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I am LOVING this book by @andrewbergh!!!! I’m being good and reading it day by day as andrew instructs and love the gold revealed each day, that makes the Word come alive.  This is the best book I’ve read about HOW to read the Word and WHY it’s so worthwhile.  I think every new Christian should read it to get a solid foundation in developing a friendship with God, and every older Christian should read it to get a fresh sense of wow.  This book could revitalize your walk with God.

And it’s Free! Like seriously!  Get it from here

From the website: This book will not only help fix this but it will encourage you on a practical day to day plan to live inspired by God’s Word. I’d like to encourage you to start the 21-day inspired life project outlined in this book. I believe it’ll be an incredible investment of your time to either empower you or encourage you to get God’s Word from your head to your heart, every day for yourself!


“It’s a beautiful moment when somebody wakes up to this reality, when they realize God created them so other people could enjoy them, not just endure them.” Donald Miller


Scary Close is the first book I read this year.

It’s tagline is “Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.”  It is a book about the risk involved in choosing to impress fewer people and connect with more, about the freedom that comes when we stop acting and start loving. It is a story about knocking down old walls to create a healthy mind, a strong family, and a satisfying career.

It is a scary read.  It is a beautiful read.

At the end of it I felt a bit naked and exposed.  I felt a stronger call to be more authentic and to rediscover who I really am and to be that.  Not that I’ve been hiding, but that there was more to be and that I am a work in progress.  God is at work in each one of us, we are His masterpiece, created on purpose with a purpose.

It challenged me to be more vulnerable and to love more, to not be afraid of who perhaps I really am.

“It costs personal fear to be authentic but the reward is integrity, and by that I mean a soul fully integrated, no difference between his act and his actual person. Having integrity is about being the same person on the inside that we are on the outside, and if we don’t have integrity, life becomes exhausting.”  

I ended the year feeling really stretched and somewhat peopled out, and I look at that as a symptom of something, something a little bit undefined at this stage, but it means something.

My “one word” for the year is REDISCOVER and Scary Close was the beginning of that journey, that rediscovery.  It made me ask myself questions that I dont know answers too, or even that there were questions to ask.

“I LIKE WHAT THE DANCER MARTHA GRAHAM ONCE said, that each of us is unique and if we didn’t exist something in the world would have been lost. I wonder, then, why we are so quick to conform—and what the world has lost because we have. William Blake said about Jesus that he was “all virtue and acted from impulse, not from rules.” If we are to be like him, aren’t we to speak and move and do, to act upon the world and take new ground from the forces that work against our unique genius and beauty? What if part of God’s message to the world was you? The true and real you?”

So, hello 2016.

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We can’t spread life and revival without being filled with HIS LIFE and HIS REVIVAL. There are no words or works that can ever replace the POWER and MIGHT that mark the life of a person filled with the Holy Spirit. We can try to duplicate it, but all attempts will come up empty and feel like old religion. It’s easier to play a part than to actually be filled with Him. It’s easier to control a situation than to risk being broken. It’s easier to whine about what we think we deserve than to surrender what we think we need. But how we know Him is how we share Him and expose others to Him. We have to stop trying to imitate and recreate what only HE can do. We are His unique creation. He is ready to do something new, in fact he has already started…we just have to be willing to let go and believe that what He has for us is eons more extravagant than anything we could ever try to do ourselves. ~ The Fearless Experiement



today: is sunday, a wonderful opportunity to draw close to God and to love people

want to be: following Jesus completely and wholeheartedly so that others are drawn to Him

blessings: the incredible sunrise this morning, though the sky has gone gray and now its raining

thinking: about making the most of the last day of school holidays

planning: a roast dinner with family tomorrow night

listening to: loving ZION UNPLUGGED by Hillsong United. so good.

watching: Sherlock S1

reading: Before Happiness by Shawn Anchor

writing: assessments for SAS (Set Apart School) at The River 

loving: the undeserved but very welcome grace of God

grateful: for opportunities to be me

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**** am loving this book.  so much so that i am only reading one other book at the same time.   it shows some great insight into church ministry and reaching unchurched people.  here are some of my fav take away moments.


“As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else’s cup. Our responsibility is to empty ours.”


At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it.
If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people.


“God often showcases his power on the stage of human weakness.”


“The sermon begins in the parking lot.”


“Purpose should determine approach.  At the end of the day, it’s what we do, not what we purposed to do, that defines our lives and reputations.”


  1. Practical Teaching (what I’ve called Relevant Equipping/Teaching)
  2. Private Disciplines (what I’ve called Personal Spiritual Practices)
  3. Personal Ministry (what I’ve called Taking Risks in Life or Ministry)
  4. Providential Relationships (what I’ve called Meaningful Spiritual Friendships)
  5. Pivotal Circumstances (what I’ve called Moments of Crisis)


Andy Stanley, Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

Reading a great book on the Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – always wanting to upskill and be a better communicator for Jesus!

Australian Business Solutions

By Mr. Carmine Gallo.

In his international bestseller, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, Carmine Gallo reveals the techniques that have turned the Apple CEO into one of the world’s most extraordinary corporate storytellers. For more than three decades, Jobs has transformed product launches into an art form. Whether you are a CEO, manager, entrepreneur, business owner, sales or marketing professional, Steve Jobs has something to teach you.

A Steve Jobs presentation is an extraordinary event. Unlike most presentations which leave audiences confused and bored, a Steve Jobs presentation is intended to inform, educate and entertain. Here are ten ways to adopt his techniques in your very next presentation.

Plan in Analogue

Steve Jobs made his mark in the digital world of bits and bytes, but he plans presentations in the old world of pen and paper. A Steve…

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“Research assistants posed as jam suppliers and set up sampling tables at a gourmet store. In one condition of the experiment, six flavours of jam were available. On another condition, twenty-four flavours of jam were featured.”

This experiment proved to be an ideal method of understanding career choices. By giving the customers a variety of options, they noted how the quantity subconsciously affects the pattern of purchase more than the variety of options.

After laying out the choices, the researchers noticed that the twenty-four-flavour table have attracted more attention from the customers, but very few went on to purchase from the set. While, at the six-flavour set up, more customers were able to pick their choice easily and proceeded on buying a jar of jam.

Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.

Based on the study, Meg Jay explains that one of the reasons we feel stuck on our dilemma is because of the overwhelming thought that we can do anything we want, if we want to. “Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.”

But she elaborates that the idea of a ‘twenty-four-flavour table’ is just a myth. This much amount of options hardly exist even for those gifted with multiple talents. At best, each of us is choosing from our own six-flavour set.

So how do you begin to decide, really?

Well, “you’ve spent more than two decades shaping who you are. You have strengths, weaknesses, experiences, interests, diplomas, hang-ups and priorities…You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.”

You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.

Each bottle of jam represents bits and pieces of your ‘self’ reflecting your past, present and desired future. Choosing your options is merely just laying out the flavours of jam in your life and picking the one that tastes best for you. You can even go back to pick another variety next time.


and first read in Meg Jay’s book THE DEFINING DECADE

::: check out her TEDTalk HERE



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Time to hit the books!

Yesterday I briefly mentioned the idea of reading a book. Today, let’s talk about it a little more.

One of the most important things I’ve done toward accomplishing my goals is read books. Over and over again, I have been amazed at how critical a simple book can be in helping me crush some goal.

So, when was the last time you read a book about your dream?

When was the last time you went to the library and felt like a billionaire? (I can get any book I want!) When was the last time you dusted off a classic or found a new title to add to your arsenal?

Want to hit your goals?

Find one book. That’s all we’re talking about this month. One book.

jon acuff



well funnily enough i just got a book out from the library that will add fuel to the fire for this month… START by Jon Acuff.

i’ve read it once and put it down and said EVEYRONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK.

i’ve recommended it many a time.

so i thought it was def worth a read again.


our family are reading geeks.  all of us.  yay!

i usually read 2 or 3 books at the same time.

currently i’m reading WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE by Mark Driscoll, and Insurgent by Veronica Roth (novel) and (yes, and) ONE WAY LOVE by Tullian Tchividjian.

i have just finished THE DEFINING DECADE by Meg Jay, another book that i think will go on my wish list.

i have a number of books out from the library on understanding personality types as that is my next project at church.


tony is currently reading Keep Your Love on by Danny Silk

and Evangeline is devouring the Judy Moody series.


reading fills my heart.

leaders are readers and i want to lead in my life.


This is next level WHO we’re about to get into. (That kind of rhymed.)

Someone has already done what you are trying to do. Someone went before you and fell in some potholes. They know where the road is dangerous, they know where the wins are, they know the way to the finish line.

Find those people and learn from them.

There are no shortcuts to success but relationships come pretty close. Learning what worked (and didn’t) from someone else can be a huge help for you.

Here’s 3 ways to do it:

1.    Read books by people who have done it. Sometimes even something simple like this helps.
2.    Interview your circle of friends. I guarantee at least one person has done something similar.
3.    Post a request for help in our Facebook group. That group is full of amazing hustlers. I promise someone can help you.

This is WHO round 2. (Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.)

jon acuff


Having big people in our life is essential, i think.

a big person could be a mentor, your parents, your pastor / leader, someone ahead a few pages in life than you.

its someone with a bit of wisdom and credibility that you can bounce ideas off and can help you forge a strategy forward.

someone that has been there, done that, got the tshirt.


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thanks 2013 for being an adventure – from light therapy to holidays in turangi and whiritoa, to Illuminate and His Presence and The Weekender, from break ins and break downs, from Leading and Loving It and The Best Housegroup In The Worldand The River, from both kids getting baptised, from caleb graduating primary and getting into BBI, all the milestones and memories – bring on 2014!



i preached: How To Live When The Wheels Fall Off

read:  What Did You Expect?

saw: Les Miserables



life events: the kids went back to school, our son Caleb got baptized, begun light therapy, celebrated  12 Years married, watched #JUSTONE Leading and Loving It web conference, joined the Daughters women’s team at church, kicked the best housegroup in the world off for another year

preached: Worship @ Housegroup

read: Pursued by Jud Wilhite 



life events: tony broke the train, parent helped at the howick historical village school field trip, celebrated one year gluten free

read: jesus is by judah smith, undaunted by christine caine

listened to: the jesus is ___ music project by the city church

preached: Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy @ housegroup,

wrote: Living An Uncontained Life #7 (which was going to be a preach but the Holy Spirit came that night and that was sweet!)

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Worship Wednesday

1000 Things

July 2019
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