Friday, December 23, 2011

My Times in His Hands

Had thoughts of article for Christmas, but all circumvented by some dramatic events leading to triple by-pass heart surgery, one week ago.

Been home two days, which makes it seven days since surgery. No doubt of the Lord's hand in these events.

May the Lord bless those who read, and those who don't!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am reminded of Jesus’ words when He prayed, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes Father, for such was your gracious will”.

Religious pride was something Jesus observed quite often. It was seen in displays of  arrogance and superiority of knowledge amongst the Pharisees.

There was  strong confidence in their learning, in their own righteousness and personal interpretation of what they had learned. In fact they looked down on everybody else, who didn't think and act as they did.

Is it possible to, on the one hand, speak and write about humble Christ glorifying living, write Biblical messages and blogs which give advice about the self effacing, others focused manner of true disciples of Christ, and, on the other hand, display in one’s writing, the very same Pharisaical pride with which Jesus was confronted?

I have found myself having strong sensibilities on behalf of other brethren when comments on blogs are made, or, advice given, which, to my mind, comes across as proud and thoughtlessly patronizing.

It seems to me that the same proud spirit which has accompanied much traditionalism, is now accompanying some of those who, a few years ago, started off so well in challenging that which was clearly not according to Scripture, and have now come to a new tradition which they have developed and with which they are now comfortable.

 If it’s not the same spirit as the Pharisees exhibited, maybe it’s the very similar carnal game of one-upmanship?  A clash of egos?

William Barclay tells a story with a strong message regarding this matter of which I speak, "Once I made a journey by train to England. As we passed through the Yorkshire moors I saw a little whitewashed cottage and it seemed to me to shine with almost radiant whiteness. Some days later I made the journey back to Scotland. The snow had fallen and was lying deep all around. We came again to the little white cottage, but this time its whiteness seemed drab and soiled and almost gray in comparison with the virgin whiteness of the driven snow."

And then Barclay observes: "It all depends what we compare ourselves with."

It seems that it is an unconscious (?) ability that we have, of  comparing ourselves, what we preach, write, or believe, with what others preach write or believe.

There is only One against whom we ought compare ourselves:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I haven't been well, of late, so more silent than usual, but I was motivated to write today to simply urge you to read this, by another old-timer, like myself,

It's one thing to read the words of the "young idealistic upstarts" who "think they know everything"( many of whom DO know what they are talking about), but we would do well to take notice of an experienced one who has long "on-the-job" experience.

Don't forget to follow through with Part 2, here

Monday, September 5, 2011

Maybe I’m just culturally handicapped

A small word with so many connotations, which can be steered by culture, attitude, health, or misapprehension of intent.
Random House Websters College Dictionary defines the word “sigh” as “to let out one's breath audibly, as from sorrow, weariness, or relief; to yearn or long; to pine; to lament.

Princeton WordNet is much simpler in its definition: an utterance made by exhaling audibly; a sound like a person sighing,"she heard the sigh of the wind in the trees";to heave or utter a sigh; breathe deeply and heavily,"She sighed sadly"; utter with a sigh.

Kennerman Learner’s English Dictionary defines the word “sigh” as: to breathe out noisily when you are sad, tired, bored, relieved, etc. “He sighed in frustration.”

Webster’s Dictionary says the word means:  to inhale a larger quantity of air than usual, and immediately expel it; to make a deep single audible respiration, especially as the result or involuntary expression of fatigue, exhaustion, grief, sorrow, or the like, to lament; to grieve, or mourn over, a deep and prolonged audible inspiration or respiration of air, as when fatigued or grieved; the act of sighing

It’s obvious that we can normally sigh if we are either frustrated, can't do something or are bored.  I’ve been known to sigh if when I’m trying to explain something to someone but cannot get the message across. I know that people sigh they are sad or happy or tired.

As a matter of fact, people sigh as a result of feeling most emotions, it just depends what context the sigh is in to determine why the person is sighing.

In 1858, James Smith wrote about the last days of a believer: “Death-beds differ, even the death-beds of true believers. Some are filled with joy, others are only hopeful. Some glide away smoothly and softly — while others have much hard fighting at the last. Some have no doubts or fears — while others are very much tried with them. Some shout victory — others can only say, "I have a good hope." Some speak much to those about them — others say but very little. This was the case with the good man I was reading of, his whole dying experience was comprehended in one sentence, "I am sighing for Jesus!"

He did not sigh for life, nor for ease — but he was sighing for Jesus. I cannot help observing, how much of my experience now, is expressed in those words, "I am sighing for Jesus." Yes, yes, I can do without riches, or fame, or the honor which man confers. I am pretty well content with what providence sends me — and yet I often sigh, and sigh deeply too. Some would think me unhappy — but I am not. Some may conclude I am discontented with my situation in life — but I am not. Yet I sigh — I often sigh.”

Having ministered in some very sad situations over the years, especially at funerals, sighing was rather common. I’m discovering that this little action of sighing can be interpreted negatively or positively according to cultural mores, or maybe whim, often without reference to context, or explanation from the one who sighed. That's certainly true in my household. My wife sighs quite often, and for a multitude of reasons. I used to think they wee sighs with a negative content. They weren't, I'm pleased to say.

I don’t think  Eric’s small contribution was negative, especially in the light of His writing about the unity of Christians, wherever they come from, and previous words such as he penned, “I'm reminded once again that Christ and His gospel are of first importance. Church practice, while critical in the life of the Christian, is secondary. Our oneness in Christ binds us together. Because of this, we can and should strive to remain as one even if what we think about church differs significantly.”

Maybe I’m just culturally challenged, and understand words differently ! After all, we are upside down here!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Be the Judge!

I see, and hear, a lot of criticisms regarding those brethren who are genuinely seeking to practice their faith in a manner which is closer to Scripture. Some of the criticism is out of genuine concern, many from an arrogant sense of , “we know better than that. We’ve moved on since those days”.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is often dismissed as a radical rebel, nothing more than a philosopher who had a bit of knowledge about Scripture, and some rather strange ideas.

I cannot help but think that he had some sound insight into what God wants for those who claim to be disciples/followers of Jesus Christ. For example think about the following two quotes:
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?”

“It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression follower. He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life Christ is looking for.

Christ understood that being a disciple was in innermost and deepest harmony with what he said about himself. Christ claimed to be the way and the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6). For this reason, he could never be satisfied with adherents who accepted his teaching – especially with those who in their lives ignored it or let things take their usual course. His whole life on earth, from beginning to end, was destined solely to have followers and to make admirers impossible.

Christ came into the world with the purpose of saving, not instructing it. At the same time – as is implied in his saving work – he came to be the pattern, to leave footprints for the person who would join him, who would become a follower. This is why Christ was born and lived and died in lowliness. It is absolutely impossible for anyone to sneak away from the Pattern with excuse and evasion on the basis that It, after all, possessed earthly and worldly advantages that he did not have. In that sense, to admire Christ is the false invention of a later age, aided by the presumption of loftiness. No, there is absolutely nothing to admire in Jesus, unless you want to admire poverty, misery, and contempt.
What then, is the difference between an admirer and a follower? A follower is or strives to be like what he admires. An admirer, however, keeps himself personally detached. He fails to see that what is admired involves a claim upon him, and thus he fails to be or strive to be what he admires."

What do you think? Reasonable thoughts, or those of an eccentric?

Thursday, June 30, 2011


As I read the blog scene today, I see much clear thinking dealing with the failures of Christendom, especially in the area of ecclesiology. As much as I applaud the writing of some in this area, I also have concerns regarding what appears to be a focus on one aspect,whilst overlooking others. The one aspect, which a group focuses on seems to vary. One group will focus on social action, another will focus on one or more of the "one anothers" of Scripture, others seem to have a fixation on a "warm and fuzzy feeling" kind of love.

Eric Carpenter wrote a good article entitled No Guarantee, in which he argues that the purpose of gathering “is the edification of the body in Christ to the glory of God”.

Whilst not disagreeing with Eric, I would ask the question,”Is it not the purpose of the Christian to glorify God in every aspect of his/her life?”

I was rather pleased to read Dave Black, as he entered an opinion on the matter when he says,

I do not disagree with this perspective. But it seems to me that the emphasis in Reformed circles on the glory of God is rather nebulous. In my opinion, this definition is neither missiologically broad enough nor theologically deep enough. As I understand Scripture, the church is to carry out the Missio Dei of the Triune God at both the micro (individual salvation) and macro (societal) levels, with a view to redemption, reconciliation, and social transformation. I recognize that many Christians today are starving for genuine koinonia and deeper relationships within the Body of Christ. Yet Jesus Christ defines His followers as those whom He has sent forth into the world. Thus, while it is good and proper to unpack the theological and ecclesiological significance of such texts as 1 Cor. 14:26, which speak of mutual edification as a goal whenever the church gathers, I think it is neither scriptural nor helpful to reduce our definition of "church" to the gathering. The ecclesiological challenge must drive us closer and closer to our original mission, not further away from it. An outward focus is critical, not optional.

That last small sentence encapsulates my concern about much of what I have observed regarding the newer expressions of gathering Christians, which have become very singular in their focus, often becoming insular mutual admiration societies, which pat themselves on the back for being so “Biblical”. Maybe I'm wrong, but what I see happening is simply a smaller expression of what has been going on for decades, and no different to denominations wearing their denomination labels and distinctions as badges of honor, and declaring themselves “Biblical” for doing so.

Dave Black further says,
The Book of Acts consistently emphasizes "missional hermeneutics," and is clear that the Gospel is the Holy Spirit's instrument for the formation of faithful witnessing communities that enjoy corporate life both together and scattered in the world. This same Spirit now works through believers to enable them to be Christ's witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. To be sure, "church" is broader than the missional church. But the focus of God is the world, not the church. Thus, while calls for mutual edification are valid (and sorely needed), it does not help to make the overcorrection of emphasizing corporate discipleship at the expense of Trinitarian mission. The only way Christ is presently incarnated to a lost world is through believers as they carry on His presence, His Word, and His works to a new generation. We are no longer citizens of this world but Christ's ambassadors, sent to this world from another kingdom, operating in His authority and power. If we're rightly connected to the Head in this way, it would be hard to imagine making the focus of the church the gathering rather than the going

It seems to me that if we are to be truly Biblical, whilst dealing with the very real problems of our ecclesiology, and its implications for the local assembly, we need to remember that we individual believers, are the only interface many have with the things of God.

So,in the light of what I've emphasised in Dave's last paragraph, I would ask another question, “Are we not stewards of God’s great grace, and will not God be equally glorified as we tell these people, in our Jerusalem, of His amazing grace in Jesus Christ, and on into Samaria, and to the end of the earth?”

Thursday, June 9, 2011


As I write the occasional bog, and read those of others, I’m becoming more, and more, aware of the need to avoid self-promotion of any kind.

When I read a blog which chronicles the exploits performed in the Name of Christ by the writer, I sometimes have a real sense of unease about what is going on.

Marlena Graves, a guest blogger on Her-menuetics, the Christianity Today womens’ blog, wrote an article entitled , Is Self-PromotionSinful?, in which she refers to J.D.Salinger’s book The Catcher in The Rye.

In her article she refers to  Salinger’s “efforts to spurn fame and self-promotion because they can lead to phoniness, something Salinger abhorred.”

As her article continues, Graves speaks of her own thoughts when writing, 
"Am I doing this only to build a bigger platform? Is this just self-promotion? Sometimes, “You have to have an audience built up before you write a book” gets translated into, “Throw yourself down from this high point of the temple" (do something spectacular to get attention) (Matt. 4:5-6) or, “No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world” (John 7:4). Some readers might accuse me of scraping my conscience or of being oversensitive; on the other hand, some may think that I’m using this very post to promote myself."

She goes on to quote Salinger saying something  about this in “Catcher in the Rye. When protagonist Holden Caulfield’s sister, Phoebe, asks him why he doesn’t become a lawyer like their father, he says:

[T]hey’re all right if they go around saving innocent guys’ lives . . . but you don’t do that kind of stuff if you’re a lawyer. All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot. . . . Even if you did go around saving guys’ lives and all, how would you know if you did it because you really wanted to save guys’ lives, or because . . . you really wanted to . . . be a terrific lawyer with everyone slapping you on the back. . . . How would you know you weren’t being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn’t. (p. 172) 

This fictitious character is right. That bothers me when I write, right at this moment. It bothers me when I make subjective judgments about the writings of another, because I don’t know the other person and their thinking, to legitimately make the judgments I am inclined to make. As much as there may be some truth in what we say we need to be careful how we critique a particular post, or article, with which we disagree, without taking into account what the author has revealed he/she thinks in their other writing.

I wonder if this is what Spurgeon had in mind when he said, Self-love is, no doubt, the usual foundation of human jealousy...the fear lest another should by any means supplant us.”


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In a recent post I asked for prayer for Mandy and Johnny. Thank you for praying.

After a short rally, Mandy has succumbed to the cancer that had ravaged her body.

The elder who cares for the congregation, of which, prior to our retirement, we were a part, reports that Johnny is absolutely surrounded by his loving family. Please continue to pray for this sensitive, loving man.

I am most privileged to have had the joy of introducing Mandy to her Savior so long ago.

Jonathan Edwards speaking at the funeral of David Brainard, said that David was now enjoying "the ineffable delights he has in heaven, in the enjoyment of his Father ".

Mandy is now doing the same.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I'm usually going through some of my favorite blogs by 5.30AM, and then read emails.

This morning? What an encouraging morning!

I must share the joy I received! In no particular order of preference: 

Firstly an old curmudgeon like me, Paul Burleson  who warmed me up on this second morning of winter, then Alan Knox "A criterion, a treasure, an assumption, and a broken heart". He features four blogs which are a must read, the third one, written by Eric Carpenter is a regular for me.

Then there was the icing on the cake as I read Dave Black  at Wednesday, June 1,10:42 AM, writing what is so very important for followers of Christ to understand. The cherry on top of this was Becky Black's morning reflections.

Trust you are blessed as I am!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Today, I’m very sad and prayerful.

It’s twenty-six years ago since I became the pastor of a very small, very fragmented church. Only one of the seven deacons (yes, you’re right! According to the deacons,“Because the Biblical number for deacons is seven) was a member of the denomination because of conviction. Six of the deacons, middle aged and more, had migrated from five other denominations, each was convinced that their previous practices were the correct ones, and argued the point, loudly! The odd one out, Johnny, a sound follower of Christ, member by conviction, and a young man, was a rose amongst the thorns. A bright light in a dark place!

The church had a membership of eighteen and averaged about 25-30 at the Sunday service.

I can hear you chuckling from here! Seven deacons amongst eighteen members?

Without describing any of the outcomes of this I can say that, for the first eight months, I had more headaches (not literal) than ever before in my life.

They were unhappy times!

Then! Something wonderful happened!

Johnny had a young lady, Mandy, whom he had been keeping company with for a couple of years, and I had the opportunity to get to know them and to share the gospel with her.

She came to know Christ in a life changing way, but was hurt by the unloving way she observed the deacon’s behaving. There were comments from whence she had come, and objection to her happy boisterous character and jolly laughter.

Later, I had the joy of standing before Johnny and Mandy as they made their marriage vows.

Twenty-five years on, they have two beautiful daughters, who were raised as children of followers of Christ should be. Both young ladies are now school teachers.

About two years ago we received news that Mandy had breast cancer. The lumps were removed. The surgeons thought they had it all. Then, devastation, a mastectomy was in order, then six months of chemo-therapy. Another mastectomy. More chemo.

After several months it appeared that she was clear, with the usual, “Well know for sure in five years”.

A short time elapsed and lumps began to appear in other parts of her body. More operations. More chemo. Radiation.

A little over twenty-four hours ago, the elder who cares for these dear folk now, rang me. I could hear the tears in his voice as he haltingly told me that Johnny had been called to be with Mandy!

My heart is breaking for this family, who put themselves last to server others, ever since I first knew them.

In their early fifties, Johnny and Mandy have so much more they could offer., and I cannot help but have fleeting thoughts of, ”Lord, why them and not this old, worn out feller?”

Although my body won’t allow me to travel the 180 miles to visit with them, to sit with them, pray with them, hug them and love them, I’m very confident that the Family my wife and I left behind will do so, and very well!


As of the 2nd June, no news of change.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The beginning of Matthew is important in any discussion regarding patriarchy, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham”. (Mat.1:1)

The first verse names the three foundational patriarchs “of the geneology of Christ”:

Abraham the father of Isaac, was first of the Hebrew patriarchs and a figure revered by the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam :

The Bible declares that he lived approximately 175 years. Wife was Sarah. Sons were Ismael and Isaac . According to the bible Abraham and Sarah were 99 or 100 years old when Isaac was born.

Isaac Isaac the father of Jacob :

As the Bible says, he lived 180 years! Wife Rebecca. Sons Esau and Jacob. He was later told he would be called Israel.

Jacob the father of Judah:

Wives Leah and Rachel. Twelve sons and one daughter.  The Bible tells us he lived 147 years.

His name is given to all of his descendents and the land that God stipulated they should inhabit. Jacob’s having two wives means that there are four matriarchs between the  three patriarchs.

A patriarch is "the male head, ruler, or progenitor of a family, tribe, or people."

Jacob, who earned the name Israel when he wrestled with an Angel, is the patriarch, the descendants of whose twelve sons became the twelve tribes of Israel.

God’s design for these three patriarchs, through their lineage with Abraham, was that they were to establish nations under His rule, Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.”(Gen.17:3-4).

Something else stands out as Matthew goes on. He establishes that from this line of three patriarchs, King David is a part of this same bloodline, which in fourteen generations establishes that Jesus Christ is whom he declared in the first verse as “.. the son of David” , whose life he chronicles.

Are all the males patriarchs? No. It seems not.  As far as I can see there are only two verses in the New Testament that refer to men as patriarchs, other than the three men mentioned above. In the Septuagent the term is used only five times.

Patriarch, the word, means “father rule”, or “patriarchy”, and is an elemental part of an hegemonic hierarchy, of which the New Testament knows nothing.

The use of the word, according to dictionaries, such as The Oxford , The Merriam-Webster, and the The Macmillan say among other things, that “patriarchy” means:

”a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line.

a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” (Oxford)  or,

 “ 1: a social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power

2: a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy”
(Webster) or,

“a society, system, or organization in which men have all or most of the power and influence (Macmillan)

As those claiming to be Christian, we have to take into consideration what people understand when we use words, such as patriarchy, which are commonly understood to imply "Power" or "control". We cannot simply take a word we like and apply it to a New Testament concept.

From a Christian point of view such words apply to the Godhead alone.  Christians have only one Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true representation of God the Father, and whose sole authority is exercised though His written word revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

If we want to use the “archy” language, we could use the term "Christarchy", where all submit to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christs.

What a difference we would see if we understood that. Servant leaders, whether of households or congregations, and even governments, would lead, and set the example of one who submits to the authority of Jesus Christ, as is declared in the Scriptures and applied to their lives by the Holy Spirit.

Yet the very opposite is true as Dave Black says, “Christ’s claim to our total allegiance is one we seek to avoid at all costs”(ChristianArchy, x), and we avoid it by espousing the idea that, for example, a father must exercise some kind of power and authority which allows him to command how others (wife and family) behave and function.

We, fathers, avoid any hint of what the world sees as weakness, but what Christ taught was formidable strength; humble servitude, in weakness!

John Chrysostom, one of the early church fathers was spot on, when he said,

“For as long as we are lambs we conquer; even when a thousand wolves stand about, we overcome and are victors. But if we act like wolves we are conquered, for then the aid of the Good Shepherd departs from us, for He does not foster wolves but sheep.”

“…He does not foster wolves but sheep.”

In my idealistic moments, I imagine what it would be like if people who dare to call Jesus as Lord, really submitted themselves to His headship. This One whom we profess as Lord, as our “archy”, would be seen as the only authority in charge, and everyone else, husbands and wives were submissive to each other, negating any need to claim to be equal, or having authority over another.

I imagine what it would be like to live in a climate of no imposed hierarchies or command structures, no power struggles among men and women, rich and poor, young and old, with each one serving the other. I think that's what Jesus modeled for those who were His followers.

Paul was used of God, in his Epistle to the Ephesian congregation, to declare His direction for a marital relationship.

It was to be as Jesus modeled as He submitted himself totally to the will of His Father. With Christ as their model, husbands are not charged to exercise authority over their wives, but are charged to imitate Christ’s headship over themselves. Such headship demands that they imitate Christ’s obedience to God. As the husband models Christ’s obedience to the Father, so the wives are to follow.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is he who is the Savior of the body. Indeed, just as the church is submissive to Christ, so wives must be submissive to their husbands in everything.(5:22-24)

Whether we redefine the word to suit our personal preferences or not, the word “patriarchy” indicates power and  authority over another.

If wives are called to submit to their husbands in the same way the church submits to Christ, then it cannot have anything to do with patriarchy.

Dave Black speaks of ,”…any other Christian “reformist” movement (patriarchy, agrarianism, age integration,etc.) The trouble is that such moralizing can be done sheerly in the flesh. We can get so caught up in the idea of raising modern knights or returning to the land or asserting male headship when oftentimes all that is actually happening is that our little archy is becoming more and more impressed by it’s own importance as a revolutionary cause.” (Christian Archy p.14)

I cannot agree more, especially when Dave says on page 14, “The Enemy of the church always seeks to turn it aside from the cross in order to make it follow its own way”.  Remember the church is men and women.

The thought that Christ would command submission to His headship is erroneous to say the least. If  there is any compulsion at all for Christ’s redeemed to obey him, it is solely through love and thanksgiving alone, as an act of worship.

The love of Christ controls us, for we are convinced of this: that one person died for all people; therefore, all people have died. He died for all people, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for the one who died and rose for them. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

When calling wives to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ, then they are called to respond to their husband’s modeling of Christ’s love and self-sacrifice. They are  to submit to such amazing love, not to the authority of the husband.

 By the way, Paul says nothing about the husband’s “rule”. The headship Paul refers to is the authority to serve God by serving others, which leads to God’s blessing on the relationship.

Christ’s own submission to the Father was spelled out in His parable as He rose from supper.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God,got up from the table, removed his outer robe, and took a towel and fastened it around his waist.Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel that was tied around his waist. (John 13:4-5)

There could be no missing what Jesus explicitly taught on that occasion, unless we purposefully, and willfully choose another explanation. The Christ’s washing of feet revealed the quality of his Lordship, and set the example for those who follow him, who were to emulate this kind of authority, a humiliating servant role, which entailed, authority to wash feet, authority to sacrifice themselves to demonstrate God’s grace to others.

It’s very difficult for the Adamic human mind to grasp that servant-hood has “authority”.
Consider Jesus, who had the God-given authority to sacrifice himself for His people as an act of amazing love.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

When someone receives Christ as Savior and Lord, we  submit to His authority.

That is exactly the kind of headship a Christian wife is called to submit herself to. Not that of a patriarch, but that of a husband who is called to love her with the same Holy Sprit endued attitude as Christ revealed in His love for His church.

She is called to follow him and his example as he follows Christ. It is not easy, as Peter showed when Jesus wanted to wash his feet. It’s what Paul knew was a necessary part of God’s transforming grace, when he told the Romans,  “I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God's will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.” (Rom.12:-2)

As a wife responds to the example of her husband, she lays aside her will as her husband has laid aside his, so they serve Christ as one, as a picture of  the gospel (Ephesians 5:32).

Husbands and wives, one or both, who care more about imposing their own authority or desire than submitting to the headship and example of Christ, not only personally  act like a drunken person, but they cause those to stumble for whom they are supposed to set the example, each other, their children, and their brethren.

When a husband incorrectly understands his role as head of the family, as that of  a patriarch, one called to rule and uses that as an excuse to dominate, he stumbles like a drunken man. A wife, who  takes advantage of her husband’s servant-hood does likewise.

Nowhere does the Bible show us that God is interested in improving a Christian husband’s authority and rule. Likewise He is not interested in helping a Christian couple rule their family as equals.

God is interested in restoring His rule. 

As a couple grow in Christian marriage, husbands  cease to live in a mindset of patriarchy, and becomes faithful stewards demonstrating the reality of the Lordship of the One who said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them. That's not the way it should be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That's the way it is with the Son of Man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people”.(Matt.20:25-28)

In a Biblical marriage such as this, a husband will inspire his wife and children to “follow me, as I follow Christ”. This is not patriarchy past, present or future!

As Dave Black says in his book, “We must have the courage to say flatly that human archys are nothing less than the contemporary resurrection of the pharisaic ethic”. (p.31)

Let Vernard Eller conclude, as he writes in ChristianAnarchy, “..that worldly arkys are of the "all" that "in Adam" dies and are no part of the "all" that "in Christ" is made alive (1 Cor. 15:22). Consequently, worldly arkys must die (and we must die to them) in order that the Arky of God (his kingdom) might be made alive in us (and us in it).”

Important Addendum:

I have, in the last few minutes discovered a good article on Wade Burlesons blog, in which he refers to a book by Jon Zens for which Wade has written the  Forward.
The book is entitled: "No Will Of My Own: How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity & Personhood "

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Comments from sites previously blocked UNBLOCKED

Somehow the comments have been blocked to some who have read my blog. I have no idea how things became changed.That has been unintentional.

It has been fixed!

Friday, April 22, 2011


I was quite pleasantly surprised, and taken back a few decades whilst reading Dave Black's site. He quotes Thomas Haweis, who was preaching at the inauguration of the London Missionary Society in 1795.

Thomas Haweis said:
A plain man -- with a good natural understanding -- well read in the Bible, -- full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, -- though he comes from the forge or the shop, would, I own, in my view, as a missionary to the heathen, be infinitely preferable to all the learning of the schools; and would possess, in the skill and labour of his hands, advantages which barren science would never compensate.

After many years of sitting under the ministry of quite few excellent, some not so excellent, preacher/pastors, and having been called to our first country pastorate, I had been impressed with similar thoughts as those expressed by Thomas Haweis.

I have a very clear memory of the first day I sat at the desk in my first office, surrounded by the library of good books I had collected over the years, all by great men of God. I felt a surge of pride, and immediately was ashamed, as I remembered my previously mentioned thoughts.

As I sat there I was compelled to pray that my loving Father would keep me an ordinary man,able to be in touch with the lives of those to whom I would minister.

A few years later, after the Lord of the Church had blessed our evangelistic efforts I was asked to speak at an evangelism conference regarding rural evangelism. I mentioned that one thing I had learned was that it was important for those who wish to minister to others to learn to "sit in the dust" if necessary, "get some dirt under one's finger nails", if we were to fully relate to those we sought to influence for Christ.

There were some fellows there, both young and older, who thought my comments were ridiculous.

Over the years we continued to be blessed. I can only assume that the Lord didn't consider my words ridiculous.

Whether I'm still an ordinary bloke, that's for others to judge,but I have no desire for anything else.

Haweis was right. Thank you Dave for reminding me!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


No matter what way a congregation of genuine Christians function, traditional, home church, or some other form of the gathering of God's people, I would assume that the Scriptures have a leading part in the what transpires, yet, as I read the writings of each of the alternatives, I see something standing out quite clearly, and have to question my assumption.

I wonder whether you have noticed what I'm alluding to?

I will illustrate what I'm noticing with a well known story by
C. H. Spurgeon, told in a sermon preached on March 13th, 1859.

“A Welsh minister who was preaching last Sabbath at the chapel of my dear brother, Jonathan George, was saying, that Christ was the sum and substance of the gospel, and he broke out into this story:

A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he went to the old minister, and said, "What do you think of my sermon?"

"A very poor sermon indeed," said he.

"A poor sermon?" said the young man, "it took me a long time to study it."

"Ay, no doubt of it."

"Why, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?"

"Oh, yes," said the old preacher, "very good indeed."

"Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn't you think the metaphors were appropriate and the arguments conclusive?"

"Yes, they were very good as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon."

"Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?"

"Because," said he, "there was no Christ in it."

"Well," said the young man, "Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text."

So the old man said, "Don't you know young man that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?"

"Yes," said the young man.

"Ah!" said the old divine "and so from every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business when you get to a text, is to say, 'Now what is the road to Christ?' and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis—Christ. And," said he, "I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it." Now since you say amen to that, and declare that what you want to hear is Jesus Christ, the text is proved—"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious."

Thursday, March 31, 2011


The title of a recent article on the excellent blog of Alan Knox, was a question, “What Caused You to Start Studying the Church?”

In my case, the reason was my first meeting, half a lifetime ago, of a large number of other pastors at a denominational pastor’s conference, and the denominational annual assembly. Those meetings were the catalyst to start me questioning why I was even a part of such a group.

That meeting helped me, over a period of time, to see that for myself that, as a denomination, our understanding of “church” was very limited. That limited view was established by our experience of church life and denominational distinctives, not by the Scriptures.

For me, and many others, that experience was a long one, the authenticity of which we had never questioned. Mine began at the age of twelve, and had been repeated and established during the first twenty years of my total involvement, from simply sitting in the pews to preaching and teaching.

To ask anyone the question, "What is church?", always had the effect of people looking very perplexed, and finally voicing the opinion that, “We are the church!”

The faithful attendance at the habitual following of established traditions, reinforced by the messages from the pulpit, was instilling in the congregations the certainty that, as long as they were regular in attending to this, everything was fine and dandy.

The only conversations the congregations were involved in always revolved around the pragmatic matters of organized religion; filling empty pews, and bigger buildings when we filled them, finance and the need to increase the accumulation of it to do the grand schemes the pastor had envisioned. Of course there was the normal discussions of house keeping, maintenance, etc. Occasionally the matter of missions came up. Of course our mission was those missions and never our Jerusalem, or even Judea.

We were a missions oriented church, but not mission oriented!

Very seldom were there discussions which didn’t result in some strong words, which were certainly not appropriate for those claiming to be brethren in Christ.

We didn’t know it at the time but, our individual definition of “church” revolved around our own experience, that with which we were familiar, we were always correct and anyone who disagreed was incorrect. As a result most other congregations in the area were suspect.

No wonder we had problems and cliques of those who agreed with each other, and disagreed with everyone else, even within the local congregation. (have a look at this great article from Paul Burleson)

Other definitions of “church” arise from the satisfaction of personality problems of functioning in community, or desires for “life” which has more to do with sensual satisfaction.

As I’ve talked to people, and pressed them on the original question, "What is church?", several common thoughts appeared. Although, not in any specific order they were generally:

1. Believers who came together each week on Sunday

2. They were a church because they had been baptized as become members.

3. They had a qualified pastor, and possibly elders.

4. Baptism and communion was practiced according to denominational dictates.

5. Although unsure of what it meant church discipline was necessary.

6. Most importantly there had to be a document of doctrinal beliefs which defined who they were.

7. Evangelism is important as long as someone else accomplished it.

When asked, “Who owns the church?” The answer was always, emphatically “We, the congregation, do!”

The presence of Jesus Christ is only assumed, and any concept of His presence by His Spirit, is very vague.

This assumption has allowed many of our institutional churches to become nothing more than social institutions for people who gather using Jesus’ name, and to have reinforced in us the thought that our church/denomination is the one with God's stamp of approval.

Where is the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who reveals Jesus amongst a ministering people from whom living waters flow, who opens our hearts to understand Scripture, who leads and directs?

Is our idea of church formed by the standard of what we have always done, or, the clear standard of Scriptures?

Are we disciples of Jesus Christ, or, are we disciples of a tradition, from which our standard arises?

Are we afraid to ask questions of that standard, and compare it with Scripture? I think so!


Read the following links and give a brother in Christ a birthday boost:

Here, here, and here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


If you want to read something very important, read this . When you have read it read this!

Friday, March 18, 2011


My blogging friend Paul and I share quite a few similarities. He says, “I love history”.

Well, we are different on this one! I don’t love history.

I like to read history. The more history I read history, the more I see that mankind cannot be trusted to record his own history. Almost every author has his own version, revealing his bias. Even the so-called “official” versions.

As far as I can ascertain, from spending time in the home of an American school teacher, Americans have not been taught Australian history in their schools. Maybe that’s a good thing. Even our Australian “official” histories reveal the (often political) bias of the writer.

When I was attending school, we were taught quite a bit about world history, including American, but all of my reading since confirms my suspicion that secular history alone, is clearly not reliable, especially if we will put aside national pride.

The Apostle Paul has history well defined in his statement regarding the Jews, “ For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God himself has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse."

That statement applies to the whole human race!

The fulcrum upon which all of history hangs is spiritual. God created all that there is. From the first day of creation, God’s hand was on all that would ever take place (I did not say God caused ). God's Spirit is at work among men, and no one can understand history apart from that fact. He is both “hands on” and “hands off”, at the same time.

God is indeed sovereign, and if He is sovereign at all, He is sovereign over all, including history, at all times.

My friend, Paul, avers his love of poetry, as well. As for poems, I love some and loathe others. Here is one which rang a bell for me:

The Calf-Path
Sam Walter Foss (1858 -1911)

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.

But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;

And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,

And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because 'twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed - do not laugh -
The first migration of that calf.

And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half,
Trod the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;

And o'er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.

A hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent,
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf !

Ah ! many things this tale might teach -
But I am not ordained to preach

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Fiftythree years ago I was sitting in an interstate coach travelling from norther New South Wales to the city of Brisbane in Queensland. In those days such public transport had a large, full width mirror above the windscreen to enable the driver to see all the passengers.

From where I was sitting I could see most of what the driver could see, but off to one side I saw a beautiful blonde sitting by herself. I must have been staring, because she noticed me looking at her, and, with a haughty shrug of her shoulder, she moved out of my line of sight. Soon after, she alighted at her destination.

Two years passed. The girl in the mirror never left my mind. I used to think of her daily. I even made up songs about her, which I used to sing as I worked. I was, as they say, smitten! I didn’t know who she was, or where she came from. All I knew was that I could not forget her.

During this time I had started a youth group for the local young people. The young people, and their parents were left in no doubt that the primary concern was healthy lifestyle based on the teachings of Scripture. Many of these youngsters learned, for the first time, that “fun” was not a dirty word for Christians. The group was well established and there was room for more to join with us. I started visiting homes in a wider area, offering transport and an early arrival at home after the gathering.

Knocking on the door of a house, in a nearby small timber milling village, the door was opened by a rather stern looking lady, but before any introductions could be made, my attention was drawn to the very face I had seen in the bus. She was sitting at a table behind the lady at the door, her mother. I must have seemed a rather incoherent, dubious character as I blurted out my reason for disturbing the peace of this home. My message must have gotten through, though, as the lady of the house asked her daughter to come to the door. I repeated my reason for being.

She said, “I’m Valerie! Yes! I would like to come”.

No sleep for me that night!

I picked her up with several other young people, and had a great night at the Youth meeting. I carefully engineered the dropping off of all except Valerie, whom I dropped off last. Having been invited by my boss and his wife to go to a movie, I thought I would ask Valerie if she would like to accompany us.

Again! She said, “Yes!”

We had known each other for three months, meeting two or three times a week. We were talking about serious matters and seemed to be so much at ease with each other that I asked Valerie to marry me..

And, again! She said, ”Yes!”

We set the date for twelve months hence, 4th March, 1961.

Fifty years ago, on that date, we sealed our lives together “till death do us part”.

To those who talk about “falling out of love”, I say, “You never knew love !”

I still cannot find words sufficient to tell her what she means to me.

I do know that for both, love is not a bed of roses, and that it does not fail, even though each of us have.

If I know anything with absolute certainty it is this, GOD’S HAND WAS IN EVERY ASPECT OF THESE PAST FIFTY YEARS, from that first glimpse of the beautiful woman who was to change my life, to this day.

When we failed, His Spirit guided us out of the failure. When we sinned, His Spirit reminded us of what God had paid for through the incarnate Jesus. We have no doubt of His protecting hand on our five children, as they had amazing escapes from sickness, and even from death.

Fifty years of marriage, five beautiful children and their wives and husbands, seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren.

I’m the richest man in the world. No money, but so wealthy!

Valerie, my sweetheart! You are still my dream girl! Thank you so very much!

Father God, to You belongs the glory!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scripture, Tradition or ?

There's an interesting discussion emanating from an article on A Pilgrims Progress. As a Christian of many years, a large part of which was in so-called, "full-time-ministry", I speak from my own experience, and with some amount of shame:

When a man/woman, Christian or otherwise, has been well instructed, in whatever philosophy or teaching we may choose, Christian or pagan, we develop a mindset which may take years before one is willing to examine that mindset, and allow it to be challenged.

The genuine Christian is not exempt from this fact of human frailty, hence Luke's commendation of the Bereans.

Apparently the Thessalonians were more like me. I trusted my professors, pastors and teachers, and received what was taught without question. After all, they were the experts. I was only a novice. What they said the Bible taught was more important than my own convictions. Their expectation was that those under their teaching became carbon copies of themselves, teaching what they taught.

From new birth, in my very early teens, God moved me over a period of years, by what I read in the Scriptures, from rank Arminianism, to Reformed theology, which I embraced, and preached for 30 or so years, finally rejecting much of the ecclesiology, but holding firmly to the doctrines of grace.

As I prepared sermons, wrote Bible Studies and articles, I would often find myself challenged by Scripture, especially on matters ecclesiological, which caused, not a few, internal struggles. I dismissed the turmoil by reminding myself of what my systematic theology taught and the perceived need to be consistent with the system, which I adhered to.

After all, I subscribed to a Statement of Faith, which was thoroughly Reformed, and, I well knew that my tenure as the pastor would be very short if I upset the status quo, even if I could show the truth from Scripture. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was important to stick to what we had always done, regardless of the fact that some of our practices and beliefs were radically different to what Scripture revealed.

What would the denominational leaders say if the church allowed me to challenge some traditions which could not be sustained from Scripture? What would my peers in ministry say? I was already under a shadow of suspicion because I had already dared to be Reformed in a traditionally Arminian denomination, and to now suggest that, from an ecclesiological point of view that both the Arminian and Reformed might need to rethink some of what was accepted was close to being blasphemous in the eyes of those who saw themselves as the authoritative voices on denominational matters.

There is only one authoritative voice, no matter how famous or well recognized other voices are, and that is the Scriptures. Sola Scriptura.

Friday, January 21, 2011


There's a fellow blogger whom I've learned to love, whose grasp of Scripture I truly respect. He's an old-timer, just as I am. He's even got a similar hair-do! So he must be good :)!

Whatever you do have a look at his recent blogs, the latest of which is HOW FAMILY LEADERSHIP WORKS.

Make sure you read the previous three first, in the order written, WHO'S THE BOSS? ; I-YOU-WE; PERVERTED AUTHORITY.

Just to whet your interest he says, "This means that they were viewed to be gifted leaders by others and were thus appointed by the Holy Spirit and then recognized by the people. So that, even when the writer of Hebrews admonishes believers to follow the leadership of elders, it uses the Greek language that according to W.E. Vine, means [peitho] "to persuade, to win over, in the Passive and Middle Voices which indicates one voluntarily does so with an eye on their [The elders] character and life. [Hebrews 13:17]"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My walk with Christ began in my early teens, at which time, an aunt gave me a novel by a Congregational pastor, Charles Sheldon, it’s title, In His Steps. The story was written in 1896, and was read to the young people, a chapter at a time, on Sunday evening servicess in the Central Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas.

That novel had a huge impact on my life. Later, as Scripture began to open up for me, I was often reminded of the tramp, of whom Sheldon writes, and his words to a church full of people, words which helped me avoid the problem of regarding the Gospel as simply a list of abstract facts, about which we are to learn.

Even though fiction, I think the tramp’s words are important in the “Christian” climate in which many of us live today,

“I lost my job ten months ago. I am a printer by trade. The new linotype machines are beautiful specimens of invention, but I know six men who have killed themselves inside of the year just on account of those machines. Of course I don’t blame the newspapers for getting the machines. Meanwhile, what can a man do? I know I never learned but the one trade, and that’s all I can do. I’ve tramped all over the country trying to find something. There are a good many others like me. I’m not complaining, am I? Just stating facts. But I was wondering as I sat there under the gallery, if what you call following Jesus is the same thing as what He taught. What did He mean when He said: ‘Follow Me!’? The minister said,” — here he turned about and looked up at the pulpit — “that it is necessary for the disciple of Jesus to follow His steps, and he said the steps are ‘obedience, faith, love and imitation.’ But I did not hear him tell you just what he meant that to mean, especially the last step. What do you Christians mean by following the steps of Jesus?

“I’ve tramped through this city for three days trying to find a job; and in all that time I’ve not had a word of sympathy or comfort except from your minister here, who said he was sorry for me and hoped I would find a job somewhere. I suppose it is because you get so imposed on by the professional tramp that you have lost your interest in any other sort. I’m not blaming anybody, am I? Just stating facts. Of course, I understand you can’t all go out of your way to hunt up jobs for other people like me. I’m not asking you to; but what I feel puzzled about is, what is meant by following Jesus. What do you mean when you sing ‘I’ll go with Him, with Him, all the way?’ Do you mean that you are suffering and denying yourselves and trying to save lost, suffering humanity just as I understand Jesus did? What do you mean by it? I see the ragged edge of things a good deal. I understand there are more than five hundred men in this city in my case. Most of them have families. My wife died four months ago. I’m glad she is out of trouble. My little girl is staying with a printer’s family until I find a job. Somehow I get puzzled when I see so many Christians living in luxury and singing ‘Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee,’ and remember how my wife died in a tenement in New York City, gasping for air and asking God to take the little girl too. Of course I don’t expect you people can prevent every one from dying of starvation, lack of proper nourishment and tenement air, but what does following Jesus mean? I understand that Christian people own a good many of the tenements. A member of a church was the owner of the one where my wife died, and I have wondered if following Jesus all the way was true in his case. I heard some people singing at a church prayer meeting the other night,

‘All for Jesus, all for Jesus,
All my being’s ransomed powers,
All my thoughts, and all my doings,
All my days, and all my hours.’

and I kept wondering as I sat on the steps outside just what they meant by it.”

How familiar that all sounds to this old bird! The tramp had experienced exactly, the devastating cancer which a “Gospel” of abstract facts generates. Sadly that “Gospel” of abstract facts is far too common in the groups commonly called “church”.

Even into middle age, I was a zealous, sincere, idealist, but I created tsunami sized waves railing about the teachings of traditions different to mine, their founders and their “intellectualism without feet”, etc. I’m sure you know what I mean. Of course, I made sure that I emphasized how correct my own theological leaning were.

How utterly foolish! I was wasting my time, bashing my head against a brick wall, trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Only the living Lord, Jesus Christ can do that, indwelling a person by His Holy Spirit and molding the hearts and minds of sinful humans to be living stones in the Church He is building.

The Lord Jesus Christ, stands over the whole of history like an enormous beacon, and we waste time playing church in His shadow, jumping from ideas of human beings, sinners like you and me. Instead of rivers of living water flowing from us, we spend our time jumping from author to author, new idea to new idea, like stepping stones over the living waters.

Information, whether from the Scriptures or a Puritan, or any other author IS NOT transformation.

Causing sinners to become religious fountains of Biblical knowledge who have flat backsides from sitting on pews, will NEVER grow them into disciples of a living, functioning, ministering family of brethren bound into relationship with one another, by their relationship with their Savior and Lord, which He called “My Church” (Matt. 16:18)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Australia is Hurting

Been too ill to be writing lately, but wanted to alert anyone interested to what has been happening in Oz. The whole of Eastern Australia, roughly the same length as the Western Coast of USA, has been devastated by catastrophic flooding, the like of which I have seen only twice previously in my 72 years.

My wife, myself and family have not suffered any loss, but, literally thousands have lost everything of material value. Many lives have been lost when a wall of water swept through a small country town west of Brisbane, wiping it off the face of the map. At least 50 not yet accounted for.

To get a glimpse of what has happened check out the following web page of our Brisbane newspaper, the Courier Mail: