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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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Freedom

Friday, August 29, 2008 by Sam

“go to work, send your kids to school follow fashion, act normal walk on the pavements, watch T.V. save for your old age, obey the law Repeat after me: I am free” Graffiti on Philip St, Bedminster, Bristol, UK (opposite Windmill City Farm) This is beautiful.

This picture and the subsequent comments and reactions make interesting reading (in the midst of the normal internet comment nonsense about people being noobs etc. lots of naughty language)

A couple of my favourites

Thanks grafitti, I will immediately quit my job, no longer send my children to school, dress like a f***ing retard, spaz out for no reason, walk in the middle of a highway

Another one

Try and find work to feed your kids, hope that they'll live long enough to get jobs of their own, walk miles barefoot because you cant afford anything else, watch your friends and family die because of disease you cant afford to have treated, hope that you aren't hit by a stray bullet on your way home

In the light of Jesus life and teaching (especially weighing in luke 4), it is interesting to think about what a life of freedom looks like. Clearly grace has a central part in this life of freedom. In the life of Jesus we see a life of incredible self sacrifice. It makes for interesting reflection.

What the...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 by Sam

Ok, ive seen some crap in the christian music scene in my time, but this makes me want to either cry or vomit or fall over laughing... seriously. Am I over reacting here or is this something that is wrong? The fact that there is a little industry around this.
I know where I would be if I was on the ship. Right here

Sabbath - In praise of slowness

Monday, August 25, 2008 by Sam

I've had a bunch of great conversations with people over the last couple of weeks in which we have looked at this idea of Sabbath. One day a week where we just have a blast doing things that feed our soul and replenish us. Its scary how many people crank it seven days a week. Its scary how many Christian leaders are some of the worst at pushing it too hard. Personally, I am completely over having a reputation as a busy person. The word busy has become one of the most insulting things I could be called - I cringe a little every time someone says "be cool to catch up - i know your busy so just whenever". And so Ive made lots of little changes in the last couple of months that have helped enormously, and while I still feel it is very early days on this whole thing, it is incredibly life giving and its flippin nice to have a day where I enjoy doing jack tweety. The picture on the right is from a walk a did on my day off two weeks ago. Last week me and my bro took the boat out and tried to kill some fish. Today its another long walk.

Two bits of media that I have found helpful. One is this talk from Carl Honore at the brilliant TED conferences on the power called "In praise of Slowness".



And I have just transcribed an interview with Rob Bell that I thought was brilliant. Its from the catalyst podcast so have a listen for yourself or just read it below. They prattle on for a while but the Sabbath yarn is at the 11:45 mark.

Interviewer: What should the sabbath look like for me, three children living in suburban atlanta, busy life, blackberry, laptop, that whole deal?

Any time legalism enters, where it has to be “this day or that day” you are gone from the get go, its not going to work. It’s a gift. So at any point when you think "Ive got to do it or im in trouble" then you have missed the gift.
Abraham Joshua Heschel says “Sabbath gives the world the energy it needs to exist for another six days”.
Really practical questions are; What day of the week do you turn your blackberry off? What day of the week do you do no email? What is the day of the week that you do not create, do not produce anything? When you work is to simply be?
I don’t think that the human soul can survive – I mean a person may still live, -but their soul will be dying.
So Saturday for our family (because I have a little gig on Sundays), we have a Sabbath… once in a while I will do something for someone, but for my wife its “no lists”. For me its generally centres around not creating anything new, so we do whatever we want. We have a blast. Our boys know that we are going to play. We make waffles in the morning, we are going to jump on the trampoline, we are going to do whatever.
I need it. Sometimes I will literally sit in a chair on the Sabbath and say to God, “God some things broke this week, some things were torn apart, I took some hits, I have some bruises and I need you to put it back together”.
This is full scale rebellion against western American culture which bows down at the altar of nexto, which says get it done. Sabbath says don’t get it done. Sabbath is out gift for leaving Egypt where out worth came from the amount of bricks we produced. And the slave master says your worth come from the amount of bricks you produce. And if you don’t produce enough bricks for pharoh, then you are killed. Because you have no worth apart from the bricks.
Sabbath was a day a week we you are going to learn about what it means to be loved simply because of who you are not because of what you produce.
For me it’s the health and survival of our soul.
You also have to be preparing for it all week. The jews on Sabbath eve will invite the spirit of Sabbath in. If you are going to take a day a week to remind yourself that God loves you just the way you are then it affects the other day.
I would say that the Sabbath leaks – it leaks and it bleeds. Literally the first couple of years that my wife and I tried to practice Sabbath, we would have a full scale depression by Saturday afternoon. I realised after much reflection and counselling that my body was physiologically addicted to the adrenaline hit, to going on to the next thing. I was terrified of silence because my body did not know how to deal with it.
So people try and pray or try and reflect or try and take a Sabbath. And they think that they are not a good Christian, that they don’t love God. No. This may have very real chemical issues in your body. Where your body is used to firing a certain way.
For example prayer – people say “I can only pray for 5 minutes and then I get distracted”. Well yes that could have deep issues of commitment to God but on a very real level it could be because your brain is used to be in a hundred different places that when you ask your brain to be in one place for an extended period of time it doesn’t know how to do this. So it taken my wife and I several years to have a Sabbath and not by Saturday afternoon at four pm bang my head against the wall.
Interviewer: So you look forward to it now?
Oh man, Yeah, its changed my whole life actually.

Arghh

Friday, August 22, 2008 by Sam

Really long day yesterday, 13 plus hours cranking it, was really knackered when I got home to this...



Some mongrel had smashed a window, grabbed a chair from outside, broken into my room, absolutely trashed it and made off with a bunch of stuff. I am incredibly relieved that all my guitar gear was at church, my laptop was with me and my surfboards are in the main part of the flat. So I am hopeful that nothing to major is gone. One of my good mates xbox that was on loan to me got pinched which sucks big time.

Not exactly the finish to the day I would have liked! But anyhoo, you gota laugh at life sometimes!

More Reactions

Thursday, August 21, 2008 by Sam

More reactions to the Mike Guglielmucci here and here, and the wikipedia page on the guy is fairly fresh with more info as it comes to light. It really is just so tragic. We had a little chat about it at church tonight, and I feel like there has being a fairly healthy reaction so far. Pretty important not to make it a bigger issue than it needs to be, but also to give space and opportunity for people to process the broken trust and deception of this level.

Integrity

by Sam

Shesh its being a rough week and a bit for high profile christian guys having a bit of a mare. Todd Bentley with a bit of a train wreck, and today I hear from Tash that Mike Guglielmucci, someone who became a real inspiration and wrote an incredible song "Healer" may have being faking people out. Article here and here. Im ripped because we sing this song regulary at blueprint, we played the video of his testimony, just last night I was speaking at The Rock church bible school, and referred to the story....
It is gutting if its true, I might write some reflections later tonight.

Missional Church

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by Sam

My friend stu just sent me through a paper he has written for a lecture he is giving in a few weeks. From what I have read so far it is brilliant, I hope he posts it on his site, and if he does I will link to it. I am only about a third of the way through but this quote grabbed me, and articulates brilliantly the challenge and shift we are wrestling with at blueprint at the moment.

"Derek Christensen defines a missional church as a shift in thinking from church as sender to church as being sent. There is also a change in focus from the mission orginating with us and being carried forward by our intiative, to the mission being God's mission, missio Dei, originating with God and we become partners with Him in this task."

Weekend

Sunday, August 17, 2008 by Sam

This weekend has to be up there with one of the best. I had my birthday party/masons farewell which at 6pm friday night was completely unplanned (as in no venue, ideas, nada, nothing, zip, bugger all). So at the last minute decide to have the thing at the flat, rip out grab some food, party hats etc, by 7:30 most people have arrived and things start going crazy. Below is a video of the manic dancing the ensued for hour after hour. Im not one for dancing (see this post), but clocked up some serious hours cranking it out on friday. A stunner of a night, absolutely awesome.



And then on Saturday we had our Soul Active day, this a picture of the crew I was with, we cleaned gutters and streets for the city council. Great bunch of guys and lots of laughs and some great time of worship. It was great to hear Ants speak again, the last time we hung out together was at an easter camp earlier this year, and Rachel Oconner, who is lots of fun and very inspiring to hang with.


Church tonight was great, and I am now up the coast hanging with my bro hoping to do some fishing tomorrow on my day off. Die little fishies.

The Week

Friday, August 15, 2008 by Sam

Big week, had my birthday yesterday, im now a grown up mature wise 27 year old... mmm yeah right. Yikes where did the last 10 years go? Birthdays are funny things, its just another day in many ways, but also a time of almost forced reflection. This year the time of reflection has come out fairly positive outside of one or two things that are beyond my control. I am grateful for what I do, thankful for my friends, love my church. Its a good perspective kicker though, once again its a reminder that serving others is really what counts. To quote Tom Right... I mean Tom Wright
"When God acted in Jesus the Messiah, he not only revealed himself fully (God); he revealed fully what genuine human life was like – and it turns out to be deeply self-sacrificial".

Hanging with some of the crew to celebrate my bday and to say farewell to Mason, blueprinter of the year 2007. Soul Survivor is running a Soul Active day tomorrow, church on Sunday and then a chilled out day off on monday.

Podcasts

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 by Sam

There are two podcasts that ive started listening to in the last week or so which I have found quite helpful. The catalyst podcast has about 15 - 20 minutes of an interview with all sorts of great voices, McManus, Rob Bell, Seth Godin, Andy Stanley etc. You have to fast forward about 6 minutes of rubbish as the guys that host it prattle on about the catalyst confrence and other irrelevant things, but the interviews themselves are great.
And the slipstream podcast, which by the looks of things is pretty new, but so far has had some amazing interviews; Shane Claibourne, N.T. Wright (download this one if you want to get the major themes of his book "Suprised by Hope" without reading it - im looking at you Frank) and the latest podcast which I listened to this morning with Mike Frost talking about missional church.

I also subscribe and listen to podcasts from Mars Hill church, Ricky Gervais, Soul Survivor USA, Tony Campolo, and Worship Central.

Blueprint Camp Promo

Sunday, August 03, 2008 by Sam

A productive weekend with saturday and sunday morning spent in meetings with the Soul Survivor guys hanging out sussing out our plans for the coming week, and a great service tonight at Blueprint. I'm pretty knackered tonight, looking forward to my day off tomorrow...

Here is the promo video (made by a very gifted Dave Alve) for our church camp which is happening in a month - some classic comedy from Luke and Mason... I wanted to post this all last week, now it has made its debut at church we are all go!