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Showing posts from December, 2009

God & Limitations

So the thought that has been stirring in my heart as of late is the whole idea of Almighty God choosing to put limits on Himself.  Here is what I mean, Jesus (fully God and fully human) could have at any point chose to rescue Himself from death on a cross, but He chose not to...He chose to limit Himself.  If you look at some of the miracles Jesus performed you see this similar theme.  Take the feeding miracles for example.  In these instances Jesus chooses to use what His disciples and others provide in order to make the miracle happen.  We're talking about Almighty God here, and in these instances He chooses to limit His power and influence.  Why is that I wonder?

There is an age old argument of free will vs. predestination; the idea of having the freedom to make your own choices vs. the notion that all the choices we make are predetermined.  I don't really want to re-hash hundreds of years worth of theological arguments here, but I do what to ask a question to those of you w…

Entitlement Kills

I heard a stat the other day that floored me.  During this holiday season, the average amount spent is $1000 per adult in the province of Alberta.  $1000 is the average.  Calgary's population sits at just over a million.  Roughly 650,000 of that number are considered adults.  That means that as a city, we potentially spent about 65 million dollars this Christmas season.  Crazy right?

You know what's even more crazy??  Entitlement.  These numbers of what we may have spent this holiday season seem staggering (and they are!!), but what's even more staggering is the attitude that drives this spending. We believe we have the right to "do what we want" in a sense.  While it is true that we have the freedom to choose how we live and how we spend, do not be disillusioned, at some point we will need to be accountable for our actions.  For instance, if we rack up huge debt on our credit card, at some point the creditor will come collecting what they are owed...and that can …

Intentional Generosity

The Christmas season seems to be filled with a quest for intentional generosity...and I think this can be a good thing.  Yes I've heard the frustrations regarding the pursuit of materialism (which I share), but the desire to be kind and generous, although it has its' flaws, I believe is at least somewhat filled with good intentions.

We have a tradition in our family to be intentionally generous to another family during this Christmas season instead of showering ourselves with more stuff we don't need.  What I'm learning more and more about is how this spirit of generosity needs to permeate my life beyond this Christmas season.  Generosity needs to be a family value; something that we live out on a daily moment by moment basis.  Generosity can play a role in purchasing someone's coffee, donating some time to help someone out of the ditch, and/or giving up clothes that we do not need in order to give to those who are in need.

I stumbled upon this verse from Proverbs …

Popularity - A Casual Affair

Tonight is family craft night, so we decided to toss on some tunes while we were attempting to be artistic!!  I opened itunes and clicked on the 90s music icon to rock out to songs of yester year.  Soon our ears were flooded with the melodies of a band called Tonic and a song entitled Casual Affair.  One line from the chorus stuck out to me.

"It's a casual affair when everybody loves you."

My mind began to race...how true is this above statement?  I believe it may be more true than we might be willing to admit.  Popularity, everybody loving you, is a fleeting thought...a casual affair.  Pleasing people is exhausting.  You're always seeking to do something to be noticed and appreciated by those who's opinions you value.  Once you begin the process of people-pleasing, you are in constant need of having to engage in the game of one-ups-manship with yourself!!  You're constantly trying to outdo yourself and gain more credibility while attempting to maintain the ce…

Thoughts on a Friday

With 2009 coming to a close in a couple of weeks, I find it interesting how my heart and mind wander into reflection mode almost naturally.  In celebration of a new year upon us we usually look back over the past year to remember what has happened, and at times we are glad at what we find and in others we aren't so thrilled.  We rattle off some resolutions for the new year, and then it's off to the races yet again.

I'm only 29, but in light of recent events that have shaped our December as a family I find myself in more of an introspective moment today.  2009 brought to us our son, Cannon, more memories, a bunch of firsts and a lot of life lessons.  As I begin this process of looking back and reflecting upon what was and what I've learned from this past year, I'm searching for something in which to measure success.  For some this can mean how much money was earned, or spent, or stuff was accumulated.  For others it may mean what sort of challenges were overcome or …

For God so LOVED...

Bonny has been teaching our daughter Saydie, who is only 2, the verse John 3:16.  I'm sure we've all heard it in one form or another, but for reference here it is again.

"For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

The key phrase that is rocking my world lately is "For God so LOVED the world."  Often times we may here preachers or other Christians say that we are called to be in the world but not of it.  The earth is only our temporary home, not our final destination and other common catch phrases.  While each of these statements is true, in the past these statements have been used to segregate Christians from the rest of the world.  We've even used them to justify our actions (some good and some bad) at certain points in time.  What I'm learning about more and more is that God loves the world.  And if God loves the world, as His child, I need to love the world. …

Paralyzed

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a situation that you just froze up and couldn't do anything?  I've had many experiences like this in my life.  In fact, I used one such experience to pen a song.  Here are the lyrics.


In Silence

What can I do?
I’m staring at you and I’ve got nothing to say.
No rhyming this time.
I’m walking the line between nothing at all.
Inside I am screaming out loud; I’m burning up.
My heart it pounds, but I’m just standing here afraid to move again.
So much unsaid and too much regret to linger here.
I’m overwhelmed; caught in this web of fraility.
In silence I am bound to be still.
It’s deafening and hard to breathe.
Will I ever be the same?


This whole idea of paralysis is rocking my world lately.  We can become to overwhelmed to the point of neglect.  What I mean is that we can see a need, whether personal or otherwise, and be overwhelmed at the hugeness of the need that we can simply be frozen in time, neglecting to act.  


What I need to remember, and what I belie…

The Enduring Kingdom

I'm working my way through the book of Daniel in my personal devotions and there are so many things that I am learning about Christ, faith and life for the first time even thought I've read through this portion of the bible before.  Daniel is one of those interesting reads.  Some people call Daniel the Revelation of the new testament as it is chalked full of imagery, prophecy and other forms of writing that can sometimes make it a difficult book to study.

A few verses from Daniel 2 are standing out to me today.  Daniel 2 contains the portion of Daniel's story where he is being used by God to interact with King Nebuchadnezzar in regards to interpreting a dream the king had.  As Daniel begins to interpret this dream, of which he has no prior knowledge, he first gives credit to God for revealing His truth through his servant Daniel.  As the chapter unfolds and Daniel begins to wrap up his conversation with the king, verse 44 sums up the root of the truth from the king's …

Where You Lead Me...I Will Follow

I had a great conversation with a parent in our ministry today.  We spoke about an inquiry I had made regarding her potential involvement in youth ministry as a small group leader.  She had been praying about this subject for a few weeks and finally felt it was time to share with me what God was saying to her regarding youth ministry.  She mentioned that as much as she loves students and values what God is using us as a ministry (Centre Street Church Youth Ministries) to do with this generation, God is calling her to invest herself in another area of ministry.

This was the third in a series of a similar type of conversations I have had with another prospective leaders in youth ministries over the last month or so.  Often times we only celebrate the moments when our leadership vacancies are filled and we forget to stop and thank God for the moments when they aren't.  If any of these three individuals had responded to our inquiries to serve in youth ministries, they would have been …

Lessons from a Legend

On Friday morning Bonny's Grandpa Joe passed away.  I had only met the man a handful of times, but what I saw in him sticks with me even now as I'm typing up this blog.

Lesson #1 - Generosity...every time I met Grandpa Joe, I left his presence with something in my hand...money, stories, time spent, a firm handshake and random stuff from his house.  The great memory I have of him is from our wedding.  Grandpa Joe had been really sick every since I knew him, but even though it was a challenge for him to be at our wedding, he was there.  Pulling me aside, he shoved $300 in my hand and asked me to by Bonny a nice sandwich.  This was one of the many moments where Grandpa Joe showed his love and care for others by giving them stuff.  As my father in-law was going through his dad's things after his passing, he found out that Grandpa Joe had been sponsoring 4 kids through World Vision for the last 10 years without anyone knowing.  That was Grandpa Joe...giving to people and not ga…

In like a Lion...about like a ??

There is the old saying that if winter comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.  As December sat down on us a couple of days ago, and we here in Calgary were greeted with snow and cold, this old saying came to mind.

What also came to mind was my own personal spiritual journey with Christ.  I understand that there are natural rhythms in life.  We have seasons of growth, seasons of maturity and seasons of struggle that seem to intertwine themselves along with the daily grind.  This old saying about the weather made me think about what others or even myself would say about my relationship with Christ.  Did I start out strong only to fade at the end of my life?  Did ever year I lived here on earth help me to gain momentum in my faith journey?  How many mountains have I climbed and how many valleys have I wallowed in?

I'm not sure what will be said about my life at the end of it, but what I can influence is what is being said about my life right now.  When people look at who I am…