Showing posts from 2008

Prayer for 2009

For the past 4 years I've been doing the One Year Bible.  I try to read the passages selected for each and every day.  Sure... some days I miss... It's not about being legalistic or anything... just wanting to draw closer to God through the regular reading of the Bible.  I also like to kick start that reading time with a very short prayer that I repeat each time so that God will really work on my heart as I spend that quiet time with him.
This year was a pretty crazy, roller coaster ride as it came to my walk.  I have felt both incredibly close and incredibly far from God at different times.  I was blown away by his mercies and grace in some areas of ministry, and frustrated and hurt by his apparent lack of involvement in others.  I've both loved seminary and been overwhelmed by it.
It's very interesting to go back and look at the short prayer that I put together for each year.  I can see how God moved in each one of those years...
2005 - Passion for God's word, his p…


Christmas has come and gone... (Insert sigh of relief here) ... and now I begin my yearly ritual of seeking God's will and direction for my life in the coming year.

Every year around this time I like to look back at the past year, review what God has done in my life. I like to examine where did I listen closely to God and see his blessings, and where did I try to go it alone in my own strength and see things crash and burn :)

Mark Batterson has a great post on his blog on how to go about setting resolutions for the New Year. You can read it here. This is pretty similar to what I've been doing the past few years but I've never broken it down to specific categories. I really like that idea. In fact, I like it so much that as soon as I'm done writing this post I'm going to refill my coffee mug and spend an hour or so in quiet time and prayer and put some of the ideas that come to me down on paper... well... that is if the kids will give me an hour :)

This Sunday I&…

Merry Christmas

Christmas is both a joy and a stress...  I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the world would turn something as beautiful as the birth of the Saviour of all into a time of stress, frustration and hurt.
This year, I don't know, but I'm not as stressed as normal.  Probably has to do with the fact for the first time in 12 years we are doing no driving!  Everyone is visiting us!  Praise God for that one!  
With all the business of the next few days, I just want to rest in the joy and peace in knowing that the Lord of Lords, the prince of peace, and the king of kings has come into the world... and for some bizarro reason, he loves me so much that he allowed himself to be born in a stable surrounded by animals and shepherds.  The creator of the universe loved me so much that he would humble himself like that!  That thought is just MIND BLOWING!  And I want to savour every minute of celebrating that event this year with family and friends who mean so much to me!
The Saviour is born…

Monday Mind Dump

Taking another Monday off to get the house ready for hosting Christmas. Lots to do... but figured it's time for a little mind dump :-)
We've been continuing the Great Purge in our house. Last week I got rid of about 5 garbage bags of junk that just was taking up space. I was hoping to get to our bedroom closet today... but with so much to do I guess that is going to have to wait till the New Year.

Couple of things I REALLY want to be doing better at in 2009... The first is I'm planning on getting on an exercise and diet routine to drop 15 lbs. Not sure exactly if I'll do this with playing more squash or getting back into jogging...

The second thing is I need to be much better at taking a Sabbath. I just find that I'm not resting and relaxing nearly as much as I should be... I want to spend a lot less time in front of the TV or computer screen and get back into doing more art.... whether painting Warhammer miniatures or drawing. I just love doing things more cr…

Do We Really Hate People That Much?

This video is awesome!  I came across this video from another blog I read and just thought this was a great story.

What if every single one of us who confesses to be a follower of Jesus loved people this much to be recognized by an atheist as a nice man! What a testimony to the world that would be!
If you're reading this on Facebook you can find the video at this LINK.

Wolverine Trailer!

Now this gets my geek blood all excited! Check out the trailer for the new Wolverine movie coming out next May. I haven't been this excited about a super hero movie in a while...

If you're reading this on Facebook then click this LINK.

Monday Mind Dump

Today I'm at home using up some of my remaining vacation days before the end of the year. I have a small honey-do list to take care... and I plan on getting to that shortly :-)

Here are some ramblings this morning while the self-cleaning oven is sending nasty small into my computer area...
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." This one little verse has just been ROCKING my world the past few months. If Jesus is the example, and he DIED for me, then just what does that say about how I live my life? Who am I dying for? How am I imitating the life of Christ... so that that's what people are seeing? Jesus loved the poor. Loved the hurting. Loved the outcast. He spend his time with thieves and the least of these. Do I? This simple little verse is just rocking everything that I believe about the institution of the church and is shaking way out of my comfort zone! And, crazy as that sounds, I LOVE IT!

I'm having a bunch of computer problems he…

Sam the ROCK STAR!

I think my daughter Samantha is going to be the next Jerry Lee Lewis! Great balls of fire!! This girl just REFUSES to sit down whenever she plays the piano :-)

Way to ROCK that recital sweety!

Hulk Vs

I love these Marvel animated movies! The latest one is coming out this January and features three of my favorite characters: Hulk, Wolverine and Thor.

Check out the trailer!

Or check out to see the video there! I LOVE THIS STUFF!

The Great Purge

My wife and I have started something in our house this week... and I'm calling it The Great Purge!
We have just really been overwhelmed with how much stuff we have.  Closets are overflowing.  Kid toys are everywhere.  Every nook and cranny of our house has just filled with stuff.
We have been going from room to room and just been purging everything that is of no use and simply taking up space.  On the weekend we completely redid our office space.  I actually want to sit at the computer now :-)  Before you could barely move in there and now it's just so organized, clutter-free and simple!  LOVE IT!!
Last night we tackled our entertainment unit.  We bought a leather binder with sleeves to store our DVDs.  So we threw away all the DVD and CD cases and put them nicely away in the binder.  Guess what?  There were THREE big garbage bags full of cases!  THREE!!!  That was all just completely cluttering the area.  Not only that but we put together a box full of old kid movi…

Monday Mind Dump

As we start a new month I figured I'd dump some of the stuff floating around in my head these days :-)This morning I delivered 94 shoe boxes filled with toys and candy to be sent to impoverished children all around the world.  I'm just amazed by these boxes... filled with stuff that we would never give to our own kids for Christmas... yet will be the highlight of the year for most of the children who will receive them.Just 2 more weeks of school for this semester.  I've LOVED this class on Pastoral Leadership Foundations.  I learned a TON of great stuff.  Next semester I'm going to try to take two classes, Moral Theology and an Old Testament course.  Hopefully that won't kill me :-)Looking forward to having the family visit us this Christmas.  I think this is the first time in 12 years that Danielle and I have been together that we didn't have to spend hours in the car over the holidays!I'm working at completely revamping our integration process here at the…

The Pastor and Blogs

I'm heading off to school now for my course on Pastoral Leadership Foundations at Heritage Seminary.
Today's lecture is on blogging and technology!  Should be right up my alley :-)  We were asked to bring our laptops to class so I may be doing some live blogging from class later...

Messiah CompleX

During my vacation I brought the trade paper back edition of X-Men: Messiah CompleX to read with me by the pool on the ship.
X-Men hasn't always been one of the comics that I've read on a regular basis.  I've kind of jumped in and out of it over the years... mainly because I just found the whole everywhere you turn is more and more mutants with increasingly stupid powers.  The book House of M was great for finally getting rid of the over crowded mutant population and really got me hooked on the last remaining mutants struggling for survival.
Messiah CompleX deals with the first birth of a mutant since the events of House of M.  And everyone wants to get their hands on this baby in hopes of controlling the future of mutantkind.
Everything about this book was great.  The story was just fantastic!  The only thing I would have like to see more of would be the two different alternate futures that were talked about... the story only covered one of them.  The ar…

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now!

If chapter 9 is one of favorites in the book IT by Craig Groeschel, then chapter 10 is DEFINITELY my favorite! This chapter speaks to me at such a profound level that it feels almost like breathing! This is just as natural to me as that... let me explain.

This chapter focuses on the idea that churches that have it think much bigger then their local ministry within the walls of their building. In fact, they have such a focus on the bigger picture of God's Kingdom that they are willing to give away what they have in order to partner and help other churches. He puts it this way: A kingdom-minded ministry is one whose leaders care more about what God is doing everywhere then what God is doing in their own ministry. A kingdom-minded ministry is generous and eager to partner with others to get more done for the glory of God. It's very easy to be excited that a church in the next town or city is doing well... but do we really celebrate when the church up the road is reaching more people…

My Example?

The last few days I've really been hit in the head with a very simple little verse that pretty much every regular church attendee knows by heart.
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1 (TNIV)
Two reasons why that's hitting me... first... am I that example??? When people see me do they see an overly passionate annoying French Canadian or do they see Jesus? Do they see someone who once he gets more church experience he'll calm down and just do church the way everyone wants it, or do they see Jesus in me who is not content with religious tradition at the expense of the lost and the broken and the hurting? Or do they see just a nice guy who's good for a few laughs or do they see Jesus laughing and loving through me? As a leader in the church are they following my programs or are they following Jesus trying to do his work in this world?

It's not about creating a following... that's for sure! But it is about living a life that re…

I Want Others to Have IT!

Chapter nine of the book IT by Craig Groeschel is by far one of my favorites. That chapter really hits it out of the park and makes the book! But it's also a very hard reality chapter to face... our attitudes towards people outside our church.

I can barely read this chapter without stress, worry, frustration, anger, and a dozen other emotions as I think on how is the North American church continuing the mission of Jesus. One chapter in particular I want to put on a plaque on my wall:
"If your ministry has become focused on the already-convinced, I'll bet that
your ministry doesn't have it. You're not likely seeing many, if any,
conversions. Baptisms are few and far between. Membership classes
are tiny. You're not experiencing great works of the Spirit of God.
New people aren't coming and staying. Long time members aren't growing."
OUCH! I've only been in ministry for two years, but I can clearly see how it's SOOOO easy to be concerned w…

The Sticks Day 2 Summary

Yup... I'm a tad behind... what else is new :-)

Just going over some of my notes from Day 2 of The Sticks. Man oh man, there was some great stuff shared that day!

Here's just a few of the big ideas that hit me.
We don't make hard choices sometimes because of the fear of hurting people...Can someone who is not a Christian volunteer in our church?Is it easy for someone to start serving in our church?Rural churches are in bondage of religion... and need the freedom that comes from the true gospel.The most difficult decisions in small town churches: church structure, protecting your family, dedicating yourself to a red hot marriage, and be willing to be hated.An important reminder: "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD"We pastors need to be able to say "Follow me as I follow Christ".It's about being me... and not trying to imitate other pastors or leaders.The church you are leading will take on your personality. The congregation will not do what we say... they…

The Sticks Video Recap

The guys from New Hope put together this cool video recap of The Sticks conference. Check it out... and tell me how many staff from Woodside can you find in these pictures :-)

the sticks | recap from on Vimeo.

The Sticks Day 1

Today was just awesome!  I'm down in Ohio with the entire staff of our church for The Sticks, a conference for pastors and leaders who are ministering in small and medium size towns.  So far I'm just loving this!  
I have a ton of things that I would love to blog about this conference... but I think the jet lag from last week's vacation is catching up on me :-)  So here are a few very quick highlights.
The worship music was AWESOME!  I'm definitely a loud music kind of guy at this team just rocked!  Loved it.Mark Batterson was excellent!  His talk really set the stage for the day.Charles Hill was great.  I LOVED his points on being afraid of people and stepping ahead of God and how those two things can cripple our ministry.I was a tad disappointed with the workshop sessions... I was hoping the guys up at front would be more of mediators and get people into the conversation... Instead it's more of a Q&A and they do most of the talking... maybe that was the origina…

Trip Highlights

So Danielle and I are back from our Mediterranean cruise and readjusting to real life :) We had such a fantastic week! This trip was definitely a wonderful experience. We try to journal some of our highlights from the trip... here is just a quick brain dump of some of my personal thoughts about the trip. In the next few weeks I hope to blog a few more details about some great experiences and people that we met.

Here's the quick list.
I TOTALLY love my wife! She is such a great lady and I just loved spending time just the two of us. With little kids and a crazy ministry life we don't get to spend that one one one time like we used to. This trip was a great time to just connect with one another and served as a great reminder on the importance of making time together a priority in our marriage.
I definitely need to get back to the south of France! I loved it there. It was just so beautiful. We had a great time there and would really love to see more of it.
I'm officiall…

We're Back!

Just got home a couple of hours ago... played with the kids... and now it's off to bed. It's now 3am in Barcelona and we're still on that clock. Hopefully a good night sleep will readjust everything.

Our trip was AWESOME! Pictures and blog updates coming once we unpack and get settled.

Vacation Tomorrow!

WOW! Hard to believe it's finally here! Tomorrow my beautiful wife and I will be leaving for our 7 night Mediterranean cruise! We booked this trip over a year ago so it really feels like a long time coming. And because we didn't get any vacation this summer this trip is even more important to get some great rest and relaxation.

This map shows where we'll be stopping. I am so incredibly excited to see Rome! That has been a lifelong dream to get there. I'm also hoping that on Sunday we can find some little church in France to visit. Something with monks and chanting would be COOL!

We fly out tomorrow. I'm not bringing any cell phone, Blackberry, laptop or anything else that could potentially get me connected to the Internet :) This week is just all about celebrating the 10th anniversary to my AWESOME wife Danielle. So... if you don't see any blog postings in the next nine days, don't be concerned :-)

New Hallelujah

I picked up the Michael W. Smith album yesterday, A New Hallelujah, on iTunes. Yes... I said album... what else do you call music you download??? It's not a CD or MP3s...

Anyways... I'm just LOVING this music. Michael W. Smith's music has been a huge impact in my life of following Jesus. He was the very first Christian musician I ever heard of outside of the music played at church. Remember... in Montreal there's no Christian radio and the big business of Christian music is next to nowhere to be found there. His song Live the Life was a mantra that I played nearly ever single day for 5 years! That song was key in my decision that faith was more then a belief but rather a way to live!

One of the highlights of my walk was seeing Smith in Toronto with my wife and one of my closest friends. That weekend was so very special for me... then, years later, we saw him in concert again... this time bringing our 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter. It was just great!

The mix of fa…

Enjoying IT with Others

I've been very slack on my write ups on the book IT over the last few weeks. I guess I've been pretty slack with blogger period. I really need this vacation... which starts on Friday!!! I so can't wait to get away with my lovely wife and just spend a fantastic week together.

I'm going to skip chapter 4 and 5 and jump right in to chapter 6. Why? Because out of all the chapters in this book, this is probably the one that hits me the most. This chapter focuses on camaraderie which is found in churches with it.

I'm a relationship kind of guy. In fact, I pretty much base the success of every area of my life on the relationships that I have in these areas. For example, I know my marriage is going well by my relationship with my wife. I know I'm a good dad by looking at my relationship with my kids. I know I'm following Jesus closely by the relationships I have with people within and outside the church. Good or bad, I really do measure my success based on…

Things I'm Reading

Ok... I know I've been saying that I need to slow down on my reading... but I just can't help myself :-) I love reading, and I love learning... and I love geeking out with a good comic... so I guess I'm just going to accept the fact that I'll always be reading something new to challenge me.

Here's an update on a few of the things I've been reading lately.

Secret Invasion

I LOVE the Avengers comics. I read ever single Avengers title and major character (New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, The Initiative, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk). This year's big tie-in event is about a race of shape-shifting aliens called the Skrulls who have been hiding among the heroes for years planning a secret invasion. At first I was really loving this series... especially the tie-in issues which have been revealing which super heroes were actually Skrulls in hiding... But after several months of this... well... I'm bored. And I'm especially bored of the tie-in issues. I th…

Red-Letter Christian

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. I know... I said I was going to slow down on that... I just couldn't help myself :-)

This past week I read Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds by Tom Davis, Letters to a Young Evangelical by Tony Campolo and several online documents which have all made comments on this idea of being a Red-Letter Christian. I LOVE THIS! Sure... some of the comments have more to do with the US political situation (the fact that Jesus wasn't a Republican or a Democrat) but there is SOOO much other great stuff here for Christians who are trying to live out their faith as a follower of Jesus.

For those who are not familiar with the term Red-Letter Christian, it came from a secular Jewish Country-and-Western disc jockey in Nashville, Tennessee. During a radio interview he was conducting with Jim Wallis, he happened to say, “So, you’re one of those Red-Letter Christians--you know--who’s really into those verses in the New Testament that are in red letter…

Asking Questions in Church

This clip from the TV show Desperate Housewives is AWESOME! I admit... I never watch the show... but this is just so perfect!

How do we REALLY create an environment where people can ask the questions they have about God and about faith? Is that only reserved for special events and studies? Are we as followers of Jesus ready to answer those questions no matter where and when they hit us? Or are we more comfortable with the status quo and would rather the questions don't interrupt our peaceful church lives?

Just some thoughts :-)

(If you're reading this on Facebook click HERE for the video clip)

Presidential Election

This guy gets my vote!




In about an hour I'll be heading out for our Men's Retreat that is happening up at Chesley Lake this weekend.

I'm pretty pumped about this. The last retreat was on it was 3 days after I had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled out. With all the painkillers I was on I barely even remember being there :-)

I'm a tad nervous as well. I'm teaching the three sessions over the course of the weekend. I've been working like crazy this past month and a bit and the retreat snuck up on me... I'm still trying to finish the last one now before my ride gets here to pick me up! :-)

Thankfully a LOT of prayer has gone into this weekend so I know I have nothing to worry about :-)

A Field or a Force

LOVE THIS VIDEO! I've been to Granger Community Church before but have never heard one of Mark Beeson's sermons before... but I think, after hearing this, I'm going to have to try to give those a listen from time to time :-)

(If you're reading this on Facebook, click this link to access the YouTube video)

Cleaning IT

Last week in our staff meeting we discussed chapter 3 of IT by Craig Groeschel. Again, another short chapter, but got me thinking long and hard about a major part of my ministry.

I loved that he was quite upfront with the fact that simply looking at what other churches and ministries are doing cannot produce it. It is something far greater then something we can quickly learn in a conference, seminar or book. Now... am sure every single one of us would agree with this... however I've begun to realize that my actual working style wasn't in sync with this belief (why do I suddenly want to start singing boy band songs???)

In my particular ministry I cover a lot of very different ground. Way back when I started I was told that I'm supposed to be the expert in all of these areas of ministry, and that I report back on what we should be doing in these particular areas. This is fine... except my list of ministry area is women's ministry, men's ministry, senior ministry, …

Monday Mind Dump...

What a crazy week!
I'm speaking at our men's retreat this weekend so I'm praying, reading and working like mad to finish this up! I'm looking forward to this... but I wish it hasn't been so crazy leading up to it. Would have been nice to have a couple of quiet weeks before hand to prepare.
We were out of town this weekend with Danielle's family. We went to spread her father's ashes with her brothers and sisters. Very nice weekend... but I'm sure I'm going to pay for getting home this morning at 2AM then at the church at 9.
GroupLink went great last week! Four new small groups created. I could never have done that using sign up sheets in the foyer. I'm so thrilled that that worked well.
I have a splinting headache right now... probably from the lack of sleep.
I'm 3 weeks late getting the new Small Group Leader podcast finished. Figures. I'm also just late on a bunch of other things as well... and I have NO clue how I'm actually g…

Two Years!

Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of when we packed up and left Montreal for our new life here in Elmira.

Funny. Sometimes it feels a LOT shorter then that and other times it feels a LOT longer. Weird how that works :)

We're heading out to celebrate our anniversary as a family. It's something we started last year so that we never forget all that God has done for us in this move. Isn't that the point for celebrating? And I guess being Montrealers at heart we're always looking for a reason to celebrate :)

Expecting IT?

This week, we discussed chapter 2 of IT by Craig Groeschel in our staff meeting. A nice short chapter but a really great example of what it looks like and what it looks like when we lose it.

One little sentence in this chapter REALLY stood out to me. Craig describes his experience when he was invited by some other students to join them at their church that Sunday evening. He had spent the morning at a church that felt like "it was as if the church had died years before, but no one had noticed."

The Sunday evening church was different. There was something VERY different going on. Craig puts it like this:
Something special was about to happen. Everyone there knew it. They weren't just anticipating it; they were positively expecting it.They were POSITIVELY EXPECTING IT! I love that! They were positively expecting to come into the presence of the living God. They were positively expecting God to move and transform lives. They were positively expecting to leave that place d…

Just Call Me Pastor Jones!

Check out this video! Two young guys, Kyle Martin and Gavin White, put this video together for our Men's Retreat which is coming up in October. They did an AWESOME job!!

And the fact that I get to live out my Indiana Jones dreams is pretty cool too!

Woodside Men's Retreat from Kevin Presseault on Vimeo.

(If you're reading this on Facebook check out this link!)

Discussing "It": Chapter 1

In August, I read the book "It" by Craig Groeschel. Twice in one a week. I'm on my fourth time through it. We're reading it as a staff and I given copies of It to all my small group leaders and other leaders here at Woodside.

I thought it would be fun to discuss it, chapter by chapter, here on my blog so that everyone from Woodside who is reading it can participate in the discussion.

So let's jump into IT!

If you're reading the book along with us then you already know what IT is... so I won't even bother to try to explain IT. The book does a great job of that. But what is it about IT that got me so passionate about IT. Well... if I can be brutally honest... this summer I was beginning to wonder if I was losing IT.

Our summer was hard. Both Danielle and I working. The lost of Danielle's dad. No vacation time except a two short days after the funeral. I was exhausted, frustrated and feeling quite alone. I was questioning God. Why send me somewhere to lose I…

I Love my Street

I really think we live in the best neighborhood in all of Elmira!

One of my neighbors just brought over a coffee from Tim Horton's :-) She had picked up some coffee for her husband who works in construction and his crew but couldn't find them... so she dropped one off here.

That just made my day :-)

Got My Free PK Ticket

This morning in the mail I received a free ticket to attend the Promise Keepers conference in Mississauga, Ontario on November 14 & 15.

I'm SOOOO going to this!

Last year, I was way too busy at the church to be able to make it to the event.

This year, I'm actually going to be twice as busy that week but I'm dropping everything that weekend and going! My guys from Montreal are going to be there so I'm heading down to connect with them, and connect with God.

That weekend is reserved just for me! Well... me and God! Hopefully that doesn't sound too selfish :-) But after the summer we've had, I desperately need a weekend to reconnect with a God who loves me, who didn't abandon me, and who wants to do incredible things through me if I could just step out of his way!

Spiderman Sketch

I did some more drawing today with the kids.

Here's the latest attempt to rediscover the artist in me. This has been a great stress relieve over the last couple of days :-) Definitely will be doing more of this.

Captain America Sketch

Last night I sat down and picked up a pencil and started sketching... that was the first time I've done this in YEARS!

I had such a fun and relaxing evening doing this! I gotta do it more often.

Here is the first sketch to come out of this attempt to rediscover the artist in me :-)

Funny Video on Prayer

Our awesome worship Pastor showed this video to me a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was hilarious!

(If you're reading this on Facebook, click the link to view this on my blog).

My Iron Man Sermon

If you want to hear my incredibly geeky sermon on the Armour of Religion you can give that a listen to HERE.

I'd love to get your feedback on this.

Looking for a Bit of Help from the IBM/Lotus Community

You know... sometimes being an ex-computer guy in ministry can be pretty frustrating! :-)

Why? Because, back in the corporate world I had all these great resources for helping our teams to work more effectively and efficiently. And I would LOVE to be able to use them here at the church... but we just don't have the money to put into these things... so sometimes I feel stuck in the 1970's and not able to move things along as well as we could be.

OK... I'm over my pity party :-)

But I figured I would throw this out there in case some of my old IBM/Lotus contacts still read this blog...

Do any of you know where I can find a free place to set up some Quickplace workspaces?? I would love to get a couple of them up and running for the church... so a couple of our teams can work together online. This would be a pretty small number of people... 20 to 30 max and I can't imagine it taking any significant disk space.

So any leads on this would be fantastic! And much appreciated!

Reading "It" Again

Every fall, the staff here at Woodside work through a book together. Last year it was Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. Starting September 9th we'll be reading "It" by Craig Groeschel.

This book has really rocked me! I'm so looking forward to seeing what God will do as we read it as a ministry team. In fact, I'm so excited about it I ordered 30 copies of it to hand out to our Small Group leaders and other ministry leaders.

Each week I'm planning on discussing a chapter of it on this blog and hopefully we'll get some good discussions going with the staff and other leaders here.

Bring it!

Speaking in the Morning

I really when I have the opportunity to preach at my church. I don't do it very often so I always have such a great time doing it.

Way back in May when I spoke at the Youth Retreat I was personally really REALLY challenged by the message that I did on Salvation by Works... which was a look at how we create religious armour around our hearts instead of depending on the full armour of God, which only comes from a right relationship with Jesus. I've played around with this one more and more... shared it in Montreal the first Sunday of August... and now I'll close off August with this message for my church.

Praying that God will be glorified and his people really grow on this topic as much as I have.

Small Group Leader Podcast #9

Here is the latest episode of the Small Group Leader Lifter Podcast.

In this episode I look at the book of Ecclesiastes for a very very VERY familiar passage and how we can we can use that to ensure that serving in our small groups as leaders can always be a joy.


I'd love to hear your feedback on this episode. Add a comment here or drop me an email at!

Late Night Mind Dump

Can't sleep. Haven't had a good night sleep in almost a week. I hate when I get into this pattern... makes the days a little extra long when my head is hitting my desk by 3pm! I guess I have a lot on the brain these days...

Here's the short list of what is floating around my brain instead of enjoying sleep...

It looks like there are kittens living under our shed. One of them peeked out this evening during our BBQ supper. I wonder how many other could be under there... This little one was SOOOO cute. Very fluffy, grey and white kitten. I wish I could have caught her... it appears she lost her tail and it looks like it may have been infected or something. I would really like to get out there now and try to catch her and bring her to a vet in the morning... but it's pitch black in my yard so it will have to wait till morning.

Why is it that people around me keep telling me I'm doing a great job in my role in my church yet at the same time I feel like a complete failure a…

You Gotta Read "It"

On Saturday I picked up the new book by Craig Groeschel, It. By Tuesday I had completely devoured it. I loved it. It has got to be one of the best books I've read all year!

In fact, I got so much from it that I just ordered 30 copies of it from so that I can get everyone on my ministry leadership team to read it. Every church leader, whether on staff or a volunteer needs to read it. I haven't read a book that fast in a long time! So... I'm going back to it and going to really spent some quality time in it. I want it to bring it more fully into my life. I want it to allow it to help in every aspect of my life and my ministry. And above all, I want it to help it become something in me that will never go away and will draw others to it. Go. But it!

Now That Was a Surprise! Clone Wars Review

I gotta say... I am shocked and incredibly surprised at how much I enjoyed the new animated movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars! In fact, I probably enjoyed that movie more then any of the three prequel films which have come out of the past 10 years!

Now... maybe it's because I've had ZERO expectations going into this film. Let's face it, Star Wars really hasn't lived up to all the hype this past decade. The past ten years has brought us Jar Jar Binks, dim witted robots, incredibly cheesy love dialogue and other tidbits I'd rather not relive. My main objective with this movie was to have a good time with my son. This was the first Star Wars movie that we've allowed him to watch. And I wanted to really enjoy it with him.... in fact, the entire theater was filled with middle aged men and their young sons... so I guess I wasn't the only one :-) And I just loved it! I had a great great time in watching this movie. Watching Cameron spell bound by the action and…

Latest Small Group Leader Podcast Online

Here is the latest episode of the Small Group Leader Lifter Podcast. I was hoping to have this online before my holidays... better late then never :)

In this episode I look at the book The Big Idea by Dave Ferguson and how we can avoid creating an environment of information overload in our small groups.


I'd love to hear your feedback on this episode. Add a comment here or drop me an email at!

The Clones Are Here!

Tonight I'm heading out to see the new Star Wars animated movie, The Clone Wars.

And what's really cool about this is that I'll be bringing my son, Cameron, with me. This will be the first Star Wars movie we'll see together in the theater (and probably the only one!). I know... most of you are shocked that I haven't brought him to the other ones... but I am trying to be a good father and figured that a four year old didn't need to see the violence of a PG movie :-)
So I just ordered my tickets online and I'm pretty pumped to see this. I'll try to post a review later tonight.

Monday Mind Dump... Oh... It's Thursday!

What a time it's been the last couple of weeks. Who would have dreamed that our vacation would have have played out the way it did... I have about a million things floating in my head... here are just a few of them as I wait for my morning coffee to kick in!

It was FANTASTIC preaching in Montreal on the 3rd! It was so nice to be back at Westview and seeing so many familiar faces. Definitely felt like coming home!

I had a real blast spending the weekend with my buddy Steve and just getting caught up and chilling out.

I'm SOOOOO thankful that we decided to stop by and visit Danielle's dad on the way to Montreal. It was nice to see him and spend that time with him getting caught up. It's still so weird thinking that he's gone... his trips to the hospital were just so regular that no one saw this coming...

I'm incredibly grateful for the friends who came down to see us at the funeral.

I'm very proud of Danielle and her brothers and sisters for the wonderful service …

Online Tribute to Danielle's Dad

Just thought I'd post this here for those of you who have been asking...

Here is a LINK to the funeral home home where Danielle's dad's visitation will be taking place.

Thanks so much for all the emails of encouragement in this time. We really appreciate it. The Blog of Choice for Elementary School Kids

I thought this was pretty neat. Click on the image and see what level your blog is.

I'd love to see all of you...

The only problem with visiting Montreal is the fact that it's nearly impossible to visit everyone that we'd love to see. With so many friends in so many different areas (work, Becket Players, & church) it makes for a tough time seeing everyone.

So... why not show up and see me since it's hard for me to get to you :-) Come on out to Westview at 10:30 and here me speak and we can say a quick Hi and exchange hello hugs :-) You can get directions HERE.

Hope to see you there!

Vacation in 4 Hours!

If I could just get off my blog and get back to work then I could finish up what needs to get done before I leave for a week vacation :-)

This afternoon we're heading off to Montreal for the weekend. Actually, just the kids and I will be staying in Montreal... my wife will spend the weekend with some friends in the US. Then Sunday night it's off to spend a quiet week up at my mom's. Looking forward to just relaxing by the lake and doing some fishing with the kids. I also picked up a couple of books to read. Fiction... nothing church related... and I'm hoping to hit the comic book store on the way out to grab a graphic novel or two.

I'll be preaching at our former church, Westview Bible Church, in Montreal this coming Sunday. I'm really looking forward to this. This is the church were I did my first sermon... so I it's kind of like a home coming :-)

What a Week!

Whewffff. I'm exhausted. This week was really crazy.

Went camping on Sunday till Tuesday. Rained on and off the entire time. Still, it was fun... just wish it was a tad dryer :-)

Picked up our van that we had repaired. Spent $3100 for a new transmission!!!! And guess what!?!?! Now it's sitting in the driveway and it won't start!!! And in order not to void the warranty I'm going to have to get it towed to the nearest Mr. Transmission garage. I hate cars.

Yesterday I helped my sister and her family move from Toronto to Waterloo. Actually... it was pretty much just my brother in law and myself who loaded up the truck! Thankfully today we had some help to unload it. We're going to have to own dad, Doug, Jenny and Alec BIG TIME for helping out today! I don't think I would have survived a second day of that :-) OK.... I probably would have... but I'd be falling asleep at the pulpit tomorrow morning.

Just putting the finishing touches on tomorrow'…

Latest Small Group Leader Podcast Online

In this episode of the podcast I look at the idea of being still and comtemplative prayer in our small groups.


I'd love to hear your feedback on this episode.

Now I Feel Guitly...

I just finished reading this Blog post from Ed Young Jr. In it he talks about the importance of keeping a clean and organized church facility. He states that "we have a responsibility in the Church to maintain a level of cleanliness".

I couldn't agree more. I want to see every part of our church building to be organized and really sharp... so that when people come in they are not distracted by things that look unprofessional or cluttered.

So why can't I seem to do this in my office???? My office is a DISASTER!!! It really is! In fact, when I visit other churches and sit in their offices I'm totally embarrassed about mine. I wouldn't want any of these pastors to come and sit in my office with me!

I have a ton of excuses about why my office looks this way.

Excuse #1: I'm working on 12 different ministry projects at the same time so all of them have to be spread out around me so I can jump back and forth to them.

Excuse #2: My office is made of odd and end…

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

YES!!!! I so can't wait to get my hands on this game for the Wii! I just loved the first one... sure, the game play got a little boring by the end... but the story was just AWESOME!

The Sticks Conference

I'm definitely considering attending this conference! This would be fantastic to network and meet with other pastors who are living the same context that we're in here in Elmira. Too many times I find myself reading stuff from the "Big City" churches... and wondering how does that translate to the small town that I live in??

the Sticks conference from newhopewired on Vimeo.

(If you're reading this on Facebook, click this link to see the video).

Wednesday Brain Dump

WOW! I am SOOOOO swamped with work right now! But I absolutely LOVE IT!!! I actually wish that I had 20 more hours a week to be working on all this stuff... but since I don't... and since I LOVE spending time with my wife and kids even more, I guess I'll just have to continue at this slower pace :-)

So here's a bunch of what's going on:

Yesterday I started using Google Reader as my blog reader. For the past couple of years I had been using Attensa since it was connected to Outlook... but since I barely carry my laptop around with me any more I was falling WAY behind on my blog reading... this way I'll now have everything no matter where I go. If you haven't checked this out yet, I would strongly recommend you spend some time playing with it. I'm hugely impressed so far!

I'm preaching this weekend at LifeSpring Christian Fellowship. I'm really looking forward to this. LifeSpring is a church plant that Woodside was a part of a number of years ago…

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today is my baby girl's fifth birthday.

Sam has the most wonderful sense of humour and is always performing in front of an audience (I have NO clue where she gets that from!) Just last night she was singing songs from Alvin and the Chipmunks and doing her Wall-E impersonations for 12 other kids. The parents were cracking up as well :-)

I really do dread the day when she's going to be too big to sit on my knee :-(

Happy Birthday Sweetie-Pie!

VBS Final Video

Originally uploaded by woodsidepowerlab Well, here's the last video with The Professor... and this time he brought a friend with him.

(Yes... I know this is incredibly cheesy... but that's what makes it so much FUN!)

If you're reading this on Facebook you can access the video with this link:

The Professor, Diet Coke and Mentos!

Originally uploaded by woodsidepowerlab Now THIS was FUN!!!!! Too bad we couldn't get it to shoot up into the sky... I'm going to have to practice this one some more!

If you're reading this on Facebook, then click on this link:

Professor's Wedneday Message

Professor's Message
Originally uploaded by woodsidepowerlab The Professor is back again today to show the parents what their kids learned at Power Lab.

(Man I LOVE my job!)

For those reading this on Facebook you can see the video here: