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Merry Christmas from Hayden, Logan, Madison and Dusty the golden retriever

It’s that time of year again when we send and receive Christmas cards with updates from friends and family.  I have a few family members who write lovely letters with the details of their year and so here is the annual message from our family.

2016 has been a terrific year, with the kids growing up (and up and up) and lots of lovely memories to reflect on.

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my-love-for-you-isToday Karen and I celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary.

It has been an amazing (and rarely boring) adventure together that has spanned multiple states, multiple careers and, of course, multiple kids.  Throughout it all, Karen has been my closest confidante, best friend and most loyal supporter as we attempt to stumble through life together.

I’m no great romantic, so I’ll leave it up to Rod Stewart to describe how I feel about my lifelong love.  These lyrics come from the song, “You’re in my heart” and I think of Karen every time it comes up on my iPod. Read the rest of this entry »

At-some-point-somewhereWiser people than me say it better.  This is an excerpt from President Obama’s recent speech to the Canadian Parliament:

“When refugees escape barrel bombs and torture, and migrants cross deserts and seas seeking a better life, we cannot simply look the other way.

We certainly can‘t label as possible terrorists vulnerable people who are fleeing terrorists.

We can insist that the process is orderly. We can insist that our security is preserved. Borders mean something.

But in moments like this, we are called upon to see ourselves in others, because we were all once strangers.

If you weren’t a stranger, your grandparents were strangers. Read the rest of this entry »

John 3v16Today, Christians around the world remember the day when Jesus was crucified.

Despite being without sin, He was found guilty in a mock trial and sentenced to death.

With a crown of thorns shoved onto His head, He carried His own cross up a hill and then was nailed to it.

Naked and between two thieves, Jesus died a horrible death.

Why would He do this?

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Thanks-for-your-supportWell, here we are again, at the end of another year.

2015 was the biggest year yet for this humble little blog.  Traffic increased by about 33% and I finally reached the million views milestone in September.

Thanks everyone for your support this year, I really appreciate all of you and trust that 2016 will be your best year yet.

I now have written over 1,500 posts on this blog and here are the 10 posts that have generated the most traffic in 2015: Read the rest of this entry »

Merry Christmas from Logan, Hayden and Madison

Merry Christmas from Logan, Hayden and Madison

I love the Christmas season and always enjoy receiving cards and letters at this time of the year with updates from friends and family regarding the year that’s just passed.  Of course, I’m too lazy and disorganised to send out letters to lots of people and I would probably forget someone important, so you get my family update through my blog.

2015 has been another very busy year in our household, with the kids growing quickly and lots of change, so here’s our own annual family update. Read the rest of this entry »

19-years-ago-we-said-I19 years ago today a wonderful adventure started.

A beautiful, bonnie lass from Glasgow walked down an aisle in a chapel in Melbourne and for some strange reason agreed, in front of our family and friends, to be my wife.

6 weeks later, the adventure continued when Karen and I moved to the obscure, remote mining town of Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.  For two years, we spent our honeymoon in isolation and 45 degree heat (that’s in Celsius for my American friends).  We had the privilege and challenge of managing a domestic violence refuge and pastoring a small church.  We were way out of our depth, but we learned a lot about each other and life.

The adventure continued for almost a year in Rockingham, just south of Perth, where we made the very difficult decision to leave the Salvation Army, the church we had grown up in and worked for.  It was a tough year, but we stuck together and moved across the country back to Melbourne to be closer to Karen’s family as her dad had just received a kidney transplant.

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The-first-million-is-theI’ve heard it said by successful entrepreneurs that making the first million dollars is the hardest.

Once they’ve found a strategy that works, a product that sells and done the work, it’s easier to replicate in the future.

Thus, the second million may only take half as long as the first to accumulate and the momentum continues to grow from there.

I wish that I could tell you from experience that it’s true, but I’ll have to take their word for it.

I don’t have a million dollars, but this week this humble little blog passed a million views.

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They-are-our-futureThe issue of asylum seekers has been bubbling for a while and is reaching boiling point in many parts of the world, with the recent pictures of a 3 year-old Syrian boy washed up on a beach in Turkey becoming a vivid reminder of what’s a stake for many people escaping extreme repression, persecution and war in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

We don’t know how we should respond, but we are afraid of what this issue means for us and our way of life.

And that’s a problem.

So we use words and phrases like, “invasion,” “illegal, “queue-jumpers” and “potential terrorists.”

In our fear, we keep them at a distance.

We put up walls and stop the boats.

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For-God-did-not-send-hisI love Easter.

It’s a reminder that I don’t have to strive to be OK with God.

Because no matter how many good deeds I do, nice thoughts I have, donations to charity I give or moral acts I perform it won’t be enough.

But on Good Friday, Jesus died as a sacrifice for my wrongdoings.

And on Easter Sunday, He rose again to win the battle against death.

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