Reflecting and praying the Psalms

Where is your strength and encouragement coming from at this time? Listening to the news keeps me informed of Covid-19 developments, being in the bible connects me with God’s help and perspective. I am finding the Psalms to be a rich source of encouragement and stimulation in my relationship with God.  When threatened the Psalmist takes refuge in God. One of the ways David expresses this is ‘taking refuge in the shadow of …

A thousand times better

One day with God is better than a thousand elsewhere. This idea motivated me to invest two days praying and listening to God in January. The amount of time is not as important as the intention to focus on God. The writers of the Psalms reveal their solid belief that knowing and experiencing God is the source of real life and real help. …

Pray and Play

During a recent visit to New Zealand Al Engler, who works in Seattle with the Navigators, introduced us to ‘pray and play’. Al shared a story of going to party with a group of young friends to illustrate this idea. Before heading out to the party in fancy dress costumes, the small group prayed for the party and their time with the people …

The Direction of the Flow

Ezekiel had a vision of a river flowing out from the Jerusalem Temple towards the Dead Sea. As the river reached the sea, it turned the saltwater into fresh water. Swarms of living creatures followed the flow of the river, and all variety of fruit trees grew along the banks. Ezekiel tells us “where the river flows, life abounds” (Ezek47:9). …

Mercy or religion

I’ve recently been inspired by Jesus’ encounter with Matthew and his tax collector friends.1 Given the animosity between Jews and tax collectors it’s amazing that Matthew appears perfectly comfortable joining Jesus and his group of followers. What was it about Jesus and the community he was forming that made Matthew feel welcome? When Matthew throws a party Jesus seems quite at home with Matthew’s …

Lessons from the Sheep Pen

The attentiveness of shepherding has become more clear to me this year with our ewes and lambs needing extra care and help. On many days this has meant feeding animals four times a day and administering medication. One of our lambs, and possibly the mother, would not have survived without assistance at birth. Juliet and I have reflected on Isaiah 40:11 …

Our Daily Need to Know God’s Love

I grew up knowing I was loved. This was communicated through countless small actions and at times given voice in heart felt expressions of love. Once I left home I realised how significant this was. One of the few times the Father was audibly heard speaking to Jesus was a declaration of love, “This is my son, whom I love.” …

The Place of Being Intentional

As I flew home I was thinking about this blog and being intentional as an everyday worker for Jesus. I had exchanged pleasantries with the person I was sitting next to and we had both settled into relaxing after being away for work. As I thought about being intentional, I felt challenged about engaging with the person next to me and so …

The Significance of our Ordinary Lives

At times life can feel very ordinary. You might be devoted to God, faithful to your marriage partner, responsible and caring with your children, trustworthy and reliable as an employee, dependable and available as a friend. But none of this will ‘make the news’. Instead, what makes the news is the extremes – the highs (someone cures cancer, a movie star …

In your light we see light

Friends have expressed shock, anxiety, pain and anger to the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. What does this mean for the future? God’s Spirit and God’s Word are both a comfort and a “compass” in situations like this, orientating us to God and his promises. It’s sobering to think that the shooter believed his actions were “right” according to his view …