Jenny and Stephen’s 5-minute Reflections

Stephen and Jenny Baxter, 5-minute reflections

From Monday April 6, until Friday July 21 2020, Jenny and I recorded 5-minute reflections to encourage you during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Our reflections used the verse of the day from  bible.com‘s YouVersion App.

Friday July 31 Watch here >>>

All good things come to an end, except… God’s love endures forever. Thanks for support and comments, that’s it for our Daily Reflections. Bye for now!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, – Ephesians 3:20

Easter 2020

Every Christmas and Easter, one of my duties as State Leader for Tasmanian Baptists is to write a short reflection for the Mercury Newspaper.

My wife and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary during the last days of our 14-day self-isolation. We not only survived 24-hours a day with just the two of us, but surprised ourselves with things we learnt about each other, even after so many years. I’m not unique in unconsciously presuming I know a person, only to be surprised by things I’ve never seen or known before.

Continue reading “Easter 2020”

Christmas 2019

Every Christmas and Easter, one of my duties as State Leader for Tasmanian Baptists is to write a short reflection for the Mercury Newspaper.

There is much to like about Christmas —the office parties and gift giving; the decorations and carol singing; the good cheer and even the family gatherings if we are fortunate enough.

Some people today would be surprised to know that most of this comes from our Judeo-Christian past. Even though many have moved away from church and belief, and there are increasing numbers of people calling themselves non-religious, Christmas remains a deeply religious season. It seems that while our minds can’t make sense of it rationally, and we would be quick to deny it, there are times when we experience something resembling faith. It may not be belief, so much, but something deep and profound. Maybe there is something spiritual about Christmas after all? Continue reading “Christmas 2019”

With trust and cooperation, and lots of forgiveness, there is hope

Stephen Baxter, MC.

The Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast is an annual event where leaders from across Tasmania gather to pray for our State and listen to a guest speaker. Each year I have the opportunity to provide a short introduction. In 2019 this is what I said…

Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast  | October 30, 2019

“The future isn’t what it used to be,” wrote French poet Paul Valery 90 years ago. Our world is changing so rapidly it’s difficult to imagine the future. In fact, it can be quite frightening.

That’s nothing new. The ancient Greeks feared it. For them it was obvious ¾ the universe is eternal, complete9 and perfect. The senses are deceived, change was an illusion, and hope was found adjusting to the fate of a closed system. Continue reading “With trust and cooperation, and lots of forgiveness, there is hope”

Easter 2019

Every Christmas and Easter, one of my duties as State Leader for Tasmanian Baptists is to write a short reflection for the Mercury Newspaper.

In a world fearing the future of planet earth, Easter has a profound message. That message is easily lost amid the bunnies and chocolate eggs. Just like Christmas, Easter has undergone a radical makeover. Both are now domestic, consumer driven celebrations.

But the meaning of Easter is not totally lost.

Continue reading “Easter 2019”

The Good Shepherd and David

David wrote Psalms

Last Sunday, as part of our series titled The Good Shepherd at Hobart Baptist Church, I spoke on Psalm 23. Midway through my preparation I realised one way to present the material would be to tell the story of the writing of the Psalm from David’s perspective. For this exercise I’ve assumed David wrote it late in his life as a reflection on the way God has looked after him through his life. You can listen to it here.  I’ve included my notes below.


Good morning, my name is David, King David from Bethlehem. I’ve been living in Jerusalem for years. Except tonight, I’m with a few of my trusted servants out in the wilderness past the Mount of Olives. We fled the city this afternoon.

I’m a bit old and grey for roughing it. I was a warrior once, but not tonight, My body is feeling a bit the worse for many years of wear.

But being out here under the stars got me thinking, reflecting, remembering. I’d like to share a bit of it with you. I’ve got a few notes… my mind is not what it used to be…

Continue reading “The Good Shepherd and David”

Forgiveness in the Face of the Evil

How do Forgive

What is forgiveness when the face of evil stares us straight at us? Given last week it is a question we are forced to ask.

In NZ, a single gunman opened fire in a Mosque killing fifty people and in Sao Paulo two hooded gun men opened fire in a public school killing eight people before turning the guns on themselves. Evil is a present reality. and it is so difficult to know how to respond.

You may remember the story from a several years back of the sad shooting in an Amish schoolhouse in the US. In that incident, the gunman took the lives of five Amish girls and injured five others. It was tragic moment where the life of these simple Amish folk became international news.

The simple, 18th century lifestyle of the Amish is quite out-of-place in our modern age. Yet, their unique, genuine and deep faith in God shone through the media coverage.

Continue reading “Forgiveness in the Face of the Evil”

Patience with the World, the Church and Yourself

Patience: The world, the church and yourself.

One of mum’s favourite sayings was, ‘patience is a virtue’. In our fast paced, instant gratification world, patience is often disregarded, but sorely needed. Jesus taught about patience and it has great application for how we live are to live in the world, in the church and with yourself.

Jesus’ parable of the Wheat and Weeds (Matt 13:24-30, 36-43) is foundational to my worldview. In this parable, a farmer sows good seed. Then, in the middle of the night his enemy walks through his field sowing more seeds.

It was a scenario familiar to those who heard Jesus tell the story. The seed sown by the enemy was darnel, a type of ryegrass looking very much like wheat in its early stages of growth. Roman law prohibited sowing it in the field of one’s enemy.

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The Problem with Losing My Religion

Losing my religion

The Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast is an annual event where leaders and Christians from across Tasmania gather to pray for our State and listen to a guest speaker. Each year I give a short introduction to explain the breakfast. Here is what I said in 2017 titled, “The Problem with Losing My Religion.” See here for 2015 and 2016.

Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast | August 16, 2017

As we begin this morning, it is important we take a few moments to reflect on why we gather.

Over the past 12 years the breakfast has carved out a unique niche on the civic landscape of our state. It is a place where leaders from government, business, not-for-profits, community groups and the church gather on neutral ground to honour each other, hear a Christian talk about their life, work and trust in Jesus, and pray for our state, our leaders, our institutions and our people.

It is a unique niche, away from our churches and denominations, away from our politics and lobbying,

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Jesus, the Christian and the Church in Australia

Jesus and the Australian Christian

In 1999, Australian psychologist, social researcher and writer Hugh Mackay suggested the time was right for a revival in Australia.  He promptly went on to predict it wouldn’t happen, and was right. There has been no revival of faith in Australia in the two decades since. In fact, McCrindle Research confirms the number who call themselves Christian has fallen to 52%.

Even though the number of Australians identifying with no religion or a spiritual belief has risen to 32% there is still more than two thirds (68%) who do. In fact, the majority of Australians (55%) still believe in God, when God is defined as the Creator of the universe or Supreme Being. Similarly, the majority (53%) believe Jesus is very important to the history and culture of the world. That’s about the same percentage as those who call themselves Christian.

Of all those who call themselves Christian, only 15% of Australians attend church regularly. Less than a third. The figures confirm there hasn’t been a revival. They also suggest Jesus is still attractive to many non-church goers.

One such person was R. M. Williams the Australian bushman and entrepreneur.

>>> read more