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October 2014
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December 2014

Christianity, Christmas and Consumerism

As we head towards the crazy Christmas season, it's a good thing to pause and think about consumerism and the follower of Christ. At CityLife, we have a social justice LifeGroup and they have put together a paper designed to be a thought provoking series of questions and comments exploring some key issues which confront us in our Western, first world culture. We hope that it can be used to start discussion and to promote action in your family, your LifeGroup, your social network and your work colleagues! 1. On the Issue of “Stuff” When is enough, enough? Or we... Read more →

Proverbs 24

As we dig into today's Proverb, let's reflect on the wisdom coming to us from Proverbs 24 in the Message Bible. Vs.3-4. A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. What kind of a house are you building? A home takes time and effort to craft but it's worth it in the end. Think about the 'environments' you are creating - at home, at work, at church. Be an architect of places characterised by love, peace and joy. Vs.5-6. The wise are... Read more →

Love Your Pastor

A good friend of mine sent me this earlier in the week. I thought it was quite funny but had some good points. Let's always seek to love and encourage those who lead us, in whatever capacity. Pastors have a tough job. They get more kicks than kisses. If a pastor is young, he lacks experience; if he’s grey–haired, he’s too old. If he has five kids, he has too many; if he has none, he’s setting a bad example. If his wife sings in the choir, she’s being forward; if not, she’s not dedicated enough. If he preaches from... Read more →

Proverbs 17

Another week rolls by and we come to our Proverb of the Day. Today it's some wisdom from Proverbs 17 in the Message Bible translation. Vs.3. As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan, so our lives are assayed by God. God tests us to see what we are made of. Times of pressure and adversity reveal our true character. Anyone can keep a great attitude during the good times. How do we navigate the challenging times? Vs.9. Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and––good–bye, friend. We all need the gift of... Read more →

Spiritual Leadership Lessons from Farming

Let's read and reflect on the following related Scriptures: James 5:7-8. Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. NIV 1 Corinthians 3:6-9. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one... Read more →

Leading in Changing Times

Back in 1964 Bob Dylan sang, "The times they are a changing." How true and the changes haven't let up. One business writer put it this way: Winds of change are barrelling in from all directions. Competition is tougher than ever and coming from places you least expected. The customer is more sophisticated and demanding. Technological changes are incessant. Government regulations are tougher. And everyone is restructuring, reorganising, reinventing, downsizing, outsourcing - all at an ultra sonic pace. Don't look for a safe place to wait out the storm, because these winds are unrelenting. If anything, they're getting stronger and... Read more →

Proverbs 10

It's time for some reflections from our weekly Proverb and today is the 10th of the month so it's Proverbs 10 (Message Bible). Vs.4-5. Sloth makes you poor; diligence brings wealth. Make hay while the sun shines – that's smart; go fishing during harvest – that's stupid. Life operates on the principle of sowing and reaping. We reap what we sow, there's a period of time between sowing and reaping, and we reap more than we sow. The wise sow diligence into their lives. Diligence leads to blessing, profit and happiness while laziness leads to judgment, loss and disappointment. What... Read more →

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbot re Treatment of Asylum Seekers

The inhumane treatment of asylum seekers here in Australia is extremely concerning. Thankfully, more and more people are speaking up about it. All year, Christian leaders have been peacefully protesting and writing letters. I encourage you to do the same. Here is a copy of an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott I recently sent: Dear Prime Minister, Subject: Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Children in Detention I am the Senior Minister of CityLife Church, Melbourne. We are a community of over 9,000 members representing people from over 105 cultural backgrounds who make up our diverse and beautiful nation.... Read more →

The Exchange TV

Good friends of ours, Rob and Christie Buckingham (pastors of Bayside Church here in Melbourne), host The Exchange, an interactive TV program that engages with a variety of current issues, including parenting, technology, dealing with loss, the sexualisation of children, and domestic violence. The Exchange is like meeting with your friends in a coffee shop and discussing everyday stuff that affects us. It’s a half hour chat show that aims to share ideas on relationships, parenting, finance, wellbeing and social justice. Each week co-hosts Rob and Christie Buckingham invite guests around their table to get their take on a particular... Read more →

Proverbs 3

Here is some more amazing wisdom from the Book of Proverbs from the Message Bible: Vs.5-6. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God 's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Life is a journey of faith and wisdom. Getting wisdom, a major focus of the teaching in the book of Proverbs, helps us to think about choices and their consequences, as well as to see life from God's perspective. Faith is the choice to trust God... Read more →