The Home Crowd

There is an interesting story in the Gospel of Luke about Jesus and his home town crowd – Nazareth. Jesus grew up here. Everyone knew him as ‘Joseph’s son’. After reading the Scripture in the synagogue one Sabbath, people were surprised by how well Jesus spoke.… Read the rest

Welcome to Spring!

Welcome to the first day of Spring! At least here in Australia where I live. This last week I spent time walking along Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River. Wildflowers were bursting into bloom everywhere. Here is one of the photos I took on my phone.… Read the rest

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. 
Read the rest

A New Day

Nicole and I are currently spending 12 days in Germany while on our way to Russia, where I will speak at three church leaders' conferences (in St Petersburg, Moscow and Novosibirsk). Our day is about over here in the northern hemisphere and we have had a wonderful time touring some of the beautiful southern Germany countryside.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