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…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.


How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).


Parents, Kids Church leaders, and Christian school teachers should be intentional about shaping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ who have reasons for believing Christianity is true – which shapes them into virtuous contributors to society and to find their role in God’s Kingdom. This will be one of the necessary and indispensable means for the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ.


We live in a fast paced world. We expect things to happen quickly. None of us like to be kept waiting. Even when we order something online we expect it delivered straight away. Some of us having to work two or even three jobs just to be able to pay the bills. We describe ourselves as time-poor. Yet, we all get twenty-four-hours in a day. Sixty-minutes in an hour. And sixty-seconds in a minute. Most of us need to adjust how we see, understand, and treat our time. This will involve, what will be for some, adopting a foreign and largely unaccustomed view of time that involves worship, sabbath, and deepening relationships. From this biblical perspective we will come to see time as a gift from God, not a curse, or source of frustration. Within this gift of time God teaches us how to worship in those times when it is difficult to do so. Rather than thinking this divine gift of time is ours to do with what ever we want, God uses this gift to teach us that we should gift it back to Him beginning with (but not limited to) treating Sunday as a sabbath to come together to recommit our hearts, voices, minds, and presence with God’s people, back to God. God gives us passing time to learn to deepen relationships – especially with our kin, and our friends. Time is meant for relationship building. 


One of the greatest lies that the would-be enemy of all our souls attempts to perpetuate is that we are what we are and we can never change. This lie is whispered into the ears of many people’s invisible ears so imperceptibly that they actually think it originated with them. “You were born this way – and you can never change”, “This is who you really are – and you can never change”, “There’s no hope of anything ever changing for better – so you might as well just kill yourself” and so on. But these sly alien voices inside the heads of the vulnerable are lies. People can change. People do change. Some circumstances were always going to be temporary and were always going to change. I know this is true because I am living proof. I am who I am but I am not who I used to be and I am not yet who I will be.


It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  


Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2022 > October 7th > Who Builds A City On A HillFor those who don’t know, I was born in Geelong, and have always been fan of the Geelong Football Club. But I’m not just a fan, I’m a paid-up member of the Club. In fact, I’m a student...


This is not for everyone. If you are already a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my other more abstract Pastor’s Desk articles. If you are not a parent and have no intention of ever being a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my more weighty articles on FindingTruthMatters.org. If you are not yet a parent and one day hope to become a parent, this is for you. Find a quiet place, take the next six minutes thirteen seconds and use the reading of this article as an investment into your future parenting strategies. I did not invent these guidelines. Like many parents who have also discovered the value of these guidelines, once discovered, they seem obvious. These successful parents probably grew up with own parents who inculcated these guidelines almost intuitively. However, my suspicion is that this is becoming increasingly rarer. As with all true guidelines they are adaptable, flexible, and are not a guarantee of parental success — but if ignored they become the point in the mathematical problem solving where you can see you made an error in your working out. In other words, while these guidelines may not guarantee success, if ignored their neglect almost certainly leads to frustration and disappointment. Here are five indispensable guidelines for every prospective new parent.


I’ve been praying for Penn Jillette for some time now. It began when I first heard him ridicule the Bible and Christianity. My fascination with Penn (and Teller), and other world-class magicians, has been due to my pursuit to develop my craft of preaching. There are a lot of similarities between preachers and magicians (just as there is also a lot similarities between solo musicians and preachers). I seek to learn from magicians about how to keep an audience’s attention, how to tell a story, and how to make a point by employing the element of surprise. But there are some significant differences between what magicians do and what preachers do though. A magician is deliberately deceptive. A preacher is striving to uphold truth in an honest way.