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about


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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The Roadie

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 by Sam

It finally feels like the brief break before Soul Survivor has begun with the Christmas formalities out of the way. Its time to unwind, kill some small animals and catch a wave or two.

Its got to be something of a kiwi tradition, throwing as much fishing surfing and camping gear that you can in a car, and going feral for a week. Me and my bro are sorting through some gear at the moment, here is a pic of the material needed to survive the next week so far...


Every year a whole bunch of us shoot out to Riversdale beach for New Years. Its got to be some of my fondest memories ever. I reckon that New Years can be a hard time to be a young follower of Jesus; either you are watching everyone go crazy and wishing you could get up to mischief, of you do and know you are going to regret your actions... Anyway, the reason riversdale is such sweet times is that we crank it Jesus styles, its always good times without the regrets. We normally have a worship time on New Years eve before cranking out our white boy dance styles.

Here is a picture of us at riversdale a couple of years ago, New Years eve and the crew are showing what it looks like to have controlled epilepsy!

Blogging will slow down for the next couple of weeks, will post a bit from the festival. Have a good new years!

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 by Sam

Hope its a goodie!!

What the...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 by Sam

Where on earth did this year go? I am a little freaked out that we are knocking on the door of Christmas already... yikes. I'm working hard to try and get all sorts of things tidied up so I can switch off and recharge over the Christmas and new years time before dropping into the Soul Survivor festival on the 4th of January.

A quote from irresistible revolution
Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. Pg 32

Finally... I would really appreciate it if you could listen to "Feliz Navidad" on the David crowder band myspace. Please let me know if you think it possibly, maybe, perhaps could be mistaken for a Cliff Richard song... its for a little research project I am doing ; )



That is all

Peace - Joy

Friday, December 14, 2007 by Sam

My mate Chris reminded us about Advent at church last night, the celebration of joy, hope, peace and love. It was a wonderful reminder of the "good news" of this particular season in the church calendar. I was re-reading some excerpts of Yaconelli on peace and joy today as I prepared for a talk this weekend and stumbled across this quote.

Peace is supposed to be one of the fruits of conversion, and it is. But does that mean, as some suggest, that the Christian has an inner tranquility and serenity that makes him oblivious to outside conditions? Does peace imply for the Christian that tragedy, evil, suffering, pain, and discouragement are unable to penetrate his composure?

Peace describes a condition rather than a demeanor. Peace is the result of salvation, which means that man and God are no longer at war. Peace describes the state of man after conversion. He is at peace with God. Peace is not a protective shield from the battle around us. It does not make us immune to pain and suffering. Peace is not a drug which makes us oblivious to symptoms.

Biblical joy has nothing to do with our emotional state or conditions and circumstance. It is independent of all the chance and changes in life. Joy is the description of the believers’ condition, which is complete dependence on the character of God. Joy is permanent confidence in his resources and character. It’s not happiness, and it’s not a sentimental, superficial grin on your face. It’s the unchanging quality that remains despite pain, suffering, tears, changes in fortune, and even financial collapse.

If you are feeling a bit flat or discouraged, I suggest sitting down for the next couple of minutes and watching this vid of Yaconelli in action. I've posted it on my blog before, but it is so good it is worth watching every couple of months.

The Nerve

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 by Sam

Its interesting how emotive the "being single" conversation is, Im not suggesting it shouldn't be, I don't know how it can not. Its probably one of the most personal conversations you can have, and perhaps more honest dialogue is needed around this topic.
A couple of friends have posted their thoughts, raising some good questions and exploring this issue in a lot more depth. Check out what Tash, Phil and Chez have said. I wonder whether being a christian makes things more complicated? Have we made things more complicated than they need to be?

In other news, for the first time ever I have being proactive in looking after my car, not reactive. It has had a ball bearing changed, a brake fluid change and a wheel alignment before anything crapped out on it and without a warrant looming. Its a minor miracle. I find it amusing that in nearly every other area of my life I am really not on top of things, and yet the one area that normally is always a mare I am on top of... go figure.

Perplexed but not in despair : )

Sunday, December 09, 2007 by Sam

It has being a day to remember. My mate Brook - who leads Blueprint church - was called away at the last minute due to an inevitable bereavement in his family which meant I had to run the baptism service held at the beach this afternoon and also pick up the preaching tonight. It has being an honour beyond words to baptise a bunch of my friends, my love for the guys at this church cannot be overstated. Ive never done anything like that before, thankfully the crew and their extended family were all very relaxed.
Today has brought up some of my own junk, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with a mixture of my own sense of inadequacy, and God's goodness, faithfulness and grace.
I am reminded of Mic Duncan's words after an eventful day where he was feeling particularly vulnerable... "I will take no thought seriously for the next 24 hours", advice I need to heed as I battle with a whole bunch of insecurities that have popped up out of nowhere.
Favourite scripture for the hour 2 Corinth 4:7

Being Single and Content

Friday, December 07, 2007 by Sam

As usual a whole bunch of us descended on Fidels to chat the night away after church last night. I had a great conversation with a couple of my friends about the whole "being single" buzz, which is a fairly common conversation when your church is packed full of 20 somethings and when you are a single 26 year old yourself. It was a great chat though, wonderfully honest. We talked about the myth that we will be "complete" when we find that special someone, the frustration from the girls that most lads need to pick up their game and be a lot more proactive in pursuing the ladies, and the whole grass is greener on the other side hoax. We started chatting about all the things that we can do as single people, which reminded me of this great article from relevant that is well worth a read. Both marriage and singleness are a gift from God, and I wonder whether we need to really enjoy the blessings that come from whatever phase of life we are in, and make the most of it instead of sulking away and being miserable. While acknowledging that there are certainly times of acute loneliness I certainly see this phase of life at the moment as a bit of a gift, and I enjoy the freedom in being able to travel with my work in Soul Survivor and Youth Alpha, and to be able to spend lots of time serving my church and hanging with the many wonderful people there.
This whole topic is a real can of worms - and one of the worms that needs to be addressed is when people are hindered from having relationship with others because of their own brokenness.
For a rather amusing read on this whole buzz, read Galloways latest post.

Check out this video from blueprints own Kathryn Baker. I have had a sneaky listen to her album planned for release next year, and it is sounding sweet.

More stuff

Thursday, December 06, 2007 by Sam

A couple of things that have grabbed my attention the last couple of days amongst the tornado of activity, decisions and activities in recent days.
Firstly this post by David Hayward on critiquing church. Especially in light of the thoughts in my last post. Would be interested in your take on this.
Secondly, this conference promoted by Dan Kimball. I love that there are a bunch of different global leaders and church leaders getting together to yarn things out. What a great idea, something I wish the church would do more. The interaction between faith and culture looks awesome. My only beef is that I wish it was held in a different venue though, something more neutral.
And lastly, a whole lot more information is on the Soul Survivor website with all that is happening during the week. Check it out here.

Stuff (my lame title for a post I have no idea what to call)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007 by Sam

Life is pretty dam chocka block at the moment, which means the blog inevitably suffers. So sorry for that if you care. In part it has being because of some processing I have being doing. I am realising that across the board in NZ and around the world there is a huge amount of diversity in theology and style, and normally there is way more that unites us than divides. On my part, there has probably being too much energy spent "majoring on the minors" in the past, and my attitudes have changed a whole lot.
In saying that there are three things that I would say I am still very passionate about.

Firstly that christianity was never meant to be a sub-culture, but rather be within culture, counter culture, subverting, challenging and changing culture. Im still saddened and probably a bit gutted about the bubble, and how ingrained the christian subculture industry is.

Secondly, I am still very passionate about honesty and authenticity in the framework of our faith, probably reflected most clearly in our gatherings. There is far too much language that is just plain weird. There is still a lot of "victorious living" talk going on which doesn not reflect the struggle and reality of most peoples life. There is still a whole lot of "fake it till you make it" pressure for people to behave in a certain way. . And while no one would probably argue me on this point (no sam we need things to become more artificial?!?!), in my experience it requires huge amounts of courage to be authentic people, its often painful, its vulnerable. In the same breathe its liberating and life giving, and finds us relating to Jesus with more honesty and authenticity, which breeds humility, depth and a greater understanding of grace. There are a bunch of stories connected to this post, ask me next time I see you for some illustrations from my own life... perhaps I have being too honest in some of my talks?!? There have being some awkward moments : )

And lastly, I think that we need more places where we can externally process sensitive issues, where we can flesh out that uneasy discernment feeling we get when we read, hear or see something we dont agree with. Clearly this needs to be one or two close friends, not something worked through with every tom, dick and harry, but I wonder whether we have those sort of places. Places of brutal honesty, the sort of conversations that would get you in trouble if overheard, but are completely safe in that context. I am grateful for a couple of close friends whom I know will not judge me as I process things, and is probably part of the reason I have grown to enjoy far more the diversity of people's thinking and practice in recent times. Once things are out of the head and verbalised, things become a whole lot clearer.

In other news, my day off was spent vomiting over the side of a boat... me and dad won a fishing charter a while ago and so were very excited about having a sweet day on the ocean. A long day with no fish, and lots of barfing due to rough seas. I was trying to find some un-confessed sin in either my dads life or my own that would explain why we have such miserable luck fishing.

And lastly, check out this photo essay narrated by the subject. This dude was wrongly imprisoned for 16 years. He talks about what it’s like to enter the world outside of prison after spending all of his adult life behind bars.
(HT Marko)