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Category: General

More Than Mothers Day

Mothers Day in Australia has come and gone. For a day, we broke from normal routine in order to celebrate the endless, selfless investment that our mothers have sacrificially poured into our well-being on a daily basis since the day we were born. We made breakfasts, gave gifts, and showed our appreciation in creative and caring ways. Life has returned to routine again, and the mothers in our lives continue their faithful service to their families. Yes, Mothers Day is over for another year, and our mothers march on through what is undoubtedly both the best job and also the hardest job ever. Motherhood brings with it indescribable joy; but it also pushes to breaking point physically, mentally, and emotionally. The truth is that the…

A Word of Encouragement to Pastors

Kevin DeYoung recently taught an intensive at Queensland Theological College on three things we must know in ministry. These things aren’t intended to be limited to those who preach and pastor, but rather they are an exhortation to all of us as fellow ministers of the gospel in the community of faith that God has placed us in.This following post is based on my notes from session one. The Rock on which the Church is Built Those who are called to church leadership in its various forms feel the weight of shepherding the people of God faithfully. Whether it be through careful selection of songs with lyrics that take focus off of self and make much of Christ; teaching and exhorting through faithfully expounding Scripture;…

Peace Like a River

Today is a day of revisiting difficult emotional territory. It was on this day in 2018 when we met our baby who had already gone to the next world before having the chance to see this one. (I processed those thoughts in a post called On Tragedy, Loss, and Learning) Now, just like it was then, I feel the tension between remembering the loss and the comfort of knowing our baby is in a better place; albeit without us. It feels like someone has thrown my emotions in a blender and I’m not sure which colour will be dominant when the whirring stops. What I Feel and What I Know I went to the memorial service. I lit a candle. I watched through tears as…

4 Albums I’m Enjoying Right Now

Crescendo by Jackie Hill Perry Released on Jan 18, 2019, this is the newest addition to my playlist, so I’m still getting the full feel of it. It boasts solid lyrics; is easy listening; and is (in my opinion) what realistic, Scripture-rich worship looks like. In a recent interview, Miller said: The Psalms have been my daily bread. The realness there of men who weren’t afraid to give a voice to their hurts.” I think Jesus is honored in that kind of honesty and that’s probably where some of the most beautiful worship comes to life.”  The Perfect Love of Christ by Immanuel Nashville This album isn’t new (2016) but I recently discovered it when the title track featured at Together for the Gospel in…

What Matters Most

Some people scoff at making resolutions. Others simply give up on goal-setting before they begin; pessimistically acknowledging that it always peters out by March or at best, May. I’m not a pessimist, but I’m not—I hope—legalistic about making and meeting goals either. Rather, I appreciate a milestone moment such as the transition to a new year as an opportunity to evaluate the year that was, and re-focus on what matters most. This past Sunday, the first Sunday of 2019, our people were encouraged to take this step with regard to choosing a Bible reading plan. I’m continually grateful to be part of a local body of believers that places such high value on intentional discipleship. So I’ve been thinking about what matters most. Last year…

Favourites of 2018

Rather than subject people to yet another “Top Ten Whatevers of 2018”, I thought I’d simply contribute a compilation of my favourite things from the year that was. So whether you enjoy podcasts or pictures, perhaps there’s something in this list of recommendations for you to enjoy. Books It’s a predictable place to start, but I read a lot of books. Books for pleasure, books for growth, books to rest with, and books to equip me to be a better husband/father/employee/disciple/friend. For a longer list of what I’ve read (and what I enjoyed reading the most) head to my page on Goodreads. Here are a few highlights. A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Sarah…

A Blogging Sabbath-of-Sorts

I‘m going to be taking a break from regular blogging for the remainder of 2018. There are a couple of really good reasons for this: First, our family of five will be moving house in late October. While we hope that this will be a good thing for us in the long term, it does mean that while we’re busy searching for our next property our lives are slowly being packed into boxes, and we get to experience all the fun that goes with that. Second, I’ve decided to take on a major learning project for myself (the details aren’t important), and I so wanted to free up other self-imposed deadlines in order to make space to read, write, and focus on this specific thing.…

What Was Said Concerning Himself:
Dr. Tremper Longman III

Last night I had the privilege of attending a lecture delivered by renown Old Testament scholar Dr. Tremper Longman III, where he discussed the importance of understanding how to responsibly read the Old Testament as a Christian. Understanding the theological relationship between the testaments is a crucial area for Christians to grasp today in their reading of the whole Bible as the inspired word of God. Dr. Longman demonstrated masterfully through two specific examples of biblical trajectories (the tabernacle, and God as warrior) how the contours of expectation roll through the pages of the Bible until they reach Jesus, and that the resurrection is the hermeneutical key with which to interpret all of Scripture; just as Jesus demonstrated in Luke 24 on the road to…

Two Testaments, One Bible:
Responding to Andy Stanley’s call to ‘unhitch’ the Old Testament’

What is our relationship to the Old Testament? Aren’t the Jewish scriptures simply an interesting historical backstory? What was the foundation on which the New Testament church was built? It wasn’t any book. There wasn’t one. It wasn’t the Bible. There wasn’t one. And it wasn’t the Old Covenant because that didn’t tell the story of Jesus. The foundational event was the resurrection of Jesus Christ; so Moses is out, and Jesus is in. Christianity doesn’t need propping up by the Old Testament, so shouldn’t we feel free to “unhitch” it from our faith? This declaration, preached by Pastor Andy Stanley in April 2018, should ring alarm bells for Christians everywhere. After all, Jesus and the apostles were absolutely convinced of the supreme authority of…

5 Podcasts I Recommend

Brisbane traffic can be a long, slow roll at a third of the speed limit, especially at peak times. I’ve got nothing against having a little quiet time—in a house of 3 boys, there’s not exactly a surplus of silence— but I like to make the most of my time on the commute. To that end I have around a dozen podcasts that I listen to regularly. These include sermons (Grace to You, North Pine Baptist Church), Christian Ethics & Engagement (Countermoves, Al Mohler’s The Briefing), Conference Addresses (The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel), and others of various kinds. Here are five specific podcasts that I’m really enjoying at the moment, and maybe you will too. Reading Writers (run time: approx 25-35 minutes) I…

EVENT: God and the Transgender Debate

Can a boy be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine actually “reassign” sex? And what is the most loving response towards a person who is experiencing conflict between the gender they appear to be, and the gender they feel that they are? The phenomenon of transgenderism raises many important questions and is full to overflowing with ontological assertions; the big idea being that people are who they claim to be, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. But is this conviction—that we are the sum total of what our feelings say we are—supported by biology, psychology or philosophy? This Monday (21st May 2018) I will be examining the transgender movement in light of current scientific and psychiatric research, and showing how the gospel of…

4 Things I’m Enjoying Right Now

There are many things I’m enjoying in life right now. These things include quality coffee with my Aeropress; Avengers: Infinity War; being a dad and watching my younger kids (age 2 and 3) discover new things; my own (hopefully) journey of growth in understanding my wife more; learning new things about Jesus; Jesus himself (roughly in that order, ascending). But, here are four more things I’m specifically enjoying this week. 1. Writing Lately I’ve found myself spending more time with pen and paper. I’m not a neat writer or a fast writer either, but I’m still particular about the tools I use. Being left-handed I can’t tolerate pens that pool ink or take too long to dry, and I don’t like cheap notebooks with paper that…

Write!

Arguably the thing that writers wish for more than any other (except perhaps a good publishing deal) is a distraction-free environment. It takes time and focus to get ideas out on the table, push them around, change their order or size, and arrange them into a carefully crafted piece of prose that somebody, somewhere might enjoy reading. Thankfully, there are ways to help us get closer to this Ideal Writing Zone; audible distractions can be reduced with noise-cancelling headphones, and visual distractions can be cut out by finding a quiet cubicle at a local college campus or library. But when it comes to technology, we live in a world of push notifications, constant connectivity, and the incessant demands of email, text messages, and social media.…

Three Personal and Professional Updates

The beginning of 2018 has not been uneventful for the MacLeavy family. It seems that life is always full, and often when it rains it pours. But we know that there are people out there who love to both pray, and offer practical support in many other ways. So I thought it was time we shared a few of our happenings (both personally and professionally). We’re thankful to God for placing us in a community of loving, praying, supportive people and so here are three quick updates we’d like to share with you. House & Family: Well, it seems the house we’re currently renting was sold on the weekend. While we’re yet to find out any of the details, if you’re in our area you…

The Most Read Articles of 2017

Writing blog posts isn’t a walk in the park, and without anyone to regularly fact-check, quality-control, or contribute content it can be hard to produce regular material that will invest value in your readership. There’s no magic formula, and (just like preaching) sometimes the posts you put the most work into fall flat, and the ones you weren’t so sure about publishing get more hits than you ever expected. I’ve tossed and turned over whether to keep an eye on the statistics of the blog (because it could easily become an idol), but I enjoy seeing what actually gets clicks, and that helps me craft my content. Here are the top 10 articles of 2017. 1. God and the Transgender Debate (September 2017). I loved…