Dec 082019

Some of you will be aware that I love reading – in fact, some good reading time is one of the things I am most looking forward in our abiding time in January. My list of possible books is rather long and I expect it will end up being a mix of theology/ministry, novels, biographies and social research. Stay tuned for some reviews in the new year!

You too might have some more space for reading during January so, with that in mind, I thought I’d take the opportunity to remind you of the bookstall that we have at St Philips. We switch the books over every four to six weeks and aim to get a range of books each time.

Here are some of the types of books on there at the moment:

1. Yearly Devotionals: The New Year is a natural time to choose a new rhythm of Bible reading, or to begin one. There are some books that might help guide your Bible reading on the bookstall. In particular, those by Tim Keller are ones that numerous people in our congregation have found beneficial. As well, there are some family devotional books and a book to guide your prayers for your children.

2. Books about Bible Reading and Prayer: How to read the Bible for all it’s worth or Eat this Book might take your Bible reading deeper. Prayer by Tim Keller is one of the best books on prayer I’ve read and A Praying Life is a book several friends have recommended and is on my summer reading list.

3. Books about Pain and Lament: A good friend has recently found Deep Clouds, Deep Mercy really helpful in, as the subtitle says, discovering the grace of lament.  The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis is an old classic.

4. Books to Give to People who are Exploring the Christian Faith: John Dickson’s books Jesus: A Short Life and A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible might be useful for a friend exploring Christianity; likewise Tim Keller’s The Reason for God or The Prodigal God. Of course, it’s always worth having a read of such books yourself before passing them on to a friend.

5. Autobiographies: Peter Elliott was a Fremantle boy and has been a Bible college lecturer amongst other things. Having been on a board with him, I’m looking forward to reading his new book Rambling towards Jerusalem. Some classics like The Hiding Place and Surprised by Joy are on there, as is Even in our Darkness, Jack Deere’s autobiography which so many of us have enjoyed over the last couple of years.

6. Books for Kids and Youth: Kids’ books always go fast on our bookstall at this time of year and this year is no exception. There are some great picture books and some kids’ Bible story books still available. Also some books that some of the slightly older young people in your lives might find useful.


Dec 012019 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:04 — 7.5MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1         Isaiah 2:1-5 Reading 2         Matthew 24:36-44

Nov 172019

What a great time we had last weekend at our St Philips Youth Camp. God continued to work in the lives of our young people through this temporary community experience. Ten young people with five leaders attended for a weekend of fun, faith and friendship.  Research has shown that a peak experience of this kind is one of the factors that helps young people stay connected to church and their faith. Time together is so valuable – we all know [continue reading…]

Nov 032019

What is known as ‘peak experiences’ is one of the things that has been found to be a key factor in young people continuing on with their faith. One of the influential places for these ‘peak experiences’ in people’s faith journeys is in the context of the temporary community that camps provide. Many of our community can testify to their experience of that over the years, including things like the men’s and women’s retreats in the life of our church. [continue reading…]

Oct 062019

As I write this, I’ve just got home from a night of studying 1 Corinthians with some St Philips women. We’ve been doing an online study put together by Ridley College and finding it useful, not only for helping us understand 1 Corinthians but also for shaping us in how we read Scripture more generally. In this study,  they maintain the importance of three concepts in reading the Bible: Mind the Gap – the need to understand the context of [continue reading…]

Sep 292019 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:11 — 7.6MB) Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1         Psalm 14:1-7 Reading 2         1 Samuel 13:1-15

Sep 082019

As I write this, we are in the midst of a week of Growing Young focus groups. One of the things that struck me in the first focus group was their impact of mentors on the lives of some of our current parents when they were teenagers. Many of these were informal relationships, not necessarily even things that the teenagers at the time would have been able to identify as particularly significant.  However, looking back, they recognized that  these people [continue reading…]

Aug 252019

Last weekend 30 women from St Philips had a great time away together. So many precious things, so many precious moments. As is so often the case, it was a weekend of encounter with each other and with God . . . a weekend where relationships were further developed and where the Holy Spirit worked in our lives; . . . a weekend where God met us deeply as we made the effort to be present; . . . a [continue reading…]

Aug 112019

Moving house! That’s what my week has been. By the time most of you are reading this, most of my things will have been moved to my new place in Cottesloe. I’ve been pondering and praying about the move for some time and a couple of months ago felt it was time to act. I had invited some close people into the discernment journey and felt that it was quite important to actually be very local to the church in [continue reading…]