Apr 162017

In Cairo this morning, Coptic Christians will be declaring, alongside us, “Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!”  But if I were a Christian in Cairo this Easter morning that would feel like a hollow declaration for, as we know, on Palm Sunday, would-be Islamic freedom fighters saw fit to indiscriminately detonate suicide bombs inside and just outside two significant Christian churches, killing and maiming dozens. Have no doubt, Christians are targets for humiliation and destruction in many parts of [continue reading…]

Apr 022017

I live in a world that is desperate for good news among people who often feel blessed by their circumstance. Last week at St Philips we considered Jesus’ final words, teaching his disciples to live and thrive in challenging, even desperate times.  Desperate times is the prevailing context for Christian growth and spiritual prosperity.  This is probably our biggest challenge.  My life, my lot, my circumstances dominate my world view.  To engage with others in greater need somehow recalibrates my [continue reading…]

Mar 262017

What I love most about Australia There are so many aspects I love about my adopted country.  The weather is beautiful, exquisite beaches are on my doorstep, the ocean is a powerful mystery to be explored on surfboards and kites.  Then there’s the café lifestyle, social democratic values, the South-west, the beautiful food.  It’s a long list. But the best thing is the one I least expected: here I have friends – specifically, male friends (including many Christian male friends) [continue reading…]

Mar 192017

As I said last week, Tim Costello is here with us on one of his frequent whirlwind tours of WA.  Welcome Tim, it’s a great joy to have you sharing with us today. Tim’s title is World Vision Australia Advocate.  One of the New Testament’s great pictures is that of the ambassador or the advocate.  I know they are different but I love Paul’s imagery when he says to the Corinthians, You are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making [continue reading…]

Mar 122017

Back in the day when I was the chaplain for the Victorian building industry I would get asked to take services for the most interesting organisations in the most unlikely places. The first time I met Tim Costello he was a pastor connected to the Collins St Baptist Church in Melbourne central.  We shared a podium in the Melbourne city square during a service memorialising the death of building workers impacted by asbestos. Tim spoke about his mother and somehow [continue reading…]

Mar 052017

There is a business on Stirling Highway in North Fremantle with a sign that has slogans on it.  The sayings change regularly but always get me thinking as I make my way from Palmyra to Cottesloe in the morning.  The latest sign says: “Don’t stop until you are proud.”  I think this is good advice, wise advice.  I know there are times when I haven’t finished a job properly, when I have just thought that near enough was good enough [continue reading…]

Feb 262017

I’m not a huge boxing fan but let me begin with a boxing analogy:  We have dragged ourselves off the canvas and are now back in the ring and fighting fit!  It is fair to say that it has not really been our doing but a huge team effort.  Thank you for all the prayers and unbelievable meals people have made for us as both Jane and I fought a nasty case of pneumonia.  We have felt deeply cared for [continue reading…]

Feb 192017

It was a bit of a shock. . . to hear that really loving someone is excruciating.  But it made sense, because where does the word ‘excruciating’ come from?  The cross – the greatest symbol of love the world has ever seen!  (The ‘cruc’ part of the word means cross in latin.)  The God/man, Jesus, willingly surrendered his perfect life and his perfect unity with Father God, to suffer rejection by those he came to love and die for. God [continue reading…]

Feb 122017

One of the brilliant things about the church Parish Council at St Philips is Paul Manley’s monthly scripture reflection.  Each month Paul sends us a passage to ponder and we reflect on it together to open the meeting. This month it was Matthew 11:28-30. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will [continue reading…]

Feb 052017

I know that everyone of us as a part of St Philips has an extraordinary life story.  This could fill volume after volume.  I am often aware of that I don’t know and frequently surprised at what I learn.  In fact I am interested in having a ‘story telling season’ this year where we can share our stories and God’s place in them with each other. God’s Bible is primarily his story.  Get it? History! The best stories are carefully crafted [continue reading…]