40 Up

Last night we went to the 40th birthday of my longest standing mate. Stu is the only person I have known since high school and am still close friends with.

In his card I wrote: ‘we can’t pull the chicks like we used to, we don’t catch big waves any more and your chances of opening the batting for Australia are now much slimmer than they ever were, but we are both just a little bit more like Jesus and I think that’s a good thing.’

It has been great to share life over such a long period with this bloke.

He is a Vineyard Pastor

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and part of ur Forge team.

The funny thing was that by 10.00pm the room was almost empty. Remember when we were 21?…

man the download

2 Amazing Apostolic Women

A few weeks back I made a few comments on ‘apostolic women’ or perhaps more broadly ‘pioneering leadership’ amongst women. They do seem to be a rare breed and part of the question is ‘why’? At the Forge national summit I was presenting a session on apostolic leadership that definitely had a blokey edge to it – lots of testosterone and grunting – but the girls asked ‘how does this take shape for women?’

A good question that continues to bob around in my mind. Thanks girls!

In the comments at Signposts watch shadow walkers the in divx I have suggested that the current situation is a combination of our innate natures as well as social conditioning. Women are naturally more maternal in their orientation and men more ‘hunter/gatherish’ but our society has also made it less appropriate for women to do pioneering types of things.

This week I was reminded of two other apostolic women. The first was Mother Theresa who we saw on the big screen on Wednesday evening. While full of compassion for the sick and dying – in fact I would say driven by compassion – she was also strong willed, courageous and full of faith. She felt sent by Jesus to care for the sick and dying – simple as that. If the movie is to be believed she was not one for detail or beauracracy. She just wanted to see things changed and would not stop until they were. She made some huge sacrifices and she inspired many with her passion.

So there you have a woman driven by compassion who was also very results oriented. She was committed to only doing what was on Jesus’ agenda yet she fought fiercly to accomplish what she felt he was leading her towards.

The classic scene has to be the end of the movie when the MT ‘organisation’ is sitting around in a Chicago office building discussing balance sheets while sipping $3.00 bottles of Perier water. She finds the whole thing absurd and in true apostolic fashion closes down the whole organisation just like that. (Did that really happen?) They had veered from their core task and were now losing their original charism. So… cut the crap and get back to what we are really about. We could say she was protecting the DNA of the movement.

A very gutsy – and yet compassionate woman.


The second is not well known at all, but she is an amazing woman who has left an incredible legacy. Her name is Alice Faulkner. In the 1920’s she and her new husband took off to the Kimberleys in WA to engage in pioneering mission work among aboriginal people.

Nana and Twins

She and Ern travelled all round the Kimberleys, meeting the aboriginal people in their creek-beds, adopting kids, teaching them, loving them and generally making an impression that will not be forgotten. They were involved in bulding, education, nursing, in fact anything that would serve and connect them to the people. The aboriginal name given to Alice was ‘Endubboo’ which means ‘mother’. She was a mother to many of the people in that area during the 50 years she and Ern spent up there. (Yes you read right… 50 years)

She died 3 weeks ago at the age of 94. She had been struggling with cancer for two years and eventually, although her mind was as sharp as tack, the body just wore out. I went to see her the day before I left for the Forge National Summit, as we knew time was near. It is always a privelege to sit with godly people as they end their lives. To be able to say ‘well done – you have inspired me’. I told her I would be telling her story at Forge and for years to come, (She would much rather me just talk about Jesus) as people needed to hear of their lives and what can be achieved if we are simply willing to follow God’s call.

This week Danelle went to the funeral up in Fitzroy Crossing. Five days of travel for 1/2 a day of funeral, but worth every moment and every cent to honour one of West Oz’s great pioneering missionaries. What was striking about the funeral was that the aboriginal people (despite all the mistakes that were made with them in those times) saw her as their mother and saw her as someone who had changed the equilibrium of life for them in that part of the world.

Some of her final words, read out at the memorial service down here, were ‘tell my people that I love them…’ These were her people. She had become one of them – not a ‘foreigner’ or a ‘whitefella’ – but a family member. Danelle’s mum tells of reading a missionary story to her 3 days before she died, her mind still sharp and alert. Nana says to her ‘it makes me want to ‘go’ all over again’. The missionary spirit was still alive and well 3 days from the end.

There are some people who will never be famous in this life, but whom I count it an immense privelege to have been around. Her and Grandpa are definitely two of those people.

Pioneering leaders who knew what it meant to follow Jesus.download mask of zorro the

Agricultural Solutions

Some people laugh at my preference for old cars – but there is method in the madness

Yesterday while backing my boat into its parking bay, I inadvertently left the drivers door open and it caught on a tree branch, bending it out a little.

It meant that every time I opened it there was a loud crack as the door and front quarter panel clicked together.

Of course a panel beater is out of the question.

How then do you fix it?

I am grateful for a neighbour who is a farmer and who is familiar with ‘agricultural’ solutions to these problems. The general all purpose solution is usually ‘a bigger hammer’, but today it was a bigger screwdriver to wedge the damaged front panel back into shape.

Yes paint chips hit the ground. Yes door is still 5 ml out. Yes it does look a little rough. But this is a $4000.00 car so I don’t really give a toss!

Its also a 4WD and meant to look like its been given a hiding (which I can assure you it has) Just try that soultion on a new $70000.00 landcruiser…

Brain Fuzz

Danelle got back yesterday after 5 days up north at her’s grandmother’s funeral.

I have been looing after the kids all week as well as trying to get a reasonable amount of work done. Reality is I didn’t get much work done at all. With a 4 year old and 2 year old there is very little that can be done as they require a fair bit of attention and energy.

When I came to send out my weekly prayer letter on Thursday I realised I had nothing substantial to say, or if I did I couldn’t be bothered writing it. I was quite tired and brain dead / numb from the kids.

I know this is the situation most mums find themselves in each week and it was good to be able to appreciate it. That said, I will happily stick to working as I do and leave Danelle to the home duties. As much as I love hanging out with my kids – and this week was a heap of fun – I don’t think I am wired up as a person to live there every day.

Well done to all you mums who do this day in day out!

Hot Topics

After the Forge paper of last week that is currently being re-written Steve has a podcast of an interview with Hirschy, commenting on that issue and the distinctions he sees between the different shape the so called ’emerging church’ is taking around the world.

Also about to happen is a look at the future of the church watch beer for my horses in divx and Scott has asked me to write a paper on ‘incarnation versus attractional mission’, with my focus to be on why I would choose ‘incarnational’. Normally I approach these issues with a very diplomatic approach and try not to bring any offense. I don’t want to bring offense and I don’t go seeking a punch up. I see other Christians as my brothers and sisters who are hearing God differently and that is not my issue.

But… I would like to write something a bit more provocative and confronting. I believe deeply in the incarnational approach to mission, and I am convinced it has much stronger biblical and missiological credence than the attractional approach.

But in 500 words!?…

That’s the tough bit.ratatouille dvdrip

Mum T – Great Woman – Ordinary Movie

Tonight a few of us went to see Mother Theresa (the movie) at the Picadilly. Thanks for the heads up Scott

She was one hell of a woman! In a recent post I was reflecting on apostolic women and what shape they take. I reckon she’s a great picture of that kind of woman. Driven by compassion, an indomitable spirit, amazing courage and faith and a sensational get up and go approach to life. She was an inspiration to many.

Sadly the movie was low budget and somewhat cliched in its approach which actually left me a bit disapointed. There were predictable scenes and music as well as a pretty shoddy storyline which tottered around all over the place.

In spite of itself the movie still gave insights I didn’t have previously and was grateful for.

Perhaps one of my greatest memories of MT was the day she died… the day after Princess Diana… Diana had the front 5 pages for two weeks. MT got a quarter page on page 9 the day she died and then was not mentioned any more.

It spoke loud and clear about what we value.

Talk is always cheap

I went back to have a loolk at the website of the bloke I quoted earlier and came across this article containing these words:

So “I call.” Are you discontented with the church today? Do you have complaints a mile long about how things are done wrong? Do you yearn for a new kind of church? Then, “I call.” Show ’em or fold ’em. Put your life on the table and go start one of these “new kind of churches for new kinds of Christians.” I dare you. Put your life where your vision is. Vision is cheap-what costs is putting your life on the line to make a vision happen. Do it! If you really want to see change then walk away from your boomer-supported dole in the traditional church that you despise and go out and get a job at Starbucks…® and start one of these new kinds of churches. Build it up so that you can be supported by it. If there really are so many people in the world hungering for this new kind of church-go reach them and disciple them and get them to support this new kind of church-maybe even you’ll be able to quit your Starbucks…® job and go full time. Do it! I challenge you! You could!

This is exactly what was done by hundreds of boomers before you. They disliked their parents way of “doing church” and so they went out and rented movie theaters or schools and built up a churches from scratch. You may not like the churches they made but you’ve got to respect their guts don’t you. Do you have this kind of guts? Do you believe in your own vision this much? You seem so sure about what’s wrong with the traditional church and you seem so sure of what sort of “new kind of church” we ought to be. Why not bet on your hand? Why not go and plant this new kind of church? As long as you keep your cards in your hand you can’t win” go ahead and bet your life and lay ’em down. Let’s see what you got.

“I call.”

You going to play ’em or fold?

I have no idea who he is, but he’s not far wrong here.

A lot of people complain that EMC is just people pontificating. Words are always cheap but action is evidence of our convictions and learning occurs as we take action.

Seems there are two options:

1. Shut up about what’s ‘wrong with the church’

2. Go and do something about what’s wrong with it

Option 3 which = bitch and moan but do nothing is no option at all.

Rant over

I have been asked this several times lately…

I’m not much for these kinds of things, but I have found that people often ask me where I ‘fit on the enneagram.’ Generally I tend to forget… I have done this quiz download harriet the spy online a couple of times, but never make a note of it.

So here it is… as much for me as anyone else!

According to the Rheti sampler I am predominantly a ‘1’


and secondarily an ‘8’.


You can read about them here and here

In a pst life I think I was more of a ‘4’, but something has shifted there. I think it may have been having kids!

So there you have it… For anyone who cares…

Just a big teddy bear really…

A humbling perspective

Here’s a link to an article a mate sent to me today where the author reflects on baby boomer reluctance to accept the change that may come with an emerging generation or to embrace ‘change or die’ statements.

There are telling lessons in us for those of us re-imagining church and mission to hear at this end of the journey. In light of recent discussion it is also interesting that the author uses the term ’emergent’ to describe those who “like dark sanctuaries and slow reflective music”. I’m not sure if the author sees the missionary character of the ’emerging missional church’ which is defined not by the nature of the gathering but by the practice of enculturating the gospel into whatever context we find ourselves within. (Which may or may not result in “dark sanctuaries and slow reflective music”)

Here are a few snippets from the article:

“Eventually we won-we enshrined our own preferences as standard operating procedure in the church-“tradition.” In the process we became our parents-we got protective of our own traditions”

“And to be quite honest with you, as we boomers have aged we are less sure that we actually did the right thing in the violent overthrow of our parents’ traditions. We are admitting to each other that we did some pretty manipulative things to overthrow the oldsters and now we’re not totally sure we made a gain for the kingdom. Have we really reached the tons of unbelievers we claimed our musical styles would bring in? Is the quality of discipleship greater now than when we took over? We are doubting this now that we are approaching 60 as a generation.”

There is a call to humility in this article and to recognise that whatever our sense of calling may be and however we see the future of the church, there have been those who have gone before us who also have felt like they have ‘found the answer’.

I must add that none of the folks I know behave like they ‘have the answer’, but sometimes we can ‘fight’ for our preferences rather than for what Jesus would see as important.

Anyway… just read it!