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November 2014
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January 2015

Proverbs 30

The final week of the year is under way and today we glean some more wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Here are a few thoughts from Proverbs 30 in the Message Bible. Vs.8-9. Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I'm too full, I might get independent, saying, 'God? Who needs him?' If I'm poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God. The value of moderation and contentment are reinforced. When is enough enough? There is much more to life than riches. Jesus echoed this warning when he said,... Read more →

Getting Ready for a New Year

Another year is about to finish and a new one is about to begin. At these transitions between the seasons it's a good time to stop and reflect on the past, review the present, and plan for the future. Unfortuantely, in our fast-paced world those are important activities than we can easily neglect, to our own detriment. I have written a series of BLOG posts that may be of assistance to you in going through this process. They are called Planning for the New Year. Why not set aside some time to read and then apply what you learn. I... Read more →

Christ's Christmas Gift - Peace

Today is Christmas and people all around the world will be giving and receiving gifts of all kinds. Jesus offers us a gift today - something incredibly valuable that he alone can give. John 14:27. I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. NLT I pray that you will experience that deep and genuine peace in your heart and life today, no matter what circumstance you might find yourself in. Read more →

Essence: What is Most Important?

It is important in every aspect of life to understand what is essential/central and what is peripheral/unessential. Only by knowing what is essential can you truly make sense of life and live it to the full. As we begin a New Year, we step into the future. As we do so, we want to ask an ancient and foundational question: "What is most important?" As Christians following Jesus, we need to get back to the essence of our faith. In doing so, we can surround these essential parts of our faith with all other aspects of life. While we are... Read more →

Proverbs 23

This week's wisdom for life comes to us from Proverbs 23 in the Message Bible. Vs.4-5. Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself! Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder. There is far more to life than money! When is enough enough? I'll never forget going to Africa for the first time with our family back in 2007. We did some ministry there and also visited some orphanages. I'll never forget what one of my children said to me afterwards: "Dad, these people have so... Read more →

The Joy of HOME

"Christ is in me, and I in Christ. In Christ, my home, I belong - I see and am seen, I hear and am heard, I love and am loved - I belong. In Christ, my home, I am safe - there is nothing that separates me from Him. In Christ, my home, I have purpose - my purpose is to share the joy of home. I am in Christ and Christ is in me - in Christ I have the joy of home - for He is the home of joy." By Nicole Conner Read more →

Was Jesus a Swede?

Did you hear the funny story about a 5 year old girl who thought Jesus was a Swede? This cute little girl was helping set the family table one Sunday near Christmas. She stopped for a moment and announced, “Jesus was a Swede.” More than a little surprised, her mum corrected her, “Oh, no, dear, Jesus was Jewish. I'll read it to you from the Bible after lunch.” Pensively, she laid out the silverware. Then her face brightened. “Mummy, I can prove it to you! We sang about it in children’s church this morning.” Triumphantly she sang, "Away in a... Read more →

Dealing with Grief at Christmas Time

Christmas is a joyful time for most people. But for some it can be a difficult time, especially for those who have lost a loved one. Christmas reminds them of what or who is gone. The pain of that grief can be quite unbearable. I had my first major encounter with grief when I lost my mother suddenly back in 1990. I had to navigate through all the ordinary stages of grief and it wasn't easy. The first Christmas after this was a painful time. Mum wasn't there any more and she wasn't coming back. Let's be sensitive this year... Read more →

Proverbs 16

It's time to pause and reflect on more wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Today we dive into Proverbs 16 in the Message Bible. Vs.3. Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place. It's so easy do life by ourselves and only refer to God when things are going wrong. Instead, choose to start the day with God and include Him is all you are doing. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance. Make Him your Senior Partner. Vs.10. A good leader motivates, doesn't mislead, doesn't exploit. Christian leadership expert John Maxwell once said, "Manipulation... Read more →

Christmas JOY

Luke was a doctor who lived in the first century. Like most doctors, Luke valued facts and obtaining accurate information. That's why he spent so much time interviewing people and talking to eye-witnesses when he prepared to write his Gospel record of the life of Jesus Christ. Let's read some of the Christmas story as he recalls it for us ... That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel... Read more →

LEGO - the Exponential Impact of Connection

Yesterday we talked about some lessons from LEGOLAND. LEGO is so simple yet when individual bricks are joined together with others, they can contribute to the creation of something quite amazing and complex. Think about this: Two 8 stud LEGO blocks can be combined in 24 different ways (remember that LEGO bricks can connect at the top and the bottom). Three 8 stud LEGO blocks can be combined in 1,060 different ways. Six 8 stud LEGO blocks can be combined in over 102 million different ways! Like LEGO, we have different capacities but yet with endless possibilities. Connect with God... Read more →

Lessons from LEGOLAND

LEGO was invented in 1947 by a carpenter from Denmark by the name of Ole Kirk Christiansen. Before this breakthrough idea for a plastic toy, he suffered many challenges and setbacks, including his wife dying, a factory fire, and navigating the depth of the Great Depression. Today, LEGO is one of the top 50 brands in the world, it's a word in our dictionary, it's now a major movie, and most homes would have a few LEGO blocks laying around somewhere. LEGO has become a timeless toy for kids of all ages. Interestingly, Ole Kirk was a Christian and said... Read more →

Book Review: The Essentialist - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

One of the best books I have read over the last few months is The Essentialist - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. It is a very challenging book that forces you to think through what is most important in life (the essentials) and focus on that, often requiring the elimination of the less important (the trivial). Here are a few excerpts: The Problem We stretched too thin, overworked, busy but not productive, constantly in motion, never getting anywhere and trying to please everyone. The way out is becoming an Essentialist. It’s not a time-management strategy, but rather... Read more →

Proverbs 9

We continue to today with insights from our Proverb of the week, Proverbs 9, from the Message Bible. Vs.4-6. Are you confused about life, don't know what's going on? Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me! I've prepared a wonderful spread - fresh–baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines. Leave your impoverished confusion and live! Walk up the street to a life with meaning. Once again, Wisdom calls out to us. Will we turn aside? Will we listen and learn? A multitude of voices clamour for our attention. So much noise and so many distractions. How easy to... Read more →

God is with you NOW

Here is a quote from Gregory Boyd's helpful book Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now. When many Christians first hear about the practice of the presence of God, it strikes them as an impossible discipline. Perhaps supersaints locked up in monasteries can attain this level of awareness, but not us average folk who work nine-to-five jobs and raise families! It’s hard enough to pray ten minutes a day and make it to church once a week! For us ordinary Christians, trying to remain aware of God’s presence moment-by-moment seems like a hyperspiritual pipe dream. Are you awake? If you’re... Read more →

Proverbs 2

Today we continue with our Proverb of the day, Proverbs 2. Reflections are from the Message Bible translation. Vs. 2. Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding. We live in a wordy world. TV, radio, social media, reading material and conversations infiltrate our day whether we want to hear them or not, whether we are listening or not. Words from the sacred text of Scripture also call out, offering us wisdom. The Spirit whispers for us to come aside. Will we hear the call? Will we respond? Wisdom waits ... Vs.6-8.... Read more →

Asylum Seeker Treatment: A Response from Prime Minister Tony Abbott

A few weeks back I wrote a letter to the Australian Prime Minister expressing concern about how children are being treated in detention centres. This last week I received a response from him and I post it here. It feels like a "everyone has a right to their opinion but we're going to do what we want to do regardless" response. He has totally ignored my concern. I will be writing him back again. Read more →