We're in Adelaide, South Australia for a week with Marie's sister and brother-in-law. Having a great time!
The trip across was pretty gruelling: up at 5am, checked in by 7:30am, on the plane by 9:20am, and 3 or 4 hours later in Melbourne. Then through customs - what a mission! - and onto the Adelaide flight. Phew.
So finally, when our bodies were telling us it was about 2pm, we arrived in Adelaide just in time for lunch.
Adelaide is hot right now. The air is different here, that's the only way I can describe it. It's dry heat here. In fact it's dry everything. There are trees around, but they're all a browner shade of green. Makes me both appreciate home, and enjoy the diversity that's in the world.
Went to church this morning at Richard & Lynette's church, Paradise Community Church. It's similar to Hillsong, big church, pentecostal, etc. Not usually my scene :) ... and yet doctrinally I agree with most everything they believe. One of these days I'll do a blog post about my feelings about the problems I have with "big church".
I guess I'm being confronted with them, in that Richard and Neti are quite involved in the leadership and music teams of the church. They are "big church"people. And yet their hearts are most definitely about what God is about - looking after people.
It's helping me identify why I sometimes feel uncomfortable with church situations; that it's not just me, and that I'm not being judgmental.
At the same time, I'm also seeing that my problems are with structures, and sometimes great people can do great things in those structures. But the temptation and the danger is there for abuse of power, glorification of man instead of God, and mixed motives behind appeals for money or support. But I guess our flesh finds any way it can to get into God's work.
I'm just mumbling stream-of-consciousness here (or steam-of-consciousness?) but no doubt some more serious and together thoughts will form... hopefully! ;)
Anyway, today's speaker was Pastor Chris (can't remember his last name!) from The Potter's House in the USA. Good stuff. Highly emotionally charged, black gospel, with a great hunting story (you had to be there). This guy knows how to communicate with a crowd; he said he's been preaching since the age of five.
His key messages: God's maths is different from ours, the third generation is about explosive growth! But it doesn't come without getting a weapon. So take your weapon - whether that's God's promise to you, praise, a gift He's given you or whatever, and "take the shot". Even if you miss, take the shot. You'll never know if you don't try.
So that was the message this morning. I'll be back with more later!