Belonging Community Cruelty Family Fatherhood God's Love Grace Inclusion

Because I’m Yours. The little girl who finally went to Disney World

I never dreamed that taking a child to Disney World could be so difficult — or that such a trip could teach me so much about God’s outrageous grace. Our middle daughter had been previously adopted by another family. I am sure this couple had the best of intentions, but they never quite integrated the […]

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God’s love and a German soldier

It was 1945, World War II had drawn to a close, and a young man sat broken inside a POW camp. He had been a reluctant soldier in Hitler’s army and here, inside a prison in Scotland, he had months to contemplate what had been and what was to come. The cities of his homeland […]

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Two Cups

History has preserved for us two magnificent silver cups from the boggy marshes of Ireland. The first is known as the Gundestrup Cauldron and comes from a century or two before Christ, a the time when the Irish worshiped violent pagan gods. It is adorned with pictures of gods and warriors. One panel shows a gigantic cook-god […]

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A Party for a Prostitute

It was one of the most extraordinary birthday parties ever held. Not it wasn’t in a plush ballroom of a grand hotel. No there weren’t famous celebrities, nor anyone rich or powerful. It was held at 3am in a small seedy cafe in Honolulu, the guest of honour was a prostitute, the fellow guests were […]

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Spasms Of Grace

In 1999 acclaimed Scottish novelist A L Kennedy released a small book called On Bullfighting. Bullfighting is a “sport” which those living outside Spain have difficulty understanding. Yet for those who are reared on it bullfighting has an almost religious quality. Kennedy discovered that bullfighting has roots that extend way back into history, to ferocious bulls that […]

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The movie Priest tells the story of a young Catholic priest sent to a church in working class Liverpool, England. When he arrives he struggles with the liberal religious views of the senior parish priest. But we soon discover that his struggle is part of a greater internal struggle – you see our newly arrived priest is […]

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Welcome Mr President

Former US President Richard Nixon is infamous for his place at the center of  the Watergate scandal. He disgraced both the office of the President of the United States and the United States itself in the eyes of the world. When Hubert Humphrey, a former US vice-president died, Nixon attended his funeral. Dignitaries came from […]

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Moving the Comma

Alexander III was Tsar of Russia from 1881-1894. His rule was marked by repression, and in particular by persecution of Jews. His wife, Maria Fedorovna, provided a stark contrast, being known for her generosity to those in need. On one occasion her husband had signed an order consigning a prisoner to life in exile. It […]

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Inside the Walls

It is said that during the Second World War some soldiers serving in France wanted to bury a friend and fellow soldier who had been killed. Being in a foreign country they wanted to ensure their fallen comrade had a proper burial. They found a well-kept cemetery with a low stone wall around it, a […]

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Bono on Grace

Bono is the lead singer in U2, one of the world’s biggest selling rock bands. He grew up in Northern Ireland, the son of one Catholic and one Protestant parent. Throughout his childhood and adult years he was a constant witness to the hatreds fuelled by “Christian” belief. It left Bono less than enthusiastic about […]

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Gabrielle Carey. From Puberty Blues to Faith

Gabrielle Carey is an Australian author most widely known for co-authoring Puberty Blues. In a later book, In My Father’s House Carey relates an incident that led to her conversion to Christ. Carey was raised in an atheist humanist household. Her father was a university lecturer with a passionate commitment to the left side of politics. Throughout her […]

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Diary of a Country Priest

George Bernanos wrote a novel called Diary of a Country Priest. It tells the story of a good young priest who struggles against a corrupt and deceitful church. Has a very difficult life, made more difficult by fact that he develops stomach cancer. In the final days of his life he lies weak and in terrible […]

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A Modern Prodigal

(Note: this is a modern retelling of the parable of the prodigal son. The details are fictional. When using the story adapt the details to your situation – eg city, etc. Also remember to point out at the end that the story is fictional) Jenny grew up in Rankin Park, Newcastle. In her early teenage […]

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The Homecoming. What Awaits Us?

Eminence, a novel by Australian author Morris West, tells the story of Luca Rossini, a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Luca who now serves in the Vatican, live sin the shadow of a terrible experience he suffered as a young priest in Argentina. It was the 1970’s, a time when the military junta that […]