Safe House

For most of us, when we think of a Safe House we think of a spy thriller like the Bourne series. Jason Bourne, government operative goes rogue and for the rest of the series he’s running from and fighting off those who want to take him down for fear of being exposed. At least once in each film Jason finds his way into a safe house, a place where he can get back on his feet, recover from any injuries, and refuel. Or maybe you’re more of a fantasy fan and remember the scene in Lord of the Rings when Frodo Baggins and the rest of the crew run for their lives, eventually finding their way into the Elfin safe haven, Rivendell. Maybe you’re a history buff and remember the historical safe houses of the Underground Railroad, the secret system that transported escaped slaves from Southern plantations to freedom during the 19th century. Or, stories during World War 11 of members of the French Resistance who hid Jews running from Nazi persecution.

img_2311For us, a “safe house” represents one of our most valuable resources, solid gold. We aren’t government operatives, we are however on the front lines of intense spiritual battles. Our war isn’t against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities.We trust our cause, our armor and our King. We are well equip with sincerity, righteousness, faith which quenches the darts of temptation, blessed assurance, feet shod with peace, and prayer knitting it all together. Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is sharper than a doubled edged sword and used as an instrument of healing for those that are oppressed, down-trodden or just plain stuck. We see an Empire that wages war on the human soul, traumatizing and binding those caught in the cross fire to debilitating lies and vices. We are love warriors and we battle for what our friend, Craig Greenfield calls the upside-down Kingdom. Oh yes! We freely use our gifts and talents, our story, our merrymaking and music, and a win for us is to see healing, reconciliation and restoration. But, sometimes we need a safe house, a place of refuge from the storm.

Over and over in the ancient text we read that the King of kings IS a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary for all times. In fact, there is a beautiful picture in Psalm 91 of what it looks like to dwell in the shelter of Adonai, the Most High.
It talks of the safety that a baby bird finds under the wings of feather and promises that no disaster or calamity will come near;  for angels will care for and guard us wherever we go.

img_2362We know these words to be true in our hearts mind but also by the evidence demonstrated through the Saints, many of whom we were once strangers to, who continue to offer us refuge along the way. One such community in Australia, has become more than a safe house but a sending house. They have offered us not just a place to heal and recover, but a promise that they will always keep the fire aflame, that they won’t quit in hard times, praying for us with steadfastness and that they will come for us, if we ever fall in the field. And, that is worth more than gold. That is priceless. 

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On Bikers Down Under and Faith

GS INT BK RGBWhen I think of a biker club I don’t necessarily think of God. But we learned that the two can in fact go together really well.

Seriously, we get to meet some of the most amazing people, in some of the most diverse sub-cultures. Meeting kinfolk at the Surrender Conference who were associated with God’s Squad was no exception. We were loosely connect to them through our friend and fellow muso, Sammy Horner and found our way to St. Martins Anglican Church in Collingwood two years prior. St. Martins is a hub for God’s Squad founding father, John Smith. But this was the first time we’d been invited into the home of a biker and must say it made quite an impact on our whole family.

IMG_7046Our host family was welcoming and genuine. We spent a few days listening, living alongside and sharing sacred space with Renee, Di, their talented and beautiful children and extended community. They live just on the outskirts of Glenrowan, VIC; the famous town of the outlaw, Ned Kelly. They were no holds barred about their faith and consistent in sharing truth and love with those around them. In fact, we experienced a revolving door of folks from their community through out our visit.

Renee is a fantastic fine artist, bike craftsman and club president for the chapter in their area. And, Di his wife, is a seminary student and gifted prayer warrior. When we arrived Renee was working on restoring a bike and he and his kids welcomed us with a warm cup of tea and a tour around the bike shop and property. Di came home soon after and we dove right into spiritually minded conversations, made dinner and learned about the biker world and their vocational call to God’s Squad.

We learned that God’s Squad was established in the late 1960’s in Sydney, Australia and founded on a broader basis, under the leadership of John Smith, in Melbourne 1972, where the club colors continue to fly. The club primarily exists to come alongside the ‘outlaw biker fraternity’ and associated groups, where it is an accepted and relevant expression of the Christian church. Since its birth, out of the counter-culture “Jesus movement” days of the late 60’s it has continued, over four decades, to devote its efforts amongst those on the fringes of society. 

Membership is by invitation only, as building a culture of respect and trust is crucial to their endeavors. Most of them ride Harleys, British or big Japanese chops. Folks that join do so based on a sense of a vocational calling. And, when asked about wearing colors, they resound with an 100% committed to their faith and calling– and therefore their patch. Although their lifestyle may be different from other clubs, they connect on a common ground of fighting for injustice, living by a different code, and a willingness to die for their faith. They feel that their commitment to their club and patch is symbolic to their commitment to God. Although, they do believe that their faith is a matter of grace free to all, and club colors are earned. Needless to say, they are serious about who they are and what their purpose is. I don’t know about you but it was refreshing and inspiring to see kinfolk with this sort of commitment to God and their fellow-man.