Hearts for pastors’ kids – with James Galea

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“We explore the delicate dynamics of faith, family, and identity in the world of church leadership.

As pastors most of all we want our kids to love Jesus. And yet Barnabas Piper says so often pastors kids are messed up.

What are the unique experiences, joys and challenges of being pastors kids? And how can we better parent as pastors?

There are issues of awareness, assumptions and expectations. Plus confusion about identity.

This episode isn’t just about the challenges; it’s also a treasure trove of wisdom for Pastors kids themselves. Whether you’re feeling the weight of a congregation’s gaze or struggling to carve out your own identity.

We discuss the power of parental apologies and the healing they can bring.

James Galea grew up as a pastor’s kid in Western Sydney and now leads the ministry team at Freshwater Anglican Church on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.”

Watch or listen here.

Don’t give up on physical Bibles

“Last year, when my son went to college, I gave him one of my most precious earthly belongings—the Bible I used from the time I was in high school until I was almost 50 years old.

That Bible went through at least two rebindings, and most of its pages were creased, tattered, or coffee-stained. A few pages were even partially torn. It held almost three decades of markings and notes made from sermons, Bible studies, and personal devotions. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition (US), Chris Polski has some simple encouragement.

Theologically rethinking youth ministry

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“How do we speak to children about sin? How can we help youth understand themselves as sinful and in indeed of forgiveness?

What to make theologically of the sense of entitlement in youth culture?

Plus how do we think theologically about the important issue of vibe in youth and childrens’ ministry and in regards to how kids engage with church.

A new book is launched this week ‘Identity, Church Culture and Discipleship in Youth and Children’s Ministry – Australian Evangelical Perspectives on Youth Ministry’.

The papers in the book were first presented at the HOUSE conference for youth and children’s ministers in Sydney.

Three of the thirteen contributors are with us including Ruth Lukabyo, who leads the Youthworks Institute, teaches church history at Youthworks College and has edited this book.

Also with us is Bill Salier, a former Principal at Youthworks College and now heads up the Anglican GAFCON Theological Educators Network.

And Tim Beliharz is on the ministry support team at Youthworks.”

Watch or listen here.

NSW Conversion Practices Bill — risks to religious freedom

“The NSW government has introduced a Conversion Practices Ban Bill 2024 into the Parliament, with the apparent aim of moving it through very quickly. Legislation of this sort has been introduced in other jurisdictions around Australia and elsewhere.

The aim of banning oppressive and violent practices designed to ‘convert’ someone’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual is good, of course. But those practices, while they may have existed some time ago, are really no longer around. The problem with these laws now is that their drafting can be so broad that they interfere with the ordinary teaching of religious doctrines and life within families.

These laws are also often premised on the assumption that ‘gender transition’ is a good thing which should be freely available to children, whether or not with parental permission. They raise important issues of concern to all those interested in the welfare of children, whether or not from a religious perspective.

But laws of this sort can in particular have significant implications for religious freedom.…”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Associate Professor Neil Foster highlights important ways the proposed legislation can be greatly improved.

Do read the full article, and – since the legislation is likely to be debated today – urgently contact your Member of Parliament if you desire.

I Believe in the Death of Julius Caesar and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

“Mark Twain famously described faith as ‘believing what you know ain’t so.’ He probably observed a good many Christians doing just that. But do thoughtful Christians believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus despite the evidence, or because of it? Today’s date is an occasion for us to consider some of the evidence for Christianity’s central claim.

On March 15, 44 BC – the Ides of March – dozens of Roman senators assassinated Julius Caesar. Nearly 77 years later, on or about Sunday, April 5, AD 33, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.

We can have justified belief in both events by following four practices historians use to discover the truth about the past. …”

– Published in time for the Ides of March (last Friday), this article at The Gospel Coalition (US) is a good reminder of the confidence we can have in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

March – April 2024 Southern Cross magazine

The latest issue of Southern Cross magazine from the Diocese of Sydney is now available for download – and print copies should have reached churches.

Many articles to read – but here are two –

Understanding the Cross – Archbishop Kanishka Raffel (page 22).

“At the centre of the Christian faith are the great Easter events – Jesus’ death on a cross, and on the third day his bodily rising to new life, victorious over sin and death and the devil.

Australians embrace these events as a holiday but most regard them with sentimentality. For Christians, however, the days could not be more weighty, for in Good Friday and Easter Day we glimpse hell and heaven. …”


Remembering Nicholas Ridley – Dr Mark Earngey (page 24).

“Many modern Christians have heard of Thomas Cranmer, some have heard of Hugh Latimer, but most have no awareness of Nicholas Ridley (c1500-1555).

This would have surprised his contemporaries – even his opponents – because of his centrality to the English Reformation. One of his enemies put it like this: ‘Latimer leaneth to Cranmer, Cranmer to Ridley, and Ridley to the singularity of his own wit’. It was thought that if Ridley could be toppled, then the prizes of Cranmer and Latimer would also be won. Evidently, Nicholas Ridley was a Reformation giant of his time, and we can appreciate much from his life and ministry in ours. …”

Download your copy here.

Getting the word right

From SydneyAnglicans.net:

“Dr Peter Ryan was a missionary with Pioneers in Namibia teaching at NETS (the Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary). He and his wife Paula returned to Australia in 2017.

Peter has completed his doctoral studies in Mark’s Gospel at Moore College and now serves as the (very able) director of Cornhill: a ‘Bible handling’ course to help people prepare for ministry – especially in communicating God’s word.

Cornhill has two centres – one at Moore College on a Tuesday and one in Rooty Hill on a Thursday. Peter and his wife Paula have two children. He talks to Simon Manchester, who is also one of Cornhill’s visiting teachers.…”

Read here.

Photo: Peter Ryan.

Technology in a post-truth world — CCL podcast with Lionel Windsor

From Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living:

“In our last episode, we heard from Lionel Windsor, who talked about his new book, ‘Truth Be Told: Living truthfully in a post-truth world’.

In this episode, we’re going to focus in on one chapter in Lionel’s book, looking at how, as Christians, we can live truthful, godly lives in a world that is becoming more and more technologically complex.

Technology is not all bad; you listen to this podcast through a variety of technologies. But it’s hard to know how to live in such a technologically complex world. Lionel helps us think through some of the core issues that are vital for us to grasp in a world like ours.”

Listen to Peter Orr speak with Lionel Windsor.

Very helpful – especially for all social media users.

Queensland – new proposed discrimination law

“The Queensland government has released a draft of a proposed new discrimination law for public comment.

The proposed Anti-Discrimination Bill 2024 will make some radical changes to Queensland law, and of interest here is that it will seriously impact religious freedom in that State.

One of the ways that religious freedom is protected in Australia is through the inclusion in discrimination laws of ‘balancing clauses’ (provisions that balance the right not to be discriminated against, with the important right of religious freedom). But the new Bill will dramatically narrow those clauses.

I am pleased to present a guest blog post commenting on some religious freedom impacts of the draft Bill, from Dr Alex Deagon, an Associate Professor in the School of Law at QUT, and an internationally recognised researcher in religious freedom. …”

– See the guest post by Dr Alex Deagon at Associate Professor Neil Foster’s Law and Religion Australia blog.

30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World 2024

As Ramadan begins (March 10th – April 8th, 2024) it’s an opportune time to pray that many Muslim people will come to know the love of the Lord Jesus.

Praying for others is a mark of genuine love – so be encouraged for pray for Muslim friends, and for Muslim people near and far.

pray30days.org has resources, including their 2024 prayer guides which you can purchase and download as PDF files.

“This year, the prayer focus for 30 Days of Prayer invites Christians to pray for Muslims here, there & everywhere in their historic birthplaces, in migrant communities, on dangerous journeys to new places, and in all the corners of the world.

When this prayer guide began, over 30 years ago, it largely directed readers to pray for Muslims who were present in their homelands. Today, however, growing Muslim communities from every ethnic background, can be found anywhere outside of their traditional places of origin as immigrants, refugees, migrant workers and students – from every nation to every nation.” – 30 Days of Prayer.

Gambling and Coveting

“I know that Aussies love to have a ‘punt on the ponies’ but it’s becoming a massive community problem that can’t be ignored. For example, in the state where I currently live, the Anglican Church of Tasmania has published an excellent report which makes for sobering reading.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what their research found …”

– Mark Powell writes at AP, the national journal of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.


Other posts on our website on gambling (there are quite a few).

The Application Revolution – with Paul Grimmond

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“It’s like they got the exegesis spot on, then closed their eyes, fired an arrow randomly into the air, opened their eyes to see where it landed and said, ‘That looks like a good place to do application!’” – Theological College lecturer on student sermon application.

But are those of us who have graduated from theological college much better? For after all the students are just imitating what we have modelled.

Dean of Students at Sydney’s Moore Theological College Paul Grimmond has just completed a doctor of ministry project on improving application in evangelical preaching.

Watch or listen here.

Armidale Next Phase Conference 2024

Armidale Diocese is running its Next Phase Conference for 2024 on May 3 and 4 at St. Peter’s Cathedral.

“How can we stay faithful and fruitful as followers of Christ as we move into the next phase of our lives?

This year, we are looking forward to having Rev. Simon Manchester open the bible with us over four talks and help us to see how we can stay vibrant in our faith and ministries as we age.

We will also be joined by Dr. Patricia Weerakoon who will be interviewed during Friday dinner and run two seminars for us on Saturday.”

Details and a short video from Bishop Rod Chiswell at this link.

The Bible Matters Podcast — an encouraging new resource

The Bible Matters Podcast – an initiative of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London – is sure to be a real encouragement – especially (but not only) to preachers.

Launched at the end of January, the first two interviews are with Dick Lucas.

See what’s been published so far at this link.

It’s in the Fridge!

“‘The sauce is on the middle shelf of the fridge’, so says my wife, but for the life me, I can’t see it.

My wife goes to the fridge and finds the sauce immediately.

Is it a man thing, an age thing or just a human thing?

Recently, I have been working on Luke 7:36-50, Jesus, Simon the Pharisee and the sinful woman.

I went through the whole process of sermon preparation and wrote out the sermon manuscript, but I knew I had not cracked the passage. I preached the sermon to my preaching club and knew it still was not right, so did they.

I prayed over it, I read and reread the passage, there was something I was not seeing…”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook encourages us to look for what may be staring us in the face.

See also:

Preaching Conferences 2024.

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