her life lives on through her influence. Anything God does through me during... Read more →

The Power of Encouragement

"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing (1 Th. 5:11).” We all thrive on praise and encouragement. It motivates us and brings out the best in us. Encouragement is like oxygen to the soul. We tend to become what the most important people in their lives think we can become. Encouragement can be given in various forms – listening (Jas.1:19), empathy (Rom.12:15), comfort (2 Cor.1:3-4) and words of appreciation. Jesus – the Great Encourager EXAMPLE 1: Paul had been ministering in Corinth with good results but also with much opposition. Jesus appears... Read more →

Tax Blues on the Increase in Australia

Is Australia becoming a nation of whiners? The third survey of opinions on tax - for 2012 by Per Capita shows more of us believe we pay too much tax in a system that is less fair. Per Capita says Australia has the fifth lowest tax burden of the 34 OECD countries, only higher than South Korea, Chile, the US and Mexico, and yet 50% of us believe we are 'over-taxed', up from 44% in 2010. And the proportion of people who think they pay too much tax increases as income increases. [Source: Money Magazine, May 2013 - Issue 156] Read more →

Modern Family (Pt.1): Marriage

God invented marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman (Gen.2:18-25). Marriage is one of the most intimate of human relationships, as a husband and wife join every aspect of their lives together for life. Getting married is easy but building a strong marriage takes time and effort. A great wedding doesn’t make a great marriage. The key to any great marriage is LOVE – a commitment to put the best interests of the other person before our own. Let’s look at four important steps we can take to build a great marriage. 1. Lay a Good... Read more →

Modern Family

A Changing Culture Just mention the word “family” in society today and you’ll get a variety of opinion and perspectives on what it is and what it should be. Changes to the family are reflected in the typical TV family. We've come a long way from Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, The Cosby Show and The Brady Bunch (anyone remember The Munsters or The Adams' Family?) through shows like Friends (a bunch of friends living together in a pseudo-family), The Simpsons and now Modern Family. The traditional “nuclear family” (a dad and mum and a few kids) is... Read more →