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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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Friday, February 22, 2008 by Sam

I've being watching the presidential race in the states with some interest in the last couple of months, and thought that this vid by obama was well worth watching in regards to his christian view points. Its quite long though at just under 40 mins. Im hoping that he continues to dominate in the primaries...

And I found the following comment posted today very thought provoking, and in an odd way encouraging and convicting all at the same time- left on this post from early last year

The bloggers on the 'forefront' of the whole emerging whatever are nowhere near the front of this 'movement'. The problem with the blogging movement is that the people involved 'myself included' still have this need to be heard, and have an impact that is noticeable and measurable.

Christ was alone, He died alone, He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We esteemed Him not. Those who are on the true front line identify with Christ in this, and you have never heard of them, neither have I. Those who have truly 'arrived' are entirely anonymous and their deeds will be manifest in eternity for they received no reward here in this life, but trekked this road with Christ alone. Who is the greatest preacher on earth? Likely some poor African preaching in the congo somewhere to 10 people. Not some emergent speaker on the front line of deconstruction.

Just a thought, I appreciate your post, and agree with it, but in reality it amounts to nothing, as does this comment.

The Balance

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 by Sam

I went for a surf yesterday afternoon, as well as having a nice wave on my day off on Monday. I am trying to guard my days off a bit more as I pushed it a bit too hard at the beginning of the year. But yesterday was a working day, and as I shot out for a spontaneous surf I felt a bit guilty. And this is where the problem lies for me. If a pastor or church leader isn't pacing themselves, we get all worked about them being driven and not being a good role model and the potential for "burn out" . If a pastor or leader doesn't work their guts off for the rest of the time they are perceived as slacking off, and everyone mumbles about what a sweet gig it is. I don't know whether it makes it easier or more difficult to be personally supported rather than get a salary from a church.
And yes, the surf was cranking, so at the end of the day it was well worth it.

In other news; I went to a salsa dancing class with some of my flatmates last night. I wound up punching one of my friends in the head in a very uncoordinated move as I floundered around trying to get my groove on. I am undecided as to whether I will go back as it was incredibly traumatic and exposed how incredibly white I am. Though I suppose that you go to dance classes because you cant dance. Similar to the scripture about Jesus that I read this morning.

Mark (CEV) 2:17 Jesus heard them and answered, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn't come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners."

Im stoked about that... I suck at dancing and am a brilliant sinner. So I go to dance classes and hang with Jesus to try and reverse that whole picture : )


Friday, February 15, 2008 by Sam

Blogging has being on the back burner for the last little while because of the work needed to get church of the starting blocks for the year, amongst a backlog of other jobs. Im slowly getting back in top of things, it feels like I have gained some kind of control if life again, which is great. This year I am taking over the day to day running and leadership of my church community, and so the time of transition so far this year has required a lot of energy. Thankfully the number of emails I need to respond to is at a manageable number, things are church are ticking along, and I am getting some decent sleep and aiming to have a regular day off again. Its a horrible to feel like you are drowning under your to do list. And at the end of the day, most of it is not stuff that really count in the long run. The first thing to go in times of stress is perspective – meaning the demands carry an urgency which are probably exagerated.

And so this year I am trying to bring more balance and health to my life, I need to learn some lessons from last year, which was bizzare in some ways getting invited to speak diffrent places and finding myself with increasing responsibilities in my church. One of the key things that needed to change was my daily spiritual disciplines. I was not in a good place at the tail end of last year, largely in part because of my very loose patterns with reading the bible. To be really honest, by the end of the year I felt like a spiritual bulimic. Eating a little only when I needed to (speaking engagement normally), which would fairly quickly get thrown up over whoever had to listen to me next. As a result at the end of the year I had nothing in reserve, was exhausted, disconnected and deeply weary.
Its amazing what some basic spiritual disciplines will do. I feel like I am putting on weight again, having good bible meals everyday, trying to institute it as a habit that will see me through life. I want to be chewing over way more than I am giving out, and be developing that private world with Jesus beyond the demands of church life, speaking engagements and the relationships that count. I want to have time for people, and time for myself to just be. I am more and more aware as I go through life how very weak I am.

Part of the reason I am posting this is that I am tired of leaders trying to appear all sorted all the time. Everyone I meet carries brokenness and weakness, whether they are a leader, speaker, businessman, whether you are from a happy home, or from a difficult past. Its seems so many of us play this stupid game where we put on these masks to impress each other with how much we have things together, we have become experts in hiding the reality of our life. This is rife amongst Christian leaders, particularly speakers. I was chatting to one of my friends the other day, who mentioned this idea that many leaders think that they are a shepard looking after a flock. He pointed out that this is rubbish. There is only one shepard, his name is Jesus. Everyone else is a moronic sheep… but one who knows the shepard. Im happy with that...

Im off to hang with the Soul Survivor leadership team this weekend - to dream some dreams, and chat together about the future of the movement. Its always a blast, and its always an encouragement hanging with the crew.

Lent 08

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 by Sam

I'm having the unusual experience of being an extra on a film at the moment. James Cameron is filming a film called avatar. A whole bunch of the guys from blueprint have done days on the film, and yesterday I was a punter at a bar. It didn't take much work to get in character ; ) Back on set today, working on a talk, doin a bunch of random work as most of the time is spent waiting around in a tent. The fact that 80% of my work can be done from the phone is great. Technology rocks sometimes. At other times the electronic leash is the most frustrating thing in the world.

Lent kicks off today, and I'm giving up all drinks except for water. Good bye beer, coffee, loly water drinks etc. I feel sorry for whoever I am hanging with the next couple of days. I could be a grumpy lad. Can't do these things in halves.
Looking forward to finding out what some the others guys from church are fasting, its cool how lent has become a very popular thing to do, and its great to have such a strong lead up and focus to the Easter weekend. I hope that the coming weeks are a time of deep reflection on the implications of the Easter weekend.

People not paper

Sunday, February 03, 2008 by Sam

Spoke at the Rock tonight on some Kingdom of God stuff, managed to rant and rave about Rage against the Machine for 10mins, felt the tension as always of my theory and my practice being poles apart, and was reminded of some quote from someone about us all being "hypocrites in transition". Enjoyed sitting in silence at the end of the service being with God and chatting about stuff.
Up to Auckland tomorrow for meetings about Worship Central and Youth Alpha stuff, back in the evening so sadly no time to hang with mates. :(

And if you care, one of the battles that I am loosing at the moment is the administrative stuff, ive got 24 urgent emails I have to reply to, a bunch of facebook emails, the roster for the next couple of months at church is a shambles and needs a bunch of work on it, and there a number of reports and a soul survivor newsletter that are overdue. Meh... The price of rockin out to rage... and i will add a price well worth paying : )

In the words of Zach de la Rocha "it has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now".