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Showing posts from May, 2008

First Impressions Workshop

Today I'm in Granger, Indiana with our Pastor of Worship visiting Granger Community Church for their First Impression Workshop.

First Impressions is Granger's welcome and integration ministry. I've read a number of stuff from Mark Waltz, Pastor of Connections so I really wanted to get down here to check this out. The welcoming and integration at our church happens... but it's not really purposeful, or monitored, or very strategic... in fact, I think the only people who get integrated to the live of our church are strong Christians who move to the community and know exactly how to do "church life"... but those who are seeking and sitting in the back pew are not easily getting plugged in to the life of the church.

This area of ministry, unfortunately, ends up on the bottom of the priority list... this summer I'm focusing mainly on this for the next month or two... This area REALLY needs to be completely reworked before we finish construction of our new bui…

The Armor of Religion - Part 2

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The more I look at this, the more I'm convinced that we really need to start dropping our Armor of Religion.

Piece #2 - Breastplate of Wickedness

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 1 John 1:9

I don't think we confess our sins enough... in fact, I think were becoming increasingly permissive on what we allow ourselves to do and say. Why is gossip so rampant in religion when the Bible clearly says not to do it? Why do religious people say or write incredibly hurtful and nasty words because they didn't like the sermon or music choice on a Sunday when the Bible clearly says to treat other people as better then ourselves? Religion creates Wickedness! Religion causes us to focus much too much on the externals of our religious traditions and ceremonies and causes us to forget to look at our own hearts! We don't seek God's forgiveness and asking him to purify our hearts when …

Ontario Government Becoming Anti-Church?

I just received my application for my license to perform marriages returned by the Ontario Registrar Office for the FOURTH TIME! Every time they keep telling me that I need to provide different information then what I already sent them... Each time I've sent exactly what they asked for and each time it comes back with something else... I've called to ask what else they want each time because I would gladly send it... but my calls are never returned...

This is getting pretty ridiculous. I sent my first application in March 2007! That's over a year of back and forth to get this marriage license! I've been chatting with other local pastors who are having the exact same problem.

I know I'm probably suffering from watching to many X-Files episodes so my conspiracy theories are running rampant... but I would not be surprised to see that in the next 10 years local churches will no longer receive licenses to perform marriages. In my conversations with other pastors, t…

The Armor of Religion - Part 1

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In Ephesians 6:11-17 we read about the type of "armor" that God wants us to put on in order to resist the attacks on our hearts. At the youth retreat a couple of weeks ago, I presented the idea that way too many Christians are using the Armor of Religion instead of the full armor of God for their spiritual well being. I used the example of Iron Man to tell this story about how we build up our own systems in order to deal with our heart condition... and these religious systems are just not good enough.

Since that topic really hit home for me personally I thought I'd share that here on my blog.

Jesus didn't come to start a new religion... he came to restore our relationship with God and to free us from the slavery of trying to live up to religion! So... I believe the Armor of Religion is the exact opposite of God's armor! Over the next few days I'll talk about the different pieces of the Armor of Religion.

Piece #1 - The Belt of Lies

In 2 Peter 2:3 we read …

Spielberg and Lucas Should Get Their Stories Straight...

I thought this was funny...

Back in July 2007, during an interview at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, California, a special video was shown of Steven Spielberg and the cast of the Indiana Jones movie (you can see this video on IndianaJones.com under the Videos section of the site). In this interview, Spielberg says "I promise you. I'm making this picture for you guys and girls. This is all for you. The fans of the series."

But over on this site is a recent interview with George Lucas. In it Lucas says that "no one will be happy" with this movie.

So... what is it? Was this a movie made with the fans in mind or a movie that the creators knew nobody would be happy with?

Indiana Jones... I Hate it When I'm Right

Well... like so many other fan boy bloggers out there... I just got back from seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

If you love the PC Indiana Jones games which have come out in the last ten years you are going to love this movie. If you're a fan of the actual original movies... well... you're going to be INCREDIBLY disappointed with this movie.

The story is weak at best. HUGE holes in the story line (like car chases in the middle of the jungle!) The characters are cardboard cutouts of their original incarnations. I actually found myself looking at my watch several times wondering when I could go home...

Now... it is a fun movie at some points. It's just not an Indiana Jones movie. It doesn't fit in with the original trilogy in the least. Now if this exact story would have been a Lara Croft, Tomb Raider movie... then it would have worked great because it fits much better with those movies.

Go see it for yourself. Have some fun with it. Then com…

Vote for "Velcro Shoes"!

Video: Velcro Shoes!

Microsoft is holding a contest where you need to share your passion in a short video. The winner gets $25 000!

Turns out a guy from our church was selected in the top 25 for the prize and now it's up to Canadian and American voters to pick the winner! If David Cook can win by 12 million votes, I'm sure we can get a few more votes for the video Velcro Shoes!

Voting is easy. Simply go to www.microsoft.com/passion and find the video Velcro Shoes and click the vote button and follow the instructions. Voting also puts you in a draw for a copy of Windows Vista (what anyone would want with that I'm not so sure... ) and a video camera.

So get over there and vote!

Indiana Jones Prediction...

I have a really bad feeling about this.

The closer we get to the release of the new Indiana Jones movie the more I'm thinking that it just won't live up to the expectation...

I've actually been playing some of the older Indiana Jones PC games the last few weeks... and had forgotten how terrible they were... if the movie story line is more in line with the games then the original movie then we could definitely be in for a major let down.

Sure, the movie is going to make a gazillion dollars and everyone is going to say it's the absolute best... but when the dust settles I'm predicting that it won't be anywhere near as good as the original Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade... Hopefully it will be better then The Temple of Doom

Just a momentary moment of geekinees... now back to work :-)

Seminary Update

Just received in the mail today my grade for my Introduction to Preaching course. B+!!! WOOHOO!!

I'm SOOO enjoying going to school. I'm actually quite surprised that I'm enjoying it so much... I really didn't like school when I was in college... Not that I want to rush away the summer, but I'm looking forward to the next course in September.

Living Like a Hero This Weekend

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I'm nearly finished putting together my topics for this weekend's Youth Retreat. I've been having a lot of fun working on this and I hope everyone enjoys it and gets something out of it :)

When I was asked to do the retreat, to be honest, I was going to say no... but when I was asked to do comic book themed messages... well... I had to jump at that chance.

A number of years ago I had read the book Who Needs a Superhero? by H. Michael Brewer. I loved that book and always thought that it would make a great sermon series. So this retreat was a great opportunity to give that a shot. I'm calling the series Living Like a Hero!

I used the main themes from the books... and we'll be using some of the study questions to get the kids more involved with each session. It was hard to only pick 4 comic heroes to talk about since the book covers so many different great idea. In the end I picked four of my favorite Marvel comic characters, The Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man a…

I Thought Life Got More Relaxed in the Spring...

The past couple of weeks have been crazy nuts around here. So much going on and so much that I would love to be blogging about... just haven't been able to find the time to get to it. Here's a bit of a brain dump this morning.
My neck and shoulders are really stiff! I started working out again on the Bowflex gym I have in my garage... great work out but I really wish exercise didn't have to hurt so much!

This weekend the family and I are heading up to Joy Bible Camp for the long weekend. I'm going to be teaching four sessions at the youth retreat happening there. I only have 2 of the sessions nearly completed so I need to get cracking on finishing this up!!

We had a really nice Mother's Day yesterday. The kids surprised Danielle with breakfast in bed. After church we all spent the afternoon in Stratford. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate but it was still nice to get out of the house.

I'm reading the book The Big Idea by Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferg…

Free Comic Book Day TOMORROW!

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For all you comic books fan (and those of you who are secret comic fans)... tomorrow is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores.

This year's selection of free comics looks GREAT! Definitely want to grab the X-Men and Marvel Adventures... and looking at branching out a little with a bunch of the titles from the smaller publishing companies.

You can find your closest comic shop at this site. I'm going to be at Carry-On Comics & Books (my regular supplier of all things geeky!) at 32 King St. North in Waterloo at 10am tomorrow. If you're planning on checking it out with your kids why not stop by at the same time as me and my clan... then we usually head to McDonald's to enjoy junk food and free comics!

Now... if only I could work out going to see the IRON MAN movie that evening... …

Woodside May Youth Retreat

Here is a promo video of the teaching series I'm doing up at Joy Bible Camp this coming May long weekend.

I've wanted to do a teaching series on comic book characters for YEARS so I'm really pumped about this one!

Enjoy the promo and let me know what you think. (If you're reading this note on Facebook, the video can be found on my video page)