Showing posts from 2011

Christmas is Forgiving

Fifty Books I've Loved and Learned From - Book TWO: Man in the Mirror

All my writing time has been going into papers for school... With the semester winding down (and the fact that I need a BIG break from school) I'm back on this topic of the books that have most influenced my life. In this list of books, I'm not including the Bible. That is the book that has changed me the most... so it's implied in this list :)

When I was a brand new believer in Jesus Christ at the age of 28, to be honest, I really didn't have any clue at all what that meant... what did it mean to be a Christian husband, employee, and guy in general???

In 2001 I was at a men's breakfast... it was a real miracle that I was even at the breakfast since it was in a completely different city than where I lived at the time. I met one of the leaders there, shared my story with him, and he gave me a copy of the book Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley. I got home that afternoon and read the entire book in one sitting! This was EXACTLY what I'd been looking for!


Greenbelt Online - You Free Monday to Help Me??

If you have between 45-60 minutes to spare on Monday, you could really help me out.

My church is preparing to launch an online church experience in the New Year. We're really excited about this technology and the potential to bring the love of Jesus to our city and around the world.

I'm looking for people who could give me some simple feedback on the online church that we're going to set up. I'm especially interested in the opinion of people who don't normal attend church... or have never experienced an online church service... No matter what you're background is you could be a HUGE help to me.

So... at noon and 7:30pm EST I will be logged on at experiencing their church online. I would love for you to join me for one of those two times. Simply sit back and enjoy the experience. Then email me at and tell me that you were there... I'll send you an email with 2 very simple questions. Everyone who helps …

Passionate Followers

More Than Rules

Here is week 5 of our Not a Fan series!

Fifty Books I've Loved and Learned From - Book ONE: Confessions of a Pastor

I've completely stolen this blog topic idea from my good friend Joel Bennett. Joel is a great ministry coach and mentor and I strongly encourage you to check out his site.
I'm a big reader... and I've been incredibly blessed/challenged/stretched/broken/encouraged over the years through some fantastic books. So, like Joel is doing on his Facebook page, I decided I would blog about the 50 books that have had a big impact on me. Now, before we start... let me just flat out say, the Bible is really NUMBER ONE! That's a given... these are the fifty books that come AFTER the Bible :)
BOOK ONE: Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel
I actually stumbled on this book during a pretty low point in my ministry. I hadn't been in ministry all that long... maybe a year and a half... and I was already feeling myself heading towards a burnout. I was losing my joy and passion for Jesus and for the church... and I couldn't explain why.
Then God gave me the answer. Like Pas…

The Comfortable Cross

Fan or Follower?

A Place for Everyone - Week 3

I was away for school last week and didn't get a chance to upload the conclusion to our A Place for Everyone series.

Five Years Ago Today

This is just REALLY hard for me to believe...

Five years ago today I worked my last day in the computer industry. Five years ago today I said goodbye to incredible people and an incredible career... and followed God on the craziest, roller-coaster of my life: I went into full-time pastoral ministry.
Five years?!!?! Where does the time go?
These past five years have really been incredible. I've learned so much about myself, the church, my family, and more importantly, about God! There have been times that were incredibly exciting. There were times that were incredibly challenging. There were times when I thought changing careers was the dumbest move ever. But way more often were times when I wouldn't trade a thing in my life for a billion dollars!
I've been reflecting a lot on the last five years this week (maybe even a little bit too much since this Sunday's message is still in its outline phase!). Looking back on the work that God has done in me and through me jus…

A Place for Everyone - Week 2

This week we kicked off recording our messages on to video.

Video Testing

Our church is in the process of going from audio sermon recordings to full video. I'm pretty pumped about this and looking forward to finding more ways that integrate technology to help people connect with God and with each other.
This post is mainly so we can test out how embedding the video on our site will work... the sound will be much better with the actual sermons. This was my practice run through of last Sunday's message on Esther.
Furnace Faith - Esther from Greenbelt Online on Vimeo.

Playing on the Line

This past weekend I went camping with my wife's family. They all LOVE camping. Me... not so much. It's kind of become the family joke that camping is just not my thing... but do love spending time with the whole family so I go as much as I can.
When we head to the beach we only really have one rule for the kids. If no adult is in the water they are NOT allowed to go pass the roped off area. The lake has this big section of the water roped off to show everyone where it is safe to swim. The section that is roped off is huge, probably a couple of hundred meters of great water to play in.
What struck me yesterday was how every single time the adults are out of the water and we force the kids back into the roped area... well... where do they end up swimming and playing? RIGHT ON THE ROPE! They spend the entire time sitting right on the line! And of course you know what happens... one of them eventually crosses over the line... and immediately makes up excuses. "Someone…

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today is an awesome day in the Presseault household! 8 years ago today the most amazing baby girl was born! Samantha was brought 8 years of awesomeness to our family.

I so proud of the young lady that she is. I love her sense of humor and her heart for singing and music and worshipping God!

Happy Birthday Princess! I love being your Daddy!

The Best Thing about the 4th of July

That was the day that my son Cameron was born. He is such a great kid! I'm always so proud of him. He's funny, kind, smart, helpful... And we see Jesus already doing great things in his heart.

As a 10 year old it's AWESOME seeing him volunteer at church to help out the toddlers... He started volunteering in our church's nursery and he does such a good job there.

I'm also SO grateful to a few teen guys who have taking my son under their wing and are spending time with him. The impact that they have on him is so big and i'm incredibly grateful for how they are modeling being a Christian young man to him.

Happy birthday Cameron! Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

5th Anniversary

Gee! How did I miss this??? A few weeks ago was the 5th anniversary of when I started this blog. That's pretty crazy! Hard to believe it's been that long already! I've actually been blogging 2 years longer than that... my first blog was running on a Lotus Notes/Domino server using the very awesome Blog template from Now that DEFINITELY feels like a lifetime ago!
I've been reevaluating what I want to make available on this blog... Blogging used to be a great outlet for me since I love writing and didn't have many opportunities to do that. Now, I'm writing a 35 minute speech almost every week. Which, I just learned this week, is way more than what professional speech writers for politicians have to do :)
I'd like to start blogging more about how my sermon prep is impacting me... and how other Pastor's sermons are impacting me. Now that I speak a lot more than I need to listen, I need to make listening a much more important part of my j…

Pray for Boldness

Do you ever get bored of just going through the motions with church? This may sound odd for a Pastor to say this... but it's very easy for me to get bored with church. Why? Because I worry that sometimes the way we are living our lives as Christians here in our 2011 Canadian culture just doesn't match up with what I read in the New Testament. It gets way too easy to evaluate how the modern day church is doing spiritual by looking at the number of people who come and enjoy what they experience... it's much more difficult to evaluate life change and transformation.
Over the past couple of weeks I've been studying Paul's letter of Philemon. Paul wrote this letter to a wealthy slave owner named Philemon asking him to welcome back as a brother in Christ the runaway slave Onesimus. This isn't normally a letter that we preach all that much on... maybe it's because it doesn't contain any deep theological view of God or Christ... or maybe we're just unc…

YouVersion Updates

I LOVE YOUVERSION! It is my favorite app on my iPad. I just love how easy the YouVersion team has made Bible accessible for so many people all around the world!
A bunch of new features came out today. You can read about them all HERE.
I'm thrilled to see the YouVersion Live events are now a part of the iPad app. I've been playing around with the events to see how we could use this for our sermon notes and helping people get connected here at Greenbelt.
If you're not using YouVersion on your mobile device yet I would strongly recommend you go and download it right now! Check out and click the mobile button at the top of the page and download yours for free!

If We're Still Here on Sunday...

I've had a number of conversations with people, both Christian and non-Christian, about all the news coverage surrounding the idea that this Saturday, May 21st, has been calculated as Judgement Day by a guy named Harold Camping. And to be honest, I've kept my opinion on this matter to myself. But I do want to say something to the people who truly believe that they will be seeing Jesus face to face on Saturday... and they may be struggling with the fact that it's Sunday.
I just want you to know that God loves you!
I'm sure you're feeling very confused... I'm sure you in a place of doubt and hurt... You may be feeling betrayed or even lied to... I want to simply remind you that God hasn't abandoned you nor has he forsaken you. God loves you so very much!
Please don't let the fact that it's Sunday, May 22nd, taint your opinion of God. Please don't let it taint your view of Jesus Christ and what he did for you by paying the price for all of your…

Preach the Hard Stuff

This Sunday I'm preaching about money. I love preaching about money. In fact, I love preaching about all the tough issues in the Bible. Why? Because they make me uncomfortable. And I love when God makes me uncomfortable... that's usually when he's going to do something interesting in my life!
Last week I was away for a week class in seminary. During one of the class another pastor shared how he doesn't do any preaching on issues like sex or money because the families in his church don't want to hear those topics. And to be honest that shocked me. The idea of picking and choosing which parts of the Bible we will teach just because we don't want to upset people seems to be very unbiblical. I don't see Jesus avoiding the tough conversations because the crowds didn't like to hear that stuff. I don't see the apostle Paul avoiding dealing with hard issues to make sure that the people listening are happy with the message.
Even sadder is the reality…

The Art of Online Ministry by Dana Byers

This morning I just finished reading the pre-released copy of the free ebook "The Art of Online Ministry" by Dana Byers. Dana is the president of Blue Door Ministries and passionate about church online and using modern technology to reach people with the message of Jesus all around the world.
This short ebook serves as an EXCELLENT guide to the world of church online ministry. I've always considered myself somewhat a tech expert. Working in the computer industry for 13 years before becoming a pastor kind of brings that tech experience with me. But to be honest, online church was a bit of a challenge for me... not so much as to "why" churches should do it (after all, I became a Christian thanks to an online ministry in 1998 and believe that every church should have a strong internet presence!) but the issue for me was "how" could churches do it. Was this a ministry just for the big, mega, America churches... did this require people with tech skills…

Time to Play?

I've been praying and thinking a lot about play time. That may sound a little weird coming from a 39 year old... but I do. Play time is on my mind a lot because it's definitely something that I don't seem to have a lot of time for these days.
I'm a big believer in the Sabbath - the spiritual discipline of taking time off and resting and just enjoying God and life. But lately my Sabbath keeping has seemed to be either spent getting work done around the house or school work or catching up on stuff to do at the church. Now that I'm reflecting on it... I don't think I've honestly taken a Sabbath rest since our vacation in January. Not cool!
Now... I hear all about these pastors who have great play time. I hear about it in the conferences they speak at and in the books they write... and I can't help but wonder - is it just the big church guys who are able to pull this off? Is it when you finally have a huge staff that more play time becomes available? …

The Jealous Pastor

I was away for a seminary course recently. On my long drive home I had a bunch of Andy Stanley leadership talks from Catalyst. I figured I'd listen to have 5 or 6 of them on my 6 hour car ride. Well... the first one I put in just gripped me... and I listened to it 6 times straight! In fact, I'm still praying and trying to process everything that I heard from Andy on the CD and what God was saying to my heart.
His talk was called "State of the Heart Leadership: Four Habits of a Healthy Leader". He based this message around what Jesus told the religious Pharisees in Mark 7 "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'" Andy then talks about how four types of leaders come out of our hearts: The Guilty Leader, The Angry Leader, The Jealous Leader, and The Greedy Leader.
These really hit me and challenged me... and made me l…

Learning The Gospel

WOW! The Christian world seems to be all abuzz talking about "Universalism" . And I'll admit... up to a couple of weeks ago, I had no clue what that even meant - and I won't be explaining it or debating it here. Feel free to Google it and read more about it yourself. In the last 2 weeks I've had more conversations about universalism then probably any other theological idea.
So I guess it's no coincidence that in October I scheduled on our preaching calendar here at Greenbelt a 3 week study on the book of Galatians called "Learning the Gospel" If you're not a believer in preparing your preaching calendar six months in advance because it stifles the spirit of God... well... here's a great example of how praying on this topic for the past 4 months has aligned with exactly where God has brought us. I love it when God does that! This series will be exploring who Jesus is, what does our relationship with him really mean... and why it makes a…

My Week so Far

This week I'm back in my old hood of Kitchener-Waterloo to attend a course at Heritage Seminary. For those who don't know, I'm currently working on getting a Diploma of Pastoral Studies and Leadership and then I'll be taking 10 other courses in order to get an "equivalence" of a Master's of Theology. I couldn't go directly into the Master's program because I never went to university... but that's a whole other topic.
I love seminary. I do. No, really. I do. I read about a lot of pastor and how they describe seminary as "the cemetery"... and I guess I can see some truth to that. But I just love learning... and the courses that I'm taking at Heritage really encourage and grow my faith.
I do find myself in a tension though... part of me wants to learn... and the other part just wants to get out there and bring the love of Jesus to people. While I enjoy sitting around all week discussing the minute details of the Prison Epistle…

Monday Mind Dump

Gotta be honest... most Monday mornings I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I've heard other pastors call it a "spiritual hangover". Maybe that's the term I should start using :) Cause this weekend was an awesome spiritual roller coaster!On Friday evening my wife and I attended a pastors' dinner and conference put on by One Way Ministries. It was great to be a part of this... Being the new kid in town it was a tad awkward at first not knowing anyone... but then we found a few familiar faces so we didn't feel completely isolated :)

The conference itself was a preview of the Love and Respect conference which will be coming to Ottawa in November. I'm a big believer in the material covered by Love and Respect... in fact, I use the principals in all my discussions with couples. This was a great refresher of the material for me... but... man oh man was I ever uncomfortable sitting there for 1.5 hours for the first session. Maybe I had the only broke…

Practical Atheist

Over the past few weeks our church has been doing a preaching series called Practical Atheist. This is based on the book The Christian Atheist by Pastor Craig Groeschel. I've been blown away by how God has worked in the hearts of so many people over the past few weeks. Mind you, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Pastor Craig's ministry has had such a huge influence on my personal walk with Jesus so just is just a continuation of that blessing.
This week we're probably going to hit the hardest topic for me to preach on, I Believe in God but I Pursue Happiness at All Costs. I'm going to be using Jesus' parable of the sower and look at how our pursuit of happiness causes us to miss out on truly how God wants from our lives. This topic hits me right between the eyes as I'm being open and honest with God about what allow to be entertainment or how I go about trying to be happy. Do I allow myself to be entertained by sin? Do I pursue the world's view o…

DC Universe Online - First Impressions

It's been awhile since I've blogged about anything Geeky... guess I've been spending way too much time doing house renovations :)
This past weekend I picked up DC Universe Online, the new massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on the super heroes and villains from DC Comics. These heroes and villains include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker, Catwoman and many other that I've loved for years!
I've only been playing it on and off over the past few days... but I thought I'd share my initial thoughts of the game. So here they are in no particular order.
First off, I just LOVED the Collector's Edition of the game. Since I was trading in a number of my used games at GameStop, I actually had enough trade in credit to pay the full amount of the Collector's Edition. I've never bought a collector's edition of a game before... just never saw any value in playing a extra $20-30 for a game. For this one, I'm sure glad I did! The coll…

My Gift to my Heavenly Father

I love Thursday afternoons!
Since starting here at Greenbelt as the Teaching Pastor I've worked something new into my regular work week. Every Thursday afternoon I run through my Sunday sermon several times, sometimes as many as four.
When I originally started this I thought it would simply help me to deliver a better sermon on Sundays. I never realized how much this would help me personally and spiritually. This has really turned into a wonderful relationship building experience between me and God.
As I start the first run through, I feel like a little kid who's made a home made Christmas present for his dad. Sure, it's not perfect. Sure, I may have colored outside the lines or cut it all out crooked... but I gave it MY ALL! I tried my best! And I can't wait for my dad to have it. I look forward with anticipation to give this gift to my father. I just know that he's going to love it! And every week, I just feel it in my heart that he's well pleased wit…

Prayer for 2011

2010 was a crazy year for me. God took our family on some pretty crazy emotional and spiritual rollercoaster rides. I'm grateful for all that he did and taught me this past year. And I'm excited for this New Year ahead.
Since 2005, I've been reading the One Year Bible. This allows me to read the entire Bible in the course of the year. I also prayerfully consider how I want God to speak to me in while I read the Bible. I come up with a short sentence prayer that I then pray each time before I start my reading. I've been amazed at how each of those prayers have played out in my life as I spend time with God in his word.
The emotional ride of last year makes total sense when you realize that my prayer during 2010 was "Break my heart for what breaks yours". I don't think I've cried in 10 years as much as I have this passed year!
I'm preparing a six week preaching series based on the book The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel.... and already G…