A few days alone on an island. This was a dream I have had since, when as a boy, I read the story of Robinson Crusoe.

The Australian tropical bush was here behind me. The bent coconut palms edged the golden sand along the beach and the clean turquoise sea extended out to the edge of the offshore reef where it met a cloudless sky.

Yes! I was alone, but in reality, this was far from the truth.

Birds glided overhead squawking among themselves, possibly discussing whether this invader of their territory was friend or foe.

The industrious sand crabs, busily cleaning up after the ebbing of the tide, seemed unconcerned by the foreign footprints around their homes.

Three dolphins ducked and weaved as they played together in the deeper water and on a distant hill, I could see a family of wild goats negotiating the rocky outcrops in their search for lunch.

Later, when the summer rainstorm poured its refreshing wetness on the island, I enjoyed being saturated and raised my dripping head to heaven in thanks.

I believe we are never alone in this world. The wonders of our Creator surround us and we will be showered with blessings if we will just recognise this presence in our life.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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Our stay on this earth must only be seen as temporary. Yet we go around each day, often without even a thought about our eventual destination.

It’s not until we are personally confronted by some one close to us who has died that perhaps we realise how fragile is our existence.

Such an occasion may give us the opportunity to ask ourselves whether we’re prepared to meet our maker should the situation arise.

There is no point in laughing away the occasion with comments like “only the good die young” or “it could never happen to me”. We are constantly placing our lives in the hands of others. We put our total trust in train and bus drivers, aeroplane pilots, motor mechanics, electricians, taxi drivers and the like.

Yet we often shy away from trusting our maker who, has an accident free record and is offering a guaranteed life after death insurance policy at no cost. And we don’t even have to write away for a prospectus.

Too good to be true you might say. Well. why not give it a try. Eternity is a long time to be kicking ourselves that we didn’t get around to sorting ourselves out during our lifetime.

Let’s ensure we get our long term insurance policy up to date.

Peter Mack

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Australians generally love to gamble. From the National game two-up to horseracing, and from the humble scratch-it to the proverbial two flies on the wall – we are all prepared to have a flutter occasionally.  Some of us on more occasions than we would like to admit.

We are the only country in the world to have an annual horse race stop the Nation.  Each week we spend millions of dollars hoping our numbers will come up or that we will crack a poker machine jackpot. On-line betting companies spend a fortune on TV advertising to offer us numerous enticements to collect on single bets or multis. And surprise, surprise, our betting can all be done on our mobile phones.

We buy raffle tickets for anything from plastic dolls to house and car packages and nobody seems immune from the itch to scratch, in the hope that three of something will provide instant riches.

Many of us even gamble on the possibility that there is no God, no life after death and no final judgement.

It’s strange how we spend considerable time reading the tipsters comments on-line and in the sporting reports before we part with our money.  Yet we pay little attention to the Good Book, which should start an odds-on favourite as the best form guide around for the human race.

As sure as God made little apples there will be life after death. However, we never know when our individual finishing posts will loom up before us…….. So why should we bet against a certainty – we wouldn’t do it in this life, now would we? 

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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It hadn’t rained since I don’t know when.

Hand feeding had become a daily necessity and was slowly eating into fragile bank balances.

Fortunately, the old bore was still producing enough to keep the skinny animals from dehydrating and us from being hard to live with.

Each day the clouds would build up, promising rain, but not delivering.  Each day the thought became stronger that the gun would have to be pulled out of the back cabinet to put the stock out of their misery.

However, the pain and the experience of the struggle to survive through past difficult years would make this action one of the last to be taken.

The locals had decided things were so bad they needed to get together and pray for rain.

The sceptics among them laughed at the absurdity of such an action but many were at the end of their tether and in desperation were prepared to try anything, even prayer.

It’s a pity we have to see God as our last straw who is called on to solve our problems when they get beyond us.

Perhaps if we were to recognise our God’s existence with us on a daily basis we might find more comfort in knowing our regular prayer was being heard, rather than waiting to pray as a last resort.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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Christmas in Aus.

The concept of a white Christmas, snowmen and blazing fireplaces, is really quite foreign to Australians. Yet, in maintaining a tradition, Santa Claus and his helpers still swelter in heavy clobber and must come complete with boots, beard and padded midriff bulges.

The birth of a baby in a stable outside a little town called Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago, is the real reason for Christmas. The peace surrounding the stable on that historic night is still felt by many throughout the world.

However, the message, “Peace on earth, good will to all people”, isn’t accepted universally. There are those around our world suffering in strife torn areas. There are the homeless, the hungry and the poor. Also among us, are those whose greed for power and possessions, leave a trail of broken people in their wake.

Even though we might celebrate Christmas a little differently in this ‘lucky country’, we should find time to spare a thought for those less fortunate in other parts of the world.

Maybe we can share some of our own ‘peace and goodwill’ with Aussie battlers in our own towns and cities who are reaching out, just as the baby in the stable reached out on that first Christmas, seeking to be recognised and longing to be loved.

Let’s try and spread our greetings a little wider this year.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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