My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.


If you used to link to this blog, I would love it if you could change your link to my new blog with its own domain.

Thanks so much!

New Site is ready

Apologies if it has not hit your server yet.
It may not have propagated yet.
But I can now see it online, and the new address is

Not hard eh?
There should be an automatic RSS Feed there as well. Please let me know if it is not working (RSS Feed) for you.

Would love you to come over....and relink me if you do link to me now.

Changes coming to this blog

Check back soon....but I have bought my own url and soon this blog will be published there.

Will be changing everything over, including RSS feeds, in the next couple of days.

WA Baptist Assembly

Today I headed off to the West Australian Baptist Assembly.
In years gone by, and I have been around for a while now, these have been rather staid times. Except of course when there were arguments over spelling mistakes (that is not an exaggeration) or 'points of order chairman' and other mind numbing wasters of time.
Now its different.
Through the transitional work of former Director of Ministries Steve Smith, and now the leadership of DOM Mark Wilson, todays assembly was interesting, relevant and....inspiring!
Mark gave some vision, strategy and values....where he sees us as a body of churches going. And it was all great stuff. Much of our constitution and structure has been taken from the Paul Borden model, which releases people into ministry, trusts people, and keeps leaders accountable for results. Under previous models, while good ministry was taking place, at times it took a back seat to administration, politics and inward focused leadership.
There was a real sense in the meeting that under good leadership our denomination is having significant growth and health.
Its a great thing to be a Baptist Church in Western Australia.

It was also good to see a friend, Jackie Smoker, being accredited for ministry. A long journey for her, fulfilled as she was anointed, prayed for, and released into ministry. She pastors along with a friend of mine, her husband Phil, at Como Baptist.

There is a real sense that under our new, much healthier, leadership structure, based on trust and releasing people into leadership and creativity, we as a denomination have a lot to look forward to.
Let us keep going on this course, and not be swayed into returning to old ways!

Petra Coming to Western Australia

Petra are coming to Western Australia!
Can you believe that?
Strawberry Festival near Albany on Easter Sunday
I will be in Church, big day of the year and all that.
But should be an awesome concert!
Petra were the most popular Christian Band, during Contemporary Christian Music Golden Age, the '80's. They sold nearly 10 million albums and where nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning four, and winning 10 Dove Awards. They are also the only Christian Band to have their memorabilia placed in Hard Rock Cafes (Wikipedia)
I really enjoyed their music, perhaps my favourite album being, "The Rock Cries Out"

But here is a great 80's Rock Concert song....Mullets included!

Strawberry Jam Music Festival


A friend of mine recently got offered some great electronic products if he would review them on his blog.

It got me thinking, why am I doing this blog?

It is not to get offered electronics...although feel free.
The reason my friend was offered products is because he has a professional looking, purposeful blog...aimed at a certain activity (gardening)

I know from different sources that this blog is well read. It has been around for a while now, and built up quite the web history.
Should I get my own domain, should I switch to wordpress...should I become more intentional?

The purpose of my blog is to give me a platform to share some of my life, thoughts and hopefully have some interaction with those who may read it.
It has never been about making money, just sharing my life.
Thats not likely to change...but I am thinking about making it a little more professional.

Received a long diatribe today...

I don't know about you, but receiving long political emails from Christian groups you have never heard of, unsolicited, and unnamed...really cheeses me off.

Then you ask to be taken off the email list you did not ask to go on...and you are told 'your church will never bear fruit'!


Some people are so full of their own importance, and their own issue, they just cannot see what everyone else can.

The biggest folly though is anonymous comments or emails where they expect you to be accountable to them...that is laughable....seriously...after 20 years in ministry, I just don't care anymore. Too busy with ministry, too much to be bothered.

Tough Post...harder message

This month at Inglewood Church we have been dealing with FAQ...frequently asked questions.
I asked my twitter friends, most of them non-churched, to give me questions they would want churches to deal with.
The questions came...sickness, death, depression....sexual issues.
But the my mind at least...was the one on Hell.
The eternal destiny of those without Jesus.
Tough eh?
How would you as a pastor deal with that one.
I have never preached a message on this topic.
Its just not me, I am...I hope...a passionate preacher. I believe in the gospel.
But as for actually speaking about this topic...confronting.
But I backed myself into a quarter! And it is good to preach on the whole of the Bible...not just those bits you like.
So here we go.

Nice free worship loop

Worship House Media do some good stuff.
Their latest free loop download is good, and you can get it in Quicktime format. Its a nice loop of a Autumn scene.


Money over People

Was with my son down the shops and noticed the Amourguard security personal filling up an ATM.
What I noticed was the fact they had guns...real guns.

This got me thinking...why do we give guards who protect money...guns.
We don't give hospital security and other guards guns. Because in the main they are protecting people, not money.

If you asked anyone, they would say that people are more important than money. Yet we don't act that way.

Pro Presenter Vs Easy Worship

Due to some interesting circumstances our church has been able to switch to Mac for our Presentation duties during Sunday services.
We have used Easy Worship with PC for probably last 10 years.
It has had its problems and plusses.
It is easy to use, volunteers can pick it up and operate it with minimal training.
Logical and well ordered.
Its limitations is in its ability to play media. While we could get it to play WMV files okay, it struggled with Quicktime, Mpeg and other file formats. If the video files was large and processor intense, we had issues.
It was not uncommon for Easy Worship to crash, despite having it installed on various laptops and PC's, including one whose only task was to run it.

We have used Pro Presenter for one week, but I think it will perform better, as a Mac program should. All video files, including windows ones, and large, processor intense video files, play beautifully on it. It also has a crisper, clearer picture on the screen, with some lovely transitions and formats. It looks better.

One serious limitation with Pro Presenter is its inability to import Powerpoint files unless you have Ppoint for Mac Installed. This wont be a problem for me, but I can see a time when a visiting preacher will bring a ppoint file along, and we will have issues. I have Keynote installed, so you would think with Keynotes inbuilt ability to import Powerpoint, Pro Presenter could import Ppoint files, but it can't. Seems wrong to have to install a Office product on your Mac! Moving away from Windows based OS is one of the attractions of Pro Presenter.

Just about all Mac

God is good.

Prayed about some new software I need.
My old (12 months old) laptop was stolen. Bummer
Insurance bought me a new Mac...yeh!

This meant I could gift my old (2months old!) Mac to the church and use 'Pro - Presenter" for church presentation duties. Trying it out this Sunday, let you know how it goes.

But is also meant I had lost access to Photoshop...bummer.
Turns out I can get it for Mac, but it cost about $1000....bummer.

Then I got an unexpected cheque for $250 from someone..yeh!
Buying the education version of Adobe Suite with my wifes education discount ($400 total)...yeh!

I should not have to use one of Gates dreaded products for anything....super yeah!

Coffee Luwak

Of course it is not a cat...but a Civet.
"Kopi luwak (Indonesian [ˈkopi ˈlu.ak]), or civet coffee, is coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract.[1] A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world."
(Source Wikipedia)

Jesus Culture Heaven is here

While away I had transferred a Jesus Culture DVD to my Iphone and MacBook.
Was able to listen devotionally to this every morning.
Was great, suggest you start to think about using these guys resources to your Church worship.


Kediri to be precise.

My good mate Pastor Wayne Field and I decided this year that it was the year of challenge and personal growth. To get out of our comfort zone. To keep this post reasonably short, we sought out an opportunity to teach Pastors in a cross cultural setting. We wanted to share some of what we have learnt, and were given a opportunity in Kediri, Indonesia. It took about 4.5 hours to drive the less than 200kms (aprox) from Surabaya to Kediri, less than it took to fly from Perth to Surabaya. Kediri is the home of the President and Vice President of the Baptist Church in Indonesia, although HQ is in Jakarta.

We set out after having prepared material on....
Organizational Vision, Inclusion, Program and Management. This deals with the life-cycle of any organization, but in this context tailored to a Church Environment.
Conflict management and resolution.
Leadership Identification and recruitment, both in paid and volunteer setting.
I also had some on personal character and relationship issues.

I prayed about it, and decided that before we left I would have no expectations. Whatever happened...happened.
This was because before we left we had studied cultural issues, local tension between different faiths in Indonesia. What we read and studied informed us, but nothing prepared us for what we found.

Some points.
*As long as Indonesian Churches are aware that Indonesia is a Muslim dominated country, and are aware of the cultural sensitivities...they will not be persecuted. If Churches are deliberately provocative they will find themselves in trouble. In the local Church leaders view, some of the churches who have found themselves in trouble have been unwise.
*The Church in Indonesia is alive and well, growing and healthy. It has much to teach the West.
*It has some cultural difficulties to overcome if it is to become increasingly healthy. As we talked about recruiting leaders and identifying leaders, it was obvious this will be difficult in a culture which honours age over effectiveness.
*Pastors can find it difficult to 'lead' depending on their context. Like Australia, they need to determine to be in the church for a long period of time in order to gain trust and respect, and the authority needed to be an effective leader.
*Pastors find the same issues in character and integrity that we have, there are men...there are women...there are issues.
*The Indonesian Church needs to understand they are stronger, wealthier and more effective than they give themselves credit for. They should realise that far from needing support from 'The West" they have entered the lifecycle where they are significant contributors to the Global Church. It is time for them to send, release and multiply.

Personally this time was challenging to me. It is great to have your structures right, but a Church with spirit will always be more effective than one with good structures, but not as much spirit.

Most of the churches impressed me.
But the one I preached at first on Sunday morning was extraordinary in its worship.
It was a swelling, pulsating, passionate, emotive sense of passion. I loved it...and only understood a few words. It felt just like Inglewood Church. As far away as they are, and as different...worship transcends language.

Indonesia....Tarima kasi!

Quiet for a while

Back in a week or so.....


"The gift of leadership is too valuable to be quickly disposed of by a popularity contest."

Policy on the run

Is there any other organisation that is on one hand so successful, yet on the other so reactionary, as the AFL?

Rule changes, interpretation changes half way through the season?

A Grand Final which has to be replayed...because no one thought it might happen?

The AFL really does act according to its perception of public perception, so obsessed is it with its public image.
Players told what they have to wear to the Brownlow...cause Andrew does not like normal ties?

The best comedy

The best comedy is also the saddest....
This is perhaps the best moment of this great series.

Phil Bakers Blog closes

From Phil Bakers blog today:
"After much thought, prayer and conversation, Phil has decided that it is best to close this blog for the time being. Phil would like to pass on his sincere thanks to everyone who has been involved and for your prayers for his recovery. Our hope is that Phil will one day be well enough to take up blogging again. It has been an amazing journey totalling 6,225 posts.

If you are interested in following Mark Edwards and his blog entries, you can do that by going to

Thank you so much again to everyone who has been involved."

It has been great to follow the thoughts of Phil Baker over the years.
He has a great sense of humour, great wisdom, and great insight into life, church and faith.

When our church first heard of Phil's health issues, we went to prayer. I have met Phil a number of times and organised him to speak at the Baptist Pastors Conference. It was excellent, inspiring, engaging and interesting. It was great to get to know him a little as someone whom God has used significantly.

I pray God will continue to heal him and bless him and Heather in this next part of their journey.

(As an aside, a number of people mistakenly thought I was the 'Mark Edwards' who posted on Phil's blog. This was embarassing for me...but perhaps more so for the 'real' Mark Edwards who pastors a large church in Queensland.)

Think about how you can encourage someone today

Couple of brief thoughts.

When in a meeting, particularly a church one....if appropriate...share the extra 10%
What he mean is that often the extra little bit we are wondering whether we should say or not, is the most important!
If it is a trusting and loving environment...that extra 10% we may be embarrassed to share, might just be the point which transforms people and a positive sense.

Encourage people. Someone who was significant in my life a few years back said to me once, "I dont encourage people often, so when I do, they take it seriously" He was dead wrong. People are generally bereft of encouragement in their life. So many take on board comments and words that they shouldn't. Negative stuff. A word of encouragement, joy, praise...can make all the difference. Be known as someone who shares words of joy and life into peoplt.

Getting ready to speak to Pastors

Involved in a Pastors Conference coming up as a speaker.

Thinking through some of the language barriers and cultural differences we will encounter.

None the less, convinced of this...people are people.

Which leads me to my next thought....
I wonder if this is true...I think it might be.

"The key skill you need as a Pastor is dealing with conflict"

More important than any other skill you have.

Conflict management, conflict confrontation, personal journey through conflict...
even this...encouraging a place where there is minimal unnecessary conflict.
Highlighting conflict...perhaps even provoking it...when needed.

Pancakes on a Saturday morning

Melinda has to leave early to set up for the 'Fresh Conference' today, so that meant the rest of the family slept in....
Dad (thats me) was awoken from a lovely sleep in at about 8am with a polite 'dad, dad' which turns into a more incessant 'DAD DAD!" about 10 minutes later when the polite one did not work.
Turns out number one son and daughter wanted pancakes for breakfast.
Thank goodness there were eggs and the other necessary condiments to fulfill the request.

Son wanted his smothered with maple syrup and cream......
Daughter wanted lemon and sugar.

Dad...well after making himself a monster one....also made a lovely Yahava coffee...

Life is not too bad on a Saturday morning.....

Hard to disagree with God

There is a difficulty about disagreeing with God.
He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes

No one laughs at God in a hospital
Regina Spektor

Ric Cua and Bryan Duncan

Downloaded some music yesterday...some of the Christian Music of my youth.
These two artists where two of the many my cousin introduced to me when I was a teenager living in Albany during the late '80's.
I had just committed my life to God, and this music was part of that journey.
I really enjoyed them at the time...and actually still do!
Here are two of the best.

22 incredible photos

Here are some incredible and moving photos....
This one...with the young brisk man walking purposefully past the older guys...huddling against a building with some serious health and safety issues....
and there are a a lot more...which say something about the human spirit...

Fremantle Dockers Season 2010

If you had told me at the start of this year that we would finish 6th, win a final, and bow out to Geelong in a semi, I would take that.

I honestly did not expect us to make the finals this year, so to perform as we did has exceeded most expectations.
Some highlights of a great building season.

1. Barlow: Fremantles recruiting staff have gone from having the worst reputation to the best. Barlow figured in early Brownlow betting....not bad for a first year player. He will be back better than ever in 2011

2. Other young guns: Hill is developing nicely thank one seems to be comparing him to Rich or Nic Nat anymore. DoBoer has decided that being good looking does not mean you cant be tough and throw yourself into contests. Suban and Broughton are developing into fine young players. Walters has shown more than enough to prove he will be a key player moving forward, helping out the brilliant and hard working Ballyntyne and Mayne.

3. Sandi! : Yes he got injured, but he is without doubt the best ruckman in the AFL, taking marks and kicking well when his confidence is up. A gamebreaker.

4. Winning in Sydney convincingly

5. Winning in Brisbane convincingly

6. Pavlich committing for life. Our most important player played the best he ever has in the first part of this year, he will probably play forward more next year as he is less needed in the midfield, prolonging his brilliant career.

7. Filling stadiums: Freo surpassed West Coasts crowds for the first time ever this year. The Purple Army is a great support for the team, something evident in the game against Geelong earlier in the year, where the noise was deafening, and against Hawthorn in our final...where the support spurred the players on.

2011: I am calling it...the Year of the Docker

Postscript: we need to resign Mundy...he has become a premier midfielder...and for a bloke his size, thats important.

Jesus was not always nice

As I prepare to speak at Harvest Time Mens Conference this weekend...this is part of what I am sharing from Matthew 15
Jesus turns to them and calmy and nicely gives them an answer right?
No...quite frankly Jesus mans up, he is sarcastic, he is angry, and he puts it straight back on them, you bunch of hypocrites. you lot violate the direct commands of God. forget about some obscure verse, you lot dont honour your mother of father, instead you keep your money for yourself. Now what Jesus is talking about here was the practice of Corban. What the Pharissees did was use a manmade loophole. If you said that land or property was Corban, which means dedicate to God, you did not have to use it, to care for your mum and dad. but what happened was in the year of jubilee, you were allowed to keep it. So they would declare their land or property Corban, which meant they did not have to care for their mum and dad, and later on once they had died or whatever, they would claim it back and use it for themselves...and they were all doing it. Pretending they were religious and good, and all the time not giving a stuff about their own responsibilities.
And Jesus just nails them to the wall.

Michael Barlow Best first year player award

One of the truly decent blokes travelling in AFL circles.
Cannot wait to see him back in Purple for next years season.

Scorpions- Dust In The Wind (Acoustic version)

Great song, performed by an underrated band...great message too. Sobering.


Dockers have well and truly surpassed all my expectations for this year.
I would have been happy to have just had a good building year.
But this year we have finished 6th, and won a final.
Most pundits don't give us a chance against the Cats on Friday....but I hope that Geelong are up to it in their knecks...and who knows...two teams go onto the field.

Either way I wont be questioning Harvey as a coach.

He was right about McPhee when I thought he was dead wrong.

He was right about taking the B Team to Tasmania....when many criticized him heavily.

And the coaching and recruiting team he has assembled around are arguably the most discerning team around...with the players we have picked up.
Barlow, Hill, Silvangi, Morabito, Fyfe......In fact in the game against Hawthorn, a vastly more experienced and some would say 'tough' team...Freo fields 10 1st and 2nd year players....and none of them looked out of place as we dispatched the premiers from 2008.

The wheel has turned

Ads like this used to be the domain of stars from high profile clubs such as West Coast.
The wheel has turned in WA.
Everyone likes a winner.....

Children and Divorce

When a couple decides to separate or divorce I think something inside them dies.
For most, they realise their is blame to be apportioned to both sides.
For some...blame seems to be directed to their partner solely.

Where it gets really 'icky' and painful is when the children are seen as some sort of pawn in a bitter game for power, creditability, reputation or just plain selfishness.

People who use own children as tools in a bitter divorce have stopped thinking about their kids and are being selfish and ultimately self harming.

Because even if you win the battle, you wont win the war. The children will eventually figure out what has happened, and what is going on...even if it takes years. your your husbands.

Thanks Woodside!

Thanks to Freosharks at Dockerland for the Pic

Real Men WA

City blokes need input as well.
I am pretty heavily involved in the Mighty Mens Conference which is deliberately aimed at a rural bloke. Hence the accommodation is basic, the food is tasty and plentiful and the whole production values, while professional..are low key.

The Real Mens Conference put on by C3 Hepburn Heights is squarely aimed at Urbanites. Which is great.

Friday night was a full on media/tech experience....heaps of excellent values, fireworks off guitars and slick presentations. A good coffee van outside, and blokes encouraged to twitter about the event while it was happening.

I think many secular organizations could learn some clues from how to put on a conference.

Pastor Phil Pringle, who heads up the C3 movement spoke on the Friday Night, the only night I could attend.
One of the highlights for me was when he challenged the men to 'man up' and support the every way...and not leave it for other blokes to carry their load.
I heard some excellent comments about Graham Mayburys talk on the Saturday...always insightful, wise and challenging.

Do you know this man? Gregory Holmes

This is not a joke, or rumour.
This is from a lady that is involved at our Toddler Jam Ministry at Inglewood Church.
She believes in the power of do I.

13 years ago, my Dad disappeared into the night...I am asking your help to find him. His name is Gregory Holmes.

After having a gun held to his head in his news agency in Mosman Park Western Australia, he disappeared.He is a Vietnam vet, and also suffering post traumatic stress. We have not seen him since 13 April 1998. We found his car (a white Barina) at the Warwick train station a few days later.
On 1st August 1998, my 21st Birthday, we had a phone call....there was no one speaking on the other end, but I know it was my dad. We traced the call to Geraldton WA...that was the last contact we had.

In 2000 my dad was found by police in the eastern states of Australia under an assumed name, he indicated he was not yet ready to return to his former life. Now I think he feels it has just been too long, but it is never too late to make amends, even if we could just get a letter to him...

He is a short man, about 162cm would probably be almost bald by now,he had a black moustache then, and may have a beard, or may be clean shaven...who knows. His build was slim to medium. He also wears glasses. He would be 64 years old now.

I ask you to keep your eyes peeled, or if you have ANY information please contact me ASAP on....

Why now? So long after the event? We have tried so many things to locate my dad, this came to me in a dream....and I believe in the power of people and friendship, and hoping someone, somewhere can help Dad has only met one of his grandchildren and I would really like my kids to grow up knowing their granddad....he has 9 grandchildren.

If you have ANY information....please contact me.

Thank you

Kaylene Taylor

Danny Green at 'The Bloke'

Last night I went along to Riverview Church to 'The Bloke' which is a mens event, and to hear Danny Green speak.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
It was an excellent night, great event which you could invite anyone along too.
The music, themes, panel, multi-media, videos were all along the theme of "I am Legend" with the question being, who is a legend, what makes a legend.

Danny Green was invited by Hayden Nelson, a friend of mine, and Senior Pastor at Riverview.
He did a great job of interviewing Green.

Danny spoke really well, humorous, appropriate and insightful...a really interesting bloke.
Hayden asked him, and Danny spoke about how he rescued a guy from drowning down at Rabbits Beach, how he loves his family, his time on 'Dancing with the Stars' and some of his fights.

Of course the 'money' questions were the ones about Mundine and Paul Briggs.
Danny shared that he hardly knows Mundine, and that he does actually appreciate some of his values. Green once rang him up when he was on Sydney Talkback, and pretended to just be a normal caller, hassling Mundine for not wanting to fight Green. Then he revealed who he was. Green would love to fight Mundine again.

The explanation of the fight with Briggs was interesting, with Danny stating that Briggs was serious about the fight, to the point of playing mind games, having extra weight (which means more strength and power) and Briggs trying to portray to the Danny Camp that Green was going to get smashed. The end result is being investigated, but from Danny's point of view, the media reported s lot of 'baloney' about the fight.

At the end, Danny wanted to share with the audience about his faith, or lack of faith. In fact it was clear he had come prepared to say something about his own spirituality. It was a very honest and frank assessment that he struggles to believe in God because of the poverty and pain and suffering he see's in the world, particularly children suffering. It was delivered in a fighting manner...and Hayden was obviously comfortable with Danny sharing the truth about his faith...I have to say they handled it really well.

All in all, a very well organised event, something that no matter where you stand with God, you could have received some value from it.

Man up!

I am speaking at Harvest Time 2010, a mens conference put on by some of the Fourquare Churches. (here)

Really looking forward to it.
God just dropped some thoughts and scriptures into my heart as I was praying about what to speak on....I don't want to talk about that too I will wait till I speak on it...but here is one of the analogies I have written down...

"When you watch football the worst thing that a commentator can say is that a player dogged it. that means he pulled out of the contest because he was afraid of being hurt.
Its the worst thing you can be called because football is a team sport, where every man on the field is meant to do what he can for the team. and when the time comes for that man to take a hit, to put his body on the line...if he pulls out, he is dogging it. How does this apply to todays men in todays church?"

Sad Sad Day

Hasleby Retires

My favourite moments.

Watching him being drafted, his laconic attitude, his desire to be drafted to Fremantle...
His breakout year where he won the Norich Rising Star Awards.
The time he laughingly stomped on an Eagles Jumper during a Ten News story...
and this of many Derbies he starred in.

Politics and 2010 Election

* As a pastor I try to not tell people how to vote, nor how I vote. I don't think that is my role, and furthermore....I think each person should vote according to their own conscience. and being a spiritual leader, I might sway people too much...and I don't want to do that.

* This was the least inspiring election I can remember. Both major parties attacked the other party relentlessly, rather than give inspiring leadership. Even if I disagree, I am more likely to be attracted to leadership, rather than negative rubbish.

* The result was indicative of this, with the most amount of 'donkey' votes ever.

* We should all thank God that the election took place with peace and order, and without the need for armed guards, fear and happens in other countries, as some folk from church explained to me in amazement (at our procedures)

News Issues on fathers


Shark kills dad
Sad when anyone dies young, sad when it is a father of children....sigh
Love the beach, swimming, diving, body surfing.....don't like the idea of my fearless son out boogie boarding while sharks are out there.

Ben Cousins
Good to see him face up to some of his issues. Wish him nothing but a blessed life. Betcha his is glad he has the father he does.

WA mining boom
Its sort of good we have a mining boom for our economy. Its not good when fathers have to leave their families for two weeks at a time to buy a house.

The AFL & 1984

I think Andrew Demetriou and Adrian Anderson have found the novel '1984' at the back of some Lygon St secondhand bookstore and thought they had stumbled onto a 'policy document' for running a sporting competition.


They have proposed rule changes such as allowing a goal if the ball hits the post and interchange restrictions. These rules don't 'tweak' the game, they change it fundamentally.
All in the name of making the game 'better'.

What the AFL ruling body are forgetting is that they are custodians of the game, they don't own it! The game is healthy, millions support it, it is uniquely Australian. I say that because it is obvious from how well indigenous players go, that AFL finds its soul in our Australian culture. Who cares if no one else gets it or plays it? Its our game....leave it alone!

Andrew and Adrian seem to be following the pattern set by various educational ministers, they feel they must leave their 'stamp' on the game. They have already done that by successfully launching new teams, and helping the AFL to be financially stable.

But the essence of the game is being threatened here. What other game has its rules changed at a administrators whim? On a hunch?

Do we all remember the 'flooding' debate? Coaches adapted, the game adapted, and naturally, teams found a way to beat it.

Leave the game along Adrian, concentrate on what you are good at.

Vacuous Lives

I have always wanted to use the word 'vacuous' in a post.
Hamo beat me to it.

“I am really tired of listening to people complain about their tedious, and sometimes vacuous lives because I believe there is a choice to live for something greater, but it comes at the cost of not living for the temporal and insignificant.”

People you meet on the way

Having John Kaiser post a comment on my last post reminded me of people I have met along this ministry journey who have shaped me. John was a significant help to me in the formation of my ministry philosophy
I love networks, friendships and learning off others.

Now I am trying to be a hub myself....listening too, gathering information off and sharing information with...other pastors.

In this electronic age, it is far easier...but nothing beats sitting down with someone and having coffee together...and really getting down to what is important.

I am amazed how many pastors don't do this. Lone Rangers...they don't last.

Old Bedford Baptist Church Dismantled

I started at Bedford Baptist Church over 17 years ago now, coming on as Associate Pastor, and then with the leaving of Pastor Joe Westlake, the Senior.
I am the longest serving pastor at this church by a decade.
The longest serving pastor was Pastor Westlake, who was there for about 6-7 years.
Average stay was just 18 months.

Now...the actual church building is being dismantled as we look to our future, building a performing arts theatre...for emerging and young artists.
We are looking for property as the old property is divided up into lots to sell.
Some grief and joy as the property comes down.

A Passionate Life First Message

Kicked off this series on Sunday...really enjoying looking into the Holy Spirit!
"The proposition I want to talk about and discuss over the next few weeks is that being aware of the Holy Spirit, of Gods presence in our lives will enable us to live a passionate life. because His presence in our lives changes our attitude.
You see the problem with attitude is that it is intangible. It hides behind our weaknesses and and strengths.
So when someones problem really is their attitude they can hide behind excuses. Negativity, whinging, sloppy, mediocre, victim mentality, stingy, sour, arrogant, unteachable, self satisfied people are very quick to point towards circumstances or other people as the problem behind their lack of success or passion. But that is not the problem, the problem is their interpretation of events!"

Apple Evangelist, complete

Couple of years back I bought my HTC Tytn II.
Against a couple of friends advice, who said, buy an IPhone!
Why I thought?
The most important consideration to me was that it synced up with my calender on my PC.
Appointments are important to me. I don't like to miss them, and I know my memory for detail is not great. So I need something which is going to help me.

The Tytn II had GPS, Internet Access and synced up beautifully to my PC. It also had a full suite of Office Applications.
It has been a great device and quality made as well, solid. I have lost count of the times I have dropped it, and it has remained intact.


A little while back I had bought for me my first Apple Product, MacBook Pro.
It has been a learning curve, but an enjoyable one, such an intuitive device.
And the HTC, while it does sync up, it does not do it natively.

My contract is complete, its time for a new phone.
IPhone 4 on the way. Will take a couple of weeks.
Will sync up nicely with my MacBook, and comes with 1 gig of free net access per month.
Will let you know how it goes.

A Passionate Life

New series at Inglewood Church, A Passionate Life!

"The proposition I want to talk about and discuss over the next few weeks is that being aware of the Holy Spirit, of Gods presence in our lives will enable us to live a passionate life. because His presence in our lives changes our attitude.
You see the problem with attitude is that it is intangible. It hides behind our weaknesses and and strengths.
So when someones problem really is their attitude they can hide behind excuses. Negativity, whinging, sloppy, mediocre, victim mentality, stingy, sour, arrogant, unteachable, self satisfied people are very quick to point towards circumstances or other people as the problem behind their lack of success or passion. But that is not the problem, the problem is their interpretation of events!"

Fremantle Ukulele Collective perform on Derby Day


Great Video, with thanks to Dockerland.

I was wrong

See the post two down.

James 5

Really really enjoyed looking through the book of James this past month.
Comes to the end this week as we look at James 5.
"James wants them to understand that their own life is not theirs to take. God holds their life in His hands...remember last week we spoke about our life being a mist? Ultimately life and death decisions are not ours...we are human, we are finite, and one day our time will come. But that is not ours to determine. And you know what, as Christians the responsibility and authority for our lives, we have given that to God, we submit to His will for our life!
This does take patience, something James implores us to have. remember James was Jesus brother. he had to learn patience eh? Grew up with Jesus, wondered what was happening with this strange unusual older brother he had, finally believed, and now he had to wait for Jesus to return. He knows about patience. Lord give me patience and give it to me now!
He uses the real friendly greeting, brothers, sisters.
James does not ignore their problem, or misunderstand their situation. in a few years time Paul the apostle has to plead with other churches to send financial assistance to the Jerusalem church because its members were starving, literally. where is God there?
we all have issues, we all have problems, but not having enough food to eat is probably up there...and why is not God helping with that, patience with God develops trust and faith.
focus on the big picture, take a long view...look forward to the Lords coming. "

Western Derby

Bookies have Freo as favourites.
I am not so sure.
Two months ago we (Dockers) would have smashed em.
But now, we have 9 of our best out of the 22.

West Coast Coach John 'denial' Woosha has stated that this game means far more than a normal one. In fact some might suggest this is the Eagles "Grand Final" this year.

With a lot of Freo players out, a lot of players tired....

If ever West Coast are in with a chance, it is this derby.

Cold Chisel - Flame Trees (1984)

One of their best....

James 4

Spoke on James 4 on Sunday.
I think this is the verse that sheds light on the chapter.
"14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing."

You know that concept, puts everything in this passage into perspective. Perhaps everything in life!
What James is saying here, and it follows on from chapter three...our contentment should not be based on our circumstances. But the truth is, if we are honest, and if I am honest or frank....contentment for many of us so dependent on our circumstances, someone said to me the other day, "Just when I declare my state of happiness a figurative pigeon drops one on my shoulder"

You know it might be quite depressing to think of your life as just a vapour, like mist, quickly forgotten.
Don't be depressed...because God actually brings meaning to this mist of a life. and that has been the whole point. when we weigh up this life, without God, it is a mist, nothing. with God, it is the importance he places on us, which gives this life meaning.

Its not that God does not want us to make plans, and be wise...and think about our futures...
but the important aspect is to recognise God in the midst of those plans. If the Lord wills it, as the message puts it, Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that."
I have to say, I am amazed at how many christians make massive life altering plans and dont even acknowledge God in any way. Acknowledge God, and He will direct your paths.


Sigh....butter would not melt...

Originally uploaded by Jeff and Rebecca Murray

Some excellent Free Worship Loops

These are seriously good...and free

Under Free section some wonderful, creative and contemporary loops.

This election will be about Twitter

"But I am not on Twitter"
Does not matter.
Both leaders are...and they are using Twitter as a direct way to get information out the way they want.
The media can only really report what they said..the 140 character quote.

The Leadership challenge of Gillard was broken by Twitter...and information on it came quick and fast through Twitter. The information spread of it is concise and comprehensive at the same time. What I mean is that there are so many 'citizen journalists' monitoring far more media outlets that one person could...but you can monitor Twitter.

It is a central, real time source of information.

Want to know what is happening, and how it is happening in #ausvotes 2010?
It will all be about Twitter.

More from Louise Bourke


By the Dockers today.
Up by a fair whack before half time.
Melbourne racked up 6 quick goals during the third quarter...and looked like earning an unexpected win.
Fortunately Fremantle remembered what has got them this far this year, tackling and pressure, and they pinched the win.
Thank goodness.
Needed that.
Hope the cavalry in the form of Tarrant and Grover returns next week against our fellow fourth spot aspirants, the Bulldogs, along with a four quarter effort.

Just in case you missed it....

Picture: Mogens Johansen (The West Australian)

From Todays West Australian...

Suburban Christian churches are leading a high-tech charge to restore Australian faith, using social networking and video streaming of sermons to reconnect with communities.

Inglewood pastor Mark Edwards said attendance at the Baptist Church had surged 30 per cent in the past year, largely because it had embraced technology.

Mr Edwards estimated 70 per cent of parishioners initially found out about the Church on the internet.

He used social networking sites Facebook and Twitter to advertise church activities, meet people, strengthen existing relationships and even answer questions parishioners felt "uncomfortable" asking in person.

"I am amazed at how many churches don't even have a website. People under the age of 30 don't believe you exist unless you have a website," he said.

He wanted to broadcast services online and was investigating whether Twitter or an iPhone application could allow parishioners to ask questions while he was talking on stage, making the service more interactive.

Bruce Chant, senior pastor at Northshore church in Quinns Rocks, regularly has the Pentecostal Church's sermons on podcast.

Establishing a "Google-friendly" website complete with videos had been vital in the five-year-old church expanding to 150 parishioners. He said it allowed people to learn about the church from the comfort and security of their homes.

"We also have people that work fly-in, fly-out in our congregation and it is handy for them to keep in touch with what is happening in the church, even when they are in Port Hedland or Karratha," Mr Chant said.

"The gospel message is timeless but the methods are open for improvement and should be as modern as the world we live in."

(Journalist: STEPHANIE PAINTER, The West Australian)


Been at Rotto...

Great and wonderful place to visit over winter.
We had superb weather there, road over half the island, and spent some great time with my wife and kids.

Just what I needed...

A little daughter

Talking to my wife today about my 6 year old daughter. She has been quite teary lately.
Melinda reckons its because I have been busy, and they were away last week and Ruby has not seen me much.

Turns out it appears to be true. ummm.

Selah....time to reflect on that.

My daughter needs time with her dad....she loves me and I love her.

Next couple of days is time to catch up with her and the son as well.
Looking forward to exploring some wintery beaches, maybe a hot chocolate or two..and some cuddles.

I am sooo enjoying James (the book)

It is such a confrontational book.

And I am really enjoying preaching through it at the moment.
Pastor Eliot bringing the message from chapter three this week.

The issue with confrontational preaching, is that you yourself get confronted with it!
But....when you get such a good response, as I did on Sunday, it is really encouraging.
People love to hear the truth, even if it confronts and challenges. As long as it is said with love and good humour....that is good.

Look at how Jesus presented the truth. He just gave it, but it was always with love and the peoples best interests....He is so challenging as a preacher.

Comments moderated

Apologies to regular readers...
I have a spam bot atm trying to post comments on my blog linking to unhelpful sites...
just moderating a while so he gets the picture...
I will try to publish your comments as soon as I can.

Cooking for blokes

Its not that hard fellas....
You just follow the recipe.

If you can install reticulation, retune a carby, cut code, research a sermon, chop firewood....

you can cook.

Got a lovely Beef Ragout in the slow cooker. Perfect food for winter...and lovely brownie points with the wife....

I can't wait for Round 18

Taking one of these with me.....

Pastoral Team

It is great to have a pastoral team.
Support, prayer....but the primary reason?

So you don't think you are mad.

Madness comes from.......



Being misunderstood

Not understanding why people do what they do

Questioning yourself, your own motives...if in are mad!

Having others to journey with helps in all these may still have doubts, but doubts shared with others...really helps.

Criticism can be really helpful

There are situations where if someone criticizes what you are doing, you know you are doing a good job.

You know their motives, you know what they are on about...and so when they should actually take it as a compliment.

For instance, if someone is fundamentally opposed to what you believe in, then it would be expected that they would not like what you do.

Today I received some comments from someone like this....after reflecting on what they had said, it actually strengthened me. Far from being a discouragement, it actually encouraged me!

Jesus is God, Lord and King. He is fully God, and become fully man.

That is all!

Practical Atheism

The previous post has informed a little of what I am speaking about on Sunday as we kick off our new series on 'Putting the rubber to the road'

From what I am sharing on Sunday...
"We all know people dont we...who say one thing and do another...we call such people hypocrites...or perhaps we call them politicians... ha ha!
In fact some would say that Kevin Rudd was deposed from his position because he promised a lot, but did not do much. Now whether that is true of not is actually not the issue...the issue is that there was a perception of that.
And James makes it clear that for the Christian...what we say must match up with what we do. Faith in God demands action...belief in Jesus means we will not just be hearers of the word...but doers of the word..and James will touch on that later.
He says here that the bible is like a mirror. We hold up a mirror to our face to show what we are like. For some of us, at 6am in the morning that is a really scary experience! Imagine waking up seeing your face is know there is salivia dripping down your chin, the cat has left hair on your pillow...even the mirror is recoiling in horror...and doing nothing about that and walking out of your room and scarring the kids."

Gillard is possibly an Atheist

Our new PM is reportedly not sure about her beliefs about God.
There has been quite the discussion on radio about the so called 'Christian Vote'.

Some are saying that she is going to miss out on such vote, because of her views.

This is simply not true.
I have Christian friends who are passionate 'Green' Votes.
I have Christian friends who are passionate anti "Green' Voters.
And everything in between. One lady I know yelled out "Praise the Lord" when Howard got back in. Others where weeping at what had happened.

You can't categorise us Christians by voting patterns or Blocs anymore than you could categorise non-Christians.

Buyer beware when trying to get the Christian vote, you are likely to just as many offside as you attract.

No Bulldust

Recently someone posted something on their blog which caused me to reflect on my dad's is how I responded to their post on 'doorknocking'

My dad started two churches that way. (doorknocking)
One up your way, which is going well.
another down at Port Kennedy, which is also going well too.

He took out ‘Boundaries’ videos, ‘Jesus’ video…whatever and lent them to people.

It was hard work.

But he has led more people to know Jesus than anyone I know, and he was NOT supernaturally gifted with evangelism.

He just worked hard, was used to rejection, and loved people.

He did not believe in shortcuts, and ever time I think of his legacy, where at his funeral a few hundred people who I never knew, but who he led to God, came along, it challenges the heck out of me.

At his best moments, he worked like Jesus.
There was no bulldust with Merve Edwards

Michael Barlow

PETER HANLON take a bow this is superb journalism.

Thia story on Michael Barlow, and his incredible family, their hardships and life together, is inspiring whether you are a footy fan or not.

Harvey the best, guess who the worst?

Pre Season Mark Harvey was odds on favourite to be the first AFL coach sacked.
I must admit, I had reserved judgement on him as well. A pretty poor year last year did not leave me with a lot of hope for this season. At this point, we are well past what I dared to hope for this time of the year.
Well entrenched in the top four.

There is an old adage in the AFL, the players get the credit for a good performance, the coach for a bad one, which is probably unfair.

But even the most ardent critic must give Harvey a great deal of credit for the way Freo are playing at the moment.

Hard, tough, relentless tackling...just how we are told Harvey used to play.
He has even managed to get McPhee to find his place in the team, and play well. The last two games have shown his talent for the team.

Mark Harvey has won me over.

And the critics agree with Rohan Connolly labelling him the best AFL Coach so far.
Guess who is the worst? mmmm.....
Rohan's List

Gillard, Rudd and Twitter

Twitter really has become the place for instant news action. Last night I was watching television with my wife, and we both had out laptops out.
Then it happened in my twitter stream.....rumours of a leadership spill happening at the highest level in Australian parliment.
I flicked on the radio...nothing there yet, and there was certainly nothing on the TV.

But the Twitters had it right, a variety of journalists, scuttlebutters and retwits were on the spot, bringing the information to whoever was following them, Julia was in Rudd's office, calling for his head.

Eventually the news broke on Perth 6PR..and then eventually when it become obvious that this was serious...Channel Seven and Ten, and we did see Rudd's press conference live.

Channel Nine and ABC had a failure of a night for West Australians, with Nine and Two going 'live' about 3 hours after the fact. In other words us folks in WA were not seeing 'news' but 'olds'.

As I watched the more traditional media trot out the 'breaking story' I sat back in my Twitter smugness, assured that I knew about it 3 hours before the now old fashioned media got its act together.

Rubber to the Road

The book of James seems to have universal appeal.
Blokes in particular seem to resonate with its practical and 'thats how it is' appeal.
So when we have finished our series on failure, we are going to have a look at James for the month of July.
Extra points for the person who can correctly identify make and model of the car I used for this picture. (Actually looking at that picture a second time, there is not much to go on! I had to zoom right in to get the look right)

Morning Tea

Good article in Saturdays West in the 'religion' section.
One of the writers assertions was that churches that were growing had the human touch...they cared about people.

This morning at Inglewood Church my wife and another lady at church made some superb BLT and other sorts of sandwiches.

We have over 150 people coming along morning tea is no small effort, especially since we do reasonably good coffee as well. Couple of coffee machines with fresh Five Senses Beans....

Its a practice we do because of our values...we care about people, we care about meeting people, we want people to hang around and enjoy each others companies.

We know that as we continue things will need to change, but here is hoping we can maintain this precious time, even if what we actually do changes as numbers continue to increase.

Talking of failure

Is this the worst season the Weagles have ever experienced? Well not yet. They experienced a pretty bad one under Ken Judge...and we all know what happened to him.

But the issue there is that many believe Worsfold reaped the benefits of Judges determination to rebuild the side from the ground up, with Woosha inheriting a lot of what would be star players.

If Worsfold does get the boot, what will he leave the next coach? Honest question.

Failure is common

Failure is common to us all.
Jesus failed
There was a town that He went to once where the scriptures tell us He could not perform miracles at. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Now some might say that is was because of the peoples lack of faith that He failed.
And the scriptures seem to agree with that.
But the facts are the King of the Universe, the Creator of all things....could not do what He desired to do...heal and help people.

He failed.

Some might also say that this carpenter failed in that the people He came to save, and restore...rejected fact killed Him.

However we interpret these events....He did take on human form...and knew what the sting of failure felt like.

We all experience failure at some point...sometimes at length..sometimes for a season.
But....failure is not the end. Unless that failure drives us to bitterness.

Our response to failure is what is important...even failure of our own doing.
Where there is life...there is hope...where there is a new day...there can be a new beginning.
Don't give up on yourself or your life. Things can get better.

Anyone chasing a communion table?

This old circa 1940-50 chair...
These two traditional communion chairs, one bigger than other!


Or just contact me direct.....
These from the old Bedford Baptist Days...used once a month! :)

Failure in Marriage

This week just gone I spoke on failure in marriage.
Some of what I said was quite sensitive, and so I was going to have to edit the audio for a more public audience, but then, the audio did not come out right anyway, so I cant upload it at all.
But in response to some of the great thoughts commented in my previous post, here is some of what I shared in Sunday. Please be aware, this is written for me, as I would say it, and I have an idea what I am going to say, so apologies if it is a little unclear to the reader.

The pull of the other woman, or other man, is really strong.
The grass is greener on the other side of the fence,
It aint. IN fact the very thing that attracts someone to someone else, is very often the thing that changes post the affair. an affair is exciting, its different, it has promise, it is not boring...But all that changes after the affair. Even for those people who have an affair, and perhaps leave their husband or wife and go off with the new person, they generally find the same issues arise in the new relationship, because wherever you go, there you are.

How do you know if there are issues in your relationship?
thinking about it, hoping your spouse will have an accident, hoping your spouse will have an affair, wishing your children were gone so you could leave, forming emotional attatchments to someone else.

Jesus said, as we think in our hearts so we are.

The issue is not really the affair, the issue is that you have checked out of your marriage. That is the real issue. Best way to not fail and have an affair, that is to work on having a great marriage!

The ripples from an affair, like ripples in a pond, go way out.
An affair has the potential to rip apart your family, to cause children to lose good contact time with their mother or father Friends feel like their are forced to take sides. Mothers and fathers wonder about their adult children, and how they should respond. Adult children come to live at home for a while.
Economically an affair can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Being married, and lets be realistic here, can be a battle.
God is writing a love story really, the history of the world is God slove story, and intwetwined with that is marriage, where two people join together to live together, really actually to fight together, not against each other, but as co allies in this world. (Thoughts compiled from John Eldridge)
Because there are deep dark spiritual forces at work, that wont to tear thing apart, divide and conquer so the saying goes.
So God has instituted this beautiful relationship so two can become one, and feed off each others strengths. (Eccl 4)
8 There was a man all alone; 
 he had neither son nor brother. 
 There was no end to his toil, 
 yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. 
 "For whom am I toiling," he asked, 
 "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" 
 This too is meaningless— 
 a miserable business!
9 Two are better than one, 
 because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, 
 his friend can help him up. 
 But pity the man who falls 
 and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. 
 But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, 
 two can defend themselves. 
 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The truth is verse 8 is often left out when people quote this, but I think it sets the scene, it gives the image of someone who has no real relationships. Now not everyone here is married, and possibly God has not blessed you with that, thats okay, and we are going to talk about that in a minute. But most of us I think would have real relationships and deep friendships with people and a reason to work. Marriage provides a man and a woman with somehting to work towards, something to build.
When the marriage fails, so does that divine purpose, that deep meaning for life, for many people.

Back in Eden when God created men and women, he fashioned us as glorious counterparts, the heart of a man is to love and protect and provide, he wants an adventure. and the truth is, ladies you need to hear this, a man wants to be admired by his wife. Whatever it is that he does. We cant all be muscle bound tradies, with tool belts. Okay, but we can provide for our families in some ways, and all men want to be respected and admired by their wife. In the heart of most women is a heart that longs to be desired, that longs to be wanted, to be affirmed as a woman. God brings those two different yet complementary characteristics together in marriage, in a passionate embrace.
Thats the ideal okay, and I fall short of that, as we all do.
But I am tired of watching marriages fall apart. Most affairs, for example, don’t start in one day. They occur over time as a person’s guard is let down and they ease into the temptations that exist for all of us. as the focus shifts from enjoying their marriage to it being dissastified.
Let me just stop here for a moment and address the realities.
Because there are people who who have failed in various ways in marriage and in relationships. Some of us here have failed greatly.
The common denominator in all that?
well 1 John 1.9 if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us from sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When you fail in a marriage context, you know that in fact the person you have offended most, even more than your spouse, is God. You need to seek His forgiveness first, and forgiveness will come, Gods grace towards you is immense.
and you will experience that if you come to God, there is always a way back to God, because knowing God is not based on what we do, but on what He has done for us.
So enjoy that for a moment.
But know this, that there are consequences for your sin.
Jesus in Matthew 19 says that if one of the partners has an affair, that is grounds for divorce. Know he said this in a society where men would divorce their wives because they burnt the dinner. seriously if your wife burnt your dinner, you could issue here a certificate of divorce. and what that meant for her, in those days, was that she was then penniless, without any means of support, she would not get the house or the horse. Men were very patriachal. And Jesus comes in and says, no, the only ground for divorce is sexual misonduct is the phrase. and this went for women as well as men. Jesus wanted them to understand that marriage is a covenant, a promise, a contract between two people and it not be broked, but if you have an affair, then you have broken that covenant. Hopefully the marriage can be saved, and their can be forgiveness and grace, but that is a long process. and as a result of your sin, you have broken your covenant which you made with God.

Men and women are different.
I was reminded of that fact again this morning by reading the story of a man in the Bible named Elkanah and his wife Hannah. (1 Samuel 1) Hannah had been unable to have children and it was the deepest pain in her life. (I wrote previously about that pain HERE.) Every year (and perhaps every day) Hannah would go to God begging for a child. God eventually blessed Hannah with a son, but in the midst of that story is one of the saddest, but funniest verses in the Bible (my opinion). It certainly illustrates the great difference that exists between most men and women. Here is the verse:
Elkanah her husband would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8)
Do you see the mistake? Elkanah could never fully comprehend the depth of Hannah’s emotions. To him, life was good the way it was. He had other children through another wife and he and Hannah were free just to be happy with each other. He couldn’t sense the depth of pain that was in Hannah’s heart. To him it made sense that as a couple they were enough. Hannah, I suspect, could never fully comprehend how insensitive Elkanah seemed to be.
Therein lies what I believe to be one of the largest mistake men and women make in a marriage.
You cannot expect your husband to think like you, and husband, you cannot expect your wife to think like. But the joy in marriage is discovering the differences.

You dont marry your best friend

mmmmm the crowd says.

Women: does your husband sit there for hours listening to you every day, pore over every detail?
nooooo your best friend does that.

Men: does your wife kick the footy with you, laugh at your fart jokes, be your friend even if you have not seen for for 6 months?
nooooo your best friend does that

Marriage is a sacred covenant between two people who love each other as eros and companionship love. It is a beautiful partnership.

But I dont buy that corny line, "I married my best friend'.
Marriage is far more than that.
The two become one.
Two different people, with perhaps vastly different likes, interests, get together and share life together.

I am not saying you are not friends....but if you are married, you are lovers....joint homemakers together, its different to being best friends.

(Some thoughts as I prepare my message for this Sunday on failure in marriage)

Free countdown

This is a good nice free countdown!
Well made...and the best possible price.
(Just browse to Freebies!)


If there is one thing that is appreciated in all walks of is communication.

Honesty, frankness....reality. You can deal with those things.

Falsehood, covering up....unspoken words...not as easy to deal with.

Jesus said, 'The truth will set you free'.
Aint that the truth!

AFL coaches are the master of saying nothing.
Some politicians are the master of saying nothing while their lips are moving at a furious pace.

Sometimes it is best to hold your tongue.
By most often, it is best to be open and share.
I hope I am open and honest, it is a great quality for a leader to have.


Starting a new series this month on Failure

Here is a quote from Brian Winslade that I have pinched, modified, and am using on Sunday,
"Show me a genuine man/woman of God, who people look up to and want to be like, and I'll show you a man/woman who has experienced failure at some point in their life. It’s the principle of brokenness. The tears of disappointment and the realisation of failure teach us more about life and God's grace than do the heady heights of success and triumph."


Character is most important in ministry
"Reputation is what the world thinks a man is; character is what he really is"

I wonder if sometimes we don't fool lots of people, including ourselves, about what we are like......

Its easy for people to presume something about your character if you are succesful, especially in ministry.
But character will enable you to finish the race, to finish well.......

How sweet it is! Craig Hutchinson admits he was wrong

Friends in ministry

Met with a mate who is my best mate in ministry.
We have known each other since we started studying together at Seminary, and have been in a peer group now for over 15 years.
Other blokes have come and gone in ministry, and now we have a pretty tight and good peer group.
Both of us have had times, real close, where we could have left the ministry. And even know, in our worst moments, we think of it.
But both of us feel called to being a pastor, and probably feel we would not be fulfilled doing anything else.
Neither of us, by the grace of God, have 'fallen' in any significant way, but we have both made mistakes, and choices we regret. Thats part of life.

As we both look to the future and are now of years enough that we are thinking about the best way to use our next 20 years or so....we are both looking to push ourselves, personally and in ministry areas.

Sharing my pastoral journey with such a such a joy. Not a silly delirious joy (like the Dockers winning again!)...but a profound sense of peace.

Our peer group, in light of recent events, made a commitment to each other that we were in ministry for the long haul.
Sharing the journey in pastoral ministry is a source of strength and accountability.
Thank God for friends. He (God) realises we need other people to help us on this journey, as well as the Holy Spirit. No pastor is a lone ranger, and if they are....disaster often awaits.

Matthew Pavlich

He truly is a magnificent player.
Watching the game last week against the Swans, there was a moment when the ball came towards the 50 metre arc. Pav pushed the oppostion player aside, like a bull swats at a fly. The hapless Swan player fell to the ground, Pav turned on the spot, aimed for the goals, and slotted it through from 50 out.
Truly majestic, and the sign of a player on top of his game.

He is leading the Coleman ladder, and with Fevola and Brown out of serious action he might win it.

He has also been a great Brownlow vote attractor in past seasons, seeing as he plays all over the ground.

Could he be the first player ever to win the Brownlow and the Coleman in a season?

Elim Kids

This is a video I made up for a ministry my brother in law and wifes sister are involved in.
Breaks your heart when you hear how kids are abandoned because of ignorance.
Cant save them all, but we can save some!

Mega Church is not about comfort

This is inspiring!
Rick Warren outlines what Saddleback will be about for the next decade.
Sounds like Rick is determined to keep growing, and the first step is mobilising the congregation for mission.
"During his weekend sermon, Warren laid out a plan for Saddleback's next "Decade of Destiny" in which he's anticipating exponential growth. And the plan has no room for fake Christians, he indicated.

"Let me just be honest with you as somebody who loves you. If you passively just want to sit around in the next 10 years and just waste your life on things that won't last, you probably want to find another church because you're not going to really feel comfortable here. Because if you're in this church, I'm coming after you to be mobilized," said the renowned southern California pastor."

You're getting toweled up.

Ballytyne: "Your getting towelled up"
Shaw: : 'am I really'

ha ha ha ha!
(H/T Dockerland)

Seasons in Perth

I love winter
Of all the seasons, give me wet and cold days and nights, and I am happy.

I think my internal heating system is half a degree warmer than many others, so when its cold, I feel alive!

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that some of my formative years where spent in Albany, a place known for its wet and cold days....

Anyway, to those sun lovers out there, I was getting sick of the sunny perfect Perth weather...good to see the clouds rolling in.

Borrowing from Winslade

Speaking on 'Looking beyond our walls' this week.
Following on from Steve McKinnon last week.
Brian Winslade spoke about the history of the church at the Pastors Conference and I am using some of his material.
This challenges!

"Aristides was a Christian apologist and historian in the 2nd century. Here’s what he wrote about the culture of the Christian church around AD125:
“They walk in all humility and kindness, and falsehood is not found among them, and they love one another. They do not despise widows and they don’t grieve orphans. He that has distributes liberally to him that has not. If they see a stranger, they bring him under their roof, and rejoice over him, as if he was their own brother; for they call themselves brothers and sisters, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit and God; but when one of their poor passes away from the world and any of them see him, he provides for his burial according to his ability and if they hear that any of their number is imprisoned or opposed for the name of their Messiah, all of them provide for his needs; and if it is possible that he may be delivered, they deliver him. And if there is among them a man who was poor and needy and he has not an abundance of necessaries, they fast two or three days that they may supply the needy with the necessary food.”3

Michael Johnson stood down

Michael Johnson plays for the Dockers, and has now for a number of years.
He is a family man, married, couple of kids...and is an understated player.
Not one too blow his own trumpet, he appeared to have his feet well on the ground.

Which is why this latest news that he has been found with drugs, cocaine, on his possession is so surprising.

The Club have acted swiftly and well, standing Johnson down until the issue is sorted out. And also been as transparent as they can be, even naming the player, which they did not need to do.

I hope that the issue is sorted out well, that the truth comes out, and whatever that is, that the issue is dealt with honestly, fairly and to the best possible outcome for all concerned.

It could not have really come at a worse time for the club in terms of playing depth. McPharlin, Broughton and Mundy are all going to be out for at least this week, and in the case of McPharlin, for a number of weeks.

Personally speaking, very disappointing......hope MJ gets it all sorted out to the best of his emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Micah Challenge

I have had a pretty rough week in some ways.
Been a little down, feeling under some sense of oppression.
There are days when you just don't feel like you normally do.

But thank goodness for God's wisdom. 7 days.

Church this morning was so encouraging, and at the same time challenging.
Steve Mc Kinnon from Tear Fund came and we celebrated the 'Survive Past Five' Micah challenge. (Micah Challenge)

Steve spoke about how flowing out of your love for God will come mercy and justice for the poor. He gave a challenge to protest injustice. (Mic 6.8)
It was profound, and delivered in Steve's measured style.

Afterwards we celebrated how many children are now surviving past the age of five. Things are getting better.

I have hope for the future.
I see Christians like lights, shining in the darkness all over the place.
Yes, there are awful things happening, but I see a generation rising up to take their place, being salt and light.

(Here is part of what Steve Mc Kinnon shared in his own words)
“The poor you’ll always have with you”. This is taken straight out of Deut 15: 11. Where in Deut 15:4 God says that if you obey the law- (so the year of Jubilee, the gleaning, the structural laws I’ve set up there should be no poor amongst you: but if you don’t obey; there will always be the poor. What Jesus is saying is a back handed slap to Israel’s disobedience of the law & of himself. Jesus is prophesying against structural, economic and social injustice.

So Jesus is not resigning himself & saying, “Don’t worry about the poor you just carry on self centred life”. The poor were a very high priority for Jesus. In actual fact Jean Vanier believes Jesus is saying, “You won’t have me much longer but when I go I’ll leave the poor in my place & how you treat them is how you treat me.
So the very text used to justify why Christians shouldn’t care for the poor seems to be one of the texts that should motivate us to care for the poor. (CB Samuels quote)
(Steve Mc Kinnon)

Fremantle Dockers Depth

Keppler Bradley plays probably the best game of his career last week, his reward?
Named as emergency.

Emg: Kepler Bradley, Nick Suban, Antoni Grover
In: Garrick Ibbotson, Alex Silvagni

Grover plays well for his WAFL side, his reward, emergency...Suban, one of our best, emergency.

The Dockers have unbelievable depth at the moment.
Would not want to be Schammer at the moment....

God of this City

This is a video I made up for the Pastors Conference.
I used some of Alex Huggetts excellent photos of Perth.

You can download it here, it would be great to know how you use it.