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Showing posts from February, 2007

Anniversary

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Yesterday was Danielle and my 8th wedding anniversary. I'm just amazed at how fast that has gone. This summer it will be 10 years that we've been together. I gotta say, I'm married to the most amazing woman in the world! Who else would let her fiancee put Star Wars figures of Han and Leia on the wedding cake? Who else would let her crazy husband quit his job and become a pastor? I'm so blessed with such an incredible friend and partner!
Tonight to celebrate, we'll be heading to Toronto for dinner and some theater. We'll be seeing The Phantom of the Opera. It's one of Danielle's favorites and I've never gone to it so we're both excited about seeing it. I'll try to post a review tomorrow.

Finnally Home!

Who would have figured that it would have taken me two days to get home from Orange County, California! With the snow storm that hit the US I ended up stranded in Chicago. My connecting flight was canceled. They booked me on another flight for the next morning... but of course with the storm there was no guarantee that it would actually be leaving. Oh, and I was on my own to try to find a hotel.

Luckily, I have one friend in Chicago and made arrangements to crash at his place. It was great to chat with him and get caught up on each other lives. I was in bed at midnight and awake at 5am to head out back to the airport.

The airport was in chaos. I talked with at least a dozen people who couldn't find hotel accommodations and had to spend the entire night sleeping in the airport. I was thrilled when I learned my flight back to Toronto was still on time. I found a nice comfy spot on the floor at my gate near a power outlet and watched a couple of movies waiting for my 11:25am f…

Heading Home!

My bags are packed and I'm heading out in about 20 minutes to the airport! This has been a great week of learning and meeting new people but there is NO place like home! I just can't wait to give the family a HUGE hug.

Ghost Rider

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Yesterday afternoon, to kill some time with the conference finished, I decided to head out to see a movie. I can't remember the last movie I've gone to see that didn't have cute animated critters... it's gotta be before we moved in September. It was a toss up to either see Amazing Grace or Ghost Rider. The geek in me won out :-) Besides, Amazing Grace is a better movie to go with with my wife and I'm SURE she wouldn't want to see this one (it's bad enough I dragged her to see Spawn years ago when we first started dating!)

As far as comic book movies go, this one was not bad at all. Not as good as X-Men or Spiderman, but a lot better then Fantastic Four, the Hulk or Electra.

Back in 1990s when I was reading pretty much every comic being published, I got into the Ghost Rider books. I loved the look of the character. The bike and the chains where just such a cool update to when the character first came out in the 70s. I've always been fascinated wit…

That's a Wrap

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The conference is officially over. What a great GREAT time! I met a lot of great people and took in a ton of information.

Tonight I'll be processing some of my notes and will blog on some of the big ideas that I have come out with.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Man oh man... you wouldn't believe the data dump going on here at the Purpose Driven Small Group Conference! I was hoping to blog more regularly but I've been spending my breaks absorbing everything and enjoying the California sun! :)

Luckily today is cold and cloudy so I'll be blogging more thoughts from the conference later on today.

Session 2 - How to Define Success

Steve Gladen, Small Group Pastor from Saddleback gave a GREAT session on "How to Define Success" in your small group ministry.

The big take away for me in this session is the importance of ensuring a healthy and vibrant spiritual live in MYSELF. A healthy life spills into our leaders and then out into our ministry. This was a very important reminder... no matter the plan, no matter the training, God will do his best work in the one who seeks him daily. I especially like the Health Assessment Plan that he had us work on. I mentioned this tool to our small group leader training we did at my house a couple of weeks ago but didn't have the full info that was given this morning. I'll definitely have to explain this tool better to our leaders so they can use it look at their own walks with God.

Intro and Session 1

Only 4 minutes left for the break so I'll try to sum up pretty quickly the first session of the conference.

A Worship time was opened with the song "Without Love" by the Doobie Brothers. I loved it! What a great reminder... where would we be now without the love that God has given us. The music was loud and rocking. Just the way I like it :)

The first speaker was Randy Frazee, teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. He oversees adult ministries and a new neighbourhood strategy. His session was great. The big take away for me is the need to BE the church and not simply GO to church. We live in a culture suffering from "crowded loneliness"... where people have so many contact points and people in their lives but so incredibly few close, meaningful relationship!

The worship band just kicked in... I'll post again at lunch.

Live from Saddleback Church!

Here I am. Sitting in the beautiful, sun-filled worship center of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California! What an incredible campus they have here. It's a lot smaller then I thought... maybe my trip to Willow Creek last year warped my perception of big churches :) The volunteers are SUPER friendly and incredibly helpful.

The first session starts in 10 minutes... just enough time to grab another coffee before it gets started :)

I'll be posting regularly throughout the conference. If anyone has any specific questions or stuff you'd like me to find out for you don't hesitate to drop me a line.

All Packed

In a few hours I'm heading off to Toronto to catch my flight to Orange County, California. Just one last stop to the bank to grab some US currency then I'll be all set.

I'm really looking forward to this conference. I'll be sure to post regular updates on the conference here on my blog.

The Passport Saga Is Now Complete!

After nearly 3 months the saga of getting my Canadian passport is now done. I have the passport in my hand.

Now I'm all set for flying to the US on Monday for my week in California!

I couldn't have planned this funnier if I tried

I run a men's Bible study here at the church on Monday nights. I've done this for years and I'm always trying to think of new ways to get men to come out to check it out and see what it's all about. One idea that was suggested to me was to put business cards in the men's bathroom with a blurb about the study. Not a bad idea so I went with it.

Next week we're starting a study called "Doing Business God's Way" by Patrick Morley at Man in the Mirror. This study is to help Christian men live out their faith in the workplace. Well, leave it to some of the teen guys to point out a study about doing "business" God's way in the men's room. I laughed my head off when I realized their meaning!

I guess this is one for those mixed up church bulletin announcements jokes that get emailed around :-)

Boy Is My French Rusty

It's pretty amazing how quickly you can lose a language when you're not speaking it regularly.

This morning I met a guy from our church for coffee. He spent last year in Quebec in order to learn to speak and write French before he heads off for missionary work in Africa. Since he knew I was from Montreal he asked if we could get together so he could practice his French.

Well... being in Ontario for four months has definitely had an effect on my own French! That part of the brain was a lot slower then it was before I left. Hopefully once my son starts French immersion classes next September that will help force me to speak it more often. I definitely don't want to lose it.

I'll also get together regularly with the guy from church. I'll probably get just as much out of it as he will :-)

Amazing Grace Sunday

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(from the website www.amazinggracesunday.com)

Two hundred years ago, British politician William Wilberforce and his band of loyal friends took on the most powerful forces of their day to end the slave trade. His mentor was John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-song-writer, who wrote the world’s most popular hymn, Amazing Grace.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. But the work of justice and mercy continues. 27 million men, women, and children are still enslaved around the globe.

How sweet the sound of freedom.

Join churches around the globe in singing Amazing Grace and in praying for the end of slavery once and for all.