Monday, April 11, 2011

Shine your light for the world to see.

Above: My favorite Firwood photo ever.

Faith alone is certainty. Everything but faith is subject to doubt. Ultimate reality is knowable, it's available to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ alone is the certainty of faith.     

I believe, therefore I understand. - Augustine

A lot can happen over the course of a month, in the last three weeks I entertained a dear friend from the states, enjoying the natural beauty of NZ's east coast which would allow me to connect what Paul writes in Romans 1:20 about the majesty and creativity of our Lord in and through the created order. God is an artist, and a gardener! Conversation was enhanced with seafood, and settings like hot water beaches (which I didn't know existed prior) in which at low tide you can dig yourself a hole where the out door geothermal heating system cranks out some smokin' hot water, right on the beach.

My mom who is a cyclist has also inspired me to get into the sport, and this last Saturday (the day of my beloved Sabbath) I did a nice 60 mile cruise in my spandex and new cycling shoes. My Lance Armstrong jersey is coming in the mail.... pictures coming soon.

It has been fantastically formational for my spiritual life working with the students at Excel, through the questions they ask me and just doing life closely with young people. We serve a God of mission, and our hearts our transformed into Christs on this life long journey. I have ventured into (personal) uncharted territory by counseling inner-city/pacific islander students that have suffered at the hands of family etc, weeping with them and praying for Jesus to illuminate the situation where words fail.

When it comes to Excel, there are in essence, two sides to my nature. There is “Dude Dave,” that wants to be your friend and there is “Papa Piper” who lays the law down. Finding the balance of these two natures is key, but I have embraced the tension that both sides bring. Lovingly disciplining when needed as well as engaging individuals over smoothies etc, talking about the centrality of Christ in the Gospel story and how that plays out today.

I have been praying for the Bultedoabs since I heard of Eugenios passing, my heart goes out them. My heart also goes out to my students at DCC whom I care deeply for. The process of seeking out a new youth pastor can be long (and draining) and I'm daily praying for this process as the person selected will have a huge impact on students I love. I was tremendously humbled to be considered by the group, my heart briefly raced with excitement at the thought of coming back home to pastor young men and women. Even the few emails I received from members of DCC asking me to prayerfully consider coming back home was humbling and I felt loved, but my place in this season is at Laidlaw worshipping through study and with my various leadership commitments. I need to see my degree through.

Answered prayers:

 My visa came in!
Semi answered?: My eyes have been a little bit better / There may be a light at the end of my Hebrew tunnel.

Things to pray for:

-Spiritual warfare amongst the Excel students. Some come from dark dark spiritual backgrounds. Some come from gross sexual abuse and drug addiction and a some are just starting to ask questions about Jesus, not sure if they can trust him yet.

-I proposed a ministry model to the Laidlaw council that had been on my heart since this summer and after it was approved I was able to discuss it with the entire Laidlaw Community at lunch today. Pray for how the school body can organically bring the gospel into Auckland, specifically the restaurants and Cafes nearby the school.

-Doing justice to what I know in my assignments. I turned in what I would consider a very low quality exegesis on Luke 7:36-50 the other night as my mind has been elsewhere. I need prayer for guarding my study time, which is so hard because I want to invest myself into relationships. Balance is key.

-This Friday I'm organizing a Excel/Laidlaw night of music and dance performances to celebrate the 2nd year Excel students graduation.

-My Church is looking for a new head pastor, please pray for this search in NZ.



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