Short Stories



Lifted Up to a Higher Place

The following story motivated me when I read how much this teenager from England had achieved starting from something small and persevering until something large happened.
Her believing made everything possible.
And this is what happened to this troubled young girl from England.
“Everything became possible.”

While going through a hard time she was encouraged to help out on a charity walk.
She found that she was good at walking.
Her self-esteem was boosted by the realisation that she was good at something, even if it was the simple act of walking.
She was able to keep going after the other people wanted to stop.
She came up with the idea to do a charity walk from the top of England to the bottom.
After she completed that goal, she decided to walk across the U.S.A.
Eventually she walked across Australia, then from South Africa to Morocco.
Up through Spain, then France and finally back to Britain.
She received a hero’s welcome.
This young Lady had walked around the world!
It is such a small gift to be able to walk long distances.
But she used her gift to elevate herself above her companions.
Now she was in a position of influence.
She was able to help other troubled young teenagers to believe in themselves.
It was amazing to see how many people helped her to achieve this dream.

This is the usual response by the public and others that are close to you.
People are always ready to help anyone with a plan.

It is almost strange to watch people give of their time and finances, for a project they can believe in.

Last night I saw a program on T.V. about an Australian man who had been very successful in the film industry.
He was involved in the sales and promotion of large Hollywood films.
He had gone on a holiday to Cambodia and while he was there he became interested in the welfare of the local people.

One thing led to another and he ended up visiting the local garbage dump where he saw some of the poorest people he had ever seen.
They were trying to make a living picking through the rubbish.
As he was experiencing this; his mobile phone rang.

On the other end of the phone was a famous movie star and her agent.
They were about to get on a private jet he had organised for them as part of a film promotion.
This movie star was not very happy with him because the wrong food had been organised for her flight.
This movie star said to him, while he was standing in the middle of this rubbish and human misery.

“Why does my life have to be this difficult?”

In that moment he knew that he could not go back to Hollywood.
He had to stay in Cambodia and help these poor struggling people.
He could see the contrast between his life in Hollywood and the lives of the people scavenging for a living around him
His heart opened up and grace flowed.
Since then he has raised up a school and medical clinic.
He has even gone back to Hollywood to raise money for his dream.
And because he believes…others have started believing and assisting him financially or with their time and effort.
This man sold nearly everything he owned so he could help these Cambodians.
He actually became poor so that they might become richer.
His wealth was transferred to them.
It lifted them up into a better life.

Grace releases grace.
A thought becomes a stream; which becomes a river.

You suddenly realise you have the ability to walk a long distance.
Or a different lifestyle can appear before you.
And then your heart turns within you.
You were going in one direction and now you are facing the other way.

Both of these people could not have achieved their goals without the help of others.
Grace can flow towards you and under-gird you so that all your needs are met.
We only have to believe; this grace is available.

It may appear in our lives as the smallest idea but in the end it can remove every mountain and fill up every valley.
Grace is free.
It has the power to enable you to achieve all your goals and dreams.
There is no limit to undeserved favour.
People can show you unusual kindness.
There is no waiting period.
Are you ready?

The largest river in Australia is called the River Murray.
When I was a teenager my friend’s parents hired a houseboat for a holiday on the River Murray.
Parts of the river are separated from each other by artificial locks.
These locks stop the river from running dry during periods of drought.
When you travel up the river against the current in a houseboat, you have to go inside one of these locks at different stages of your journey.

Very large steel doors close behind the boat.
The lock master opens up an enormous pipe that lets water flow from the high side of the river into the lock.
The houseboat starts to rise until it is level with the river on the high side of the lock.
Then a different set of steel doors open and the boat is released out into the wide open upper spaces of the River Murray.
The houseboat is so heavy and we are so weak in comparison.
But all the engineers do is tap into the ability and power of the river.

They open a pipe…water flows out and we float up to a new level.
We then continue our journey on this new level without a care in the world.

Why not start to do something about it.
If you are going to start your dream this week please let someone know about it.
Sometimes it helps to share your dream, so people that read or hear about your dream can encourage you even if they do not know you or have only just met you.

Perhaps they have come into your life for a reason that is not immediately obvious.
Our actions and decisions can motivate others to believe and inspire them to make the tough decisions.
When people gather together and agree together, nothing is impossible.
Your friends and family will respect you for your perseverance.
They might even join you on your adventure.


Your Inner Beauty


Our wedding day went well.
I have just pulled up to the Hilton Hotel and Lorna has gone inside to check in to the expensive honeymoon suite.
I am driving Lorna’s car because I have been in College for the last two years.
Money is a bit tight.
As I start the car to go down to the overnight parking, the starter motor refuses to co-operate.
The hotel staff give me a hand by pushing the car while I jump in to put it in gear.
The car starts up and I am away.
I wish that did not have to happen right in front of that posh hotel with all those people looking on.
We got a new starter motor fitted and after that there was no problem.

When your spirit is encouraged, it is changed from unwilling to willing.
From sleepy to energised.
From unmotivated to motivated.

Not long after the Hilton Hotel episode we had more car trouble.
This time the engine itself needed replacing.
Lorna and I were about to drive from Adelaide to Port Augusta.
Then we were going to put the car and ourselves on the train to Alice Springs.
After that we were going to drive over a long bit of rough road to the outback town of Katherine in the Northern Territory.
We found a mechanic who could replace the old engine with an almost brand new engine.

It took them 3 days.
When we returned to pick up the car it looked exactly the same on the outside.
In fact it was a little dirtier as the mechanic had not bothered to clean up his mess.
The good news is…it performed perfectly and got us all the way from Adelaide to the top end of Australia.
Let me turn this into a parable.
When someone gets hyper-encouraged, they know that something big has happened on the inside.
But because we live in a world that pays so much attention to outward appearance, discouragement comes along and steals away our self-esteem.
We forget the encouraging words that have come our way.
We need to stop focusing our attention on the exterior.

When Lorna was pregnant, she had a glow about her the whole time.
I know this is not everyone’s experience.
It was as if the reality of carrying her own child…was to Lorna an experience that shrouded her in wonder.
What was happening on the inside was reflected visually.
Her beauty actually increased while she was pregnant with both our children.

Do you realise what a powerful change has occurred on the inside of you?
Encouragement has the power.
Deep down inside… you have been transformed in the most beautiful of ways.
It is beyond human explanation.

Years ago, at my youngest sister’s wedding, the best man mentioned his recent trip to Pakistan in his speech.
He liked to travel.
He was a good speaker and managed to keep us interested and entertained, his name was Andy.
I had never met him before that night.

A couple of days later my wife and I were in the city centre when we looked up and saw Andy walking along in our direction.
This was a completely random event.
We had to remind him who we were and where we had met previously.
We told him that we had thoroughly enjoyed his speech.
After we all got over the surprise of randomly meeting.
Andy informed us of his plans to drive up to Alice Springs with two other young men.
This would take them about three days.
It was a rough drive through the Australian outback.
Andy sure loved travelling!

A few days later the bad news came.
One of the young men had fallen asleep while driving, the car had rolled at high speed and Andy was thrown around in the back of the car.
Andy was now completely paralysed.
He was a quadriplegic.

Andy found himself in a very empty place.
He dug down deep and found the answer to his situation.
He chose to believe!

The decision to believe is the source of all encouragement.
He went on to become an example for us all.
And he still remains a person who believes.
He went on to build a life for himself.
Can you imagine the discouragement.
But he still decided to believe.


The Mystery of Gravity

Every time you jump, you experience gravity.
It pulls you back down to the ground.
Without gravity, you’d float off into the atmosphere.
We see gravity at work in our lives every day.
We see the evidence, but the mystery is still there.
Even with several well-received theories attempting to explain why a book falls to the ground…they’re still just theories.
The mystery of gravity is still unexplained.

In my last year of high school, my favourite class was physics.
We were learning how and why everything works.
Until we got to gravity!
I was shocked to discover that my very clever physics teacher did not know the answer.
Gravity is so simple;
I thought the scientists would have found out by now why gravity does what it does.
We see it, we believe it, and yet we don’t understand it.
How can that be?
Is it part spiritual, part material?

Gravity works in our emotional life.
We stir ourselves up on the inside to get motivated,
then along comes gravity in the form of negativity.
Negative thoughts or experiences do their work and bring us down.
Here is another mystery, if you leave your garden unattended why do weeds take over?
Why doesn’t the garden prosper by itself?
Why does it need constant attention?
None of these questions would need to be answered if we didn’t suffer from an ailment called curiosity.
Curious people can find themselves being frustrated by a lack of answers.
If you are not curious, then you don’t care.
But you do care, don’t you?
When we care, it means we are interested.
And interested people are motivated people.

When life tries to drag you down, your curiosity causes you to lift your eyes and open your mind to ask the question in a fresh way.
Sometimes a question which has no satisfactory answer can lead you to ponder a new question that you have never thought of before.
In other words, you can just go around the unanswered question which is blocking your way.

As you get older a lot of mysteries are already solved, such as:
What is it like to fall in love?
How does it feel to have children?
What career will I have?
Will they find the Titanic?

As old mysteries are solved, new ones surface, such as:
What is it like to fall out of love?

Now I have got your attention!
People fall out of love when they get bored, and that happens because they lose interest, and that happens because they aren’t curious about their loved one any more.

Last night my wife and I were home alone having dinner, it was the 26th of January which was a public holiday called “Australia Day”.
Our dinner was going along pleasantly enough until we spontaneously told each other a story from our childhood that we had never shared before in over 30 years of marriage.
The stories were not ground shaking, but they were interesting.
We discovered a tiny bit of something new about each other and I could sense both of us falling in love all over again.

Love is the biggest mystery of all.

Here is my theory on how to stay in love. It’s just a theory.
See your loved one as a mystery… and then see yourself as the only person in the universe with the keys to unlock them in the fullest way possible.
Now you are on an adventure where the discoveries are endless.
Life is exciting again.
You are a person on a mission.

Curiosity is an elixir of youth. Re-discover it!

Just remember… be curious about your wife, not your friend’s wife.


Friends are a Blessing

My wife and I live on a property just outside of Brisbane.
We have a lot of trees around the house and this week I decided to get up on the roof and blow them off with my leaf blower.
The problem is with the motor on the leaf blower, it is very hard to start.
This machine was a gift from a friend and his wife.
They also had a lot of trees and when they bought a leaf blower they couldn’t believe how easy it was to blow the leaves and bark from their roof and driveway.
So they decided to give us one of these machines as a gift.
How generous is that?

Because I could not get the machine started, I got up on the roof of my house and did it manually with a broom and small shovel.
That machine is a blessing when it works and it almost does the work for me.
It saves time and labour.
Have you noticed how the human race loves to invent machines that make our life easier?
I have a theory about this!
Do you want to hear it?

I am going to use Adam as an example.
Before he was kicked out of the Garden of Eden, life was pretty easy for Adam.
But after he was kicked out, life became hard.

Yes Sir, things got a whole lot harder for Adam.
It seems to me that humans love gardens, we find them relaxing to be in and a lot of people even find them relaxing to work in.
My point is, something inside of us yearns for an easier life, a more peaceful life, a life with less struggle.
So we invent machines to do the work for us.
And these machines are a blessing.
I know there are exceptions but the point I am making is.
Most people sense there is a life style somewhere out there that reflects how Adam and Eve lived before they were booted out of the Garden of Eden.
We don’t want a way of life that is hard and a struggle.
But that is what Adam and Eve got.

Now if a curse is associated with struggle then a blessing has to be associated with the opposite of struggle.

The question I want to answer is,
What is the opposite of struggle or how does the blessing work?”
Please note that the blessing comes through a person.
Wherever that person goes, the blessing goes with them.

My definition of blessing.

The blessing comes through a person.
The blessing causes things to work in a prosperous and successful way.
The blessing makes life easier.
The blessing makes your numbers increase.

Now that we have located the blessing, we have another point to discuss.
We have to talk about why so many people do not see blessing working in their lives and circumstances.
I am going to go back to the story of my leaf blower.
I told you that this machine was given to me as a gift.
My friends wanted to bless me and make my life easier.
But I cannot start the machine.

This is the way I would like to explain the situation.
The machine is like the blessing.
People give us a blessing in the form of a gift to help us live better lives.
But some of us including me, find it hard to get the blessing to work.
Some days it is working well and other days it seems like it is not working at all.
The question I want to know is,
How do I activate the blessing?”
The answer I have heard all the experts tell me is,
” Activate the blessing by your believing.”
Because when you activate your believing, you are activating the blessing.

Here is the problem, “Do I really believe that I am personally blessed.”
Yes, I can say,” I believe that I am blessed.”
But when I look at my situation, I cannot see much evidence of this blessing.


My friend and his wife who gave me the leaf blower are coming over for dinner on Saturday night.
My friend knows how to fix things and he will know what the problem is and probably rectify it for me.
A friend can help us when we are in need.

Wow, that sounds wonderful.
A friend can get things working….together for our good!
You can’t get more blessed than that.
There we have it folks.
Not only are you blessed by your friends, but if the blessing stops working you know who to go to for help.
And the friend who originally brought the blessing into your life,
will be there to help you get that fresh start in life that you have always wanted.
Friends are never distant or unavailable.
They are the gift who keeps on giving.
Friends can deliver you out of “Struggle Street” and into the “Garden of Good Times!!”
By removing the curse and replacing it with a blessing.

If the blessing is missing, then your friends are the answer.

We need to activate the blessing by believing in our friends.
They need us to believe in them.
just like we need them to believe in us.

Be blessed everyone.


Love with no Conditions

We all have thoughts that are hard to control.
Little birds fly into our mind and build nests that are not good for us.
One of their favourite materials they use for their nests are accusing or condemning thoughts.
These thoughts can be our own thoughts or they can be a thought that has come into your life from a friend or family member.
If an enemy criticises us or makes an abusive remark it does not have the same impact.
If someone close to us accuses us we find it a lot harder to deal with.
So, we have to find a way to neutralise any accusations that come our way from a person who claims to be concerned for our welfare.

Most countries have a legal system that provides some form of conflict resolution.
What we do not realise is there is another court system that has a daily effect on our lives.
It is called the “Court of Public Opinion”.
But there is a smaller court system called the “Court of Family Opinion”.
Or, the “Court of Friends Opinion”.

We do care what people think and say about us and some comments can last for years.
The person may not even be alive, but their words live on.
Remember a false accusation can be just as powerful as a true accusation.
Therefore we have to find a way to eliminate both.
We have two ways to do this.
We can qualify ourselves, this is called defending yourself.
The second thing we can do is to disqualify your accuser.

Here is a famous saying, “He who has not sinned can cast the first stone”.
The principal behind this saying is, a person cannot judge you if they are guilty of the same thing.

What I am about to suggest may sound a bit harsh but I am only making the suggestion for the purpose of dismantling what a person has said.

I am not pulling the person down, I am neutralising any negative words they may have spoken against you.

They are not the problem… their words are.

And the closer they are to you increases the power of their words.

First of all I would like to say that the only people who are qualified to give you advice are the people who love you.

Secondly the only people who can give constructive criticism are the people who love you.

You may believe that your friends and family members love you.
And they probably do.

Let’s accept that you are surrounded by a community of loving people.

Well, why did their words hurt you so much if they were spoken to you by a loving person?
Love does not hurt!
Love is not vindictive!
Love wants to build you up not pull you down.
Love does not get angry.
True loves heals your broken heart, it does not damage you.

The key is in the definition of love.
What type of love are we talking about?
The type of love I want to talk about is:

Unconditional love..!!

What is unconditional love?

A lot of people love you when you behave, but when you do not behave their love weakens.
That is conditional love.

Unconditional love is there when you behave and is still there when you do not behave.

Unconditional love is very rare; we do not blame people if they struggle to love you when you do bad things.

You and I know how hard it is to love someone when they let you down.

Remember I am building a case against a person’s words not against the person.
The reason I have introduced unconditional love into the discussion is to raise the standards.

“So that most family and friends… who have hurt you by their words.”

“Do not qualify as people who love you unconditionally.”

What they have said against you may have been true, but the attitude in which they said it was wrong.

You are now able to appeal to a higher reasoning as you defend yourself in the “Court of Peoples Opinion”.
They accuse you of doing this or that, they accuse you of being this type of person or that type of person.
They could be right or wrong.
But it does not matter what they say because they are not saying it out of unconditional love.

They may like you or value you.
But if their opinion of you goes up or down depending on your behaviour.
Then they are not loving you unconditionally.

Now the tables have turned and you have the upper hand.

They are disqualified as unreliable witnesses.
Therefore their testimony is discredited.
Now the little birds do not have any words or thoughts.
To build their nests of accusation or condemnation.
If you do have people in your life who love you unconditionally, then you’re blessed in a big way.

By the way, if you are the accuser, don’t worry we all make mistakes.
Forgive and it will be forgiven you.
Make today a new day.
Unconditional love is hard to learn, begin to practise on yourself.

Stop accusing yourself.
If you loved yourself, you would build yourself up.
Here is another famous saying.

“Love others as you love yourself”.

Sometimes loving yourself is not easy.
Can I suggest that you change the word “love” with the word “believe”?
Now we can say, “Believe in others as you believe in yourself”.
To believe in yourself is a wonderful thing.

I will always be grateful that I found a living example of unconditional love in the form of my wife.
If you have not been on the receiving end of this type of love, do not worry.
It may be on the way to your house right now.
When will it arrive…I do not know?
Why not start preparing for its arrival.

Turn your rules into guidelines.
Remove harsh rules and replace them with suggestions.
Remember to value your personality above your appearance.
Choose to love yourself by believing in yourself.
Vote for yourself as President of your life.
Take charge by making the rules work for you.
Adjust any rules or values that are holding you back.
Do not give others too much influence.
Free yourself from any words that have not been spoken out of unconditional love.
Become an example.
Live by these guidelines.
Love does not hurt!
Love is not vindictive!
Love wants to build you up not pull you down.
Love does not get angry.
True loves heals your broken heart, it does not damage you.

The key is in the definition of love.


Your behaviour is not who you are.
It is an indication only.
Do not believe everything your behaviour is telling you.
Believe in who you are, not in what you do.

You are the President of your life.
You rule.
Whoever changes the rules is the most powerful person.
Can I make a suggestion?
Let love rule your life..!!
Here is the key… for the last time.


Growing up in Alice Springs.

If only you had been there in1966.
It is not easy for a 10 year old boy to understand what is really going on… behind the scene.
My new pair of school shoes had animal imprints on the bottom of the shoe.
The school I attended was in the small country town of Alice Springs.
The grounds of the school and some of the roads in the town were just dirt or gravel.
My shoes made animal imprints wherever I walked.
I really enjoyed those shoes.
Apparently, I had broken some property while I walked home from school through the railway yards.
All I remember is throwing stones at a wooden box.
Nothing was damaged…or so I thought..!!

But the police were called and they asked one of their Aboriginal trackers to follow those animal imprints all the way to my front door.
When my mother opened the door, she was very surprised.
Not only to find the police standing there, but also by their request to see her son’s school shoes.
At the time I was out playing with my friends without a care in the world.
I didn’t know I had broken something,
I didn’t know my shoes had become police evidence.
I didn’t know that when I finished playing with my friends, and walked home that day, what was waiting for me.
Hey, I was just a young boy without a care in the world.

Today, all around the world, there would be many people who are waking up and getting out of bed without any understanding that God is real.
Secondly, they would not have guessed that someone with authority
[Jesus] will be knocking on the door [of their heart].
Thirdly, they would never have suspected that the Holy Spirit had been tracking them for years.
At 10 years of age I would have been one of those people that God was tracking.
He waited until the right time to introduce himself.
He waited another 13 years!

For many
people…today is their day of salvation!

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
[Revelation 3:20]

Last year of High School.

In my last year at school, the final year camp was located at a place called Wilpena Pound.
It is a natural amphitheatre of mountains located 429 kilometres north of Adelaide, South Australia.
The Pound is a very popular area for bush-walking, and therefore a good place to have a school camp.
The Pound traverses some of the most beautiful country in the Flinders Ranges.
The peaks are very rugged, and thick scrub and timber inside the Pound can make navigation difficult.
In 1959, a 12-year-old boy became lost while walking inside the Pound, and despite search efforts, his skeletal remains were not located until 18 months later.
A pass on the upper slopes of St Mary Peak is named after him.
His brother John Bannon, later became the Premier of South Australia.
Just outside the Pound is a motel and camping ground.

At the beginning of the school camp.
We were dropped off by bus and set up our tents for an overnight stay, before setting off in the morning to walk across the Pound, there were about 100 students.

My friend’s parents happened to be staying in the motel and they invited both of us to dinner in the restaurant.
We didn’t tell the teachers, but someone did.
As we were in the middle of our meal… in came the teacher in charge of the camp.
He rudely pulled me out of the restaurant and I was sent back to my tent.
He didn’t want me in the restaurant while the other students were eating basic food at the camp grounds.
My friend could stay in the restaurant because he was with his parents.
This teacher always gave me a hard time.
The next morning the students were separated into groups of six and a leader was put in charge of each group.
We were sent off at different intervals to cross the Pound and then everyone was going to come together at the end of the walk to camp on the other side of the surrounding hills.
There were not any facilities for camping where we were going and also we would be out of contact with the motel and everyone else because the two-way radios would not work as the terrain blocked the signal.
It was about a six-hour hike.

The group I was leading got to our destination in the afternoon, but no-one was there, we had not seen any other students for hours.
Then we understood why we had not seen any other students on our hike.
We were lost!!
The Pound was a dangerous place to get lost in, the weather was hot and we did not have much water.
We climbed to the highest peak and tried to get our bearings, but all we could see were the hills in the distance that marked where we began our journey in the morning.
We knew how to get back to safety so we almost ran for the next few hours and arrived at the motel and camping ground at around 7.00 pm.
A summer storm was brewing and it was getting dark by the time we tiredly walked into the motel and told the staff what had happened to us.
My friend’s parents were still there and they organised for us to stay at the motel, they also made sure we were fed… as we were very hungry.
Now the tables were turned, the night before I had been ingloriously dragged out of the restaurant and one night later, I am sitting in the same restaurant having a lovely meal, surrounded by well-wishers.
Meanwhile the teacher that gave me a hard time was now having his own hard time.
He did not know we were safe.
He spent the night looking for us in the rain.
Boy, did it feel good sleeping in the motel and waking up to a cooked breakfast.

The big problem was.
The teacher and the students who spent the whole night looking for us, never believed our story about getting lost.
They always believed we went back to the motel on purpose.
But the truth is…we really were lost.
Isn’t it tough when you tell the truth and no-one believes you.


My first job.

My first job after school was as a “laboratory sample
and I had to relocate from the city of Adelaide to the very,
very, isolated town of Dampier at the top of Western Australia.
Dampier is a port for most of Australia’s iron ore.
As the iron ore was loaded onto the ships, I had to take samples for the
The town had a population of 2000 people; most of them were young men from
different countries around the world.
They got these jobs because the place was so isolated.
[No-one else wanted to work there] and the money was good, this enabled them to
continue their travels after only working for a few months or a year at the

I was meeting people from England, Ireland and Canada.
They loved to talk about the countries in Asia they had visited.
Guess what?
I picked up the travel bug; I got influenced by their stories.
When I finished my 6-month contract I began to travel.
The first place I went to was Bali in Indonesia, which I loved.
The beach lifestyle suited me in a big way.
Then I travelled up through South-East Asia to Nepal, then down to India and onto Europe.
While I enjoyed Europe, I did not enjoy the weather, it was so cold, I kept thinking of Bali and the beach lifestyle.
Eventually I gave in and bought a plane ticket to Thailand and then made my way back down to Bali, where I stayed for a long time.

May I point out a few observations from this story?

The first is, notice how I picked up the vision to travel.
Before I mixed with all those travellers, I had no thoughts about travel, I had no friends or family who had travelled.
It was the 1970’s…no internet, no computer and I was just out of school.
Yet as soon as I was hanging around people with a vision, I caught their vision.
I did not have one of my own so I picked up theirs.

The second point is, notice how I enjoyed the first part of my trip and then spent the rest of my travels thinking it was going to get better and better, but it didn’t and it took me a long time to realise this.
I wanted to recreate the past and I did… because it was an easy thing for me to do.
Just buy a plane ticket, no problem.
All through Europe I was only a plane flight away from Bali.
I was only one decision away from my favourite place in the world.
The main point of this discussion is…I wasn’t looking for a location.
I was actually looking for an experience.
When I was in Bali, I felt good from the inside out, it felt good to learn to surf, it felt good to live in a hut near the waves, and it felt good to be alive.
In Europe I felt like a tourist and that’s all I was really doing.
Looking at things instead of being involved in what I was seeing.
In Bali you weren’t just looking at the view, you were swimming in it.
You weren’t just looking at the sunset you were throwing frisbees’ at sunset on the beach along with the locals.

The result of my travelling experience was…
What I was looking for in life was still something that I had not found.
The thing that amazed me the most was… how similar people were on the inside even though they were so different on the outside.
Everyone wanted to be happy.
And have a good job or career with purpose.
Everyone wanted to belong to a family.
And have some good friends.


What Can You Do?

I bought my first kayak when I was living in the small town of Katherine which is 300 miles south of Darwin.
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory; it is closer to Indonesia than it is to Sydney.
When we kayaked on the Katherine River we would really enjoy doing it in the wet season because the river would have a lot of “white-water”.
The wildlife was also abundant and we saw a lot of freshwater crocodiles.
These crocodiles were fairly harmless…if you kept your distance.
They were not big enough to tip you out of a kayak if they did attack.

We had an opportunity to travel across the top of Australia to another small town called Kununurra which is situated on the Ord River.
This river is very wide and has no “white-water.”
But it does have big and dangerous saltwater crocodiles.
One of them surfaced in front of us as we kayaked down the river and my friend panicked.
He had a bad dream the night before and this had set him up BIG time!
I was amazed at my reaction.
Because we were out in the middle of a very wide section of the river we knew…if we were knocked out of our kayaks we had no way of getting back in.
When you are completely cornered with no escape you sometimes relax even though there is no reason to relax.
The struggle goes out and you are left with a feeling of the inevitable.
When there is nothing you can do about your situation.
What can you do?

An adrenaline junkie is accepted in society and looked up to by the younger ones.
Philippe Petit is a French high-wire artist who gained fame in 1974 for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, on the morning of 7 August.


Even though this man did the walk illegally the public admired him for his bravery and boldness.
While he was high above the ground, he would have been high on adrenaline.

This French high-wire artist who walked on a rope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center is an interesting example.
When he was half-way across and in danger of falling.
What could he do?

He would have taken a deep breath and tried to relax.

Here is a more recent story:
We live just outside of Brisbane on 3.5 acres.
We have a lot of wildlife including koalas, wallabies, goannas and you guessed it.
Most of them are carpet snakes which can be up to 6 feet long.
There are also tree snakes, they are very skinny and can get into your house.
We have been living here for 12 years and never had a snake inside.
But last year I was writing on the computer when my wife said:
“Don’t move a snake is behind you.”
Well I did move and scared the snake which had scared me.
It went into one of the kitchen cupboards.
The big problem was…we didn’t see which cupboard.
In the end, not knowing where it was, meant we may never find it.
The not knowing gets to you and plays on your mind.
You are constantly thinking, “where is that snake?”

I don’t like mysteries and I am always trying to solve them.
A lot of people are the same.
That’s why the scientists are going further into space.
They can’t stand not knowing.
Where did everything come from?
Were we created or was it an accident or incident?
If it was a big bang, what existed before the big bang?

As humans we have our own set of questions.

The biggest is, “Why does God allow suffering?”

I want to know why God created snakes..??

I visited New Zealand [which does not have any snakes] a couple of years ago.
When we drove out into the country I got out of the car and ran around the field at the side of the road.
I wanted to feel what it was like to walk through high grass and not have to worry about snakes.
A bit weird, I know!
Some people don’t know what it feels like to be free from pain.
Others don’t know what it feels like to be free from debt…the list goes on.

Let me repeat myself by remembering what happened when I was confronted by a large salt-water crocodile.
When you are completely cornered with no escape, you sometimes relax even though there is no reason to relax.
The struggle goes out and you are left with a feeling of the inevitable.
When there is nothing you can do about your situation.
What can you do?


Enjoy the Rain

A few years ago, Australia had its worst drought on record.
It was a scary time for all those affected.

By 1995 the drought had spread to many parts of Australia and by 2003.
It was recognised as the worst on record.
Most Australian mainland capital cities faced a major water crisis with less than 50% of water storage remaining.
Australia had previously relied solely on water from dams for agriculture and consumption.
The drought changed the way Australia treated its water resources.
The Prime Minister announced, that unless there was substantial rain.
No water would be allocated to farmers for the coming year.
The result of this would have directly affected 50,000 farmers and the economy.

Electricity shortages may also have occurred if the Snowy Mountains Scheme had been forced to shut down its hydroelectric generators.
Many towns were close to running out of water.
Some towns did run out!
All the cities introduced water restrictions.

It’s amazing what a shortage of water can do; it can shut down a nation.
It changed our thinking, now we live with on-going water restrictions and we accept them as normal.
In the past we had unlimited use of water to wash our cars and water our gardens.
Now we have special days for doing those jobs.
In the drought, people’s behaviour changed.
Neighbours reported their neighbours to the local council if they saw them watering their gardens… because there was a total water ban.

The normal became abnormal.

We discovered that our water supply was not unlimited.

Since the drought we have had floods and to release excess water from the dams some councils gave their communities free water days.
On the television news that night there were pictures of these “blessed” people going “crazy” with their garden hoses.
For a day there were no limits and they took advantage of this in a big way.
Laughing, shouting, smiling…it was an artificial revival.
They were filling all their spare containers and their swimming pools and fish ponds.
They were squirting each other. It was a refreshing on a large scale.

Other councils were not as generous and even though they had excess water at the time, they kept the restrictions in place.
Sometimes rules and regulations are the problem rather than a lack of water.
While some communities had free water days other communities kept a tight hold on their water because those in authority decided to block the flow.
The bureaucrats were in charge and no way were they going to let people have a free water day.
Some government officials are by nature practical and conservative people and therefore well suited to the job of looking after budgets and buildings.
But when the choice comes down to people having fun and saving money or water.
Guess which way they go?
I don’t blame them, as you have to be wise.

The extremes for rain are drought and flood.
Farmers would prefer regular rain they can rely on, as they plan how much seed to sow and what animals to keep.
People want their milk and bread fresh every day.
People need regular times of refreshing.
We need holidays and peaceful weekends.

Rain and the feeling of refreshing are also associated.
It rains and we get refreshed, this is a common experience for people who have gone through a dry time or a drought.

You might have a rich relative who blesses you financially from time to time.
If that relative comes to live in your house with you, there will probably be more blessing on a more consistent basis.

But if you have a rich relative who is not generous.
When they visit, there will be no refreshing.
Their heart is closed.

After the Great Depression and World war Two.
Some people never recovered from the fear of poverty.
It was hard for them to be generous.
They had been taught not to waste anything.
This is wise.
But they were not a lot of fun to be around.
They had suffered great loss and life was not funny.

Let us go back to the story of the local councils.
After the drought was finished and rain had fallen around Australia.
Some government areas had an abundance of water.
As I explained earlier.
Since the drought we have had floods and to release excess water from the dams some councils gave their communities free water days.
On the television news that night there were pictures of these “blessed” people going “crazy” with their garden hoses.
For a day there were no limits and they took advantage of this in a big way.
Laughing, shouting, smiling…it was an artificial revival.
They were filling all their spare containers and their swimming pools and fish ponds.
They were squirting each other. It was a refreshing on a large scale.

Other councils were not as generous and even though they had excess water at the time, they kept the restrictions in place.
Sometimes rules and regulations are the problem rather than a lack of water.
While some communities had free water days other communities kept a tight hold on their water because those in authority decided to block the flow.

Yes, sometimes rules are the problem.
And behind the rule there is an attitude.
Generous people are willing to break the rules.
Stingy people like to keep the rules.
Just in case.
If the question is about right and wrong, the accountants will always win.
They can see another drought on the horizon.

Generous people also know there may be another drought on the way.
That is why they want to celebrate the good times.

Because they also understand that the good times are temporary.
So they vote to release the water and let the community enjoy themselves.

What situation are you in right now.?

If you are in a drought, watch out because a flood is coming.
If you are in a flood, beware of the drought.

Permission to enjoy your life is your choice, no-one can make the decision for you.
If you find it hard to break the rules because you are worried about the future.
That is okay.
If you are always breaking the rules and not planning for the future.
That is okay.

The mystery that catches us out is the mystery of change.
We all change as we grow older.
We change in ways that are hard to predict.
One day you are a rule breaker and suddenly you want keep all the rules.
Reckless to responsible.
Here is the rule that cannot be broken.

You are getting older and you cannot reverse it.

As an older person talking to a younger person.
Here is my advice.

Keep the future in mind, but when it rains, give yourself permission to enjoy the moment.
It may never pass your way again.


Perpetual Motivation.

The Great Artesian Basin, located within Australia, is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world, stretching over 660,000 square miles.
The basin provides the only reliable source of fresh water through much of inland Australia.
Prior to European occupation, this water discharged through springs, many in desert areas.
These springs supported extensive Aboriginal communities.
After the arrival of Europeans, the springs enabled early exploration.
The Great Artesian Basin became an important water supply for cattle stations and irrigation and is a vital life line for some of the towns in rural Australia.

To tap it, water wells are drilled down to a suitable rock layer, where the pressure of the water forces it up, mostly without pumping.

The discovery and use of water held underground in the Great Artesian Basin opened up thousands of square miles of country away from regular rainfall and this land was previously unavailable for pastoral activities.
European discovery of the basin dates from 1878 when a shallow bore near the town of Bourke produced flowing water.

The early explorers of inland Australia believed there was an inland river system to be discovered but as they trekked over the desert country, they had no idea what they were looking for… was underneath their feet.

The answer was below them.

Maybe our answer is not below us, but within us?
It could be a similar situation.
Imagine if what you have been looking for is inside of you.
Then the search is over!

Irregular rainfall produces instability in farming communities and weakens the farmers and their families emotionally and financially.
Some of our largest inland towns rely completely on underground water and they thrive and survive because of this consistent and free water supply.
Our towns and cities that rely on above ground water from rainfall and dams can be shut down by a prolonged period of drought.

The towns in Australia that have learnt to source their water from the underground supply don’t worry when it doesn’t rain.
They know they are not as dependant on rain as the other towns are…
[That rely on dams for their drinking water].
We are designed in a similar way because the source of life is inside of us.
We are not as dependant on external factors as we thought we were;
such as how your circumstances are going.
We can be in a season of perpetual motivation.
Even in times of emotional drought.

So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

We all have a spring within us and it flows day and night, in the good times and in the hard times.
Remember, it does not need a pump [no self-effort].
It is 100% natural and it is inexhaustible.

A nuclear submarine is powered by a nuclear reactor.
The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over “conventional” submarines are considerable:
Nuclear propulsion, being completely independent of air, frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for conventional submarines.

The large amount of power generated by a nuclear reactor allows nuclear submarines to operate at high speed for long periods of time.

Current generations of nuclear submarines never need to be refuelled throughout their 25-year lifespans.
Conversely, the limited power stored in electric batteries means that even the most advanced conventional submarine can only remain submerged for a few days at slow speed, and only a few hours at top speed.

The advantages of a nuclear powered submarine are:

  1. Do not need to surface.
  2. Operate at high speed.
  3. Never need to be refuelled.

The source of energy for a nuclear submarine is contained within.
The source of energy for a normal submarine is external.

Humans are built with a supply of motivation that is internal.
Yes, sometimes we need external encouragement.
But that is only needed as a temporary fix.

Inside of you is an inexhaustible supply of believing power.

You have the ability, to cause every situation to flourish.

Now your mind can be filled with images of a:

Well-watered garden.

A beautiful garden.

Successful garden.

A garden without weeds.

Fruitful and productive garden.

You have been chosen to bear fruit.
You have been appointed to bear fruit.
And you have been equipped with a spring of motivation.

You have an “internal” spring that is flowing effortlessly from within.
It is bubbling up and out of you 24 hrs a day.
It is unceasing!
Therefore it is reliable and stable.
Around you may be absolute turmoil but within you is a completely predictable supply of life and energy.

You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

You have a spring, “Whose waters never fail.”

If the water never fails…you never fail..!!
The source of success that you have always been looking for is within you.
Wherever you are…motivation can flow and turn a barren emotional desert into a garden.

The early explorers of inland Australia believed there was an inland river system to be discovered.
They were disappointed.
But as they trekked over the desert country, they had no idea…the thing they were looking for.
Was underneath their feet.

Imagine if what you have been looking for, is inside of you.
Then the search is over!


Your Christmas Present

If you knew the future you would not get upset when things don’t go your way.
The “all things work together for good” mantra that is dished up in various forms is not needed when the future is clear.
If you could see the future you would know for sure whether it was really working for your good!
The happy times when everything goes well, blind a person to what is waiting for them around the corner, but that is why we have insurance policies for as many things as possible.
The problem is you cannot insure your skills and if one of those skills is your golf swing, then nothing is guaranteed.

Slight changes in your relationships, finances, or sense of well-being can throw you out of your rhythm.
Your game goes the same way your confidence goes.
Out the door!
“Oh, I see.”
“You need a confidence boost.”
“Need a little food for your faith do you?”
Or is the real need not being addressed?
The answer my friend is…you guessed it.
The solution to most people’s situation is, wisdom.
You need wisdom.
“Come on you simple one’s,” she says.
“I’m calling out as you pass by.”

I like to get my wisdom in story form.
Preferably someone else’s story.
I love to hear tragedy turning into triumph stories.
Where their pain turns into their gain.
I love to be inspired and motivated by a book or a movie, or even a sermon.
It’s more interesting watching other people learning the lessons of life.

An evangelist friend of mine goes into Eastern European countries on ministry trips.
He always likes to invite the children to sit up near the stage so he can tell them a story.
What he noticed after doing this a few times was; the adults listened intently as he told the children their story, but when he dismissed the children and began his sermon, the adults lost interest.
Eventually he changed his strategy.
He would still invite the children to the front and then he would weave his sermon for the adults into the children’s story, all the while holding the adults attention.
Now that is wisdom!

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where everything is black and white?
Where there were no grey areas.
Confusion is not good for anyone who is in the middle of making a decision.
Today I was asked to give directions for a lady who had just stepped off the bus and was trying to find her way to her job interview.
I didn’t see her get off the bus so I presumed she was driving to her interview.
I proceeded to give her directions that were accurate but irrelevant for her particular situation. I could see from her expression that something was not adding up.
Wisdom does not rush in without having all the facts.
Wisdom would ask, “Are you walking or are you driving?”
Here are a few questions that wisdom may well ask you!

Do you want it now or do you want it later?
Do you want the best or the second best?
Which timetable, yours or God’s?

You can see where this is leading!
Real wisdom, the high quality wisdom, is only available from one source.
You have to listen, you have to be very still, you have to be like those children listening to the evangelist telling them a story.
The adults were drawn into the children’s story by the atmosphere of innocence.
For a few minutes they put away their cynicism and weary thought life.
They forgot who they were and where they were.

It’s like Christmas day when the adults watch the children opening their presents.
The adults get excited when the children get excited.
Well, it’s the same with God; he gets excited when you get excited.
And here’s the kicker!
You get excited when you open your present.
And what is your present?
Today folks, your present is…the gift of wisdom you have been asking for!
That’s right, all you had to do was ask!


The Lamp

I read part of a book recently, about a couple who had lost a young son.
I am not sure whether the book was based on a true story, I did not finish the book, but I enjoyed the part I read.
This is the outline of the story.
After the loss of their son this couple met a man who told them about an old lamp he had found among his grandmother’s possessions.
Apparently his grandmother believed the lamp always bought good fortune for the person who had it in their home. This man told this grieving couple that he would like for them to have it as a gift.

They did not want to embarrass him so they accepted his offer.
They took the lamp home and put it in their garage.
A few months later they began to notice a slight improvement in their circumstances.
They had been through such a dark time…any improvement was welcome.
Of course, they wondered whether there was any connection with the lamp.
Their curiosity was stirred.
They even got the lamp out of the garage and placed it in the house.
When they did this, they felt slightly cheered.
Not long after, they were speaking to the man who gave them the lamp and told him what was happening.
He was surprised by what they told him because he had found a second lamp among his grandmother’s belongings.
Therefore, he was not sure which lamp was the actual lamp that was supposed to bring good fortune.

I stopped reading the book at this point, but I had read enough to see that it was a great story about our believing and its effect on us.
You and I know we do not have to believe in an object.
The thing I most enjoyed about this story; is it illustrates how it is sometimes easier to believe in something else than it is to believe in ourselves.
I hope that your believing switch has been turned on by some of the stories you have just read.
We all need encouragement.
Thanks for taking the time to read this book.

Tony Egar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s