A Challenge for Your Heart


This week for me at C3 College it is graduation week. This week I will mark a mountain of work and some people will pass and some people will fail.

Some people will fail because of dumb decisions, others because of life circumstances and still others because of learning or medical problems.

As I have these tough conversations with people (I have written about why and how to do tough conversations) I will get a glimpse into where their security lies.

When we are faced with a challenge or even a failure it reveals our hearts.

I think about this regularly, and I know it is so easy to slip into having our security in things that come and go, things that are transient and things that are so dangerous to put your security in.

So often it is not like we decide to put our security in something. Things just creep into our psyche and begin to define us.


Our achievements are so crucial we tell everyone about them

Our looks and clothes are way too important

Our roles or jobs become our identity

Our friendship group defines how we see ourselves

Our houses, cars, possessions tell us who we are … and the list goes on.

The problem with all these things is that they can be taken away in a moment, sometimes just through life circumstances, and we found ourselves adrift. We don’t know who we are anymore.

The other problem is that these things become cages, we have to work hard to maintain, because otherwise all of who I am comes crashing down.

We need to constantly be going back to having our security firmly in the One who never changes, the One who always loves us no matter what, the only real security in this life. The One who is for me when it seems like the world (or just the grades and the Assistant Principal ) are against me.

This week I will watch people who have their security in Christ make it through. They may not graduate now, but their foundations will mean they will hold their heads high, they will often re-do work or complete later. Those without their security in Christ will disappear and hide which is such a shame.

I think particularly of three young men who are part of the Class of 2016, who have repeated, changed streams, to find out where their talents and giftings lie. They have done an incredible journey, they have at points humbled themselves and allowed us to guide them. They have gained so much and their foundations are in who Jesus is, Christ in them the hope of Glory !

Enjoy the photos of the students – it’s a sentimental time of year !

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Love is not all we need !


Lately I have noticed that yes we need to love one another- but we will not survive in life without the ability to forgive one another.

To live lives that are effective and fruitful, we have to be able to release people who have offended or hurt us, we have to be able to forgive.

Is forgiveness always easy ? No of course not. At least three times in my life I have been on forgiveness journeys that have taken years to work themselves out.

In one case every day in my prayer time I proclaimed – “I forgive her” .  At the end of a year it wasn’t only words it was finally something that I experienced. I had actually forgiven and I am so glad I did. The person I needed to forgive is still a good friend to this day and I could have missed out on 30 years of friendship if I didn’t forgive.

Forgiveness doesn’t say what the person did was OK. It does say I will no longer hold it against them.

As my friend Emma wisely said to me said this week – to forgive is to be free – free to go anywhere without having to avoid anyone, free to do life with lots of people without being concerned about factions and divisions. Free from hanging on to a hurt or offence and letting it continue to hurt or offend.

Forgiveness knows we all have feet of clay and make mistakes and so can extend grace to other people.

Forgiveness doesn’t take on other people’s offences, and let other people’s issues keep us in chains, long after they have moved on.

Forgiveness understands I have been forgiven much and so I need to forgive.

We do need to love each other but its not all we need, we also need to forgive each other. It is hard work, it takes commitment and a big heart. It is so worth it in the end.

If none of that inspires you to forgive – maybe the scariest verse in the Bible will – I know puts the fear of God in me “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matt 6:14

Just my thoughts on forgiveness on a raining Thursday evening in Sydney.

Painting by Phil Pringle – go to PhilPringle.com 

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)



Learnt 4 Things from 1 Conversation with a Leader

Some leaders have the power to shock you . I had a leader shock me a few weeks ago and I keep thinking about it

A very Senior Leader in our church called me to tell me she wouldn’t be attending an event I had invited her to. She told me she had no excuse, she just wouldn’t be coming.

Here is why this shocked me

1. She called

She took time  to call and actually speak to me. She didn’t send a text, write an email or just ignore the invitation. She called – and in so doing she took a risk. She had to deal with my reaction to her call. We actually had to have a conversation about this.

2. She was honest and told me she had no excuse

She said normally she really liked the type of event I had invited her to but this night she just wanted to go home. She did not give me the whole” I am so busy and so important that I need a night off ” line . I happened to know she had  a big week but I brought that up she did not.  She just said I really don’t have any excuse I just want to go home. I love that !

3. She chose to build our relationship with transparency.

By being transparent she allowed me to see her for who she really is. She is a leader who values relationships and makes the call. She is a leader who is honest and real. She is a leader who can take care of herself in the middle of a big life.

4. She showed again how to lead without people pleasing.

She was confident in her decision, not afraid to tell me she was not coming. It was a real, clean conversation and there wasn’t any need for her to people please by coming up with any excuse or reasons.

We laughed, I thanked her. I already loved her leadership style – now I am even more of a fan. I bet she has no idea how much I learned that night.

I want to learn from every person in my world and I learnt something wonderful from that conversation. I learnt leadership that is real, honest and clean can be shocking and it is so wonderful.


(P.S Thanks to this of you who filled in the questionnaire asking you what you wanted to see in my blog. I am having a week off next week – and will be going through them all to find them and start answering your questions )

So I guess It’s Not All About Me !

This week I want to do something very different – I want to find out about you . I want to know about the people who read my blog.

I don’t want to keep putting out my thoughts without getting some back from you all !

So I decided it would be fun this week to do a little survey – to get your opinions and feedback.

I want your help in making my blog better. To be honest I don’t have a clue what I am doing. I just started to write because I felt compelled to.

So now two years later – I want to hear from you guys.

So here is a an anonymous survey that will honestly take you 2 minutes to do – it is all on one page.

You would help me so much if you could fill it in.


Thanks in advance. I really value the incredible people who take the time to go on this journey with me.

Here is a picture of a gorgeous beach in Margaret River, WA to show my appreciation !

Margaret River



Made a Big Mistake, Should have Known Better !


Recently when I was travelling I made an insensitive cross cultural remark at a dinner. I made a dig at another nationality without thinking that there was some-one at the table of that nationality. Such a rookie mistake.

To be honest I don’t remember what I said, but I remember the hurt I caused. I also remember that my little remark opened the door, for four other people who respect me, to add to my remark causing even more hurt.

After I  found out that I had been offensive , I apologised profusely. I just wish it had never happened.

Here is what I learned

1. You never know the backgrounds of people listening to a conversation so any snide remark about any people group is seriously unhelpful. (Most of you already knew this- I did too – I just forgot)

2. As a person in a leadership role – you make take an inch. The people who look up to you will then take a mile. What we do is modelled good and bad. This is mostly sub-conscious . People don’t think “Pam made a negative comment, hey now I have permission to make one too” – they just do it, because I opened the door for it.

3. Apologising is good. However I cannot undo the damage done to the  relationships of the other people in the room who joined in my negativity. I can pray and believe for them but I cannot apologise for them. I am responsible for the repercussions.

4. Pride comes before a fall. Honestly I thought I was pretty good cross-culturally. Apparently not ! I need to go back to being more aware.

5. The cheap laugh is never cheap. It costs a lot. It breaks trust.

It wasn’t a total disaster. This is mostly because the person I offended was incredibly gracious. But it has crossed my mind numerous times in the last few weeks.

I want to be a better person than I was that night. I don’t ever want to cause pain in relationships because of insensitivity.

I want to be a leader that opens the door for positive faith filled words to flow. Words that build people. Words that encourage and uplift. Words that are filled with grace and truth.

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)

What Do You Believe ?

A few months ago a thought took root in my mind. It started as a seed and was soon on its way to becoming a fully grown tree. It was a tree that was covered in thorns and was choking many other trees and my joy.The thought said that my value was linked to a negative in my life circumstances. It took me going on holiday and climbing a mountain to meet with God to get rid of that noxious weed.

It reminded me how important it is to know what we believe – the thought that had taken hold was based on a lie, and I should never have let it take root.

Here are a few areas where we need to know what exactly we believe. (I am sure you can think of so many more)

1. Who God is

I am reminded of the parable of the talents – if we believe, as one of the men did , that God is a hard task mater, it will influence everything about how we live life. It will cause us to bury our talents and live in fear. If we believe God is a goof Father, we will live in confidence and rest in the knowledge that we are loved.

2. The Value of Human Life

If we honestly believe every person is made in the image of God – it will mean that we will value every person we encounter. It means that prejudices and favouritism should not be part of our world. It means that the life of a homeless person is valuable, the life of a disabled person is valuable, the life of a person who has nothing at all to give us is valuable.

3. We can make a difference 

In this media soaked world it is easy to get compassion fatigue, feel overwhelmed and do nothing. Alternatively we can believe that every act of kindness brings a change, that every word can shift an atmosphere – that we can be the light of the world to our family, friends and neighbours.

It is so important to know what we really believe and to keep digging up the seeds of wrong beliefs that we all have . That’s why I love studying theology – it keeps me in a place of seeking to understand the faith I profess. Its why reading the Bible is key to life. We start to see the areas that our beliefs are going to paralyse us or cause us to treat people or ourselves badly. Then we can dig out those noxious trees and live the fulfilling life we were meant to!

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)

5 Principles I use to Guide me on Social Media

Like many of you I engage with Social Media all day – in one form or another- and until recently it was a large part of my job! So I was paid to be on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter !

Along the way I have developed a few internal principles I use to guide me – they mean I have boundaries that are in place to help me navigate the wild and wonderful world that is social media

1. Be kind 

Thats it – just be kind. Don’t be mean and vindictive. Don’t shame people publicly. Be kind.

2. Be generous

I LIKE lots of things and i comment when somethings wonderful .

I see it as a very simple way to give people a little bit of encouragement – we all need a little bit of encouragement.

3. Be positive.

I always make sure anything I put up ,even if it is about a tough situation, has Hope in it.

I don’t ever put up my personal struggles. I have close friends and family for that. Random people following me on Instagram may be lovely but they haven’t earned the right to my heart.

4. Don’t get involved in other people’s arguments

I don’t have the time or the energy – and I am not sure it is good use of either. I run away from quarrels and controversy on social media.

I know who I am, I do best if I can sit and talk through an issue face to face.

5. Don’t compare.

We all only put up the photos  that make us look young, hip,  hide our double chins and make our lives look fabulous . So does everyone else. Stephen Furtick says it best “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life to some-one else’s highlight reel”. Instagram is not real life ! Enjoy your own, in the moment, life, don’t let comparisons rob you of it. (This is a work n progress for me)

and a bonus

6. Take a break

Make sure you schedule Social Media Breaks – holidays, Sabbaths – whatever works for you. So you have a time where you disconnect and let your soul restore itself from the input overload.


I often wonder how Jesus would have used Social Media. One thing I know – he would have used it to reach people with the Love of the Father – but not in some cheesy christian cartoon !!

Any principles you would like to add ?

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)