Honour your parents with a tribute

Honour your parents with a tribute

“Since before I could remember, my Mum and Dad set a precedent in our home of regular sincere encouragement. It was unlikely that any small task of goodwill would pass without a letter or word of praise being given in return. It was this environment that taught me the power of expressing any kind words that passed through my mind.

My Dad was unwell my entire life. At the time I wrote my tribute to him, he was recovering from yet another medical set back. I wanted to let him know how much I admired, respected and appreciated him while he was there to hear me say it. When I read to him how much I appreciated everything he’d done for me, the look on his face confirmed that a few simple words on a piece of paper was the best gift I could have given him.

I will be eternally grateful to my parents for teaching me the power of encouragement. At the day of my Dad’s funeral, it made the day so much easier knowing that he had already heard every word that I said in my eulogy. I’m so thankful I wrote my tribute and got to say it to his face!”

Ben Bray

A vision worthy of a Webb Ellis Cup

A vision worthy of a Webb Ellis Cup

Now that the rugby World Cup is over life in New Zealand can return to normal – at least for another four years 🙂

Along with every rugby fan, I was disappointed and surprised when the All Blacks were eliminated by the more powerful English team. Being English I decided to then support the ‘Lions’ but my hopes were dashed when the South Africans came out hungry and desperate for victory.

However, after hearing the captain and the coach of the Boks at the post match conference, I was delighted and inspired by what I heard; and after seeing many of the English refuse to wear their medal, well let’s just say, I wasn’t impressed by my countrymen.

What made the difference? What gave the Springboks the advantage over the Lions? I believe It was having a vision bigger than the game itself. Sure, every team there had a vision to be victorious and to hold the Webb Ellis Cup high but the South Africans were playing for more than that. They were playing for hope for their country, for unity and for the dream of a better future. If you haven’t read the Springbok captain Kolisi’s speech, here it is…it’s inspiring.

As I read the line, “We love you South Africa, and we can achieve anything if we work together as one”, I couldn’t help but think of how this sentiment could have the power to transform marriages. Imagine relationships where we are always working together as one; where the game plan is to always have each other’s back, to be united and to bring hope to those around us. Imagine couples who aren’t just focused on getting what they want in life, but are seeing the bigger picture of bringing joy, life and purpose to those around them.

All too often in marriage we can forget that we’re on the same team and we can spend our energy ‘mauling’ and ‘scrumming’ against each other – trying to win the argument or get the upper hand. I’m sure the enemy knows that if he can keep us tackling amongst ourselves we won’t have the time or energy to play the real game with the real opponent.

Fortunately, unlike the rugby teams, we don’t have to wait another four years to be victorious. Let’s choose today to focus on how we can each work together as one. As you think about your work environment, your home life, and your community, ask yourself, “How can I work together with those around me, how can I bring unity and hope to my team, and how can I be instrumental in building a better future?”

As I write this now I’m aware that our tagline is a perfect ending for this piece.

Hope for Today. Help for tomorrow.

Like the Webb Ellis Cup, that’s a vision worth lifting up!

About FamilyLife NZ

Changed lives; that's what motivates us.

FamilyLife NZ has been teaching, training and equipping families for over 25 years. We love hearing stories of husbands, wives, and children whose lives are different because of an interaction with something that we’ve been part of. That’s what we’re about at FamilyLife; to inspire and equip couples to be successfully married for a lifetime.

Failure isn’t Final: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Failure isn’t Final: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

What is depression and how does that affect people?

Often when people think about depression they just think about people feeling sad. And we have to remember it that sad is a normal human emotion. So if one has days that don’t feel as good as others, some people call those days Mondays, and I agree entirely. So what we have to distinguish is between normal human behaviour. So it’s normal to have days where you feel a bit flat, where everything’s not so good. And then there’s the illness, depression. And depression affects far more than the emotions. In fact a lot of people with depression, they don’t feel sadness, they feel numbness. They feel nothing at all. People with depression can have difficulty with concentrating…

I know that the topic of suicide is hard to face. You may not have been touched by it. You may feel inadequate if you had to try and help someone.

The truth is that NZ is being swamped by an epidemic of hopelessness and life issues that is leading youth and men in particular to take their lives as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The government does not have teams of psychologists roaming the streets looking for potentially suicidal people. The only people out there who can help desperate people are you and me – and others like us. We need to know what to look for and then what to do about it, which is often alerting experts. In this livestream event Michael Hempseed helps us have greater awareness of risk factors and symptoms.

Everyone needs this training!

You may have never had anyone you know be in a suicidal situation. But if you were even just once faced with this difficult situation – would you not want the confidence to know what steps to take to help?

Promise Keepers NZ 

Michael Hempseed (BA Psyc (Hon), Dip. Child Protection) is an experienced speaker who combines the latest research on mental health and suicide with practical tools, insights and pathways to support. He is an author and TEDx Speaker. His TedX presentation, ‘Overcoming Failure’, has had 25,000 views. His book, Being A True Hero: Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Your Community, is proving to be a worthwhile book for professionals and for those who have friends that may be suicidal.

See his website beingatruehero.com for more information.

Did you know failure can lead to shaken self confidence, depression and even suicide? Michael shares his personal story of overcoming failure on Britain’s Got Talent. Michael challenges us to re-examine the way we think about failure and whether it is possible to be successful after a dramatic failure.

Michael is a highly sought after professional speaker. He has delivered many inspiring seminars on such diverse topics as overcoming failure, mental illness and resilience. Michael has a real heart for helping everyone be at their best, especially those who are really struggling in life. Funny, full of enthusiasm and taking a genuine interest in people are all qualities that make Michael a captivating speaker. In addition to this he hosts a weekly radio show called Lighthouse of Hope, dedicated to helping those experiencing mental illness.

Visiting over 30 countries, including Ukraine, Cambodia, Morocco, China, India and Brazil has given Michael a wealth of real world experience. In particular his trip to India had a profound effect on him. Before leaving for India he was told that he would realise how lucky he was when he returned. Yet, he discovered a profound joy in India and when he returned he found that same joy was so often lacking in the Western World.

How to Deal With Failure | Michael Hempseed


Too often we exclusively associate suicide with depression, Being A True Hero looks at the many causes of suicide, from depression, bullying, brain injuries, psychosis, lack of sleep, childhood trauma, the cluster effect, loneliness, failure and many more. This book will help the reader to know more about suicide, whether they are a concerned parent, a friend, an employer, a counsellor, sports coach or a doctor.

The book is the result of over 10 years research. Michael Hempseed effortlessly merges scientific research with real world examples, he presents complex scientific information in a way so that anyone can understand it. Being a True Hero, is full of possibilities for recovery and the sheer number of options for help will astound many readers. More importantly he shows that no matter how bad the situation is there is always hope.

Sample chapters can be read and listened to here

Michael writes about mental illness and suicide with compassion and hope. His book is useful for people who have personal experience, the people who love them, and professionals who work in the field. It is serious, at times funny, and references up to date research.”

Kay O’Connor PhD, counsellor

I recently asked a friend I was concerned about if he was suicidal, it turned out he was – and needed help. Without the information in this book I never would have had the confidence to do that. The material in this book could save many lives.

Thomas Saywell, Youth Worker

What does it mean to be “evangelical”?

What does it mean to be “evangelical”?

To be evangelical means to believe and live for Christ in the spirit of the New Testament Gospel, celebrating God’s great love and grace, through faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Evangelical Christianity is about spiritual conversion, and Christian consecration and discipleship.

It is about believing that salvation is found in Christ alone, and that believers should share the good news of Christ both in word and in action.

It places much emphasis on the saving work of Christ on the Cross, and the critical importance of Christ’s resurrection.

Being evangelical is about devotion to Christ, and prayerfulness.

It involves a high level of commitment to Christian fellowship and the church.

To be evangelical means to recognise the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible, and to make much use of it in preaching, teaching, study and devotion.

Evangelical Christianity is about holding to historic biblical Christianity, and to safeguard that many evangelical churches and organisations have a statement of faith.

Evangelical Christianity varies greatly in its practices and tone.

At its best, evangelical Christianity transcends denominational distinctives, and cultural divides, and many differences over secondary matters. Evangelical Christianity shares many of its characteristics with various other Christian streams, especially with regard to the basics of Christian faith and life, but nevertheless it has its own distinctive flavour. At its core, evangelical Christianity has a spiritual Gospel dynamic which transforms individual lives, and then flows over into relationships, family, churches, and society.

At its core, evangelical Christianity has a spiritual Gospel dynamic which transforms individual lives, and then flows over into relationships, family, churches, and society.

The word “evangelical” points us to the heart of the New Testament message. The word is derived from the New Testament Greek word for “Gospel” (euangelion), which means “good news”: the good news that the living God has sent his Son into the world, to reveal God, to die for our sins, and to rise from the dead, and that when people place their faith in Christ they receive forgiveness, newness of life, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and confidence for eternity.

The word “evangelical” was used during the Reformation, to indicate an emphasis on the Gospel of grace and on the authority and use of the Bible. It was very much associated with the eighteenth century revivals in Britain and America, and the nineteenth century humanitarian improvements in British society, and the nineteenth and twentieth century global expansion of Protestant Christianity – and not least the background to New Zealand’s Treaty of the Waitangi.

Within the church, the word “evangelical” serves primarily an in-house theological term. Outside the church, the word “evangelical” is less useful, because it is so often misunderstood. It is often best to express its meaning using other words.

The New Zealand Christian Network is associated with the World Evangelical Alliance, which seeks to express the faith of about some 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, across a vast diversity of different nations, cultures and denominations. In some 130 countries, there is a national evangelical alliance affiliated to the WEA. From time to time, the WEA calls a General Assembly. The last one was in 2008. The next one is in November 2019, and it will be attended by several representatives from New Zealand.


Dr Stuart Lange