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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.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 by Sam

Lads, its time to step up. In just a couple of days its movember and like many others from around NZ, I am going to grow a dirty moustache. Or as I affectionately call it, a molestache. So far I know I will be joined by Chris Darnell, Tim Costley, Brook Turner, but I am sure there must be many more guys out there that are up for a month of celibacy, of lady wilderness, and more importantly of RESPECT.

The last time I grew a moustache was for my youth group camp two years ago, and I had long dreadlocks at the time. Make no mistake; dreds and a moustache do not mix. And to date, this is the worst photo I have ever had taken of me. The mo was terrible, and made me something of a social leper. Mums were shuddering as I walked past them in the supermarket, grabbing their children and hiding them away from this seedy looking guy. Even small animals would scurry away in fright. So this round will hopefully be a lot less scary, I think I have hit puberty since then, and I dont have the dreds...The most frightening thing about growing a mo was that it came out with a bit of a ginger tint. I swear I have no ginger in my family, but somehow it had an auburn flavor. Needless to say I was gutted.

Im up for it again, I am not going to let these experiences hinder this month, or even make me a but fearful about what could be. Because I am ALL MAN, and this is more than just a moustache, its a revolution.

I am going to try and give a weekly update with a photo to track the growth of the beast. Please pray that there is no ginger this time.

I need some more MO bros, you up for it? Chez? Stu? Sean? Gareth? Marko? Darryl? Kim? Step up boys.


Nicely Disturbed

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 by Sam

I am disturbed.

I met a God who comforts the disturbed. I was disturbed and He comforted me. He whispered to my spirit, whispered sweet somethings in my ear. He loved me. I became comfortable. It felt nice. It felt warm, cozy even.

And then I met a God who disturbs the comfortable. I was comfortable and He disturbed me. Disturbed me to the very core of my being. Not for a moment or an hour....but a deep and sustained uncomfortable disturbance. He disturbed my soul. He reached in and started playing around with things. Re-ordering things. Lighting fires. Maybe even taking up residence.

That wee poemy type thing is by Rebecca Gilling, and pretty much nails how I'm feeling at the moment. Ive being in that space where God has made me very aware and uncomfortable about some of the crud in my life... and it is one of those very cool but painful processes of growing and in some small way dying to self and becoming more alive and more whole in the process. But part of me likes my baggage, and wants to hold onto it... And I dont like this vulnerable weird feeling of being in the middle of some rather deep shifts in my life, and I certainly dont like being aware of my pride, my arrogance, the "self" that is all of a sudden so clear for me to see.

In the midst of all of this, I have being reflecting on the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Now when I look at that list I almost want to laugh, because I feel like I really dont have much fruit, to be honest Im a bit of a scrawny tree that maybe has a one of two mangy, half eaten, worm filled apples. Yum.
But it feels like God has begun a wee bit of pruning so that maybe in time I can be a bit more fruitful in character...

My understanding about some of these words, especially peace, gentelness and kindness are really feminite, boring, introvert, a bit "ned flanders". And so I have being reflecting on what they really mean, and asking some questions around these particular fruits.

What does it look like for a kiwi bloke to have that sort of fruit in their life, when I am a natural extravert, have a deep frustration and agitation by a lot of Christian culture, and desire to reclaim something of the "edge" that I believe is part and parcel of being a follower of Jesus? What did it look like in the way that Jesus reflected this stuff? Darryl asked a further question of me today; How much of our understanding of these words is reflected through our cultural understanding, our worldview, and is not what Paul was really trying to communicate in that particular context, or what God is calling us to be? How much of it is? And what do they look like for a wild, edgy, fire in their eyes, follower of Jesus to be displaying this fruit?

At the end of the day this isnt actually keeping me awake at night, because I figure if I keep on charging around with Jesus, and allowing him to continue to lead me into uncomfortable places then I'm hopefully going to wind up a bit more like the guy; fruity and all...

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Deeper than the puddle

Thursday, October 19, 2006 by Sam

So if you are wanting something intelligent to read, that goes a bit deeper... how about I just point in the direction of the guys with the smarts..
Stu has a great post on evangelism. Stu bugs me... everytime I read his blog I want to give up writing anything. He is too good, and got a brain to boot
Chez has some interesting reflections on the proposed National Statement on Religious Diversity. There is normally some good banter happening on this blog, and I like Chez, coz while we don't see eye to eye on some issues, we really enjoy having a beer together and a good catch up.
And Dan Kimball reflecting on Church, this provoked a lot of thought for me, and I would love to hear your thoughts on what he has said.

So what does my long weekend hold? Well a bored... I mean board meeting, a SSNZ meeting, and a site and production meeting. Wahooo!!! Speaking at primal church tonight and friday night will see me plugging Soul Survivor at the combined service in Fielding, flick a prayer my way if you feel spiritual.

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Angry and Shallow

by Sam

My mate Darryl has started a blog. I have never met anyone who is more bold than ol' Darryl when it comes to sharing his views, especially in circles that don't agree. This makes for some entertaining stories, and I am hoping that there will be some good biffo on his site. It will be waaayyyyy more entertaining than mine, I mean, boring stories about trips to Fieding... woah... slow down Sam. Check it out here


History is Made

Monday, October 16, 2006 by Sam

Well that murky picture is of my friend Stuart standing outside the area where the Main marquee and cafe for Soul Survivor festival will be located...

It has being another very exciting day in the journey of Soul Survivor for two reasons. Firstly, because today I followed Becs (the SSNZ Soul Action guru) up to fielding to again chat and hang with the Youth Workers up there. It is amazing, because the crew up there have totally got it, they are fully rallying around Soul Survivor and are using it as a catalyst for growth in their young people, and to bring a new level of unity in the churches in the area. They are co-ordinating the Social Action part of the festival, and with Graham our Soul Survivor champion in the area promoting it heavily in their networks it looks like a large portion of Manawatu will be at the event. What an exciting thing to be a part of!

And secondly because I traveled up with my mate Stuart Flood. Stuart loves Trains or anything on rail as much as I love music, so we had turns yarning about our particular loves, and I learnt quite a bit about trains today! Stuart is a hero of mine, and deeply challenges me everytime I hang out with him. But its not in what he says, more in the way that he lives his life and the way he worships. Stuart is flippin amped on SSNZ, he took annual leave at the beginning of the year for the Soul Survivor festival. He is also the very first person to register for the event, and the picture below is him registering for the event, as well as for the Stewarding Team. I have a suspicion that the Soul Survivor movement in time will be a significant agent in blessing the Church here in NZ and in building the Kingdom of God in NZ and around Australasia, and Stuart was the first person to register for the very first event. A moment of history...

If you want to register for the event, check the Soul Survivor NZ website, online registrations will be available soon (that was a shameless plug:)


Good Times

Friday, October 13, 2006 by Sam

Singapore was very cool, its geek heaven with a bunch of great technology markets. And the food rocks. However the most exciting part of the trip was landing in Wellington. We hit some absolutely crazy turbulence, people were screaming, the plane was thrown round like a pinball, and they had to abort the first landing attempt. Awesome stuff. I have clocked up some air miles in my 25 years on this planet, and have ticked off every continent bar one, and this was the worst turbulence have ever experienced. I wanted to kiss the tarmac when I got off the plane.

One of the interesting things I noticed about Singapore is the way that the different religions seem to co-exist with very little problem. I talked with a lot of the taxi drivers (who were predominately Buddhist) about this and they were all very proud of this fact. It was so enjoyable to go into these sorts of conversations just wanting to learn and to hear about these different faiths and their worldviews, although my old pastor from St Marys made a classic blunder in the taxi when he asked the driver "so are you a believer?"... hehehe of course he is, just not in what we believe... it was cool to sit down with a Buddhist prophet from a local temple (pictured above) and have a drink. It made me aware of how little I dialogue with people of different faiths here in NZ (unless you count agnostism or athetism a faith, which I suppose it is).

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Best Question I have being asked in a long time

Thursday, October 05, 2006 by Sam

I was speaking at Live camp in the weekend, and got asked a question that I thought captured something incredibly beautiful. It was having a chat to a young guy called Thomas on Saturday afternoon, and he asked me "What songs make you dance?" It floored me. I get so caught up with silly thoughts and questions that really dont matter that much, and yet this question nails it... "What songs make you dance, what brings you joy, what brings a smile to your face, what stokes you out?" You could ask that in any culture, to any age, and it would get a response. And so this young kid, who because of his mental condition, age and social skills is probably at the bottom of the rung for many, becomes the catalyst for a great kingdom moment by asking the wonderful question, "What songs make you dance?" So, post a comment letting me know what songs make you dance... for me, depressingly or wonderfully its anything by Bon Jovi, Queen, Supergroove, the B52s, shesh, what an old fart...

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