Been & Seen & Read Updates…
A busy month of travel and good times is fast coming to a close – a weekend away two weeks ago at the beach in Ngunguru was a much needed remedy for the soul. It was great to soak up the sun in Northland. I re-read The Unbearable Lightness of Being, in keeping with my current reasoning of trying to work my way through the list of classics that really must be read within my lifetime. Not knowing how long that lifetime may be, it pays to keep ahead of these things!

Also managed to squeeze in Body Of Lies which i thoroughly enjoyed – I continually enjoy Russell Crowe in roles that have such undercurrents and depth. Particularly gnarly knucklebuster scene, but great storyline and plot.

Last Wednesday I spoke with Papatoetoe Baptist Church youth group – a crazy bunch of kids led by my dear friend Marty (with cohorts Todd, Caleb and Fraser. It’s the 4th presentation on adolescent development/sexuality I’ve done this year and another couple of presentations on the way – I so love talking with girls and guys and creating some fresh frameworks for helping them to develop healthy sexuality that’s integrated with their spirituality.

This last weekend was a great escape to Brisbane, and the most delightful part catching up with the Winslades and van Vliets. Playing chaperone to a 7 year old boy was a jolly good time and we returned exhausted on Monday. I also managed to polish off Love In The Time of Cholera which is also on the classics list.

On the plane I managed to enjoy Fools Gold because I unashamedly love a bit of adventure and frolicking. Besides, there is a treasure hunter deep within my soul somewhere!

Highlights of Brisbane were Southbank, including it’s gorgeous and highly functional park with mini-beach included, such an inspiring public space that really made me think about worship spaces in community. The japanese restaurant Dani and I went to on Friday was truly great. The McGills Whiskey Special came out for the troops on Saturday.

On the way home I snuck in a very disappointing My Blueberry Nights which proves once and for all that not all people that sing can act – it had great potential but it really didn’t carry it off.

In the midst of that, work is ramping up into the busiest season with Parachute on the way, as well as various other projects. One of the greatest enjoyments of work recently is being able to use the vast amount of research into the GenX / GenY chasm I’ve been stockpiling into good use! Hopefully this will become a seminar format that will be useful for both youthworkers, church/parachurch staff and not for profits. I’m very interested to continue looking at the development of fresh strategies for churches in crossing this divide!

Coming Up
This holiday weekend looks set to be a bit miserable weatherwise, so the current plan involves a list of classic movies in a stay-at-home filmfest… any recommendations are warmly invited! Also on the list, a viewing of “Everything is Spiritual”.

Next week I’m preparing a talk for Blueprint in Wellington on working for the kingdom in all sorts of ways. It will be interesting to bring some of my own story into being here. Ideas around how the kingdom bursts out of the doors of church:institution and into everyday lives. At the moment I’m planning on incorporating a hands-on exercise too and I’m looking forward to spending some more time with like-minded friends. (Yes, that means whiskey and cigars, at least I’m hoping).

I’m going to embark on a novella, for my own amusement more than anything else, and inspired to collaborate the ideas of philosophy, spirituality, art and poetry into a story about hope and humanity. We’ll see – I may yet prove to be overly ambitious – but the upshot is, my other manuscripts are also making slow but steady progress.

Are focussed around generational divide, communication, church doctrine, the new reformed, calvinism’s comeback, fear of the calvinist comeback, art, love, hope and church politics. Filtering all of those things are work, youth ministry, young adult ministry and the forthcoming elections.

Really Enjoying
Having Mark Pierson back in the country and being able to interact with him in a variety of capacities, from last night at a gig in town, to around the table at a World Vision presentation for work. It’s so engaging to have ongoing dialogue with his wisdom and experience. His ability to recognise, engage and ask significant questions and bring accurate observations is gold to my soul.

Meeting Kevin Denholm of Exposure after a steady stream of people in common, it nows feels a little that I should simply pass on Kevin’s greetings to most people of my acquaintance! However, finally connecting in their offices last week was a positive and joyful experience – seeing how other storytellers have excelled in doing kingdom work in significant ways and bringing beautiful things into being.

Grasping a few moments of conversation with Brian Winslade over the weekend in Brisbane, about things going on. When I first came to my church to do the internship, working under Brian was one of the key influential factors. In the short few months that he’s been absent, I have missed hugely the significant impact of his wisdom, skills, talent and intellect in shaping and guiding my steps in the world.

Song Of The Moment : One More Day
by Rosie Thomas

One more day
Just one more day then I’m done
One more car ride and
One more rising of the sun

Then I’ll jump so high
Angels will catch my fall
I’ll jump so high
Angels will catch my fall

I had my chance and I just showed it to the door
I won’t apologize to myself anymore

So I’ll jump so high
Angels will catch my fall
I’ll jump so high
Angels will catch my fall

One more day
Just one more day then I’m done
No more failures and
No more feeling alone