Monthly Archives: September 2012

Some great stories in the AFL Grand Final

The 2012 AFL season has come to an end for another year. If you love your footy like I do, you’ll know it was a cracker game. Sydney were just brilliant and had that little bit more when it was needed. In the fall out of this grand final there have been some great stories. Some that stood out for me were the ones which come from the heart.

Photo courtesy of AAP Newswire Multimedia

Firstly to see Jarrad McVeigh, the swans co-captain stand aloft with the premiership cup was an inspiration to all.

Just over 12 months ago, McVeigh and wife Clementine suffered a tragic loss, when their infant daughter, Luella, died after a month-long battle with a heart problem.

He was able to celebrate his first flag with his wife and baby daughter Lolita-Luella, who was born in July. Seeing the footage of his wife and baby at the final siren brought a tear to my eye. (You can watch this by clicking on AFL Game Day. Scroll down and click on video McVeigh family’s emotional ride.)

As I write this my 6 month old daughter, Matilda is rolling around on the floor, smiling and blowing raspberries. My heart aches for parents who have lost little ones when they bring such joy to our lives. Stopping, admiring and appreciating them is what life is all about.

The other story was the humble nature of Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson. Many would say that the loss of a grand final is a tragedy but Clarkson put the loss into perspective.

The Herald Sun writes:

Speaking a the Hawks’ Grand Final dinner at Crown, Clarkson said: “(This) isn’t a true tragedy. True tragedy, as I said to the players after the game, is what happened to that poor lady in Brunswick last week.

“True tragedy is what happened to Jarrad McVeigh’s daughter last year.”

One-month-old Luella McVeigh died from a heart condition.

“True tragedy is what happened to my brother-in-law earlier this year when he died of a brain tumour,” Clarkson added.

“That’s what brings a genuine tear to my eye.

“We’re in the theatre of sport.”

The amount of media publicity in sport today, makes some think that this is all that matters, but to hear a coach put the mere game of footy into perspective was refreshing.

Throughout the footy season there is conversation made to sound like this is all that matters in life. But when you step back from the game itself there are people’s lives and relationships which are more important.

Hearing a couple of these stories away from the grand final itself is what I truly love to hear.

Listening to people’s heart speak gives you a huge insight into the person. So when you are walking through life, take a step back from the intense nature of the footy and maybe sift through it to find something with greater meaning.

After all, footy’s only a game!


Enough is enough!

Last year I went to Big Shed Happens in Brisbane. I heard a fantastic bloke speak about the issues that face society today. I hear from so many people concerned about where our great nation is heading. Peter Janetzki does a 35 minute presentation on Enough is enough!

Check it out below. (There are 3 clips of 12 minutes each.)

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Shed Night Australia

Shed nights are sweeping their way across Australia. They provide a safe place for men to get together and do life together. The shed is giving blokes an opportunity and a space for them to meet their Creator one on one.

One of the biggest killers of men today is loneliness. Going through life by yourself is no good! It doesn’t have to be that way anymore.  We’ve been designed to connect with each other. Once a month you can come to a shed night and meet a bunch of champion blokes.

You will be encouraged to become the ‘real’ blokes you were created to be. Seeing men speak from their hearts instead of their heads is healing relationships across this nation.

Below is a ‘top notch’ 3 minute youtube clip which explains more about shed nights. Check it out.

There is more information at the website If you’re on facebook then check out the shed night page here.

Rain needed.

Life on the land can be pretty tough. With the season nearing it’s end there are still areas of this great country that need rain.

So please keep in mind the farmers out there that are looking for a soaking rain for their crops or stock feed. Wherever you are please pray specifically to our Creator for rain to soak the dry areas of this country.

Remember He is a faithful God and does answer our prayers. If you know people doing it tough through dry times (weather, relationships, finances, health etc.) maybe just give them a quick call or text to offer some encouragement.

A battle is easier fought in numbers. Not alone!

Your kids have to know how much you love them.

“We are so proud of you and we love you very much.”

Have you ever told your kids that? Have you thought it in your heart but never told your kids verbally?

On the weekend we had a few close friends and our family welcome Matilda into God’s family through her baptism. It was a special moment to witness her being baptised.

Before this, I spoke to Oliver and Matilda. I said on behalf of Lisa and I, “We love you and are so proud of you. You are the joy of our lives.” This was a very special moment for both of us.

Matthew recounts Jesus’ baptism in the bible like this, “After his baptism as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

Our thoughts were that if God as our Heavenly Father, the Creator of the universe, speaks openly about how much joy His Son gives Him, then we should follow that model.

I’m not sure what it is, but when you speak to your kids openly and honestly how much you love them in a public space, something happens deep inside us and them. This moment pulled our heart-strings and brought tears to our eyes.

Sure our kids are young and Matilda is only 5 months old, but when we feel this in our hearts then why wouldn’t we want to tell them.

As parents we have a huge role to play in our kids upbringing. We as the primary role models in their life, have to speak love and encouragement more often than not. Their future depends on it.

So don’t delay.  Tell your kids how much they mean to you. They have to know how much you love them.

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You get out what you put in.

Are you a spectator or a player? Do you sit on the fence and shout abuse or tell others how to play the game? Or are you right in the thick of it? At the bottom of the pack, dishing out the handballs, taking the hits and tackles.

You know in the game we call life, you get out of it what you put in. If you’re prepared to go the extra mile and get involved with something, your life will return peace, contentment and good results.

This weekend myself and a mate headed to the Riverland to encourage a bunch of blokes to become the ‘real deal’ bloke we were created to be. We spent 7 hours travelling in the car and spoke to the blokes about shed nights for 45 minutes. Most people would think we’re mad doing that. But you know… we had the best road trip. Sitting,chatting, listening and getting to know a bloke at a deeper level was the outcome. But we did the hard yards and gave up our time for the benefit of 22 other champion blokes.

The encouragement they received from us was repaid to us in spades. Fellas thanked us for coming and pumped us up to continue shed nights in our own area. The least we can do is to pass on what we’re learning to others.  So instead of discouraging someone and telling them how crap they are, try something that is way out there. Maybe encourage them instead. If you seem to be getting no where by discouraging others – try the reverse. What have you got to lose? Not much I reckon. But by hang… you have a lot to gain!

I played for the Central Yorke Cougars in 2007 and won the A grade footy flag. In that year we worked pretty hard to get the result. But we got out what we put in. Life is exactly the same.

So it’s time to get off the fence and get in the game. You have no impact as a spectator. Just have a crack.

Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to do something or to get involved in your community. Do it now. You’ll learn on the run but I guarantee you’ll get out of it what you put in.

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Spend time this Father’s Day.

Happy Fathers Day to all the dad’s out there. I hope you have a great day spending it with your kids and families. It’s these moments we need stop, sit back and cherish most. We can all get so consumed in our own lives but a real dad is someone who is self-sacrificing and who prioritises your family above anything else.

I’ll put my hand up and say that sometimes I can be selfish. I need to constantly tell myself that it’s not all about me and what I want. When I discipline my kids I have to take deep breaths and talk calmly and sternly instead of ranting and raving at them. Taking my stuff out on them isn’t fair. The situation escalates when the voices start to rise.

The other thing I’m mindful of is reflecting my Heavenly Father to my kids. He is simply a God of love.  If I speak in front of blokes at shed nights and say stuff to encourage them but don’t live it at home then I’m the biggest hypocrite going around.

All I know is that when you have kids you do the best that you know how. There is no right or wrong way to bring up kids. What I do know is that they just want your time. Time to sit with them. For them to know they’re important in our eyes.  Click here to view a short YouTube clip to show how much kids love being with you.

So this Father’s Day tell your kids verbally what they mean to you and cherish every minute you have with them. They’ll thank you for it in years to come.

These blog posts can be emailed directly to your inbox, just sign up at the top right of this page under Follow blog via email. This is my twitter and Facebook where we can keep in touch as well. If you like what you read then click the share button and pass it on to others.