Praying for Nathan

On Sunday night on Magic 2CH 1770 when I interviewed Andrew Barry about the journey that he and his son Nathan and family were on, at the end of the interview I led in prayer for Nathan Barry.

Thousands of radio listeners joined me in praying for this young man.

In case you weren't listening and would like to join us in praying for Nathan, press play and pray along. 

Lord God,

You are our shepherd and we come to you as the one who loves us, the everlasting God, the creator of the whole earth, you who never grow faint or weary, who has no limit to your understanding.

Lord, you give strength to weary, you strengthen the powerless, though youths may faint and grow weary and young men stumble and fall, we know that those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength.

And so Lord we pray for Nathan, for Andrew, Ruth, for the other five kids, for their cousins, aunties and uncles and grandparents.

We pray that you might renew their strength. And we claim this promise that they will sore on wings like eagles, that they will run and not grow weary, that they will walk and not grow faint.

Lord, thank you for those conversations that people like Nathan’s Godfather were able to have about the facts - and the fact of the resurrection, the fact of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

And we pray that Nathan along with all would call out that the Lord Jesus is Lord and believe in his heart that God raised him from the dead, and that he would be saved.

Father, we think about you the shepherd who walks us through the deepest valley, through the darkest valley, and we know there is no need to fear, for you are with us, that your rod and staff protect us, they comfort us and guide us.

And Lord as we think about the future, for Nathan, for ourselves, we are just confident that you are doing that work of preparing a table of anointing our heads with oil, of the cup overflowing and the goodness and faithful love will pursue us all the days of our life.

We long Lord to dwell in your house for ever.

And we pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Julian Porteous on Freedom for Faith

We are talking to Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tasmania Julian Porteuous.  He was taken to the anti-discrimination tribunal over a brochure that the Roman Catholic Bishops published on the meaning of marriage.

I thought it was a good brochure.

I was a well stated articulation of the classic Christian view of marriage.

Transgender Greens candidate Martine Delaney made the complaint.

Which she has now withdrawn.

Archbishop Porteous is on the line to process what was going on there….     And what that whole scenario means for Free Speech in Australia and Freedom of Religion in Australia.

Dr David Pettett on Samuel Marsden

Dr David Pettett is one of the world’s leading Samuel Marsden scholars.  And it’s about to happen: the release of his the popular version of his PhD thesis on this important colonial figure.

I think it is part of David’s thesis that much of the research into Marsden has ignored a main source of knowledge about him - his sermons (Marsden in his own words). 

David Pettett is on the line….

Note: Dr Pettett's new work on Samuel Marsden will be launched by Former Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen at 2pm on Sunday September 18 at St John's Parramatta. 

Ben Hur | Russ Matthews

The new Ben Hur movie is out.  It is in the cinemas at the moment. 


Russ Matthews is one of my movie mates.  He works for City Bible Forum helping business people in the CBD better get to know Jesus.


But I like talking movies with him.

When I heard this new version of Ben-Hur was coming out - I felt really worried!  Did they ruin the story?


Does the new version have cinematic significance?  Does it have faith significance?


What about the expression ‘Bigger than Ben Hur’?  Will people still be saying that after the new movie experience?

Teenage Pregnancy | Claire Dunlop

Teenage pregnancy is of course, a nationwide concern.

I think an even bigger concern is the incidence of teenage abortion (where young women might be pressured into making decisions - that they spend a lifetime regretting).

In Moree, up in the state’s north west, there’s a new initiative, which has been running for a year or so to try and support pregnant teenage girls, and to try and reduce the abortion statistics.

On the line I have the founder of this program “HOPE FOR LIFE”, Claire Dunlop

Teen pregnancy is an issue that probably will never go away but actually helping teenage girls cope with not only the pregnancy but also the early days of motherhood is not something we hear a lot about. How did the idea of this program come to you?

You, through Anglicare, received some government funding for this?

Abortion in the aboriginal community is not as widespread, is it?

Do you get any other support from anywhere else(She’ll tell you about churches in Moree and Asquith)


What sorts of results are you starting to see? 

Dr John Best on Religion in Elite Sport

Let’s talk now about Religion and Sport and we’re going to talk in a moment to former Wallabies Doctor Dr John Best because he’s been a Christian man working among the elite sports people for a long time now. 

But I wanted to talk about it … because it’s been all over our screens the last two weeks with the Olympics.  It’s seemed like athlete after athlete has acknowledge God…. in their speeches.

A couple of them that I particularly noticed. One was two young american men who won silver for America in the synchronised diving, two young men DAVID BOUDIA and STEELE JOHNSON speaking after winning silver.

But of course that wasn’t the most remarked upon incident.  That of course was the moment where Fiji won in the rugby, their countries first ever gold medal. 

Lets touch base with Dr John Best

What is it about being an elite athlete that makes people look to a higher power?

What goes through a Christian’s athlete’s mind when he LOSES?

Professor John Swinton on will God remember me when I forget him

As we think about the increasing numbers of people suffering dementia, a key question has been raised, and it flows out of this Bible verse in Romans 10.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

The question is 'Will God remember me when I forget him?'

To wrestle with that issue, on the line is Professor John Swinton, from the University of Aberdeen.

Kara Martin on the best books for 2016

Curling up with a good book remains a passion for many of us. 

No matter what other forms of media try to do to win our attention, the written word continues to be something we want to get into.

But with so many books steadily being released, sifting through the shelves can be daunting. Where do we start?

To help us make wise choices when it comes to what's coming out this year, we're going to ask an expert. Kara Martin is a prominent book reviewer for Eternity newspaper, as well as being a lecturer and writer.

What do you think is going to grab the attention of Australian readers? Will it be crime novels? There are a lot of Australian authors who write crime novels - and stacks of Australians that read them.

I'm interested in a book about our recent political history - The Killing Seasons Uncut by Sarah Ferguson. She's going to be revealing more about the Kevin Rudd-Julia Gillard battles?

You also think a new work by author Hilary Mantel about the English Reformation is going to be worth checking out. 

And you also reckon 2016 will be a year filled with non-fiction about ISIS, terrorism and refugees. Why do people want to read more about such troubling, destructive events that feel like they surround us?

You don't just read books - you are working on a book at the moment about "a theology of our daily work" - that will include spiritual disciplines for the workplace. How's that going?

Mel Fung on Christians loving the intellectually disabled

Mel Fung

Mel Fung

Each week across Sydney at a variety of churches, something special happens.

It's called Jesus Club. Sounds like an activity program for kids, right? Some kind of after-school activity for school students.

Jesus Club is something else. To share more about this fantastic ministry, we're joined in the studio tonight by Mel Fung, co-ordinator of Jesus Club at Gladesville

What is Jesus Club (and how many are there)?
Who created Jesus Club - and why?
What are the notable differences about this sort of ministry, compared with one that reaches people who do not have disabilities.
What happens at Jesus Club?
What kind of effect has Jesus Club had on the lives of people who come along?
How would a church go about setting up a Jesus Club?

Ian Maddock resolves the tension between God's Sovereignty & Human Responsibility


What are some of the biggest questions we can ask about us and God?

I'll give you a hint. How about these....

"If God has planned out all things, how can he also hold me responsible for the decisions I make?" 

"If God is in control of everything, do my prayers make any difference?" 

"If God has already arranged for certain people to believe in Jesus, why do people bother sharing the good news of Jesus?" 

Ian Maddock is a Senior Lecturer in Theology at SMBC - Sydney Missionary and Bible College. He's been thinking recently about all these huge questions - questions that revolve around God's power and our responsibility.

An Aussies take on the abduction of two fellow countrymen in Burkina Faso

If you have been praying for the two Australian medical missionaries abducted in Burkina Faso I'd encourage you to listen to this interview with a fellow Aussie over there.

A condition of this interview was that we not identify the Australian missionary we spoke to or his mission sending organisation.  He is not affiliated with Kenneth and Jocelyn.

If you know who he is then please don't identify him online.

An Australian doctor and his wife have been kidnapped by extremists in Burkina Faso near the country's borders with Niger and Mali.

Dr Kenneth Elliott and his wife Jocelyn were kidnapped in Baraboule, and a Malian Islamist group said the couple were in the hands of Al Qaeda-linked jihadists.

The couple in their 80s ran a clinic and had lived in Djibo, near Baraboule, since 1972.

The couple are understood to be being held by jihadists from the Al Qaeda-linked "Emirate of the Sahara".

Dr Elliott has practiced medicine in Djibo, in northern Burkina Faso, for more than 40 years.

He and Ms Elliott built and run a 120-bed medical clinic in the town, which is located about 200 kilometres north of the capital Ouagadougou.

The town is about 45 kilometres south of the border with Mali, which has seen intense sectarian strife in recent years which saw Islamist groups seize large swathes of land and destroy ancient artefacts.

Father God, 

We thank you for the Australian Christian ministries of KENNETH ELLIOT and JOCELYN ELLIOT and we ask that you might protect them now.

We ask for what seems like a miracle … for their safe release.

We think of the many people who have gone out in the name of Jesus - to preach Christ, to love others and have suffered in your name - some of them who have been executed for Christ.

We thank you for the 40 years that Dr Elliot has spent serving the community of northern Burkina Faso…. of loving and serving and sharing Christ those people.

We thank you for the massive impact - that Christ’s love - working through Kenneth and Jocelyn - has had on that community over stark difference.

Thank you that they went there with nothing… and the miracle of seeing this 120 bed clinic develop.

We pray that though their actions over so many years, through their words of Christ, and though what ever happens now… men and women might look beyond KENNETH and JOCELYN and see the Lord Jesus, the saviour who sent them. 

We pray that in the horror of the moment - they might have a sense of your projection.
We think of the many others - who have died for the Lord Jesus - starting back with the first martyr Stephen.

We pray that you would look after their family and friends at this time as well.

We pray for the government and law and order forces in Burkina Faso, that they might be able to find and release KENNETH AND JOCELYN and bring the captors to justice.

And we ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ.

A new church for Green Square Sydney

Tim Clemens

Tim Clemens

When thinking about the fastest growing areas of Sydney, most would probably pick the far south west - where 300,000 people will be moving during the next 25 years.

But we also should think about Green Square. By 2030, Green Square is set to be the most densely populated precinct in Sydney.

There's a diverse mix of cultures, people and faiths in an area still carving out it identity within the City's rich landscape.

There are a few new churches in the area and one of them is Grace City

I spoke with Grace City's pastor Tim Clemens about what it takes to start a church and exciting responses to sharing the good news with inner-city Sydney. 

Grace Leung | KCC's NextGen16

Grace Leung

Grace Leung

January is always a busy time for Christian camps and conferences. How do you decide which one to go to?

If you are involved with sharing Jesus with children or young people - or you want to start doing that - NextGen is the conference for you.

Grace Leung is one of the organisers of NextGen16. We spoke about what's on offer, and how NextGen's specialised training has had a powerful ripple effect across Sydney – and beyond.

Thumbs down for the movie 'Carol'

Ben McEachen

Ben McEachen

New drama Carol will be one of the year's most discussed movies. Already receiving rave reviews, Carol stars Cate Blanchett as a married woman in 1952 who starts a romantic relationship with a younger woman. Blanchett has received a Golden Globe nomination for her lead role, and she's tipped to get an Oscar nomination too.

Carol seems to be promoted as the most inspiring love story of the year and I didn't even realise it had a lesbian love story at its heart. So, what does this provocative drama tell us about love and marriage?

Movie reviewer Ben McEachen has seen Carol and was disappointed by how it attempted to convince him that relationships should be defined.