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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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Im on Facebook

Friday, April 27, 2007 by Sam

Dont ask why... just dont ask... I was mooching around doing nothing and wound up signing up for facebook...

Mock On

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Big Weekend

by Sam

I am very excited about the fact that Rage against the Machine are playing their first gig in seven years this coming Sunday night in the states. You bloody beauty. Ive posted a bunch of rage clips on this blog in the past... and so for something completely diffrent:

A very cool clip of K T Tunstall playing her song "big black horse and the cheery tree", and as a geek I love the HUGE sound she gets using her sampler and a wee bit of imagination.

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I'm at church right now

Sunday, April 22, 2007 by Sam

At hillsong church in Sydney at this very moment.

That is all I am saying


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Some interesting quotes to spark some thoughts

Saturday, April 21, 2007 by Sam

Firstly, something I just saw on a t-shirt that rings a little too true:

"Top 10 ways to avoid procrastination:

That was it, classic.

And a quote from Campolo (no idea where from, its just being sitting on my phone for a while) that we are sitting round debating at the moment:

"When you love something and it is not living up to its highest ideals then you have to say something to challenge it"

Agree, disagree, strongly disagree?

Some questions that arise for me in that statement:

How do we walk that line between critique coming from a place of genuine love, and an un-healthy cynisism that divides? Do we need to be in relationship with the churches or movements or the people that we feel uncomfortable with to challenge or critique? When are these conversations constructive? When do they cross a line and cease to be constructive? Do you need to be putting your energies into "positive alternatives" to critique with integrity? What's the point? How come it seems that critique seems to flow so easily and encouragment and affirmation seem in such short supply in these days? How much energy should we be spending doing this stuff? Do we look at our own lives and practice with the same zeal and enthusiasm that we look at others? What are the dangers in remaining silent? How can we critique with any authority? How do we know that "we are right and they are wrong"? How come its really hard to be honest? Why
do we so easily settle for mediocrity in our discipleship and our churches? Why are we afraid to speak out our thoughts in some places (face to face with people), and let rip in others (a Blog for example)? Do we hide behind some of these yarns so that we don't have to face some of the stuff in our lives and mission? How can we best learn from one another? How can we be challenged in our theology and praxis by people outside of our normal crowd? How can we be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? How do we best contribute our thoughts, insights and life experience to the melting pot of ideas and expressions?

And so forth... I would be interested in your thoughts, or feel free to add more questions.


Being tired

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 by Sam

You know the very very deep weary feeling? Where you have blood shot eyes, your head feels funny and you crave sleep so much you actually feel ill. Well without sounding too dramatic, I'm there. I've pushed it way too hard the last couple of months. Which is pretty stupid considering my talk at blueprint last week was about the need for many of us to slow down and rest a whole lot more. Just another example of my theory not being represented in my practice.

Thankfully the next 10 days contain lots of space to enjoy the company of some friends, there are no talks to give, and hardly anyone knows me here. And to enjoy sleep - if only the generator next to my tent would shut up.... : )

What is in the back of my mind is the countless number who are going to bed feeling like I do right now and worse, but who have to get up and work in shamefull conditions just to survive tomorrow. No ten day break for them.



Pitching Tents

Sunday, April 15, 2007 by Sam

Ive being sitting on this one for a while, and I'm picking most of you would have seen this. But it just is so brilliant that a moment like this was caught on video that just in case you haven't, here it is. Ive had a number of these moments myself. In the last week (which has contained nine talks!!!) Ive managed to say "I wet my bed" instead of wept in my bed, "the message virgin" instead of the Message Version, and had a meeting destroyed by a bird (the animal not a girl) that flew around the heads of a bunch of kids... But Ive got nothing on this guy. You have to turn it up loud to really hear it.

Email from the actual guy which if found here, but Ive pasted it below.

Hi there,
Wow…I never knew that I’d be famous for my theology on“TENTS and how to PITCH them”!! If you ever need a speaker for your camps or retreats, my specialties are subjects that most people “feel uncomfortable with”…I’m the kind of guy that just speaks what really“needs to be heard”…I really get to the “heart of the matter”…”what everybody’s thinking’ but nobody will say”!! HEHEHE
My name is Blake and I am a High School Pastor at an awesome church in Parker, Colorado, even though they don’t claim me anymore. I recently sent out an email about a sermon I was preaching and I explained that I was going through a series called, “Ignite”, which was a series from Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX. However, the way that I tackled the account of Lot was probably a little different slant than the way that Ed Young preached it!!!! In fact, he didn’t hold a candle to the way that I “undressed that passage”…I threw him under the table!! (I’Im sure he’ll read this, so let me say this publicly…”I did a much better job of preaching your sermon than you could ever dream!!!)
So, in case you didn’t get the first audio clip that circled the globe over night, then you’ll need a little explaining. I was doing a quick recap of the series and I was explaining to my students that bad company corrupts good character and that we shouldn’t “pitch our tents” to close to evil. Let me warn you though, that my version of the Bible might not read quite like yours. Dude, you try and say it out loud…it’s hard to say, alright…so get off me!!! It’s amazing how switching around one letter like an “N” can change the entire phrase!!! The look on my face after I said it is absolutely priceless. Push pause after I “let it fly” and look at the horror in my eyes…my left eye actually crosses…funny stuff!!!!!!!
So, since there have been hundreds of requests for the video, here it is!!! Now, while I’ve got you here, I just want to thank you for all your emails confirming the fact that I’m an idiot!! I’m going down in ablaze of glory on this one…I’ll forever be known as the pinching ____guy!! I’m trying to embrace this new identity, but to be honest I’m not real sure I’m diggin’ it! What’s become of me…my parents,grandparents, my children, and my poor wife will have to carry this legacy for years to come. They had such incredible dreams for my life…they wanted me to be a well-polished and dignified–”Prince of all Preachers”…well, maybe I did become that in my own way…I don’t know!! All I know to say is…”Thank God for His GRACE!!!” After talking with God about this whole thing, He let me know that when it happened… all of heaven fell to their side, they started beating the ground, with tears streaming down their face, and Lot was running around pinching himself, and all the heavenly hosts roared with laughter…just like you did!!!!
God’s favorite character,
Blake Bergstrom High School Pastor Southeast Christian Church

Not only that... the dude then gets pranked... check out the vid here

What a legend.

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Easter Camp goodness

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by Sam

I had a blast over the weekend in Rotorua for the Presbyterian Easter camp. Cranked out the talks, hung with the crew from the Bay of Plenty, clocked up 1400kms in the car, hung with my mates Rob and Sam from Karori. It was probably the best easter camp I have being to, with sweet games, great leaders, lots of fun times, a great band, good small groups, and crazy wild kids... and hot pools. Some photos of the weekend.
Rob all tuckered out. I forgot to tell Sam and Rob about the small detail that they would be involved in small groups and duties... hehehe, that meant a 6:30 start every morning. Poor Rob thought it was going to be a holiday.

This is how Sam spent nearly every moment on the car trip... theme seems to be developing here.
And thats me enjoying a big group hug from some of the crew there... and by the look on my face, enjoying it a bit too much
Apologies for the 7 times the last post appeared. I think it was because I was sending it from my phone in very limited reception.

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Easter Friday

Friday, April 06, 2007 by Sam

Well its Easter Friday, and like many today, its being good to reflect on the cross, and what that act means for me. I'm amazed at how quickly I forget the implications of the cross, how my default position is to try and be a good person so God can like me. I love the way The Message para-phrases Romans 6. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God.

As Yaconelli says "the grace of God is dangerous. Its lavish, excessive, outrageous, and scandalous. Gods grace is ridiculously inclusive. Apparently God doesn't care who He loves. He is not very careful about the people He calls friends or the people He calls His church".

Once again I am deeply moved about this incredible act of love and am in awe of the life giving freedom that the cross entails.

I am desperate for the kids at this camp to have a revelation of the cross, and the freedom on offer. I am desperate to live out of that place myself.


Check this out

Thursday, April 05, 2007 by Sam

Firstly, for those who have a little too much time on their hands at work, or just have a fast internet connection, check out some of the talks on the TED website.
When you find a website like that, its like discovering a gold mine. Have an explore.

And funny video of the week from You Tube. My apologies to my American friends...

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Can Anyone Help Sean?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 by Sam

"If anyone knows any community groups/organisations that could consistently use 50-100 volunteers for a couple of hours per fortnight, per month, bi-monthly whatever.... please, please PLEASE let me know"

If you know of anything in the South Auckland region that fits this bill can you let Sean know? 

It is encouraging to read a post where someone is actually trying to make a difference rather than just point out why we aren't making a diffrence.  Shot Sean. 

And an intresting link to a Christian Universalist blog with a post on the homosexual issue on the post.  Joy!! (can of worms alert)

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Cool Links

by Sam

This is my very first post using Windows Live Writer, a desktop blogging editor, which basically means that I can draft and manage my blog offline.  Rehehehe, what a geek.  Having problems uploading images though... have to work out what an FTP server is.  Help anyone?

Ok, a couple of things worth having a look at.  Firstly I have stumbled across a really good blog, especially if you are into youth work.  Michael Treston is the Anglican youth co-ordinator for the Nelson Diocese and blogs here, and a post that I thought was really good with my Anglican background here.

Darryl preached up a storm in Melbourne at the "Dangerous Stories" gathering, according to rumor a number of people left as he talked...  oohhhh smell the controversy.  If you want to work out why, his talk can be found here.

Scottie Reeves opened a can of worms and blogged about the Harvest Crusade.  At some point I will be weighing in on that one.  Have a look here.

And im off to speak at this easter camp this weekend.  Im nervous, daunted by doing so many talks but looking forward to the adventure. 

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2 Things that annoy me and two things im stoked about

Monday, April 02, 2007 by Sam

The things that annoy me today
(annoy isn't strong enough, but the string of expletives I would like to use in front of it will get me in too much trouble)
One: My propensity to sin, stuff up, do stuff I shouldn't do etc.
Two: That I need faith to follow God... I wish I could get rid of my strong doubts, questions, my unbelief, and it would be awesome to grow a mustard seed of faith someday.

Tangent: I'm off to speak at an Easter camp in a couple of days (8 Main Sessions gulp), and I was thinking last night about how sweet it would be if God turned up in all His glory, and just stood in the room (having watered down his glory enough so that we didn't all get fried). Then all my doubts and questions would be thrown away, and then I would be able to say "see kids, I told you he was freaken awesome". Imagine the altar call after that one! Instead, inevitably there will be young people where where God becomes very real for them, there will be young people who go along with a crowd and have an emotional time, and there will be a group that think it is a load of rubbish and try and spade the ladies (or vice verca).

The things I'm stoked about today
One: Grace; more and more I am amazed at how much I didn't understand the reality of grace growing up as a teenager. It is a scandal that I am just coming to terms with, and why I will continue to passionately follow the person of Jesus.
Two: Hope; not only that there will be a day when I see God in all his glory (and the sweetest right hand reef break you could ever imagine), but that I get to charge around on earth and do my best to be a person who ushers in this new Kingdom, and that God likes using me in spite of (and maybe because of) number two above.

And for those wondering if I got up to mischief in the weekend which brought on this post... sorry to disappoint, I hung out with my dad all weekend on a surf trip up north. And the thought of me getting up to mischief?!?! Never... ; )

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