Sometimes I feel like the luckiest man in the world


We are sitting side by side on a flight to Brisbane. Ours was the first flight out this morning, which meant we were up at 4am. Sandy dozes beside me and I once more find myself incredibly thankful that this woman has shared her life with me. We’ve been married for 30+ years and yes, we each have annoying little quirks. When Sandy pulls out one of her many lists that demand certain chores...

I still miss her like crazy


Two years ago I wrote a blog piece “She’s moving out today” in which I described my thoughts, feelings and hopes as my daughter Jessica left home to undertake an acting diploma in Sydney. Two nights ago she graduated. How those two years have flown! In what seems a very short space of time I’ve had the joy and satisfaction of watching Jess learn the art of acting. I was blown away by the skills...

She’s Moving Out Today


On the weekend we helped our daughter Jess move into her own apartment. What a bittersweet experience! I am thrilled for her. She’s an amazing young woman, full of life and ready to take on the world. As we bought furniture, moved things old from our home and things old and new into her new home, it was lovely to see her excitement. Setting up a new life in a new city, making new friends...

Why Love is the Greatest Threat to Marriage


In recent days there has been much discussion about the meaning of marriage and threats to it. It is with some interest then that I am reading Marriage. A History. From Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz. Coontz shows that for most of human history marriage had very little to do with love and intimacy. It served goals such as securing links between families...

Have we made an idol of the family?


A few years ago the Family First political party arose, with strong links into the Christian church. It struck me at the time that perhaps we were putting more emphasis upon the family than the Bible does. The debate around marriage equality has raised the question again with the claim that children need access to a family unit that includes a mother and a father. I wonder if we have not bought...

When doing nothing is doing everything


Yesterday was a day spent with my son. We played a closely fought set of table tennis, went for a swim during which we threw a football back and forth, duelled with with water pistols, and experimented with lying on the bottom of the pool. In the late afternoon we went to the cinema, picked up pizza on the way home, and watched Terminator 3 on DVD. All simple things that were really just an...

Living inside a Peter Allen song


I sit on the Sydney to Newcastle train and feel like I’m living inside a Peter Allen song. This is the final leg of a journey home from Izmir, Turkey that saw me pass through Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney. I can’t wait to see Sandy and the kids. “I still call Australia home” is running through my head and I feel like bursting into song. I find there is nothing like...

On the occasion of Sandy’s birthday


Today is my wife’s birthday, and it causes me to reflect on the extraordinary people we get to share life with. Sandy and I have been together since we were eighteen years old. She is without doubt the great love of my life, and I am humbled by the fact that she chooses to spend her life with me. I want to say words that sum up who she is, but whatever I come up with seems inadequate. How...

On the Importance of Skipping Stones


Lachlan and I spent the weekend in the Barringtons, glorious countryside just northwest of Newcastle, at our annual church camp. On Saturday afternoon all the boys went horseriding, but after a not-so-good experience last year, Lachlan decided he wouldn’t join them. Instead we spent two hours hanging out together. We played cricket, then explored the river. We skipped stones across it and...

Jesus and “Family Values”. How Did We Turn One of the Greatest Critics of the Family Into the Champion of Family Values?


“Family values” have become synonymous with a Conservative Christian agenda. The family is boldly proclaimed the God-ordained and fundamental building block of society, which, given such a grand status, must be protected at all costs. The only problem with this is that Jesus seems to have considered the family highly problematic. Not only was he unmarried and childless, but he claimed...

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