Since sharing my writing in recent times two things have been made obvious. First, i have had a lot of friends and family who encourage me for what i have shared. One of the things about writing on your thoughts is that quite often many of these thoughts never become verbalised. They just store themselves up in a store room inside your head. A little like the spare room most families seem to have that simply fills itself with odds and ends. So to put them in to words……..that means something, to share those words with people then takes on another meaning all together.

It’s very much like offering people a portal into your mind. Which could be dangerous depending on what’s inside that head. Thankfully for me i would consider myself pretty sound. Pretty cool, calm and collected. Down to earth and level headed. So my mind is kind of a safe place to hang out inside of……i think???

The second thing that has become obvious for me during this writing process is that Encouragement seems to be the common theme in what i’m sharing. In no way was it a topic i sat down and said “Yeah you know what? i’m going to write some stuff on encouragement!”.

Nope. Simply didn’t happen that way.

It’s been a case of encouragement has been the path my mind has taken me down. I touched on it earlier that i seem to be this guy who’s always got others in mind even when i should probably worry more about myself. I love to remind others that they are important. That their story matters. Encouragement is something that simply comes naturally for me.

Encouraging people is a pretty simple and selfless act. It doesn’t take much. But the impact you can make on someone with a positive word can be anything. The possibilities are endless. It’s something that has been prominent in my own life in probably the past 7-8 years, probably longer still.

My church Pastor Matt has been in to me for a good chunk of this period, offering words of encouragement and affirmation. Not just to me, but to many of the people who call our church home. However actually receiving this encouragement is one thing. Making something of it is another all together. What these words do is allow you to grow. You see something of what is being said and realise there is truth in it. You build it up piece by piece and you benefit from it. That’s what encouragement should be. You should be able to use it for your own personal growth.

These days we live in a world that is as brilliant as it is stupid. A world that is as dangerous as it is safe. We live in a world that also is as inspiring as it is demeaning. Social media is a hotbed for much of this stuff. Social media is probably the most fascinating modern day gimmick, yet at the same time it represents all that is wrong with the world.

In my quest to write more i decided to use social media as an outlet to positively affect my mindset. How in the world could i achieve this?!?!

Instagram. Yeah, you heard right!

So i decided to use arguably the third or fourth most maligned social media app (behind Facebook and Twitter, though Tinder probably is close behind) to positively affect people?? Yeah i did. How? Well thank God for the hashtag! Because you can find a hashtag for basically anything and everything. Search words like hope, love, faith, encouragement and follow those tags and what you begin to find is inspiration. The world ain’t such a bad place after all!

What these Instagram posts do is affect your mindset. You start to see, read and think along the same line. Once it’s inside your mind you have a place that you can begin to expand your mind from.
What i have found since sharing my work is that there is a place for it. People need words that remind them of the good. They need words that resonate with their own minds. People need words that uplift them. They need words that remind them that we are all not so unalike. We all have issues. We all have concerns which plague us. Circumstances that challenge us. We all feel things, positive and negative. It’s life and what we feel or think isn’t unique to just ourselves.

We people need a reminder that we are all in this together and that we feel something. That is the beauty with sharing words. Words have a habit of connecting people to their own situation. Sometimes it can be a sentence, or maybe just a general theme of writing, but in this moment it can connect us. For me, being able to use my words and thoughts to encourage anyone is something that is not lost on me.

What’s also not lost on me is the power that words carry. Words when used incorrectly are like weapons. They can destroy a person in the wrong environment. However when words are used to encourage someone they carry a very different type of power. I’ve learned over the time that words are valuable. When they’re used to encourage their impact can be great. Never ever underestimate the power they carry and never ever underestimate the effect they can have on someone. And importantly never underestimate the impact your words can make on those around you.

Encouragement can be more than just words that are spoken. The fact that you took the opportunity to speak it in to someone will hopefully not be lost on them. Encouragement is as much about what you do as what you say. If you give people a reason to stand beside them it shows them purpose. It shows them you care enough to be in that place. People need other people and we need to be examples to others whether they be family, friends or colleagues. There is definitely a role we can all play.


Seasons generally reflect a period of time. Most commonly referred to when speaking of weather cycles. In that respect it means there is a change, a change from one season to the next. Life too is about seasons. There are periods in life which seem to endure for a while and bring about a constant theme, feeling or circumstance before things change once again, like the saying about the “winds of change are in motion”, a new season begins to form before you know it.
I got thinking about these seasons in recent days as i recalled the last time i wrote something. You see, in this past week I’ve written twice. In the two years prior to that i would guess i’d probably written twice as well. I know that time played a role in me not writing in these past two years, but it also occurred to me that it felt like the season had changed and it was time to move on for now.
Then this week that same feeling came back over me, however this time it felt like the winds of change were moving back in. It feels like writing is a vessel in which i am to be used. What does this mean for me? I have no idea, but i feel that i need to be writing and keep writing and that at some point things will become clearer.
I’ve learned in life that people come and go, circumstances they come and go as well. Good and bad habits likewise. All these things seem to have a way of becoming the basis of the season we’re in. These things can be positives and negatives but there’s almost a non-negotiable fact that these are things that we need to endure.
So what can we learn in these moments where we endure? Some people will say that it’s simply one door closing and another one opening, which can certainly be true. Circumstances do create opportunity. However perhaps there’s more to it?
Perhaps the reasoning behind these doors opening and closing is part of a bigger picture? These seasons of change are most likely moulding you into something, hopefully a better version of yourself. The seasons you’ve gone through become the experience you gain and they become like your tools, equipping you for what comes next.
If those experiences are a negative thing then i believe there’s still very much something to gain from it. Your mindset naturally will dictate how much you take out of the season you’re in. But even in the most desperate of times there is hope of better days ahead and that you can turn negatives in to positives in the long run.
It’s also important to remember that these seasons don’t define your life. They don’t become who or what you are. If the season your currently in is tough then remember that you can use it to build you up and when those better days arrive you will be stronger for getting through what ever it is that you’re facing.
So it’s almost like seasons morph into reflections. For when one season ends you’re able to look back on it and take stock of yourself, and it’s these reflections which tell us where we are, where we’re going and where we’ve come from.
It doesn’t matter what your season is. But i guarantee it’s an opportunity to use it for your own personal good.


So I woke up one mid winter Sunday morning here at home. Sunday mornings are generally reserved for church, or for a better word, time with the Lord. On this late July morning it was slightly warmer, In fact the idea of walking the 20 mins to the church was awfully appealing. The sun neither warm, nor cool, a gentle breeze without chill made it beautiful. A walk through the park on the way was worth it alone. The birds chirping, singing, on this most beautiful winter’s morning was something I was instantly thankful for. You see sometimes it’s the little things that remind us of how thankful we are for life. This morning felt like one of those occasions.
A cross of the always humming along Parramatta Road left about 5 mins before i hit the coffee shop. The people in here are generally family, it’s a family run business. They are good people worth a good chat. We chat coffee naturally and how easy it was for me to rid myself of sugar in my coffee. The Barista himself is not so fortunate. Generally 4 cups a day, all with some small amount of sugar. Coffee now in hand i walk the last few mins off to Haberfield Baptist Church further down the road.
After greeting a few of the regulars inside, i sit down at a table where i’ll run the data projection this morning. This basically means i’m the guy in charge for the song words you see on the big screen all morning. For me it’s a small role but an important one. Many will rely on you as you guide their eyes through each song that morning.
With still 15 mins before the morning service i pull away from a conversation with two of the guys to text a good friend. I discover on my coffee cup the phrase
I send her a photo of this as a joke. Not really thinking much of the phrase other than it’s a cheeky joke at her expense. The phrase though sticks with me and it’s then that it begins to take on a new meaning. The service is probably now 5 minutes away when i realise i could view the phrase on the coffee cup as something more than a cheeky joke. You see in recent months our Pastor Matt has been encouraging us to seek God in new ways. One of those is in the prophetic. Now call it coincidence perhaps but was something prophetic in the words on that coffee cup? Perhaps?
Here i was, the church service about to start with the phrase “Talk to me after coffee” on my mind. Yes, i was thinking that perhaps God had opened my eyes and mind to the expectation that he would be talking to me this morning and that i should be listening.
Preaching this morning was the always insightful and entertaining Lisa. Lisa has a good way with words which always effectively challenges us each time she speaks. This morning’s sermon is on Grace. Grace is a topic we’ve heard plenty about in 2018 at church, and in a good way of course. For me it’s been an effective tool for my own faith. It’s certainly made a telling difference for me.
Grace is a topic that hasn’t always been easy for me to get my head around. I understood the definition of Grace and why we received it but i could never truly believe that i had earned the right to receive it. Sin has a way of making you feel this way. It can feel like Groundhog Day. Like “why am i back at the same place in life, yet again?”. Have i not learned from the countless previous lessons? Feeling like this would always lead me to inevitable questions about weather or not i was truly receiving Grace the way it was intended.
As the service progressed this morning Lisa would say something which resonated with me. Something that for myself i had learned in my own quest to understand God’s Grace.
“For us to truly understand Grace we can’t define it, we need to experience it.”
This is a lesson I’ve learned myself in the past 12 months. Where previously i would struggle with the idea of whether i was deserving of God’s Grace, I’ve found myself in a position today where I have finally understood and now lived the idea of what it means. I don’t feel weighted down by my sin, i don’t carry it any longer and i feel better for it. There’s no one time i can think of where i can say i finally understood it, but over time i know that i began to truly understand it properly and i have no doubt that the sermons in church in recent months are part of the experience of Grace and understanding it the way it was intended.
It’s crazy, yet very cool to see the way God works in our lives. It not always the way you imagine, or the way that makes most sense but when you see the footprint of him in your life it’s all the evidence i need that he’s still very much in control. This particular Sunday was one of those days where being thankful for God is the very least i could be. For it was a reminder that i am on the right path, with evidence to prove it and encourage me to keep moving in this direction. That’s how journeys are intended. There’s a start and end point. But what happens in between is anyone’s guess, except for God. He’s navigating it moment by moment and none of it is an accident.