December 13, 2014


Here we are again at Christmas, desperately trying to hold on to something heavenly in the face of the onslaught of glitter and noise that drowns out the true peace, love and light that were the reason for this season!

Perhaps our big challenge in this moment is to be so in touch with the Truth Himself, that He is able to shine in some small way through each of our lives, a small light in a dark world.

Each of us carries within us a precious gift of life, breathed into us by our Maker, a breath, a wind, a word, that can be released to ignite life, love and healing in others.

What a simple responsibility He has given us, just to keep breathing, keep walking, keep talking with love to each one we encounter.  Beginning to shine, like stars in the universe, because of the light we carry within us.

What a stark contrast that light and love are to the glitter of tinsel and the noise of money changing hands in ever lengthening queues.  How peaceful and gentle in the face of struggle and despair brought on by the demands of commercial Christmas!

As I endeavour to hold course into a new year, looking for the path and purpose to move forward on, I have been reading the words of one of my friends.  Thomas Merton, in New Seeds of Contemplation, gave me some words that lifted me over the noise and bright lights, back into the place of peace, love and light.  May his wisdom bless you as it has me this Christmas time, and make us aware again of the One who stands in the midst of us, longing that we should know Him, and know Him better.

This is the gift of understanding: we pass out of ourselves into the joy of emptiness, of nothingness, in which there are no longer any particular objects of knowledge but only God’s truth without limit, without defect, without stain.  This clean light, which tastes of Paradise, is beyond all pride, beyond comment, beyond proprietorship, beyond solitude.  It is in all, and for all.  It is the true light that shines in everyone in “every man coming into this world.”  It is the light of Christ, “Who stands in the midst of us and we know Him not.”

October 12, 2014


At the moment I find myself having daily conversations with others about the situations and difficulties they are facing, the things they cannot get their heads around, and the questions that all of that raises about life in general, and of course where is God in all of this?

I keep thinking of how many times the Bible talks about shaking and most times it is the forerunner to something really momentous and good happening.  I think in our quake-prone nation we tend to look at shaking as possibly negative and destructive, whereas when God shakes it's a bit like harvesting wheat, shaking all the debris off and leaving what is good and useful.  

In the Bible Gateway app on my phone the relevant parts of Hebrews 12 have amazing headings such as: 
"Warning and Encouragement" and "The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy".  
Hebrews 12:26-29 puts it pretty clearly: 
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens".  The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken - that is, created things - so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our" God is a consuming fire".

Acts 4 again gives us encouragement and wonderful instruction as Peter and John pray their great prayer and God responds....with shaking!
Acts 4:30,31 
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

If I am reading it right, the shaking just gets rid of what isn't any use anyway, and heralds the way to something powerful and productive as God moves in power.

Some of my recent conversations have been around the loss of understanding of what "the fear of the Lord" really means, and also that in some respects we have become overly familiar with a God who is Love, but also Infinite, All present, All powerful, Creator of all things, Lord of All, who rules and reigns on high.  We are told that 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom', and in the face of shaking who doesn't need wisdom!

If you my dear friend are finding yourself in the midst of shaking, as many of us are, you have company.  Also, you can be encouraged that God has turned His face towards you and is working in your life.  Instead of giving great credit to the enemy of our souls who doesnt deserve it, let's stand up, look this right in the eye, and submit ourselves to His hand and His process, knowing that the outcome will be good, even great.

In this time let us look up and cry out that just as when that shaking took place in the Upper Room in Jerusalem (and life hadn't exactly been a breeze for those guys), God would stretch His hand out again, that He would heal, that He would perform signs and wonders because of Jesus Christ, and that we would again be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak the word of God boldly in this day.
Our God is "a consuming fire" who consumes all the dross of our lives, and turns the rest into pure gold.  

September 17, 2014


This has been quite a week with more nonsense on the airways than usual because the elections are taking place on Saturday, and it's only Wednesday!

Today as I drove through South Auckland I looked at a young woman on the side of the road and saw the deep concern on her face.
I passed a beautiful older woman with the circle of flowers on her head that made her look like a princess.
I spent the morning with women who are rebuilding broken lives and families, who laughed and cried, and told stories that would break the hardest heart.
These were all real people, with real lives, real feelings, and their own important stories.

At a farewell to someone who has given years of their life to putting safety nets in place, and lifting many out of the depths of human despair, I cried as I listened to those who have hearts to really see human dignity restored and lives given all the help and opportunity they deserve.

Where I walked people are seen as individual, precious, full of potential and promise, and every effort made to unlock these and thereby increase the richness of our nation.

Then I turn on the television!!
Why does a political debate have to be the greatest example of bad manners and lack of respect I've seen all day?
Why are people's lives and opportunities being bandied around and traded for votes, or worse still totally ignored by those only interested in sensationalism and bad-mouthing those currently in leadership so they can score points against those who upset their personal plans and comfort zones!

As we go to the polls this week I hope that we will consider what will be best for all areas of our society, and who will give consideration to the deeper issues that cannot be changed or improved with legislation.  Is there anyone I can vote for who is willing to roll up their sleeves and walk alongside someone for a mile or so in a way that counts, not just for a great photo or another couple of votes?

August 17, 2014


I have been giving a lot of thought over the past couple of days to how we as "modern Christians" possibly sabotage, neglect, or abort what God had in mind for us to do because we live in a results/success orientated world, and everything has to be accomplished at such great speed.
He gives us spiritual gifts that enable us to begin or establish something, e.g. prayer house, mercy work, group, community work, a business venture......etc.
As He blesses what He ordained we get excited, ambitious, proud, over-confident with the current success.  The result of this can be franchises as others view the results, invitations to speak and excite and encourage others, even decisions to fund raise to keep it going, forgetting His instructions in Philippians 1:6
"being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus".
Sometimes we have only done the preparatory work in bringing this to birth, get excited about the baby, and forget that it now has to be nurtured and watched over as it grows and learns to walk, talk, become independent!

If God began it HE will carry it forward and ensure that it continues!  We often forget the 'forward' part and camp out at the current point of growth, seeing it as completion.  Instead of using His gifts to continue in the work, quietly obedient and caught in heaven's flow, suddenly we are being carried along by human excitement, demands and values.  We shift off the intended course and purpose and lose sight of, or worse still, lose completely what God intended.  If we franchise what is good but incomplete and intended for us to serve Him in the place He gave us, we have sold off half of a good thing - it's a kind of robbery!

There are always adjustments and changes when a new baby arrives, but the core of the family remains the same just adjusting to the changes in dynamics that expansion dictates.  I wonder how much has been missed or sold short because we got excited at the half way point and didn't continue on making room for more to be added on the way to completion?

Good things, like good wine, take time to mature and deepen in quality.  Can we allow God to continue to use our lives and gifts as He knows He always intended to?
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God created in advance for us to do."  Ephesians 2:10

Let's be faithful in the call and gift as long as he wants us there.  Quietly hidden in Him until He leads or calls us elsewhere.  HE is ABLE to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
Let's quietly and confidently embrace what is before us today, knowing that He can and will provide all we need, and that all the glory and success is His alone.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

August 10, 2014


At this moment in time, when we are being bombarded with media reports of the latest conflict in this world, it seems that it is all about 'good guys' and 'bad guys' and everyone has to take one side or the other.
My heart is very troubled and sad in the midst of it as I find myself grappling with myself as various friends I esteem highly are coming out strongly on one side or the other, and I find myself trapped in the middle of it all.

It seems that all of human conflict has been about one side trying to prove that they are right, and paying whatever price is necessary to prove that.  So much is justified by taking the moral high ground and endeavouring then to convince others that it is the right ground to be standing on.

I've lived in two countries that were pushing hard for the rights of one side or another, and in both cases it ended with bloodshed.  All around the world today the conflict and the bloodshed continues.  It does my head in trying to find a middle road through all the arguments...a road that leads into the hearts and homes of the ordinary people endeavouring to lead ordinary lives in the midst of it all.

Someone detonated a bomb and blew up an electricity substation near to the hospital right when my son was being born!  At that moment in time I wasn't too concerned with the noise, the shaking, or the reason...I was in the process of bringing forth a new life, someone to be loved and cared for, someone to be raised to be the best possible person he could be.  The message was lost on me in that moment, or perhaps in that moment another message became abundantly clear in my heart.

Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, each of us is doing life.  Life comes with responsibility for those around us, each and every one of them.  I cannot judge, and the Bible tells me it is not my job to do so.  But I am required to live, to love, and one day to give account of how I have done both of those things.

So now we listen to accounts of conflict that lean heavily on one side or the other of 'right', but all the while my heart is telling me that in the midst of it all, and on both sides, ordinary people are endeavouring to live ordinary lives and raise their children to be the best people that they can be.  I cry when I see that children have been killed or maimed, they sure didn't ask for it!  

Now the question comes about those responsible for the killing and maiming - taking into account that there are always two sides firing at each other.  There are two sets of mothers weeping, there are two sets of fathers fighting, there are two sides to every story on the face of the earth, and I doubt that either is 100% guiltless or responsible.

Maybe you and I can begin to change the world not taking sides but by doing the things we can do, day by day.  We can LIVE well, and we can LOVE well.  It might not seem a big thing, but the smallest act of kindness, compassion, and love, flies in the face of the death and destruction elsewhere.

I think someone began a movement like that with the hope that the world might be united and there would be a 'new man' created who was neither one thing or the other, not Jew or Gentile, Greek or Roman, etc., just a new man who could live, love, and represent the One Who is Love Himself to the whole earth.  Maybe He gave us a blueprint for peace and we just haven't implemented it yet!

July 28, 2014


I had the joy of attending "WORD - The  Front Line" on Saturday night,  WOW!!!
South Auckland Poets' Collective had brought together talented young poets from Auckland high schools to battle it out with spoken word in a poetry grand slam competition.

What a unique and powerful opportunity to hear what is really going on in young lives and hearts.  How else will we ever be in touch with this growing generation unless we hear their voices and their stories.

This was outstanding in its raw honesty, heartfelt pain and anger, and a display of youthful courage in just getting up there to speak.  I was impressed, encouraged, moved to tears, struck dumb with the power of their words.  What a privilege to be present for such an event.

It underlined what sits uppermost in my heart in this current season.  If we do not take the time to listen, to hear one another's stories, we will never know each other, neither will we understand.

In this busy world it's a big challenge to stop and listen.  It takes time we sometimes don't feel we can afford - but truly the question is can we afford not to listen and remain ignorant of what is happening in the lives around us.  Can we say we are truly living and present in our communities if we are not hearing the voices that whisper softly or shout loudly within them?

We all have this great desire to be heard, whether we manage to find the words to speak or not.
I am so incredibly grateful that there are people out there prepared to give time to help the silent and wounded find their voices and give them a platform from which to speak.  I saw this in action wonderfully and powerfully on Saturday night.

I've always loved the words of Teresa of Avila, they inspire us all to be constant in using the eyes, ears, hands and feet God gave us, to show His compassion to each one we encounter during our day.

Christ has no body, except yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours

July 09, 2014


Over the past decade I have sat in rooms, week after week, month after month, year after year, listening to women tell their stories.
At a rough count I have sat with at least 500 women, and a huge portion of that number have told stories of sexual molestation, rape, abuse, all in their childhood or early teens.
These are courageous women who are telling the truth,  They are brave mothers fighting for their children.  They have climbed over terrible odds to get to this place and find a space to tell their story and their truth.

My heart is bleeding for our nation and for it's children.

Our children are our treasure. Our children should grow up safe and secure.  Our children need to be nurtured and protected so that they grow to their full stature as adults, parents, leaders in our nation.

No one has the right to rob our treasure of their treasure.

We have an opportunity as a nation to find the courage to build into our future.  We claim ancient treasures back from overseas because they belong to this land and this people.  How much more should we be claiming responsibility for the living treasures who dwell in the midst of us.

This robbery of innocence needs to stop.

 Would we allow the thief to walk into our home and take our valued possessions away without endeavouring to recover them, would we say nothing as these things were taken away?  How much more should we protect the living treasure that is being robbed of innocence and future?

If each of us were to pick up our responsibility to guard the children and young people who are our future how much brighter and clearer our future would look.  The statistics that are like a great shadow over our nation would fall, and we would lead others in producing leaders, parents, adults who would protect what has been protected in them.

This is a challenge New Zealand.  Who will step up to the mark and begin to speak positively about our need to guard our future?  Legislation has not worked, why?  Because legislation has no heart.  It is possible that picking up our individual and national responsibility can bring monumental change if we can find the courage to do so.

Do you hear the challenge, will you pick it up? Can we grow up, stand up, and protect our future?

May 17, 2014


When a tree grows slightly crooked do we instantly chop it down?
It is God's creation and we generally tie it to a strong support and give it a chance to straighten up.
When we find a bird with a broken wing, or an animal with a broken leg, do we cast it out to look after itself?
It is God's creation and usually we are moved with compassion to get help so that it can mend.

Why then, when we see evidence of brokenness in a human being - a wrong action, a mistake or a failure - do we tend to dismiss them as bad, unacceptable, unsuitable, unable to change?
Have we never failed, or made a mistake? 
What gives us, therefore, the right and authority to judge?

Surely, if we follow the example of Jesus, our approach will be creative and not destructive or judgemental.
If God has created all that is created, then He is the strong support that will enable healing, change, new life.

Discernment is given so that we can pray and invite Him into a situation, so that we can co-operate with Him in seeking wholeness and fullness of life for each and every individual.
Discernment is not an invitation to judge or criticise, it is an invitation to PRAY and follow up with whatever action we are led to take.

Is it just and right that we who are so imperfect demand perfection from those around us?

May 07, 2014


In these last few weeks I've found myself really exercised over what is true and just, in the face of popular opinion and normalised behaviour!

It began with the photographic exhibition of gang members in an Auckland Gallery.  There is no faulting the artistic ability of the photographer or the amazing clarity of what he is portraying, and it has most certainly aroused controversy and conversation which creative things should do.

The ensuing arguments suggested that everything is right in the light of artistic freedom, and it is fine to exhibit photos of a genuine section of our community.  It is not deemed correct to censor artistic works.

Alongside all of this, we have a family grieving over the loss of their son, and one of the men in the photographs is about to stand trial for his killing.

At the same time the trial for the murder of Mallory Manning was taking place, with gang members accused of being responsible for her death.

There is also much discussion about the effect of drugs in our society, and the increase of manufacture and supply of illegal substances, alongside the discussion over removing legal highs.  Almost every report of a large drug bust implicates gang members.

It is very foolish to generalise, but overall the image of people who have chosen to deliberately flout the law and moral rules of our society is not a healthy one.

If the photographs were pornographic, or had been taken of children by someone with questionable motive, would the same artistic licence and lack of censorship apply?

In comments to the Court in the Mallory Manning case one woman was quoted as saying that she had some sympathy at first for the accused.  However, her final question was to ask why there was not one man in the room who offered help to a girl crawling away to escape from them and their brutality. 

The family who are still in pain over the loss of their son were shouting their dissent, but it was politely dismissed in the face of artistic licence.

What unjust licence do we give in our nation?
What questions do we ask about what is right and wrong?
Why are the voices of the victims and the weak unheard and their cries ignored?

There is a deep sickness in our society.  It is not apparent to those who are buffered by wealth and comfort and therefore is deemed unimportant by them, in fact it is fearful to acknowledge these things.  However, it exists and down at the bottom of the barrel are those who are fighting to be heard, fighting to get one foot on the ladder of life and hope, growing weary and giving up in the face of this unfeeling, uninformed, uncaring society. 

I know that is generalising, and there are wonderful hard-working people labouring to help and bring change, but the attitudes that came to the surface in this recent event are of great concern.

As we head towards elections all I hear are politicians criticising and finding fault with the opposition, or trying to discredit them in some way.
What I would like to hear is what they actually plan to do for this country,
I would like to know if they look at the shaky bottom of our society and seriously discuss what they will do to make it more equitable.
I would like to know if there is anyone in power who is willing to put their name and reputation on the line in the face of our sickness to do whatever is necessary to inject some health.

Removing the legal highs is great, but what about the pain and dysfunction that pushes people towards drugs (at any level of society).  What about the heart of a nation that needs a little attention right now.
Time to have a good look at who and what we are in 2014, compare it to the values the nation was founded on, to revisit democracy, and to endeavour to move forward into health and strength.

How do all these things line up with truth and justice, freedom for all?

March 12, 2014


Galatians 2:6-10 is a wonderful account of a meeting and conversation been Peter, James, John and Paul.  What a privilege to read about a conversation between the men who had walked and talked with Jesus, and Paul who had had a personal encounter with Him and was working out the call on his life that came with that.

Paul comments that these men, considered to be pillars of the early church, did not add anything to his message which was the Gospel.

However, in the meeting they did agree with his call to preach to the Gentiles as Peter was called to preach to the Jews.  They offered fellowship and agreed with the work Paul was doing.

Finally, they made one request that Paul was happy to comply with, and because it was the final comment on the conversation I believe we should see it as worth our serious consideration.

Galatians 2:10 reads:

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

If this was so important to the pillars of the early church, and to the apostles chosen by Jesus Himself, surely this should remain of great importance to us today.

Does the church today hold this request to be equally important, and do we who call ourselves Christians as these men also did, consider that the one thing we should continue to do is remember the poor?

If this was important in the very foundations of Christianity and the church, surely it should remain as fundamentally important in our function today?

Is this a plumbline for us in this day and age, and if so, what are we doing about it, individually and corporately?

February 09, 2014


This year has begun with two new things on my horizon.  In the next two weeks I will roll out two new programmes in addition to the current New Beginnings.

The step up from the Personal Development stage into support in the Community is a big one as it involves training mentors as well.

I am SO grateful to God that He knows where this is headed and how to put it together, without Him this current task would be utterly impossible.

Maybe that sounds a big statement, I hope it doesn't sound trite, as I mean it with all my heart and mind.

I sat down and prayed and the first programme was written, and the process has had to be the same for the two new ones as well.

It would be so easy to just copy something that has already been done, there is plenty available online, but what use would that be?  When we begin something new we can learn much from others' experience, but ultimately if it is not completely fresh and new it is unlikely to bring any kind of new result.

This season is reminding me over and over again that the ultimate Creator is our God, and if we are willing He will pour in and release that creativity in our lives. 

He alone knows the people He wants to reach, understands their minds and situations, knows how to touch their hearts.

Again I think of the need to find my whole identity in Him, otherwise it will be a confused thing made up of lots of bits and pieces of various men and women.  I love to learn from others, but I want to be found and seen to be in the One who made me for a specific purpose that I will only fulfil with His help.

Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified Version) tells us the truth:

For we are God's (own) handiwork (His workmanship) recreated in Christ Jesus (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time) that we should walk in them (living the good life which he prearranged and made ready for us to live).

So, these programmes are not just about my destiny, but also the responsibility of working with God to connect others with the amazing plans He has for them.  This can only happen if I am completely the self He intended and created.  This applies to each and every one of us. What an exciting and challenging thought!

January 01, 2014



2013 ended with someone stealing my identity on facebook!  It was slightly alarming but eventually I came to the realisation that the only identity that counts is in the One who made me and will always know me, nothing else is as important as that.  I feel protected and safe in that knowledge.

It seemed the Lord was highlighting this fact for a good reason, and there is a strong sense that in 2014 it is going to be most important for us to find our strong place of being aligned and identified with Jesus Christ, it will be a strength that will carry us through many tests and trials.


Just as with our identity, our confidence must be in the One who truly sees and knows everything that concerns us.  All our trust and hope is safe in Him regardless of what this world throws at us.  This confidence will enable us to walk and complete the race we are in.

I felt the Lord was encouraging us

"Don't give up now!  Many have been sorely tested in the past year, but continue to press forward and do not drop out of the race, being CONFIDENT that He who began this work in you will bring it to completion." 

Philippians 3:15 states that "all of us who are mature should take such a view of things."  What view and what things?

Phil. 3:12-14  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

All of this so that we may indeed know the Lord as He knows us, in both our joys and suffering.  He is forming and claiming a people after His own heart.  He is building His church and each stone will be perfectly shaped and formed for its place.

Phil. 4:12-13 ...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation...I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.


The general understanding of being unequally yoked has been related to marriage partners, but it seems in this season the Lord would have us think more widely and understand the effect of this yoking.

Matthew 11:28-30 is Jesus' call to us:

"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 find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

It is His presence and His Spirit that break the heaviness and burdens of connections that are not to Jesus Himself.  When the weight becomes unbearably heavy He calls us to make a choice.  He has already dealt with those heavy things and attachments at the cross, and now simply asks that we come and choose Him and His way. Connected to Him we can confidently run the race He has set for us. He asks that we know our identity in Him, that we be yoked and joined completely to Him, and move with confidence towards His goal and prize in His strength, rest and peace.

Join us Lord to Yourself.  Let us be found in You and You in us in this season.  Release to us again Your peace to guard our hearts and minds.  Strengthen our weak knees and lift up our hands and heads.  Build Your temple, live with us and walk among us.  Be our God and we will be Your people.  Amen.