Topical Articles & Posts
Unlike the longer articles under the Mega Shift and Messy Dogma themes, these are (mostly) shorter posts to encourage and inspire.
Click a title that catches your attention.
As a self-governing Kingdom community, our goal is maturity: to grow up into Christ’s likeness both individually and collectively—and this only occurs when we all participate and contribute into the shared-life mix, rather than being perennial children spoon-fed by a few. It’s a matter of milk or meat. Huh? Consider the milk or meat analogy the writer to […]
“Are you the house church people?” and “Are you part of the simple church movement?” are both questions I’ve fielded often over the past decade. My honest and sincere question to both these questions is: no. Yes, I’m fully persuaded that the best means for spiritual growth and mission—the God-designed means, in my opinion—is a spiritual family where faith […]
For a decade and a half now, I’ve been exploring what’s been called simple or organic church. Having been the beneficiary of an amazing God-intervention, together with good friends, I began this journey on a quest for “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). From the get-go, we knew we were exploring a […]
Paul defined the way of the Kingdom in his letter to the church at Rome, probably not a coincidence in the intelligence of God, prophetically declaring the King’s way into the capital city of the Roman Empire. He explained that the Hallmark of the Kingdom of God is not about outward rules or ritual observances—“eating […]
In our quest for the “new”—whatever this may mean for you—unresolved vested interests threaten to drag us back into the “old” unless we deliberately slay them. In Israel’s quest for the Promised Land, their vested interest lay in the security Egypt provided. Their negativity betrayed them: “we remember the fish which we ate freely in […]
The quest for freedom has indelibly marked the pages of human history—from the many renowned stories to the countless undocumented ones—as those oppressed faced the authorities and systems that denied them their freedoms. The now-infamous line attributed to Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” has forged our world today. We are the […]
There are a number of ways to view the three list of gifts Paul gives us in his epistles (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and Ephesians 4:11). While I find myself drawn to the viewpoint that sees them as three distinct sets linked to the Father, Spirit and Son respectively—often called motivation, manifestation and ministry gifts […]
A hallmark of a true apostolic gift is the grace to release others into their God-given destiny calling. This may include helping people first explore and discover a sense of personal vision, and more often than not, involves securing a foundational strength in Christ and His Kingdom mandate to pursue this call. However, a truly […]
As we head into a time of the year in which things generally slow down, allowing us—whether it’s only a few days, or a couple of weeks, or just the slower pace at the start of a New Year—to unwind, the value of rest and reflect cannot be overstated. While traditional New Year’s Resolutions are […]
Like me, I’m sure you want to do God’s will. In fact, the desire is even more acute, isn’t it? We want to be in the centre of His perfect will in this moment of time, right? We want to be sure that what we’re doing is aligned with God’s desire for this generation. We hope that […]
In my opinion, describing Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, Chapters 5-7 as the “Sermon on the Mount” doesn’t do it justice at all. That implies some staid, dull ‘same old, same old” sermonette for Christianettes. Jesus’ download from heaven in this discourse was more like a bomb going off; a revolutionary battle-cry … insurrection talk … […]
Talking to my kids recently about God’s forgiveness helped me open up my own heart to His incredible mercy again. I realised again how easily I become familiar to these juggernaut mind-blowing truths. No wonder Jesus urged us to come as a child. David begins Psalm 103 with an incredible expression of praise. “Bless the […]
For me, one of the greatest mysteries of God is His desire for a cooperative relationship with us. On the one hand, He could do so much more without our feeble efforts. Like a mother who could bake a cake in double-quick time—with half the fuss—the patience He shows at our childlike attempts is overwhelming. On […]
Fussing with the wonderful reality that God is both predictable and unpredictable; here is an excerpt from Chapter 13 of Living at the Edge of Time? The Bible has two under-girding themes. On the one hand, God’s character is consistent, unchanging and … predictable! Jesus “is the same yesterday, today and forever”23. And God is […]
Tony Fitzgerald has offered spiritual parenthood into my life for more than fifteen years. Below he reflects on the amazing day in history in which we live. Earlier this year, Marilyn and I stood on Nicholson Street in Bairnsdale, Australia, thanking God for his faithfulness over the 40 years of life and ministry we have shared […]
I’m all for having goals in life; I certainly have my fair share of targets that I’m aiming for. As the saying goes, “If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time”. Or “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. There is an element of truth in both these pithy phrases. Goal-setting is […]
Psalm 37 contains a goldmine of riches as David expounds on the contrast between the inheritance of the righteous and the tragedy of the wicked; the sharp disparity between lives brightened by light or those snuffed out by darkness. David delivers several injunctions—including, “trust in the Lord,” “do good,” “delight … in the Lord,” “commit … […]
In a primary sense, the Bible is the Story of God and His unfolding plan for mankind. In a secondary sense, it is a record of how men and women have responded to God in His dealings with them. And in this sense, it is a collection of stories outlining the choices men and women […]
What is the secret to contentment? Most people on planet earth suffer from a chronic case of discontentment. And it is not just a disease that plagues those without Christ. Many Western believers endure the same malaise—and ironically, in some ways, suffer even more from it. In this article, one of a trio of articles […]
God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you …” (Jeremiah 1:5). And “God shows personal favouritism to no man” (Galatians 2:6). What was true for Jeremiah is true for every human being. We are special. David praised his Creator, “For You formed my inward parts … I will praise […]
Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). I’m sure you know it by heart. While having a can-do attitude is certainly vital in a can’t-do world, if it is not coupled with an awareness of our God-allowed limitations, it is a sure recipe for disappointment. “Hope deferred makes […]
King Solomon wrote 1005 songs (1 Kings 4:32); only two made it into holy writ … Psalm 72 and Psalm 127. Both pack a fair punch, but Psalm 127 contains knock-out clout—and speaks into the idea of divine partnership. He begins with an abruptness implying he’s speaking from sober experience: “Unless the LORD builds the […]
From Loren Cunningham to CT Studd to Andrew Murray to Bono, here is part two of my favourite quotes on missional church… “The Gospel says, ‘Go,” but our church buildings say, ‘Stay’. The Gospel says, ‘Seek the lost,’ but our churches say, ‘Let the lost seek the church’” (Howard Snyder). “To be a missionary does […]
Too often wisdom is equated with knowledge. Someone might seem knowledgeable and thus, we assume they must be wise. Wisdom is oft associated with the ability to postulate new ideas, a perceived intelligence—and is therefore associated with “knowledge,” “ideas,” “creativity” and “intelligence”. While none of these things are wrong of course, they are poor synonyms for […]
From C.S. Lewis to John Wesley to Roland Allen to Tony Fitzgerald, here is part one of my favourite quotes on missional church… “There exists in every church something that sooner or later works against the very purpose for which it came into existence. So we must strive very hard, by the grace of God to […]
Neil Cole’s book, “Organic Church” is one of my favourite books on missional church. It’s must-reading for anyone exploring simple church or discipleship. While he’s a hands-to-the-plough practitioner, Neil Cole also has that ability to make pithy statements that you can’t shake (and don’t want to). Here’s my favourite quotes:
Ever talk to yourself? We all do—we mull over self-talk all the time. Our thoughts constantly tick over; many of them are statements to ourselves about how we view the world, and how we perceive our role in it. And it doesn’t mean we’re crazy; it just means we’re a reasoning, reflecting human being. (Of course, […]
Lorna and I are blessed to walk with a number of close friends in our faith adventure, none more so than Tony and Marilyn Fitzgerald, who have been a spiritual dad and mum to us for many years now. Enjoying a great relationship with our own natural parents, we feel doubly blessed. Tony and Marilyn’s revelation of the […]
On old mariner maps, unexplored territory was designated by the words, “Here Be Dragons.” The fear was, if you didn’t fall off the edge of the world, you’d be gobbled up by monsters. (Imagine Geoffrey Rush saying, Here Be Dragons, in his Pirates of the Caribbean voice for the full effect). Thanks to a few […]
Selfishness is surely the portal through which evil floods our world and the greatest obstacle to Kingdom advance. It’s also the root of all unhappiness. One-half of our problems come from wanting our own way; the other half comes from getting our way. It’s so tempting to conduct our lives cafeteria-style: self-service.
God created us to live and thrive in community. In the beauty and perfection of creation, even with God for company, God Himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Wow! That’s how deeply we’re created to dwell in community with others. Warts and all.
Simply content? Pie-in-the-sky dream or something tangible, real, possible? An ancient sage once mused: “God has made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated” (Ecclesiastes 7:29 GNV). Brilliant! Seems ancient man was as complex as modern man. Regardless of our moment in human history, mankind has always been a master of […]
Faithful Jeremiah lived and served at Judah’s most tragic moment. As Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army besieged Jerusalem, the once proud people of God were trapped inside starving, forced to feed upon the flesh of those already slain beside them. Jeremiah’s book of Lamentations could be called the “Book of Depressions” as he expresses his utter despair […]
The older we get, the more time we spend defending what we do know rather than learning what we don’t know. Yet the younger we are, the more we think we know having not lived long enough to know how much we don’t know yet. This is definitive proof that we need one another. The […]
Title rewrite: First Do no harm all the good you can! I understand the “first do no harm” maximum in the medical world – I’ll be grateful if the surgeon avoids the temptation to try a gung-ho move at my expense – but as an anthem for life, it’s a minimalist tactic at best, a […]
In his heart-on-the-sleeve second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul frequently expresses his delight in God’s all-sufficiency while admitting his personal inadequacies. For example, he writes: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves … but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:5, 6). […]
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