No perfect holiday

Life, Sola Panel, Sola Panel

We’re just back from a far-from-perfect holiday. There were many lovely moments: winter’s wind blowing spray backwards from the waves; the golden lights of evening on the harbour; sampling the world’s best coconut ice cream. (more…)

Is Jesus Lord of your (Easter) Holidays?

Everyday Ministry, Life, Sola Panel

Friends, is Jesus Lord of your holidays? For many of you, the answer is yes!

Jesus says the two great commands are to love God and to love your neighbour. So I see people making Jesus Lord of their holidays, when they continue to read the Bible and say their daily prayers while out of regular routine in relaxed mode. Or when they take the chance to read and reflect on a solid Christian book they’d not normally get to. (more…)

Something more important than charity!

Life, Sola Panel, Sola Panel

In many previous generations and still in some places today, Christians might be surprised that a pastor has to write in this way. But recently I had to remind the congregations I serve that there is something more important than charity. (more…)

Are holidays Christian?

Life, Pastoral Ministry, Thought, Sola Panel

flickr: andrewmalone

There’s a certain amount of discomfort in Christian circles when it comes to annual leave and long service leave – or any kind of holiday, for that matter. The workaholics and type-A personalities amongst us (I’m putting my hand up now) can be even more uncomfortable about taking holidays. Perhaps they’re right. (more…)

Believing the deceiver

Life, Sola Panel

Days like this only come along once in a while. On this sun-drenched morning, there’s a cool breeze and the air is clear. Every dancing shadow is sharp-etched, every leaf suffused with a deeper meaning, every branch lifts a multitude of tiny twigs in praise. The world seems fair and unspoiled, as if it was made new this morning just for me. It’s a small taste of how Adam and Eve must have seen the world, in all its shining newness, when they walked with God on the morning of creation, and discovered its beauties for the first time through eyes unmarred by sin, doubt and sorrow. (more…)

Personal security (part 1): Introduction


There were 828 homicides in our city in 2010, an increase of 210% from 2009. There were 15,493 cars stolen, many of which were taken at gunpoint, and 323 kidnapping events (often involving more than one captive)—all increases on the 2009 levels. In a city of 4.5 million, that’s a lot of violent crime—and so far, 2011 is breaking all the records.


10 tips for faithful sleep-deprived living


Sleep is one of God’s good gifts. Most of us chug though life without thinking much about it, which is usually a sign that we’re getting enough. But for some of us, that blissful enjoyment of the half-regarded treasure we know as a ‘good night’s sleep’ is shattered for some reason.


Keep the Sabbath


At the risk of being too general, most Christians agree it’s good and wise to keep the intention of the Sabbath by taking a day off every week and resting.1 We don’t do this because we’re under the law of the Sabbath, for Jesus has fulfilled that law for us. We don’t have to have it on a certain day of the week, and it’s not done to win God’s favour. Instead, we observe these Sabbath-type days because we trust the God who loves us in Christ and who rules all things; taking a day off once a week is “an expression of this commitment”.2 (more…)

Making it to the end

Life, Sola Panel

The year is winding down, and life is unravelling a little around the edges. I’m no longer so keen to get up early and read my Bible. Chores go neglected. The kids’ homework tapers off, then stops. The days I planned so carefully at the start of the year and launched myself into with shiny new enthusiasm gradually become chaotic and disorganized. (more…)

Delightful whispers from the Psalms


Reading the Psalms after reading about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection brings its own delightful surprises. Like so much of the message the world calls foolish, the surprises don’t draw attention to themselves with all kinds of fireworks; often they come with just a whisper.