Tag Archive: re:Generation


yesterday i attended a baptism and family picnic that our church family, Re:Generation, holds twice a year…

it is one of the highlights for us [and not just because of the quantity of fine meat they prepare – these okes know how to barbecue braai!] because of the feeling of family celebration and togetherness that tends to come out of it… and just a much less rushed time of being able to hang with church folks than the normal sunday in-out vibe that often occurs in the busyness of the day…

this one was a special day as my mate Nate Chamberlain [or Nate Dawg as we call him in this particular piece of blog] was getting baptised and also because he asked me [last minute so good thing i wasn’t wearing jeans as David ‘the Bartaman’ was] to accompany him into the water and be part of his baptism.

baptising my friends is one of my favourite things to do, and something i highly recommend to any and all followers of Jesus.

one thing i really liked was Albert [main pastor and my church bossman]’s approach to the baptism, inviting anyone who wanted to, not just to come out and be a part of the baptism, but to ‘perform the baptism’ if they wanted – “After all there is nothing more spiritual or special about me doing it”. 

nathangoingunder

that feels like the kind of vibe Jesus had – being accused by the spiritual leaders of the day of not being spiritual enough, but simply choosing the route of being practical and simple and clear to those around him.

the temple was full of a lot of ritual and law and spectacle – Jesus sat around a table with some friends, broke some bread and drank some wine and said, ‘Do this as you remember Me.’

the disciples around Him and other adults tried to keep the meetings orderly and focused on the important teachings of the rabbi – but Jesus stopped ‘the meeting’ and called the children forward and hung out with them – He took time to speak to the women and the lepers and other sick people normally kept to the fringes [out of the way of the important ‘man of God’]

He was accused of hanging out with the prostitutes and the tax collectors…

KEEPING IT REAL

i can’t imagine Jesus baptising someone in a baptismal font [no offence to any of you who use baptismal fonts – it is a practical way to get something necessary done] over a river or a beach that they happened to be walking by – ‘the thing’ always seemed to trump ‘the procedure of the thing’ and ‘the look of the thing’. i think there is something we can learn from that.

i remember baptising my buddy Mark in his mom’s FREEZING swimming pool on a farmland outside the city.

i remember baptising my friend Kirsten on the beach with a small bunch of her friends gathered round to embrace us as we got out of the water.

i remember baptising my friend Megan in knee deep water [shallowest baptism ever!] at Camp Wortelgat [literally ‘Carrot Hole’ or maybe more accurately ‘Carrot Bumhole’] after walking and walking and walking trying to find deep enough water and then eventually [as the crowd gathered on the edge of the lake started resembling ants] issuing the command of ‘Kneel, we’re gonna do this here!’

i remember baptising my friend Lindri in the narrowest of ICE COLD streams [i see a pattern here] as we also walked and searched a long time to try and find deep enough water, having climbed over a fence and stumbled around bushes and over rocks with a dedicated group of friends to try and find the perfect spot in Stellenbosch.

baptismal font baptisms are fine, but there is something that feels that slight bit more real or authentic to me about doing it ‘in the wild’ or simply in the place where the water is.

GO AND DO LIKEWISE

the reason i encourage people to baptise their friends is because Jesus did that.

at the end of Matthew, just before He leaves to go and join His Father again, Jesus tells His followers to go and make disciples of all nations and to baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to teach them everything I have taught you.

that command was never to the priests [excepting when in Hebrews we realise that each and every one of us who follows Jesus is now a priest] or to the religious leaders of the day – it was to all of us – nothing excites me more than seeing someone baptise their friend who they led to Jesus Christ. this should be happening with all of us on a more regular basis.

Who is the person in your life that you would most like to baptist?

And how are you living out your Jesus story to them in a way that might make that seem like an enticing prospect one day?

Well actually just ‘Jane Lee’ but I panic’d and called her ‘Jean’ once and now i’m so confused that i call her Jean-Jane just to cover all the bases. But she is one of my newest friends and a lot of fun [and a worthy adversary at Boggle which is saying a lot!] and is the worship leader at Re:Generation church where i just got involved in youth leadering and she agreed to share this lovely post with us to take it away J… Miss Lee:

janejaneDuring my time as a Sunday School teacher, our pastor encouraged us to take the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test developed by Dr. Donald O. Clifton to be able to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other, and learn how to work together better as a team. After an assessment of over 150 questions, the test revealed that one of my biggest strengths is what the book referred to as “Context – people strong in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.” 

While I had never thought of “Context” as being a strength this did not come as much of a surprise as someone who was a history major in college doing research that focused on collecting oral histories of under-represented Korean diasporic communities. I am a firm believer in the power of history in shaping our present, and the importance of understanding how people, places, concepts, and ideas came to be. Everyone has a story it’s just a matter of unearthing it. It enables me to see the fuller picture, not just fragments of what’s on the surface. This has also come into play in my social activism, taking lessons from the past to identify strategies to create a more just future. 

It definitely had never occurred to me that the value I placed on context and history could be a weakness, but the more I reflected on it, the more I recognized the ways that this had impacted my attitudes toward others, myself, and God. 

Until about four years ago when I encountered God in a tent in Albion (a story for another time), I don’t think I was able to truly receive and accept God’s grace because I was holding on to so many sins of my past, mistakes I’ve made, hurts I’ve experienced/inflicted, getting mired in countless regrets, what if’s, if only’s… This manifested in my tendency to dwell on past relationships, soul ties I had developed in my pursuit of love in the wrong places, and feelings of shame and guilt I had buried deep for all the ways I had disobeyed God in this area.

It’s still a struggle at times, but I’ve since made it a daily practice to let go of my past – to learn from it but not dwell on it. Through Christ Jesus I am a new creation, no longer bound to sin. His mercies are new every morning. He keeps no record of my wrongs. I am redeemed. I am forgiven. I am free – free from my past, free to move forward.

There is an old Sunday School song that I sometimes hum to myself as a reminder of who I am in Christ Jesus. The words are simple but it is a powerful declaration of God’s redeeming grace:

I am a new creation

No more in condemnation

Here in the grace of God I stand

My heart is overflowing

My life just keeps on going

Here in the grace of God I stand

[To head back to the start of this series and hear a whole lot more Strength Weakness testimonies, click here]

tbV and i have not really been in regular consistent church services for the last two years now and so it’s been really refreshing to find one called Re:Generation that we both enjoy and love going to. in particular being a part of corporate worship has been so refreshing and since we haven’t been around for a little while there are a bunch of new songs to discover which is great.

one song in paricular connected with where i was at last nite and so i hastily scribbled down the words of the chorus and i think the bridge, as these were the two verses that particularly moved me:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

i have been feeling quite distant from God and detached of late and i know a bunch of that is me needing to put more time and energy into my relationship with Him and also dive more into the Bible which really does fill me, but also is related to me not being involved in much hands on ministry vibe outside of work and online stuff and just really drawn to this call to move beyond what is safe and comfortable and to really be able to just trust God and jump. knowing that He has me.

quick Uncle Google ask and turns out the song is called ‘Oceans’ and it is by Hillsong United and so i sourced the rest of the lyrics which are here:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
[x6]

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

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