Posts by brian

Things that get in the way…

Posted by on Sep 25, 2022 in Blog | 2 comments

You’ve probably not spent a lot of time thinking about the troublesome little song recorded in 1 Samuel 18:7 “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” To all intents and purposes it led to a civil war, which was a pretty devastating and dramatic outcome for a song simply meant to celebrate a significant change in Israel’s military fortunes. Israel knew only too well what it was to be defeated in war, but now that Saul was king and David was a significant warrior in his army – well, the taste of victory was a lot sweeter than its opposite, and...

Read More

Truth, Goodness, Beauty: Cultivating a Christian Voice

Posted by on Sep 18, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

I recently spoke at the Christian Media and Arts Australia conference on “Truth, Goodness, Beauty: With What Voice Should we Speak in Today’s Culture?” It’s a genuinely important question, and AVENIR, the Leadership Institute I now lead, was closely involved in the program design and presentations. It was a real privilege and I think it was a very significant conference. Given that the voice of Christian media is heard by several million Australians every week (and there were representatives from other countries as well) – it is obviously important that those...

Read More

Moody Weeks, Volatile Weeks…

Posted by on Sep 11, 2022 in Blog | 4 comments

I don’t know if you are a “steady as she goes” kind of person, or one who is a little more stormy. By and large I fall into the calm category, but this week I have been reminded that even calm people have volatile periods – precisely because I have had one! Interesting how things go wonderfully to plan – until they don’t. Yup, it’s been that kind of week. Goodness, there was even the death of the Queen. Her passing leaves a void that is unlikely to be filled. In short, it’s hard to see how things could have been worse. Pleasingly several of my...

Read More

Between Toxic Positivity and a Deus Remotus…

Posted by on Sep 4, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

Toxic positivity is a new buzz word which rightly laments the irritating habit of attributing something positive to everything that happens, the kind of “if life serves you lemons, make lemonade” mindset which undergirds most bumper stickers and many sermon slogans. It’s an attitude that makes it near impossible to own failure, unless it is spoken of in the past tense: “Once long ago, before I solved everything.” It leaves us viewing lament with suspicion, and blocks attempts to face and own the pain of life. You can find it in the workplace, in churches and in...

Read More

Where our best prayers take us…

Posted by on Aug 28, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

My previous post noted the passing of Frederick Buechner and tapped into some of his wisdom. In this one I’d like to explore a passing comment which appears in a series of rapid fire advice in his memoir Telling Secrets. It’s:”Go where your best prayers take you.” Why do I love this? First, it’s refreshing to acknowledgment that some prayers are better than others – we have our “best prayers”, but also our selfish prayers, our tiny prayers, our insular prayers, our sectarian prayers, our fearful prayers. What do our best prayers look like? They...

Read More