Resurrection Year – Turning Broken Dreams Into New Beginnings


Sometimes when what we want is answers, what we really need is someone who understands our journey to travel alongside us. I feel that for many people that traveling companion will be the new book by Sheridan Voysey, Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams Into New Beginnings.

For ten years Sheridan and his wife Merryn prayed to a seemingly silent God for a child. During that time they endured a number of failed IVF treatments, explored adoption and then just as hope began to break through they learned that their positive pregnancy test was a false positive. There would be no baby.

I spoke to Sheridan about the new book and you can hear our chat by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His study of society, culture, Scripture and religious movements, plus the insights gained from his 2000-plus radio interviews, have led to two core convictions: that human beings innately long for God and that God walks beside us incognito.

Sheridan is the author of five popular books: the award-winning Unseen Footprints: Encountering the Divine Along the Journey of Life (named 2006 Christian Book of the Year, now updated in a second edition), Open House Volume 1: Sheridan Voysey in Conversation, Open House Volume 2, Open House Volume 3 and the memoir Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings (May 2013).

I received a pre-release copy of the book late last month. It took me just a couple of evenings to read Resurrection Year. It’s not a long book but it does provide plenty of food for thought. The true story that Sheridan tells will stay with readers long after the book is placed back on the shelf.

The book explores the doubts and disappointments as well as the adventure of the ‘resurrection year’ which combines travel and a new start with an opportunity to explore the deeper questions of where we find God when he seems absent.

Don’t expect a big ‘happily ever after’ at the end of the book. That’s so often just the stuff of fairy tales. Instead expect real questioning, moving forward in faith and life, and rays of hope shining into the darkness.

Resurrection Year doesn’t tie everything up into a neat package by the end of the book which is why I think it will be so helpful for anyone who has struggled with disappointment in life. It’s very real.

Even if readers are not coming to terms with childlessness, as Sheridan and Merryn are, they will still recognise much about the journey that Sheridan describes. The fact that so many will relate to the highs and lows in the pages will ensure that readers will be able to apply the gentle lessons that are found throughout the book.

Resurrection Year is a very personal telling of an intensely personal story. It doesn’t give easy answers where there are none but it does remind us that there’s always a way forward.

Some dreams come true, but others die a painful death. We can learn from both. In Resurrection Year, Sheridan Voysey writes from experience – there is life after the death of a dream. Your dream may be different, but the road to resurrection will be similar. I highly recommend it. – Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages

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Forced Stillness

Four hours in limbo. Four hours in the air. Four hours away from the distractions.

We’re just over half way to Brisbane. When we arrive we’re heading to the Gold Coast for a family holiday. I’m trying to remember the last time we had a family holiday which means it’s been far too long since we did.

I’ve travelled a fair bit over the last couple of years but it’s always for work or for a cause of some kind. It’s so very good to have my family sitting in the seats next to me rather than a stranger who’s travelling for some unknown reason.

The great thing about flying, whether it’s with family or for whatever other reason is that I’m forced to stop for a few hours. I have to stop tweeting, checking Facebook, reading emails and everything else that life is about these days.

I’ve just read several chapters of a book … and it was so very good. I’ll probably read a few more after I’ve typed this post.

The busyness of life often means that those things we love doing, like reading, get forced to the bottom of the ever rowing pile of ‘things to do’. Forcing me to spend five hours in a hollow metal tube, a dozen kilometres above the earth, short circuits the usual rush of things that shout for my time, yet are so often so very unimportant.

Over the next week or so I’ll be a different kind of busy. I’ll be ‘family stuff’ busy. We’ll be doing all kinds of stuff with a bunch of people that I love. I hope that there’ll also be time to relax, refocus and even read. (It’s so good to have a virtual library with me on my iPad.)

What does it take to stop you long enough to enjoy some time out? Are you a good time manager? Are you someone who has the ability to switch off and power down at regular intervals to lose yourself in the pages of a book or to just ‘be’ with those you love? I’d really appreciate your comments.

(This post was written while in the air and posted while relaxing on the Gold Coast.)

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Harry Potter’s Bigger Story

He’s the world’s most famous wizard and from the moment his story hit book stores around the world he has been the subject of controversy. Some Christians immediately started to warn us of this evil character and tell us that allowing children to read the Harry Potter series would lead to an increase in occult activity.

Many others said that the books were just good, old-fashioned fantasy and while there are some darker themes in the stories they’re still the classic tale of good overcoming evil.

With the release of the final movie in the Potter story, some Christians are now claiming parallels to the Christian story. They say that Harry Potter is a ‘Christ figure’ in much the same way as Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Did J.K. Rowling set out to tell a deeper story through her books? Does her style mirror that of other fantasy writers such as C.S. Lewis with his Chronicles of Narnia or J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings?

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Rev Dr Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

Today we looked at the fantasy world of Harry Potter and asked whether there are links between the writings of J.K. Rowling and the bigger story of the Christian Scriptures. You can hear what Ross had to say by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.


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A Resilient Life

If I had the money, I’d put this book into the hands of just about everyone I know. A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What by Gordon MacDonald is a book that speaks gently yet firmly into so many areas of life. It gives caring rebuke when needed but overall provides incredible hope. While it spoke to me throughout my reading, I kept thinking how this book would be helpful for so many others.

I read A Resilient Life over a period of about two weeks but I figure I’ll spend the rest of my life tapping into its wisdom as I seek to live my own resilient life. MacDonald talks about inheriting a ‘quitter’s gene’, a natural inclination to give up when the going gets tough. I reckon we all have some of that gene and so a book that helps us to overcome it to live a life of honour is a welcome addition to any bookshelf.

Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for more than forty years. A former chairman of World Relief, he presently serves as editor-at-large for Leadership Journal. His most recent books include Who Stole My Church, A Resilient Life, and Ordering Your Private World. MacDonald can often be found hiking the mountains of New England or Switzerland with his wife, Gail, or their five grandchildren.

Our Best Years are Still Ahead

In a society that values the new, young and latest, MacDonald is keen to remind us that the second half of life can be the time that our lives make the most impact. That’s not to say that this book is only for those of middle age and beyond. While I appreciate everything in the book for the stage of life I’m now at, I so wish I could have thought through a lot of the ideas he presents when I was younger. The book gives hope for those of us in our forties and older but provides valuable insights for younger people as they begin to carve out the shape of their lives.

Finishing Well

A major theme of the book is ‘finishing well’. History is littered with stories of people who started life well but who fell along the way and came to the end of their lives full of regret. There is much we can do right now to set ourselves up to finish the race of life well. If you think you’ve already messed up your chances of living out a resilient life, MacDonald will be quick to remind you that there is healing and a way forward. He has experienced moral failure but has found his way back to make his life count for something far bigger than himself. His message is that you can too.


The book recommends healthy self-assesment, not the kind that becomes morbid introspection, as well as talking about self-mastery. Self-mastery or self-control is absolutely necessary if we are to live a resilient life. It’s no wonder that the apostle Paul talks about training as an athlete for the Christian life. We need to work on creating a resilient life. It doesn’t just come from wishing or from reading a few good books. It’s a practical, daily exercise.

A Happy Few

As you get deeper into the book you find that MacDonald has a lot to say about cultivating a ‘happy few’. The concept is that of developing deep friendships with a small group of people; the kind of friendship that means that someone is there for you no matter what. He talks of a closeness that allows those people to not only celebrate the good times with you but to call you to a higher standard when required.

If you want to build some depth into your life and want to finish well, let me recommend taking some time to read A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What and then begin the long journey of putting Gordon MacDonald’s wisdom into action.

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False Gods Fleece the Faithful

David Collett is a chartered accountant with more than 25 years experience in the field of forensic investigation. After closely following financial markets he made a series of presentations to finance and investment communities, forecasting the collapse of financial markets and the 2008 stock market crash.

While we hear that the boom times have returned, many of us are finding that we’re still facing an economic crisis which threatens our financial standing.

David’s book False Gods Fleece the Faithful answers our questions about the current financial situation in simple, plain language. He encourages home-owners, taxpayers, wage earners, and individual investors to become the driving force behind the economic growth of our families, our communities, and our world.

David joined me in the studio this morning as part of my daily radio program on 98.5 Sonshine FM. You can hear our discussion on his book and what we should do to avoid financial ruin by clicking the play button on the audio player below.


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