Ancient Celtic Christianity

Have you ever heard of 'Celtic Christianity' or 'Celtic spirituality'? It refers to the form of Christian faith that existed among the Celtic-speaking people of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales during the Early Middle Ages. Although, we don't know everything we'd like to know about these people, we can glean much from their writings and the historical narrative of their era. People of faith today often live with a tension between seeking influence in a time when the church's reputation has been severely damaged by leadership scandals and perceived irrelevance while acknowledging the need for renewal and a return to... Read more →

To Russia With Love

As I teenager I loved to play RISK, a board game similar to Monopoly, but in RISK the goal is to conquer the world, not just own the houses in the neighbourhood. Each player is dealt a certain number of countries and armies to placer on them. Then through the roll of the dice they choose to attack neighbouring countries endeavouring to conquer them and expand their territory. The winner is the one who eventually conquers the world. We played it for hours, even creating multi-day games through treaties and all sorts of secret strategies. I also loved Geography while... Read more →

Top Tips for Travellers

Thinking of travelling any time soon? My first overseas trip was when I was 9 years old and my family visited the USA. I love travel and enjoy the whole experience (well, most of it!) - airports, airplanes, visiting other countries, and meeting new people. As an experienced traveller, here are a few tips that you might find helpful for your next trip: 1. Preparation. I always read ahead about the places I am visiting, learning aspects such as weather, culture and the local religious environment (Operation World is a good guide for this). 2. Clothing. When I travel, I... Read more →

How's Your Cultural Intelligence?

The apostle Paul worked hard to relate to a wide variety of people. Have a read of this from his letter to the church at Corinth in the first century: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose–living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized––whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ––but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point... Read more →


I admire the many Christian mission workers around the world. Many of them work in some of the poorest, least evangelised and most persecuted countries in the world. Personally, I believe everyone should have a passport. We encourage everyone in our church to go on a short-term team to another nation sometime in their life time. It opens your eyes, enriches your faith, and makes you grateful for all we have been blessed with. Ever heard of 'first world problems'?? Here are a few quotes about travel that I love: “The world is a book and those who do not... Read more →

Up up and away ...

Ever since I was kid, I have loved to travel. I remember as a 9 year old taking my first flight from Australia to America with my parents. I remember the feeling of looking down from the airplane and seeing the city looking smaller and smaller - like a model of tiny roads, cars and buildings. Rising above the clouds was also a surreal feeling. They looked like a sea of cotton wool. I've been travelling regularly ever since. A certain amount of travel is good for a church leader. It lifts you out of your context and helps you... Read more →


Another place we visited on our tour of Israel earlier this year was Masada. It is a stunning section of isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean desert overlooking the Dead Sea.The cliffs on the steepest side are over 400 metres high. However, the top of the site is easily reached today via a cable car (although you can hike up the Snake Path, if you are keen). According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Herod the Great built a refuge for himself here (between 37-31 BC) in the event of a revolt. After the destruction of the... Read more →

The Dead Sea

During our tour of Israel earlier this year, we visited the Dead Sea. It is an amazing body of water. It is 67 x 18 kilometres in size at it widest points, and it is over 400 metres below sea level. The reason it is called 'dead' is because there is inflow but no outflow. As a result, there is no life in this sea - no fish and no plants (except bacteria). What an interesting metaphor for our lives. We all need inflo w - God's life flowing into us day by day - but also need outflow -... Read more →

Reflections on Israel

I have just spent ten days touring the land of Israel - my first trip. It was a very enjoyable and insightful time. We based in Jerusalem for half the time, visiting many sites around the city and also venturing out to visit Masada, En Gedi, the Valley of Elah (where David fought Goliath) and Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered). The rest of the time we stayed in Tiberius right on the Sea of Galilee. From there we visited Capernaum, Nazareth (loved the Nazareth Village display), Cana, Mt Carmel (where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal) and... Read more →