Gone

None of us like to talk about death. It is an enemy that steals away the ones we love. My step-mum, Rene Conner passed away recently. It’s been hard for all for all of us, but especially for my dad. I was walking through their home a few days back – so empty now.… Read the rest

Stormy Winds

The-perfect-storm-michael-swanson

Have you ever been in the middle of a storm – a literal one or maybe a storm of adverse circumstances? I sure have – many of them and of all kinds. In fact, just over three years ago, Nicole and I were in the middle of what felt like a perfect storm.… Read the rest

The Mystery of our Emotions (Part 2)

Inside

Yesterday, we started talking about the mystery of our emotions. 
 
I am a fairly optimistic person and therefore I have a lot of positive emotions. My family have called me everything from 'Peter Pan' to ‘Tigger'. Yes, I do have a lot of enthusiastic energy … usually from the moment I wake up. 
 
In the first few decades of my life, I had little experience with some of the darker emotions of life such as sadness, grief, disappointment and depression.… Read the rest

A Bigger World

I hope you enjoyed John O'Donohoe's poem,  For A New Beginning.

It really resonated with me, mainly because of the changes and transitions that Nicole and I have navigated over these last few years. Back in October 2015, I was at Phillip Island with some pastors on a two-day retreat.… Read the rest

For a New Beginning

Sunrise-landscape-render-retouches

My wife, Nicole, just returned from a week's Silent Retreat on the beautiful Bellarine Penisula in Victoria. The dogs (we have two – Oscar, the kindest labrador you've ever met, and Nikki, the naughtiest, yet smartest pugalier ever to enter the world) and I managed to survive while Nicole was away.… Read the rest

Time

Good morning, everyone.

It's hard to believe it, but Christmas is over and the new year is well underway. I've just returned to work after 3 week's of holidays and I only have 6 more weeks before I finish up in my role as Senior Minister as CityLife Church.Read the rest

The Finish Line

Finishline

Today was my last official day of work for 2016. I spoke at all 5 of our church's Christmas carols presentations this weekend. It was a lot of fun and it was great to see so many people there, especially so many visitors.Read the rest

The Great Unknown

Sometimes in life we experience 'more of the same' as we deal with the familiarity of routine. At other times, there is the adventure of new things and of entering uncharted waters. That's my life right now.

I am in the process of transitioning out of a staff role at CityLife Church where I have served in various roles for almost 32 years, and for 22 years as the Senior Minister.Read the rest

Life’s Journey

Journey

Mountain top and valley
Sunshine and rain
Calm and storm
Ease and pain

Joy and sorrow
Hope and disappointment
Laughter and tears
Known and unknown 

Darkness and light
Night and day
Summer and winter 
Blue skies and fog

Confidence and fear
Faith and doubt
Answers and questions
Lost and found

Enemies and friends
Acceptance and rejection
Approval and shame
Sin and forgiveness 

War and peace 
Unity and conflict 
High and low 
Life and death

Yet these three remain 

Faith, hope and love 
Father, Son and Spirit
Eternal God
Ever faithful and true.… Read the rest

Crossroads

Crossroads

At another crossroads
So many options
Destination competition
Loud voices
Multiplicity of signs

Stay on the same course
Or make a turn?
Popular highway
Or the road less travelled?

Moving fast
Trying to read the map
Traffic congestion
Important decisions

Take a pit stop
Pull out of the race
Just for a moment
Catch your bearings

Where have you been?… Read the rest

Selah

Forest Path

My joy, my peace, my source, my life
My rock, my anchor, my refuge, my strength
My healer, my freedom, my restorer, my transformer 
My wisdom, my guide, my creator, my courage 
My hope, my future, my vision, my inspiration 

God Almighty
Blessed Trinity
Father, Son and Spirit

Selah
Pause and think about it… Read the rest

Today

New-day

A new day.
A fresh start
A clear page
Wonders waiting to be discovered. 

New dreams yet to be born.
Visions still unseen.
Insights unknown.
Wisdom from God's world. 

Yesterday is gone.
Only a memory now.
Lessons learnt.
Experience gained. 

Tomorrow's not yet here.… Read the rest

Marine Expedition

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God's world.
The power of the sea.
Endless motion. 
Seasons come and go.
The sands of time. 
Vast humanity.
Creation care. 
Human achievements are but castles in the sand.
Erosion. 
Shaped by relentless movement and motion. 
His love never fails. 
His faithfulness reaches beyond – from generation to generation. 
Mercy un-ending. 
The finite meets the infinite.… Read the rest

Discouragement

Beating-Discouragement-620x300

Questions, doubts, disappointments
Like a wet blanket settling down
Lower, deeper, darker
Feels like your going to drown 

Can't cope, can't breathe
Intense pressure mounting
Will it ever ease? 
A burden, a weight, heaviness

Dark clouds, stormy wind, rainy days

Frazzled mind
Numb heart 
Spirit down
Weak will 

Is there a light?… Read the rest