Are you getting ready for winter? Maybe summer? It could be Autumn or Spring depending on where you are and when you’re reading this post.

I’m always amused when I get emails from companies telling me that winter’s almost here when we’re about to launch into summer or celebrating the arrival of spring when we’re in autumn.

Our world is so connected now that we see friends on Facebook telling us what a wonderful summer they’re having while we’re shivering in front of a heater.

The Internet often shows us people on the other side of the world in a different season. To them, that is the ‘universal’ experience. They’re so immersed in their own reality that they can forget that we’re in a different season. And we do it too. We talk about what’s going on for us when it’s quite different in other places.

Seasons of Life

I sometimes wonder if in the same way we can be blind to the fact that we can be in a different season in life to others around us. When we assume that just because our lives are sunny that life is sunny for others we can miss the opportunity to be there for someone who is facing a difficult season. We know from our own lives that what is being displayed on the surface isn’t always a great indicator of what’s happening inside.

You might have seen quotes like, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”


That doesn’t mean that we have to be treading on eggshells with everyone all the time. We can’t second guess everything we say or be so overly sensitive that we’re frozen into inaction, but it does mean that what seems obvious for us may not be what someone else is experiencing.

There’s a verse in the Bible about how we treat others that most people would know in some form or another.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

Do Unto Others

We don’t just ‘do unto others’ so that we can expect them to treat us well. The verse doesn’t come with the caveat that we should do well ‘unto others’ as long as they do well ‘unto us’. This isn’t transactional, it’s just about how we should act. We can’t control how others treat us but we can control how we treat others, and that’s what we’re being called to do.

If we would appreciate others treating us gently, even when we muck it up, we need to treat others the same way. If we appreciate being shown kindness, honesty, integrity and respect, we need to be showing those things to others.

That doesn’t mean that we just excuse bad behaviour. I want others to help me become a better person so I appreciate correction, but I want it to come from people who have my back and are concerned for me rather than just someone wanting to pay out on me.

We never know what season others are facing, and we can’t just assume that others are in the same season that we are, so it makes sense that whatever season we are in, we treat others as we would want to be treated in our best or our worst seasons.

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Ride for Compassion 2016


I woke up this morning a little sore but mostly feeling extremely satisfied as I reflect on the week that has just passed.

Every year since 2009 I’ve cycled between Albany and Perth, a distance of over 500 kilometres. Last week I was out there again with around 20 other cyclists, supported by a wonderful support crew, riding 526.5 kilometres from Albany to Perth over six days. We arrived home, after a fantastic trip, yesterday afternoon.

As well as having an amazing time with an incredible group of people, we were raising funds for some children who are living in extreme poverty.

Ride for Compassion

Funds raised from this year’s ride will increase access to toilet facilities and services for 530 children and 300 adult beneficiaries through construction of 10 toilets at two Compassion centres in Tanzania. The project will raise awareness, skills and knowledge of registered children and parents/caregivers on good sanitation and hygiene practices.

The facilities will reduce the risks of disease outbreaks to 530 registered children, youth and other users in the centres.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF found that 663 million people worldwide still lack improved drinking water sources, while 2.4 billion people lack improved sanitation facilities.

Inadequate access to safe water and proper sanitation has a devastating effect on people’s health, especially children’s. Around 760,000 children under five die of diarrhoea each year, mostly in developing countries—that’s more than 2000 children every day.

A 2005 UN study showed that, by providing improved sanitation and teaching simple behaviours like washing hands, we can reduce cases of diarrhoea by 35 per cent—and deaths caused by diarrhoea by 37 per cent.

That means that while we were out enjoying the richness of Australia, we were providing for other people who we’re unlikely to ever meet. What an absolute honour to serve others in that way.

Why Compassion?

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll know that I work for Compassion, but I’m not supporting Compassion simply because it’s my job to do so.

I work for Compassion because I am convinced that there is no more effective organisation serving the world’s poor. I have seen no other method of working with those in poverty that even comes close to the way that Compassion is working.

I’ve seen Compassion’s work first hand in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Thailand and the Philippines. Every time I visit another church that is partnering with Compassion I am amazed at the change it is making in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our world, children.

If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of children who desperately need your support, it’s not too late to visit my fundraising page.

I can assure you that your money will be well spent in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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We Can Be Heroes


I saw some people on the TV being awarded for their bravery and courage a few days ago. They were ordinary people but they were being hailed as heroes.

Hearing their stories I started thinking about what makes someone a hero. What does someone have to do to be recognised as courageous or brave? Who are the sorts of people who get awarded for their actions of bravery?

In so many cases, those being awarded simply needed to be in the right place at the right time when certain circumstances were happening around them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not downplaying what they’ve done or their amazing actions when the time came. I’m not saying that those people were passive and that they’ve done nothing to deserve an award. No, not at all. What I am saying is that there are times in life when circumstances offer you the opportunity to step up and do something that will have an extraordinary outcome for others. Those people don’t get labelled as heroes for being in the right place at the right time but for stepping up and taking appropriate action when the opportunity arises.

There are times in life where we are offered the opportunity to act, despite the risks, or to turn away. Bravery and courage are about seeing the risks and yet stepping in to do what must be done.

So who is the hero?

The hero is the woman who scales a rocky embankment to save a child’s life by pulling them from the water. It’s the doctor who uses the skills they learned in the sterile environment of a surgery as they perform a remarkable and risky medical procedure on the side of the road to keep a driver alive after a head on collision. The hero is the guy who pulls someone from the wreck of a car and pounds on their chest until paramedics arrive or the child who stays calm and in control while ringing the emergency number when one of their parents is lying, barely breathing, on their kitchen floor.

These heroes are people who, when the opportunity presents itself, just do what needs to be done without stopping to calculate the risk they’re facing. So many times I’ve heard people who have selflessly saved the lives of others look puzzled when someone calls them a hero and says something like, “I reckon I just did what anybody would do”. Most often these heroes are ordinary people who put themselves at risk to do something they often see as unremarkable which creates a remarkable outcome.

You’d step up if the opportunity was there wouldn’t you?

I’d like to think that if I ever find myself in the sort of circumstances that call for courage and bravery, I’d jump in. I’d like to imagine that I wouldn’t even consider holding back but rather I would do whatever it took at the time. You’d do that wouldn’t you?

If you have ever put aside your own safety and stepped in to help someone I’d love to hear your story.

You don’t have to wait to become a hero.

If being a hero is about stepping up when the circumstances arise, let me tell you that there are circumstances right now that will allow you to do something remarkable.

There is a child somewhere in this world, at this moment, who is facing an uncertain future because poverty is telling them that they are worthless. They are at risk of serious illness or even death from simple diseases that we can cure, simply because they don’t have access to healthcare. The circumstances exist right now for you to make a remarkable difference in the life of a child. You’d do that wouldn’t you? This is one of those times in life where you are offered the opportunity to act, despite the risks, or to turn away. What will it be?

You might not think that sponsoring a child makes you a hero. You might say like many other heroes have said, “I reckon I just did what anybody would do”.

Please consider becoming a hero for a child by sponsoring them through Compassion.

If you’d prefer a one time act of heroism, then consider donating to support my efforts in next week’s Ride for Compassion. I’ll be cycling over 500 kilometres to bring change for some children and their families in Tanzania. Will you consider donating? Just click this link.

The circumstances are right. Be a hero.

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The Junk Room


Do you have a ‘junk room’?

Most people have a place in their house where all the junk is stored. For some it’s a room, for some it’s the attic and for others it’s the garage or a shed. Some people have a whole house that’s full of clutter.

There are decluttering experts who tell us how to remove the clutter and TV segments and shows dedicated to decluttering.

How do you feel when you walk into a cluttered room?

A lot of people say that walking into a cluttered space makes them feel anxious. I totally get that. I need space around me and so while I’m OK to go in and out of a junk room to get what I need, I don’t want to live in there.

I wonder if we realise that our minds are becoming full of clutter. We’re facing a growing problem of cluttered minds.

Our minds are becoming the ‘junk room’ of our bodies.

It used to be that if we wanted to find out what’s happening in the world we’d sit down with a cuppa and the newspaper or watch a half hour news bulletin on telly in the evening. If we wanted to stay up to date with a breaking story we’d listen to the radio and get the details in the hourly news bulletin. These days we have 24 hour news online, on television and on radio.

We have a constant stream of information from all over the world coming at us at a hundred kilometres an hour. On top of that we know what all of our friends are doing every moment thanks to social media. Of course it’s not only our friends but millions of others we’ve never met.

Our minds have become the junk room. They’re so full of stuff that other people are throwing in there that we haven’t got time to think through the important issues in our lives. We swing from one drama to the next.

I wonder if we can do just what we do at home. We have a junk room where everything goes that doesn’t have a place but we try to keep our lounge room a bit more ordered. We only put stuff in the lounge room that’s meant to be there. Our lounge room is ‘on purpose’.

Maybe we need to make room in our busy schedules to regularly disconnect from the junk room. It’ll mean putting our phones and all the other things that keep us filling up on junk out of reach and being intentional about what goes into our minds.

Most of the time we can’t help spending time in the junk room so we need to be intentional about creating a space where we decide what we’re thinking about.

I love what the Bible has to say in Proverbs about setting our minds on the things that matter.

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

If that’s the case, we need to make time to take back control of our thought life. If our thought life is totally given over to the urgent, rather than the important, we won’t have time to see the bigger picture.

Many of us are able to quote a particular phrase from Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God.” The rest of the Psalm gives some more context. It talks about being still and getting to know that God is in control despite the craziness that’s happening around us. Maybe you can start decluttering your thoughts and your mind by spending some time contemplating that Psalm.

Psalm 46 (ESV)

1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

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Dreaming Again


Last night I had that same old dream, it rocked me in my sleep, and left me the impression that the sandman plays for keeps. – Larry Norman

I did indeed have the same old dream last night. It’s a dream that comes around now and then.

I dreamed about preparing to cycle across Australia.

Let me assure you it was a good dream. It wasn’t a panicked nightmare that had me waking up in a cold sweat. It was a happy dream. A very happy dream.

The dream was another reminder that it’s been way too long since my last Nullarbor crossing in 2003 when I rode from Perth to Hobart. It seems almost a lifetime away from my first of five crossings back in 1987. The picture above is me looking a bit nervous in Kings Park as I was about to begin a ride from Perth to Canberra. (Click on the photo to get a beter look at my worried face.)

I’ve cycled across Australia in my twenties, my thirties and my forties. I’m now in my fifties and while nothing’s in concrete, I’m making plans for another crossing. Probably in 2018.

While my heart remembers endless days of cycling, battling wind, rain and hills, and the thrill of overcoming, my body keeps trying to remind me it’s not as young as it once was. Even the gap between my 1990 ride to Adelaide and my 2000 ride to Sydney let me know that body parts wear out and a lot more training is needed to go the distance. I can’t even imagine the amount of preparation my body would need to get ready for another crossing.

1987 – Perth to Canberra
1988 – Perth to Canberra
1990 – Perth to Adelaide
2000 – Perth to Sydney
2003 – Perth to Hobart

I’ve taken part in dozens of rides throughout Western Australia and even a couple on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, but none of them compare to pushing the pedals for thousands of kilometres to cross our wide, brown land.

So … are you interested in taking a month to ride across Australia? Let me know and I’ll keep you informed if anything comes together. 🙂

In the mean time, I’m only a couple of weeks away from my annual ride from Albany to Perth, the Ride for Compassion. If you want to support children in poverty through Compassion, you can donate via this link.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to ride across the Nullarbor again, but I can certainly keep dreaming …. and planning.

Do you have any big dreams you’d like to fulfill? Are you making plans towards those dreams? Take a first step and share that dream in the comments section of this post.

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