John’s Blog

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LOOK AT THE BIRDS OF THE AIR……….

by John Barr

One of the amazing things about moving out to Blacktown just over 12 months ago is the bird life around the manse in which I live. We are located adjacent to a wildlife corridor that runs all the way to Seven Hills and its home to magpies, kookaburras, noisy miners, willie wagtails, rosellas, lorikeets, crested […]

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

by John Barr

At election time I often become quite cynical as candidates make promises and declare give-aways on the condition they secure my vote. Whether its tax cuts or increases in essential services, whether it’s a new infrastructure project or a commitment to more transparency in government I often ask, are these offers “fair dinkum”, are they […]

IS GOD UNFAIR?

by John Barr

How would you describe God – loving, holy, righteous or powerful? These are just a few attributes that we assign to God. But have you ever thought of God as being fair? I ask this because so often, in ministry, I encounter situations and scenarios that just seem so unfair. While living in the remote […]

NO “MILKSHAKE DUCK”?

by John Barr

Do you know what a “milkshake duck” is? “Milkshake duck” is a term made famous by the Macquarie Dictionary as its current “word of the year”. It refers to a seemingly innocent person who is initially embraced and loved by the internet’s mass audience only to be brought crashing down when further investigation reveals them […]

THE LITTLE GIRL IN HER BEST DRESS

by John Barr

Eshoroma lies on a woven mat in a crude bamboo shelter. This two year old is wearing her best dress as her mother gently strokes her hair. This is not a happy family reunion. Nor is it a time for joy and celebration. Little Eshoroma is being prepared for burial, the victim of disease that […]

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

by John Barr

Christmas in my family has always been a little mixed up. When we lived in Indonesia gift-giving took place, not on the December 25th, rather, it took place on 5th – the Feast of St Nicholas. This is a tradition inherited from the Dutch. Christmas then continued through December 25th (Christmas One), December 26th (Christmas […]

REFORMATION 500th ANNIVERSARY

by John Barr

500th ANNIVERSARY OF REFORMATION A “hero-protestant” who “re-founded” Christianity or a “wild boar who was let loose in the vineyard? Renewal almost as profound as Pentecost or the unleashing of sectarian schism in the church and the creation of mayhem across all society?” In a recent presentation to the NSW Ecumenical Council, Bishop Mark Lieschke, […]

A TRAGIC WEEK

by John Barr

A few we weeks ago, on a Sunday, a lone gunman stormed a worship service and massacred 26 people as they sang in the First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas. Then on the following Tuesday morning a vehicle crashed into a classroom in Greenacre, here in Sydney. Two little boys were killed. Meanwhile, an 82 […]

IS THE SKY FALLING IN?

by John Barr

“It’s a debacle!” This is how the current state of our federal parliament is being described by some media. I know it’s important to sell newspapers and hold a TV audience. But a “debacle”? “Debacle” refers to a sudden downfall, a rout or a defeat. Here we refer to a “total failure”, a “right-off” or […]

Saints and Scholars – One and All! ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

My wife and I have just returned from a holiday in Ireland.  Known as the “Emerald Isle” because of its lush, green texture, this fascinating country is also referred to as the “Land of Saints and Scholars”. These “Saints and Scholars” include the great St Patrick, who converted Ireland to Christianity without recourse to any […]