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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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More Shameless Obama Propaganda

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 by Sam

Elliot just flicked me this awesome little prayer that obama prayed and stuck in the wailing wall.

“Lord - Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”

What a legend


Tuesday, July 29, 2008 by Sam

My church blueprint continues to be a source of incredible life and encouragement to me... which is still a bit surprising - im used to church being something that I tolerate, certainly not a place of joy, life and hope. This paragraph from Dan Kimbals book "they like Jesus but not the church" is one that really encourages me. I read something by NT Wright last night that I might post last week that is in a similar vein, but for now, have a read over this;

The church is a beautiful, wonderful living thing. We are the body of Christ. Yet we all are sinners and make mistakes. I hope we will recognize the mistakes we make, repent and apologise. I hope we will do whatever it takes to remain pure but move ahead on our mission into culture. I also pray and hope that those who have misperceptions of the church or have being hurt by the church give us a chance. Because the reality is that the church isn’t just an organisation, or a social club but a supernatural community. We are the bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-27). So when people say they don’t like the church, they are saying they don’t like the bride of Jesus, which is like going to a wedding and telling the groom that we like him but not the bride. It’s insulting to the groom when we don’t like the bride. And the church isn’t just a human couple; it’s a supernatural part of Jesus. Jesus said he would build it (Matt 16:18). He wants to keep it pure (Matt 18:15-17). The church is his holy people (1 Cor 1:2). The church is his body (Eph 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12). He is the head of the church (Eph 1:22). Jesus loves the church and gave himself up for her (Eph5:25). So when we say we like Jesus but not the church, we have to understand what we are saying.
What I think most people mean is that they like Jesus, but they don’t like what people have turned the church into. We need to explain to those who like Jesus but not the church that Jesus loves the church, and that if they truly like Jesus, they cannot help but like the church, because its his church and his bride. They need the church because it’s the expression of Jesus as his body. If they put their faith in Jesus, whether they realize it or not, they are supernaturally part of the church. But we need to help them understand the difference between the church and what we sometimes turn it into.
We have a lot to overcome. This should drive us to our knees in prayer and motivate us to avoid ever shaming the church. It should motivate us to be humble and intelligent students of the Scriptures and to strive with all of our being to make the church known as Jesus bride, whom he loves. We need to be creating new understandings of the church so that we will no longer be seen as negative judgemental, homophobic organized religion that oppresses women, arrogantly thinks all other religions are wrong, and takes the whole bible literally, but instead will be seen as a loving and welcoming family that is a positive agent of change, holds women in the highest regard, is respectful of other beliefs, and humbly strives to be thoughtful theologians.

Randy Pausch

Sunday, July 27, 2008 by Sam

An inspiring man died yesterday, Randy Pausch who became something of an accidental celebrity in the last year of his life. His "last lecture" is incredible to watch - if you havent had a look, check it out.

Here is a shorter clip from earlier this year, giving the charge at the graduation ceremony of his university.

Im Back

Saturday, July 26, 2008 by Sam

So I have had a right nightmare on the computer front, I brought a dell laptop to replace my old acer which completely crapped itself (screen not working, cd drive not working, crashing etc). My new dell arrived, and I was uber excited, but after two days the hard drive died. Gutted. So after a few phone calls from India, they sent a technician round who decided I needed a new hard drive on my brand spanking new laptop. So it goes into the shop.... sigh...
Finally got it back today, have reloaded everything. I have a bunch of emails to reply to (normally I would just use my phone, but I have a new phone which is meant to send emails through like my old blackberry but thats not working at the moment).

Enough rich western winging... Discovery of the month comes courtesy or chris darnell (again)

This website
rules my world, lots of beautiful high def videos. Well worth checking out. Here is a beauty I just watched

Surfing Broken Head, Australia from Geoff Charters on Vimeo.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by Sam

Here are all the different quotes I used for my talk on Sunday Night entitled "Jesus calls us to do difficult things". I was really excited by some of the gems that I discovered for this talk, and they all fire me up for different reasons... Go ahead and pillage them for your own talks or conversations :)

When God calls a person, He bids them to come and die
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus death on the cross was not to free us from dying but to free us from the fear of dying. Jesus came to liberate us so that we would die up front. And then live. Jesus wants to take us to places that only dead men and women can go.
Erwin McManus

One of the most insidious maladies of our time (is); the tendency in most of us to observe rather than act, avoid rather than participate, not do rather than do; the tendency to give in to the sly, negative, cautionary voices that constantly counsel us to be careful, to be controlled, to be wary and prudent and hesitant and guarded in our approach of this complicated thing called living.
Arthur Gordon.

Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.
Smith Wigglesworth

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music… Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to praise and say; Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.
Martin Luther King

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
Nelson Mandela

Go as far as you dare,
for you cannot go beyond the reach of God.
Give as extravagantly as you like,
for you cannot spend all the riches of God,
Care as lavishly as you are able,
for you cannot exhaust the love of God.
Keep journeying as a servant
for God will always be with you,
And the blessing of God the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit
be with you always.
(Blessing used by the Bishop of Wellington)

John Piper on the Prosperity Gospel

Sunday, July 13, 2008 by Sam

John Piper with some fairly strong words on the prosperity gospel... Good on him for saying things as firmly as he says them I say. HT Jonathan

This Week

Friday, July 11, 2008 by Sam

It's being a great week with Tash, Rich and Andy around bring the goodness. The week started with me getting over a flu - and I actually rested a whole bunch which meant work suffered but I got over it a whole lot quicker. Some awesome yarns with my friends has left me feeling very encouraged and hopeful, something that is very good at the halfway point in the year where it is easy to get a bit discouraged and flat.
I am off to Riversdale this afternoon to hang with a youth group from Masterton who are doing their "Holy Spirit Weekend" which should be fun. I am especially looking forward to having a long walk along Riversdale beach... beauty. Speaking on Sunday night at Blueprint.
I am in the beginning of an interesting season on the God front, one of those moments where its like "oohhhh You are the main thing, You are the centre, and all this work for You, that's just the other stuff but not the main thing". Something of a purifying work happening. Its good.
Peace Out

Arcade Fire

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 by Sam

To raise the tone somewhat, here is an absolutely stunning performance by the Arcade Fire with David Bowie, one of the surprise highlights of the Big Day Out earlier this year. This lifts my soul...