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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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You seen that speck in your eye bro?

Friday, August 31, 2007 by Sam

Go the Bonhoeffer quotes!!

Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which allows another to continue their life of sin. Nothing can be kinder than a severe reprimand which rescues another from their sin.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer quoted by Mic Duncan (so dont know where from) last Saturday.

Great quote. But its a difficult living that out. I am so grateful for the very hard conversations that people have had with me - significant voices in my life have loved me enough to hit me up about things. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yes it hurt, yes it was painful. But thank you because I am a more whole person because of it, I needed to hear those words.

I do want to say this (after having to give a "chat" to a friend rather than receive one).
It is very very easy to say things from the front in talks of sermons where we get warmed up about an issue. It is very easy to blog about things from the safety of our homes. But it is an entirely different ball game to sit down with someone you love, look them in the eye and say "mate... I am wondering whether... *insert issue here*".

May we have the courage, and the love for those around us to lovingly rebuke from time to time. And may we generate a humility and approachability in our lives where people feel free to be honest with us.

Invite the constructive criticism. Grow up.

Chin Chin

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 by Sam

Lots happening, with a mail-out today for Soul Survivor, our first I think. Its cool to be slowly spreading the news about this great movement (if I say so myself!) There is a novelty factor about this mail-out I am sure we will laugh at down the track. It truly is monotonous boring work.

Tomorrow night we have a "Soak" service at blueprint which I am already looking forward to. Extended un-rushed time spent in contemplation, silence, reflection on scripture, dwelling on and taking of communion, and some music worship, and some weird hippy worship.

Its then off to Hamilton on Friday to visit some youth workers, and do a youth alpha training day, before coming back on Sunday to be a part of a "different" night at All Saint church. Poster below. There is a lot happening... its a privilege to be able to charge around so much and spend time with so many inspiring people. In the midst of it all I cant wait for a couple of days off to recover mind and spirit, and I feel like my private world with Jesus gets squeezed out a bit.

Some interesting reflections already here on this night "discussing" alcohol. In part my invitation to share my perspective came from this post. I can already hear the cry "we are majoring on the minors"... well I think you may be surprised. It looks set to be an entertaining evening. Swing past if you are round Wellington way and enjoy the biffo between the moderation guy and the abstaining guy.

(Said with an English accent). And then I said to him, I said "Lets get out of these wet clothes in to a dry martini" Hahahahahaha

Costly Grace

Monday, August 27, 2007 by Sam

Its being a very interesting couple of days. Listening to Sy Rogers speak (and then hitting the town with him and Anthony Walton - there is a story or two there), hearing Mic Duncan speak at a New Wine event, to then speak at Carterton Community Church, then to Blueprint for the evening.
My thoughts after these days (apart from dreaming of rest)?
Its difficult to follow Jesus.

It has being difficult for Mic, and I admire his courage to go to difficult places (in every sense of the word), I felt wonderfully uncomfortable at the challenge he laid down. It was awesome hanging with the dairy farmers and their families in the Wirarapa, was struck with how broken they were, and was glad that I do not have to wrestle with the wealth the they have in that area. And its difficult for my friends (and I lump myself in here) at blueprint to follow Jesus at an age and stage where there is so much screaming for attention, so many attractive distractions. Sy's talk on "staying clean in a dirty world" was one that was filled with practical ways of accessing the grace of God.

I keep coming back to this concept of grace, and am realising more and more that without it, I am screwed. I am so aware that parts of my life may be walking down the "narrow road" that Jesus talked about, and yet there is so much of my life (scarily a lot that I am probably unaware of) that is walking down the "wide road".

So I am hanging on for grace to come through. And am wanting to more and more live a life that reflects a deep understanding of this grace.

My favourite quote of the last couple of years is by
Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his book "The cost of Discipleship". It tears me to the core every time I read it, and every time I quote it I get choked up.

Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field, for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be Sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “We were brought at a price”, and what has cost God so much cannot be cheap for us. Above all it is grace because God did not reckon His Son to dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us.

Keep Smiling

Friday, August 24, 2007 by Sam

Thanks for the comments in the last post.

In most of the conversations I am having at the moment, it seems like this time of year is frantically busy, a bit overwhelming, and most of us are feeling pretty wasted. Its being a long winter, discouragement is rife, people are hurting. Who isnt feeling tired?

But there will be a new day, summer is on its way, new stories and adventures await. We will be able to chill out sometime soon... and so lets take off our pessimistic pants, and put on the happy optimistic pants and hope for tomorrow.
And so in that vein here is a song we would do well to spend time contemplating on. Let the words soak into the deep places of your soul.
And my apologies for the "S" bomb in the song... kinda...

And yes, you can have a cracker with this cheesy post... : )

Hand over the keys

Monday, August 20, 2007 by Sam

One of the things I find weird (and difficult) is that people think I am someone I am not. I could be wrong on this, but I think that people think that I am a good christian, and kinda sorted. Sure, we all have that to some degree, the person that we present to others is normally not the entirety of who we are. I am really feeling this tension at the moment.

I think its because I am sharing in all sorts of different places now (which I find so weird as well). And so when people haven't journeyed with you over a period of time, and you turn up to a group, share, and then leave, they get a snapshot of you looking your best. Passionate, fired up. You look like Jimi Jesus. And as much as you try to tell them that you are not, as much as you try and honestly share your struggles, I can see that people are looking at me and my life as some sort of example. I am scared by that thought.

And so this feeling of hypocrisy starts to grow. The tension between my theory and my practice is amplified. My pride, selfishness, my struggles, my consumerism, the many things that are ugly and sinful in my life sit far more uncomfortably with me.

I am trying to remind myself more and more that I do not need to be perfect or sorted to be used by God. But that's one thing as a statement, another as a truth that I really believe. I think I am getting there. I am trying to share more of who I really am. I have a couple of people that I love and respect that I meet with very regularly who know everything about me, and who ask me tough questions. I am trying to get my head around the implications of grace, forgiveness and a life of freedom. I am slowly walking towards a greater wholeness.

This article by Rob Bell absolutely nails it for me. (thanks chris)

"This whole experience broke me a long time ago. . . . The fact that God could use me, I'm still ... in awe."

"For years, I had this recurring dream that I was getting pulled over for speeding and the cop was God and the cop said, 'You didn't really think I'd let you drive it, did you?' and asked me to hand over the keys,"

"I've come to terms with [the idea that] whatever it is I do apparently helps people and I'm most humbled by that, so I'm going to try to keep doing it, to be true to whatever it is that God's given me to do, You'd be a fool to think that there weren't larger powers at work here."

That was a difficult post to write, but I think necessary. Thanks for being part of my group therapy. Seeya on the couch next time : )


Sunday, August 19, 2007 by Sam

If you dont have a facebook account, whatever you do, dont sign up. And not for the reasons yarned about here at Mr Ritchies blog (although it is a very very interesting read). Dont sign up because for some very mysterious reason its so very addictive, it will waste hours of your valuable time, it will lure you in deeper and deeper in to its tangled web of goodness. It makes me very embarrassed to admit, but its true. Ohhh the burning shame.

Its too late for me, i'm too deep in it to get out. I believe in a God that can move mountains, but its going to require years of rehab, counselling and deliverance to really get me sorted. Im not prepared to take that journey yet.

My name is Sam Harvey, and Im a crackbookaholic.

Cartoon from here

Mr Sam Bartos

Saturday, August 18, 2007 by Sam

This is my friend Sam Bartos. And two photos that the world must see...

Good day sir


Friday, August 17, 2007 by Sam

Nice series of posters in reply to the ones that had a dig at the emerging church that I posted about previously. Check them out here. HT Andrew Jones

Just back from Wangavegas, off to share at the Rock church youth group tonight on the subject of "parents". Its being a busy week, with a visit to Feilding and Palmy with Galloway on Wednesday, leading worship at the Print on Thursday, and a talk to get sorted for this Sunday night. In the midst of all this Im trying to spend every spare moment hanging with my grandfather who is at a hospital in Wellington. Its such a privilege to spend time with a living saint, and I run past my talks with him, and glean enormous insight and understanding from him. It means that a bunch of other work doesn't get done, but I don't care. I will never ever regret spending time with my grandfather. The thought of him not being around has brought into sharp perspective what the priorities really should be in my life.

I'm beginning to ramble.

Living the dream

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 by Sam

Thought that these photos were very interesting. They reminded me of some of my friends at the Steiger Base in Minneapolis. The States produces some pretty weird characters.
Im trying to work out whether that sort of lifestyle looks appealing or not. Deep inside me is a hippy wanting to come out, yet im pretty happy sitting at home drinking a nice coffee and being online thanks to Dads wireless setup.
So whose keen to join me as a wandering modern day hippy?

Happy birthday to me!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by Sam

Ohhhh yeah, its ma birthday. 26 times round the sun today. I'm glad to be alive.

Here's to the coming year... *clink*

Bob Dylan Review

Monday, August 13, 2007 by Sam

The Bob Dylan gig on friday night was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the positive side of things:
  • The opening band "The Frames" were very good. Genuinely stoked to be playing, great songs and a nice "presence".
  • There were some stunning moments as Bob Dylan's band jammed out solos, I was particularly impressed by Denny Freeman, the lead guitarist. Extended solos that built and built and nailed the vibe in the songs. Pure genius at times.
  • It was cool to see a living legend.

I was disappointed with the sound mix most the way through. There was a low end rumble that bugged me for the first bunch of songs, and at times (particularly the more quiet numbers) it was a good mix, but a lot of the time I thought it was average.

From what I have read the reviews of his shows have being generally positive, especially this chat on national radio. This particular review however shares my sentiments and expressed more eloquently why I walked away from the show feeling flat and disappointed.

Most of the lads I was with really enjoyed the show however. Maybe I am just a grumpy old man : ) And to be honest, maybe I don't respect the living legend enough.

Congratulations Nikki and Matt

Sunday, August 12, 2007 by Sam

My friend Nikki had her 21st last night, a "50's" themed party, and it was a night to remember. The whole event was hit out of the park when her boyfriend proposed at the end of his speech (dressed as Elvis may I add!) My face is still sore from smiling so much.

Im speaking at my old church tonight, I cant wait to see all the crew there. I miss them. Im sorely tempted to wear my costume from last night. And don't ask how this is 50's... it seemed like a good idea at the time, and somehow made sense (something along the lines of "priests have been around for ages, its kinda fifties" etc etc). Walking through town to grab a beer after the big event with Elvis, a bunch of girls in polka dotted dresses, 50's looking nerds and myself - the priest, was a brilliant finish to a memorable night.

Timothy Armstrong Vid

Friday, August 10, 2007 by Sam

Another beautiful song and video from twig records. In my opinion Tim Armstrong is a genius (complete with reclusive tendencies and a fear of live performing), having composed and performed nearly every instrument on his début album. I love that He is this guru who is virtually unknown. And the guitar he is playing at the end is one that I spent a gagillion hours sanding down by hand for my friend Matt Holleman. Does that make me famous? Check it out.

Off to see Bob Dylan tonight, going with some clowns to the left of me, jokers to my right.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007 by Sam

Life is full (of emotion, busyness, people etc) at the moment, my apologies for the lack of activity on the blog. Spent a great weekend at the Windsor Park d-camp with Tash McGill, and a day with friends in Auckland. God doing lots of stuff in deep places at the moment. Bit of grief in the mix due to some family circumstances, and with a bunch of other things happening it feels a bit more costly to be living out of the suitcase at the moment. Its being a year and a half of living out of the suitcase for most of the week, I would love to be at home right now.

Quote of the moment (no idea where from): God is far more concerned with our character than our comfort.

Its just frustrating that God normally has to use discomfort to shape us. I have being thinking a lot again about the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5), and have being hit by two of the fruits in particular; long-suffering and faithfulness. By definition I dont think you can qualify as being a long-suffering person without suffering for a length of time (duh). Or being faithful without having hung in there during times of doubt, pain, suffering, major mistakes or bad choices, or the sense of God's absence. We don't like to talk about this sort of stuff that often though. I think this is why the prosperity stuff rarks me up so much.

On that light note, hope you are rockin : )

One way you can make a difference

Friday, August 03, 2007 by Sam

Posted by my friend Sarah Joyce in the comments of the last post.

.Slavery is on the rise around the world and plays a part in some of the products you buy everyday.Slavery could be in the sugar in your soft drink, the cocoa in your chocolate, the rubber in your car tyres, the fireworks you watch and matches that light them. Slavery could be in the food products you eat and the clothing you wear, the football you (or your children) play with and the carpets you walk on...Trade Aid is currently petitioning the government on the existence of slavery today... on their website is a stack of interesting information and a petition you can sign... check it out.www.tradeaid.org.nz



Thursday, August 02, 2007 by Sam

Real sad news for my mate Stu McGregor (whose finally blogging a bit more regularly again). Christina Aguilera has cancelled her Auckland shows. News here. Im real gutted for you bro, I know how much you were looking forward to those concerts.

In other news; we now have TV at home including about 6 or 7 christian channels. I've watched about half an hour of misc programs and have gained so much insight and understanding. For example I have now understood that I need to "position myself to prosper". Im not kidding. Check it out here.

Seriously... I think im going to throw up. How did we get here? I am convinced more than ever that we have become so immersed in our consumerist western culture that we are oblivious that our daily spending habits are ripping off 92% of the worlds population. And then we throw in prosperity teaching? We need more? Jesus wants us to keep on ripping off the poor? Its truly tragic, and whats worse, Im a part of it. I condone it with my silence, and endorse it with my lifestyle.

End of unexpected rant.

Seeya mate

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 by Sam

I said farewell to one of my closest friends today who is off with his wife to live and work in Australia. Not the first time we've lived in different countries for extended periods of time, but it still sad nonetheless. Im going to miss hanging with him, particularly on my days off which have normally coincided. I value his friendship for a whole bunch of reasons, but here are three. 1/ Our friendship has a lot of history. We go back over fourteen years now, and have been the best of buddies most of that time. Life has thrown curve balls at both of us, and we have shared these moments. 2/ Shannon doesn't give a rip about ministry. Doesn't aspire to be in church work, and knows me through and through, so when we hang out there are no hats on, no agendas, its just Sam and Shandog. 3/ Hes a flipin funny dude.

Me and Shannon sad coz he's going to live in Melbourne

Me and Shannon happy because life is good and full of new adventures

Here's to good friends.... clink..

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