home > Pastor’s Desk >2022 >JULY 22ND>LOVE IN ACTION


Physical illnesses and stressful events are endemic in our society. They can be likened to the thorns that cause both pain and damage. It doesn’t take much for them to impact a person’s life in ways that they did not expect. I believe that we can become more resilient as followers of Jesus by applying an appropriate solution to a known problem. I believe that an appropriate and important part of the solution is for us to show love the way that Jesus demonstrated love during His ministry on earth.

On a recent trip to Bathurst in NSW I struck up a conversation with a young man who was into mountain bikes and riding in the Bathurst area. This young man was a keen rider and was able to provide me with some warnings. Apparently, the Bathurst region has a problem with thorns. These are prolific and large enough to easily puncture mountain bike tyres. Any deviation from the track, I was warned, would most likely end with a flat tyre.

Soon after this conversation I went for a ride and decided to ride off the track to get to the start of another track. The words of the young man I had conversed with turned out to be accurate. The next day I had to go in search of a new inner tube. What I found available was very interesting, given the known thorn problem in the area. I was able to purchase a ‘thorn resistant’ inner tube. The tube contained the same self-sealing solution that riders use on tubeless mountain bike tyres. This allows the tube to self-seal for holes up to 3mm in diameter.

In this example, equipment manufacturers responded by suppling a product that provided a solution to a known problem. One that affects many people. An appropriate solution was applied for a particular circumstance. Just as thorns will destroy the integrity of a bike’s inner tube, the integrity of our health and relationships can also be damaged by influences that are endemic to our environment.

Recently, I was staying at Bathurst with my immunosuppressed daughter. While I was there, our plans changed. She contacted Covid-19 and I became a close contact.  During her isolation period, God was merciful. I remained Covid negative for the entire isolation period. My presence allowed her to recover in her home rather be admitted to hospital. I had been granted the opportunity to be her on-site provider of care, including administration of anti-viral medication, monitoring her symptoms and providing encouragement. I believe that God showed His love to both of us by permitting me to be in a position to love and care for my sick daughter, who has since made a full recovery.

Love Defined by Action

Writing to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul explains what love involves as well as what it should not be.

Some of the points Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 13:2-3,7-8 include:-

  • If I have not love, I am nothing.
  • If I have not love, I gain nothing.
  • Love bears all things.
  • Love endures all things.
  • Love never ends.

When we look at these points in the context of God’s love for us, we should be motivated to develop strategies to show love to others that are suited to the nature of the ‘thorns’ that we are aware may affect the people we know

Is there something small we can do?

So, how can be show love to those in need? Sometimes there are/can be situations where we feel lost or overwhelmed to the point where we don’t know how to respond. In many situations we are unable to fix the problem a person is experiencing. That is okay. What we can do is to show love through small gestures. We can be present. We can allow the person we are attending to be heard without interruption and without comparing our hurts with theirs. We can look for and help to meet needs. We can drop off a meal. We can offer to accompany them to an appointment. We can mow the lawn or assist with housework. We don’t have to have all the answers to the “thorn” that is affecting this person’s life, however, we can show God’s love so that His light can shine into what may be a dark place. When God’s light shines on us, some of it will reflect outwards so that others can see Him in us.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Psalms 67:1-2

Marks of the True Christian

Paul’s letter to the church in Rome gives us further insight into the role of love as we minister to each other.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.
Romans 12:9-10

If we are aware of the ‘thorns’ that exist in the lives of those we know, it might be possible to anticipate what may come. If we anticipate, we may be able to prepare and be ready, so that we can be a loving part of the healing process for a hurting person who is loved by God.

Your Executive pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

1 Comment

  1. Gordie

    Terrific message Tony!! Timely words…
    I need a lot of work on my grace and humility. Had a mate in Melbourne yesterday texting me that he had discouraged a person interested in Christianity by telling him he saw a “documentary proving” that Jericho never existed. I sent him the detailed archeological history from Encyclopaedia Brittanica on Jericho and asking if he thinks that’s a hoax and he replies backtracking that he meant the city existed but the Bible’s “claims” were not. I had totally the wrong reaction and actually wanted to reach through the phone and punch him! I’d better Re-read Peter and John on the right way to counter critics I guess…


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Spare a thought for those people who are often overlooked by churches—and if they are Christians—they frequently struggle to even find a suitable church where they can deepen their relationship with Christ. Often we think of those who struggle with life as those who are “down and out” and blighted by impoverishment, or destitution, or ill-health, or family breakdown, or poor mental health. But surprisingly, even those who are seen as super-successful because of their wealth, social stature, public acclaim or amazing achievements, are actually struggling with loneliness, emptiness, and poor mental health — even if they are a Christian. These super-successful Christians are CEOs of large companies, or world-class or national sporting champions, or internationally renowned performing artists, or A-lister actors, or media personalities, or highly sought after professionals such as surgeons or barristers. They often pay a high price for their success, including, long work hours, constant stress, public criticism, extended time away from their families, fierce competition, and strained marriages. These pressures are exacerbated by their constant travel associated with their work which also makes them vulnerable to exhaustion and extraordinary temptations. This is why these super-successful Christians need to join the kind of church that can provide them with the kind of support, counsel, and accountability that every Christian needs. Here’s how a church can become this kind of church.


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I like to think I have a pretty good memory.  I like to think I’m organised.  Generally, I am – I don’t double book appointments, I keep track of what I’m doing and when, I mostly turn up on time. But, on reflection, I’m not so sure this means I have a good memory.


“You were lying in your bed, you were feeling kind of sleepy.
But you couldn’t close your eyes because the room was getting creepy.
Were those eyeballs in the closet? Was that Godzilla in the hall?
There was something big and hairy casting shadows on the wall.
Now your heart is beating like a drum, your skin is getting clammy.
There’s a hundred tiny monsters jumping right into your jammies”!

These are lyrics from a song on the very first Veggie Tales video every made. The title of the song?  “God is bigger than the Boogie Man”. Junior Asparagus was lying in bed frightened, and Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber appeared to tell him that he doesn’t have to be scared of the imaginary monsters because, “God is the bigger.” My childhood night-time fears weren’t so much about big and hairy monsters, aka boogie men, or Godzilla in the hall. My fears were house fires – our home burning down, and “burglars” or “robbers”. But I certainly identify with lying in bed, my heart beating like a drum, my skin getting clammy, my imagination in overdrive.


In 1871, the American evangelist, Dwight (“DL”) Moody was preaching to huge crowds each night in Chicago. At the end of each message he would give an appeal for people to either respond immediately to the gospel message he had just presented, or at least go home and consider it. But on Sunday October 8th, 1871, a huge fire broke out in Chicago. It burned through the city for days and became known as The Great Chicago Fire. Around 10,000 people were homeless as a result, and hundreds of people lost their lives. Moody was heart-broken when he realised that many of the people who had died were the people who had attended that Sunday night meeting where he had urged them to consider accepting Christ. His deep grief over this tragedy led him to make a vow that he would never again merely urge people to simply consider accepting Christ. From now on, he vowed, he would plead with all those he preached to – to immediately turn away from their sins and turn to the Saviour. DL Moody committed his life and ministry as an evangelist to be someone who would always strive to close the deal because he was now aware—more than ever—that people’s eternal destinies were in jeopardy! 


The three things that make the Christian life exciting and enthralling are the same three things that enable a believer to develop a closer relationship with God. The combination of these supernatural gifts gives the child of God an awareness that there is more, much more, to this world than we can see, touch, taste or feel. When the Christian’s faith is grounded and buttressed in God’s Word, godly prayer, and God’s house he or she flourishes. But there are forces at play that are determined to stop the believer from reaching their spiritual destiny. While we might think these enemy forces only use the fiery darts of doubt to hinder the believer’s journey to glory, there is something that they successfully use far more often: our mood. This is why, for any church to be successful, it must discover how to build moody church.


The amazing thing about prayer, is that nearly everyone does it – but hardly anyone thinks they do it well. If you visit any Christian bookstore you will notice that the largest display of books is about prayer. And it’s not just Christian bookstores where you’ll find books on prayer. Regular bookstores also sell a wide range of books on prayer (even if they do classify them as books on ‘meditation’!). One of the most frequently searched questions on Google is, “How to pray” (which then points enquirers to over 2.3 billion web pages answering their question). But in all of human history – and two thousand years before anyone but one had ever heard of Google – there was just One person who was supremely qualified to answer this question. And fortunately for those of us who really want to know the answer to this question (without having to peruse more than 2.3 billion web pages!) He gave us the answer.


Why is it that two people can look at exactly the same evidence and can come to completely different conclusions about it? Even more puzzling is how two equally qualified scientific experts can look at the same data and utterly disagree about what it means. This happens many times in court cases where the prosecution will call their “expert witness” to give his or her professional opinion to verify that the defendant is guilty only to have the defence to present their “expert witness” who gives his or her professional opinion as to why the prosecution’s expert witness was wrong and to prove that defendant is innocent! This at least illustrates why it is not always the quality of the evidence that leads a person to accept or reject a claim. This especially apply to the claims that Jesus Christ made. Of the four accounts in the New Testament written about His life, three of them were written by eye-witnesses and the other one (Luke’s) was written by someone who interviewed many eye-witnesses. It is with interest that we turn to the last one to be John’s Gospel, where he describes dramatic proofs that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Yet despite these otherwise inexplicable proofs that at times thousands of people witnessed, many still wouldn’t believe. But it seems among those who did believe they all had one thing in common.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2022 > JUNE 3rd > UNPACKING CHRISTIANITY UNPACKING CHRISTIANITY I have a thing for bags. Not shopping bags or lady’s handbags, but manly bags - functional bags. A few years back I became fed-up with the number of bags I was...


When I turned 50, I decided to do something really difficult. I enrolled in a university course to learn Biblical Greek. And, trust me when I say, this in no way is a brag – because I struggled through it and took far far longer than the average Biblical Greek student ordinarily takes to complete this course. I had to do twenty translation tests and then two major translations exams of the New Testament’s Greek text into English. I scraped through the course and somehow managed to pass it. I can testify that learning another language later in life is really hard! This is why I have the utmost respect for non-English-speaking migrants who come to our country and manage to learn English. Learning languages is not the only thing I find difficult. I envy those people who do the things easily that I find difficult to do or understand (like quadratic mathematic equations for example). Over the years I have pondered why it is that different people doing the same task can result in a person finding it incredibly easy who then gets it done quickly, and why another other person finds it next-to-impossible and as a result gives up trying to do it. I have discovered the answer to this conundrum lies in the “mat” principle.