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July 2014
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September 2014

Melbourne - Our City

I love our city of Melbourne, recent winner (again!) of the world's most livable city. Recently, the Herald Sun newspaper published a list of 50 things you will never hear a Melbournian say. Here are my favourite 10 from the list: 1. I might have instant coffee today. It all sort of tastes the same anyway. 2. I'd better get to the platform two minutes ahead of time just in case the train is early. 3. It's sunny this morning. No need for the umbrella. 4. None of my friends would ever buy clothes from an op shop. 5. Just... Read more →


Global Leadership Summit - Willow Creek

Bill Hybels is one of the most outstanding Christian leaders I know. Every year in early August, his local church in Chicago, Willow Creek Community Church, hosts a summit on the subject of leadership. They bring in the best thinkers and practitioners of leadership from both the church and business world. Via video-cast, 10s of 1000s of leaders are challenged and inspired by this event. Then a few months later, the highlights of the conference are presented around the globe. Check out the Australian Willow Creek Association web site for details of the seminars coming up in October. Why not... Read more →


Proverbs 25

Here are some great gems of wisdom for us today from Proverbs 25 (from the Message Bible translation): Vs. 2. God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things. The world is full of mystery, hidden by God. He delights in those who seek him and the truths embedded in his amazing world. Have you settled and become content with what you currently know? We are called to be seekers and explorers. There's more! Vs.6-7. Don't work yourself into the spotlight; don't push your way into the place of prominence. It's better to be promoted to a place of... Read more →


Don't Say 'Suicide'!

I am sure we all heard the tragic news of actor Robin Williams death this last week. It is so sad when a person gets to the place where they think that ending their life is a better option than living it. Depression is a real challenge in our world today and many people battle with it. It is estimated that one in six Australians face depression at some time in their life. As a result, suicide is now the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents. If you are... Read more →


Les Miserables

Two weeks ago, my family and I attended the Les Miserables stage production at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. It is one of our favourite productions. We have watched the 25th annviersary edition DVD recorded at the London O2 arena a dozen or so times and it never fails to move us (the finale, which is a 30 minute standing ovation and encore that brought the 1985 cast on-stage, is worth the price of the DVD). The Australian cast did an outstanding job too. The story, based on the book by Victor Hugo, is so redemptive and it captures and... Read more →


Proverbs 18

Some more wisdom from the book of Proverbs (the Message Bible translation): Vs.4. Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs. Take time to draw out wisdom from those you converse with today. Vs.8. Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly. Don't let your ears be a rubbish dump for unprofitable information. Vs.10. God 's name is a place of protection – good people can run there and be safe. Jesus is here - call out to him. Vs.12. Pride first,... 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 →


Proverbs 11

Here are a few of the gems of wisdom available for us today from Proverbs 11 (from the Message Bible translation): Vs.14. Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. Who speaks into your life? Who do you look to for advice and counsel? Don't go it alone. The input and insight of other wise and experienced people can be extremely helpful as we navigate the major decisions of our lives. Vs.17. When you're kind to others, you help yourself; when you're cruel to others, you hurt yourself. Unfortunately, kindness is... 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 →


Soul Keeping

John Ortberg's latest book is called Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You. John is a well-known pastor, speaker and best-selling author from the USA. In this excellent book, he delves into the inner world of our soul, exposing what the soul needs and showing how it can be restored. John, who has a doctorate in both theology and psychology, is an engaging writer, drawing insights from Scripture, human experience, his own personal life, as well as his unique mentoring relationship with the late Dallas Willard. If you're looking for a challenging and insightful devotional book, then... Read more →


Never Say Die!

Are you feeling a bit discouraged or down? Do you feel like quitting or giving up? We've all been there at one time or another. Today I was searching through some old quotes and came upon this true story. Hopefully, it will encourage you today ... to never say die. Some people just don't know when to give up. Take this bloke for example, who was the son of a what people thought was a no-hoper. He was poorly educated and his mother died when he was just nine years old. Not the best start in life one might say.... Read more →


Proverbs 4

The book of Proverbs chapter 4 has some terrific wisdom for us today (from the Message Bible translation): Vs.4-9. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her - believe me, you won't regret it; never let her go - she'll make your life glorious. She'll garland your life with grace, she'll festoon your days with beauty. How easy it is to just focusing on getting through the day, or getting tasks done, without taking time to stop and glean the wisdom that comes from... Read more →