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September 2014
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November 2014

Halloween - Trick or Treat?

I remember attending my first Halloween party as a kid (not long after our family moved to the USA back in the 1970s), with its eerily lit pumpkins, freaky dress-up costumes and the scary dark room we were all dared to navigate ourselves through, kind of like a pseudo-haunted house. It was a lot of fun. And it was hosted by our local church! My, how times have changed. Christians today either continue to celebrate it as an innocent annual party or boycott it as evil and even demonic. Why the debate? Halloween (literally "hallowed or holy evening") originated as... Read more →

Proverbs 27

Here is some more wisdom from the book of Proverbs as we begin a new week: Vs. 1. Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come. Today is all we have. Live in the moment and live it to the full. Yes, deal with your past and yes, plan for the future, but not at the detriment of living fully present - right here, right now. God is the God who is (present), who was (past), and is to come (future). He is the... Read more →

I Will Take a Walk on Saturday ... for Welcome to Australia

Australia is marked with the beauty of diversity. People from many backgrounds, ethnicities and beliefs call this land home. Over the last several years I have had reservations about the treatment of asylum seekers, especially children in detention. The current harsh treatment of destitute people, seeking safety on our shores for a variety of reasons, does not reflect the beauty and depth of a society that embraces and celebrates diversity. There have been many reports about the detrimental impact of detention on the welfare of children and asylum seekers. As a follower of Jesus, and as a minister who believes... Read more →

Re-Dig the Wells

In the introduction to our HOME series this last weekend, I shared with our church about an Old Testament story where Isaac had to re-dig the wells his father had initially opened up but that had been filled with debris by his enemies (Genesis 26:15-18). He also took time to dig new wells of fresh water. I was encouraged to hear this same story referred to in our combined churches Church Unite prayer and worship event last Sunday and also hear of God speaking about this to other ministries in our city. That's the trouble having the same Holy Spirit!... Read more →

Proverbs 20

It's time for our weekly proverb again. Today we glean some wisdom from Proverbs 20. Vs.2. Quick–tempered leaders are like mad dogs – cross them and they bite your head off. It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights. Wise people are slow to anger. Take a deep breath. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you patience and the ability to delay your reactions. You'll be glad you did. Anger always gets us in trouble. Of course, it is pride that keeps us there. Is there anyone you need to apologise to today?... Read more →

A Place Called HOME

Lost and Found I heard an amazing story recently about a young boy in India who accidentally got separated from his brother and ended up lost. His name is Saroo Munshi Khan. He survived on the streets for weeks then was eventually taken into an orphanage where he was later adopted by an Australian family and grew up in Hobart, Tasmania. He was happy yet had this longing for home. Twenty-six years later, he found his way back to his hometown with the help of Google Earth where he was re-united with his family. In many ways, we are all... Read more →

Finding our Way Back Home

I read an amazing story this week ... In 1986, five-year-old Saroo Munshi Khan and his 14-year-old brother were searching the streets for spare change in their home city of Berhanpur, India. Saroo's older brother Guddu wandered beyond the station and Saroo fell asleep waiting for his brother's return. A few hours later, Saroo woke up 1,500 kilometers away, in Calcutta, eons away from his home and family. He survived on the streets for weeks, was taken into an orphanage, and was adopted by an Australian family and grew up in Hobart, Tasmania. Twenty-six years later, he found his way... Read more →

Indigenous Awareness Trip (October 2013)

In October 2013, my wife and I participated with a number of other church pastors in an Indigenous Awareness Trip, sponsored by the Concilia organisation. We began by flying from Melbourne to Alice Springs. It was my first visit to this iconic Australian town. It was not as big as I thought it would be - only 28,000 people. It was 41 degrees when we arrived - a very warm welcome. We began by visiting a number of the 20 Aboriginal camps around the town. Aboriginal people make up about 20% of the local population. We also visited some of... Read more →

Proverbs 13

As we continue our reflections on the book of Proverbs, let's look at five proverbs from Proverbs 13 today (from the Message Bible): Vs.3. Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything. Our words are very powerful. We need to engage our brain before opening our mouth. Thinking before we speak preserves us from the consequences of words spoken too hastily or without prior thought. Listen more today. Pause before speaking. Let your words be few ... and full of life to the hearers. Vs.7. A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and... Read more →

Max Conlon - Aboriginal Artist

Last weekend, as part of our Australians Together focus, we were privileged to host Max and Tracey Conlon at CityLife Church. They are indigenous Australian church leaders who founded Walkabout Ministry. They travel and minister to many of the isolated indigenous communities across our nation. Max was raised amongst 14 siblings in the Cherbourg Aboriginal settlement in south east Queensland and is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi/Kullali tribes. Max is an established artist and has been painting for 35 years. He has travelled extensively with exhibitions of his work in Dubai, Japan, Korea and a number of European cities.... Read more →

Proverbs 6

It's time for some more insight from the book of Proverbs as we look at chapter 6 today (from the Message Bible translation): A Lesson from the Ant Vs.6-11. You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit... Read more →

Australians Together

Australians Together is taking a fresh approach to building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Their web site has some inspiring stories and helpful articles. Check it out. This coming weekend at CityLife Church, I will be sharing some of our experiences on an indigenous awareness trip we did with some Australian pastors last year, sponsored by Concilia. We will also be running the entire course on Saturday, 18th October. The course promotes the value of listening to Indigenous people and learning about our shared story so that we can live in respectful peer relationship with each other. In these... Read more →