Mike at his Best

Mike Yaconelli at his firey best – good enough for me to take the time to copy it out!

What happened to radical Christianity, the un-nice brand of Christianity that turned the world upside down? What happened to the category smashing, life threatening anti-institutional gospel that spread thru the first century like wildfire and was considered (by those in power) dangerous? What happened to the kind of Christians whose hearts were on fire, who had no fear, who spoke the truth no matter the consequence, who made the world uncomfortable, who were willing to follow Jesus wherever he went? What happened to the kind of Christians who were filled with passion and gratitude who everyday were unable to get over the grace of God?

I’m ready for a Christianity that ruins my life that captures my heart and makes me uncomfortable. I want to be filled with an astonishment that is so captivating that I am considered wild and un predictable and… well… dangerous! Yes I want to be dangerous to a dull and boring eligion. I want a faith that is considered dangerous by our predictable and monotonous culture?

Dangerous Wonder p.24

For anyone sick of fluffy, feel good faith Mike was a breath of fresh air… what a lossgrudge the online

Leper Lectio

Last night we did a ‘lectio divina’ using the passage below. We followed this format and it seemed that God spoke to different people in different ways.

(Luke 17:11-19 NIV) Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. {12} As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance {13} and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” {14} When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. {15} One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. {16} He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him–and he was a Samaritan. {17} Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? {18} Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” {19} Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

The phrase that stuck with me was ‘they stood at a distance’ (v.12), but I wasn’t able to articulate why, or what God was calling me to do.

I feel one of the real values of the lectio process is that now I get to chew that thru for a few days / weeks and ask God ‘what are you saying?’

Tell Me Again…

Why are we doing this?…

Every now and then I need to go back to the core reason we are doing what we are doing. Why aren’t we simply following the ‘church planters handbook’ and getting a funky Sunday morning service off the ground with a quality kids ministry, cool music and dynamic preaching?…

Why have we been going 6 months and still haven’t got a name?

Why don’t we take an offering?

Tonight as we spent time in worship together Heidi led us and took us back to the original call – the time when we heard God calling us to leave LBC and head for Brighton.

Those feelings stirred again… What about the vast majority of Australians who really don’t care how much we funk up Sunday? Who will connect with them – unreached people groups who make up 90% of our population? People who are unimpressed with our musical talents and oratory capabilities and programming skills?

If what we are doing isn’t making the connection then chances are we need to explore different ways rather than doing the same thing better. De Bono says ‘if you want to dig a hole over there, you don’t do it by digging the same hole deeper over here’.

In my mind there is a definite place for what we know of as church – the ‘sing and listen’ gig. There are some non churchies who will find it appealing, but if the stats are correct and 90% of Aussies don’t give a toss about our churches then that just doesn’t cut it for me.

I believe we desperately need more men and women willing to be missionaries in their own lands and willing to see it as a life calling – not a hobby.

There are times when I find this whole journey exhilarating – and times when I genuinely would prefer to do something familiar and predictable (never thought I would say that…) but, I can’t look away from the people God has called me to connect with – those who will never wander into a church building, those who think we are crazy and those who Jesus loves just as much.

That’s why I’m here.

Chopper and Jacko

chopperMark ‘Chopper’ Read

, notorious underworld hitman and Mark ‘Jacko’ Jackson, legendary AFL footbrawler are both coming to our local pub tomorrow night to put on a show…

I told you it was a pretty rough place!

If these two blokes count as entertainment – and people are willing to pay $25.00 entry – then its a sad old world.

Maybe I’ll get along and check it out!… 🙂

Holidays Coming

There is no question that we are in need of a holiday…

Its been nine months of going at it in one way or another with no break. The last 6 months have had me working three different ‘2 day a week’ jobs and discovering that its quite a balancing act.

Some days I get it right and other days I wobble around all over the place.

So on Saturday we head off to Dunsborough for two weeks – surfing, fishing, relaxing and just generally getting away from it all.

The Kids…

It seems one of the toughest questions in the emerging missional church scene (there has to be a quicker way to say that!) is the ‘what do we do with the kids?’ issue.

Obviously they are part of who we are and what we do, but certainly for us at this point they have been neither seen nor heard, most of the time. We have recognised the issue, but have needed to do some other stuff before hitting this question.

Last week we formed a small team to look at the subject and then come back to the group with their suggestions and ideas for how we integrate children into what we do as a team.

Its a question fraught with difficulties because whatever we choose to do means we will compromise on something else.

We need to approach the question both biblically – (what do the scriptures say about children and family worship?) – and culturally – (what is appopriate in the setting we find ourselves in?)

Essentially it becomes a values question. What is important to us?
* Do we value the presence of children more than their separation from us during times of worship and learning?
* What degree of personal dissatisfaction with worship and learning experiences are we prepared to have in order to have them present? (Because once kids are in the room they will demand attention!)
* If we don’t have them present, but have a separate activity for them does it say we don’t value them, or does that say we recognise that different groups have different needs and not all can be met in one setting?
* And as a missionary team, how do we integrate kids into the missionary experience and not just a worship gathering?

One of the first issues is that Tuesday night is a lousy time to try and integrate kids. Lets face it – we are all tired in the evenings as it is – but the kids go to sleep as we start or they get grumpy…

So, when could we do stuff to integrate kids?

Ummmm… Saturday or Sunday?… (You can see where this is headed!…)

And then we slice into prime time for hanging with friends and neighbours. That concerns me as I use both mornings as prime connecting time.

Can you sense the tension of the whole question?

How do we remain true to the missionary calling, yet incorporate the whole family in effective ways?

Its easy to see why so much of the EMC has been for singles and gen xers who don’t (yet) have the kids question. Its also easy to see why the established church has formed up the way it has. Practical issues shatter brittle idealism and force us to practical solutions – even if we don’t always like the solutions.

At the end of the day we must balance what is ‘right’ with what is ‘practical’… and then accept the limitations of any decision we make.

I don’t like that…botched dvdrip

Celestine Insights II

Earlier i mentioned that we have some real points of connection with the insights from the Celestine Prophecy.

On Friday I finished the book and here are some of my conclusions as we look at the final 4 insights.

#6.) Childhood traumas block our ability to fully experience the mystical. All humans, because of their upbringing, tend toward one of four “control dramas”: Intimidators steal energy from others by threat. Interrogators steal it by judging and questioning. Aloof people attract attention (and energy) to themselves by playing coy. And Poor me’s make us feel guilty and responsible for them. Become aware of the family dynamics that created your control drama and you can focus on your essential question, which is how to make of your life a higher- level synthesis of your parents’ lives.

I don’t think there would be any argument that we carry baggage from parental relationships / family backgrounds and that we can become more whole if recognise the forces and behaviours that control us.
Nothing theological here – just common sense.

#7.) Once cleared of traumas, you can build energy through contemplation and meditation, focus on your basic life question, and start riding a steady stream of intuitions, dreams, and synchronistic coincidences, all guiding you in the direction of your own evolution and transformation.

Perhaps this might be what I would describe as finding your sense of calling and becoming who you were created to be. I’m not sure I’d be waiting until I was ‘cleared of traumas’ though!

#8.) That evolution can’t be done alone, so begin to practice the new “Interpersonal Ethic” by uplifting those who cross your path. Talk to people who make spontaneous eye contact with you. Avoid codependent relationships. Be there for people. Call attention to other people’s control dramas. In groups, speak when the spirit (instead of the ego) moves you.

Could we see this as being ‘led by the spirit’ and demonstrating the fruit of the spirit to those we meet? It seems to be advocating loving relationships that contribute to wholeness and healing.

#9.) Our purpose here is to evolve beyond this plane. Fewer people (a result of reproductive abstinence) and more old-growth forests will help us to sustain our energy and accelerate our evolution. Technology will do most of our work for us. As we begin to value spiritual insight more and more, we will pay those who deliver it for their services…

The kingdom of God”

True! I think what is being advocated in this section has parallels with what we would see as the rule and reign of God over this world.

And that final sentence… paying for spiritual direction… will we have a user pays church?

I’m not sure I’d like to see that…

Glad it’s over…

I have had one of those ‘don’t want to be a teacher’ weeks.

The kids were pretty good this week – I just didn’t feel like being there. Despite all my prayers for sickness it didn’t come, so I finished up grinding my way thru another 2 days.

One week to go and then its holidays.

I think I am actually just in rather dire need of a break after a long period of time without one and in a very new situation.

All three of my paid roles are requiring a bit more of me at present and staying on top of them all is a bit of a balancing act.

I can see Forge has great potential and is looking set to fly. Brighton is entering a new stage and I know I need to give more time to what we are doing here, and then there’s school… well school just takes 2 days out of the week and a lot of emotional energy.

I’m actually not complaining. I reckon my life is much better than most and I love the variety and the flexibility I have. However the freedom also means a lot hangs on me to get off my butt and ‘make it happen’. On weeks like I have just had where I feel tired and weary it actually creates more stress to have to keep taking initiative.

What I have learnt though is that if you procrastinate you only feel worse – so I tend to force myself to do things that I know need doing.