Showing posts from June, 2008

Looks Like it's Car Shopping Time

My wife Danielle and her mom went on a little weekend getaway trip to Ottawa yesterday.

Before they made it, our Ford Winstar died on them. The tow truck driver said the transmission was completely gone and we could expect to have to pay $3000-4000 to get it fixed!

Well... there' s no way I'm putting that kind of money into a 1999 mini-van... so she have have to sell it for scrap on Monday and take the bus or train home and we'll start looking at cars next week.

AGGHH! I hate cars.

Next Week Should be Interesting...

I'm in the process of working on two different services... a memorial service for Thursday, and a wedding ceremony for Saturday.

I definitely gotta make sure I don't get these to messages mixed up :-)

Crazy Around Here!

OK... I used to think that April was my crazy time of year. That has officially switched to June! I can't believe how nuts it's been. Between kids' sports, stuff around the house and work it feels like we haven't had a break in a while.

Because of the craziness I've been sleeping in too late the last couple of weeks... I gotta get back on my morning quiet devotion time and working out.

This morning I'm reminded of that simple little verse that we all know all too well but it just seems like it's the hardest verse to live up to: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). It's way too easy in the crazy hustle and bustle to forget to be still. I know my ADHD personality type has a hard time with it... so it's a constant discipline to work that still time into my life.

I definitely feel God's presence when I'm busy and counting on his strength to get through it... but it really is in those quiet times that I sense that person…

Small Group Podcast now on iTunes

The Small Group Leader Lifter is now available on iTunes.

You can click this link to access it.

Let me know what you think of it.

Small Group Leader Podcast is Coming Back!

After a lot of praying and figuring things out in our small group ministry, I've decided to bring back the Small Group Leader Lifter podcast we experimented with in January and February.

The newest episode will be online later today.

In the meantime, you can subscribe to the podcast at this link:

or you should be able to find it in iTunes by the end of the day. Just search on Small Group Leader Lifter. Once it's there on iTunes I'll post a link here to subscribe directly.

If you have any feedback on how to make the podcast a better resource for your role as a small group leader I would LOVE to hear from you. Be sure to drop me an email or leave a comment on this blog.

Pretty Nervous!

Tomorrow I'm stepping out of my comfort zone... which I do really like doing... because I just find that this is always the way that I feel the closest to Jesus. Doing something that I'm not all that comfortable with really gets me totally dependant on Christ to do it through me! And he hasn't failed me yet :-)

I'm going to be starting to volunteer a couple of times a month to help put on a worship service at Christian Horizons, an organization which provides wonderful care and support to people with intellectual disabilities. My wife, Danielle, has been working there for awhile now and has really been blessed by it. When she mentioned they were looking for help in this area, I didn't even have to think about it. Even with all the outs she keeps trying to give me to change my mind, I'm excited to serve these wonderful people in this way.

So, now it's 11:30pm... and I can't sleep... so I'm going over the Bible story I want to talk about tomorrow.…

Catalyst Conference

This is definitely a conference I would LOVE to attend. Unfortunately, it probably won't happen... but you never know.

Catalyst / Geico Spoof from Catalyst on Vimeo.

It Arrived

As of today I can now officially perform marriages in the province of Ontario.

Gee... I suddenly feel like a real pastor :-)

Brain Dump

Ditched out on baseball tonight. Hated having to do that. I LOVE playing... even though I TOTALLY SUCK at it! Just had too much work I wanted to go through and didn't see how I could get it done in the day this week...

Anyone have an old Blackberry they're looking to get rid of??? I lost my cell phone at Canada's Wonderland last week. Since I've been thinking of getting a Blackberry for awhile now I took this as a sign from God that now was the time :) And the fact that my Palm Pilot is dying as well was the second sign! I went to the Bell store in town... and after spending AN HOUR with them worked out a great deal... only to then find that they couldn't do that on my current contract. Not the sales guys fault... I felt bad for them since they tried hard to make me happy... All I could get was a $50 credit off the full price of a new Blackberry... which was over $300. I couldn't justify that. So if anyone is upgrading their Bell Mobility Blackberry, l…

Play Date

Today we're having a play date as a family! Seems like forever since we've done this... just get out and have some fun together.

So we're loading up the van and heading to Canada's Wonderland. Should be a lot of fun... as long as the rain holds off :-) I'm kinda glad my son isn't all that crazy about fast rides... I could use him as my excuse to not go on anything that I'M afraid of :-)

Monday Mind Dump

Ok... I know, I know. You're all waiting for my wrap up to the Armor of Religion postings (ok, maybe it's just two of you!) I was going to get to it... but I decided to save that as a surprise for my next sermon in July :-) Don't want to give away the ending here on the blog...

Here's some stuff that I'm thinking/praying/stressing/celebrating over...
The Geek Pastor podcast is back!!! YAY! Make sure you check that out at this link.

Last week we had a great staff retreat day where we look at this next ministry year. It was just a great day of getting away from the daily grind and pray and think and plan were we'd like to see us going as a church in the year and years to come.

I'm currently brainstorming thoughts and idea on how to restructure our Welcome Team. Unfortunately, since I've been here, that has been the one area of ministry that keeps getting "bumped" down the priority list by other demands and expectations. As we go forward with…

Lego Indiana Jones Game

How did I miss this! The new LEGO Indiana Jones games came out yesterday! I gotta run to the store with the kids this afternoon and pick that up!

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

The Armor of Religion - Part 6

Here's the last piece of the Armor of Religion...

Piece #6: Sword of the Flesh

Here in North America we are INCREDIBLY blessed with so many resources and information. There are so many conferences and seminars and workshop and schools and blogs and podcasts and websites which do a fantastic job of equipping people to improve and strengthen church ministries.

The problem is ... we can become TOO reliant on our own skills and talents and stop depending on the spirit of God to work among us.

Religion teaches us to do it on our own. We set up the rules. We train. We learn. And then we go out and we do it! It becomes SOOOO easy to do things in our own strength... because we are so talented and know what we're doing.

Psalm 73:26 reminds us that "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Our flesh may fail. If we are living out our faith through religion alone then eventually we will fail. It is only the Sword of the Sp…

The Armor of Religion - Part 5

Almost finished... just two more pieces of the Armor of Religion to look at.

Piece #4: The Helmet of Knowledge

OK... I know, knowledge is not a direct opposite of salvation... but hear me out on this one.

Religion is VERY knowledge heavy. We study the scriptures, we encourage children to memorize verses, we learn the meaning of religious rituals, we learn the meaning for procedures and everything else that goes on.

As our knowledge increases we know how to navigate in our religion. We learn to adapt, to play by the rules, to look the part. There is also a respect that comes with our knowledge. People come to us for answers. Invitations to teach. Invitations to join special teams. Our knowledge makes us look like were doing very well in our religion...

But the truth is, I've met a large number of knowledgeable people... very smart and could quote the Bible way better then I ever could... and they don't believe in God. Our knowledge doesn't bring about salvation! Salvati…

Pop Goes the Church

I picked up the book "Pop Goes the Church" by Tim Stevens while at Granger Community Church last week.

I'm only 82 pages into it and just loving it! So far I'm giving it a HUGE 2 thumbs up. Every pastor and ministry leader needs to give this a read.

If I change my mind by the end of it I'll post again but somehow I doubt it :-)

The Armor of Religion - Part 4

Continuing to look at the Armor of Religion...

Piece #4: The Shield of Doubt

I love this one. For some odd reason, religion creates an INCREDIBLE amount of doubt. I've talked to way too many people who doubt that God loves them, doubt that God wants to do something through them, doubt that God would accept them... and it goes on and on. Why do we carry around a shield of doubt in religion?

Because we listen too much to religious rules and regulations instead of listening to the words of Jesus. "Why are you frightened? he asked. Why are your hearts filled with doubt?" (Luke 24:38).

We allow our hearts to be filled with doubt because the reality is NO ONE can live up to the expectations of religion! Religion sets up too many dos and don'ts... Do read your Bible ever day. Do pray for 20 minutes a day. Don't dress that way. Don't listen to this. Don't watch that. Do your ceremony this way. Don't do your ceremony that way. You can drive yourself …

First Impressions Impressions

Friday I was at Granger Community Church for their First Impressions Workshop.

I really enjoyed our day there... and learned quite a lot. I'm still processing a lot of it and how it translates to our church here. Here are just some of the impressions and quotes that really stood out to me.
"We don't care why people come (to the church). We just want them to come back!"Church people have a very different set of expectations then people who are exploring Christ.It's important to get the right feedback from the correct people.People will experience something at our church... whether we plan for it or not."Whatever it takes, our objective is to raise the mood of the person attending before they leave."We need to stop treating "blue rules" as "red rules".When a person is presented with too many choices... he/she doesn't chose! Or we make a choice and don't follow up on it because we constantly wonder if there was a better choice…

The Armor of Religion - Part 3

I've been out of town for a couple of days so I didn't get a chance to continue looking at the Armor of Religion... so... let's jump right into it.

Piece #3: Shoes of Uproar

In Acts 23:9 we read: "So there was a great uproar. Some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees jumped up and began to argue forcefully."

Ever get REALLY surprised at what upsets some religious people? Wear the wrong shirt or shoes while preaching... play too many unfamiliar songs... change the pulpit stand to a cafe table... why is it that these little, totally insignificant things in our church services seem to create the greatest uproar? Because we are not wearing the shoes of peace... but, rather, the shoes of uproar.

Peace allows us to realize that there may be things in a religious celebration that we don't totally connect with... but someone else in the crowd will. Peace in our hearts helps us to remember that I'm to be more and more like Jesus Christ after every s…