Liberty News

At Liberty, we love engaging with the Word of God. Liberty News provides weekly Elder's Reflections, and regular teaching articles and food for thought. Feel free to share this page with your friends or family, encouraging conversation and thought around God's Word.

  • Gain The World, Forfeit Your Soul

    Just last week my phone buzzed and I was notified through my ABC app that Hugh Hefner - Playboy founder and multimillionaire - had died at the age of 91.Shortly after that, I was browsing through my Facebook feed and saw countless posts from celebrities and members of the general population alike, praising and celebrating him as a man and lauding the legacy that he left and the 'full' and 'rich' life that he had lived.The life that Hugh Hefner led could only be described as lavis...  Read More...

  • Centred

    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend our ACM National Conference for 2017. The conference this year featured some great guest speakers who shared around what it means to be God-centred or centred on Jesus Christ in this life.So what does it mean? How do we live lives that are centred on Jesus?   Read More...

  • The Anchor

    In the uncertainties of life so much is based on hope. The desire and determination to persevere through hard times is based on the hope that situations can change and things can get better.Recently we have witnessed multiple episodes of devastation by the wild forces of nature. Hurricanes in tropical North Queensland and, more recently, in Florida have seen property and people ravaged by monstrous winds.   Read More...

  • The Basis of Hope

    In the uncertainties of life so much is based on hope. The desire and determination to persevere through hard times is based on the hope that situations can change and things can get better.We hope that our vocational training, an apprenticeship, or our tertiary studies will lead to meaningful employment and income. We hope that the perfect life partner will cross our path.   Read More...

  • Assurance in Christ

    On a recent trip to Bali, Anita and I were able to strike up a friendship with our driver whose name was IGede (pronounced G'Day!). IGede drove us around on three occasions and during these times shared with us about his wife and three children and we got chatting about his religion.The Balinese people are approximately 80% Hindu in their beliefs and IGede and his family were also Hindu. It is fact Balinese Hinduism is a mixture between Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism.   Read More...

  • Do I Really Need to Read That?

    Sometimes when we are reading the Bible, we come across sections of Scripture that are just plain hard to get through. In my Bible reading plan, I am currently working my way through the book of Leviticus.I find it is the hardest book of the Bible to read. It is full of quite graphic descriptions of the different sacrifices and laws around clean / unclean etc, that I struggle to reconcile to my life in Healesville 2017.2 points that come to mind which I need to remind myself of, whenever I am in...  Read More...

  • What's Your Take on the Matter?

    One of the great fascinations in life is appreciating the many different opinions that people may hold on any number of issues.It can lead to great discussions around the dinner table about the merits or pitfalls of different points of view.Political persuasion, religion, sexuality, marriage, parenting, education, sport, international relations, the list is almost endless. Sometimes we agree on matters, sometimes we agree to disagree. Hopefully, we can still be friends at the end of the day.To w...  Read More...

  • Physical Touch

    Today I want to continue my series of reflections on the application of what Gary Chapman described as the 5 Love Languages that apply in all relationships. Specifically here, looking at their application in our relationship with God. We have previously examined Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Giving & Receiving Giftsand Acts of Service.Today, we look at Physical Touch.For those of you who are aware of the 5 Love Languages, I can imagine your curiosity as to how I may explain the use of ...  Read More...

  • Audience of One

    "I come on my knees,To lay down before you.Bringing all that I am,Longing only to know you.Seeking your face,And not only your hand.I find you embracing me,Just as I am."These are some of the lyrics to one of my all time favourite songs.  It is called 'Audience of One' by the Christian band Big Daddy Weave.For me, this song reminds me that above everything else in this world, Jesus and my relationship with Him is all that matters.  It reminds me that my ultimate prior...  Read More...

  • Coming Home

    Coming HomeMost of us love going on holidays. Apart from a rest from our work and busy lives, it gives us a chance to see and experience different places, different peoples and perhaps even different cultures. We usually have a lot of fun and enjoy the break.Yet after a while away, we usually get the feeling that it would be nice to be back home.   Read More...

  • What it Means to Love God

    I came across this devotion written by John Piper at Desiring God and enjoyed it so much, that I thought I'd share it with you all. I hope you are encouraged by it as much as I was when I read it!--- O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.   Read More...

  • Acts of Service

    Continuing my series of reflections on the application of what Gary Chapman described as the 5 Love Languages that apply in all relationships. Specifically here, looking at their application in our relationship with God. We have previously examined Words of Affirmation, Quality Time and Giving & Receiving Gifts.Today, we look at Acts of Service.Does God express His love to us through performing acts of service?   Read More...

  • Blessed To Be a Blessing

    After watching the 100% Hope Children's Choir perform last Friday night and hearing some of the children's incredible stories of survival, I was once again challenged to count my blessings...Here in our wonderful country of Australia we truly do have it so good and so easy. Even our 'worst' day is often better than the 'best' day of an orphaned child in a third world country.As a parent, this challenges me a lot, as I consider what life could be like for my children if th...  Read More...

  • Family Fun!

    Some of my favourite memories growing up as a kid revolve around times spent together with my family on holidays and doing certain activities together.I remember the countless games of cricket that I participated in with my family every time we went on a holiday to the beach. I remember the many bushwalks that I completed with my Dad over the years, sometimes walking up to 25km just to access some hard to reach, secluded bush location with the most breathtaking scenery. I remember the barrow loa...  Read More...

  • Giving and Receiving Gifts

    This is the next in the series I have been doing about how God expresses His love to us, and we express our love to God, utilising what Gary Chapman describes as the 5 Love Languages. We now come to the giving and receiving of Gifts. How does this apply in our relationship with God?Firstly, does God express His love toward us through Gifts?   Read More...

  • What a Milestone

    What a Milestone!Today's Elders' Reflection marks the 100th Pastor's Update/Elder's Reflection that we have published... what a milestone we've reached! What a cause for celebration!Okay...   Read More...

  • Die Before You Grow Old

    I remember growing up listening to some of Robbie William's music from time to time. One of his most popular songs - no it's not his duet with Kylie Minogue called Kids! - was a song called Old Before I Die.The lyrics of the chorus go like this:"I hope I'm old before I die, I hope I live to relive the days gone by. I hope I'm old before I die, But tonight I'm gonna live for today. So come along for the ride, I hope I'm old before I die."...  Read More...

  • The 'Omnis' of God

    A couple of weeks ago I shared about the omniscience of God as part of the 10 Things I Love About God series, and that this is definitely an incredible attribute that I love about God.I shared that God's knowledge is complete!  This means that God knows everything about His creation, including us, and the comforting thing is that the same God who knows every star by name, and who knows everything there is to know about us, still loves us unconditionally and desires to be in relationship...  Read More...

  • Quality Time

    You may recall I have been describing the different means by which love can be expressed and received. Then, applying them to our relationship with God. You will have received the outline of the Love Languages on 24 March, followed by the 1st Love Language - Words of Affirmation on 28 April.   Read More...

  • "Washing"

    Living in Healesville, it seems there is so much that attracts dirt. The windows of our homes are forever getting dirty, the dog regularly rolls in the dust for a scratch, and our cars pick up dirt from unsealed roads and every time it rains.It's takes time and effort to wash the windows, the dog and our cars. But the the time and effort are worth it.We are rewarded with pristine views of the mountains, a loving pooch to cuddle or a shiny car to drive.There is great value in washin...  Read More...

  • You've crossed the line!

    “There’s a line… and St Kilda crossed it in that situation.”Maybe you heard about the big incident on the football field last weekend where Mark Murphy – a key player for the Carlton Football Club – was targeted by St Kilda with very personal hurtful sledges about his wife and his family. As you can imagine, this event didn’t go down well with anyone. Media identities, fans and the AFL quickly made statements condemning the behaviour.Past greats of the ...  Read More...

  • "It's not fair!"

    IHow many times have you heard that sentence in your life? Probably countless times. So much in life doesn't seem fair."It's not fair that you got a bigger slice of the pie than me!""It's not fair that I didn't get a higher mark for my assignment!""It's not fair that I got sick!"Where can we go to get a fair deal?   Read More...

  • The Case for Christ

    I love reading classic books by great Christian thinkers. A.W. Tozer, C.H.   Read More...

  • Words of Affirmation

    I spoke previously about the 5 Love Languages, which you would have received on the 24th of March. In this note, I look at the first of the Love Languages - Words of Affirmation.Does God speak to us with Words of Affirmation?The answer is a clear and resounding YES, when we read His Word and come across passages such as John 3:16, which says:"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."Don&...  Read More...

  • Join us this Sunday for an Instruments for the Outback special service!

     We are excited to announce that we will be having a special service featuring Levi McGrath and Andy Horneman on this Sunday the 23rd of April.Both Levi and Andy are passionate and gifted musicians who have developed an initiative called Instruments for the Outback. This initiative aims to resource isolated outback communities that have little or no access to musical instruments, by raising funds to purchase quality instruments for them. Levi and Andy are convinced that music can make a rea...  Read More...

  • Costly Grace. Extravagant Love.

    Costly Grace. Extravagant Love.Growing up as a young kid and as a teenager, I didn’t view Good Friday as being a special day. You could probably say that I had a bit of a problem with Good Friday.   Read More...

  • Yay... It's Friday!

    It's Friday, Yay! I'm not sure about you, but I love the school holidays; I can sleep in a bit longer, there is less of a crazy rush in the mornings and, best of all, I get to spend some extra time with my children.I have four children, and they are now all at school full-time, which is very exciting, but it also means I don't get to see them during the day anymore.You see, I am blessed to be able to have my business office in the Main Street of Healesville, and so I am often able to pop home fo...  Read More...

  • The Road to Jerusalem: A Walk to Change History

    Walks can change history!In early 1930, Mohandas Ghandi led "The Salt March", which was an act of civil disobedience to protest British rule in India. Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in the Indian diet. During the march, thousands of Indians followed Gandhi from his religious retreat near Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea coast, a distance of some 240 miles.   Read More...

  • How do we love God; How does God love us?

    In a book that (incredibly) first came out in the 1990's, Gary Chapman proposed that there are 5 key ways by which we receive and express love. His book: "The Five Love Languages" has been, and continues to be, a best seller.His proposition is that love is expressed fundamentally in these 5 different ways, which he calls Love Languages. In each there is massive variation in how it is expressed and received - which he calls dialects.   Read More...

  • Perfect Knowledge

     Back in primary school we used to have a maths tables competition. A ladder was formed and the competition was fierce. Challenges came left right and centre to shake the pecking order.   Read More...

  • Perfect Love

    Love is widely acknowledged as the highest pursuit for our lives.We desire to love our partner, children and neighbours. When we look at the world and ourselves, we often fall short. In all honesty, we could often love better.But could we dare to love perfectly?   Read More...

  • Whatever It Takes

    Have you ever had a time in your life when you have been blown away by someone's love and willingness to do whatever it takes for you?Anita (my wife) and Emily and Zoe (our two young girls) were all home sick the other day, and Anita was sick to the point that she couldn't even get out of bed to look after the girls properly - she was in a bad way! To make things worse, I had a business meeting in the city for most of the day that I genuinely needed to be at.My Mum helped out by collecting the b...  Read More...

  • What is Your Picture of God?

    When you think of God, what immediately comes to mind? Is it His grace: His forgiveness; His love; or any of His other wonderful and amazing attributes? Is it His power, or His righteousness that has captured your imagination?What "grabs" me, is God's incredible creativity.   Read More...

  • Thinking of You

    Isn't it wonderful when people are thoughtful toward us!To know that we are in someone's thoughts can encourage us, lift us up and sustain us.When someone thinks about and acts for our well being it is truly a sign of their love for us.We are in God's thoughts.The God who created and holds the universe together has the time and the inclination to consider each one of us. That is incredibly wonderful!Psalm 139:1-6:"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit ...  Read More...

  • The House With Everything

    Have you ever visited a house that seemed to have everything?Spacious lawns, beautiful gardens, sparkling pool, grand rooms, beautiful furniture, modern appliances, charming decor.Were you impressed with all the good things the owners enjoyed?Secretly wished it could be yours?Thank God we can enjoy a house of blessing without a huge mortgage!Psalm 65:4 says:"Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy tem...  Read More...

  • This is our church community... let's own this together!

    Have you ever been really disappointed because you missed out on an opportunity that was available for you to be a part of?I remember when I was at Primary School, returning to the classroom after lunch, feeling great disappointment when I heard that a game of cricket had been organised by a couple of teachers on the oval and I had 'wasted' my lunchtime by playing games on a computer and had missed the match of the century! "If only I'd known!" I remember saying to myself a...  Read More...

  • The Power of Forgiveness

    On Christmas Day last year, a tragedy occurred in the Brisbane suburb of Springwood. Nine-year-old Josiah Sisson was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver whilst out with his family looking at Christmas lights in his neighbourhood. Tragically, he died in hospital two days later after being taken off life support.A truly horrible tragedy for any family to have to go through.   Read More...

  • Life is short... so live life well!

    I often think about the fact that my days - and our days as finite human beings - are limited here on earth. I don't know how many days I've got. You don't know how many you have either.   Read More...

  • Longing to See You

    In 1983 I met and fell in love with a beautiful young Christian lady. Romance blossomed and led to our engagement.A few days after announcing our engagement, I left for England, with unfortunate timing, for 2 months as part of my university medical course placements, incorporating this with a visit to my sister living in Berkshire and some golf in Scotland.Throughout that time away I longed to be with my fiancé once again. As the saying goes, absence made the heart grow fonder.Although being enc...  Read More...

  • 2017: A New Year... What will it bring?

    New Year is often a time for reflection, considering what has occurred during the past 12 months, and looking ahead toward the next 12 months wondering what might transpire? I have never been one to make New Year resolutions, but I do believe in making goals. What do I want to achieve this year?   Read More...

  • 2017: A New Year... What will it bring?

    New Year is often a time for reflection, considering what has occurred during the past 12 months, and looking ahead toward the next 12 months wondering what might transpire? I have never been one to make New Year resolutions, but I do believe in making goals. What do I want to achieve this year?   Read More...

  • Just One New Year's Resolution...

    I came across this devotional from Rick Warren some time ago and thought that it would be appropriate to share as we approach 2017. So here it is, courtesy of Rick Warren: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2 NIV)If the Apostle Paul made New Year’s resolutions, my thought is he only had one resolution on his list: “[This year] I resolve to know nothing but Christ and him crucified” (1 Co...  Read More...

  • The truth about God's people: the Church

    In a world where multitudes of opinions are shared so readily, it is very easy to get caught up, confused about what constitutes reality.Many will tell us that being a Christian is pointless, that we evolved by time and chance and that God doesn't exist. Some will criticise us for being part of the Christian church that has seen children abused in its midst and injustice carried out in the "name of God". Generalisations, distortions of reality, and even outright lies can seek to be...  Read More...

  • A 1 Corinthians 13 Christmas

    I came across this variation of the well-known 'Love' chapter: 1 Corinthians 13, that relates to this special time of the year. No, it's not Scripture, but it does contain Truth and maybe there is something there for all of us to learn from. I hope you enjoy!If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, ...  Read More...

  • Christmas: Ordinary or Extraordinary?

    Last week I kicked off a new series called Christmas: Ordinary or Extraordinary? If you missed the message, make sure to have a listen online... we can learn a lot from the role Joseph played in the coming of the Messiah!I mentioned in my message last Sunday that it is so easy for us – even if we are long-term and faithful Christians who love God and read the Biblical accounts of Jesus' coming to earth – to lose sight of the extraordinary nature of Christmas.We can easily ge...  Read More...

  • Messages

    Do you remember ever getting a really great message?After studying hard in year 12, I waited anxiously for many weeks to find out my marks. I hoped to study medicine and pursue a career in this field. University places were very competitive and your scores were all important.   Read More...

  • Preparing our Hearts for Christmas

    Christmas is a season that we are very familiar with as Christians.We know Christmas is about celebrating Jesus coming to earth in human form as a child. We know that Christmas is about celebrating what it means for all humanity that the Messiah would willingly choose to come to earth to rescue His people. We know that Christmas is about reflecting on the immeasurable love of God; that He would send His only Son to earth to one day die as the all-atoning perfect sacrifice - the Lamb without blem...  Read More...

  • Your Final Authority

    When we are faced with issues that are not clear-cut; when we need to make a decision but are confused by the pro's and the con's of that decision; where do we turn? What is, what I call, your Final Authority? Depending on the matter at hand, it may be the expert you have been discussing the matter with (eg.   Read More...

  • Priorities

    In a world where so many things vie for our attention, how should we order the many worthy ones and choose where we invest our time and energy?Do we look for what will reap the most reward?Or perhaps pay attention to those with disastrous consequences if neglected?Does family or work or leisure sit highest on our list?The bible advises us that there are many things that deserve and need our attention, but that which brings the best outcomes is our pursuit of Him.In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus visit...  Read More...

  • I Don't Understand!

    There are times when reading the Bible, that I come across passages that I struggle to understand. For example, I was recently reading John 16 and when I read verse 7, I was confounded. I didn't get it!   Read More...

  • Perspective

    If you were an ant, a puppy would seem huge. If you were a puppy, a person would seem huge. As a person, I think the universe is huge!Perspective is an interesting thing, and as a Christian, I believe it is vital to keep things in perspective.James 4:14 says:"You do not even know what will happen tomorrow!   Read More...

  • Haiti Emergency Response

    Many of you would have heard about the devastation that the recent Hurricane caused in Haiti.Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti with a category four storm on the 28th of September, and has killed approximately 1,400 people in Haiti and has destroyed tens of thousands of homes. More than 60,000 people are currently staying in temporary shelters. Haiti is the poorest country in Latin America, and one million people are anticipated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.It is easy to think - as w...  Read More...

  • Fruit for God's Glory!

    Over the last few weeks we have been exploring Paul's teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. This is perhaps one of the most well known passages in the Bible. I think there would be many non-Christians who might even be familiar with the fruit if you were to ask them!There is one crucial thing that we need to understand about the Fruit of the Spirit.   Read More...

  • Fruit for God's Glory!

    The Western Bulldogs, AFL premiers!62 years since their last grand final success in 1954, they have finally done it again!Was it a fluke, the result of mere chance?Absolutely not!The Bulldog's success came from having a plan and a purpose and making good choices. Their purpose was to become a competitive successful side and win an AFL grand final premiership cup and flag. Their plan was to choose the right coach, support staff and, most importantly, players who had what it takes to win a flag.   Read More...

  • What do you Believe?

    The Apostle Peter - it seems he is one who generates strong opinions. He is the one who declared that Jesus is the Christ and then later on denied knowing Jesus.I was reading Matthew 26, which includes the passage of Peter's denial of Jesus and it caused me to ponder the life of this early leader of the church.Peter's life is something of a paradox - great highs and great lows. He is the only person apart from Jesus who has ever walked on water and he delivered the Sermon on the Day of Pentecost...  Read More...

  • You Are Special

    "Punchinello! How good to see you. Come and let me have a look at you." Punchinello turned slowly and looked at the large bearded craftsman.   Read More...

  • A New Thing

    Do we sometimes think that things will never change? That things will continue just as they are now or have always been?It might be in our relationships or marriage, our work and career, our study, our finances, the church or even the world.If we allow this to be our mindset then it is easy to be discouraged and lose hope. When we lose hope we forfeit the possibility of seeing new beginnings.In Isaiah 43:16-19 we read:"This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through...  Read More...

  • Pastor's Update to Elder's Reflection

    Have you noticed anything different about this update?Those of you who have eagle eyes might have picked that the banner across the top of this update has changed slightly: it was 'Pastor's Update' and is now 'Elder's Reflection.'Why the change?As an Eldership, we all want to get involved in writing these weekly reflections. We all want to encourage you to press into God and to give yourself completely over to Him. We all want to encourage you to run the race with p...  Read More...

  • The Secret Place

    I know, I know. You are probably thinking: "Not ANOTHER Phil Wickham song! Joel must be a Phil Wickham fan boy!"There is no doubt that I am a bit of a Phil Wickham fan - some of his music is incredibly beautiful and this song called "Secret Place" is no different.Have you ever read much about this concept of a secret place in the Bible?   Read More...

  • Beyond the Call of Duty

    You might have seen this story reported somewhere on Facebook or on the news, but it is a story that is well worth sharing again.Police in Italy were called to an address in Rome after concerned neighbours called reporting that screams were coming from a certain house.Upon entering the house, police discovered that an elderly husband and his wife (84 and 94 years old respectively) were crying out in despair. The reports suggest that they were so lonely after not having visitors for some months a...  Read More...

  • God's Heart for Justice

    I am sure that I was not the only one who was completely shocked and sickened by the report that Four Corners aired recently on the ABC about the treatment of young people in detention in the Northern Territory (WARNING: this link contains images and links to other media that might be distressing for some people and particularly children).How could this kind of thing occur in our own country? In a first world, developed country? In a country that has signed the UN Convention for the ri...  Read More...

  • Isaiah 53

    I love reading through the OId Testament. Laura and I are having a really rich and wonderful time with our Lifegroup as we continue to work our way through the Old Testament, as we study God's Story - His big plan for all of His creation.When we were preparing for our study the other night, I came across this incredible passage in Isaiah 53 once again. Have you ever read it before?   Read More...

  • A Challenge to the Church

    I came across this video from Francis Chan the other day when reading some articles online. To say that what he shares is a challenge to the Church is a massive understatement.Francis Chan talks about authentic Christian faith and living a radical life of obedience to Jesus. He challenges us to set the example of faith for the young people in our churches.   Read More...

  • Why Journal?

    The other day I picked up one of my old journals and had a read. Have you ever journaled before? For me, journaling has been an on again, off again kind of pursuit.   Read More...

  • Dealing With Frustration

    Last week should have been a great week for Laura and I. Why? Well, we were all prepared to get our driveway completed at our house.   Read More...

  • My All in All

    "You are my life, You are my love.You are my reason.You are my hope, You are my joy,You are my passion.My All In All, Jesus My All In All."I came across this new tune from Phil Wickham the other day and was taken aback by the beauty of this song.What powerful words are contained within this song! The words of the Chorus for me are particularly inspiring: "Jesus our life, our love, our reason. Jesus our hope, our joy, our passion.   Read More...

  • How's Your Passion?

    Some of you may have recently seen a video of a commentator that went viral after Iceland beat Austria in extra-time to win their match in the UEFA EURO competition (check it out above).Iceland are not known for their standing in Football circles in Europe. They are known as perennial underdogs; they are not used to experiencing success in the World Game.When Iceland managed to score in the last few minutes of the match taking the lead 2-1, you can understand the excitement for any sup...  Read More...

  • Reading Your Bible to See Glory

    This quote is from a recent message that John Piper delivered at The Gospel Coalition's Women's Conference held in June this year (watch this video to hear the quote in context).John Piper raises an issue that we all can find ourselves guilty of at times. At least John Piper and I have - from time to time - jumped into our daily devotions and seen them as a routine thing, instead of seeing them as an opportunity to truly connect with and enjoy God. Have you ever found yourself in a sim...  Read More...

  • Greater Love

    I want to share with you a story that I came across many years ago about a couple called Iain and Larissa that typifies what it means to have and show greater love to another.Iain and Larissa met in College in the US and started dating. Everything was going well - they were quickly falling in love and sensing God's leading towards marriage - and they were moving towards getting engaged and eventually getting married.On his way to work one day, Iain was involved in a significant car accident...  Read More...

  • It is Well With My Soul

    "When peace, like a river, attendeth my wayWhen sorrows like sea billows roll;Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,It is well, it is well with my soul."Are you familiar with the above words? I'm sure you are. These words are taken from one of the most familiar and loved hymns of all time.Do you know the back story behind this powerful hymn?   Read More...

  • Restored in His Presence

    Last Sunday I preached a message around the topic of rest. Here is a snippet from Sunday's message:  "I don’t know about you, but so often I can find myself caught up in ‘doing’ lots and lots of things for God, at the expense of simply ‘being’ with God and finding rest in Him. We live in a society where the understanding of what it actually means to rest is largely lost."   Is that your experience of rest?   Read More...

  • Love Your Neighbour

    I want to encourage you this week to step out in faith and get practical with loving people around you. Does the thought of stepping out scare you? Don't be alarmed or concerned...   Read More...

  • What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

    At certain times, God lays a message on a pastor’s heart to share with their congregation. Last Sunday’s message, ‘What does it mean to walk in step with the Spirit?’ was one of those. Today, I want to give you the three points I shared for you to reflect on.   Read More...

  • If it's God's will, God will!

    Recently I attended a state meeting for all pastors of our denomination, ACM (Associated Christian Ministries) and the speaker, Victor Soo of Reach Church, said something that I found incredibly encouraging and my hope is that it will encourage you too. Victor said, “If it’s God’s will, God will.” In other words, if something is God’s will, plan and purpose for us, God will provide what is needed for that to come to pass. Sometimes we can become so distracted with what we don’t have that we forg...  Read More...

  • What or Who Inspires You

    What or Who Inspires You? What or who inspires you? What or who is it in this life that you go, “Wow!   Read More...

  • 2 Years

    I cannot believe that only two days ago was my families anniversary of being at Liberty for two years. Some might be thinking wow, big deal why does it even matter? Well for me it shows how fast time seems to be moving and it’s another opportunity for my family to give God all the glory for bringing us to Healesville and to Liberty.   Read More...

  • A Moon Boot or an Instrument of God’s Grace?

    About a month ago, I walked into Healesville Fitness, and as I did, so did another lady. We started talking and it wasn’t long until I realised she wasn’t doing so well. She shared with me that she’d had some injuries lately and the doctors had thought she had something quite serious.   Read More...

  • God is stirring

    I’ve had a number of conversations recently with people at Liberty. They’ve been sharing with me what they are passionate about and where they would like to serve. I recently heard from a guy who said, “I have been wanting to serve for many years but was not sure where I really fit.   Read More...

  • Did that just happen?

    Have you ever had a phone call where after you finish it you are left dumbfounded and you think to yourself, “Did that just happen?” I had one of those last week. I got a phone call from a psychologist in the Yarra Valley who proceeded to ask me if I would like to do pastoral care for one of his clients. He wanted to see if I could speak to him from a Christian perspective.   Read More...

  • Getting your hands dirty?

      Some people roll up their sleeves and just get their hands dirty. Do you know a person like that? We have many people that do that at Liberty and just the other day I had to call on one of those people and, as usual, they said, “Of course I can help.” The job was meant to be pretty simple: just mow the lawns and clean up a bit of someone’s property in the community who are moving and have recently lost a loved one and who don’t attend the church.   Read More...

  • Why did Jesus Die?

    This is such a large question and leads to much research, but I want to suggest that it was for stories like this one: Darren is a Christian. He is married and works for an electrical company. Darren runs, but has recently had some injuries.   Read More...

  • God is moving

    God is moving in Liberty in such beautiful ways! One of these is through membership. Just recently, the eldership approved another eight people to become members of Liberty.   Read More...

  • Worshipping God

      "We want to see God honoured and cherished through our time of worship each and every Sunday – we want to create a culture of worship that permeates through every part of our church, including through each and every part of our Sunday services. I encourage you – engage in this time. Really engage.   Read More...

  • Heart Check

    On the 20th March, we are joining in with ‘Syria Sunday.’ It is an initiative of World Vision to promote the crisis in Syria and to mobilise the churches around the world to donate money so that World Vision can buy the necessary equipment, food, tents etc to help the Syrian people. I want to encourage you to pray now about what you are going to give to the work of World Vision on this day to change people’s lives in Syria. But why?   Read More...

  • Procrastination and prayer

    How are you with procrastination? Is it something that plagues your day and then you end up running late, or submitting things late? Or are you someone that gets things done on time and you are never late for anything?   Read More...

  • Creating a safe church

    Children are a gift from God, a blessing. It is a privilege to have them as part of the church. Jesus addresses the children in the scriptures when He says, “Let the children come to me.” Back then, children weren’t considered very valuable to the community, so Jesus saying this would have been quite controversial.   Read More...

  • You just might get the privilege

    Cancer is a horrible disease that kills many people each year and this is deeply sad. Sometimes though, God brings people along the way to help those that are struggling. Kate and I had this privilege a long time ago.   Read More...

  • Run, run, run

    As you might know, at the beginning of the year I entered the campaign called ‘RunFar’ through World Vision, which is about raising money to put clean water into some of the most under-developed countries in the world. I set a goal of how much I wanted to raise and a goal of how far I would walk/run over the month of January. My goal was $1,000 and 310kms.   Read More...

  • Praying is not something to be ashamed of

    One of the prayer focuses for this week’s ‘week of 24/7 prayer’ is… “That God would bless the partnerships we have and that new partnerships would be created with businesses and organisations.” One of those businesses we partner with is Healesville Fitness, which is located just up the road from Liberty. I have been going there for over a year now and Jayne and Heather who own the place are just brilliant people. They care genuinely about the person, not about the money.   Read More...

  • There is power in praying to our God who listens

    One thing that is challenging when we pray is when we wonder whether God will answer our prayers. When he doesn’t we get angry, frustrated and some people I know of have actually left their faith and the church because of it. I believe that God is the God of ‘our last minute’ and He answers prayer at just the right time, in just the right way, because God is for us and not against us.   Read More...

  • Our plan, God's plan

    Take a look at this picture. What do you see? If we were being honest, we would love God’s plan to look like what we have as the right plan in our mind.   Read More...

  • Forward motion?

    How has your year started? Slow, relaxed or fast paced? Have you hit the ground running, or just hit the ground?   Read More...

  • How Will You Make This Year Count?

    How will you make this year count? No one can make it count but you. One of the ways to make this year count is to do something incredible to help make someone else’s life better.   Read More...

  • It's Christmas day... why is my Pastor posting this?

    Wooohooooo! It’s Christmas day and I am excited! Today, here is a very short devotional for you to reflect on so that this day doesn’t just pass you by, but that you may take in it’s full meaning.   Read More...

  • Who Will You Bless ‘Not So Randomly’ This Christmas?

    About 5 years ago, I decided that at Christmas I would buy one extra Christmas present for someone that God lets me know really needs a blessing on Christmas day. I have had some sensational opportunities with people as I see them in the street on Christmas morning and hand the gift over to them. A few years ago, I went for a walk as I normally do each Christmas morning to find that person God wants me to bless and as I was walking out of my driveway there was a woman walking her dog.   Read More...

  • How do you Prepare for Christmas?

    It is about this time where panic might start to set in and we start to have anxiety around what Christmas day will look like. For those who like writing lists maybe this is the time you start to write your lists for that day so that nothing is missed out and no one is forgotten. We order that turkey, ham or seafood.   Read More...

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    How to Have Healthy Rhythm in Your Life: Lectio Divina

      I preached yesterday on the need to have healthy rhythm in our lives. I shared my story where I crashed and my body gave up and I was pretty much burnt out. I shared how I made some changes in my life so that this would not happen again.   Read More...

  • Put Down the Sword and Pick up the Towel

    “3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13: 3 – 5 In a time when power meant everything and status was marked as something important, a m...  Read More...

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    New Website!

      Welcome to our new website! On behalf of Liberty Family Church I would like to pass on a big 'thank you' to the team at Heartburst Digital who have worked with us to design and tweak our new site. Thanks to each of you for your hard work and patience as we refined the site to how we wanted it.   Read More...

  • Domestic and Family Violence is NEVER OK!

    Only a few days ago, on Wednesday 25th November, it was the National Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Common Grace, a Christian organisation, sent me an email on that day inviting me to pray for the next 16 days for those whom this terrible epidemic affects. The 16-day prayer campaign is part of a wider international movement, the UN’s ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender – Based Violence’ campaign.   Read More...

  • Is Jesus Coming Back Now?

    I have had many conversations about the Paris attacks, particularly around the questions, “Is Jesus coming back now? Does this mean that Jesus is coming back soon? Are these signs of Jesus coming back?” The truth is, Jesus is coming back ‘soon’, but the word ‘soon’ in the Bible means, ‘It will happen but we don’t know when.’ We are not to fear what is happening in the world, but we are to get ready for Jesus’ return.   Read More...

  • Custard Makes a Difference

    This Christmas, as we partner with HICCI (Healesville Inter-church Community Care Inc), you can help make a difference. Simply buy a 1-litre long life custard and put it in the HICCI bin at church this Sunday. As a church, we have been asked if we can contribute 200 custards.   Read More...

  • Dreams Can Come True

    A young girl steps up to the microphone and is asked a question: “What is your dream?” The young girl opens her mouth and says exactly the same thing as the girl before her: “World Peace”. Of course, I am talking about an American beauty contest where this happens, however, what a great question! What is your dream?   Read More...

  • Stop and Heal

    Over the past month, my shoulder has been feeling better. I have arthritis in both my shoulders as a result of lots of sport when I was young, lots of weights when I was a bit older and sleeping really weird in my bed (ask my wife). Over the years of my shoulder hurting and restricting me from completing some quite simple tasks I found myself thinking: What do I do to compensate?   Read More...

  • Giving is a Privilege

    A life changed, a family restored, a backyard cleaned up, marriages strengthened and people coming to know the love of Christ both at Liberty and through Liberty in the community and around the world. This is where your money goes when you give to the work of the Lord through Liberty. For Kate and I, giving is a privilege.   Read More...

  • No Other Road

    Some people find it difficult to grasp how incredible God is. For those who don’t believe in Jesus and what He has done for us, if they were to die tonight without believing, they wouldn’t spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, rather they would go to hell.  The reality is that no matter how much we try to water this truth down (and many do), the reality is still the same. However, I don’t believe we are to walk around telling everyone who doesn’t follow Jesus that they are going to hell (I t...  Read More...

  • Back on the Road Again

    “Back on the road again... On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again...” Do you remember these lyrics by Willi Nelson? You might remember the song from the movie Shrek, when Shrek and the Donkey are about to embark on a journey together. I wonder if this song says something about where you find yourself in your faith right now?   Read More...

  • Revenge... Not so Sweet!

    There is a common theme in action movies and that is revenge. Revenge is where someone does something to hurt you or someone you know and you want to do that same thing that hurt you to them to get them back. You want to make them feel the same pain you felt.   Read More...

  • What Am I Here For?

    Have you ever asked the question, “what am I here for, why do I exist?” Increasingly, it seems that more people are wrestling with this very question. And many people are coming up empty. I was once on a plane going to Sydney and I sat next to a lady who said she was going to a “Theocity Group”.   Read More...

  • Longevity in Leadership

      “A change of Prime Minister again!” I hear the public cry. The fifth Prime Minister in five years. I don’t know about you, but this makes me quite sad. I have a Christian axiom about leadership that goes like this, “longevity in leadership builds fruit that lasts”.   Read More...

  • From Darkness to Light

    When I was a young child I was a little afraid of the dark. I remember one night I was a bit frightened and so I went to put the light switch on and as soon as I flicked the switch the light blew. I was freaked out and I went to open the door but I was panicking so much that I couldn’t find the door handle.   Read More...

  • Giving is Better Than Receiving

    I heard it said once, “Giving is better than receiving”. When I heard this statement I was really young and I thought that it was ridiculous. I loved receiving presents but I couldn’t be bothered giving any, or I struggled to give because I wanted what I was giving them.   Read More...

  • Can I Trust You?

    A guy was speaking with another guy the other day and they got to a real pointy end of the conversation a place where they had not gone before and he said “so can I trust you with what I have told you?” The truth is that when it comes to the fabric that builds relationships that last there is one word that really out weighs them all (other than God) and that is: trust. Trust is a commodity that we earn not something that is given, it is built over time, but it is also the one thing that will sus...  Read More...

  • Is there Any Room for Me?

    Today I want to tell you a story. There was a little girl who jumped up on her Dads knee at bedtime and asked a very important question? “Dad is there any room for me in heaven or is it full?   Read More...

  • Jesus is a Well!

    This week has been one that has had reoccurring themes through it. The themes have been: ‘going deeper with God’, ‘encountering God’ and what does it look like to develop deep relational disciplines in relationship with our King Jesus? It is so easy in this day and age to only skim the surface of who Jesus is.   Read More...

  • My Hands Are Tied

    Have you ever heard the expression, ‘My hands are tied’? Usually it’s in relation to a problem or circumstance that happens and, due to the position you are in, there is no way to change that circumstance. I experienced this the other night.   Read More...

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