Tuesday, June 30, 2009


a Biblical thought...
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (Proverbs 17:27)

a Book thought...
Perhaps up to 20% of one’s work time should be invested in it: in advanced technology
industries the frontiers of knowledge are moving so fast that this is about the time people need to stay up-to-date and also to plan and structure their professional development. (p164)
a Dave thought...
I was reminded last night while watching an interview featured on the Foxtel show ‘On the Couch’ of the impressive qualities of Collingwood footballer Harry O’Brien. We were privileged back in January to have this Brazilian born Christian share with our 600 plus crowd at INSANE. On that occasion he spoke of his desire to serve others and the work he has done volunteering with Brendan Nottle on the 614 outreach vehicle. He also read from the scripture from Matthew 5:14-16 and how he believes we are called to be light in this dark world.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
If you’d like to see the interview from INSANE 09 the video is online. To do so you can join the INSANE fan page on Facebook as we are already over 300 fans and as we head to Jan 11-15, 2010 it looks like it will be another amazing week together. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/video/video.php?v=109466370632

Just a thought.

Monday, June 29, 2009


a Biblical thought...
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:29-30)

a Book thought...
Workplaces will need to become more committed to increasing in-house learning and be more flexible about giving people time away from work in order to study. (p160)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday Kylie and I were a part of the worship service at the Rowville Corps. Envoy Judy Shaw and husband Vaughan are doing a great job through some challenging times at Rowville. It has been a number of years now since they have had their own facility so currently run their weekly worship service at the Rowville Community Centre. As it was Red Shield Appreciation Sunday there were a number of visitors present including Nick Wakeling MP who is the State Member for Ferntree Gully. I preached on Isaiah 58 and the unique call we had as a movement to break the chains of injustice. The Salvation Army was about Innovation not Tradition, Going not Staying, the Worst not the Best, and Commitment not Comfort. Surely when we were most effective as a movement this was our priority and with God lets do our best to get back to these basics that make up our DNA.

Just a thought.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Student Survey

a Biblical thought...
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

a Book thought...
The job description of a parent has one line: to work for two decades to create a successful adult. The school has the same job description. So the parent and the school should be partners in a mission to create a successful adult who will thrive in the evolving planetary society of the 21st-century. (p151)
a Dave thought...
As we at Glenferrie Outreach will soon going to be moving into our new space at 382 Burwood Road in Hawthorn and begin renovating it we thought it would be good to hear from the students themselves. So it was an interesting exercise on Friday to gather a group of students from Swinburne University and survey them about their needs and desires. We consulted with students from Vietnam, India and China and discovered during the 90 minute session that being a student in Melbourne certainly has its challenges. Basic concerns such as the cost of public transport, which is double for international students to the cost of printing @ 11 cents per copy are some of the financial struggles. We also discovered that they would like the centre open afternoons and evenings and that they are looking for groups to join such as cricket teams and music groups. It was a really valuable exercise and as they heard more about our vision for the RedRoom they were excited about helping us renovate the space and be a volunteer there later in the year. I pray as we get closer to opening the doors that our relationship with these students will grow as we continue to learn and gain a better understanding of how international students cope in Melbourne today.

Just a thought.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Do It, Don't Blog It

a Biblical thought...
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:9-10)

a Book thought...
The immense challenge of technological change requires that we make a significant investment in continuing education, and there is an escalating need for all of us, not only technology
professionals, to do so. (p148)
a Dave thought... excerpts from Dan Kimball
I suddenly faced a decision. Do I go home and read blogs about being missional, or do I go to the club and actually be missional? It sounds like an easy decision, but it wasn't. In all honesty, part of me truly wanted to go to the comfort of home and just sit in front of my laptop.
That moment forced me to begin reflecting on how much time I spend on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other online social networking sites. I wondered, If I spent less time online, could I be spending more time building friendships? Have I become so consumed with reading about mission that I've forgotten to actually engage it? As these questions arose, I started to get uncomfortable.

After wrestling with whether to go home and blog or go to the club and engage with my non-Christian friend, I finally came to the right decision. When I walked into the club, my friend saw me and immediately brought over a drink. We caught up on life, and after the show, he thanked me multiple times for coming. When his tour ends, we have plans to spend more time together. A friendship was deepened and an opportunity for the gospel was expanded, all because I chose to be missional rather than just blog about it.

Just a thought.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Megachurch Survey

a Biblical thought...
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 8:10-11)

a Book thought...
If the destination is new the means to get there will require innovations. (p130)
a Dave thought...www.hartsem.edu/
The National Survey of Megachurch Attenders drew 24,900 responses from 12 carefully selected megachurches across the U.S. Conducted January to August 2008, it is the largest national representative study of megachurch attendees conducted by any researchers to date. Here are some of the findings...

• Young and single adults are more likely to be in megachurches than in smaller churches.
• Nearly two-thirds of attenders have been at these churches 5 years or less.
• Many attenders come from other churches, but nearly a quarter haven’t been in any church for a long time before coming to a megachurch.
• Attenders report a considerable increase in their involvement in church, in their spiritual growth, and in their needs being met.
• Forty-five percent of megachurch attenders never volunteer at the church.
• New people almost always come to the megachurch because family, friends or coworkers
invited them.
• What first attracted attenders were the worship style, the senior pastor and the church’s reputation.
• These same factors also influenced long-term attendance, as did the music/arts, social and community outreach and adult-oriented programs.
• Attenders can craft unique, customized spiritual experiences through the multitude of ministry choices and diverse avenues for involvement that megachurches offer.

Just a thought.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Heart Power

a Biblical thought...
For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly. (Proverbs 5:21-23)

a Book thought...
Management is largely derived from a cerebral connection, a sharing of a cerebral purpose, one without an emotional connection. On the other hand, leadership involves both what I
call the ‘neck up’ components of the intellect and the rational thinker and the ‘neck down’ aspects of the emotional realm. (p125)
a Dave thought... by Peter Ellyard
Leadership needs heart power: the amount and kind of heart power we possess defines the kind of leader we are. Over the last fifteen years I have worked with clients on leadership development and I have examined what the key emotions are connecting the leader with others, and what the key emotional qualities are which the leader should embody to make people want to give loyalty to them. If one considers great leaders such as Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, we notice that they possess six qualities in abundance, all of which are heart-derived rather than head-derived. The key six ‘heart’ qualities are:

• Confidence: having self-belief without hubris.
• Courage: going where others dare not, overcoming self-interested opposition.
• Commitment: doing what must be done; being assertive not aggressive.
• Consideration: listening and responding to the opinions and views of others.
• Courtesy: showing respect in conversation.
• Compassion responding with empathy to victims and the disadvantaged.

You might like to assess these qualities in some leaders whom you think are particularly effective or ineffective. Give them a score out of ten for each heart quality and add them up. You might like to do the same with yourself.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Parent Teacher Interviews

a Biblical thought...
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

a Book thought...
The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made, and the making of those pathways transforms both the path maker and the
destination. (p122)
a Dave thought...
Last night Kylie and I went along to Birralee Primary School to Parent Teacher interviews to spend some time with Noah's Grade 1 teacher. Miss Barnden is a quality person and the fact that she is a Christian is a bonus. She spoke on our son's ability in the classroom to read, write and complete all his work as required and gave us the line 'that he's a pleasure to teach'.
For over eight years (1992-2000) I was also a school teacher and used to sit on the other side of the table and must admit to finding the parent teacher interviews very draining. When I taught up to a hundred secondary students some of whom I hardly knew it was a tough couple of days. One thing though I soon realised is once you could connect and understand the parent(s) working with the student was far easier. Like father, like son is a saying that has been around a long time but also makes a lot of sense.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Junior Band

a Biblical thought...
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre. (Psalm 150:1-3)

a Book thought...
In individualistic cultures most people are problem-centred strategists. This is the way of the manager, and it involves working towards a future where present problems are lessened or removed. The aim is to remove or lessen present ‘bads’ rather than positively create ‘goods’. The alternative is to have a mission-directed strategy to get to the future, preferably first: to develop and implement a mission to put ‘goods’ into the future. This, as I have said, is the way of the leader. (p116)

a Dave thought...
On Sunday morning the The Salvation Army Box Hill Junior Band had their debut performance. This involved playing 5 short numbers in the 9.30, 11am and Korean services. As the conductor I was very proud of all 22 of these fine young people aged from 6-14. We have 3 flutes, 6 clarinets, 5 cornets/trumpets, 3 alto saxophones, 1 tenor saxophone, 2 trombones, 1 baritone, and 1 percussion. This concert band rehearses every Tuesday night from 6-6.45pm and the improvement in just 10 rehearsals has been amazing. As Noah is part of this as a 7 year-old trombone player I was also a proud dad, and have seen his musical knowledge and skills improve since they all began back in late February.

Bands are a great asset to our movement, and with young people the concert band is an effective way to include many kids from the local community who learn through a school music program in our weekly activities. I have heard on numerous occasions of stories of people coming to faith and then becoming a junior soldier, senior soldier and even an officer because of an invite into a band. The sense of community and belonging are quite unique in a band setting, but unless you have experienced it you may never quite understand the bonding that takes place. The added bonus of a Salvo band is that you also have the ability to pray together and do mission together. So next time you hear or see a Salvo band try to not just see it as just another group but rather as a small church because the potential is amazing.

Just a thought.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pirates at Macleod

a Biblical thought...
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. (Psalm 145:3-6)

a Book thought...
Although all of us are part-leader, part-manager, we can have very different proportions of these in our make-up. An insight into how much of each we have can be gleaned from whether we are most comfortable asking the preferred-future question (what should be?) or the probable-future question (what will be?). (p111)
a Dave thought...
Kylie and I have been asked to lead meetings and preach at various corps over the years, but never quite like last night. During the week we were informed of the theme for the Youth Meeting at Macleod, it was simply 'Pirates!' So using our creative minds we came up with three props to preach from. Firstly a treasure map being a symbol for God's word something we should study and lead us in the right direction - Josh 1:8. Next was the anchor which symbolised the importance of building your life on the rock, a secure foundation, like the man in Luke 6. Lastly was the image of treasure, the aim of every pirate to discover so we put the challenge out there to see where your treasure is, as there your heart will be also - Matt 6:19. It was a lot of fun and we all learnt more about pirates & more importantly God's word as well.

Just a thought.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Snow Trip

a Biblical thought...
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you. (Psalm 140:12-13)

a Book thought...
Management is primarily about doing what we are already doing while seeking to improve performance, efficiency and effectiveness, and about minimising risk through preventing and avoiding threats and undesirable outcomes. Leadership is primarily about doing new things and facilitating the realisation of sought-after outcomes. (p105)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday our family went on a day trip to the snow at Lake Mountain. The idea came about a few weeks ago when Noah came home and asked 'what is snow?' So we thought we better educate our children and made the two hour drive up through the mountains and enjoyed a few hours in the 3 degrees Celsius. It was a lot of fun but at the same time it was also unbelievable to see the devastation that has been caused through 'Black Saturday'. You will notice even in the picture above that the trees in the background are all burnt. There are hardly any businesses still standing at Marysville and for a lot of the drive we were going through burnt bush. For many the fires have changed their lives forever and although it was a lot of fun it seemed driving to the snow was more a reminder of the lasting effect of the fires than anything else.

Just a thought.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Power Shift 2009!

a Biblical thought...
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:14-16)

a Book thought...
Every year there are more innovations and job categories. In this speeded-up world of constant change, it makes sense for all of us to be future makers and to conduct structured destiny
dialogues, derivation dialogues and destination dialogues, rather than be future-takers who opt for the best or even the least worse choice of what has been created by others. (p105)

a Dave thought...
In four weeks time, thousands of young Australians are converging on Sydney to train and mobilise for climate action. Organised by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Powershift is moment that could change your life - if you let it.
What: 3 awesome days of inspiration, training, sharing and meeting other cool young people from around Australia. Don't miss the huge concert on Saturday night! Conference attendees will learn the best practices of climate organising, including: campaign and event planning, recruitment, media, public speaking, lobbying, leadership development, coalition-building, campaign strategy, and community and campus organising.
Where: University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus - the geographical heart of Sydney. When: Saturday 11 July - Monday 13 July.

Just a thought.

Friday, June 19, 2009


a Biblical thought...
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. (Psalm 138:2)

a Book thought...
We all carry past baggage into the future. It is important that we know what this baggage is
and are able to get rid of any negative baggage if we are to give ourselves the best chance of achieving future success. Then we will become wiser. Wisdom comes from knowledge tempered by experience plus reflection. (p100)
a Dave thought... by Alan Hirsch
Having breathed new life into organizations, how do we sustain it? Paradoxically, the answer lies in ‘disciplines’. This is what I have called ‘practices’ in earlier posts. The disciplines help organizations sustain disequilibrium, thrive in near-chaos conditions, and foster self-organization. If taken to heart, they can also foster changes at the individual level. Indeed, they must be internalized if their far-reaching benefits are to be fully realized.

According to Pascale et.al., There are seven critical disciplines. These are:
1. Infuse an intricate understanding of what drives organizational success.
2. Insist on uncompromising straight talk.
3. Manage from the future.
4. Reward inventive accountability.
5. Harness adversity by learning from prior mistakes.
6. Foster relentless discomfort.
7. Cultivate reciprocity between the individual and the organization.
Each of the seven disciplines can stand alone, but enormous power exists in the relationship among them.

Just a thought.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


a Biblical thought...
I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. (Psalm 135:5-6)

a Book thought...
The ‘destiny’ Ford referred to is actually made up of two components: what one is good at (aptitude) and what one loves doing (passion). Fulfilling your destiny creates your work, that
which you do in order to give meaning to your life. Understanding your own uniqueness is therefore one of the major steps on the pathway to becoming a future-maker. (p99)
a Dave thought... The Age
America's newest texting champion has a message for parents across the land — although they might not want to hear it.
"Let your kid text during dinner! Let your kid text during school! It pays off," 15-year-old Kate Moore said after winning the LG US National Texting Championship.
After all, she said: "Your kid could win money and publicity and a phone".
For the Des Moines, Iowa, teenager, her 14,000 texts-per-month habit reaped its own rewards, landing her the competition prize of $US50,000 just eight months after she got her first mobile phone.
Moore, with a speedy and accurate performance, beat out 20 other finalists from around the country over two days of challenges such as texting blindfolded and texting while manoeuvring through a moving obstacle course.
In the final showdown, she out texted 14-year-old Morgan Dynda, of Savannah, Georgia.
Both girls had to text three lengthy phrases without making any mistakes on the required abbreviations, capitalisation or punctuation. Moore squeaked through by a few seconds on the tiebreaking text, getting the best two out of three. As she anxiously waited for confirmation of her win, tears streamed down her face.

The teen dismisses the idea that she focuses too much on virtual communications, saying that while she has sometimes had her phone taken away from her in school, she keeps good grades, performs in school plays and socialises with friends — in person — on the weekends.
In between, she finds time to send about 400 to 470 texts a day. Among her uses of the text messages? Studying for exams with friends, which she says is better done by text because she can look back at the messages to review.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Working Hours

a Biblical thought...
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy. (Psalm 126:5-6)

a Book thought...
So when young people ask me, what should I study at university, or what kind of jobs will be available when I am in mid-career, I give them this answer: it doesn’t matter what you study at university. For most of you it will bear little relationship to what you will be doing when you are thirty-five. Study what you are good at and passionate about and for the time being forget about the job market. (p.99).

a Dave thought...
Yesterday all the employees at THQ were offered the option of working a 9 day fortnight. This created some interesting discussions and reminded me of some incredibly flexible models for the workplace I have read about in previous years. Ricardo Semler has written two books, both of which have had a big impact on my thinking on this matter – ‘Maverick’ & ‘The 7 Day Weekend’. Many think unless we have a uniformity and disciplined approach in the look and operation of our work places there will be minimal outcomes achieved. Ricardo on the other hand believes that the more flexibility in both the workspace and working hours and by empowering the employee the healthier the work environment and the more that will be achieved. By treating employees as children you will only attract and keep only children, but if they are treated like adults & consulted like adults you will have a low maintenance but high functioning team.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Motivating Gen Y’s

a Biblical thought...
I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

a Book thought...
A hundred years ago we thought that to participate in a war to protect the tribe was a heroic act. Now we see war as a failure to create peace and that, as Barbara Ward said, we must work for peace in order to prevent war. (p.98).
a Dave thought... www.businessweek.com
Young people change jobs every 18 months. So here's what they want at work: Stability. The only reason Gen Y job hops is keep their learning curve high. No one wants to change jobs all the time. It's scary and difficult and tumultuous. But Gen Y knows that there are no lifetime jobs any more, and we're each responsible for our own careers. The best way to keep yourself employable is to always be learning. So when the learning curve flattens out at work, Gen Y jumps.

1. Focus on mentoring.
Most young people have no idea what they want to do for their lives. They are trying things out. They need a mentor to help them figure out what to try next, and how to make sense of what they've already tried.

2. Create rotation programs.
The hottest jobs for Gen Y are getting into programs that steer you through many departments (Procter & Gamble (PG), General Electric (GE)) or companies that encourage you to move around after a short period of time (Deloitte, Ernst & Young).

3. Don't focus on pay.
Young people expect to be paid market rate. They have easy access to resources like PayScale, where the range of salaries in a given field is listed.

4. Micromanage.
That's right. Gen Y wants to be micromanaged. To other generations this would be insulting or annoying. But Gen Y wants constant feedback and constant attention. That's how they were raised—to be the center of the family. So they expect to be important wherever they go.

5. Get real about teamwork.
For the last 20 years we've been talking about how important teamwork is. Companies that work in teams create better ideas, faster progress, and stronger companies than companies full of lone rangers. We know this, but baby boomers hate teams. They want to be in charge; they want to stand out as being special from everyone else.

Gen Y expects work to be about teams because for them everything is about teams. Which means you can't retain Gen Y if you're not really serious about teams.

Just a thought.

Monday, June 15, 2009


a Biblical thought...
You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 118:28-29)

a Book thought...
The emergence of the spaceship culture is advantaging women. This could be one of the main reasons girls are outperforming boys in schools: now it is the cowboy males in schools who are
increasingly the misfits and the failures. The jobs formerly available to poorly educated males are disappearing in a growing 21st-century knowledge-based economy, and many of the job
niches they used to occupy have been exported to developing countries. (p83)
a Dave thought...
Last night it was a great opportunity to share a few thoughts on becoming a disciple with the Waverley youth at fusion. As part of this youth service the guys gave a very special man an amazing and authentic farewell. Steve Williamson is a 23 year-old who leaves on Friday to go join his parents in mission work. He is taking up a position with The Salvation Army in Project Development and Child Sponsorship in Jamaica which is a part of the Caribbean territory. I only know Steve a little but the stories of his inspirational leadership, vision and passion from those that know him well tell me he is an amazing guy. So thanks Steve for letting me get a glimpse of your impact in so many lives last night & I'm sure with God's help you will influence many more in the coming years.

Just a thought.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Keeping Gen Y's motivated

a Biblical thought...
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. (Psalm 116:5)

a Book thought...
Postmodernism with its increasing promotion of intercultural respect has facilitated the spreading of democracy across cultural divides and to minority groups, but planetism will be the first global paradigm to have democracy at its centre and not as an optional extra. (p72)
a Dave thought... http://www.dailybreeze.com/
Here are Tulgan's tips for keeping Gen Y's happy in the workplace:
Make your job the prestige job. How? You have to be extremely demanding, highly competitive and fiercely merit-based. Shine that bright light of scrutiny on yourself as a leader and on every single person you manage. Hold everyone to a higher standard, and help everyone meet that higher standard. Set up a constant loop of challenge
Push out the low performers. Remember that stubborn low performers hate the bright light of scrutiny and usually will find a way to escape. You rarely have to fire them if you are willing to shine that bright light.
Don't let good people get into downward spirals. When an otherwise good employee is struggling, help the employee see what's going wrong and how to make things go better. Instead of suffering the pain of failure, the employee will get a chance to bank one tiny success after another.
Turn the reasons Gen Y-ers might leave into reasons they will stay, and work even harder. When Gen Y-ers express needs and wants that are totally unrealistic, you should let them know that immediately so that their expectations are clear. The next step, however, is to help them see what is realistic . . . and then help them earn it.
Whatever you are doing to be flexible and generous to retain your good employees, you need to be much more flexible and generous to keep your great employees. Give the superstars the most time and attention.
Just a thought.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Big Q

a Biblical thought...
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

a Book thought...
Fundamentalist organisations have only prospered where community educational achievements are well behind those of more successful communities. Fundamentalism will only continue
to prosper if it continues to deny access to learning except in a very narrow religious form, and this is increasingly difficult to do in a world with the Internet and global mass media. (p69)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday was a state wide curriculum day so what better way to educate my 7 year old son but to take him along to a West Coast Eagles training session. It was at the Junction oval and there were a couple of hundred faithful fans braving the cold weather. The picture above is of the full forward Quentin Lynch affectionately known as 'The Big Q' in our house. Noah thought the experience was great as he got to meet a few players and see Nic Natainui up close before his big debut tonight. I often wonder how meeting famous 'TV people' effects children, does it just make them idolise them more or does it help them realise that we are all people with so much in common just doing different things with our lives.

Just a thought.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ky's Birthday

a Biblical thought...
But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths. Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD. (Psalm 107:41-43)

a Book thought...
One thing is certain. Religions will have to be responsive to the spiritual and values marketplace of the 21st century if they want to have anybody at all in their churches, temples, mosques
and synagogues in twenty years’ time. People everywhere are becoming better educated and more likely to become critical of a too-slow transformation process. (p62)
a Dave thought...
Last night we celebrated Kylie's 36th birthday. As I was the cook we had a smorgasbord of chicken & chips, with coleslaw & the magnificent Peters Ice cream cake! Thanks to Nanna, Ky and myself were then able to go out alone and see a movie. It was a great day all round and made me realise how important it is to celebrate & appreciate the people we have in our lives. Often it is those closest to us we often just take for granted. Kylie is an amazing woman who I have been married to now for over 16 years & I couldn't ask for a better friend, wife and mother of my two boys. Thanks Ky for everything & hope you have at least another 36 fabulous years!

Just a thought.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Church Shopping

a Biblical thought...
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Psalm 103:2-5)

a Book thought...
In 2002, out of 125 Australian students 115 ‘expressed personal concern for spirituality, while only ten said that they were pleased to be designated as following one of the religions’. David Tacey concluded that ‘If our social institutions want to stay in touch with the people they are supposed to serve or govern, they ought to kick themselves out of their lethargy and pay attention’ and also that ‘While only a tiny minority of people continue to practice formal religion in the developed nations of the world, a huge number are keenly pursuing spirituality and individual pathways to sacred meaning’ (p.54).
a Dave thought...
Although these Barna stats are American it is interesting to note there is a growing lack of loyalty to a denomination or local church. I’d have to say we would be in a similar shape downunder with many Christians continuing to move from church to church just trying find an expression that helps connect them to God while still understanding Australian 21st century culture. Unfortunately after a few unsuccessful moves it normally results in removal from church life altogether.

-88% of American adults say that "my religious faith is very important in my life."

-75% say they sense that "God is motivating people to stay connected with Him, but in different ways and through different types of experiences than in the past."

-50% say "a growing number of people I know are tired of the usual type of church experience."

-64% say they are "completely open to carrying out and pursuing [their] faith in an environment or structure that differs from that of a typical church."

-45% say they are "willing to try a new church."

A staggering number of Americans - almost half of the nation's 230 million adults - are open to changing their church home, demonstrating their lack of connection with their present community of faith and their desire to have a more significant connection. It may also be a reflection of people's increasing lack of loyalty to both organizations and personal relationships, and the growing sense that there is always something better available if you can simply find it.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday Morning Tweets

a Biblical thought...
The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. (Psalm 99:4-5)
a Book thought...
Unlike cowboy tribalism, cosmonaut tribalism permits one to belong to several tribes at once because it does not require you to define your tribalism through hostility to or disrespect for
another tribe. Cosmonaut tribalism means one can be a Tuscan, an Italian, a European and a Planetan (the noun I have chosen to describe a planetist person) at the same time. (p49)
a Dave thought...
In 1896 the Salvos were at the forefront of innovation and technology with the limelight department and roadshows to communicate the gospel in a fresh way.This report from TIME magazine reminds us that we don’t always have to get annoyed by the latest trends and technology on Sunday but rather embrace them to help us connect with God and others.

Voelz and David McDonald, the senior pastors at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Mich., spent two weeks educating their congregation about Twitter, the microblogging site that challenges users to communicate in 140 characters or less. They held training sessions in which congregants brought in their laptops, iPhones and BlackBerrys. They upped the bandwidth in the auditorium. (See "Finding God on YouTube.")
As expected, banter flourished. Tweets like "Nice shirt JVo" and "So glad they are doing Lenny Kravitz" flashed across three large video screens. But there was heartfelt stuff too.
"I have a hard time recognizing God in the middle of everything."
"The more I press in to Him, the more He presses me out to be useful"
"sometimes healing is painful"

There's a time and place for technology, and most houses of worship still say it's not at morning Mass. But instead of reminding worshippers to silence their cell phones, a small but growing number of churches across the country are following Voelz's lead and encouraging people to integrate text-messaging into their relationship with God.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Slow Dance

a Biblical thought...
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3)

a Book thought...
In the 1950s a landscape filled by smoking chimneys was a sign of industrial ‘progress’. By the 1990s, we were aiming to do economically well by being environmentally neutral. Now our aim is to utilise the environment in sustainable ways and ensure that it can be handed on as a productive and species diverse entity to future generations. (p45)
a Dave thought...
I was emailed this poem yesterday and after reading it on our public holiday realised I’m certainly one who can benefit from these wise words, so thought I’d share it with you all. SLOW DANCE was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital.

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask how are you? Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done do you lie in your bed?
With the next hundred chores running through your head?

You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die?
Cause you never had time to call and say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift.... Thrown away.

Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

Just a thought.

Monday, June 8, 2009


a Biblical thought...
I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. (Psalm 89:1-2)

a Book thought...
Those born after 1970 sometimes have difficulty in understanding how earlier generations could have perpetuated so many destructive changes and called them ‘progress’. (p34)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday Kylie and I drove down to Warragul to get a taste of State Youth Games. There is over 200 Salvo youth down this long weekend there competing and camping from Footscray, Resi, Preston, Camberwell, Box Hill & Ringwood. With the weather cold and rainy as per normal I once again admired their durability and teamwork. This annual event is organised by the Churches of Christ and has over 2000 youth from many denominations meeting for basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, tennis, chess cross country and many more. I know of guys who also have been saved at this event during the Saturday night rally, so it is not only a lot of fun but also a great chance to experience community and hopefully find Christ at the same time.

Just a thought.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tipping-Point Innovation

a Biblical thought...
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10)

a Book thought...
If we are to ensure that we create a harmonious, equitable and sustainable society in the year 2050 and beyond we must develop visions, strategies, designs and innovations not just for surviving but for thriving in this new globalising society. (p18)
a Dave thought...from The Age
Three Googlers from the Sydney office had just completed a technically challenging, 90-minute demo of an ambitious project with the lofty aim of reinventing online communications.
And as they wrapped up, the crowd almost to a man rose to their feet and gave the team a standing ovation. They liked what they had just seen. And what they saw was what has been called a tipping-point innovation that could rewrite the rules of person-to-person engagement on the internet.
Dubbed Wave, it's the brainchild of Danish-born and now Sydney-based brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen. It targets email, the internet's dominant communications platform.
As any user will tell you, email has its downsides. There's spam: 90 per cent of email traffic is now classified as unsolicited junk mail. There are emails which just disappear into the ether. There are long threads of replied to and forwarded emails where it is impossibly difficult to work out who said what when.
Wave, say the Rasmussen brothers, is what email would be if it was invented today. It brings multiple communication tools including instant messaging, blogs, wikis and even Twitter under one roof and also combines file and document sharing.

Just a thought.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tasmania Creative Arts Camp

a Biblical thought...
Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:7)

a Book thought...
Globalisation is here to stay, for the fact is that many are benefiting, even prospering, from these changes. Many people, such as Rupert Murdoch or Bill Gates, are thriving, as are many global businesses. (p17)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday I travelled down to Launceston to visit the Tasmania Creative Arts Camp. Simon Damen did a great job once again organising such a diverse camp for 40 youth. Electives included film-making, photography, worship band, dance, drama, timbrels & painting. Last night it was great to be at the Kings Meadows Corps for the final concert. This was a highlights package of just some of the great outcomes of the week together. There is no doubt there are many talented and creative young people in Tassie & I pray they will continue to be encouraged to show their love for God through the creative arts.

Just a thought.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Designing 2050

a Biblical thought...
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72)

a Book thought...
Herbert Booth was endowed with exceptional gifts. Like our beloved father, the Father of The Salvation Army, he had the genius for organisation. He was a natural pioneer. He never lacked the courage required for initiative work. (p437)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday I attended a Just Leadership breakfast where I was privileged to hear and meet Dr Peter Ellyard a futurist and strategist who lives in Melbourne. He has recently published a book titled Designing 2050.

An inspirational blueprint for those wanting to be future makers rather than future takers, this book offers a third choice. According to Peter we are at a tipping point in history. Globalisation, increased technological and social innovation, the growth of the educated middle class and democracy, and a shared awareness of our ecological vulnerability are combining to offer us a chance of designing sustainable, diverse societies which are prosperous in every way.
It looks like a fascinating read and you can download it for $5 @ http://www.lulu.com/content/1711089

Just a thought.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The ladder of influence

a Biblical thought...
No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man. But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. (Psalm 75:6-7)

a Book thought...
Herbert, stating his own conception of preaching, said: The day of ‘stand and deliver’ style of oratory, the measured, balanced sentences falling from trained lips in faultless tone has gone by – dead and done for. (p329)
a Dave thought...
Last night I attended a leadership dinner which featured presenters from Leadership Catalyst. The evening speakers were Bill Thrall (pictured above), Bruce McNicol, and John Lynch who travelled over here from the USA to be be part of the TrueFaced Conference. These three guys spoke about character and capacity and how we often are so concerned about what we do we often undervalue who we are. They used the image of the ladder and how we can climb the ladder of influence if we have relationships of trust and environments of grace. We learnt that the No. 1 cause of leadership failure is isolation and how important it is to have people we can trust around us to share our lives with. Areas of our character we can all continue to work at are based around humility, submission, obedience and suffering.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Critical Friend

a Biblical thought...
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. (Psalm 71:17-18)

a Book thought...
I do not think that you will ever get intelligent and able men to acquiesce for long in a system so exacting in which they themselves are denied the right to participate. (p277)
a Dave thought...
Often when driving I listen to my favourite radio station SEN - Sports Entertainment Network. This station delves into the really deep things of life - sport, and does this 24/7. As the topic of conversation yesterday was about recruiting a new coach it was fascinating to hear some of the views of experts and callers. Some believe you are best to go for a proven older coach while others believe someone younger who has just finished his playing career. But the view I was interested in most was that of past AFL coach David Parkin. He suggested the best way forward was to put a young leader in place who has energy & fresh ideas but they must have a critical friend alongside them. A critical friend is a great title as many would perceive it as an oxymoron but we all need a critical friend in our lives. Someone who tells us the honest truth about our character and our decisions but also someone you know you can rely upon to be there no matter what happens along the way.

David went on to explain that critical friend must be someone with more experience who has been in a similar position before but has no interest in taking their job. He suggested the Brisbane Lions as a good example with Michael Voss, a new coach with no experience with Wayne Brittain an ex-coach now assistant alongside him. So why is this relevant to The Salvation Army? It seems we continue to struggle to promote younger leaders into command positions, and when it happens they are often appointed as assistants. Maybe a way of appointing younger leaders in our movement to positions such as a Divisional Commander would be to appoint a 40-something leader with a 60-something leader as their assistant and their critical friend.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

49 Character Traits

a Biblical thought...
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the LORD— and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (Psalm 68:4-6)

a Book thought...
If the Commissioner is to have the responsibility, then he must have the power; and remember his power over his whole concern is largely a question of his power over his immediate top men. Anything that weakens him there, weakens him all round. (p266)
a Dave thought...
Here are the 49 character traits that many organisations are now looking for in future employees. Many believe it is more important to employ a person with character and skill them up rather than employ a skilled person and try and character them up. I encourage you to do a self assessment or better still get with a close friend and see how many of the 49 traits you demonstrate in your life.

ALERTNESS vs. Carelessness Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.
ATTENTIVENESS vs. Distraction Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration.
AVAILABILITY vs. Self-centeredness Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.
BENEVOLENCE vs. Selfishness Giving to others' basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
BOLDNESS vs. Fearfulness Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just. CAUTIOUSNESS vs. Rashness Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
COMPASSION vs. Indifference Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others. CONTENTMENT vs. Covetousness Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions.
CREATIVITY vs. Underachievement Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
DECISIVENESS vs. Procrastination The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
DEFERENCE vs. Rudeness Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me.
DEPENDABILITY vs. Inconsistency Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
DETERMINATION vs. Faintheartedness Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
DILIGENCE vs. Slothfulness Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me.
DISCERNMENT vs. Shortsightedness Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen. DISCRETION vs. Simple-mindedness Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.
ENDURANCE vs. Discouragement The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.
ENTHUSIASM vs. Apathy Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
FAITH vs. Presumption Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome even when I cannot see how.
FLEXIBILITY vs. Resistance Willingness to change plans or ideas without getting upset. FORGIVENESS vs. Rejection Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.
GENEROSITY vs. Stinginess Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.
GENTLENESS vs. Harshness Showing consideration and personal concern for others. GRATEFULNESS vs. Unthankfulness Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefited my life.
HONOR vs. Disrespect Respecting those in leadership because of the higher authorities they represent.
HOSPITALITY vs. Loneliness Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.
HUMILITY vs. Pride Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
INITIATIVE vs. Idleness Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
JOYFULNESS vs. Self-pity Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.
JUSTICE vs. Corruption Taking personal responsibility to uphold what pure, right, and true. LOYALTY vs. Unfaithfulness Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.
MEEKNESS vs. Anger Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve.
OBEDIENCE vs. Willfulness Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.
ORDERLINESS vs. Confusion Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
PATIENCE vs. Restlessness Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it. PERSUASIVENESS vs. Contentiousness Guiding vital truths around others' mental roadblocks. PUNCTUALITY vs. Tardiness Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time.
RESOURCEFULNESS vs. Wastefulness Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.
RESPONSIBILITY vs. Unreliability Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
SECURITY vs. Anxiety Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.
SELF-CONTROL vs. Self-Indulgence Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right. SENSITIVITY vs. Callousness Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me. SINCERITY vs. Hypocrisy Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.
THOROUGHNESS vs. Incompleteness Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.
THRIFTINESS vs. Extravagance Allowing myself an others to spend only what is necessary.
TOLERANCE vs. Prejudice Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.
TRUTHFULNESS vs. Deception Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts. VIRTUE vs. Impurity The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.
WISDOM vs. Foolishness Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

Just a thought.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Candidates Weekend

a Biblical thought...
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (Psalm 63:1-4)

a Book thought...
The system which subjugates all the chief officers of the Army to the vote of their subordinates and yet leaves the supreme heads in absolute control seems to us unjust, unreasonable and oppressive. (p216)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday Kylie & I went down to Geelong to spend the morning with over 50 prospective candidates. It was great just to chat and hear many stories as we met and spoke with these passionate people. The highlight though was to hear so many amazing testimonies of God working in peoples lives and giving them hope and a future. Among the many personal calling stories was Commissioner Carolyn's which just proves that God is faithful and He will do things in His perfect timing. Officership in The Salvation Army is a unique calling and if you are at all interested start praying that this is what God has called you. If you want to know more read http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/SALV/STANDARD/PC_62699.html

Just a thought.