Exploring the interplay between ortho-doxy (right belief) and ortho-praxy (right action)...

...and encouraging a life where these intertwined thoughts and deeds simply happen... by default.

30 May 2005

what all did you do today?


Last week we looked at an anaolgy between churches and hospitals. Makes sense enough, right? Well, there is one thing that will KILL our ability to turn our churches into 'hospitals of grace'...

Being busy.

Want to know one force that NOBODY has ever been able to stop or even slow down??? The force of time. It just keeps on going. That's why it is so precious!!! Many, many attempts are made at helping us 'make the most' of our time. The race is on to see how much 'stuff' we can get done in theleast amount of time.

Much more could be said, but suffice it to say that our busy lives are killing us. We are tired, worn out and lethargic. This has a lethal effect on our ministry. We show up for 'church' once and twice a week, and wonderwhy it often seems so meaningless, so irrelevant, so.... dead.

We need to make more time for church in our lives. No, not more of what we do on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights (or whenever), but time for the growing of relationships. Ironically, the church 'building' isn't usually the best place for 'church-building'. (that sentence might deserve a re-read)

Please, I beg you, take a look at your schedule. Write it all out if you need to. Cut out the bad stuff, cut out some good stuff, then leave time open for the best stuff. STOP patting people (or yourself) on the back for being busy! It's cancer to individuals and the church!!! And we're all prone to get it!!!

"for my yoke is EASY, and my burden is LIGHT" - Jesus

Love and Grace,



23 May 2005

excuse me, nurse?


This week, I want to focus on 'realness' in our Christian lives. Let's be honest, most of the time, Christianity is a dog-and-pony show where the 'most spiritual' award goes to the one with the least sin, and the biggest smile on Sunday morning. Is that the goal? Is that even reality? Is that what Jesus had in mind for the church? I think not.

We need to be open and honest with eachother. I look at a church (not the building or the time spent in the building, but people) as a HOSPITAL. Hospitals are full of people that are hurting. Hospitals are places where people go to have their wounds healed. Can you imagine how rediculous it would be if an injured person went to a hospital and the doctors and nurses were apalled and disgusted by the wounds they had?

"I'm sorry, miss, but we don't allow bleeding here, can you please cover that wound? It's making many of the others uncomfortable."

Is this not what we do in our churches? Sure, we give much lip service to the idea of being a place of healing, but secretly, we wish for good, clean, sin-less, happy, european, comfortable church members that are more 'like us.' I desire to be the kind of Christian that people know they can come to when they are hurting.

This week, ask the Holy Spirit two questions...
1. Am I the kind of person people can confess sins to? Can people be 'real' with me?
2. Am I confessing my sins (specific) to anyone? Am I being 'real' with others?

May our lives and our churches be hopitals of mercy and clinics of grace...

In His Grace,



fully automatic

Alright folks,

I understand how busy each of you are, and want to respect your time, so each week I'll keep it simple...after all, these truths aren't really hard to understand, otherwise I would be wasting my time trying to understand them myself.

The concept of ByDefault is not mine. I think it's God's, so that's that. I have learned (and continue to) much from several people about these truths, but again, they don't belong to me or anyone else. They're from the Bible, a book that I haven't always thought to be very relevant, but have seen how alive it really is.

ByDefault will address a problem that I believe is of the utmost importance. That problem is that we are not real. We have relplaced the gospel and spiritual life of true, biblical Christianity with an aesthetic, non-spiritual game-show that we ALL play. In other words, Christianity sometimes is reduced to a morality contest. While morality is a good thing, and a natural by-product of the Christian life, it is NOT at the center of our faith. Christ is. We forget/minimalise how sinful we are, and forget/minimalise how great our Saviour is. This week, think about how refreshing it was to know that you can come to God empty-handed, without 'cleaning up', and be forgiven by what GOD has done, not what YOU have done.

Christianity is not D-O (what I can do), but D-O-N-E (what Christ has done)!!!

In His Grace,





I'm starting a weekly email called ByDefault...

I almost had my email groups set-up before my laptop was stolen, and I'm just now getting them ready. I want to use ByDefault as a chance to encourage all of you in your personal dependence on Christ. Some of you might not have had my email before, so here ya go...

It would be great to hear from you all. I'd love to know what is going on in your lives! Some of you I already have had the chance to get to know really well, but I'd love to get to know others more as well. I want to do anything I can to encourage you, so here's my 'foot in the door.'

Why call it ByDefault? Well, my desire for my life, is that I would have a dependent relationship with Jesus, and be keenly aware that I can't (and shouldn't) do anything without Him. Then, as I live in that attitude of surrender, by default (automatically) I would experience His life being lived through me!

"I am the vine, you are the branches...without Me, you can do nothing." - Jesus

I look forward to hearing from you!

Dale Campbell
Youth Pastor
Ngaire Avenue Bible Chapel
3 Ngaire Ave., Epsom
Auckland, New Zealand, 1003