I have been married for 42 years, have 2 married children and 4 grandsons. I pastored in our church for 30 years and since 2012 I've been a church consultant and coach. I attend C3 Church Hepburn Heights in Perth and have been a member for 47 years. I love the beach and taking my grandsons to the park. I love this convergent stage of life.
Tell us about a ministry you love
I lead Grow a Healthy Church and partner with pastors to help them grow healthy churches.
Do you seek to have a daily 'quiet time'? If so, what does this time look like?
Yes. It is generally different on Saturdays when I don't have a structured time of bible and prayer.
How do you read the Bible?
Currently I am reading through the entire Bible, choosing books randomly.
What practices have you found helpful for engaging with the Bible?
Over the years I have found underlining and writing in my Bible super helpful to help me focus and learn. I've used a digital Bible (Logos app) at times and enjoyed adding my own notes to the text. In past years I have spent time in focused Bible study but less so these days when I am more focused on reading.
I like praying the text, especially the psalms and epistles.I occasionally listen to an audio Bible but it's not a primary method for connecting with the Scriptures.
What does your prayer life look like?
I have a structured prayer time 5/6 mornings a weekI spend time waiting on the Lord, quietly meditating on the text I have read or just worshipping. Over the years I have used extensive prayer lists to pray for my family, friends, church and other needs. When I use prayer lists I generally pray through them twice a week. I have also used worship music to help me wait on the Lord but not so much these days.
Do you make use of any catechisms, liturgies or pre-written prayers?
Rarely. I have used a Matthew Henry based website which had pre-written prayers but it's not a major part of my prayer life.
Do you have any sabbath practices that serve you well?
No. I take a day or two off every week and a month long holiday each year. During my day off and annual holiday I unplug from ministry activity.
Do you journal?
Rarely. I utilize a journal at the end of every year to record my highlights and adventures of the year.
Do you fast?
Yes. It's random and related to specific needs.I have day multiple 1 day, 3 day, 21 day fasts over the years. It's made me hungry and weak! Ido it when a need presents and believe it has an impact but can't always connect the cause/correlation factors.
Do you practice silence and solitude?
Yes during my regular prayer time. I sit in silence, by myself and think and pray.It slows me down. It 'unhurries' me. I don't always enjoy it!
Do you memorise Scripture?
Not these days. I have texts I memorised in my early days as a Christian which are still with me today. And today I found myself singing an old Scripture in Song chorus - now that was a superb way to memorise Scripture!
How have you failed or struggled in these areas? What has God taught you as a result?
I have a solid devotional life for my nearly 50 years of following Christ and it has been the key to keeping my walk with Christ fresh and alive, even through terrible and dark times. While at times I have struggled to pray or remain steadfast I can honestly say I've never wanted to give up the daily practice of seeking the Lord in the Bible and prayer.
What routines, habits or rules of life have you found helpful?
Making prayer and Bible my first priority in the day has been a habit which has served me well. I also know that pastors who fail morally have invariably left the place of prayer is a constant motivator to stay the course.
Who has been an example to you?
My pastor Frank Hultgren was a man devoted to prayer and inspired me to follow in his footsteps. His passion for God put inside of me a similar desire to seek the Lord.
What wisdom would you share with a younger Christian?
Be consistent in prayer and Bible reading/study/meditation even if it is for 10 a day. Consistency is the key. And follow the disciples example and ask the Lord "Show me how to pray."
What have you found helpful when you feel spiritually dry?
Stay in the place of prayer. I had a horrible time of deep depression in my 40's. It lasted for 15 months. However I refused to give up my time with the Lord and kept at it even though it felt useless and a waste of time. One morning during my (dry as biscuits) prayer time I had a vision in my mind. I saw a hand reaching down out of heaven, holding me by my shirt collar. I was dangling in mid air like a rag doll. And the Holy Spirit spoke to me "you can let go but I never will." That encounter got me through that terrible season and I eventually emerged into a new season of hope and strength. Imagine if I had given up my prayer time - I would have missed that moment with Jesus.
Are there any other resources you would recommend?
I like the Logos Bible app.