Adding Value And Making A Difference In People’s Lives

The Sydney Siege of 15/16 December 2014 has certainly shaken this part of the world down under.  The loss of life is very tragic and families and friends have had their lives impacted forever.  These precious people will carry the battle scars of life and it will be part of their story that will be told from generation to generation. All the hostages caught up in the siege, are heroes.  My thoughts and prayers are with you as you try and cope with the reality of this unforgettable tragic event.  May God give you the grace everyday to cope, as you walk the path that has been set before you.   Special mention must be made of the two amazing young people who sacrificed their own lives to save others.  True modern days heroes, Tori Jonson and Katrina Dawson.  They sacrificed, so that others could live.  Our thoughts are with their families at this time.  May you know the peace, which only God can give during this time of grieving and mourning.  Even though this situation has been tough and tragic for the families,  we will never fully understand and comprehend what has happened but I know something good will emerge.  I believe we...

In Mark Chapter 4, we read the story of Jesus crossing the lake in a boat with His disciples.  In verse 37, we read “and a great storm arose, the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.”Sometimes we embark upon a journey in life, which we believe Jesus is leading and guiding. Yes, He is with us all the time but many times we encounter ‘suddenly moments’ when our world changes inthe twinkling of an eye. It is like we are being battered and bruised by life’s storms and our world begins to‘fill up’ with what’s happening around us and to us.  It is overwhelming and sometimes we don’t know which way to turn.A key question to ask yourself: “Is Jesus asleep in our boat or is He awake?”  Through all our encounters in life we sometimes, if not all the time, exclude Jesus from our day to day living.  The result is that he metaphorically ‘falls asleep’ and often, we wait until our next crisis to ‘wake him up’.  Our humanistic response is “Jesus, don’t you care about me” and/or  “If this continues, we will surely die”.When we turn to Jesus something happens.  In Mark Chapter 4, Jesus stood up in the boat and rebuked the wind and said to the sea “… Peace be still!  And the wind ceased, and there was great calm”.  Jesus first rebuked the...

Equal Sacrifice, Not Equal Giving!Our monthly Heart for the Nations offering is a sacrificial offering we bring collectively over and above our tithes and offerings at Every Nation Christchurch. The purpose is to expand the mission, vision, and reach of Every Nation Christchurch and maximize the opportunities God has put before us, ultimately to make Jesus known. Brent Archer, a great friend of mine for years, approached me a few weeks back and said, “Let’s row to Melbourne and raise finances for our missions to Melbourne fund”. Look, I’m all for reinventing myself and accepting challenges but lets be honest, I’m no Mahe Drysdale (New Zealand rowing Gold Medalist). My initial response was that he was crazy and ridiculous. I couldn’t even row in the bathtub. Light bulb moment; Sacrifice over convenience, purpose over process, two birds with one stone. Yes, we are in fact rowing to Melbourne. The challenge has been accepted, however, we will be ‘virtually’ crossing the Tasman Sea using rowing machines. Wisdom Prevails!Distance from the West Coast of New Zealand to Melbourne, Australia = 2,279km.  Our combined rowing totals will get us to Melbourne.Follow our progress.How can you be apart of this exciting adventure and support...

What a stunning and beautiful day in Christchurch.  The sun shining brightly,  clear skies and the temperature perfect for a morning walk on Sumner beach.  With my iPhone in my pocket and earphones in my ears, music turned to maximum, I commenced my morning walk.  So peaceful and amazing to be in His presence as I walked along the water's edge.It wasn't long before I looked to my left and saw this.This picture is a reminder to all the people living in Christchurch of the devastating earthquake on 22 February 2011 @ 12h51 where 182 people lost their lives and thousands and thousands of homes damaged.  Seeing the devastation always brings a tear to my eyes.  My eyes begin to sweat.  I began to thank God for His hand upon our lives.We all carry the 'battle scars'  of life.  The 'battle scars' are reminders of God grace and His mercy. They are reminders of His saving grace and His healing power.  They are reminders of where you once were and where you are today.  Praise GodFor me personal, I thank God for calling me out of spiritual darkness and into His glorious light. As we look at our "battle scars",...

It is so important that as parents we are consistent in our parenting in making a difference in our children's lives.  Creating and maintaining a culture of unconditional love and allowing them to always feel safe and loved, is very important in your home. I want to share another practical tip for you that I have entitled: "Don't Judge".   The natural human tendency in all is us to to judge and find fault with people.  It, therefore, takes a conscious effort not to cultivate this judgemental attitude when raising our children.  In fact, a judgemental attitude toward your children will inevitably produce undesirable behaviours/characteristics. These behaviours become entrenched in the lives of your children, which may be difficult to break free from in later years. Here are a few undesirable behaviours/characteristics that result from this kind of parenting. Children become like their parents and this judgemental cycle continues through generations.  Parents should be the role models to their children.  Don't tell, show!  Children become fearful to attempt anything.   Knowing they're will receive the wrath of judgement from their parents inhibits one to act.  Children don't feel safe and often become withdrawn.  It's safer in their bedroom than to be around mom and dad.  Children begin to...

One of the greatest gifts you can shower your children with is unconditional love. The opposite of unconditional love, is 'conditional love'.  I cringe every time I hear a mom or dad say the following to their son or daughter, 'Paul, if you don't stop crying mommy won't love you anymore!' or 'Mary, if you don't tidy your room dad won't love you anymore!'  Words have power and will make an impact on your children's lives.  It is controlling and manipulative, and it makes your love based on conditions/performance. Actions and behaviour become the determinant of love. Thus, it is so important to create an environment of unconditional love.  Children need to feel secure in their parents' love no matter their imperfections, shortcomings, disobedience and/or immaturity. My wife (Colleen) and I tried our utmost to create a loving environment where our children felt safe and loved. We didn't love them based on what they did for us and/or because they were well behaved. We loved them unconditionally because they were our precious gifts - our beautiful children that have been entrusted to us, by God, to parent for a season. What did we do?  How did we cultivate an environment of 'unconditional love'?  Here...

During the past summer, my wife (Colleen) and I had the privilege of attending our son James and daughter Sians' weddings in Cape Town, South Africa.  What a glorious time of celebration and rejoicing as we witnessed our two amazing, talented and gifted children say 'I do'. Making a commitment to their respective spouses to love, honour and cherish them until 'death do us part'. As a dad, my greatest honour was to walk Sian down the aisle, and then officiate the wedding. It truly was a 'wow' and  a very special moment that I will always treasure in my life. James and Robyn (Payne) WewegeMarried:  29 December 2013With three wonderful and amazing children, but by no means perfect, Colleen and I often receive the following praise from people we meet; "you are so lucky you have three wonderful, talented and well-behaved children'.Whenever we receive feedback like that, I say to them,  "Please look me in the eye. This is NOT LUCK. You cannot buy ready made adults or teenagers from the local supermarket that are already perfect. What you see is a result of blood, sweat, tears, love, encouragement, discipline and prayer". What a mouthful!  But its true.  Parenting...

It’s very seldom that I wake up in the middle of the night with the motivation to write.  Last night was one of those moments. In my bed, streams of thoughts making its way through my mind and made every effort to remember them. After few hours with an exhausted mind, I fell into a deep sleep.This past week has been horrific for the nation of the Philippines and for Filipinos around the world. The worst typhoon to make landfall in recorded history slammed in the central region of the country.  It caused damage with over thousand lost their lives and homes obliterated from where they once stood. Typhoon Yolanda gushed in to the Philippines on Friday, 8 November 2013. It left a devastated trail that was never seen before. The people in its path had very little or had no chance of survival.  Worst-hit areas of Tacloban and surrounding areas have attested to be an absolute nightmare for the government and NGOs to bring in the humanitarian aid which was very much needed.  Simply the basics - food, water, shelter and medicine has proven to be an enormous mountain to climb.In our church in Christchurch New Zealand,...