Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Avatar ROCKS!

Image
Ok. It's been a LONG time since I've reviewed a movie on my blog... mainly because I haven't seen too many movies worth reviewing. James Cameron's Avatar is well worth some of my time to blog about! This movie was just plain awesome!
First off, I gotta say. I have 3D movies. Whenever a kiddie movie comes out in 3D I always make us go to the non-3D version of it. Within 20 minutes of the 3D movie I start a killer headache and just find that it does absolutely nothing to make the movie any more enjoyable.
Avatar has COMPLETELY changed my viewpoint on this technology! The entire movie is just breath-taking! In fact, in some scenes I actually felt vertigo and clutched to my armrests. It felt like we were a part of the story! This really sets the bar incredibly high for any other fantasy or sci-fi movies. Cameron has brought movies to the next level again! He did it with Terminator 2's liquid terminator, the T-1000. He's done it again with Avatar!
I…

Love Praying in my Chair!

Image
I'm sitting in my favorite chair, admiring my Christmas tree, enjoying an herbal tea, and ignoring my sermon notes on the floor. I'm doing the most important work I can think of instead - praying!
I'm so thankful that I can sit in this chair and just relax and pray! It's such a joy for me to pray for friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers! This year my prayer life has been a little more up and down then I would like... but it has gotten much more specific in how I pray for people. God has really been doing a number on my heart. I go from feelings of incredible joy to deep sorrow as I pray for specific needs.
Just today I spent time in this chair praying for old friends, new friends and people I have never met. Life is just happening all around me. Blessings, joys, laughs, sadness, hurts, lost. God knows all this and wants us to be coming to him with this.
If ever you want someone to pray for you I consider it an honor and a privilege to do so. …

Iron Man 2 Trailer!

I SOOOO can't wait to see this movie!!

Beauty in Diversity

Image
This past summer I did a research paper for the Hermeneutics course I was taking at Heritage Seminary. The goal of the paper was to show that I had learned concepts taught in the course on interpreting a difficult text from Scripture. One of the best things that I learned in that course and during my research paper was just how AWESOME God is!
How did a course on interpreting ancient, biblical texts and a research paper on 1 Timothy 2:12 (yes, I like stirring up hornets nests!) do that??? It was just an awesome and beautiful reminder to me on the work that God is doing all around the world through his church. And he is doing this through SO many different types of churches! I just find that there is a beauty to this diversity in the churches!
Over the past year I've had the wonderful and humbling privileged to meet so many different church and ministry leaders from so many varied backgrounds, theological viewpoints and church models! And what is SOOOO cool about all of them is…

Celebration Pastor

I'm pretty excited about all that God is doing at LifeSpring these days! There have been a number of ups and downs (and sometimes feeling like it's a pretty crazy roller coaster!) but it's been just great to see how God is working through all of this.
I'm really excited about the idea of bringing on a new, part-time staff member at LifeSpring! We're beginning the process of looking for a Celebration Pastor. The goal is that this pastor would be equipping and building up people to bring the Sunday Celebration service to the next level. This would then greatly free me up to focus more on our LifeGroups (our home groups) and outreach to the community.
We're praying a lot that we're on God's page. The last thing we want is for God to bless our plans. We only want to do what he's called us to do and to do the things he's called us to do!
If you know of anyone who might be interested in this 20 hour a week position, have them contact me and I'll…

'Tis the Season!

Image
'Tis the season to be incredibly busy!
WOW! I'm always amazed at just how crazy this time of year gets. Family activities start ramping up. Christmas shopping and planning start causing sleepless nights. Seminary papers are becoming due. Ministry work seems to start hitting about 100mph.
And in all of this... we're supposed to hear that still quiet voice of God telling us how much he loves us.
So... in this very busy time of year I'm being VERY purposeful on spending that quiet time with God. Everything else can wait. The key to hope, peace, joy and love is a good, healthy walk with God. Without that everything else that I try to do is useless! Without that quiet time with God I'm useless as a husband, father, friend, brother and pastor. Without God's love pouring into me and flowing out of me this time of year can easily turn me into a Scrooge or a Grinch :) Not very good role models!
How about you? How are you ensuring that the busyness of this time o…

Promise Keepers Weekend Thoughts

This past Friday/Saturday I was in Mississauga for the annual Promise Keepers Canada National Conference. I love going to this! It's always a highlight of my year. There is nothing in the world like gathering with 4000+ men to worship God and grow as men.

This year was great. Two men who I greatly admire were part of the speaker line up: Pat Morley and Craig Gross. Both of their ministries have been a real blessing to me over the years.

There was just one thing that I wish I could see at a Canadian National conference.... and that would be Canadian speakers! I love hearing what God is doing around the world... but I'm really pumped about what God is doing in my backyard even more! When US speakers keep saying "I don't know what it's like here in Canada, but back home..." I find it a tad disappointing. I want to know how men are doing here. There has got to be some gifted speakers in Canada that PK can get up there on the stage. I think getting a…

Ignite!

Image
I'm currently reading the book Ignite by Nelson Searcy.
Nelson is the Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in New York City. He also heads up the Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network that I'm a part of this year (by the way, if you're a Senior Pastor you REALLY need to sign up for this Network! I've been learning SO much over the past few months. You can do that here.)
I'm really loving this book on the importance of evangelism and how to be more effective at equipping and preparing our churches to reach more and more people. Nelson really hits the nail on the head when he reminds us that, as senior pastors, the temperature of our church's evangelism falls on us. If we are not evangelistic and reaching out to people in our communities, then neither will our church. I love this quote:
Make sure you haven't become so consumed with doing church that you have left the work of bringing in the unsaved to the people in your congregation.
Love this! Isn't that…

Remembrance Day

I may not agree with the wars (or the reason for them) going on in our world right now... but I certainly have a HUGE respect for the men and women who give up their own lives and sacrifice so much in their own lives so that I have the rights and freedoms that I have in this part of the world.

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day here in Canada. I'm remembering my grandfather who passed away when I was in college.... and honoring those who serve my country. Last Sunday we played this song by Shawn Hlookoff during our Celebration service. Very powerful and beautiful song!



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

Running After God

This morning I spent half an hour on the elliptical machine at the gym. I was listening to a GREAT message from Andy Stanley on my iPod. The message was incredibly uplifting, powerful and got me all pumped up. It got the heart rate up faster then I normally do on that crazy machine.
But something hit me as my heart rate was approaching 160.... no... it wasn't a heart attack.
I began asking myself is this what ministry feels like sometimes? Are we as leaders running this fast pace, getting our heart up to the collapsing point... but in reality we aren't even going anywhere? Are we running so much after the work of God that we forget to slow down and remember that God is running after us and wants to do a work in us?
That was a great reminder to me this morning... I can't run after the work of God. I'll never be good enough, strong enough or talented enough. I can't do everything no matter how hard I try. But if I remember to slow down, God catches me! I can re…

Too Many Books... So Little Time

I love reading. I read a lot. But lately I've been feeling a tad disappointed that I'm not reading all that I would like to be reading.
I read a lot for different areas of ministry. I have five books that I'm going through right now in that category. But... I have 13 others that I would love to get through before Christmas...
I have 2 books in fiction/fantasy that I would love to read... they were Christmas gifts from last year! That's pretty sad! I gotta free up more time to read novels for fun!
I have a bunch of reading for my seminary class as well. Love that! I'm a few chapters behind though...
At least I'm up to date on my comic book reading :)
I'm a big believer that one of the best ways to grow as a person is to always be learning. The trick for me has been to keep a balance on the type of stuff that I'm reading. I'm thinking of working on a reading plan as part of my New Year's resolution this coming January... we'll see how th…

Would You Really?

Today I want to celebrate all that God has been doing in his church through men and women who have had the guts to follow His call and direction... especially when it would have been really hard and had great cost to do so. God has done some AWESOME things in the world because of people who were willing to challenge how the church works and to do what needed to be done... even though those decisions wouldn't have been popular or even considered acceptable.
Could you imagine what would it feel like to be called by God to be the first church to do something radically different from every other church in your community? What would you do? How would you even consider this if there were no books, no conferences and not a single other church doing this that you could study? You were completely and totally on your own on how to make it happen...
Would you protest the most powerful religious organization and make a list how it should be updated? Someone did that!
Would you be the very …

Wrapping Up Our Wild Goose Chase

Image
This Sunday at LifeSpring we're wrapping up our series "Wild Goose Chase" based on the book by Mark Batterson.
This series has been INCREDIBLY exciting for me. It's been a real blast to teach on this topic that was so important in my own personal spiritual growth last year! It was sooooo cool to see people at LifeSpring get excited about it as well. It was so amazing to see people working through their own cages in order to start getting out of them and truly desiring to live a life of following and trusting the Holy Spirit. It was so humbling seeing people getting excited about what God wants to be doing at our church. And it just floored me that God started bringing new families to our church through this series! GOD IS SO AMAZING!!!
I just gotta shout out a HUGE thank you to Mark Batterson for writing the book and the team at Threads Media for putting together the small group curriculum! You guys rock!!!
I'm actually going to be kind of sad when this s…

So Nice to Go Home!

It's kinda weird how important "going home" is. You know... that feeling of going to that special place where your childhood memories are so strong it just gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.
For my wife and I, we don't really have that "home" to go to. We both moved around growing up. My parents now live in a house and town that I never lived in. Our family is spread out and all in homes and towns that we never lived in. So when we get together it's great... but it just seems to be missing that "going home" feeling.
On Sunday, I finally felt that "going home" feeling again. It was by visiting our church. I didn't tell anyone we were coming. The last few trips to Ottawa/Montreal we were unable to work out a visit and I didn't want to risk having to cancel and then telling people why we weren't coming.
Sitting in Westview Bible Church again just brought out so many wonderful memories! This is the place that we starte…

I Stand Amazed

God really does amaze me!
No really. He does. Each and every day! Why? Because everything that goes on around me is just flat out amazing! I'm amazed by how awesome everything in creation is. I'm amazed at the incredible love and grace that was shown to the entire world at the cross.
And I'm just amazed that God would use me, a complete nobody, to be a part of the work that he is doing in the world. I can't believe that I get to pastor a church. I can't believe I get the opportunity to learn from such wonderful professors at seminary. I can't believe I get to share my heart and what I'm learning with other leaders in the church. Who am I to equip people who've been in church leadership longer then I've even been a Christian??? I truly stand in amazement of all that God is doing around me and in me.
I can't believe we've been at LifeSpring for six months! We're does the time go?!?! I'm standing in total amazement in all t…

40

Last week was a great week. God has been doing so much in my life to stretch me and teach me and transform me into the man he wants me to be!
I was reminded of a very powerful reminder in a very simple song. One of my favorites songs of all time is the song "40" by U2. You can watch the video below or click HERE to link to see it on YouTube if you're reading this on Facebook.


This song came to mind as I was working through a bunch of stuff over the last few weeks. What I love so much about this song is the fact that it's taken right from the Bible. "40" is just a few verses from Psalm 40, which has become over the years one of my favorite Psalms.
What I love most from this Psalm is some incredible reminders on who God is and what he does for me.
The psalm opens with "I waited patiently for the Lord". I LOVE THAT! Sure, life is hard sometimes. Sure, sometimes I wish things would go exactly the way that I want. But I know that God hears my…

Stretch Me. Ruin Me. Heal Me.

Remember January? I do. Every year for the past five years I've been doing the One Year Bible Reading. I've been a little slack on keeping up on the exact date in my One Year Bible... but I have been reading lots of other scriptures to make up for it. So, I won't have read the entire Bible this year like I have the past four years... but I have been doing my regular praying.
Every year I come up with a short prayer to start my day with. In this article I shared what my prayer for 2009 was. After reading the book IT by Craig Groeschel I followed his advice and have been praying every day that God would stretch me, ruin me and heal me! And boy oh boy has he ever been doing an awesome job of that! :-)
I feel like God has taught me SOOOO much this past year. He's been teaching me so much about following him, about being a husband, about being a father and about being a Pastor. I'm definitely far from perfect (I can hear you're shouts of AMEN from here!) but…

Great Day to Geek Out!

Image
YAAAAYYYY!!! I've been waiting for today for a year. The new video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 hits the store today. I LOVED the first one. I thought the game was fantastic, even on the Wii which is no where close to a hard core gaming system. The story was better than pretty much every single Marvel movie that has come out in years! I was hooked on the story from beginning to end!
To make Alliance 2 even cooler in my geeky opinion is the fact that it's based on Marvel's Civil War storyline. Civil War was the reason I started reading comic books again after a 12 year absences. To have one of my favorite stories put into one of my favorite video games, is a fanboy dream come true :-)
Also today, X-Men Origins: Wolverine comes out on Blu-Ray. Sure. The movie wasn't great. In fact, how Wolvie got his adamantium skeleton and claws and how he lost his memory was just plain dumb. But it was still a pretty fun movie with lots of high points. It's defin…

Monday is the New Dreaming Day

This week I'm working on a new schedule. Kids going back to school will do that. Also, my awesome, amazing wife started a new job today. So in order to ensure that we have our weekly Date Day together, I'll be taking Thursdays off instead of Monday from now on.
Now, on Monday mornings I'm fried. Really fried. Some Mondays, especially after doing everything to get ready for Sunday Celebration, preaching and then our LifeGroup that evening, I feel like my brain has been hit by an angry bus. And because that bus was so angry, it backed up to hit me again :-)
I love taking time every single week to pray and dream about what God wants to do. I dream about what God wants to do in my life and my relationship with him. I dream about what God wants to do in my family to stretch us and grow us closer together. I dream about what God wants to do our the church that I pastor so that everyone will continue to grow in their spiritual journey.
Monday mornings with a fried brain m…

Let the Chase Begin!

I'm really pumped for the next six weeks at LifeSpring. Starting this Sunday we'll be studying the book Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. This book was HUGE in my personal walk with Christ when I read it last November. I had the opportunity to meet Mark at The Sticks conference last year. His talk and this book really put a passion in me to see the Spirit of God really work in my life. I'm excited to preach for the next six weeks on this topic and to have each of our LifeGroups get deeper into the topics in their home meetings. We'll also be providing new Bible study resources in order to help people get into God's Word more in their own private time. It's going to be great!!
For me personally, following the Wild Goose hasn't always been easy. In fact, sometimes it's just flat out hard! As a pastor, sometimes hard decisions have to be made. Sometimes people are not going to like you or agree with you. Sometimes you have to have difficult con…

Love is Here

This morning I was sitting in my favorite chair, reading my Bible and praying to God and just struck by all the wonderful love that I have in my life.
I'm loved by an awesome and holy and just and powerful and all-knowing God. He loves me so much that he would come to this earth and pay the ultimate price to bring me back to him. That is so mind blowing!!
I'm loved by an wonderful and fun and caring and godly wife. I still wake up in the morning in shock and awe that such a great woman would be married to me!
I'm loved by two great kids! They're caring and thoughtful and funny as can be and bring such joy to my life.
I'm loved by great family members. I'm loved by great friends.
Sometimes when I'm struggling and stressing out over leading a church and a family it's easy to forget about all this love and only focus on the stresses of life. But love is here! It's all around me ALL THE TIME!
This song was playing in the background during my prayer t…

One Prayer 2009 Update

In June, our church partnered with nearly 2000 other churches around the world in One Prayer. This was such a huge blessing to our church to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and I'm looking forward to being even more involved with it next year!
Just received an awesome email from the One Prayer team with an update on how One Prayer went and an exciting opportunity for pastors who participated in One Prayer. You can check out this announcement by watching this video from Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv.
I love the idea of the God is... book! In fact, I'll be submitting a chapter for consideration. I'll be using my God is... Jesus message. And who knows, maybe with a LOT of prayer that will be my first work published :)
It's so amazing to see what God can do with his church stands together! LOVE IT!!! My most heart felt prayers go out to the guys and gals who came up with this One Prayer idea!

Love Everyone. Pray for Everyone.

We're back from our little family vacation. We had such a wonderful time of relaxing and just spending time together connecting as a family. We played games, went to beach, watched movies (my kids are now Back to the Future junkies!), read books, and just enjoyed all the blessings God poured out on us that week.
I spent some great time with God and I'm really excited by all that I see him doing in my life privately and what I see happening at our church. I really feel that God is going to do some great things.
One of the things that hit me in my quiet time is how grateful and thankful am I of the previous church were I served as the associate pastor. While studying the book of Colossians I was reminded of one of the qualities of the senior pastor that greatly admired. He was really great at keeping us on track to love and pray for people. He wouldn't let us as a staff get frustrated and annoyed with people but always pulled us back to love and pray for everyone. I REA…

What a Week!!

WOW!!! This was the kind of week that really PUMPS ME UP as a church leader! I was meeting with leaders from our church, leaders in the community, leaders from leading nation wide ministries, members from our church and people from the community. And all I can say about all of it is:
WOW!!!
God has some pretty big plans for us as a church this fall. I'm so excited and encouraged by all the wonderful comments and feedback from everyone I'm talking with. I'm so excited to put our regroup efforts into place to really help us be a church that is bringing Jesus to people! I'm so excited.... and so humbled to be part of such a loving and passionate group of people.
Next week I'm relaxing all alone with my wife and kids. I'm so looking forward to just hanging and playing with them next week.
Then when we get back it will be to hit the ground running! Talk to you then!

God is Awesome!

Late last night as I was sitting in the hot tube (yes... I spend a lot of time in the hot tube when I stay with my parents... LOVE IT!) all the lights were off and I was staring up into the sky. The night was perfectly clear and the beauty of the stars was just filling the sky! I could see the Milky Way stretching from one end of the sky to the other. It was just amazing to be still in the water and take in the wonders of God's creation!

Then my parents and I sat back in our lawn chairs to watch a meteor shower. We only saw about 5-6 shooting stars... but it was pretty cool anyways.

This week has been great for getting a bunch of writing done and sermons prepped. I was so thankful for the chance to be here and just take in all of God's awesomeness!

I was reminded of this...


How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! - Psalm 47:2

Looking forward to heading home in the morning!

Neet Dream the Other Night

One thing about being up at my parent's place is the very weird and realistic dreams I have here. Maybe it's all the fresh country air or my blood being thinned out from all the time in the hot tube... not sure what it is but had an awesome dream the other night.

I dreamed we were just about to start our Sunday celebration service at LifeSpring. We meet in the community room of a local hockey arena that can sit around a hundred. Well, in the dream, just before we started, a few guests started showing up... and then more... and then even more. While the worship team started even more showed up that I was running around setting up chairs for everyone! I was preaching on the Greatest Commandment (which I'm actually doing this coming Sunday) and during the message ALL of the 200+ visitors accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! Then we spent the afternoon baptising all these people and then trying to get all of them into LifeGroups to meet during the week!

Pretty…

Reading and Writing Week

I'm up north at my mom's place with the kids this week... they are enjoying a fun filled week with their grandparents while I enjoy the quietness of this place to get a lot of writing done! I'm hoping to get a research paper for school finished and get a few sermons done for the spring. Both projects are a blast but are really frying my brain! :) That's why I'm thankful for the quiet, forest surroundings here... and the hot tub (which I'm going to jump in as soon as I'm done writing this!)

A part of me loves getting into the books and studying some tough stuff that Scripture brings out... but there's another part of me that wants to write my own book and call it "Who Cares??" I'm writing my paper on 1 Timothy 2:12 (Google it if you don't know it and you can imagine the arguments that this stirs up!) With all the opinions on egalitarians and complementarians I just can't help but wonder if it really matters... I mean... really.…

What if we flipped this...

I recently read that the average church in North America allocates about 5% of their total budget on Missions and Evangelism. The rest of the money goes to pay staff and buildings and equipment and programs for church members like children and youth.
I can't help but wonder what would the world look like if we flipped that around... what if 95% of our church budgets went to reaching out to a lost and hurting world? What if our programs were not just about building ourselves up but were all about teaching us to obey everything that Jesus commanded so that we would go and make disciples of all the nations? What if 95% of churches' money was being poured back into our communities through the lives of people radically transformed by the message, power and love of Jesus Christ?
I wonder what that would look like... probably like the church I read about in my Bible.

Thanks Bill!

Tonight I went to the funeral of a man named Bill. I didn't know him well... in fact, I barely knew him at all... just a few meetings regarding some ministry possibilities... but there was something about this guy that really prompted me to want to pay my respects when I learned that he passed away last week.

I was reminded of a lot of different things tonight listening to story after story of the influence that Bill had on the lives of so many man.

First, God can use anyone for his glory! Bill wasn't perfect... but he had a huge love for his Savior and Lord. That love was his driving force for seeing as many men as possible coming to faith in Christ and grow in their relationship. He knew of his own need for forgiveness and shared that passionately with others around him. He didn't have a seminary degree, or ministry training or the latest technology or ministry know how... he just loved God so much... and God has been using that love for his glory and to impact hundre…

Planet Hulk Movie!

Ok! The geeky fanboy in me LOVES THIS!! Last year one of the best comics I read was Planet Hulk. It was probably one of the coolest Hulk stories I've ever read. So guess how excited I was when I found this new trailer for an animated movie of that comic?? You guessed it! Pretty excited indeed.

Check it out! (If you're reading this on Facebook or the church blog check out this link!)

More Planet Hulk Info

Ministry Focus

Image
On Sunday, I gave an update on some of the stuff that we've been working on as the leadership team at LifeSpring. If you missed out on this message, I would encourage you to check it out on our site. You can access it here.

We want to ensure that we as a church are helping everyone become all that God created them to be. We want to ensure that our areas of ministry are laser focused on the vision that God has put before us. If we are to be "Bringing Jesus to People", then we don't want anything to get in the way of this... even if it's a good idea. We want to be sure that we're doing GOD's idea!

I presented how we believe that God has us in a season of focus. We need to make some slight changes to our leadership structure in order to ensure that the church is not so dependant on the involvement of just a few people. We want a structure that will be able to sustain the ministry for years to come.

(The image above shows how the ministries and our leadership te…

Big Truth in a Page

There are some big truths that I go back to regularly in my Bible reading and devotional time. Over the past year and a half I return at least every couple of weeks to a couple of very small and seemingly unrelated stories in the Gospel of Luke...

The first is from Luke 8:22-25. This is when Jesus is sound asleep in a boat while the boat is being swamped by a huge storm. His disciples are freaking out because they know they're in a bad situation. They wake Jesus. He stops the storm. And then they look at each other "Who is this man?"

The next is on just the next page... Luke 9:18-20. Here, Jesus is talking with his disciples about who the crowds claim Jesus is. They respond that some people think he's a prophet and others that he's John the Baptist or Elijah. Jesus wants to know who do the disciples think he is. Peter declares "You are the Messiah sent from God!"

In just one page... one simple page... the disciples go from questioning who Jesus i…

A Lot of Wisdom in 140 Characters

I twitter. I like it. I learn from it. I like to think that others learn from me as well :) I love the fact that I can take a simple sentence of less then 140 character in length and unpack so much!

This morning Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, tweeted a very simple little statement which is really rocking my devotional time this morning.
It's distractions, not doing evil, that sideline most pastors. They lose focus. It's all about the Global Glory of God. PeriodThat really gets me thinking this morning... what are my distractions? Am I faithful with doing the call that God has specifically for me or do I allow myself to be distraction by the million other good things I could spend time on? How do I prevent myself from allowing the distractions from sidelining the ministry that God wants to do at LifeSpring? How do I manage the expectations of people that I care about when they bring the distractions?

I think the answer comes first from a lot of quality ti…

My Baby's Sixth Birthday!

Image
I can not believe that my little baby girl is already six years old today! She is such a great kid and I'm so incredibly proud of her. She is so gifted and talented in so many ways. She loves to draw and sing and play the piano and take pictures. And she's hilarious. Her jokes and her laughter just keeps the family in stiches.



Happy Birthday Love!

Doing a Lot of Praying

I truly believe that pray is the most important thing that I can be doing as a leader in my church. Prayer is the most powerful way to ensure that I'm walking closely with God and that he is truly working in my life and in the life of the church where he placed me.

It is very sad when the busyness of church ministry seems to squeeze out that quiet and personal time with God. Why does that happen? I talk with so many leaders who really struggle with making that time with God a priority in their lives. It happens easily in my life... too many late nights ready ministry books or going to meetings or meeting with people... and then suddenly I'm sleeping in and not starting the next day on my knees in the presence of the awesome God I serve.

I'm more and more determined to make this time with God the priority. In fact, I'm going to be guarding that time even more! No early meetings. No breakfasts with people. I'm busy. I've got appointments booked with the cr…

Explosion!

Image
Did I mention that I LOVE the fact that I don't preach every single Sunday at our church? If I didn't... well... I do! :)

By only preaching 50% of the our Sundays I find I'm able to spend so much more time working on the vision and mission of the church. I'm able to meet more regularly with our leaders. I'm able to make so many more connections in the community, like other churches and ministries and social service groups. I absolutely love this! And the fact that LifeSpring has some great relationship with other churches and ministries is a huge blessing when they come and participate in our Sunday Celebrations, either by teaching or leading worship.

Since I'm not preaching for the next two weeks I'm going through a reading explosion! I've got multiple books on cell church ministry that I've been meaning to get through. So now is the time! Our goal as a leadership team is to ensure that our ministries are focused on the mission of LifeSpring and livi…

Happy 8th Birthday Cameron!

Image
Today we're celebrating our son Cameron. The big guy turns 8 years old today. I remember him being born like it was yesterday. Hard to believe how fast the time goes!
He is being such a great young man! I'm so incredibly proud of him and he brings so much joy and laughter into our family.
Happy Birthday buddy!

One Prayer Interview

Over on the LifeChurch: Swerve blog they are interviewing pastors who have been participating with One Prayer this year. I think this is an awesome way to get to know some leaders better... so I figured I'd answer the same questions that they are asking....

1. What is the biggest leadership lesson you’ve learned over the past year?
This year, God has really been showing me that leading is hard! And it may not win you a lot of friends :) There is such a delicate balance between leading people and pleasing people... Luke 12:48 is really hitting home these days, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." I'm learning more and more when it's time to push God's plan forward... and when it's time to let everyone around me catch up... and praying that I'm doing well with everything that God has entrusted to me :)

2. What is God showing you personally?
God is REALL…

Crazy Love!

Image
Gee... this one post a week is getting sad... gotta get the writing juices flowing again :)

Just started reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This is the kind of book that really gets my heart pumping. How am I really letting my love for God and his love for me to radically transform my life? Am I quick to just give God my todo list... or do I spend enough time listening for his voice and his plan for my life and ministry?

My wife and I are doing this book as part of our personal devotion time. We're praying a lot for God's love to make even more of a difference in our lives!

This is going to be part of our focus at LifeSpring during the summer as well. We're going to be studying the book of Mark. Why? Because I really want us to understand the heart of God by looking at how Jesus lived out his live and his ministry. Jesus said "if you've seen me, you've seen the Father". I praying that this examination on the crazy love of Jesus, a love so craz…

I'm NO Writer!

Wow! I'm really being stretched and challenged this week. I do love that... but this one is REALLY highlighting one of my biggest weaknesses.

And that weakness is the fact that I'm a terrible writer!

I'm currently working on a paper for my seminary class on Biblical Interpretation... Researching and writing papers is probably the hardest way for me to learn. My brain doesn't process information that way... I've always done the poorest in classes that require a lot of reading and writing. I like to think it's because I'm bilingual - which means I'm bad at writing in both French and English :-)

I am definitely a learn by doing kind of guy. I learn by playing with things, taking them apart and putting them into practice in my life. I learn by trying and making mistakes. I learn by being dropped into the fire or the lion's pit and then getting out of it. Sitting in front of Microsoft Word with a stack of books on my desk and wrestling with the Engl…

Coffee Time Tonight

If you read this blog or follow me on Twitter or Facebook it's probably no surprise that I like coffee. I'm always available to get to know people and chat over a cup o' Joe. I think I've had my best theological and ministry discussions over coffee (or after a game of Warhammer!).

Tonight and for the next 2 weeks, Danielle and I will be having a coffee and tea drop-in open house so the people of LifeSpring can come on by and get to know us better. We're very excited about this church that God has brought us to and we're looking forward to getting to know everyone even more.

The drop in is from 7pm to 9pm. Looking forward to seeing you here.

One Prayer

Image
I'm really excited that LifeSpring is going to be a part of One Prayer 2009!

One Prayer started out of the heart of the leaders at LifeChurch.tv that the churches of the world would be the answer to Jesus' prayer in Luke 17:20-24, that we would be one! In 2008, God worked in amazing ways at 2 million believers stood together pray, fast, learn, and love others.

This year their going it again with the theme of "God is...". What was pretty amazing was the fact that we already had the month of June schedule with a teaching series called "Knowing God is..." and this was booked last year long before we knew anything about One Prayer! How cool is that?!??!

I'm excited to be joining over 1600 churches around the world as we look at who God is and how that should make an extraordinary difference in our lives and in the lives of the people of our communities. We'll be praying that we will be more bold in our service of those around us. We'll be praying that …

What If?

This morning I was reading in John 8 the story of the woman caught in an act of adultery. The religious leaders want to stone her for breaking their traditional laws, and also want to use this opportunity to trap Jesus into saying something that they can use against him.

Of course, we know how this story ends. Jesus kneels down, protects this woman from the religious mob, and says the famous words "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her". They leave... and Jesus forgives her and tells her to sin no more.

What if... well... what if we, as followers of Jesus, actually followed his example in this story? What if we were the type of people who protected sinners from religious people? What if we showed such love to people who have made poor choices in life that they would be able to give up those habits? What if we protected and loved them instead of condemned them?

If Jesus didn't condemn her then why do we???

Living Properly

I've been doing a TON of reading this week. My family was away for the past 4 days and I've been home alone getting caught up on my homework for seminary. The brain is feeling a little squishy from all the intake :-)

Part of one of my assignments was to study a verse found in Peter's first letter. I had to study a couple of the original Greek words to determine the true meaning of the verse... the assignment is finished and handed in... but the verse is just going over and over and over in my mind and in my heart. This is the verse:
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing
wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)This verse is just really hitting home, especially after attending a seminar last week with author Hugh Halter and now reading his book, The Tangible Kingdom. The verse, and many others in the New Testament, tell us to be living out good lives so that other people outside of the fait…

10 Stupid Things That Keep Churches from Growing

I'm currently reading the book "Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing" by Geoff Surratt. I'm just loving it so far. His writing style and personal examples are incredibly easy to relate it.

His chapter on the Sunday morning worship service is especially interesting. There he presents a top 10 list to improve your weekend experience. This is great stuff and worth the price of the book alone! Sure, a bunch of them I could have guessed and probably knew already... but having them all in one place definitely makes it a lot easier for pastors to evaluate and improve on their services.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be rereading each of those top 10 items and will probably blog about what God is showing me in this.

His number 1 is "Ask the Hard Questions". I LOVE hard questions! I love when I'm asked the hard questions and I love trying to find the answers to hard questions.

I think the role of the pastor and the leadership of the church is to not …

Competing or Completing

I LOVE talking to other churches and sitting down with other pastors to discuss how our churches could be working closer together for the glory of God and have a better impact in our community! I really really do. I could do this all day, every day. I love the fact that there are some churches out there that are doing things so incredibly radically different then what I would do. I love that those churches are reaching out to communities and people who I would never be able to reach.

I was just listening to a video with Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv. On it he says "In order to reach people no one else is reaching you have to do things that no one else is doing. But in order to things no one is doing you can't do what everyone else is doing!"

I LOVE THIS!

What is the difference between most evangelical churches in the area? When you really look at them... they mostly do the same thing: Sunday services, small groups, children's ministry, youth ministry, …

Leader, have you lost your first love?

This morning I'm reading Revelation chapter 2... not because I'm preaching on it or that I have to for school... but because my best bud told me how much it impacted him last week... so I want some of that as well :-)

Over the last few weeks I've been chatting with different pastors and church leaders who are struggling. Really struggling. It seems like here in this part of the world (can't speak for anywhere else) there is a huge push from people in the church to get our churches to return to a much more conservative, exclusive type of ministry. This push is a hard, judging, right-or-wrong fight for their way to do ministry. I cried like a child Saturday night as I prayed for the churches who just seem to want to do ministry for themselves... who seem to have no love or grace in their hearts for the hurting and the struggling and the lost.

Church leaders who are dealing with this appear (again, just in my limited opinion) to have drifted from their role as leaders and h…

Dreaming

Image
Haven't been much in the mood to blog lately...  hard to pin down the exact reasons... but I would guess it's mainly because I just seem to have SOOOO much floating around my head right now that it's incredibly hard to focus on all of it.  It's also hard to decide what to blog about and what God wants me to just sit on and have a private conversation with him and him alone.
Ever have that?  Ever feel like God is just revealing so much to you but you're not allowed to share it?  As a guy who loves to talk this is definitely stretching me!!  :)
All I know is God is working big time in my dreams.  Seems like every time I close my eyes (whether asleep or awake) dreams of the church and how we should be living our lives as followers of Jesus are just non stop!
The trick now is to continue just praying and dreaming and talking to God.  Which dreams does he want for my life?  Which dreams does he want for the church where I serve?  Which dreams are for people around me?  Whi…

Paul's Prayer for Spiritual Empowering

I'm sitting in William's coffee pub, working on my talk that I'm doing for counsellors at a nearby Christian camp this Saturday.  I was reading Ephesians 3 and verses 14 to 21 have REALLY jumped out at me!  I think this is going to be my focus on Saturday to encourage them.

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life…

Going to be a GREAT Weekend!

Image
This weekend is just perfect for a geek like myself!  First of all, it's the release of the new Wolverine movie!!!  YAHHHOOO!!!!  I'm so pumped to see this!  From everything that I've been reading and hearing it should be great.
Also, it's the first weekend in May and that  means FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!  My kids and I love this day.  Nothing like getting a couple of free comic books to enjoy together!  Check out the website to find a place near you to get your free books!  This is a great way to encourage your kids to be regular readers.  I love reading... and gotta admit that I've been slacking off on reading with my kids.  This is a great reminder to myself on building reading into the lives of my kids!
Have an awesome time reading and geeking out this weekend!

Lesson Learned in a Starbuck's

Image
Today I had a very VERY interesting encounter with God.  And he really punched me in the gut on this... I don't think I'm going to sleep for days thinking and praying on this one...
There I was, sitting quietly in a Starbuck's, enjoying my morning Green Tea (gotta cut down on the coffee) and reading a book on church growth.  This morning was a bit different since I was in a completely different city since I had driven my mother in law to a doctor's appointment and was there waiting for appointment to be over. 
Now... I normally don't ease drop on nearby conversations... but the excitement and discussion at the table across from me caught my attention and I found myself trying to hear what they were talking about.  There were four people at this table, 3 men, 1 woman:  3 in their twenties the other maybe mid forties... After listening for a minute I came to realize that they were the leadership team of a nearby church.  Didn't hear if it was a new church plant or …

Living with Confidence

Image
This Sunday I'm wrapping up our Resurrection series with a look at 1 Corinthians 15.  It's pretty interesting started in a new church that already has it's preaching schedule put together... for the next couple of months all the topics have already been chosen :)
I'm having a great time studying this and one pretty big truth is hitting me... and that is the fact that many of us Christians don't seem to be living our lives with confidence that Christ is really in control and that all our hope can be found in him.  We all do it eventually... that's pretty normal... but it just seems like a lot of churches are going through the motions of doing the church thing and seem like they've settled for the fact that they don't see lives transformed by the power and spirit of God!
And that's just sad.
We believe the Bible is true... but we live by the lies of the devil... we live with a lack of confidence in who God is and what the resurrection of Christs means in…

Clarity and Purpose

Clarity and Purpose are fast becoming my two favorite words... especially when it comes to church ministry.  Why?  Because it's incredibly difficult to do anything constructive and effective without clarity and purpose in our ministry.

I love the definitions of these two words...

Clarity: clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

Purpose: the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.

I think in ministry what can so easily happen is that we just get used to the way things have always been done that we forget what it is supposed to be accomplishing... without that constant reminder ministries just start to get mixed in ambiguity and it's reason for existing gets lost...
That's why I think it's of the utmost importance to make our ministry purposeful and to make that purpose so clear that everyone understands and is on board with it.
In my new role here at LifeSpring I think we're going to have a …