Tag Archive: hebrews


enGAGEing

last nite’s enGAGE church gathering was pretty rad – i could ‘do church’ like that every week i think

we knew we were going to have a smaller group (which for a small group can be daunting) cos of the student holidays and so i chatted to ronel who was worshippy leadering and she and arnie (no relation) chose to do some accoustic worship vibes which was great

then for sun nite when i’d been preparing during the week (preached a much fun sermon called ‘Cremora church’ based on the theme of ‘it looks like water, but it tastes like vinegar’ in the morning service already which went so well) i came to a point of wanting to read a couple of passages from the Message (paraphrase bible which i don’t normally use – my seriously breaking to pieces purple NIV being traditional weapon of choice) to hear the different way they are written to what we are used to, and actually nothing else

was concerned some people might think that’s “not good enuff for church” but am a lot beyond caring about that right now so decided that was all there was going to be and the passages i was looking at were psalm 23 (and later added 34 and carlo added 121 altho it did bring up some questioning about why exactly you need to be protected from moon stroke) and then the genesis 22 account of abraham taking isaac to be sacrificed, Jesus and the woman caught in sin, and then hebrews 12, 1 corinthians 13 (the love passage) and philippians 2

and so we sat in some kind of undefined non-circle with some people on chairs and some people sitting or lying on the ground and we sang some worship songs interspersed with prayer and the Message Bible readings and for me there was such a strong sense of the presence of God which i don’t often seem to feel and a real sense of people hungry and connecting and God being in it

it was church. it was great. i really think i could do that every week. mm.

arr, so last nite of crew before baptist summer camp 1 (1000ish young people) arrive and my friend Craig Fincham leads a devotion/crew-building moment and confesses some stuff to the team and God who has been loudly whispering (well i have been incessantly converting His calls to a whisper so as not to pay too much attention to them) to me decides this is a moment of truth (MOT) moment to SCREAM at me – okay buddy, choose this day whom you will serve… i knew i had to and it sucked a lot (cos of the impending disappointment and hurtment that i knew tbv would experience and of course – once again – the embarrassment of not being big or strong or real enuff with this thing i’ve been struggling with for most of this last year, or maybe more accurately not ‘struggling with’…

and so i had to (take 2) confess that once again i got caught up in online pokering and while last time i confessed i left a back door which enabled me to fairly easily slide back into it, i knew this time it had to be kill kill kill (which is not easy cos i really enjoyed playing online and it gave me both an escape and an outlet for my competitive vibes) and so i have come home and deleted the software, this time with the knowledge that i cannot start again if… it is gone, finished, and i know that it won’t be a problem again in that regard cos the only reason it was able to become a problem again was cos i left a backdoor…

and so it was tough and it sucked to have to admit to her i’d been caught up in it again, but at the same time it was amazing and incredible and much needed and it really was (again, you’d think i would have learned last time) like getting a huge chunk of my life back again (and time which i need for book-writing so super stoked and excited for everything the time will free me up to be and do) and it was SO INCREDIBLY TIMED cos i knew deep within that as much as i was ready for summer camp and the workshops i had prepared and to serve and so on, that i wasn’t and i absolutely needed that moment to happen so i could stand in front of 1500 young people absolutely compromise free and not hiding my secret sins while admonishing them to be free of theirs.

burden lifted. thank you God. thank you lovely wife for your grace and forgiveness and lack of judgement.

thank you God for 15th chances… help me not to need a 16th… free me from my addictive personality that quickly gets my feet wrapped up and entangled with sin or distractful things which masquerade as not sin.

hebrews 12.1-3 starts with ‘therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…’

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