The Blogging World

According to wikipedia, a blog (a portmanteau of web log) is "a website where entries are written in. ‘Blog’ can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs."

I’ve been visiting a few blogs for a while now. Some of them have a host of great information and discussion. A few pastors that have interesting blogs are:

1. Phil Baker

2. Dave Ferguson

3. Craig Groeschel

4. Tony Morgan

For some good lists of interesting blogs, check out these sites:

1. Christians Blogs Worth Reading

2. 10 Blogs Worth Visiting

3. More Blogs

Footy Tipping

I starting my tipping really well this AFL season – leading our competition for the first few weeks. Since then I’ve slipped back into 2nd or 3rd place for most of the season. Right now I have 98 wins with three rounds to go. One of our staff pastors, Peter Coburn, is leading the pack with 102 wins. Peter says he knows nothing about football (!?) but he’s been doing some pretty good tipping of late. I’ll have to do really well to catch him now … and I’ll have to keep an eye out for others crowding the front of the pack, including Paul Molyneux, who is tied with me now.

[EDIT: I ended up finishing in second place with 117 tips, four behind the winner, Peter Coburn, who had 121. Congratulations Peter!]

Spiritual Disciplines – BIBLE Reading

God wants each one of us to be healthy and strong, not only physically and emotionally, but most importantly, spiritually. Like Jesus, we can be ‘strong in spirit’ so that we are more than ready to handle the daily demands and pressures of life. However, this requires a commitment to certain disciplines and practices.

When tempted by the devil Jesus quoted an Old Testament Scripture and said, “People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God (Matt.4:4. NLT).” God’s Word, as revealed in the Bible, is to be our ‘daily bread’. In the same way that we need food every day to be healthy and strong so we need to daily feed upon God’s Word to us. Then as we apply it to our lives we are adding exercise to healthy food, which results in good health and spiritual fitness.

Imagine the difference in your life if you could feed daily on the wisdom of the ages! God’s words are alive and powerful, able to not only feed your soul, but to renew your thinking and to give you insight for every aspect of your life and ministry.

One good way to establish the daily discipline of feeding on God’s Word is to follow a Bible reading plan (web site). It can be a catalyst to God doing some incredible things in your life. The aim is not just to ‘get through’ the reading program but to see that God’s Word ‘gets in’ to our hearts and lives, bringing about personal growth and positive change. Set some time aside each day to read the portion for that day. Then make some observations, think about how it applies to your life, then finish with praying to God about what he has spoken to you about.

Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32. NKJV)” and “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life (John.6:63. NIV).”

As each of us establishes the habit of hearing and applying God’s Word every day, we will experience the joy of knowing God better and of becoming healthy and strong disciples of Jesus Christ.

Geelong Cats

I’ve been a Geelong Cats fan for many years now and this is the best season we’ve had for a long while. The Cats are clearly going to finish on top of the ladder and are a good chance for the Grand Final if they can keep playing like they have over their 14 game winning streak.

When I was young, I barracked for teams like Richmond (back in the Royce Hart days!) and Essendon. Back in the late 80s, when Nicole and I were leading our church youth group, we played a game against the Barrabool Baptist youth group and Gary Ablett Snr, who was attending that church at the time, came and had a kick. It was cool to meet him. I started following Geelong after that day.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Gary, believing that he has a good heart, even though he’s had some rough patches in his life due to some of the consequences of his choices. I hear he’s doing better now and it’s great to see his sons playing well for Geelong at the moment.

[Update: For a recent article on Gary, click here – November 27th, 2007]

Go Cats!!!

My New Blog

Well, here we go – I’ve started a blog! It’s a chance for me to share my thoughts and feelings on a range of things I’m interested in. It’s also a chance for me to listen to what others are thinking and feeling about similar things.

It’s a whole new world and I feel a bit like someone taking a swim in the ocean for the first time.

Anyway, here we go …

Best Preaching Books

Learning to communicate God’s Word in a way that captures people’s attention and imparts principles for life change is quite an art. Even after years of hearing many excellent preachers and gaining much preaching experience myself in a variety of settings, I’m still learning.

Here is a list of the most helpful books I’ve read:

  1. Communicating for a Change – by Andy Stanley
  2. Preaching with Purpose – by J.E. Adams
  3. Biblical Preaching – by Haddon Robison
  4. How to Speak so Youth Will Listen – by Ken Davis

Rick Warren also has an excellent course called ‘Preaching to Change Lives’ which is on CD or DVD with an accompanying manual.