Church – Rain, Hail and Shine

RHS1I’m troubled by the recent tendency to refer to times of corporate singing as “the [singular] worship”. The biblical textbook on the matter of worship, Romans 12, describes “intelligent worship” as the act of “giving God our bodies as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable by Him”. It then goes on to list what this looks like – intellect (“let God re-mould your minds from within”), spiritual formation , preaching, serving, stimulating the faith of others, generosity, leadership, empathy, affection for each other, hard work, prayer, magnanimity and hospitality. Something I like doing as worship is cost-benefit analysis. Read more of this post


Integrity or …. ?

Laws exist to fill in the gap and police the failure of character. Laws can never do what the integrity values can do; they are simply a ‘back-up’ system”.   Henry Cloud

In Jesus’ ministry this clash between integrated character and the “back-up” system of laws was starkly illustrated in Luke 13:10-17. Jesus’ integrated character and his empathy, observance of the negative and his orientation towards truth, increase and transcendence come together to deliver a result. Despite knowing the objections about his habit of healing on the Sabbath Day Jesus very publicly heals a woman inflicted with a psychological illness.

The president of the synagogue publicly lambasts Jesus for his failure to observe the law. Rob Bell suggests “when we see religious communities spending most of their time trying to convince people not to sin, we are seeing a community that has missed the point. The point isn’t sin management; the point is who we are now”.[2]

Read more of this post

A friend so Kind – Irene Gruber


Irene’s beloved Dragons

Oh you’re a Manly fan?  What are we going to do about you!  And like this, for many Manly fans, great friendships start. 

A dear friend of mine Irene Gruber passed into glory this Monday.  As passionate about her Dragons as I am about the Sea Eagles, she nevertheless deigned to watch many a Friday Night Football with me.  

We met when I arrived in Canowindra to study at the Cornerstone Community there.  Ian and Irene had gifted the land the training centre was built on, and their farm was, back then, the principal source of work.  Their cottage at the end of the quaintly named Cucumber Lane became a cherished haven away from the deprivations of first year training at Cornerstone.  

Irene was born in Carcoar, into the Kind family.  And I have this song called “A friend so Kind” which just seems so incredibly pertinent to Irene’s passing.  

Read more of this post

Our Champions

BarbariansI might be biased but on Saturday I witnessed one of the toughest team performances I’ve ever witnessed or been a part of in forty years of watching and playing rugby. Our University of the Sunshine Coast Under 12s team is a rag tag mob of boys drawn from nine or so local schools. I get the privilege of being their trainer – part of a coaching team of four guys (and sometimes I wonder if the kids or the coaches have the most fun).

We’ve had a really good season. Rain meant we didn’t get a training session in before our first trial so we’ve steadily built momentum and cohesion as the season has progressed. We finished the season in second place, in the process beating every other side in the competition at least once.

But going into our knockout semi final against the third place Brothers, we knew we were in for a massive game. They’re a very successful team who have been top two for the past three years. We’d beaten them earlier in the year but they were injury depleted then. Now they were coming at us full strength.

Read more of this post

Lest we forget ….

Duncans WW1 serviceLike many of his peers my grandfather seemed very reluctant to speak of his years on the Western Front in World War One.  All we have is a few small snippets of information about his service – though from it we can see how his years with the Scottish 9th Division changed our family history irrevocably.

Perhaps the most priceless relic we have of Duncan Grant’s war effort is a transcribed record of his war history.  In his own hand he summarised his military service on the plinth of a Dewar’s whiskey Highlander statue.  The artfully inscribed words let us know that he was involved in the full horrors of the war.  He was present for some of the most intense and horrific battles.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: