I spend my days doing stuff for Soul Survivor NZ and my church "Blueprint" in Wellington NZ. I am perplexed, amazed, in awe of, and spend a lot of time thinking about this revolutionary called Jesus and what it means to follow Him.
Well ive decided to put the ol blogging thing to rest for a little while. Not necessarily for ever, but at this point im hanging up the gloves. Why?
Life is pretty full with Church, Soul Survivor and my Masters study starting this year. And Ive got one or two friends that I am pretty keen on hanging out with a little more frequently.
I've realised I dont know as much as I thought I did, I think I am a bit less opinionated than I was a couple of years ago. Until I feel like I have something to say, the blog will probably stay quiet.
Anything I do want to share is best shared in the context of sharing at my Church or some of the camps and events I have the privilege of been a part of, and my favourite place to hap on of all... over coffees and meals.
Facebook has become my online communication mode of choice. I've got a crackbook addiction, its not pretty, but im running with it. Join me there if you want to stay in contact
Cheers everyone for reading and engaging from time to time. Ive met some amazing people through this medium.
Ive being super slack with this blog... and at the end of the day ive got no excuse - so many of my mates seem to be able to crank really full lives and keep their blog filled with insights and amazing thoughts. There are a bunch of things i've thought about writing but there is so much happening at the moment that it hasnt being a priority to sit down and write - again I am in awe of a bunch of cats that have way bigger responsibilities and make it a priority.
Anyway, to fill some more space and buy some more time, hows this for a cracker poltical ad.
Its fascinating that here in lil ol New Zealand, most people are more intrigued about what is happening in the American election than our own. That being said, its going to be an exciting to week to watch the political landscape (hopefully) change.
I am an unashamed Obama fan, check out this great vid of him stirring up the crowds.
“Only secure people can serve. Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others. They fear exposure of their weaknesses and hide beneath layers of protective pride and pretensions. The more insecure you are, the more you will want people to serve you, and the more you will need their approval”
The reason many of us ignore the formation of our character is because it will slow us down. Many ministry leaders want success, a big church, or a crowd. But how many of us want a real life? How many of us want a life in God? We can have that. We can have a character that produces love, peace, patience, kindness…but it will slow us down. It might mean the church won’t grow as big as quickly. It might mean the crowd will get smaller.
But the alternative is both devastating and all too common. The alternative is a ministry of high impact but shallow character. “In the bible it was a miracle when God spoke through an ass. Now it happens everyday.” Translation: God is speaking powerfully through many pastors, but their characters show nothing of God’s life. These leaders, along with their anger, pride, bitterness, and cynicism, are tolerated by many churches because they are able to “fill the room.” Their powerful spiritual gifts, like Samson’s, deflect the flaws of their characters.
Many of us opt to ignore the slow, hard work of character formation because we simply don’t want it. It is a matter of intention. We don’t want to be slowed down in our pursuit of ministry impact and tangible achievement. In order to have a life in God, a life full of his character, we have to want it more than anything else.
I am speaking tomorrow night at Blueprint, which is unusually intimidating for a couple of reasons. Firstly I am following the exceptional Chris Marshall who has just completed a two week series on the Kingdom of God. An absolutely outstanding couple of weeks. Secondly I am attempting to explain concisely and clearly some of NT Wrights theology on heaven, resurrection, new creation, kingdom etc. Which is a big ask for a simpleton like me. And thirdly its scary because I have a couple of hours to get the guts of the talk ready, and to be honest I am pretty weary after a couple of weeks on the road.
However I am thoroughly enjoying engaging with NT Wrights writing and thought once again.
October was always going to be a fairly crazy month, I am grateful for pacing myself before silly season. The last week has been fantastic, but very tiring. Spending time with a whole bunch of great friends, Tash, Stu, some old family friends, the guys from Life Fm, Aaron, as well as meeting a bunch of people from all sorts of different churches over the last couple of days with the Tear Fund guys.
In the midst of long days, lots of travel and lots of lugging gear around, the ol brain has being ticking over. Every night I am hearing this guy Grant Norsworthy talk about worship, and there are a couple of things that have got me thinking. Firstly this idea of paradox that Grant brings up in his talk. Its something I have spent a long time chewing over in the past, but again I am amazed at how much of my faith sits within this idea of paradox. I am again making a list of things that kinda sit in the paradox box in my worldview in my little notebook that may work its way into a talk (and guaranteed to work its way into a few conversations).
And secondly, Grant is a prophet - not in the download from God type of way, but in the "you've forgotten the poor, we need to bring some realignment to what it looks like to follow Jesus" more Old Testament style prophet. And it makes me uncomfortable. But I like it even though I dont (ohhh paradox). Sadly I think that prophets arent really welcome in our churches for the most part. We dont really like people challenging our culture. And we all think we are experts. Not the easiest climate for a prophet to rock on up. But then again, has there ever being a good time?
Things are pretty manic at the moment, its funny how there are seasons where life is really chilled, and then all of a sudden it goes nuts.
This weekend the blueprint staff, and a couple of elder type figures are spending the weekend praying, yarning and discerning the way forward for us as a church next year. If you have a moment to pray that we would have wisdom in the calls we make, that would be sweet.
On Monday I move into my new flat... im pretty amped about this. I have had rocking flatmates this year but the flat we are in is pretty lame, ive being broken into twice this year, the place is a bit of shambles. My new flat is in breaker bay in Wellington, here are a couple of pics of the view from my new lounge..
Its gona be a good flat for the surfing, the running and the general mental health.
On Thursday its off up to Auckland to join the Tearfund guys for a tour round the north Island with a guy called Grant Norsworthy to promote the Soul Survivor festival in January. Dates and locations are here, im really looking forward to catching up with a bunch of mates over that time. And the on the 18th of Oct we have a "Soul Active" day in the Manawatu, which again should be freaken sweet.
So as you can see there is a butt load to organise with all this happening, but its all such amazing stuff to be a part of.
And here is a cartoon that kinda nails where blueprint is at right now : )
Im off to Auckland in a couple of hours for the opening of Zeal Waitakere, which will be fun. Will be catching up with my mate Tash in between Zeal events, and then coming home Saturday night. I am speaking this Sunday night at blueprint on the topic of Sabbath, which I am real pumped about after listening to a bunch of Rob Bell interviews and reading a book by a jewish rabbi called Abraham Heschel on the subject. Its a topic Ive flirted with in the past, here and more recently here, and ive experienced the fruit in learning the art of resting well (this is a journey in its infancy, I certainly have not arrived). It seriously irks me how people consider this "idealistic". I am aware that we have to battle with guilt in subscribing to this sort of lifestyle, but surely we are meant to be people that walk to the beat of a different drum. And in a world that is too fast paced, so tired, so busy, we are invited to live a life where we slow down, enjoy our friendships, take a day where we rest, where we do activities that restore our soul, bring us life, rejuvenate us, where we connect with our creator.
Reading Christian books takes me a lot longer than I can read biographies or fiction. I started a book yesterday called "50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days" by a crazy guy called Dean Karnazes, which I finished this morning. Its part of my recent excitement and passion with running. Im doing a typical Harvey, jump on a hobby, read, research, get the gear and crank it hard. One of the things I really want to try and do is stick at this... argghhh...
Anyway, the book is a great read, i've highlighted lots of different bits that I think we can pull and apply to the christian walk. A great line from one of the guys that took part in one of the 50 marathons; "my biggest fear was wondering whether or not I could finish it, but it was when I stopped and thought about it... the only way I would fail is if I didnt come out and try".
Go Team (warning; this may be the first of many Tony Robbinsesque posts on running)
I have being meaning to post this for the last couple of days; I would strongly encourage you to head over to the "humanitarian chronicle" to track with Frank as he explores the issue of human trafficking.
"Poor families are selling their children who are then being used and abused in labour factories, as personal slaves in homes around the world, and in the sex industry. Men and woman are being forced into bonded labour and sex work by draconian creditors as they get caught in debt they can never pay back. The victims number in the millions and profits number in the billions of dollars. Families are being ripped apart and people are needlessly dieing - only to be cheaply replaced by more slaves".
I am looking forward to hearing more from Frank on this, in particular what practical steps we can take as churches and individuals to raise awerness and help fight this injustice at a global scale.
A good friend of a bunch of the blueprint crowd, and the blueprint handyman, Jamie Boyle is going into surgery ugently tomorrow morning for a cancerous tumor doctors discovered in his back. Im a bit hazy on the details, but from what I understand the docs are pretty worried.
The interesting thing is that myself and Brook (with whom I co-pastor blueprint) bumped into Jamie and prayed for him on Tuesday, at which time he was in a considerable amount of pain, and couldnt work (which is a huge deal for one of the hardest guys blueprinters know). And the thing that makes me hopping mad is that at that point he had seen two doctors who hadnt taken his back pain seriously - probably because of the work he does, and partly because of the way he looks - kick ass biker beard etc. And on top of that ACC werent paying him the sickness benefit for the work he couldnt do. Absolute Shocker.
If you are reading this in the morning, he is due for surgery at 9am... please pray, be cool to see the christian community, even those that dont know this dude, praying for the surgeons, praying that it hasnt spread to other parts of his body, praying for no long term implications, praying for healing.
UPDATE; Cheers heaps to everyone who is praying!!! God is faithful..
Jamies surgery has been put of till this afternoon so he can have it in town on on the neurosurgery ward. This is an answer to pray as he will be in the hands of the finest surgeons. Andy Wordsworth
UPDATE TWO; jamie is doing well post op - Major spinal surgery and already sitting up in bed. Xrays have confirmed that jamie also has cancer in his chest. further tests will confirm exactly what type but the doctors are very confident of positive treatment.
So its time I threw it out there, put my pride on the line, lose what little dignity I have left. Ive started running (well started for about the fourth time in my life, i dont have a great track record... hahahaha track), and plan to do a half marathon on December 13th in beautiful wangavegas ; ) Its going to be great, all my brothers and sisters, and one of my closest childhood friends are also going to do the race.
I realised a couple of months ago that it has being ages since I put a challenge down and tried to go for it. I was (and still am) incredibly unfit, and with living in Wellys, church life etc, my surfing has pretty much stopped for the winter months. So I have being doing absolutely nothing on the exercise front for ages and ages. Shocker. And so the combination of watching "Run Fat Boy Run" (cracker film!) and a long walk the next day chatting with God got me motivated to change some habits (actually it was a really deep moment where I wrote lots of stuff about who I want to become... one of those watershed moments).
And so the last six weeks or so I have being getting out of bed early most working days and going for a run or doing some form of exercise to start the day. And honestly, its changed so much of my day. I am working better - a lot more productive and foccused, Ive got an hour every morning to have breakfast and read before hitting work, Im sleeping better, my mental health is better. I am surprised by how much its changed things.
The primary reason im trying to run is that I am over being quite an undisciplined person - the fitness stuff really is an added bonus. The movie Run Fat Boy Run actually has some amazing moments in it regarding "the wall" that you hit when you run. And Will Smith harped on at one point about how "if you can beat that little man in your head telling you to stop or take a break while running, you can do anything". I want to be a person who has perseverance, who hangs in there when it gets tough and I want to quit. It has certainly being a battle every single morning... the temptation not to just roll over and go back to bed and stay warm, particularly if its wet and cold outside is intense. Im not a "morning person". But shesh it has being so good to hang in there with it. I would love this to become a habit, but I reckon the whole "it takes a month to make a habit" line is a bunch of crock. If im still doing this same time next year I might begin to think its a habit...
All I need is an assistant coach... anyone keen to be my "indian with a spatula" out there?
My self-view swings between two poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble, but not confident - I feel like a failure.
The Gospel says;
My self-view is not based on a view of my self as a moral achiever. In Christ I am simul iustus et peccator - simultaneously sinful and lost yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad he had to die for me and I am so loved He was glad to die fro me. This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time. Neither swaggering nor sniveling.
We had a cracker weekend at Blueprints Church camp, cheekily nicknamed "Blueprint Conference 08". Our speaker Aaron Walsh from the International House of Prayer knocked it out of the park, we had an amazing bunch of guys leading worship, everyone chipped in to help, and we had a number of those amazing camp moments where "God walks into the room". On top of all this we had the "blueprints got talent?" competition, and the "super hero" party which was the debut gig of my covers band "the cold sweats". Here is the video of me and Turners item for Blueprints got talent... dignity is overrated anyway.
Its my blogs birthday! Two years ago a young naive inexperienced opinionated man with a little buddah belly sat down and wrote this post. The first birthday of this blog had better news on the stats, but I think I cared a lot more about them, and posted a lot more. The blog has had to take a back seat a little with my role at blueprint changing at the beginning of this year, and so. I also suspect I have mellowed out a bit, or chosen to direct my critiques and questions to conversation and to process less of it on the blog. Its a lot more difficult to be misunderstood while ranting to a friend, its real easy to be misunderstood on the blog. I still really enjoy processing and reflecting on this medium, its a cool way of staying in touch with peeps.
Significant posts of the last year.
This post looks at some of the change in my perspective about what was important in life. Some cool photos from my trip to Manila last year. This post stirred up the bees nest and got everyone all warmed up. This is my reflections from the
second soul survivor festival this year. The best gig of my life, and without a doubt the most anticipated show of my life finally happened, not once, but twice! This article by Mike Pilavachi is a must read. One of my big rants of the year is the place of doubt, questions, mystery and theological exploration which I gave to blueprint earlier this year. And more recently this post on the place of church was good to express.
Having a rummage round, im again just amazed at the amazing experiences and the great friends that make this life so rich.
A whole bunch of mates have gone nuts on this website - where you superimpose a photo of yourself or a mate into an old school yearbook photo. The results are pretty hilarious. Here are a couple of my favourites.
This picture and the subsequent comments and reactions make interesting reading (in the midst of the normal internet comment nonsense about people being noobs etc. lots of naughty language)
A couple of my favourites
Thanks grafitti, I will immediately quit my job, no longer send my children to school, dress like a f***ing retard, spaz out for no reason, walk in the middle of a highway
Try and find work to feed your kids, hope that they'll live long enough to get jobs of their own, walk miles barefoot because you cant afford anything else, watch your friends and family die because of disease you cant afford to have treated, hope that you aren't hit by a stray bullet on your way home
In the light of Jesus life and teaching (especially weighing in luke 4), it is interesting to think about what a life of freedom looks like. Clearly grace has a central part in this life of freedom. In the life of Jesus we see a life of incredible self sacrifice. It makes for interesting reflection.
Ok, ive seen some crap in the christian music scene in my time, but this makes me want to either cry or vomit or fall over laughing... seriously. Am I over reacting here or is this something that is wrong? The fact that there is a little industry around this. I know where I would be if I was on the ship. Right here