Category Archives: encouragement

We are made to be overcomers.

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Moliere

We all have hurdles and mountains to climb. Sometimes it feels all too much and you feel like giving up. We have to find that something inside of us, to overcome it.

“All the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming.” – Helen Keller

“You can’t cross the sea by merely standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore.

If all you do today is take a step forward, then you have achieved a mighty thing.

 

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What interests you?

What hobbies or special interests do you have? After being involved in Shed Happens over the past 3 years we have often spoken about what interests we all have. Not only hobbies but things you take a special interest in.

The first time I was asked this question I thought well my interests are cricket and footy. If you grow up in the Aussie country these are two sports which are played by most people. In my early years it was off to footy in the winter and cricket in the summer. Everyone played footy but during summer there were a few options of tennis, basketball and cricket.

Cricket trumped the others because we grew up watching the old man stand at first slip and open the batting in the A4 grade. I won’t go into too many of his career stats other than he always reminds us of his 100 he made in a grand final! Your Dad can have a huge influence on your upbringing both negatively and positively.

I’d have to say it was positive in this sense with all us boys going onto love and play this great sport. As kids we always had the afternoon sleep then off to watch Dad at the cricket later on. This was great for community. There were plenty of other families there as well so we as kids all grew up together.

As time has passed and I’ve grown older this question of my special interests got me thinking that there has got to be more out there that I haven’t tried yet.

do something differentNot long after being asked this I started trying a few different things. One lazy Sunday afternoon I grabbed the many cook books Lisa had in the cupboard and decided to cook something a bit fancier than a McCain’s pizza in the oven. I cooked some Cider glazed pork cutlets and a Creme Brulee for dessert. I got the thumbs up from Lisa, so as she’s a great cook I must have done alright. This has now become one of my special interests.

Another interest I’ve taken up is reading books. I remember it wasn’t that long ago I used to lie in bed staring at the ceiling while Lisa was reading her books. It used to annoy the heck out of me because we were both there not talking but she was enjoying what she was doing.

I think this reading book thing came about a lot more after the 2010 Better Blokes conference. Being brought up with a Christian faith was fine as long as I didn’t have to read the Bible. I found it that boring and irrelevant to my day-to-day life. But hearing a speaker at this conference just encourage you to pick it up and read it like a book changed my thought process.

I believed in the stuff coming from the Good Book but never read it myself. Which may sound contradictory but I just let the pastor at church read it out to me each Sunday. I never actively did it myself.

Well after this conference I thought I’d give it a go. The first morning back I picked it up and started reading it. I think this freaked Lisa out and I was very fearful of her reaction to this because it was never done in our house before. Three years later it has become normal and I still get many gems and promises from the God I believe in. I would have to say that the Chapters of Proverbs was a great place to start for me because it was so relevant to my day to day living.

This was really the start of reading for me. I reckon my old english teachers at school would freak out if they knew this had become an interest of mine. I started picking up more and more books that were to help me grow as a person. I think a lot about life and how we live. Some would say I think about things too much but they are the cards I’ve been dealt so I’ll continue to be who I am. This interest of reading is continuing because I love learning more and more from the minds and hearts of different authors.

Writing has also become something I’ve enjoyed doing. It’s helped me get stuff out my mind and onto the screen or paper.

I’ve found that as I write there is another little part that I’ve learnt about myself. Another side to the once one-dimensional cricket and footy bloke.

As this blog continues to evolve I will from time to time give book reviews of the stuff I’m reading. I might even let you in on a few fancy dishes I’m having a crack at. I won’t tell you of the stuff ups though. But then again I will because we have to tell the stuff ups as well because it’s the only way we learn.

Anyway there are many more new interests I’m taking up but that will be for another post. Leave a comment to what your special interests or hobbies are? Doesn’t matter what they are as long as you enjoy it. It could be one I may have a crack at.

If you want to follow me on Twitter then click here because the ‘tweet-tweet’ is becoming a little side interest!


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.

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. Don’t keep it to yourself.