Thursday, February 21, 2013

27 Years.

I heard there was a collection going around for my shoe fund, let me tell you the situation is even more dire than you originally thought haha. These three are getting tossed in a few days as they could disintegrate at any moment as the fronts are falling off with holes in the tops.  I have brand new kicks in a box back up in Auckland… please do not send me shoe money! J

 Feb 22nd 2013, marks the day my father was the same age as I now am when he held his firstborn son, 27 years ago. I’m so very thankful for the family and people that shaped me, raised me in a God fearing home that daily read from the scriptures. I can take very little credit for where I am today. I didn’t choose the time, place, location, people or circumstances I was born into; things could easily have looked differently. Paraphrasing Matt Chandler, “we don’t wake up and tell our hearts to keep beating.” My greater dependence on God has only increased my joy. It’s my prayer that whatever blessings I have received this side of eternity wouldn’t terminate on themselves. This is a large part of why I’m so excited to pastor youth- being able to pour into young lives as so many people have poured into mine. As Christians we are blessed to be a blessing (Ge 12:3)! God actively seeks and pursues those who never bothered to help themselves. I’m proof. Praise his mighty and glorious name.

Home sweet home. I have known plenty and I have known little...

From where I sit, I’m 10 days, a handful of $$ away from my final semester at Laidlaw knowing full well that if I was doing this on my own it would have been impossible. Woohoo! From your prayers to donations, I’m so grateful for it all. I can honestly say that I’ve stewarded the time I was given in university the best I could, far better than I did in High School. I can’t remember a single instance of mom saying to me in high school, “maybe you should take a break, go watch a movie or do something fun…,” that would have been very well received (but unnecessary ha ha). Maybe the JH/HS students reading this feel the same way J. Six years ago God opened my eyes to the wider reality of what he was doing in the world. Various people have asked me about how to share their faith in a modern/scientific/post-modern world and I’m convinced of where Paul arrived thousands of years ago; we preach the resurrection of Christ crucified. I’ve read atheist philosophy, well written pieces of work completely void of life and I’m not all that impressed. A man who died and rose again changes everything- the very fabric of reality. A human rising from the dead never to die again reveals a world that is less static or natural than what we would comfortably like to think. In and through Christ we are offered a real relationship with the dynamic creator of the universe. This is where life is found, how beautifully compelling is this?!

New life was found while I was tending the grapes.

Without exception, summers on the south island are highly formative seasons. Between making dollars for school and being stretched in a variety of ways, God has always seemed to speak on a regular basis to me here. Lauren and I reflected just a few days ago how much we changed since last summer. This summer has intensified my focus around prayer and study as vision+ideas for JH/HS ministry in Sequim flow in (I got down on my knees and cried after reading this article, potently well timed, beckoning me to humbly press into the father for fear of potentially teaching deistic moralism.) I’ve also been able to experience some really cool first’s, such as mustering sheep and cattle, living in a “wee little hut,” that was literally surrounded by 4,500 sheep at one point, plus flying in the owners helicopter. 

  Another first, lord willing later today, I will be jumping off a bridge with a bungee attached to my legs- the site of the first commercial bungee station in the world. I haven’t been able to justify the price tag for ten seconds of adrenaline until now, but it’s my birthday and possible last time ever on the south island in Aotearoa? More pictures coming soon… Give yourself a hug for me.

With love from NZ.



The stoic merino rams at Northburn Station.The ratio of dudes to chicks hovers around 1:500+ 

 Christmas day outside of Milton.
 Discovering the vast Northburn Station property via hunting down a nasty type of thistle.
 About as Kiwi as they come. Cleaning out the irrigation for the farm.
 My coworkers are down there... somewhere. First time flying in a helicopter
The things I have done to pay for Bible College... That's me up top getting a net ready to protect the grapes on the vine.