Sunday, January 08, 2017


Over recent months I've been enjoying listening to the Lead Stories Podcasts and I did their Hello, Goodbye process for ending the year and beginning the new one. One of the words that I feel invited into exploring this year is JOY. Deep real joy.

Having felt that, unsurprisingly, it's coming up in all sorts of places. 

A book I was reading today, Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, was the latest. (Great book, by the way and well worth a read)

Joy is my middle name and I'm looking forward to embracing and exploring joy more over the coming months. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Resting and Abiding ... or disconnecting and restless?

For many years, I've felt the stopping of regular activities that is January in Australia. Due to current life circumstances, I'm not feeling it strongly this year, though have been aware of it as I've gone to church services that are much more skeleton attendance and because of that a different style ... and as I've had to go without my standard smoothie on public holidays when I was visiting my dad in hospital. But, while I've noticed it, I haven't been impacted by it strongly.

However, this morning I spoke with a member of our church community and we spoke about how she's always thankful when this time of year comes to an end and when regular activities are back on. Knowing a little about her life, I suspect that the rhythms of normal life, church and other activities, keep her connected in a way that doesn't happen without regular activities happening.

The conversation got me thinking about the perspective of having a period in church life of rest and abiding and using the summer months when so much else stops anyway for that. So much usefulness in the concept - but how do you do it and help people actually abide? How do you help people stay connected - with God, each other and themselves? How does it not become just about certain things not being on but truly a season of rest and abiding? And do we help people for whom the natural rhythms of the day-to-day are a key part of their abiding?

Just some pondering in the midst of this summer season in Australia, when so much stops ... and many of us are on holidays ... or, in the case of the organisation that I work for, running ministry programs around the state.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Starting to post again ...

It's a new year and one of the things I've been planning to do for some time is start blogging again. I expect that I'll be pondering issues of faith, leadership, friendship and life on here over the coming weeks and months, so do reactivate however you look at blogs if you are interested in keeping up with some of my thoughts and ponderings.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Reflections on Quiet

Place: Dave, Julie and Tucker's house

Drink: Coffee

Weather: Hot!

I'm reading a really interesting book about introverts called "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain.  It's a great book.

I've had many a conversation over the year about where I sit on the spectrum between extroversion and introversion and there is no doubt that I have a mix of characteristics that come from both of tendencies.    On tests I mostly come up with a slight preference in the extroversion direction and I think that is correct.  I do, however, have many tendencies and preferences that are in the introvert direction.  An obvious one of those is my preference for one-on-one style relating.

Reading Quiet, however, has led me to reflect about one of the ways in which I most definitely am up the extrovert end - the energy I gain from high stimulation.  One of the things that Cain is writing about in Quiet is the characteristic of introversion as highly reactive to stimulation and easily overwhelmed by it.  She's helpful in commenting on the fact that many people will be highly reactive to some form of stimulation but not others.  She's got me thinking though.

I love a highly stimulated life.  I love the energy that comes from having lots to do; the energy that comes from the lead up to a hyped event; the energy of lots of ideas; the energy of a busy environment with lots of people.  Except in specific environments like on retreat, I find low energy environments really hard work and they take energy away from me.

As I have sought to gain more balance in life, I've had less of the high stimulation in my life - time to re-engage some, limiting the negative sides of it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Becoming a Disciple of Jesus

Regularly we water down what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?

I think this post states it well.

Here's some bits from it:

"A disciple of Jesus is simply someone who is with Jesus to learn from Jesus how to be like Jesus. It will involve loving Jesus and putting his teaching into practice. It will involve re-arranging your life and priorities so that you can do the things he said were best. And to enroll in this course of study, Jesus says you must…

1. Prioritize discipleship above everything else.
2. Completely die to your old life.
3. Give up everything you have.
I’m sure this all seems like an unrealistically high bar to our comfortable, postmodern Western ears, but these were Jesus’ own words to the “large crowds” that were following him. He wanted them to be aware of what it actually meant to follow him as a disciple. Perhaps we need to hear them today as well, when it’s easy to be part of “large crowds” that think Jesus is a great guy that can help them with their struggles, but really need to understand what it looks like to become his student in kingdom living."

Check out the post for more ...

Monday, September 17, 2012


Over a number of years now I've been aiming to implement some rhythms into my life.  As someone who likes spontaneity this has been a difficult process but one that I know that I need and that makes life work in much better ways.

These words in a blog post by Hamo ring true for me:
"Rhythm… I like it. I don’t like routine. I find routine boring. But rhythm is different. It’s recognising that our lives work best when they are in some kind of order and when we can anticipate what’s ahead."

Saturday, September 15, 2012


How often do we really listen to each other?

Here are some great thoughts thanks to this post:

  2. BE SILENT WITH THE OTHER PERSON IN AN ACTIVE WAY: open, active, receptive, alive, without letting your mind wander or daydream. Keep eye contact, let your body language tell the person you care.
  3. LISTENING INVOLVES PATIENCE. It may take a period of time before the person trusts you enough to tell you what he/she really wants to let you know.
  4. AFTER YOU HAVE LISTENED CAREFULLY AND REFLECTIVELY, YOU NEED TO REFLECT BACK WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD, and ask for more details. This is called feedback on what you have heard.
  5. LISTENING IS A GIFT WHICH ONLY A FEW PEOPLE ARE BORN WITH, BUT IT CAN BE LEARNED. Having learned how to listen, don’t ever let it be rote.
  6. LISTENING OFTEN INVOLVES SHARING OURSELVES. People who come to us need to know that we are wounded too. This sharing is mostly to put the other person at ease, and is never more than the person can bear to hear. The troubled person coming to be listened to should not become my therapist! We listeners are the wounded healer.
  7. WE USUALLY MUST LISTEN TO THE MORE SUPERFICIAL LEVELS OF COMPLAINT BEFORE WE ARE LET INTO THE DEEPER AND MORE VULNERABLE PLACES. If we pass the first test of acceptance, then a dam breaks and the whole human pours forth. It is hard to hear this kind of pain, but if we do not listen to this dark side of others, we seldom see these people in depth. They remain for us like a child’s painting—with no shadow or perspective or depth.
  8. BEYOND THE DARKNESS/SHADOW LIES A BEAUTY WE NEVER KNEW EXISTED. In this deepest level of the human psyche we discover that within another human being we have communion with God.
  9. LISTENING REQUIRES A PRIVATE AND QUIET PLACE. Usually an hour at a time is enough for most people.
  10. LISTENING USUALLY MEANS HOLDING MY OWN CONCLUSIONS IN ABEYANCE—until the other comes to his/her conclusions. Whenever I argue or interrupt, I probably have a sensitive spot in my own being that has been struck, and my attitude stops fruitful communication. I give unsolicited advice only when I see pitfalls the other hasn’t which might destroy the other person.
  11. OUR ONLY TASK IN LISTENING IS TO ENABLE THE OTHER: to grow, to take responsibility for his/her own life, to form his/her value system, and to come to own full potential by his/her own choice.