Has been a great two days. We managed to make the old gym at Tabor College not look like a converted gym. Some art, lots of candles, some icons and nicknacks and some creative seating arrangements and we were all set.
Matt Jacoby (Sons of Korah) started the first three sessions off with three or four psalms. I enjoyed his insight on the psalms in between the songs, and I also really appreciated his love for music as more than just an emotional romantic device, but rather something born in our hearts, that can be part of our dicipleship, and our interaction with the word.
Darryl Gardiner is one of my favorite people. He did the first session on Friday night and it was wonderful. Darryl does not live in the world of Christian faerie tales, he tells it like it is. Sustainability in our walk is all about looking at the truth that it is often hard. God doesn't always do what we want or think. The important part is not to have the answers, or the magic to make things better, but rather to be present in others lives, and allow them to be in yours.
Then yesterday morning he shared about how our motivations are often far less pure than our words. We often go into ministry looking for God's call, but also looking for romance, excitement, the adulation of our friends and family. We can get caught up in the cause or the team. And though God uses all these things for good often, when we seek to have our personal desires met by ministry, we will see that it doesn't work, and we wind up leaving the ministry, or even the faith.
John Franke came and spoke to us about the theology of the trinity, and its practical application to the life of the church and mission. It was really brilliant, deep, thinkers stuff, which I enjoy even if I can't understand it all. But maybe I just liked the guy because he was an American who also is obsessed with cricket. The guy actually reads wisden.
Mark Sayers is the most insightful man I have ever met, and yesterday he was as usual brilliant. He talked about our tendency to treat our walk with God as a contract, like a mobile phone contract. In our consumeristic world we have become so used to this contractual idea that we have forced the God of creation into this box. The idea is that we do this service and that service and we expect this or that result. If our life isn't sufficiently fulfilled, if we haven't met that special someone, if we don't have all the "blessings" we earned, then we feel ripped off. God isn't fulfilling His part of the contract. How disgusting.
Olivia McClaine returned to FORGE after having her twins, two beautiful little boys who's pictures were projected onto the screen. She spoke to us about her faith community, Soulice (sp), and there journey to becoming all that God intended them. Their reliance on the ancient disciplines, not to earn Gods grace of favour, but to better understand God's purpose in their own lives.
I was beset by jet lag and looking at the long train ride home from ringwood gave my apologies to Kim, I fell asleep often on the train home, but luckily made it, where I passed out, and ofcourse woke up at five this morning. Which is an improvement on the three oclock yesterday. One more sleep and I might be adjusted.
I have much more to write, but not the time, so please keep checking in.