Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Through Failure is a better way to Succeed

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Success always waits to walk into the room after failure has embarrassed us. The key is not being put off by our embarrassment. Keep thinking appreciatively.
Shame and guilt cost us so much. We leave something prematurely, or become despondent, when all along it was persistence that was going to prove the way was worth it.
We are so bothered about how we look we lose sight of how wonderful we are when we say, ‘Oh well, I’ll keep going anyway.’
Our minds are our sharpest critic. Our shame gear kicks into overdrive and before we know we are apologising for what many people did not even see.
Our hearts are so vulnerable. We want kudos for our works and initiative, when God is set on keeping it secret, so a richer reward would be ours.
The time has come to embrace the embarrassing faux pas and put it straight without feeling guilty. The time is ripe to make a hash of something with the intention of succeeding, knowing that our intention was sincere and pure. The time is now to be ready to fail.
We never intend to fail. We are never so brash. But in moving forward and ahead we shouldn’t fear moving further behind. Indeed, when it seems like we’re getting behind can actually be God putting us ahead — His strange way of reversing fortunes.
Imagine not being afraid of failure. Imagine not experiencing that anxiety that comes with performance. We can care and at the same time risk. Sometimes when we risk, we find the best way to care.
Our best successes come after we have failed and possibly many times. Success came because we did not give up.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Gloriously wounded, wondrously broken

Image copyright: SJ Creative

GRIEF insists on changing us. We are changed for the moment, and change is occurring, and keeps occurring, whether we like it or not.
In grief is the reminder that life is not right. We may be haunted by a truth that just seems too stark. Yet it’s incredible how, from hindsight, we can adapt to such a state of intrapersonal chaos. We learn that we’re vulnerable, and ultimately we learn to accept how vulnerable we are.
The key to coming close to God in our grief is to accept that we are gloriously wounded, wondrously broken — for His glory, and for His Kingdom’s sake. There is nothing sadistic about this. It is pure genius on the part of God to enable us a way to thrive even, especially, in a season of torment.
Not that the season is made any easier. Indeed, it’s the depth of our woundedness and the breadth of our brokenness that drives us deep into the heart of God. This is where God’s Presence is cavernous in all the best ways. Unfathomable is His comfort when we are forlorn, yet reaching for Him alone, believing in His Presence, even as we lie there abandoned, seemingly wasting away.
It is interesting that my memories of this Presence that God shared with me were during a dark night season many years ago. Such a Presence was known in grief, in the search, in the faith of His intercession, and in His unfailing Word, which I devoured. The most glorious mystery is that these moments, few though they were in number, have compelled my faith ever since.
Now God’s Presence seems to work a different way. No longer is there the abysmal season of grief, but there is the starkness as it returns for a day here and a day there. It’s like God wants to remind me for others’ sake, that there is a rich legacy in being kept connected with our grief. It is dearly a rich possession.
Glorious is the accepted truth of woundedness — it is what it is — and so, too, the wondrousness in brokenness. These two give access the Presence of God, such that others who are not stricken by grief do not have the privilege of such access. God draws near to us, the broken-hearted and overwhelmed, when we seek Him with all our heart.
When the season is untenably tough, yet God’s Presence is undeniably real.

We are gloriously wounded and wondrously broken when we find the true God through it.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Explore, process and contain feelings

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

TOO many people I meet are at a loss as to what to do about feelings. Many are afraid to go there, worried they will breach a dam wall of tears, and not be able to stop the torrent. Others don’t see the point going somewhere ‘unproductive’ in this sink-or-swim, just-keep-up world.
What can we do with our feelings? How do we make them work for us? How can we contain them?
I want to suggest three ways we can be proactive in terms of our feelings:
1.      Explore feelings – feelings beg to be explored. Yet, to engage in this process involves such courage. But, the reward is immense as we tap into our truth. Our feelings are our barometer for the truth that has happened to us. Exploration really is about saying I must honour my truth, for without it I betray myself. Sometimes, especially where trauma is present, it is best to enter into exploration with the help of a therapist we feel safe with. Any feelings we explore are to be free of judgment. We allow our feelings the sanctity of their existence. Our feelings are there for good reason. They are a product of our experience. The endpoint of exploration is that we can live with our feelings. We own the fact that they belong. Now we can process our feelings.
2.      Process feelings – having explored our feelings, they now can be processed. What does that mean? It’s a process of reflection and meaning-making, such that we can differentiate what is of value, and therefore to be retained, from what is not of value, that may be discarded. Processing is a way of curating our experience, and it is aided by journaling or any other format of recording what is meaningful in a way that is meaningful.
3.      Contain feelings – having processed our feelings, containment is possible. Power is granted to contain our feelings once we have engaged with exploration and processing. Containment really is another word for acceptance. Our feelings reside in a bubble, safe for appropriate access, and they are no longer a danger to us.
Our feelings are meant to be a blessing to us. They can only be a blessing though when we explore their truth, process their depth, and contain their power.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

THIRD THOUSAND – 10,000 Reasons

THIRD THOUSAND – 10,000 Reasons
My challenge is to compile 10,000 Reasons for my gratitude to God for His goodness. It commenced on January 22. This third thousand spans the days of February 11 to 20, 2018. My first thousand can be found here. My second thousand can be found here. Here is my third thousand…
11 February 2018

2001.                   The beauty in waking up in a peaceful household, area, city, nation
2002.                   It doesn’t matter what I know if I knew who created me
2003.                   For the music I’ll worship to today
2004.                   For the prayers the Holy Spirit will ask me to pray today
2005.                   That today I will be asked to intercede for at least three people
2006.                   The rubber between the road and the wheels of our car – faithful tyres
2007.                   An early night last night
2008.                   A full night’s sleep
2009.                   An early enough morning to do a few things before the day starts
2010.                   For floss – that God not only provides us our bodies, but minds to invent cleaning products
2011.                   For the stars, which He knows by name, and must therefore know each of us intimately
2012.                   For the reminder to get back to someone experiencing deep grief
2013.                   How social media helps us scan our networks, and how it helps me even pray
2014.                   I even have time to write if only I had some inspiration
2015.                   Found something I’d already written – happy with it now
2016.                   Just how many creatures God has made!
2017.                   When the mind says, ‘There is something else I must do’ – the need to remember to do something
2018.                   Early morning bird noises
2019.                   Reconciling matters and the peace it brings – the beauty in reconciliation until life is no more
2020.                   Thought that life itself is so often taken for granted – life doesn’t last forever
2021.                   For the little Bible that I can see that I received at my Baptism
2022.                   For the words, thank you. Not thankyou
2023.                   The blessing that around 80 young (and not so young) men were this morning
2024.                   That God is faithful to his word regarding my performance
2025.                   For the fact that time moves
2026.                   For the hope that never ceases within me at present
2027.                   For the pressure of time that compels action
2028.                   For the school principal and his hands-on approach
2029.                   That I was able to get my work clothes ironing done already
2030.                   For the packing my wife is doing while I do this
2031.                   For Mark and Michael I met and got to know today
2032.                   For Micale I reacquainted with today
2033.                   For Wayne and Andrew I met and got to know today
2034.                   For Peter and George and their supervisory gifts
2035.                   For Steve, James and Dave
2036.                   For the young man I met whose Dad played first-class cricket for Haryana in India
2037.                   For God’s grace in presenting anything when I get into that zone
2038.                   For the room temperature chocolate I just consumed
2039.                   That I can visit a person in hospital tomorrow
2040.                   That there is some calm before the storm
2041.                   Well behind at 7:46 PM but I dare not panic
2042.                   Good quality time hearing my wife read Veggie Tales to my son
2043.                   That my wife waited patiently (and is always patient) as I stayed behind for the Elders meeting
2044.                   For the company my wife had as she waited
2045.                   For every morsel of delicious food consumed at the morning tea this morning
2046.                   For everyone who served in setting up and cleaning up
2047.                   The way my wife sits down on a chair
2048.                   Quiet household, apart from son who is still awake
2049.                   The interests my wife has on her smart phone – currently it’s camping equipment
2050.                   My body is in good shape as far as aches and pains are concerned
2051.                   The chit chat on staff WhatsApp page – reveals great culture
2052.                   For the planning going into my next sermon
2053.                   Great thing to keep moving forward
2054.                   God is not finished with me yet
2055.                   Learning how Jesus is a game changer
2056.                   Is Jesus a cause for good? Most Australians say yes!
2057.                   Just the process of learning
2058.                   Ancient history
2059.                   The fact that one hundred years from now none of us will be remembered, but Jesus will
2060.                   That God berates me when I speak to my wife without respect
2061.                   So thankful for Jesus’ courage to teach so counterculturally
2062.                   Thankful for the apostle Paul’s testimony
2063.                   That there is something Jesus wants me to do
2064.                   Thankful for the fruit of faith and repentance
2065.                   For the sermon I just listened to, for Karl
2066.                   For the brief chat I had on the phone with my eldest daughter
2067.                   For the play, Anyman – invited tomorrow night
2068.                   For the courage and humility anyone has to recover from addiction
2069.                   Ready to change the world
2070.                   For passion invoked courage
2071.                   For a free BBQ
2072.                   For wisdom and balance that acknowledges limits
2073.                   Also, for when I push my limits a little more
2074.                   My wife’s smile
2075.                   For a particular relationship that has blossomed in the past 24 hours
2076.                   That our new home lies vacant, waiting for us to move in
2077.                   I will have a new, slightly better shed
2078.                   We will have an outdoor area!
2079.                   We will have a garage door
2080.                   For the transformations that occur when men talk honestly with other men
2081.                   For exposure to new things – they influence me
2082.                   For the courage to send open messages
2083.                   For the SAFE church organisation that runs out of our church
2084.                   Hopes for relationships to be built with those of other cultures
2085.                   Grateful for the help we will get to move
2086.                   Thankful for being able to talk to my wife whilst laying on our bed – seeing her sideways
2087.                   Reflecting on a key couple friendship and how I could have done better
2088.                   How my sciatic nerve reminds me to get up out of my seat
2089.                   For the size of my cup
2090.                   That I can differentiate between tasks and people
2091.                   For the hopes I have of writing something significant in the next hour or two
2092.                   For this flipped out messed up world we are not supposed to make sense of
2093.                   For the time off I anticipate having tomorrow
2094.                   That the year is still young
2095.                   That two months from now will be time for a break
2096.                   So thankful that I have my wife by my side
2097.                   When a social media influx commences – online community
2098.                   Hoping my text message to a friend is an encouragement
2099.                   For my hemp hand cream – part of a gift from being on a school camp
2100.                   Toast!
2101.                   Well, at 27 down at only 7 PM I thought it would be an uphill task – nice to make it
2102.                   Knowing in nature there’s a yin and yang – like the 1 and the 0 in binary
2103.                   For the fact that I realise that loneliness makes two

12 February 2018

2104.                   Reading an honest post about how a man is coping with his grief – grateful for his guts
2105.                   For the food that I have in abundance, but which I’m too blessed to receive
2106.                   For my old faithful Bible, just words of God that’s all
2107.                   For bowel motions, the body doing its thing – many people struggle in this area
2108.                   My girls’ grandmother’s seventieth birthday – many happy returns I hope
2109.                   Still reflecting over the message yesterday – glad it went well
2110.                   That I have time at present to meander over these reflections
2111.                   For the state of my mind – it’s very healthy these days
2112.                   Thankful for life given a plane crash tragedy in Russia overnight
2113.                   For my sun-beaten skin
2114.                   For the bird noises I hear
2115.                   For the dog and its owner being walked
2116.                   That it’s only 5:43 AM
2117.                   I love fast starts
2118.                   The encouragement all these Shalom men were yesterday
2119.                   Hopes to visit Marion today
2120.                   Today is my ministry, not yesterday, nor tomorrow
2121.                   That the body gives feedback about how I’m treating it – honesty even there
2122.                   Gradually letting go of my ‘ambitions’
2123.                   For the music of Bruce Springsteen
2124.                   That golden sunrise
2125.                   Planes taking off every minute or so – all those souls in the air
2126.                   That ministry is a real-world activity
2127.                   For the motivation to reclaim the essence of church
2128.                   For those who have gone before me
2129.                   That much knowledge still evades me, but knowledge isn’t where the life is
2130.                   For those who run enterprises that are steeped in worry
2131.                   Quietness at any time – it’s in the everyday
2132.                   Hopes to get to Lo Quay café today
2133.                   The want to be associated with a church people want to come to
2134.                   For the fact patience is learned via practice
2135.                   That I’m not there yet – occasionally God still reminds me
2136.                   For God’s still and small voice – the voice of truth and love
2137.                   For bags that contain things
2138.                   For spokes in wheels
2139.                   That the power in God is nothing like power people grab for in this world
2140.                   When there’s a flow to things
2141.                   For the luxury of time to waste – thankfully just 60 seconds or so
2142.                   For the dear memory of my Nathanael – would have been 1,201 days old today – a little sibling for my son
2143.                   For the Foundation for which I’m Secretary
2144.                   For the 15 or so children covered for by the Foundation
2145.                   When the Lord spoke in inaudible tones of English language
2146.                   ‘Learn to love this area and people’ (along Lloyd St before East Charles)
2147.                   ‘I think I already do, Lord,’ came the reply of the heart
2148.                   That very moment I recognised a deposit – a gift – had been made and given
2149.                   I have come to realise that rarely is it good to follow what seems to be a direct path – wisdom seems to be in the preparedness to sidestep the snares inevitably on the direct path
2150.                   Realising the power in inviting people to respond
2151.                   God keeps many things secret from us – things that might destroy us if we knew
2152.                   Perhaps we will know in eternity
2153.                   Acknowledging the slenderness of the gap between honouring God’s will and seeking our own glory
2154.                   Deathly noises remind me of a realm I don’t belong to
2155.                   For the opportunity to present what I’m doing on metropolitan radio – in a different state
2156.                   For my favourite breakfast at a favourite café
2157.                   The man who gave me special help in confirming I was in the right place
2158.                   For patience in parking – thank You, Lord
2159.                   For hope as I push on
2160.                   For dear Marion and the silence in her
2161.                   Praying for those overwhelmed in the grief, sorrow and depression
2162.                   That funny feeling of being under pressure but happy to take my time
2163.                   Not getting ahead of God’s agenda for me
2164.                   Nice to know I could celebrate a ‘last thing’ today
2165.                   For the education my son is getting today
2166.                   For the rapport with my son’s teacher
2167.                   That blessed feeling of knowing I’m out of control yet happy to trust God
2168.                   Anticipating the Anyman play tonight – hoping I’m welcomed as technically don’t deserve to be there
2169.                   For poise in dealing with an inappropriate request
2170.                   Acknowledging there are many things I want to write on, but don’t have time
2171.                   Cool inside whilst warm outside
2172.                   Interceding before God about the remainder of the week
2173.                   Seeking God to make the next fortnight not only bearable but enjoyable
2174.                   Wondering what next? Pray, decide
2175.                   That disarray for adults is the child’s world of play – let it be messy
2176.                   For the grace of the driver on the Graham Farmer Freeway
2177.                   For the 3 of 4 stakes that came out of the ground
2178.                   Ring one carpet cleaner, then another, in pays - $132 saving
2179.                   For a quick chat with my wife while she was at work – such a beautiful voice
2180.                   Another 50! What am I grateful for, Lord? Simply how I think You are greatful, like fully great!
2181.                   For the memory in every toy my son has
2182.                   For the memories in the can lounge suite I have – been in my family since brand new 1996
2183.                   Learning to cope with pressure in a relaxed way
2184.                   For how much we cram into our lives without even trying
2185.                   For God’s guidance today throughout all my interactions
2186.                   That I could stand relaxed and at peace for two whole minutes whilst clerks handled things more important than the reason I was there
2187.                   For the thousands upon thousands of people cared for by Royal Perth Hospital over its history
2188.                   For God’s leading to make a diversion in my day – and for my will to obey that leading
2189.                   That the real life seems dull, but it is full of peace when I focus on my life, for others
2190.                   10 in 10? Let’s see. Just to think it’s possible is good
2191.                   The fruit staying ripe in my refrigerator
2192.                   A clean sink
2193.                   Got the washing hung out – cool reminder to do it – sheets dry already
2194.                   That gratitude is more than positive thinking – it’s thankfulness to God for His goodness to me
2195.                   For every drop of water I’ve consumed today
2196.                   That the colourful urine showed me that I’m not vitamin/mineral depleted
2197.                   Anticipating an important call
2198.                   The mystery of an indoor plant that rarely needs water
2199.                   For my old faithful backpacks 2008 and 2011 models
2200.                   That I have sufficient financial freedom to buy barista coffee – two today
2201.                   That marital life and family life in general is sweet at present
2202.                   For those moments soon when I can focus on my next message
2203.                   Prayers for the man whose Mum I visited today – for two of her sons
2204.                   1307hrs and 104 on the board – banking 30 for tomorrow!
2205.                   For knowledge of hygiene practices
2206.                   How my son brings fantasy to real life in modelling our real lives
2207.                   For the discussion on the road on the way to school this morning about cranes, and wheels on cranes
2208.                   For the fact I should be fatter for what I’ve consumed in the past few months
2209.                   Time to be thankful about and for my body
2210.                   Praying for God’s grace and anointing as life slows down a little
2211.                   For the fact I should be daunted, but instead I ply faith
2212.                   Nice to be clean, even nicer to be filthy dirty and anticipating being clean
2213.                   That I took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today – last chance to do it
2214.                   For the fresh, healthy salad in the refrigerator waiting for me
2215.                   For remembrances of repetition where God proved so faithful, and I so obedient
2216.                   For the abundance of butchers paper we have
2217.                   For my wife’s employment
2218.                   For a vision God showed me of a key demise – glad not to know before now, but nice to know the arrangement of truth
2219.                   For the absolute abundance of possessions we have
2220.                   When a person owns the truth present in their life
2221.                   Knowing firm boundaries
2222.                   The beauty holding my heart open
2223.                   It’s very easy (too easy) to judge when we don’t know
2224.                   Clarity received just in time
2225.                   Beautiful to watch son playing with and communicating with his toys
2226.                   That I keep going even though I anticipate the avalanche before me
2227.                   Watching the freedom a child has
2228.                   Anticipating the tests before they come, always hoping I’m going to see them
2229.                   For the awareness that I need God’s wisdom this moment
2230.                   God’s decision is final! Good
2231.                   Freedom is an expression of surrender – thankful!
2232.                   God is good all the time, all the time God is good
2233.                   I can overcome, so I must overcome
2234.                   Tests come very often as influxes – they challenge my time god
2235.                   Channelling wisdom is something utterly dependent on God – that He gives and that I’m aware enough to take it all in
2236.                   Okay, what now? Good to go and get a job done!
2237.                   Willingness – it’s all God asks
2238.                   Oh to run like the wind at the behest of God!
2239.                   How lovely that Son and Mum run together
2240.                   So thankful for Anyman men, Jordan, Jayden, Mark, Michael, Dave, Wayne, Peter, James, Andrew, Wayne, Dave R, Roland, Micale.
2241.                   For that feeling when I feel so full in the heart
2242.                   For being accepted in a place where I should have felt like I fitted in but initially didn’t
2243.                   Whenever I’m welcomed with open arms, like tonight at Anyman
2244.                   That rare occasion when I sit there speechless with a tear rolling down a cheek
2245.                   For my wife who sits there and listens to my enthusiastic account
2246.                   For just how much ‘relationship’ God can pack into one 24-hour period
2247.                   For an offer to join a deeply spiritual process tomorrow
2248.                   The thought to set our new place up spiritually covered
2249.                   For a chronic state of search and discovery
2250.                   Exhilaration in reaching a milestone
2251.                   What a pleasure it is to review good work done
2252.                   For sensing a significant time is approaching
2253.                   That when I sense that the moment is pregnant with hope I’m very close to God
2254.                   For the energy to degrease the carport and pull-down shade cloth
2255.                   For just enough time to cook dinner, eat and do dishes before Anyman
2256.                   For tiredness finally kicking in at 11:30 PM
2257.                   When I have to wrestle and I’m tired, God reminds me of my limits

13 February 2018

2258.                   Another morning – a completely different day ahead
2259.                   You will overcome – a poem to be written
2260.                   Temporary fix for a cupboard goes well
2261.                   Steeling myself for seven relentless days ahead 😊
2262.                   For the opportunity to meet personnel of West Coast Eagles
2263.                   For the interesting chat with Adam Selwood
2264.                   For meeting and chatting with Adam Simpson
2265.                   For the opportunity to thank them on behalf of the school
2266.                   That I get to share my boyish delight with my wife
2267.                   For quality fast food
2268.                   That my don practised some difficult numbers with Mum at school today
2269.                   For the freedom I'm given at school to manage my hours
2270.                   That this time next week will feel different
2271.                   That the work of shifting home will be done
2272.                   The thought of being ahead and staying ahead
2273.                   What if… a great way to start a thought
2274.                   What then… a great way to complete a thought
2275.                   That feeling within that creates pressure to keep working hard
2276.                   No need to apologize, but I'm thankful you don't take me for granted
2277.                   For my dual occupational role
2278.                   The privilege of standing in the gap
2279.                   An opportunity to work with someone with special needs
2280.                   A plan to build into girls’ lives
2281.                   Turning a test into a testimony
2282.                   For a messy work area, for there is joy in the cleaning ahead
2283.                   For paper towel
2284.                   That wisdom is superfluous until the very time its needed
2285.                   When someone special has given me a piece on gratitude
2286.                   Gratitude of several staff today
2287.                   Grateful for the West Coast Eagles organization
2288.                   For my wife’s financial resolve
2289.                   For the offer of more Anyman tickets
2290.                   That our house will get prayer covering before we move in
2291.                   For a great conversation with Michelle at the park
2292.                   For an incredible speech pathology report
2293.                   For God’s leading regarding what more I can offer my work
2294.                   For the offer of more work
2295.                   Because of the Eagles’ visit inspired to ring Dad – thankful!
2296.                   That I have written what God put on my heart
2297.                   That I have written to the best of my ability
2298.                   That I know what I have written is missing something, yet I commit it to the universe
2299.                   For the therapy in tears
2300.                   That I have freedom and still I choose to glorify God more and more
2301.                   For the grace given to me to get to the park today when I was tired
2302.                   For my children’s minds, and the promise within them; Lord fulfil that promise as they see aright
2303.                   For that moment when I realised that my method of discipline wasn’t working
2304.                   For calmness in those moments – calmness is power
2305.                   When life is mad, yet I can smile at my wife and she smiles back
2306.                   For terse words that are not returned
2307.                   Chipping away does definitely pay
2308.                   For the fact that pressure produces
2309.                   For a heart change to occur, a calling of God, when only God could do it
2310.                   That though appreciation is not needed, it is nice to receive
2311.                   For tremulous moments where doubt holds court, but I step forward regardless
2312.                   That feeling like I’m getting behind is a tension I’m learning to bear
2313.                   That even when things appear to have stalled there is often still plenty of time to re-rail things
2314.                   Realising that if I’m to improve I will have to work hard
2315.                   Appreciating the call of class – to become the best one can become
2316.                   For the beauty in the plans we have for future
2317.                   For the way the heart responds emotionally
2318.                   For any coherent thought
2319.                   For the fact that life has a momentous flow to it at present – expectant
2320.                   For an approach that indicated a key step toward trust
2321.                   That I was offered more work today
2322.                   Classic music moves the mind and the mojo
2323.                   Susan Boyle (2009) – wonder how things are with her today
2324.                   For the help I know I need, and how I get that help
2325.                   For the prayers I have for all those needs I know of
2326.                   That paradoxes are known in and for the faith
2327.                   For sore muscles that remind me of what is temporarily over
2328.                   For courage, for without it I am nothing
2329.                   That everything begins with gratitude
2330.                   The goodness of God – and the greatness of God
2331.                   My large white bowl – so many generous helpings of all sorts of foods have been in it
2332.                   For cousin Stephanie who seems so well respected at Fresh Start Recovery
2333.                   For my Aunts and Uncles, particularly Phyl, Jo and Clem
2334.                   That sleep revives me in untold ways
2335.                   For who publish my articles regularly
2336.                   For the dog we will ultimately get for our son – who asked for one today!
2337.                   That it is still amazing that I continue to keep pace with this given the time I waste on Facebook
2338.                   For the experiences that have brought me to this point in my life
2339.                   For the opportunities ahead
2340.                   For what continues to daunt me
2341.                   For the fact I do not begrudge labouring, as an occupation for me, anymore
2342.                   That I have the first opportunity tomorrow to assist in my son’s classroom
2343.                   For the memory of helping in my third daughter’s class until Year 4 (2007)
2344.                   That I imagine how I will feel this time next week… having moved in to our new home
2345.                   For the hopes I have from 22 February to rein in my weight
2346.                   For Adam Selwood’s connection and candour – amazing how friendly and open he seemed; such a blessed couple of interactions
2347.                   That for just a few moments I got the opportunity to thank the West Coast Eagles for their gift to our school
2348.                   That I was asked to say some words of thanks by our principal
2349.                   For every single occasion where God reveals my sin
2350.                   For this fact: the more daunting the opportunity, the more comprehensive the victory having not shrunk before it
2351.                   For the inspiration that a person like Helen Keller was
2352.                   For the callouses on my right knee cap – they’ve never been worse
2353.                   For the support of intercessors at Bellevue Baptist Church
2354.                   For the good news surrounding EC’s house
2355.                   2355 at 2355hrs – signs of the times
2356.                   That my body was made for work
2357.                   For the simple fact that I see God’s revelation as a form of prayer
2358.                   For a target, for the value in targets
2359.                   That there were moments complaint crept in today – when I was feeling weak
2360.                   Weakness can be a strength if I don’t give into it
2361.                   The more impossible things seem the more overcoming power I have, if I stay grateful
2362.                   For the opportunity to really press ahead tomorrow!

14 February 2018

2363.                   Realising that a lot can be learned about life when life is frenetic
2364.                   Realising that growth does not come when we’re dormant
2365.                   Imagining the day right now, one of the last in this house – momentous
2366.                   House all quiet, apart from those ‘infernal’ planes going overhead
2367.                   Still so thankful to have met the two Adams yesterday
2368.                   Another plane going overhead – something we won’t miss at the next house
2369.                   In the many roles I have in this present season, I’m thankful for them all
2370.                   So pleased to be able to help staff and students in my son’s school today
2371.                   Privileged to be working on a sermon – not everyone is granted the privilege of preaching
2372.                   For alarm clocks that remind us ‘now is the time’
2373.                   For the hugs I’m about to give and receive
2374.                   Honestly in awe of the opportunity to serve in my son’s class
2375.                   To work with people who will be important people in our family lives
2376.                   For the young lives I helped this morning
2377.                   That I would be found worthy of the school’s trust
2378.                   That God would use me within the school set up to contribute to the love in His name
2379.                   For diligence to do what I can when I can, to keep moving forward
2380.                   For knowledge of my judging heart – how quickly I can think badly of people
2381.                   Time to create is always cause for thankfulness
2382.                   When God reminds me to slow down
2383.                   For the opportunity to meet William today and my prayers for him
2384.                   Great to see my son play by the rules
2385.                   Great to see my son respond well to being corrected by a school staff member
2386.                   For air conditioning that is almost too cold
2387.                   For the work sent through for a Train the Trainer training – clarity!
2388.                   For access to precious resources
2389.                   The luxury of others cleaning up after me – that I clean up myself
2390.                   Very quick responses to anything
2391.                   Effective responses, better still
2392.                   For the man near me, eating his lunch during a work break – bless him, Lord
2393.                   For the sifting the Holy Spirit does in me when I do something to honour Him but that exposes me
2394.                   The patience to wait when I don’t want to
2395.                   For the grace that does not and can never come from me
2396.                   Help me, Lord, to be more positive and more grateful
2397.                   For the receipt of truth, that I’m compelled to write
2398.                   For the radio here, that puts me in touch with my world
2399.                   Anticipating afternoon activities of making tea and playing at the park with my son
2400.                   For remembering to let others know that our last park visit is today
2401.                   For faithful friends, and for the opportunity to be faithful myself
2402.                   For the fact that purpose swells in me right now for what is about to happen
2403.                   For the staff here, particularly Madison who cleaned up near me before
2404.                   For any rebuke of the Lord, for my correction and betterment
2405.                   Lord, help me more and more to accept every one of Your rebukes delivered through others
2406.                   For the party set up next door
2407.                   For the puppy we will soon get for our family – that we will use to teach our son responsibility
2408.                   For the minute-to-minute challenge of finding one reason per minute for ten minutes – difficult but not impossible
2409.                   That it is such a great way to deal with a complaining heart – get lost in gratitude
2410.                   For the simple matter of the plenteous supply of napkins when I need them
2411.                   This backpack I’ve had for seven years
2412.                   For the ‘oppressive’ air conditioning when I’m only metres from the heat of outside
2413.                   For the heart God put in me for the lonely and the outcast – help me help them, Lord
2414.                   For the friendships they need, we need, I need
2415.                   That in being wired not to waste a precious second, God’s grace still affords waste to me
2416.                   For the privilege of notes to revise, to know, wisdom to apply
2417.                   For efficient mail redirection services nowadays
2418.                   For the honour certificate our son will get on Friday
2419.                   God said to me, ‘You know who you are, Steve? You exist as LOU – to Lift Others Up
2420.                   Thankful for time to run hard with the things to keep up with
2421.                   For the patience that allows my son to choose play instead of doing one allotted task prior to watching television
2422.                   So wonderful to reminisce about a time in our community when we weren’t even here – indeed, it was in a ‘former life’ with Luke who lived at Number 1 – Scotty lived next door
2423.                   So good to be farewelled by a couple of Wilson neighbours
2424.                   My honour to cook tea
2425.                   Seeing my son’s rapport with Max
2426.                   How precious life is – how lasting an oil burn on skin can be! – thankful for safety
2427.                   For music in the background when cooking
2428.                   Privileged to access a mass communication masterclass
2429.                   Realising wisdom is in the eye of the beholder – the person receiving it
2430.                   Realising time spent on complexity invites simplicity
2431.                   So thankful for the passion I have in learning about presenting and speaking
2432.                   The greatness is challenging myself – when it’s tough
2433.                   Honestly feel so blessed listening to the Tim Pollard communication masterclass
2434.                   I honestly feel like God is so present in this season – there are reasons for great joy every day
2435.                   As the flow of thought comes out, I praise God
2436.                   I dream a dream – one of future time
2437.                   Writing articles when the idea comes – rarely can anything else bring me to life like that
2438.                   Out of nowhere an article comes – hope it’s a blessing
2439.                   For the person who, at 11:15 PM reached out

15 February 2018

2440.                   Blessed to receive and sign a new contract
2441.                   A plan tried, a plan failed, a better plan developed
2442.                   The privilege of a practical devotion with the Year 4’s – build a bench
2443.                   High engagement on ‘habits’ devotions with the Year 6’s and Year 5’s
2444.                   The privilege to build two outdoor umbrella units
2445.                   Oh, to read a story a turtle story about staying safe with the Year 2’s
2446.                   Smiling on a 38-degree day
2447.                   Meeting and greeting Dan the machine man
2448.                   Conferred the MDiv – received in the mail
2449.                   The house settled! – Got the keys and a lovely basket of goodies
2450.                   For mother and father-in-law who packed like Trojans today
2451.                   For the fact that I am so pleased to delay accreditation – thank You, Lord, for this heart
2452.                   Going out to meet a New Testament scholar at another New Testament scholar’s home
2453.                   For fifteen spare minutes on a frenetic day
2454.                   To be swimming in busyness, yet unflustered, content
2455.                   For the Word ‘LOU’ I received yesterday that was for a person I had no idea I was to communicate with today
2456.                   Such a full day, with way too many blessings to count
2457.                   For those students who wish to share so much of themselves as they speak
2458.                   For memories of old – of misspent youth
2459.                   For unexpected company
2460.                   That busy days are my opportunity to enjoy the flurry without seeking to control it
2461.                   Realising that we human beings are nothing without connection
2462.                   The courage to engage with a person with influence who does not believe in me
2463.                   For a quick chat with a supervising colleague at work
2464.                   For the response to smile when I tore my trousers today
2465.                   For that bolt, washers and nut combo I found today to make a quick fix
2466.                   That I got one opportunity to get fifteen minutes downtime today
2467.                   At the point I want to give up and stop, a fresh gust of wind blows
2468.                   For the leaves and litter I picked up today
2469.                   For the grace in the Pre-primary teacher who forgave me for forgetting to come into her class
2470.                   That I was not judged for doing chaplain’s job in worker’s clothes
2471.                   For the text messages of encouragement I received today
2472.                   That I was protected from going to a potentially risky meeting
2473.                   For the value the teachers get out of my devotions – Holy Spirit
2474.                   For knowledge of a child’s heart that is easily crushed
2475.                   That I was not thwarted today
2476.                   For arriving on time at our dinner engagement despite peak hour traffic
2477.                   For the conversation with my son in the car on the way there
2478.                   For knowledge that this day has been momentous for moments of transition
2479.                   That communication occurred to mark the movement of God
2480.                   For eventual tiredness
2481.                   For the massive amount to do
2482.                   For the help we’re getting in moving
2483.                   For the trailer hooked up to the car
2484.                   That each minute comprises 60 fair seconds
2485.                   For what is to come that I have no idea about
2486.                   For Eva who served me and others so well at the café today
2487.                   For my meeting with the Baptist Churches pastoral consultant
2488.                   That I realise the folly it is to be discouraged or encouraged by numbers
2489.                   Knowing it’s never about the numbers
2490.                   For the out of school care staff at the school I work at
2491.                   For the opportunity to lay out furniture so my principal didn’t have to do it
2492.                   That I can listen to music on YouTube
2493.                   That throw back to a time of yesteryear
2494.                   For the hopes of time to continue this venture
2495.                   For the fact I am nearly 25 percent the way there
2496.                   For what I don’t know and that which I’ll never know
2497.                   That I know how much I owe the students I serve – especially those names I do not know
2498.                   For the fact I was clearly out of my league tonight, but I was still included and respected
2499.                   That I will have new trousers soon
2500.                   For the prayers of the saints that were for me/us today
2501.                   For the energy that comes from the hope in me from God

16 February 2018

2502.                   Today, the opportunity to pull apart furniture
2503.                   For yesterday’s clarifying meeting and conferral advice
2504.                   That everything went to plan regarding settlement
2505.                   For meeting the new New Testament lecturer
2506.                   That my son will receive his first honour certificate today
2507.                   That we will have our new home covered in prayer today
2508.                   That my wife and I will be able to work together today and the next two days
2509.                   For the fact that my stomach feels in accord with what I put in it
2510.                   That this will be the last day I sit in this spot that I’ve sat for over three years
2511.                   For the walls of my new study – that there will be an office of sorts
2512.                   For confirmation over the past few days of those who will be helping us move
2513.                   That again this list is forcing me to think more gratefully
2514.                   For the prayers of those at our church for our family all the time
2515.                   For a functioning back – Lord protect it
2516.                   Lord, also protect my left shoulder and other body parts
2517.                   For the exercise that I’ll get today and the next three days
2518.                   That by the end of February (we hope) all the moving and unpacking will be done
2519.                   For March – hopefully a month of comparative rest coming
2520.                   For the trailer loaned to us from my wife’s sister
2521.                   One last look at the park
2522.                   Knowing God goes with me as I endeavour to do 379 more of those over the next four days
2523.                   For the birds who seem to own this time – 5:45 AM
2524.                   That from now on I won’t have such huge dust bowl lawns to mow
2525.                   For my heart response to articles I’ve written that don’t seem to resonate with people – that’s taken years to accept
2526.                   For the strength of my hands
2527.                   For the sharpness of my mind
2528.                   For the names at school that I hope my mind begins to remember
2529.                   For another Friday – such good days, Fridays
2530.                   For the gloves I can see that look to be twenty years old – thank you for them
2531.                   Again, reflecting over last week’s message and its impact with the Shalom men
2532.                   For Micale, Mark, Dave, Jordan, Jayden, Peter…
2533.                   For the way my devotions on habits and addictions was received at school yesterday
2534.                   For the smiley face sticker on my monitor that reminds me of my game face
2535.                   Yes, for the power of that smile!
2536.                   For the sun’s heat today
2537.                   For the litres of water I will drink the next few days
2538.                   That if I get through to Tuesday having met my quota, the rest should be fine
2539.                   For the ministry of Tim Pollard and the more I hope to gain as a communicator
2540.                   Yes, that spark in me that wants to prove knockers wrong
2541.                   The grace that God gives me to do what only I can
2542.                   For the just-in-time factor of God’s mercy
2543.                   For the skill of touch typing
2544.                   For the ideas God furnishes me with
2545.                   For the abilities that set me apart
2546.                   For the prayers I have for my daughters
2547.                   That now is the time to move
2548.                   Knowing that every second counts
2549.                   Lord, cause me to grow in gratitude, today and everyday
2550.                   The peace in my heart right now
2551.                   Okay, let the battles of the day begin
2552.                   Poise in the moment of a wrestle – at the breakfast table
2553.                   For a moment of clarity that could only come from humility
2554.                   A chance to get my son involved in packing the trailer
2555.                   Conversations about dirty tyres on trucks
2556.                   An explanation of how wheels get dirty – at the back
2557.                   Arriving at the new home!
2558.                   Selfie photo in front of the ‘SOLD’ sign
2559.                   Walking my son to school for the very first time from our new home
2560.                   Meeting another family along the way – they were friendly enough
2561.                   Meeting Scott and Lynn – parents of a child in son’s class
2562.                   For the birthday invitation my son received
2563.                   For the overall rapport I’m developing with my son’s classmates
2564.                   For how one particular boy received me today
2565.                   For the honour certificate my son received
2566.                   That the moment could be shared with my wife’s grandparents
2567.                   My parents’ response when they received photos
2568.                   For the school’s motto which includes ‘love for God’
2569.                   For the feeling I had to be in this place – HOME
2570.                   That though it was a hot day I was readying my shed for cleanliness and order
2571.                   Ahhhh, to work alone for a period, to finesse
2572.                   For the star picket that came out with some old fashioned ‘hammer’ innovation
2573.                   For help!
2574.                   For an Aunt and Uncle’s generosity
2575.                   For my tireless tired wife
2576.                   That a meal with family, sore fingers and back and feet and all, is beautiful
2577.                   For safe travels today
2578.                   For God’s reminder when I reversed and didn’t quite jack knife
2579.                   For the massive rainbow on display in the distance when my heart was lost
2580.                   For a patient wife
2581.                   That I was able to keep going – today, a 17-hour day
2582.                   That peace to know that twenty-four hours from now…
2583.                   For the prayer that says ‘I hope everyone who says they can make it to help, does’
2584.                   For the work done that does not need to be done tomorrow
2585.                   26 minutes to midnight and I’m 15 away – ooh, do like me some pressure
2586.                   For the little quad bike I picked up off the side of the street – my son loves it
2587.                   That my son said grace tonight when I really was too exhausted to
2588.                   That whilst we sleep on mattresses on the floor there’s no complaint
2589.                   One last effort – for the times today I was forced to feel grateful
2590.                   For the sight of planes and thought of a trip over east next month
2591.                   Sounds simple, but for the shower I had tonight when 12 hours previously my clothes were already wet
2592.                   For the connection of one of my daughters to the daughter of a friend
2593.                   For the cool cardboard house my son made in his new room
2594.                   For the desire to serve at my son’s school
2595.                   For the chips consumed tonight out of the hamper we received
2596.                   Sugary drinks on brutal days
2597.                   That my mother is prepared to sew up my busted pants
2598.                   For those prayers today, and the role of anointing my first home
2599.                   For the covering we have received
2600.                   Got through! 11:59 PM

17 February 2018

2601.                   12:00 AM and it’s moving day!
2602.                   Coffee in the morning – that will be nice
2603.                   A drive to pick the truck up – nice
2604.                   Driving a truck again
2605.                   Working with those we’re close friends with
2606.                   From where I look now, things will be much different here in 24-hours!
2607.                   Sore, sore muscles but heaps of satisfaction
2608.                   Sitting here at 7:48 PM having moved home, sore and tired, but incredibly grateful
2609.                   For the fact I woke up after my alarm, but not too late
2610.                   For the idea to splash water in my bleary eyes
2611.                   For the fact the credit card payment did not require my forgotten PIN
2612.                   That a fellow road user alerted me to something hazardous on the truck
2613.                   That it wasn’t as hot today as yesterday
2614.                   That everyone who said they would come came
2615.                   For the sustained energy we enjoyed today
2616.                   For the commitment of a band of men and women that saw us moved in today
2617.                   For my sister-in-law who suggested we go today and pick up the cubby house
2618.                   For no road incidents today
2619.                   For God’s strength to get through a few times when I wanted to give up
2620.                   That I could get the truck back early
2621.                   For help from even children
2622.                   That the manner of the move was upbeat
2623.                   That I got to work with my brother
2624.                   For the strength others loaned us
2625.                   For the grace both sets of neighbours had for us with a huge truck interfering with their day
2626.                   That we met a neighbour – two actually – on our first day here
2627.                   That these neighbours gave us some history on our new home
2628.                   For the tenacity and diligence of family who set up our TV
2629.                   For the way the furniture fits in my new study
2630.                   That the chairs there fit right and make the space inviting
2631.                   That the book boxes are in one area
2632.                   That we got to chat to our son on the phone – staying with my parents
2633.                   That my mother was able to sew up my work pants, wash and press them
2634.                   That there is food in this house
2635.                   The pantry is set up!
2636.                   For my mother-in-law who works so hard – just keeps going
2637.                   For the hum of the refrigerator that reminds me it’s keeping the contents cool
2638.                   That as my parents drove off, I recall again, that privilege of seeing them will not last forever
2639.                   For the balanced, even, practical, consistent nature of my brother-in-law
2640.                   That nothing was broken today – that very little was damaged
2641.                   For the warmth we feel inside our new house – we will make it our home
2642.                   That there is clutter everywhere but peace in our hearts
2643.                   For the bizarre feeling we will have when we get up in the middle of the night tonight
2644.                   Sometimes I come up with good ideas
2645.                   For the space my wife and I have to chat just now
2646.                   That our son is safe tonight
2647.                   For the heritage value (in my heart) of our cane lounge suite
2648.                   That my wife’s mind is very active in changing things
2649.                   That I just found $40 in my wallet
2650.                   That my wife has plans for this place
2651.                   For the fact we’re close to church
2652.                   For the sandwiches made by one of our generous volunteers
2653.                   For the parks we have close by
2654.                   For the memory of our Wilson park and how much we watched our son grow there
2655.                   For our neighbours, who have invested into us, both old and new
2656.                   For the sounds in this new neighbourhood
2657.                   That my wife loves to make herself a home!
2658.                   For the fact that my eldest daughter wanted to help but physically couldn’t
2659.                   That my youngest daughter did actually help
2660.                   For the amount of water I drank today
2661.                   Though I got a headache, it responded well to paracetamol
2662.                   For the chocolate we enjoyed tonight
2663.                   For the discoveries we’ll make afresh as we open everything up
2664.                   That we’re so abundantly happy with what God is doing in our lives
2665.                   Oh, the biggest one for the day – that when I experienced chest pain I thought what it would be to have a heart attack today, and die
2666.                   That even in this exercise I feel I can run out of things to be grateful for
2667.                   For the prayers said for us today
2668.                   For sore muscles that remind me of the work I’ve done
2669.                   For a healthy heart – I think (ref. 2665)
2670.                   That we will see our son again tomorrow
2671.                   For the exploring adventures we will have in our new neighbourhood
2672.                   For everything we own – even the stuff we should toss out
2673.                   That my wife is the sort of person who empowers people
2674.                   For those prayers of mine for others
2675.                   For tiredness which invites sleep
2676.                   For the relationships that will be built in this home and area
2677.                   For the ready-made breakfast we have for tomorrow
2678.                   For the thoughts of certain students and colleagues today
2679.                   That I have a workplace to go to
2680.                   For Saturday nights
2681.                   For the security screens we have
2682.                   That no injuries were sustained today
2683.                   For the coffees bought today
2684.                   That it is an incredible thing to move all a home’s furniture in one day
2685.                   So good to work for a leader who uses me and the skills I bring
2686.                   For communication possibilities
2687.                   For the decision NOT to write, even though I could
2688.                   For seeing what I’ve seen today
2689.                   For the supplies I picked up getting fuel today
2690.                   For the very thought of getting a sitting bench
2691.                   The wonder of the things we’ll learn in the next little while
2692.                   For the video I took of my son getting his honour certificate
2693.                   For my wife’s whiteboard which communicated the basics really well
2694.                   For my niece who tidied up my son’s cubby house
2695.                   That the spirit of help we enjoyed today
2696.                   That we are looking forward to sleeping soon
2697.                   That I only need to shift a few boxes and I have an operational study
2698.                   That despite losing power I recovered my work
2699.                   For the fact I have some space, and I’m grateful for it
2700.                   That I got to 100 today
2701.                   For the ideas that emerge from seemingly nowhere

18 February 2018

2702.                   I am alive
2703.                   That I am woken early (1:47 AM – it is now 2:16 AM)
2704.                   For the work of Richard K Moore, who has taken me under his wing; his understanding of God’s rectifying us, bringing us into right relationship with Himself
2705.                   And also for Thomas Merton who challenges me to peace
2706.                   That this time last week I was preparing to deliver a message with Shalom House men present
2707.                   So thankful for brothers and sisters who assisted us so ably yesterday
2708.                   Very thankful for parents and parents-in-law who serve us so diligently
2709.                   That there are reminders everywhere about me of the need to bring my life into balance
2710.                   The regularity with which I am lifted out of the mire
2711.                   That moment of waking and talking with and embracing my wife in bed
2712.                   For my first look out of my study window
2713.                   For thought of the previous owner of our home – died of cancer at only 47
2714.                   For prayer we have to get to know the deceased parents – so they feel welcome here
2715.                   That I’m hatching plans to unpack as I compile my Reasons
2716.                   For the bird calls at this time of morning (6:53 AM)
2717.                   For the neighbours cats and dog – we already know how important they are to her
2718.                   That I have my own study area
2719.                   Realising that in being tired, having hit my limit, I can appear ungracious – enjoying people’s grace – thankful for it
2720.                   For every intimate connection with my wife – every time
2721.                   The view out of my new study (to a fence) that gives me perspective in the afternoon
2722.                   That my son enjoys use of his new bedroom even as I write this
2723.                   After three full days where we’ve put in a full week’s work, my wife finally gets to wash her hair
2724.                   For the pants my mother sewed up, cleaned and pressed
2725.                   For the tireless efforts of my wife’s parents who went over and above – they always do
2726.                   For this feeling I feel which is strange – clean but can I relax – no, it’s not the season to relax
2727.                   For the nap I needed and just had
2728.                   For the wisdom to do tidy the gardens today, not tomorrow
2729.                   That there isn’t a huge amount to do tomorrow – today’s diligence pays
2730.                   For ducted air conditioning
2731.                   For the lunch that kept us going
2732.                   That I am so thankful that it I’m beyond words
2733.                   That I know how my weaknesses have come to the fore today
2734.                   For the dirt that covered me – I can wash it off while I’m alive
2735.                   For the inspiration to set up some coffee dates
2736.                   That’s all steam ahead – keep moving forward
2737.                   For the sounds of play – Legos being constructed
2738.                   That the car went well today
2739.                   That I was able to fix the tow hitch lights connection easily
2740.                   For Rusty being able to help with the bags of leaf litter
2741.                   For the ideas that my wife gets to improve our home
2742.                   For the opportunity to go out to have tea tonight – exhausted but content
2743.                   For my mother-in-law’s diligence – she does so many things to help
2744.                   For my father-in-law’s steady and effective pace
2745.                   For my father’s quiet and dedicated influence
2746.                   For my mother’s kindness and love
2747.                   For the message given two days running now – slow (for me) and steady wins the race
2748.                   That my tired wife always has energy enough to read to our son
2749.                   For the effort my wife put in to set our son’s alarm clock, but wouldn’t work, so tomorrow it is
2750.                   That there was enough room in the bin
2751.                   For the purity and hydration value of the water I consumed today
2752.                   For the documentaries on political history
2753.                   For the privilege of hanging washing out for my tired wife
2754.                   That there are consequences that can motivate my son, and anyone
2755.                   For the glasses I have found
2756.                   For the friends we have who are published authors
2757.                   For the pressures of life that force us to push
2758.                   For the power-board that is essential for my study to run
2759.                   That I got my work clothes ironed
2760.                   For the hopes of a renewed focus on gratitude tomorrow
2761.                   For thoughts of trimming down to my right size
2762.                   For the messages and speaking engagements I did in 2017 – as I look back
2763.                   For the dogs and the cats in this street
2764.                   For the fact that we can go to bed early if we want
2765.                   That there are so many weary muscles and minds that have served us these past few days
2766.                   Realising I entered full time ministry five years ago today – but have not been in full time paid ministry in the past two – still pretty much full time and then some
2767.                   For the prayers I hold for a dear family undergoing change
2768.                   That I am part of a team that advocates for the lives of special needs children
2769.                   For the fact that in many ways I’m a slow learner – but God hasn’t given up on me
2770.                   For the job offer that has gone to a dear friend
2771.                   That our son is finally asleep – his first night in our new home – our second
2772.                   For the anticipated excitement we will have when my son orders lunch tomorrow
2773.                   For the names of those at our church that I can see right now – real people, real lives
2774.                   For the big difference I can make in doing a small thing
2775.                   For the ideas that stream into my consciousness
2776.                   For extra time to jot down a few more things (it’s 9:10 PM)
2777.                   For the love I can show someone, anyone, when I serve them
2778.                   That bit by bit I’m finding my study again
2779.                   For the internet through my phone at present
2780.                   For the prayers I have for a young man who needs guidance
2781.                   For the wisdom in taking the trailer today
2782.                   That I recognise again and again that I don’t have the answers
2783.                   For the young man at the petrol station who dealt with me graciously when I forgot to mention which bowser I refuelled at
2784.                   For the cool breeze blowing through whilst we had our dinner out
2785.                   For the other family who sat near us
2786.                   That I have been rescued from a life that leads to death
2787.                   For the fact my wife can order groceries from our bed
2788.                   For the fruit in our refrigerator
2789.                   For the items rescued from the patio
2790.                   For the prayers for items on the patio
2791.                   For the prayers I have for particular persons in conflict with each other
2792.                   For my water intake today; should be dehydrated and I’m not
2793.                   That I possess the plastic bag that used to contain my Christmas presents when I was a child
2794.                   For the fact that every bit of unpacking can bring a sense of joy
2795.                   For the stillness in the air which makes me want to go to bed
2796.                   For the fact we’re here on Sunday night – that it’s not Thursday night
2797.                   For a sense of quiet time I might enjoy tomorrow
2798.                   That there are books right at arm’s reach now
2799.                   For the prayers I have for our neighbour – who has been here for 25 years
2800.                   That time changes us – and somehow, so it should

19 February 2018

2801.                   That to be woken by a messy child and to have to think on my feet proves I have the faith to care for him
2802.                   For his positive first-time experience of the shower in the bathroom
2803.                   For the dreams I dreamed even if they were strange
2804.                   Waking up next to my wife
2805.                   How cute and gorgeous my wife looks when she’s asleep
2806.                   That calm always returns after the storm has passed
2807.                   For my son’s discovery of the train travelling past
2808.                   For the select book titles I have in view
2809.                   For the wonderful car and trailer set up my son has constructed out of Lego
2810.                   For the ability to wash my son’s soiled clothes
2811.                   That I can remove and add weather locations from my mobile phone
2812.                   For the wonder in a new view, a new perspective
2813.                   For what God has taught me through my relationship with Yurts
2814.                   For the timing of God – an interaction that fused an idea with an opportunity
2815.                   For kind and respectful communications with a plumber, a reticulation guy, and our landlord
2816.                   For the availability of a public toilet nearby
2817.                   That there is a just-in-time feeling about this day – is about most days to be honest
2818.                   For those times like this morning when God has me in a frenzy of thought production – thought production is God’s pleasure but human pain pressure
2819.                   Realising that people are a mirror – we feel rejected, we reject them, they reject us, and so forth
2820.                  Recognising the importance of putting feelings into process – so the structure of being is thoughts sorting and directing feelings – feelings for enhancement, but they’re not everything
2821.                   For the fact that God said, ‘At 100 days, 100 godly interactions per day’
2822.                   For when God said, ‘Do this life well’
2823.                   For when God said, ‘People – all people – must see Christ’s light in you’
2824.                   For the inspiration from God to invite my parents-in-law to dinner
2825.                   For the return of bond monies for the truck hire
2826.                   For the blessing of wisdom it is to WATCH the conditions – they’re ever changing and easily catch us out
2827.                   For tradespeople who turn up on time and do an excellent job
2828.                   For the mystery in what is to come!
2829.                  For the very fact that family and others close to us are like God holding up a mirror to us, so we may learn our good and not-so-good features
2830.                   For the blessing of noise indicating the work in progress
2831.                   To know that my wife and I are working together, albeit imperfectly, in unison
2832.                   For a frank discussion with a friend with problems
2833.                   For that friends’ trust in hearing the challenges given
2834.                   For the fact that the carpets came up well
2835.                   For the potential topics there are for radio chats
2836.                   That at 14:47hrs my heart feels alive!
2837.                   That my entire being feels stimulated right now
2838.                   That aircraft overhead may be one of the last ones I hear from this house
2839.                   That I’m approaching another 10,000 words in this thousand
2840.                   For the currency of sweat; the body’s physical response to hard work
2841.                   For the sense of completion when a LONG journey has been undertaken
2842.                   That we live to inspire and be inspired
2843.                   For the sound of my wife’s voice – I live for it
2844.                   For the foundation of JOY that is to embody me
2845.                   For teary endings that are about the overwhelming joy we’re deeply grateful for
2846.                   For change that sweeps in like an ever-flooding tide – adapt or nothing else
2847.                   For the work before me and the privilege it is to do that work that only I can do
2848.                   Realising that rushing through 10,000 won’t get me there any quicker
2849.                   Realising that where I’m called it’s a ‘yes’, whereas where I’m not is possibly a ‘no’
2850.                   That pivoting on the upswing of destiny is the only place to be
2851.                   That others would question how or why we live our lives – because they’re so remarkable
2852.                   Peanut M&M’s – I’m human
2853.                   For the steady artificial breeze produced by fans
2854.                   For optical illusions that prove the worth of the eye to discern truth
2855.                   For the plans we’re all forced to covet, and for the will of God that controls the hands of time
2856.                  For the peace inherent in time – when there is plenty of it
2857.                   That strangely enough 100 per day is getting easier because of my inherent commitment 28 days in
2858.                   For the lift one can get even reading work emails because they’re implicit with connection
2859.                   That I can ‘go for gold’ any day I choose, and hopefully today!
2860.                   That this is a completely different view
2861.                   Same furniture, same clothes, different walls, different views
2862.                   For the neighbours my son and I met at the third park near our home we visited today
2863.                   For the fact that my son shared his bike with Tyler and it was his idea
2864.                   For the briefest of positive interactions today with my son’s teacher
2865.                   That I got to meet another parent today: Andrew. Goes with Scott and Lynn, Susan, Georgina…
2866.                   For the positive interaction I had with a little boys’ mother today at my son’s school – seeds sown
2867.                   For the anticipation I have in helping in my son’s class this Wednesday
2868.                   That I had that sense that I’d made it today – through the move
2869.                   For the energy and enthusiasm to sort the bedroom electricals out
2870.                   For the heart to adopt the laneway mini verge
2871.                   That I pray for gloves or it’s dirty hands
2872.                   For prayers about people contact that materialise within days – they often do
2873.                   That I know a change of position is a change of posture – this is good
2874.                   For the heart that throbs away in me – seeing others as 10/10’s
2875.                   For the fact I’ll allow people into my life now – wasn’t always that way pre-2012
2876.                   For the challenges I issue people who need to be held to account – once I have their trust!
2877.                   For the persons who will visit us in this home – who will receive counsel
2878.                   For clear nostrils
2879.                   That I remembered the technical name for skin today – keratinised stratified squamous epithelium
2880.                   For the teary prayer I prayed as I left the old place reminiscing today
2881.                   Ahh, the location of a fan
2882.                   For the gift of blissful wedlock – locked in love for a lifetime
2883.                   For the gift of finding things – anything that is sought and needed now
2884.                   For nostalgia – that’s really all life is; a bucket full of memories
2885.                   For the desperation in people’s seasons and lives – the fact that my prayers are enough
2886.                   Okay, 10 in 10 before 10 (PM)
2887.                   For the times I can get my right foot to crack
2888.                   For mobility in my spine and shoulders
2889.                   That I have plans to be up early to weed
2890.                   For the force that pulsates within me right now to work harder than ever
2891.                   For the prayers I have for my three daughters – all in separate stages of life now
2892.                   For the nostalgia I have for twenty years ago… daughters 6, 3 and another well on the way
2893.                   That I can truly thank God for that first marriage and the love I had for my first wife
2894.                   For those two first owned residences in Darlot Court and Port Royal Drive – I did so much work on both places, and we as a family had so many good times
2895.                   For the memories my daughters have of that life – the first two anyway
2896.                   For how much God blessed me back then
2897.                   Interesting number 2897… something ethereally memorable in this number
2898.                   That I have hopes of unpacking and making this study the place its destined to be
2899.                   The grace that supersedes the law
2900.                   The fact that at 9:55 PM I easily got my 10 in 10 before 10
2901.                   Incredible to think that the day arrived when we are here, in situ
2902.                   Three days of the hardest work I can imagine – bliss to know it’s done
2903.                   For the memory of Henri Nouwen
2904.                   That I had maximum say over how today would be
2905.                   For the connection I had with my wife’s parents tonight – a really lovely time
2906.                   For the Berenstein Bears story I read to my son
2907.                   For the excitement in my heart for tomorrow’s adventures
2908.                   For ideas to grow – whether they are pipedreams or realities about to be gleaned
2909.                   For the life and legacy of A.W. Tozer
2910.                   That tomorrow’s the 20th and on the 22nd change commences
2911.                   That I know what limited control I have over life – but I take seriously that which I’m responsible for
2912.                   That I’m so glad I’m nearly done
2913.                   For tiredness that is a blessing from God

20 February 2018

2914.                   For finding gloves when I needed them
2915.                   That my plan to weed came off!
2916.                   That I didn’t forget anything this morning
2917.                   For an especially productive morning
2918.                   That I served three more people than I had hoped
2919.                   For the opportunity to pray with Heather for her and her family
2920.                   For the opportunity to respond to two last minute maintenance items
2921.                   For the opportunity to call my wife briefly at work – I would once take such a privilege for granted
2922.                   For the privilege of listening to children read
2923.                   Seeing in the children reading just how much trust they have in my role and in me as a person
2924.                   The rapport I have with this teacher who happens to be my age
2925.                   For an impromptu chat with a staff member about how our move went
2926.                   For the fact that I’m nearly at three thousand
2927.                   For a pleasant drive to work today
2928.                   For the beauty in every everyday human being, each with their own story
2929.                   For the opportunity to write two notes of encouragement on a staff member’s 60th card
2930.                   For a more efficient way of eating something messy
2931.                   For the plan for change
2932.                   For the privilege of sweeping a kindergarten room floor
2933.                   That I could affect a modification on a door
2934.                   For the exercise I got in locating a child for a class
2935.                   The smiles I gave and received today
2936.                   An ad hoc catch up with a staff member
2937.                   For the chance to shut the eye lids for a few seconds
2938.                   For the retention of order in a key workplace
2939.                   For the prayers I have for someone who doesn’t believe in themselves
2940.                   For the steps made up and down these stairs
2941.                   For the awe I experience in seeing a teacher’s control over their class
2942.                   For the teacher’s instructions implicit with reminders
2943.                   For one-on-ones with students and staff alike
2944.                   That as a team we operate as one
2945.                   Seeing children given a try at adult tasks
2946.                   That at this time keys are being handed back for our previous home
2947.                   That there is more to be done; what can be cause for complaint can equally be cause for praise
2948.                   For solitude in this shed
2949.                   For a safe trip home even though I felt incredibly tired
2950.                   For a good twenty-minute nap before a trip to the park
2951.                   That I can watch my son go around and around the park and enjoy every second
2952.                   For the chat with the other three children at the park
2953.                   That these children accepted my son on first meeting him
2954.                   That I’m blessed as a father to walk one-minute and there we are – at the park
2955.                   For the weeding I was able to do before dinner
2956.                   That feeling of stripping working clothes off for something more comfortable
2957.                   That my home office is taking shape – much better shape than I anticipated
2958.                   That my home office is now functional
2959.                   For the vast library I have personal access to – both physical books and resources and electronic
2960.                   For the interactions I had with students as I collected them from their classes for Mandarin
2961.                   For the opportunity at unity to be at an important prayer meeting at church tomorrow
2962.                   That there isn’t a critical bone in my wife’s body – and I’m learning to return the favour!
2963.                   For the hum of the washing machine in the background – clean fabrics and garments
2964.                   That tonight will be a night off
2965.                   That thought production as a God-provided process was dormant today – yesterday was big
2966.                   For the funeral my father-in-law conducted today – such important business of care
2967.                   For the plan that rolls out soon – to right the listing ship
2968.                   For a wonderful card we received today from our neighbour two doors down
2969.                   That I delighted in reciprocating to this overture
2970.                   For the thoughts I’ve had every day since we moved in – the previous owner – a 47-year-old woman who died of cancer
2971.                   For God’s sowing of the seed to be open to getting to know the previous owner’s parents
2972.                   That our prayers and desires are for this community
2973.                   For the contentedness my heart feels right now
2974.                   That there are indeed 10,000 Reasons for my heart to find
2975.                   Oh, that my soul could and would and should bless the Lord!
2976.                   For the opportunities in ministry over the next two months – a really sweet time
2977.                   For the message this week – Jesus changes the world one person at a time
2978.                   Oh, how good it is that my prime role at our church at present is not pastoral care, but preaching and leading worship and prayer
2979.                   For the Bellevue pastor, leadership and membership – for all they mean to us – we are home
2980.                   Okay – 20 in 20 before the end of the 20s (2026hrs right now)
2981.                   For my pastoral mentor and my pastoral supervisor – both men of 40-plus years in ministry
2982.                   For those younger men I have mentored
2983.                   Also, for the young women I have mentored – those who have trusted me enough to help
2984.                   That this calling of God on my life to write and pastor and counsel is everything I ever want to do – I’d do it for free if we just survive
2985.                   For the fact that these Reasons are becoming richer – certainly more descriptive
2986.                   For the sweet time of support and ministry with the Year 2’s today – to hear them all, one-by-one, proudly read their stories…
2987.                   The desire in me to bring the bins in – the disappointment that someone got there first
2988.                   That I found that plug today – just the right size – and just enough thread tape
2989.                   For a plan hatched with the teacher to serve the Year 3 class
2990.                   The clear space in front of me beyond this monitor with which to focus
2991.                   So amazed by the interaction with a neighbour – afternoon tea on Saturday!
2992.                   For the life of a young man born in 1990 with an amazingly special birthdate
2993.                   For the lives and ‘ministries’ of the educators at my son’s school
2994.                   6 to go in 6 minutes – I know, just anticipating completion of this thousand
2995.                   Anticipation of what God will show me during the next seven thousand
2996.                   For my wife’s ingenuity in designing new lighting systems in our house
2997.                   The wonder it is to know God, to experience Him present in my life, every day
2998.                   That we absolutely feel God is with us 100 percent in the move we have made
2999.                   For Thomas Merton and his twentieth century ministry
3000.                   For the fact that in the risks he took, my son did not have an accident on his bicycle today