Redeeming Time — an App you probably need

Andy Geers and his team at Discipleship Tech (think PrayerMate) have just released a new, free, app.

“According to some estimates, internet users spent an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking in 2019; and in the midst of a global pandemic that figure is only likely to have increased in 2020. But in that same time, you could read the entire Gospel of Matthew or the Acts of the Apostles. Even with just two minutes you could read the whole of 2 or 3 John.

Many of us are increasingly disillusioned with how social media is draining our time and attention. This week, Discipleship Tech launched a brand new app, Redeeming Time, seeking to change that and help us reset our relationship with our phones and reconnect with God through His word.

Just tell the app how long you’ve got, and it will recommend books of the Bible that you can read in that time. You can also scroll up for longer books and it will track your partial progress through them, letting you carry on where you got to last time. At six minutes per day you could read the whole New Testament in six months.”

A church for every kombini — Japan needs Jesus

On our days off we’ll occasionally take a drive, usually to the seaside. It’s refreshing to go through the country, but also discouraging. As we drive through village after village, there is always a shrine or temple, but rarely a church. We see beauty, vigour and tradition, but we don’t see much hope of people coming to know Jesus in these towns.   

My family and I are part of a project to plant a church in Chiba City, the capital of Chiba prefecture, neighbouring Tokyo. We are patiently, diligently turning soil, preparing, hoping and praying for gospel growth. We dream of a vibrant, growing church in our city. We want to see new believers keen to share their faith, uninhibited and enabled for the task.

We’re begging you to join us.”

– Helane and Adam Ramsay send encouragement – and a plea – from Japan. On the CMS Australia website.

Photo: CMS.

Jesus: the light worth celebrating

“There is a reality in Sydney that we need to be aware of: we are home to many people from the Asian subcontinent! First generation migrants and second-generation children of migrants, these are people who have been educated in various systems, from different countries, practicing a variety of religions and surviving in different socioeconomic conditions. Our subcontinental neighbours are the fastest-growing migrant population in Sydney.

With such a smorgasbord of tribes, tongues and nations in our suburbs, Christians should be asking how we can reach these friends with the salvation and assurance that comes only through our Lord and Saviour. …”

– Ben George writes to encourage Christians to build bridges of love with their subcontinental neighbours. At The Australian Church Record.

Archbishop Glenn Davies gives Thanksgiving prayer for the end of drought

Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Glenn Davies, leads in prayer at the end of the drought, and also prayers for those labouring for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Thanks be to God for his many mercies.

People and the Reformation

“October 31 is remembered in some places, not as a wretched Halloween Day, as the date when, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses in Latin to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg in Saxony. In doing so, he unwittingly, to some degree at least, triggered off the Protestant Reformation. …”

– The Rev. Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, writes for Reformation Day, this coming weekend.

Churches, Give People a Message of Hope

“Tom Holland is the spiderman of historians. His latest conversation with Glen Scrivener is well worth the listen for it includes more than a few intriguing thoughts in the web of ideas.

I really appreciate his thoughtfulness and honesty. It was this reflection by Holland that especially struck a chord with me. He said,

‘I felt that over the course of this year the churches have been a let down. I think that the experience of pandemic, it sets you to asking why is this happening…it raises profound issues of theodicy.’…

Holland isn’t knocking churches for talking about their buildings, social distancing and COVID-19 plans. He notes that these things are important. The overall presentation of Christianity that he has heard and seen over the last 6 months (and keep in mind Tom Holland is a studious observer of Christianity), the message he’s received is overall bland and uninspiring and offers little hope to a world he says is desperate for salvation.”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Sydney Preaching Clubs Reopening in 2021!

News from David Cook and The Expository Preaching Trust –

“The Trust’s preaching clubs will reopen in Term 1, 2021. They meet four times each year, once each school term, in Abbotsford on a Thursday and at Cronulla on a Friday.

Membership of each club is free…

Learn more about this invaluable resource here.

A place of hope opens in Sydney’s West

“’To the Glory of God and the growth of His Kingdom’ – so says the plaque unveiled at the official opening of Sydney’s latest Anglican church building.

The 21st-century design of the Stanhope Anglican Church was projected on the screen in the auditorium as Archbishop Glenn Davies joined the church’s pastor, Steve Reimer, members of the church and invited guests in opening the building. …”

– Good news from Russell Powell at

Staying fresh as a Rector

“Even before COVID-19, every rector was aware of the growing pressure of the role: the demands of compliance, managing expectations and criticisms from the congregation, tensions within parish council, the demands of meeting the budget, keeping the staff aligned with a common vision, and the challenges to see both church and gospel growth.

COVID-19 has simply escalated that stress by requiring so many decisions on an ever-changing treadmill. The result is that we can be left feeling tired and uninspired with a gnawing sense of failure as we count the days to our resignation or retirement.

At different stages of my ministry I found refreshment in the following…”

Encouragement from Ray Galea, at The Australian Church Record.

Men Meeting The Challenge Conference 2020

This year’s Men Meeting the Challenge Conference, not surprisingly, will be an online conference. Keynote speakers are Al Stewart and Ross Ciano.

From the organisers:

Why not join us at Men Meeting the Challenge this year, online, on Saturday 7 November 2020, for some real encouragement and inspiration. Gather a group of men today and go online at and register for a conference that will really make a difference!

And you can watch the promo video here.

Feel the Breeze

“In the past people used to curled up with a good book. Now the joy is curling up with your Kindle or iPad. Some people like to log in to video games, while for others it’s a good movie or just the TV. It’s hard to speak of these with joy because so often the content is less than joyful and can even be quite stressful.

I want to give a plug for some time in the sun, to walk the great outdoors. I want to give a plug for something more than your world hemmed in by four walls. …”

– Rick Lewers, Bishop of Armidale, writes with encouragement for you.

Four surprising ways to cheer your Covid-stressed Pastor

“Some while ago I wrote a short blog about how to put a spring in the step of your pastor.

Here is a Covid update. How about this for four ways to cheer your pastor in these pandemic days? Each arises partly out of conversations I have had with pastor friends. …”

Christopher Ash shares some encouragement at The Good Book Company in the UK.

See also:

Stop! Think Twice Before Switching Churches in 2020 – Ivan Mesa at The Gospel Coalition.

“No pastor ever took a seminary course on pastoring amid a pandemic, so be patient with them.”

How to see members report growth in faith – with Tom Harricks and Roger Cunningham

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“It sounds so simple.  And yet it’s clear from the statistics (National Church Life) that people in some congregations are reporting much growth in faith, while people in others are reporting not much at all.

And isn’t it what we all want: For the sheep that God has given us the task of being under shepherds for – to report that they have grown significantly in faith this year?”

– Dominic Steele speaks with Tom Harricks and Roger Cunningham on this week’s edition of The Pastor’s Heart.

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