:a witness ALL the time:

I've been back less than 24 hours from an amazing trip to Oz and the hillsong conference, and i'm only just beginning to process what has happened to and in me. it's was an awesome time to just receive, to hear amazing preaching, and to really grow. but really, for me it was all about receiving. yep... that was the word for me.. RECEIVE. you see, it's been a long time since i've gone to something where i wasn't asked to lead or organise. the last time i remember was Oct07. i can't remember the last time before that... maybe last hillsong in 2005? so for me, the times where i get to do nothing but receive are too few.

what was tough for me to swallow was, how does one who is called to pastor and lead do so if he or she doesn't spend enough time receiving? what is he or she pouring out? is not the adage something like, "I give out of the overflow of my heart?" here's the scripture to back that up:

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

my question is, what if the spirit hasn't filled me to overflowing in a while? sigh.. these are the questions that hurt my mind and prick at my soul.

so anyways, let's get on to the meat of this post. there was a simple moment at the end of the my time that i knew that i wasn't overflowing, and trust my amazing wife to point it out like a piece of turd lingering on my jeans after a trip to the potty...

we were forced to stay the night is Ho Chi Minh because Vietnam Airlines had a flight canceled on us. normally i'd be over the moon because we get free hotel, 2 meals and a valid excuse to not go back to work, but in this case both janice and i were bone tired and were ready to go home to our cat and to sleep in our own bed. it was a stressful night because the airline were REALLY disorganised, and the staff were not helpful at all. it seemed at every turn they have never done a missed flight before... everyone was getting upset because very little info was being given and we ended up having to wait over 2 hours just to leave airport.

by the time we ended up in a cab, we were with these 2 other random guys and we ended up talking on the way to the hotel. One guy was a rocker on his way on a 4 month tour of the west coast, and another guy was a FaLunGong practicer and he had another interesting story as well. reminds me of this joke:

"A FaLungGung Monk, Social worker, Rockstar, and a Pastor are all in a cab...." um. yeah.

anyways, the convos were short and really only small talk. i mean, we didn't even get their names. but before we could really share our lives, we arrived at the hotel. we got our room and came down for dinner. it just so happened that jan and i got their first and then the Falungong dude came and eat on his own. rocker guy came in and sat down with the the monk. at the end of dinner, janice was like, we should go talk to them. i was like... man.. i'm tired, forget it.. i just wanna go to bed. at first my spectacular wife thought i was joking, but i was very serious and i was already on the way to get out of that place. after some firm words, i said, i am not talking to them, i'm going to bed.

then janice said, "You know Derek, you should be a good witness ALL of the time."

those words slapped me in the face, you know, the way that people need to be when they are being outright insane... the kind of "SNAP OUT OF IT" deal? that was me... BUT, being too selfish and tired i said very in a very pastoral and mature way, "bite me, i'm going to bed."

as i lay in bad, i realised that it was very true... i had a story to tell about Jesus, and there went 2 souls that i could've helped get to see Jesus... i mean, i have a huge cross hanging on my neck, yet i didn't have the balls or desire or heart to take 2 steps across a restaurant and talk for 5 minutes.

1 Corinthians 11:1
1Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

sigh.. so i left hillsong thinking that.. it doesn't matter how many amazing times of worship, challenging sermons, or times of rest i get... if it doesn't ever reach the surface as a CHANGE in our lives.. it's basically wasted.

thus was the first in my many revelations. watch this space as i continue to digest and figure out what the Lord has been trying to get into my thick skull.. but at this point, it seems that i have a FAR way to go.

Jesus working through Derek 0 : Lethargy and apathy 1


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