Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Look at local and Global Discipleship

As someone who is interested in technology, I can be one of these people who love technological advances even if they are no particularly useful, just because there "neat", "fun" or "out-there". But quite often I look over things, "Big Picture" them (one of those terms I couldn't quite put my finger on until my friend Marty Stephen mentioned it the other day) and realise, "Wow that works so well, and actually changes something" The Internet has really been one of these things, and its affected my personal discipleship. Back in the day, you would go to church and collate this linear storyline of people who affected your life in a discipleship sense. e.g. Your Pastor, a guy you get on with, someone you look up to. Through spending time and experiences with these people they would input into your life, work through things with you, even just share things that made your day better. While I would contest major pastoral issues and accountability are probably safer kept with you local community eg. Your Church, Your Family and local friends, the Internet has allowed an information exchange which can contribute to this. This leads to global discipleship, Discipleship from people who you quite probably have never met, or even seen, but can impact your day, month, year or even life. Like it or not, our influences in life can rarely be tracked in a linear fashion, constantly external forces are "helping us" think certain though, for example, Apple Advertising "helps me" know what I would like to buy in the next 6 months! But this is not always an adverse influence...Case in point (and the background to my thinking of this post) is I often check through my Google Reader list (RSS feeds) which are some favourite blogs that have posts delivered to me, and one has been sticking out for me as an influence to my day. Jim Martin - A Place for the God Hungry - Now Im far from claiming this blog as a discovery, as its pretty popular but I have been amazed in the last few weeks how much this blog has really inputted into. There are two streams of reasoning why I think this blog can be classed as Global Discipleship - It is a Blog for such a time as this - It is content for such a time as this Jim hasnt filled his blog with the bells and whistles of some of the more techie blogs, but that has been the beauty for RSS/feed readers, Jim's content has been the driving force for the blog, not necessarily the page attractiveness, and as blogging progresses I think we'll see more of this trend, people who are able to produce great material and access blogging without the need for technical wizardry, or even aesthetics. Jim also seems to be able to be concise without loosing the heart of the material (an attribute this post is revealing I don't have). Jim has also set a default, a dependability, When I see his posts on google I know they wont be War and Peace, they'll be deep enough but not too much, involve scripture, maybe some bullet points, and hey even a little picture on the top left! It feels to me often to be a "word for today" type of thing, but there is reality in there to. So now that you've tired of me going on about it, add it to your reader, He's churning out some great stuff, around subject that are really close to me heart, and hes a good bit down the road on them than I am at 21, so its also full of explanation of the journey to it. So Global discipleship, the blogdom can really be a tool for it, for breathing life into us....Ive lost my steam on this post now! very un-everything I said was good!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Live NOW

The last few weeks, when I get a wandering thought, it often is one that is attempting to step back on life, look where I am, and where Im going. I suppose really, it's a natural exercise as many things change around me and in me and the dust settles from those immediate changing periods.

Sometimes healthily (in terms of vision and passion) and unhealthily (being disillusioned, impatient and unenchanted in what God has for me during this period) I look forward with more than eager anticipation, this is often a case of missing the adventure of what God has for me NOW by getting bogged down in everyday intricacies. I am settling down to work in an office, at a great, engaging job, thats allowing me to study at Uni and work my way out of debt and into financial preparation for ministry, this is such a gift from God, But yet I can grow dissatisfied because I am still looking to the final goal, the visions fulfillment, and not enjoying and living through the journey (Learning this for the 100th time!). Last night Stuart preached on going against the grain in our culture (hence artsy picture above), and although Ive probably heard and possibly responded to similar messages in the past I was challenged to live Now and not in the future, minister now and not in the future, live a life of love and compassion not despite working in an office in a western country but BECAUSE, and not just hold on until I "Really" get called somewhere. The truth is, if I cant live it out now, If I cant give everything to being Jesus where I am now, do I think I will be able to do it in the future? If I can't do my thing in Samaria, how can I ever go to the ends of the earth I remember John's Dad once telling a story about being serious about following Jesus, and I think the example works just as well for living missionally wherever you are. "The School Kid says when ever I get out of School Ill live for Jesus, but right now the peer pressure of my friends is too much, The College Kid says when ever I get out of College Ill really be serious for Jesus but right now I need to concentrate on my studies, The Middle Age Guy says when ever I retire Ill really be serious about following Jesus but right now I dont have anytime Now what If the middle age guy never makes it to retire, the kid out of school or the Student out of college, we have to live for Jesus today." I kept this story with me because it really challenged me as a young teenager to go for it today, It made me think What am I waiting for, there will never be a better, easier, "more right" time to do it. Decisions like that in my teenage life which God gave me the Grace to pledge are what brought me to where I am, and I always want to live like that, Pushing, Living, Loving, Noticing, Breathing everything of God in my life NOW and not just dream/put it off to the future.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Office Madness and somewhat Genius

My Office Madness: Sometimes when theres nobody around in my office for more than an hours, I have conversations with myself, such as this one: "Hmmm...Paper Clips are actually a pretty good idea now I come to think about it" "I wonder how someone thought of twisting thin metal to create tension with itself without damaging the document it held" "Who came up with this Genius thing!" I the travel to Wikipedia, and wait like an injured baby seal, now returned to health, being let back into the wild......... and No, there is no clear answer, BUT the redeeming fact for me (As I claim half Norweigen descendence) is it could well have been norweigen and stood as a sign of unity and resistance against the Nazi invaders during WWII. I also happened across this very cool story, which passed me by while it was going on, but reminds me of the guy who took and fridge around Ireland and of Dave Gorman's GoogleWack adventures, thinking about it, it could actually have been Dave Gorman who took the fridge around! HERES THE GENIUS THING ONE RED PAPERCLIP Theres a sermon in there somewhere...if you are so inclined towards sermons.