At last, the obvious

Resource Talk

Sometimes a new idea is just so obvious that you can only wonder why no-one ever thought of it before.

For example, why did it take so long for someone to invent the ‘multi-position pillow’ to solve the thorny issue of what you do with the underneath arm when you are lying on your side? This particular work of genius is a contoured pillow with various cut-outs to allow you to lie on your arm, without cutting off the blood supply to your extremities. Although there’s now a slight problem: you also need a bed that’s about a foot longer to accommodate your outstretched arm, nestled snugly underneath your pillow. (more…)

The first Australian Scriptures

Couldn't Help Noticing, Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

Lun ellin Jehovah an pornum an Narrinyeri: pempir ile ityan kinauwe Brauwarate, ungunuk korn wurruwarrin ityan, nowaiy el itye moru hellangk, tumbewarrin itye kaldwamp.

You have just read the most famous verse of the Bible, John 3:16. It’s most likely the sentence translated into more languages than any other sentence ever written. (more…)

Can you understand Revelation?

Bible 101, Sola Panel

At the church I serve, we’re about the preach the book of Revelation across all our congregations, as well as studying it in our growth groups concurrently. (more…)

Adding ‘Get to Know’ to the toolbox

Resource Talk

GTK has become an essential tool in my pastoral toolbox. While at first my congregation thought GTK stood for ‘Gary the Koo’, it’s actually ‘Get to Know’, a course designed to welcome newcomers into your church. (more…)

→ 7 arrows for Bible reading


Matt Rogers (via Trevin Wax) shares his 7 arrows for Bible reading, a tool to get people to engage with Scripture as they read it:

There is often a vast disconnect between the awareness of the need for disciple-making and practical tools that actually aid in this work. Three factors are essential: Scripture, relationships, and time. Discipleship happens when the life-changing truth of Scripture is infused into genuine relationships over an extended period of time.

Our desire was to create a simple, reproducible strategy that would facilitate this process. This led us to develop a simply strategy for small clusters (2-3 people) to meet together regularly and talk about the Scriptures and apply them to their lives.

The seven arrows of Bible reading were an attempt at developing a tool for proper hermeneutics to power these relationships. We did not want our people to simply talk about the Bible. We wanted them to understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives. Each cluster would read a predetermined passage of Scripture and discuss it using these seven arrows.

Perhaps not quite as memorable, but it’s up there with COMA and the Swedish Method in my opinion.

→ Children’s Bibles


Jean Williams has investigated and briefly reviewed a whole host of children’s Bibles over at her blog:

“Of the making of many children’s Bibles there is no end, and much study wearies the body” (Eccles. 12:12, paraphrase). That’s pretty much how I feel after investigating lots of children’s Bibles for this post.

It’s a far cry from my childhood, when the only children’s Bible we had was an enormous tome written in old-fashioned prose. (I suspect it might have beenThe Golden Children’s Bible, still a decent choice for a kids’ Bible.) Apart from that we read adult’s Bibles and discussed them with our parents during family Bible time. I don’t think it did us any harm.

That said, modern parents should be very grateful for the huge number of excellent resources available to us. Obviously we want to expose our kids to the Bible. We want them to get to know the Bible stories. We want to read them Bible stories in a format they can understand and relate to.

She has some recommendations for different age groups, and some personal favourites. It’s really worth reading through.

Holiness: the greatest need

Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

Perhaps some of the most famous words ever spoken on the topic of holiness by a pastor came from Robert Murray McCheyne. He said,

→ There’s more to Bible reading than… being on your own


Interesting reflection from Arthur Davis on the ‘Quiet Time’:

Of course, there’s a place for personal Bible reading — and the Church has a rich heritage of contemplative practice that goes way back before mass-produced Bibles appeared. But there is no good reason to expect private reading to be the most important way of accessing the Bible.

Reading the Bible with others is not just acceptable. It’s great. The Bible is a library of community documents crying out to be accessed in all sorts of social ways.

So let’s change the question: What would it look like if we actively treated the Bible as inseparable from community?

What do you think?

h/t @Nathan Campbell

XV: the Bible in 15


If you’re anything like me, setting aside a time to read God’s word each day is an inexplicable challenge. I want to, but it keeps getting squeezed out by less important things. But let me ask you this: do you have any points in your day where you have just 15 minutes spare? Sitting on a bus, waiting in a queue, stealing a quiet moment while kids eat lunch? (more…)

Live light in 25 words

Everyday Ministry, Life

You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. (1 Pet 1:23)

The Bible Society Australia have identified that only a relatively small number of Australian Christians engage with God on a daily basis—they claim 1 in 5. For people who love the God of Word, this is more than a little disappointing.1 (more…)

The delightful results of memorizing the Bible

Life, Sola Panel

This is the final post in my series on Bible memorization. Today I’ll talk about the “why” of memorizing Bible passages and the impact this has had on me. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.

flickr: chefranden

God’s word written on three-by-five inch index cards: it doesn’t sound like much of a weapon. But there I was, sitting on the floor, staring out the window, repeating words scribbled on the index card in my hand: “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own…” (Matt 6:34 NIV).


A smorgasbord of Bible memorization methods (and one way to learn whole books)

Life, Sola Panel

This is the third post in my series on memorizing Bible passages. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Next time I’ll conclude with the “why” of Bible memorization, and the impact it’s had on me; but today I want to talk about the “how”.

flickr: chefranden

They say that memory is dead. Socrates sounded its death knell back in the days when books began to replace oral culture – for who needs to remember what’s been written down? Now we’ve gone one better with the outsourcing of memory to electronic devices.1 It’s said that human beings have forgotten how to remember.

I’m sure there’s some truth in that, but I won’t accept it. (more…)

A three-course banquet of Bible memorization

Life, Sola Panel

This is the second post in my series on memorizing Bible passages. You can read part 1 here.

flickr: chefranden

A couple of weeks ago, I invited you to commit Bible passages to memory. The fact that you’re still reading encourages me a lot, because I know that memorizing the Bible – especially whole passages! – isn’t popular:

Once, I thought that memorising anything longer than two verses was for old people or super holy people. – Anna

In my late twenties was challenged by some Navigator friends to memorize Scripture…I thought they were saying that because Navigators sell Scripture Memory courses. – Duncan1

When I encourage people to memorize the Bible, I sometimes feel about as popular as a peddler of bad-tasting, expensive medicine. (more…)

Why you shouldn’t memorize Bible verses

Life, Sola Panel

flickr: chefranden

Well, actually, you should. But I got your attention, didn’t I? And I want to suggest there is something even better than memorizing Bible verses. Here it is: memorizing Bible passages.

I can almost hear you sigh. Who wants to be told they should memorize more of the Bible? If you’re anything like me, you tried to learn some Bible verses once, and you’ve forgotten them all, except a few stray words. And now I’m telling you that you should learn whole passages?

Yes, I am; but it’s not really a case of “should”. (more…)