SparkLit Awards Author Interviews

The SparkLit Awards Night was held last week, with Stephen McAlpine winning the Australian Christian Book of the Year Award for his book “Being the Bad Guys: How to Live for Jesus in a World that Says You Shouldn’t” (available from The Wandering Bookseller and other Christian bookshops).

SparkLit has now released video interviews with shortlisted authors, including Professor Graeme Clark AC (pictured), inventor of the “bionic ear”.

On the SparkLit YouTube channel.

In the Lord I Take Refuge: Daily Devotions on the Psalms with Dane Ortlund

Crossway is hosting Dane Ortlund’s daily devotions on the Psalms.

Starting today. On Apple Podcasts.

How might the reopening of churches play out in Australia?

“What will happen in churches after the third wave of COVID as the freedoms return to Australia over the next two months?

When vaccination rates reach 70% venues, including places of worship are likely to be reopened, and even more when the rates reach 80%.

Governments are planning more freedoms for those who are double vaccinated. But will they impose restrictions on who can attend worship? …”

A very topical issue of The Pastor’s Heart.

Mike Raiter on Revelation 21 and “the virus which keeps you out”

Mike Raiter spoke evangelistically from Revelation 21 on the St. Jude’s Carlton livestream in Melbourne this morning.

While the video and audio is somewhat compressed, the message is well worth hearing and passing on to others.

(GAFCON photo.)

Australian Christian Book of the Year 2021

Stephen McAlpine’s Being the Bad Guys was announced as the 2021 Australian Christian Book of the Year at the SparkLit Awards Night livestreamed from Melbourne on Thursday 2nd September.

The video of the awards is available at the link above, and the book is available from The Wandering Bookseller.

Southern Cross for September 2021

Anglican Media’s Southern Cross magazine for September 2021 is now online.

Much encouragement to pray.

And do see the Archbishop’s column “Putting Coronvirus in its place” on pages 14 and 15.

“Amid the tremendous upheaval we have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is so good to look to the Lord who is risen, reigning and returning. Nothing takes God by surprise and the ministry he has entrusted to his people remains the same – ‘this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world’. Jesus is not unaware of the suffering of his people in a world of wars, famines and earthquakes.”

Read online (or download the PDF file) at

When you can’t gather

“Over the past few months, churches have rejoiced at the sweetness of returning to worship in person. The turbulence of 2020, with Zoom meetings replacing handholds, has highlighted the importance of in-person worship and fellowship to the Christian walk. In Collin Hansen’s words, “the hands and feet and ears and eyes need to be assembled for this body to work for the good of all.”

And yet not all disciples who worship can gather. …”

This article by Kathryn Butler at The Gospel Coalition has application for Australian Christians, even though our circumstances are a little different at the moment.

Moore College Open Night – tonight on livestream

“Our Moore College Open Events are held throughout the year and give prospective students an opportunity to interact with the Moore community and have questions answered.

If the Lord has laid it on your heart to serve him in any capacity, why not consider coming along?

We would love to help you think through how you can be best equipped to glorify God, proclaim Jesus and reach the lost.

This year, our August Open Night will be a Livestreamed event due to Covid restrictions.

Monday 30 August 2021, 7.30pm…”

Details here.

Pandemic Preaching — and life under the sun

“A friend in Malaysia, a University worker in Melbourne, a Pastor here in Sydney, independently, beginning to preach through Ecclesiastes.

I thought that 2021 would be the year of recovery and so Acts would be a good choice to preach, but I was wrong, 2021 has turned out to be an even more severe version of lockdown limitation than 2020.

In lockdown, people have more time to think about the big issues of life, Ecclesiastes is therefore a good choice for pandemic preaching because it gives attention to these issues. …”

More encouragement for preachers from David Cook.

Spiritual Conflict…?

“In his Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis says that there are two equal and opposite errors that people fall into regarding the dark powers. One mistake is to disbelieve in their existence, the other is to believe in them to excess.

In Ephesians 6:10-12, Paul the Apostle writes: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power… For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…”

John Mason has posted his latest “Word on Wednesday” at Anglican Connection in the USA. John reminds us that “spiritually speaking, God’s people live in enemy occupied territory”.

Smuggling Christ into popular culture — with Greg Sheridan

“Australia (or the west) is simultaneously post Christian, Christian and pre Christian according to Greg Sheridan, one of the most respected and influential analysts of domestic and international politics.

How can Christian writers and artists, or even non Christian writers and artists who think Christianity has something important and worthwhile to say, speak into the confused and hostile culture of today?

Greg started at The Australian newspaper in 1984. And has been its foreign editor since 1992.

Greg has just published: ‘Christians: The urgent case for Jesus in our world’, following on from his 2018 book ‘God is good for you: A defence of Christianity in troubled times.’…”

This week’s episode of The Pastor’s Heart.

CMS Summer School NSW & ACT 2022 registrations open

CMS NSW & ACT has opened registrations for the 2022 Summer School.

There are options for online and in-person (hopefully!) attendance.

“This coming January we long to be singing God’s praises together in Katoomba with you and over one thousand other brothers and sisters – with many more connecting online. And that is what we are praying will be possible.”

How to grow your church in daily Bible reading

At The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele shares a Ministry Tip to help us encourage the reading of God’s word in our local churches.

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