Abandoned

We’ve all been let down. People close to us have hurt us. We’ve been disappointed by those we thought we could depend upon.

Have you ever come to a moment of great need and found yourself alone? Have you had to face trials on your own while those who have previously pledged their friendship and loyalty have scattered?

That’s the kind of thing we remember on Good Friday. Imagine facing the following scenario on your own.

So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. – Mark 15:15-20

The most amazing thing in all of this is that amidst the torture, the pain, the horror of a barbaric death, Jesus was thinking of others. He even prayed for forgiveness for those who had caused his pain. I don’t know about you but I tend to get angry when someone causes me pain or discomfort. I can forgive them later, but at the time I can get pretty annoyed. Jesus was still in the middle of being tortured to death while he was offering forgiveness. Makes the ‘injustices’ I suffer seem fairly inconsequential.

Incredibly, he even promised forgiveness to a common criminal who was suffering the same fate that he was. There were two criminals being slaughtered alongside Jesus. One hurled insults. One asked to be remembered by Jesus. The one who asked to be remembered could see beyond the grave. He could see that death was not the end. He talked about Christ entering his kingdom. Jesus promised him a direct trip to paradise.

A lot of pictures that depict the life of Jesus show him as an otherworldly kind of figure, detached from the worries of our day to day lives. It’s good to remind ourselves that he knew what it was like to suffer pain and betrayal of the worst possible kind.

Even if you’re the kind of person who really can’t identify with Jesus, it may help you to remember that he can certainly identify with us and everything we’re facing.

The greatest news is that the betrayal and suffering of Good Friday was not the end. Sunday was coming; a day that would change our world forever.



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Caris Snider – Anxiety Elephants

Depression, anxiety, fear, pain, shame, failure, feeling not enough, even wanting to leave this world. These are all things that Caris Snider has experienced.

Caris is my guest this week on my podcast, Bleeding Daylight.

If we’re honest, most of us have some kind of disconnect between our personal inner world and the person that the world sees, but for Caris, it was like a gaping chasm.

She very much seemed to have it all together. She was a wife, mum, friend and worship leader. Unfortunately, below the surface, things were quite different. Caris was hiding a secret, even from those closest to her and on Bleeding Daylight we lift the lid on that secret and discover the turnaround that not only helped her, but that has allowed her to help others.

Caris is the author of the book Anxiety Elephants and it was an honour to have her join me on Bleeding Daylight.

Whether you’ve encountered any of the feelings that Caris did, or you’re wanting to help someone you know, you’ll find hope and encouragement in her story.

Listen to Bleeding Daylight wherever you find podcasts or use the audio player below.



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Six Months Today

A spring day in Perth. There is a mixture of excitement, anticipation and concern. There may even be fear. Have I done enough? Will I make it?

Looking back there are hundreds, even thousands of hours in preparation. Looking ahead there are 33 days, over 4,200 kilometres, pain, exhilaration, good times and bad.

On that spring day I’ll begin the Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast, a huge cycling event that will make a major impact for children living in extreme poverty. Today marks six months from the first turn of the pedals on the journey.

The ride will start in Perth, Western Australia on Saturday the 18th of September. We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, New South Wales on Wednesday the 20th of October. There’ll be 28 riding days and 5 rest days. The average riding distance for those riding days will be just over 150 kilometres. Our longest days will be just under 200 kilometres. There’ll be around 35 cyclists and a support team of around 12.

Six Months Today

That spring day will come so very quickly. Planning for this ride began some years ago and yet here we are, six months out, working towards that first day on the bike, then the second, then the third and so on all the way to the other side of the country.

So much has already been done in planning and preparation but there’s so much still to be organised and completed.

More than 4,200 kilometres from west to east won’t happen unless there are thousands of kilometres in training beforehand. That training will require a change in my routines, my calendar, what I eat, how I think and so many other areas of life. There’s no doubt that this ride will require sacrifice.

I can’t afford to take the path of least resistance. It’s autumn now but winter is around the corner. I won’t have the luxury of leaving my bike in the garage on wet days. If I’m to make the distance I need to step up today and every other day until this ride is over.

It’s Too Important

The cause behind the ride is too important to treat lightly. Hundreds of children living in extreme poverty are depending on those of us making this journey and making it count. They don’t know we’ll be riding across the continent, they’ll probably never know, but it’s an important cause all the same.

There are children, through no fault of their own, who are living in the most unacceptable circumstances. We plan to make a difference for as many of them as we can by offering them a hope more powerful than poverty.

The World Bank is estimating that the current pandemic will force around 150 million people into extreme poverty this year. I can’t stand by and see that happen.

If you’d like to support my ride you can do so in two ways.

I am personally seeking to raise $25,000. I really need your help to make that a reality.

You can make a direct donation to my fundraising page. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world, children living in extreme poverty.

So far, I received donations from $10 to over $1,000 from some generous friends. All donations above $2 are tax-deductible in Australia. Your contribution, of any amount, will put me closer to my target of $15,000.

The other way you can help to boost my total is to sponsor a child living in poverty. By visiting my fundraising page and clicking the yellow SPONSOR A CHILD button, your sponsorship will count towards my fundraising goal while releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name. Every child sponsored through my fundraising page counts as $1,000 towards my fundraising goal.

Sponsorship gives kids safe places to play, the chance to see a doctor when they’re sick, education, and the opportunity to discover Jesus’ incredible love for them.

Sponsor a child. Give them a brighter future so they, and eventually their own children, can live free from poverty.

Whichever way you choose to support me and however much you choose to give, your contribution will not only help push me closer to reaching my target, you’ll also change the life of a child or children living with the devastating effects of extreme poverty.

The Long and Winding Road

So there is quite literally a long road ahead for me beginning six months from today but the journey starts now. I’ll be doing my best to fulfil my responsibilities in training, fundraising and then riding. Will you support me in this massive venture?

It’s unacceptable that millions of children are living in extreme poverty so I’m putting my body on the line to do whatever I can to make a difference for as many of those children as I can.

Will you help me give more children a chance to live, dream and hope?



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Markus Watson – False Witness

Markus Watson was investigated for a sickening crime with no knowledge of who had made allegations against him, what evidence they claimed to have, and not even knowing the crime he was alleged to have committed.

He faced accusations that threatened to destroy his livelihood and trash his reputation. He was betrayed, investigated by the FBI and forced out of a job.

My time at that church was a wonderful experience for most of my time there. Unfortunately, my last year was very painful. Betrayal, false accusations, and eventually being voted out of that church left me reeling. My professional, emotional, and spiritual life was turned upside down.

And, yet, that experience drew me closer to God than I had ever been in my life. It left me with some scars, but those scars have helped me become more fully the person I was created to be.

I explored his story on my podcast, Bleeding Daylight, this week.

You can hear Markus talk about what happened to him on Bleeding Daylight wherever you find podcasts or use the media player below to listen.



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Sharon Tedford – 61 Things

Do you run towards or away from change?

However you answer that question, this week’s episode of my podcast, Bleeding Daylight, will be a real encouragement for you.

It’s the story of Sharon Tedford and her family’s move across the world but it’s so much more than that.

Sharon is a singer/songwriter, artist, podcaster and so much more. You’ll be inspired by her and motivated to make change in your own life.

Sharon Tedford is a longtime, avid writer. Her work includes plays, poems, songs, spoken word narratives, and creative worship experiences. 2017 marks the year she finally published some of her work, with the release of her first book, Stand – The Stories and Scriptures. This book was birthed out of the songs on the companion CD, also entitled Stand.

An experienced worship leader of more than 20 years and more recently a Bible teacher, Sharon has traveled the world, including her favorite setting so far—in the beautiful mountains of Australia. She is a Brit, currently residing in Texas. Not surprisingly, Sharon occasionally has a different perspective from those in her adopted home state.

Sharon loves diving deeply into words and has an uncanny gift to expound on the truth of Scripture through story and song. Her conversational writing style puts people at ease and leaves the reader feeling as though they have enjoyed a chat and a warming cup of tea with a friend. If you’re not a Brit, you may find yourself reading her work with an internal English accent – you have been warned!

Sharon lives with her Irish husband—yes, more than one accent in her house—and three children.61 Things

You can hear Sharon’s story on Bleeding Daylight wherever you listen to podcasts or click play on the audio player below.



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