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Farewell Vienna

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One of the things I’d been looking forward to this year was  taking up invitations to speak at conferences in Vienna and Jakarta.  A couple of weeks back I wrote to the organisers of those conferences to notify them I would need to withdraw,  for over the last couple of months I have experienced a substantial deterioration  in physical health that makes international travel very difficult...

Hands Down The Best Investment We Can Ever Make

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One of the most thrilling moments I have ever witnessed occurred during the Live8 concert in 2005. A giant screen displayed footage from the 1980s famine in Ethiopia. It was distressing. Mothers with eyes evacuated of hope cradling emaciated babies; children too weak to play sitting quietly on the dusty ground surrounded by death. The camera zoomed in on one baby girl, gaunt, listless and just...

Why you should ask your pastor to stop preaching sermons against same-sex marriage

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I recently spent time with a friend who is a pastor. He was in the middle of a sermon series on contemporary issues and the topic for the following week was same-sex marriage. He held to a fairly stock-standard conservative evangelical approach and it was clear that his congregation expected him to articulate it. I suggested that when he preached the sermon his target shouldn’t be the 55 year old...

We Need a Reality Check on Energy Prices

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Rising energy prices have become a cause of widespread complaint and are cited as a reason we need to cling coal-powered electricity.   As far as I can tell all the anxiety around rising electricity prices is way out of proportion to reality. First, our electricity costs are only a small proportion of our household budgets. A 2012 ABS survey found that the households with the lowest 10% of income...

A Christmas without nativity scenes. Embracing my faith in a secular society

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I am holidaying with my family on The Gold Coast. We are staying in an apartment with spectacular views over the ocean. We have swum in the surf, laid on golden beaches, screamed with a mixture of fear and thrill on roller coasters at Movieworld, laughed ourselves hoarse as we share meals. We have dined and seen movies at Pacific Fair shopping centre, a massive complex that includes supermarkets...

On renovating my kitchen & upgrading my boat. What the producers of reality TV know that we don’t

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Sandy and I have watched the last few seasons of House Rules, a TV reality show in which couples renovate each other’s homes. What strikes me is that the attraction of the TV show is not the quality of the renovations produced – if it was we would not be watching amateurs do their thing – but the human drama. Will the couple whose home has been renovated like what they see? Will the...

Shake, rattle, roll. A Parkinsons Update.

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People often inquire how I’m going with my Parkinsons, so I thought I’d provide an update… Over the last few months I have deteriorated a bit. I take meds every 3.5 hours. When they have fully kicked in I move freely, but as they’re kicking in or wearing off my muscles stiffen and my hands tremor, sometimes wildly, and I shuffle about the house like an old man on speed...

Same-sex marriage and religious freedom.

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In an article published on the Moore College website Tony Payne argues that this election is different from any other in that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will threaten the freedom of Christians to proclaim the gospel. He does so with some humility, recognising that he may well be overstating the threat. I think he most surely is. As I understand it, there are two sets of laws under...

Why I Won’t Vote my Values

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The day of the 2010 Federal Election I cast my vote then took my eight year old son to his soccer match. Lachlan’s team was made up of kids from the Christian school he attended, which meant the majority of the parents at his game that day were evangelical Christians. When conversation turned to the election I commented that I had voted for the Greens. The response shocked me. Mouths dropped open...

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