Being kind in the time of isolation

There is no doubt that couples forced to live together 24/7 due to Coronavirus “stay at home” orders increases the risk of conflict and violence in the home.

That is why we need to all take an attitude stock take and look at two key words.

Am I being kind?

Am I being tender?

I was reminded about this during the week when I was at work (yes, someone who still had a part time job) and came into a dispute with a work colleague.

The very next day a friend sent me these words about tenderness.

I read these and applied them to myself and when next at work … worked hard to apply these principles. Try these for yourself and see how you go.

  • A gracious touch, a gentle spirit, an expression of kindness; someone who so values the worth of others that they refuse to be mean or spiteful or vengeful.
  • Hearts that refuse to remain hard, unmoved and disengaged; hearts that are full of compassion, kindness, warmth and gentleness.
  • Hearts that guard and nurture new life and new dreams welling up within.
  • Hearts that are receptive to listen, quick to respond,  ready to act, determined to obey.
  • Hearts that attract the presence and power of God and are catalysts for His transforming  grace to work in them and through them. What God can do and reveal through our tender hearts.
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Domestic violence – a horrific breach of God’s holy standard

From Australian Christian Lobby

The murder of Hannah Clarke and her children has again brought the issue of domestic violence into the spotlight. How do we respond to those who say that Christianity is somehow responsible for violence against women?

It’s time to talk domestic violence.

It’s a very difficult subject, but it’s the subject that’s on all of our minds.

It’s on all of our minds because of the terrible events that occurred in Brisbane with the murder of Hannah Clarke, 31 years old, and her three children by their husband and father, Rowan Baxter.

It’s just dreadful. There was a history of domestic violence in the family. There was a domestic violence order against Rowan Baxter, and he breached that order. He was due to appear in court in March as a result of that.

And there were family members who were helping Hannah get away from him, but what we know is that somehow he intercepted his wife’s vehicle as she was taking the children to school, and he got fuel on or in the car and on the children or on her – it’s not entirely clear how it all worked out – and he set them on fire.

He tried to stop bystanders from helping as they burned. And he then stabbed himself in the chest, killing himself at the scene.

The three children died there. Hannah was alive and got out of the car, but with burns to 97% of her body, she passed away later that evening.

An absolutely horrifying story that stopped the nation.

Now, there were some immediate comments along the lines of, “Well, we don’t know the whole story: don’t judge.”

But I will judge this man as a murderer, because that’s simply a statement of absolute and completely obvious truth.

And there is nothing in the world that could ever justify murder, especially the premeditated murder, in a devastating, painful and violent way, of one’s own wife and one’s own children.

There is nothing in the world that could mitigate responsibility for that; no kind of injustice that someone might perceive themselves to have suffered.

And there’s no evidence at all that anything like that happened to this man.

But to those who have said that we should not judge, or that something may mitigate his responsibility, I say: that’s crazy.

This story is so extreme. There’s a lot of bad news around us every day, and many bad news stories just bounce off us. Not this one. This sticks in your mind. It has stuck in my head and bothered me for a long time because it’s so terrible.

And there’s something particularly terrible about a father and a husband doing this. It’s like the whole universe turns in on itself and goes backwards, because he’s meant to be protecting and helping and looking after his family and his wife, and what’s he doing? He’s violating his duties as a husband, as a father and just as a man by doing this. It is absolutely horrific.

He’s done something horrendous. Let’s be very, very clear about that. And honestly, if that wasn’t your reaction to this case, a reaction of pain and grief, then there’s something wrong. There is something really wrong.

Now, there’s something I want to address about this.

It’s not the fact that a lot of people say, “Oh, this is a gender thing.” The statistics do show that intimate partner violence and filicide (that is, the murder of one’s children) isn’t particularly gendered; it is perpetrated by both men and women – although when men commit violence it’s far more serious, no doubt about it.

And I’m not going to address the family court system and its limitations.

In fact, I’m not going to address many important aspects that have come out of this, but there is one aspect I do want to address.

There’s always somebody who brings up the whole Christian thing. There’s always somebody who points the finger at Christianity.

Perhaps it’s because they think that this is a patriarchal Judeo-Christian society, and there are latent remnants of Christian thinking in general society, and therefore women cop it as a result; or perhaps it’s just an overt and blatant criticism.

Take this example from Independent Australia. Journalist John Wren wrote this: “So why does the Liberal government do so little to reduce violence against women and children? Part of the issue lies in Morrison’s Pentecostal belief system – it preaches that women must submit to their husbands, be subordinate to them.”

And then he says this, which is absolute rubbish: “Pentecostalism has many strains. In some, it is even acceptable to discipline an insubordinate wife with violence.”

Absolute rot. He later says, “Morrison’s faith is one aspect of the reasoning behind the lack of support for domestic violence action.”

Now, that’s just completely offensive to say that. A Prime Minister who apparently is going to be less moved to do something about men burning their wives and children to death in cars because of his faith?

There’s always someone like this who publishes commentary on the connection between supposed Christian violence and domestic violence, even though there’s no evidence that supports this.

But I want to say this for those who are ignorant or for those who may in fact be influenced by the things that are said in this vein.

I want to answer the question: what does the Bible actually say about how men should behave towards women?

Because this is important.

Here’s an intimidating but timely thought for men, especially if you’re married or if you’re in a relationship, and it’s this: when you meet God, as you certainly will – every Christian believes that absolutely, because it’s true – you as a man will be held accountable for the condition of the woman in your life in very important respects.

When you meet God, the standard applied to you will be the standard that is given to men in Ephesians 5, and it’s this: have you given yourself up for her? Is your love for her a sanctifying influence leading to her increased holiness? Is she free from blemishes inflicted by you, whether physically or spiritually?

There is no higher standard in all of human existence than the standard given in Christianity for how men are to treat women in their lives.

I once met a guy who struck me as a dodgy character. I just got the wrong sense about him. Unfortunately, I was quite young at the time and I watched as this bloke worked his way into a young woman’s affections. She was a very beautiful young woman, and innocent, but he corrupted her and made her just like he was and took her down a slippery slope into all sorts of awful things.

And then they got married and he inflicted violence against her, both physical and psychological. And that’s a tragedy that’s continuing even now.

When we see that sort of thing, we’re all disgusted. It’s something that is purely satanic.

I raise that story because it demonstrates the hallmark of a bad man: that those he claims to love are worse off for it.

By contrast, the hallmark of a good man is that the people who encounter him, who are part of his life, and whom he loves, are made better, are lifted higher, and are greatly blessed, especially in the area of sanctification and holiness. They are enriched in the most profound ways possible by his presence and by his actions, such is his living for others, and such is his influence on others for good.

And that’s the standard.

When you meet God, as you surely will, the woman you love is to be presented in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).

And who has set that example from which we can draw? None other than Jesus Christ himself in his astonishing, selfless, sanctifying love for me and for you.

It’s his goal to present us to God in exactly that same way: sanctified, holy, without blemish. And he died for that; he gave himself up for that.

Now, if that’s the standard; if that’s what God asks of husbands with their wives; if that’s the ‘apprenticeship’ in which boyfriends and fiancés have enrolled – in fact into which all men have enrolled – then that standard should cause you to gasp and to tremble, because men will be accountable to God in the final judgement for this very thing.

Some are saying that family violence is the product of male power, and that men need to be torn down and demasculinised in order to solve that problem.

But power isn’t the problem: evil is the problem; wickedness is the problem. It’s the difference between a good man and a bad man in the way he behaves towards others, what he desires for others, and the way his presence enriches others or drags others down.

It’s the difference between a good man and a bad man, not a powerful man and a subjugated man.

And we’ll never be Jesus, of course, but with prayer and obedience we can inch closer to being like him, because this is our high calling.

One of the great tragedies in this debate is that people don’t think about character. They think that our badness or our goodness, our ability to be good or do good, is based on our sex, male or female.

It’s not. Character is equally accessible to all.

And yes, men and women are different, and those differences are innate. But goodness, virtue, character – which are equally accessible to all, regardless of gender or any other thing – are the most important things.

And the calling, the shape of that character, is given there in Ephesians 5.

Next time someone tells you that domestic violence is all the Christians’ fault, you can take great confidence in the fact that it is anything but true.

This is a society that has broken apart the family; that has championed easy divorce; that has promoted individualism, empowerment and independence at the expense of loving others; that has sexualised children as young as possible (which does turn young boys violent); and that claims that women have no unique dignity that is to be honoured or upheld by society.

Society has done all these things.

And when it all goes to custard and we see violence breaking out, people turn around and say, “Oh, it’s the Christians’ fault.”

No. I’m sorry, but this is not on us. There is no standard higher in all the universe than the standard that Christ puts upon men in this world. Fortunately, he also gives us the power to be able to inch towards that standard and fulfil it, otherwise we’d be, of all people, the most miserable.

There is no standard that’s higher than that. And this one is not on us. It’s on the world that has forgotten these great and priceless principles.

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It’s more than just violence

In a recent FB post an associate wrote “Real Men are not violent”

But this overlooks a fundamental issue in family violence, there is more than just violence involved.

What we need to be saying is Real Men don’t use power and control to rule over their spouse and kids.

Here is an alternative thought about a positive approach by men.

Real Men fulfill the “Love Chapter”

“Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.
Love never fails. …”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Shocking murder reminds us that evil exists

The absolute shocking and brutal murder of a woman and her children can only be described as evil.

Domestic Violence in all its forms is an unending problem in our society and education around respect is paramount to try and stop this occurring.

But … education will not remove evil from men’s hearts.

I am a great believer in the transformation that can happen when people encounter Jesus Christ … but I also know that without that transformation, evil will continue to rule the lives of many, many (too many) men (and women).

So how do we respond to evil that cannot or refuse to be changed by education or by heart transformation?

The Apostle Paul wrote about the Government bringing punishment on the wrongdoer.

The failure of the modern legal system to enact appropriate punishment to the evil doers is the issue. Paul writes again about those with “seared consciences” … those who have no concept of guilt, no concept of right or wrong but carry out their acts of evil not caring what happens to them.

At a personal level we need to be able to forgive.

At a Government / Legal level, we expect them to be able to protect the innocent and stop evil doers before they carry out the evil deeds.

This requires laws that imprison those who are at high risk of carrying out their evil  before trial.

This requires the Police to strongly intervene.

This requires courts to imprison them for their crimes.

This requires Parole Boards to demand proof of changed lives before they are ever released back into society.

Evil must be stopped. Evil can only be stopped by a community that says no, enough.


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GrandPa’s Practical Guide to Climate Change Action

My daughter in law said to me recently when I came up with a pearl of wisdom when dealing with a fractious grandchild, “can I have a series on GrandPa says” to help with the kids. So while I am writing my Picture book on GrandPa says I woke up with some thoughts on how to tackle one of the big hot button questions in life, Climate Change.

As one of the over 60s in Australia I have seen a lot in this world. I have seen mankind at its best, with amazing advances in medical science. Amazing leaps in “Star Trek” technologies. Self sacrifice and selfless service at multiple levels of society.

I have also seen mankind at its worst. Multiple wars. Terrible crimes against humanity and individuals.

Over the years I have seen multiple horrendous bushfires take life and property with the latest bushfire disaster becoming highly politicised and the community polarised by this disaster. The chants of “We want action and we want it now” grow louder.

But what does this call for action actually mean? How does Australia with a contribution of 1.3% to Co2 levels make a difference to the world wide climate? How do we take action that doesn’t destroy our economy sustain our nation and our children’s future and with it our ability to fund the research needed to make the great advances in knowledge?

So let’s look at some hot button issues.


The “Climate Extinction” mantra is to close all coal fired power stations and ban all coal exports.

So don’t let facts get in the way of an emotional argument but to close all our power stations in 2 years would put us literally into the dark ages considering our electricity is 75% dependant on Coal

(Reference: Australia’s primary energy consumption is dominated by coal (around 40 per cent), oil (34 per cent) and gas (22 per cent). Coal accounts for about 75 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation, followed by gas (16 per cent), hydro (5 per cent) and wind around (2 per cent). › scientific-topics › energy › basics Basics | Geoscience Australia)

But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something. So here is a step by step plan to reducing our coal dependence without turning the lights off.

  1. Replace all “dirty” coal powered stations with “clean coal” technology. Victoria has ageing coal generators as well as in the Hunter Valley. Replace them now. This has the immediate result of reducing our Co2 levels while we find the “long term” solution.
  2. Make all of our coal export licences linked to a “clean coal” power station. Example, India has a growing need for cheap electricity generation (coal). Insist by contract that their new power stations (which are being built every 9 days) is using “clean coal” technology.
  3. Lift all bans on gas exploration. Our gas generation for electricity is just 16%. Victoria is sitting on potential gas fields in Bass Strait and on land. Let’s make it happen. Set a goal to replace 25% of coal generation with gas powered sites. Again, we reduce our Co2 levels.
  4. Lift the ban on Nuclear power generation. Before everyone’s brain melts, nuclear is the “cleanest” base load power you can produce. Solar and Wind are weather dependant and whilst contributing to our reduction in Co2 levels, they can never truly replace base load power. Nuclear is a long term project. It will take 20 years to build one. We should build two or three in parallel using the best modern technologies and safety features and with it, build state of the art disposal/storage centres of spent fuel rods. In 20 years, we will reduce our coal powered electricity component by at least 50% if not more. If we plan it right, we could be coal free in 30 years and still have “cheap” electricity to make our industries highly competitive.
  5. Expand BioMass solutions. Utilises burning off Methane from rubbish dumps. Put our piles of rubbish to good use.
  6. High Temperature waste-to-energy incinerators. Europe have a number of these plants that due to the high temperature completely destroys all the waste and generates substantial power. Solves two problems. Decreasing rubbish into landfill and cheap “green” power.
  7. Encourage self funding of solar. The current subsidies is distorting the power market and creating enormous problems in the maintenance of the grid as well as problems for Solar installers. Removing subsidies does not remove individual capacity to “self fund” solar on the roof. The economic benefits stack up. We are planning to “go solar” this year and it will pay for itself in about 8 years. Our power bills in the mean time will drop substantially.


Australia is a vast country and our dependence of motor transport (especially trucks) is indispensable. So we need to triple our research funding into new technologies for replacements to oil dependant fuel.

  1. E Vehicles – considering the large distances we travel, only inner urban drivers “love” these vehicles. To sell these to the broader market a few things need to happen.
    1. Better battery technology – longer lasting. Higher torque. Here is the test, can you drive off road for 8 hours in the middle of the bush and still have enough reserves to get home. At the moment. No. If you are doing a 1 hr city commute and then plug in it is probably doable.
    2. Cheap in home charge points linked to Solar /Wind and battery systems. One of the downfalls of an EVehicle is that you are charging from the grid (coal fired electricity) so it becomes yet another virtue signalling exercise without making any practical difference. Charge points need to be not connected to the grid.
  2. Hydrogen – this seems to be a viable replacement for diesel (example California buses seem to run okay on them). How do we make Hydrogen a nation wide (world wide) source of cheap and clean fuel for cars and trucks?
  3. Uber E Vehicles – we all love our cars. But do we all need one in the garage? If we had access to cheap E Vehicles via Uber (or whoever the company is) that can take us to the shops, drop us off and pick us up (and our shopping), all possible.

The Little Things

We can all do little things to make a difference.

  1. Walk/Cycle to school rather than get dropped off in the car.
  2. Walk to your local shop rather than drive
  3. Replace your old inefficient dirty car
  4. Recycle your rubbish. (Do you have a compost bin at home?)
  5. Don’t waste power. (see list below)
  6. Save water. (There is a whole website about this)
  7. Do you need to buy the latest phone if your current phone still works?
  8. Turn off the TV and devices and talk to one another for an hour.

A final message about hope. The world is not going to end anytime soon. For someone who has seen “Star Trek” technology become reality, mankind’s ability to create, innovate and solve problems is enormous. No doubt there are challenges around our drought/fire cycles but together we can make a difference doing our little bit and the big stuff as well. I don’t need to superglue myself to the road to provide some answers that will help.

There you have it.

GrandPa says …

Use energy wisely — and save money too!

  • Change to energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when you’re not using them
  • Turn off the lights in rooms you are not using
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water (not hot)
  • Stop using clothes dryers and Hang-dry your clothes instead
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Look for the Energy Star label when buying new appliances
  • Winterize your home to prevent heat from escaping and try to keep it cool in the summer without an air conditioner
  • Get a home or workplace energy audit to identify where you can make the most energy-saving gains
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