Katrina Robertson – Rising from the Trials of Life

It’s on our TVs, in the movies, and oftentimes in our churches. Our culture is saturated with stories that take us through tough circumstances before being quickly resolved and tied up with a pretty bow. It might be what we yearn for, but life rarely mirrors those neat stories. Katrina Robertson’s life has been anything but neat. She is a speaker, the author of the book Juror #11, and is a coach for those involved with fostering and adoption.


Katrina L. Robertson Website
Juror #11 (Book)

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Rev. Dr. David Chotka – Healing Prayer

Rev. Dr. David Chotka is an author, a prayer mobiliser, and has been an ordained pastor for more than 30 years. He’s the founder and director of Spirit-Equip Ministries. David co-authored the book Healing Prayer: God’s Idea for Restoring Body, Mind and Spirit.



Spirit Equip Website
Healing Prayer Book
Healing Prayer on Amazon

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Goodbye Mikhael Gorbachev

The former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev has died at the age of 91.

Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, has died aged 91, Russian hospital officials say.

The Central Clinical Hospital said in a statement that Mr Gorbachev died after a long illness. No other details were given.

Mr Gorbachev’s office said earlier that he was undergoing treatment in hospital. ABC News

I once shared a stage with Mr Gorbachev.

When I say ‘shared a stage’ what I really mean is that we were both on the same stage at the same time. Gorbachev was speaking to an audience and I was carrying his cup of tea.

It was May 1999 and the World Masters of Business was at the Burswood Dome in Perth. Some friends were staging the event and so I not only recorded all the voiceovers to introduce the guests, I got to be the stage manager on the day.

One of the things Mr Gorbachev requested was that he would have a very hot cup of tea placed on a table off to the side of his lectern.

At the last minute we realised that the cup of tea quite wasn’t ready so there was a lot of frantic activity to get it made and to a small table to the side of the main presentation area of the stage. It was essentially a storm in a tea cup.

By the time the tea was ready, my voice was already booming through the venue to introduce Mr Gorbachev to the stage so I couldn’t walk on and place it in full view of a crowd expecting to see a world leader appear.

We decided the best option was to let the introduction run, let him walk on stage and then while the attention was on him, I would quickly follow, put the cup on the table, then get off as quickly as possible.

It all went to plan and Mikhail Gorbachev was warmly welcomed.

He never drank the tea.

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The Ultimate Betrayal

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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Ross James – Bamboo Camel

The title of the book ‘Ascent, Crest, Perspective: The Making of a Bamboo Camel’ is anything but ordinary, but its author, Dr Ross, James has had an anything but ordinary life so far.

The book is a memoir reflecting on his years as a journalist, academic and researcher, as well as the personal battles he has faced.

Ross is a storyteller who uses personal journals and correspondence to tell the story of what happened after he left a family funeral business and yielded to the leading of Providence.

Ross explains an Ascent, a 20-year period of preparation as a journalist, academic and researcher. The ascent of preparation levelled out on the Crest of purpose, a 20-year period of his life’s work, motivated by the teachings of Jesus whose life exemplified care for the marginalised and poor. He lived and worked in several Asian countries then relocated to Australia and led initiatives to develop community-centred media projects throughout Asia.

After detailing the Ascent and explaining the Crest, in Perspective Ross reflects on achievements concurrent with clinical depression and accompanied by despair and loss of joy. Some excerpts from his personal journals are painful reading; some revelations are vulnerable honesty. Yet, Ross accepts a proposition that depression might have been a ‘gift of a handicap’ which compelled him to depend on Providence to overcome his limitations. His startling conclusion is that he is, after all, a bamboo camel, designed with specifications to fulfil a providential purpose. – The Bamboo Camel

Ross has worked in many countries, including Australia, the Philippines and Pakistan.

It was a great pleasure to welcome him to my podcast Bleeding Daylight to be able to hear some of his story.

You can hear our conversation on Bleeding Daylight wherever you listen to podcasts or use the audio player below.

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