The Church Irresistable

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In this episode Dean and Justin share about their recent travels and inability to catch fish. Then Justin discusses the beautiful expression of church he uncovered in the Free State.

Listen here, or right-click and choose save as to download

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Jesus and the authority flip

itunes-barefootIn what turns out to be Justin and Deans most explosive podcast every, they discover Jesus declaring his kingdom message that undoes their concepts of sovereignty, politics and authority in the most beautiful way

Please note that due to Soundcloud’s restrictions we can no longer offer their embedded player. However you can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or get it here Click to play, or right click to “Save as”.

I share this to start a conversation and so I would love to hear your thoughts

The B.I.B.L.E edition part 3

In this final part of the series Dean and Justin discuss how adding different dimensions to our reading and understanding of truth can make it come alive, turning truth into beauty and a living encounter with the Person of Truth

The B.I.B.L.E edition part 2

Check out part 2 of this interesting discussion about how we can breath life and beauty back into our bible reading. As always we would love to hear your comments and feel free to subscribe here on my blog or on iTunes. Enjoy!

The B.I.B.L.E edition

In this podcast Dean and I look at the Bible. We all know that we should be reading the Bible, but many of us don’t and feel guilty about it. SO we look at how you can “spice” it up, why we struggle to connect to the Bible and how we can change some of these perspectives. Please comment below, we want this to be more than just a conversation between two guys.

Setting the Table

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In this episode Justin and Dean are in “prison”, they also use their free time to talk about what might be the basis for our christian unity, the sacrament of Eucharist and how it might be reframed so that it becomes part of our daily life. I hope you enjoy!

My new podcast

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Hey there, sorry for the long absence. I have just been busy, but also busy looking at how I can better connect and express my heart. So I have decided to try out podcasting. I hope you enjoy this first episode.

The episode will explain what we are trying to do and achieve, essentially it will be an extension of this blog and it’s content, but hopefully more regular, about once a week. I would still value your input and comments. I will post every episode here.

Blessings and the Love of Jesus be yours!

Resting in the “Yes” of resurrection

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Much of my christianity was spend doing stuff for God, especially doing things to try and build my relationship with him. I would exert every effort to try and get closer to God. However I couldn’t sustain it. Eventually I had to be honest with myself because no spiritual discipline really gave me what I wanted, a deeper relationship with him.

Then one day I said yes to God (if you want to read the whole story check out my about page). I had become frustrated with how shallow the worship was in my congregation and in the ones around me. Sure there were times of connection, times where the Spirit would really move, dancing, laughing, crying. However there was so little change and growth compared to the “height” of these encounters. So when God told me I couldn’t transition into the new thing, that he would unplug me from it and plug me into the new thing I said a “Yes” that would change everything.

Surrender is such a big word, and yes it is so important in our christian tradition. We know that it is one of those words, like “Grace” or “Jesus”, it’s always the answer. However it is a word that doesn’t come naturally to me at least, but I am sure that I’m not alone, and it’s a word I would trip over all the time. How can I surrender everything when I don’t even know everything about myself? How can I surrender all of my future when that is such a long time, I know I will take back my surrender in the future sometime, especially when it get’s inconvenient.

So I found the word “Yes”. It’s a simpler word, an easier word, a more humble word, at least that’s what I think. Now the real reason I love the word “Yes” and the big difference for me between it and the word “Surrender” is that it goes perfectly with a gift. That’s what my problem was. I wasn’t able to receive all that God had given me by using the word surrender. However I have been by using the word “Yes”, it has made it so simple to receive God’s work and his Gift in my life.

After Easter, we live in days that should be full of Resurrection, the ultimate gift of life, the gift of a new life, from a new source. When I think about Lazarus, Jesus and others that have been raised from the dead they were helpless to do anything while in that state. Resurrection is the greatest gift of all, it is given to someone who is in a completely helpless state to change themselves. That was me. I realised that if I was to live this new creation life, from a different source than me, I had to acknowledge my own helplessness, and my own need for resurrection. I had to be willing to purely receive, instead of my old surrender mindset of “What can I give to God, so I can get from God”.

The fear is that we become passive. “Yes” has allowed me to remain engaged with God and yet in a posture that allows me to receive. “Yes” doesn’t cause me to try and make it happen, it helps create a space big enough for God to move, it helps me be more aware of what he’s doing, and then I am free to respond to him the best way I know how. When I tried to “surrender” the focus was all on me and what I was giving up, but with “Yes” it remains more naturally on God.

“Surrender” seemed to me to require that I make the ultimate sacrifice, sort of like the spiritual equivalent of climbing onto the altar myself, and plunging the dagger into my chest and with my last breath setting everything on fire, hoping I would be changed. “Yes” has been to me like agreeing to go into surgery, not liking the idea, but knowing the surgeon is trustworthy and knowing that even when I can’t care for myself I will have him and his staff giving me the best care possible. Then once he has done his deep work in my heart he resurrects me, awaking me to this new life, this new creation.

Check out Hebrews 4 and let me know what you think:

The multifaceted nature of Easter

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It is so easy for us to become too familiar with the cross and with Easter because it happens each year. Also because we see the message as the “Basics” of the Christian life. Obviously they are that, but the problem is that too often our understanding and our experience of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus does not change. I think it is because these two events are critical to our salvation and so we don’t allow them to change because that might actually change the basis of our salvation?

Anyway what I want to do is not take anything from that, what I want to rather suggest is that there is a whole spectrum of light within the Easter event that can only enrich what we already know about it, our relationship to it and obviously our relationship to Jesus and God our father.

Last week I said that nothing shapes our understanding of God like what we believe happens at the cross. I would like to add to that this week that our understanding of the cross is incomplete without the resurrection. These last few days as we approach Easter, it might be helpful to meditate on the cross in the light of the resurrection.

One of the things I have realised is that we have separated the Cross from the Resurrection. Sure on Sunday we will have preachers everywhere talk about how Jesus is alive and how that is good news, which it obviously is. However Jesus being alive and what is meant by resurrection are two different things. If Jesus comes back to life that just happens to him, probably because he is perfect, or God’s son, or both. However Resurrection means that what happened to Jesus, a physical resurrection with a new physically transformed body, will happen to us too. My years in church didn’t prepare me too well for a physical resurrection because I was going to heaven when I died, I would get a “spiritual” body and so I didn’t need a new physical one.

It is very easy to come to the conclusion that Jesus is being punished for the sins of the world by dying on the cross, when we view the cross in isolation. However have you ever thought that if this is true, then God is holding us to a higher standard than himself? We are told to forgive, even to forgive our enemies. We know that to forgive means to not punish, it means to release the person, to not exact revenge on that person. However on the cross we hear Jesus say to his father “Forgive them for they know not what they do” and yet God still has Jesus die.

The only way I can understand that moment is in the light of the Resurrection. I don’t believe God required Jesus to die to punish us for our sins. I believe that he answered Jesus prayer and forgave us our sins even while we nailed Jesus to the cross. However I do believe that one of the things Jesus is doing through his death on the cross, is defeating the principal of sin and death and making a way open to the new creation, so that we can live on this earth from a totally new place.

Jesus doesn’t see death and going to heaven as a way to escape earth and all of it’s evil. Rather he presents his resurrection as a new way that we can engage this broken world with the realities of his new creation. I believe he is calling us through the resurrection to not escape to the “safety and pleasures of heaven” but to rather re-enter this world practising new creation realities, physical realities that are empowered by the love of a Father who is reconciling the world to himself.

Would love you comments and thoughts, and I hope and trust that you encounter Jesus in a new and living way this Easter