Showing posts from 2013


I am writing this on New Year's eve from the base of Fatherheart Ministries at the Eden Centre in New Zealand.  It's not my usual blog style but it is something we recently sent out to our friends around the world. We have been home in NZ since early November.  This started with four weeks at the Inheriting the Nations School on Great Barrier Island.  It was excellent being there at the end of a full year.  I love doing the teaching there on Church History but also connecting with so many people that we  encounter during the course of our year.   The last year has been full and very satisfying.  It has been brilliant meeting many friends in their home locations and we are truly grateful for the hospitality extended to us that we have enjoyed.  Sadly, we still count different beds!!  It was 86 this year. Recently we were asked what was the best thing in 2013 for us.  Without hesitation it is the week when we had all three of our children and their families with


This week I have been speaking at a Fatherheart School at Rheinfelden in Germany. This small town sits on the north bank of the river Rhine opposite the Swiss town of the same name. The School was held in the old castle on the banks of the river called Schloss Beuggen. It is a beautiful old castle that is now used by the Lutheran Church of Germany as a conference centre. Each day we gathered in a room in the old part of the castle for the sessions of the School.  The 14th Century casement windows looked out on three sides down to t he dark waters of the Rhine that flowed below.  This section of the river flows fast and deep. The old gate house of the castle has the date 1543 carved over the door way.  The castle has seen many events over the centuries.  In the 16th Century the area of Rheinfelden was a hotbed of reformation zeal and the new teaching of Martin Luther that it was only possible to know God through a personal relationship with his son Jesus.  They taught that Jesus c


There is something romantic about the thought of living a simpler life.   For the last week we have been in Pennsylvania.  This American state has one of the largest Amish communities in it. The Amish are the decendants of some of the most radical reformers of the Sixteenth century, the Anabaptists. These groups were on the cutting edge of what God was doing back then. They refused to settle for the status quo, to be subjected to the restrictions imposed by the State churches of Europe.  Large numbers fled to the USA in search of a place to practice their faith in freedom and without state interference.  Now there are many Amish communities across the States.  Their radical cutting edge beginnings have locked them in a time warp of the past rather than in the 21st century. Today they are living in the past and resisting change and fighting to keep the modern world at a distance.  This expresses itself by dressing in an old fashioned way, refusing modern conveyances such as motoris


Last year I had the privilege to meet Paul Young, the author of 'The Shack'.  I particularly enjoyed hearing how he came to write the book and to learn that other books were in the pipeline.  'Crossroads', which came out a while ago, was the first of these. The hint he gave me last year was that there were more planned too.  So it was with some degree of anticipation that I bought a copy of the new book and began reading it. I wondered if it would come up to the level that The Shack did.  Well, I've finished it now. I enjoyed it and should have remembered not to have read it on a plane because here and their it made my eyes leak a little.  Thankfully not as much as reading his first book. I think the flight crew thought I was having a complete emotional breakdown when I read The Shack on a flight from New Zealand. This book was good in many ways.  In places it reached almost the same level of inspiration and dare I say revelation, as his first book, but those plac


Three months in New Zealand is coming to an end. It has been a very enjoyable time for us both. It started with a month on Great Barrier Island teaching at the Inheriting the Nations School that is run by Fatherheart Ministries. After a fairly hectic few months it was very good to be able to be in one place for a whole month and enjoy the slower pace of life this afforded.  Then came Christmas and the whirl of family, friends and feasting. The next few weeks were taken up with the wonderful joy of having all of our three children and their spouses and all seven of the grandchildren together in New Zealand. This was the first time some had been together as the twins were meeting their Aussie cousins for the first time.  It was a really good time.  We played together and feasted, enjoyed the sunshine and just being all in the same place for a short time. Family is such a high value for us and it so reflects the heart of God for us all. He made us to be in families. In his heart befor