Today marks the 25th anniversary of my journaled/blogged pilgrimage with God, and i have a few silver hairs to prove it. Thats the occasion for the party tonight. Not the hair . . the journaling, the blogging, and the faithfulness of God who has given me something to write about.
Related: After 3 years of TSK, I wrote a short history of my blogging experience and some more thoughts here. I have some thoughts on The Spirituality of Blogging and of not blogging. If the Bible was blogged is one of my favourite posts and how then shall we blog is something poetic i wrote (despite people crediting it to my wife)And you should know that sometimes i blog too much (blogaholic) and need to pull back.
Having said that . .. here is my story. Keep reading if you're interested.
April 4th, 2001 [i mean 1981 - thanks marko - what was i thinking?]. I was 17 years old and an apprentice chef. OK - apprentice cook, lets keep it honest. But it was a French restaurant and quite classy. Well, not THAT classy. Anyway . . . I was driving home a little after midnight and I saw these drunks on the street. i was filled with compassion for them and kinda saw myself going out there and making a difference in their life.I had given my life to Jesus less than a year earlier (again) but God's mission time bomb had not yet gone off inside me. But something happened that night.
I called it a 'vision' the next day in my journal. Actually, I bought the journal the very next day and my first entry was on April 4th. I thought i should record what was going to happen because stuff was happening spiritually and it was quite exciting. i had no idea where it would lead.
I went out to Perth Christian Centre Bookshop (this happened in Perth, West Australia, where our family had moved from New Zealand the year before) and bought those obnoxious little gospel pamphlets called "tracts". I bought one of each - there was like 120 varieties - i read them all at home and settled for what i considered the best one - a cheesy green one with "We Are Your Neighbours" on the front.
LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME!!!!!
but hey . . . there wasnt a lot to choose from.
So the next Saturday night i went out with a handful of these tracts and a thermos of coffee for the alkies and stayed out until about 2 or 3. Did the same next week and an old guy called Clarry prayed with me to receive Jesus, and then dropped his bottle in the rubbish. "I wont need that anymore" he said.
Actually he would. I told him to return to his church but that never helped him. And our Baptist church was too neat and tidy to invite him to. Dang, it was light years away. | wished there was a church that would work for him. But i was 17. And young people dont start churches. We didnt back then, anyway. I went out once or twice a week. Hamo was in my church (who now blogs at backyard missionary and is enjoying his 15th wedding anniversary and cannot make the party tonight) and he used to encourage me. And i recorded all that i was learning from God.
I found out that the businessmen were too busy to talk to me about Jesus and the punks and yobbos were quite interested. The direction for ministry had been set.
A few years later, i found myself in Bible School and then, at 21, I sold my car and bought a one way ticket to Europe. I joined a group called Operation Mobilzation and ended up on a ship called the MV Logos - where i would meet my wife. The ship leaders encouraged journalling as part of our spiritual discipline, so I kept on writing.
After the a few years, I moved to USA to marry and study. Also ended up pastoring a few churches. Then down to Aussie for another few years. then back to USA. I didnt journal as much during this time - maybe preaching so much was my creative release.
But in 1997, when i was living and ministering among street kids in San Francisco, there was this new thing called the internet. I started journalling online - at a site I made called Andrew's Tea Salon. OK - truth. My wife made it for me. I was too busy to learn html back then so i got her to figure it out. My tag was "CyberRev"
2001 I discovered blogger and journalling became far easier, especially the archiving side of things. That was called tallskinnykiwi, since any name with "cyber" in it was sooooo last century. Tallskinnykiwi stuck, as did the habit of writing, recording, journaling, blogging.
And that, basically, is my 25 years of recording what God has been doing in my life during this crazy pilgrimage he has me on - a pilgrimage that has led me to about 40 countries and into all kinds of strange and unpredictable environments. I seem to have lived most of that time on the edge - no money, no insurance, no house (most of the time) and yet God has been faithful all the way, everytime. I have discovered that if you follow Jesus where he leads you and do it His way, He will cover your back and fill your life with joy. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Provebs 37)
So tonight, I am celebrating 25 years of God's goodness and honoring the tradition of journaling - whether old media paper books or new media blogs.