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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