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Healthy, Growing and Full of Love

Catch up with the latest church news and pastoral reflections in our weekly blog

..for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 65:23b-24

In 2012 Heather and I moved back from Japan, and a few months after landing we felt God deposit something of a love for Chatswood in our hearts.

In 2020 we felt God rekindle that love, and begin igniting in us a heart to serve a local church there.

…it’s amazing how many times in scripture we read of years passing between God’s initial word to someone, before the fulfillment of the word.

One thing we felt strongly about was being the kind of church that the city wanted around…that if we were to ever shut down or move on, the community would say “No! Please don’t go, you do so much good here!”

…but we didn’t really know where to start. We wanted to be a practical blessing to the city, but we didn’t have strong connections or networks in the area.

Then someone we had a loose connection with put a call out for a double pram for a family moving from an unhealthy environment into safer accommodation, the same week that Heather and I had spoken about getting rid of our double pram which was collecting dust in the garage. I responded to the request, and when I met the lady, it turned out she was the Chairperson of the Board for a Women’s Refuge just down the road from church in Chatswood, and in desperate need of practical help. Coincidence? I think not...

All of a sudden that verse (above) that God responds to His people even before they call on Him, came alive to me. God knew what was in our hearts, and even though I’d not even begun carrying it before Him in prayer, He still made a way!

I was initially a little hesitant because our heart was for somewhere we could invest on a long-term basis, and the backyard blitz seemed likely to just be a once off…but 3 years and multiple working bees and projects later, we have become the people Women & Children First call when they need helpful hands and generous hearts. And it’s an absolute God-given-privilege to be so.

We wish they didn’t need to exist, but as long as they do, we want them to be recipients of the blessing that we’ve had so richly bestowed on us.

I posted on our WhatsApp recently a photo of Chris Ryburn installing some hanging hooks for school bags at the Refuge.

In case the Refuge didn’t have any screws Chris brought along a selection of old ones from his shed. And when I say old ones, I mean these screws had been waiting decades. There was something beautifully poetic about him using screws he’d brought across the Tasman from New Zealand some 40 years ago just in case he needed them at some point.

God knows our hearts, the good and the bad. And as Boris said on Sunday, even when things don’t happen as quickly or how we hoped, even when we’re not being used as we’d like, we can have absolute confidence that God is doing the deep work of formation in us - He cares much more about what He’s doing in you, than through you.

Don’t despise the waiting…for the days of God’s fulfilment are like the sweetest of fruit.


Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Psalm 8:2

We’re currently away for a few days, enjoying school holidays. We were excited to see a family arrive shortly after us and move into the apartment next to us. Whilst we kept to ourselves on Tuesday while it rained outside, the sun came out on Wednesday and the kids quickly found each other. They ran on the beach, collected shells, marvelled at dolphins, I took them out on the stand up paddle board...and then walking back to our apartment, our 9 year old neighbour asked, “Do you guys know and love Jesus?"

“Yes we do” Heather replied.

“Great, we do too!”

Out of the mouths of babes

I love hearing the stories, testimonies, and encouragements coming out of our kids programs…I love seeing the friendships being forged, the truths being deposited, and the ways that these young people are developing a living relationship with the living God.

It feels like the fastest growing demographic among out little church family is our kids…and that means there’s more space in the kids team for you! We’re even looking to start a new group for some of our youngest members called ’Sparkles’, and we’d love you to play a part.

You could join as a leader, or a helper…help to prepare crafts, or holiday programs…help out once every month or two, or dream up an idea for a Christmas play!

Whatever your level of capacity and inspiration, we’d love to have you as part of what God is doing!

I still remember things I learnt about God and my relationship with him from kids church…and I can’t help but wonder whether being a part of a healthy and thriving kids church is part of what led this young lady to ask some new holiday friends if they knew and loved Jesus. I want that kind of boldness in my life, and I want it for all of our children as well.

Big love and grace,



One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.

Psalm 145:4

Church isn’t the building, the structures, or even the gatherings…it’s the people, WE are the church.

And one of the most precious things about being the church, is being a family of God with genuine relationships across the generations. There’s nowhere else in the world that a 14 year old and a 74 year old can share deeply and pray for each other in perfect mutuality!

I loved hearing my 5 year old ask questions of a 26 year old guy about communion as we took it together a few weeks back…I love that multiple generations will be represented at Park Days…I love that we’re still in church with the couple who spent time preparing Heather and I for marriage (15 years ago!), and now I'm playing futsal with their son on Monday nights…I love that those who have walked a few more steps in life have made themselves available to walk a few more alongside others. I LOVE these things…it’s part of what it is to be a multi-generational church!

Sometimes these connections and relationships happen organically, at other times there will be events to jump in on…either way, our heart is that we truly would be a multi-generational church where every generation is not just honoured and invested in, but also investing in others.

Psalm 145 (quoted above) is an acrostic poem and was written by David, whose life we’re looking at over the next 8 weeks.

David longed for God’s people to encourage each other in praise…that an older generation might inspire a younger generation to praise by remembering God’s mighty acts in the past, and that a young generation might stir praise in an older generation by declaring the fresh and new things God was doing.

Commenting on this Psalm, Charles Spurgeon said“The generations shall herein unite: together they shall make up an extraordinary history. Each generation shall contribute its chapter, and all the generations together shall compose a volume of matchless character.”

It was said of David that he had served God’s purpose in his own generation (Acts 13:36)…let’s together ensure sure that our generation contributes its chapter, and the generations of those around us, do the same!

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