Sunday, October 31, 2004

October report

Here are our monthly stats:

a. 8 people stayed overnight (Joy, Bondts(4), hayley's parents(2), Joe Vautour)
b. 43 people over to eat (51 if you include those who slept over)
c. 0 invites out for a meal
d. preached 7 times (3 @youth, 2 @daycare "chapel", 1 @funtastic night)
e. Every Thursday read Bible stories to daycare kids
f. at least 25 doors covered with literature
g. Handed out at least 560 tracts
g. 4 major events attended (pumpkin hunt, corinthian towers meeting, all-day prayer, funtastic night)
h. 10 new kids at youth group in the month (62 kids total)
i. 4 small group bible studies (22 people total)
j. 2 contacts with info

Joe's in town

Joe Vautour is here! Along with Hayley's parents, Joe is staying with us while he is on a course downtown. Don't know who Joe is? Shame! Joe and his wife Joan were the couple we stayed with in Italy on our way to the olympics in August.
Those who were on the team, would you be available for dinner some night next week? Let me know by comment, or email.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Halloween connection!!

Hayley here!!
Tonight was Halloween. While Shawn helped out with the "Funtastic Night" at the chapel; Me, Michelle Ali, and Kelly Benjamin went door to door giving out tracts and talking to people about some "scary" topics- Death, Sin, & Hell. The reception was great! Our best conversation was with a Muslim family from Pakistan who talked with us for 40 minutes. The wife wanted to talk to us so badly that she came out in her bare feet to listen; I told her I could wait for her to put her shoes on! We talked about how humans can never do enough good things to be accepted by God...we must be forgiven and made clean. His reply was, "How can I be cleansed?". We were able to share Christ and his power to clean up our Hearts. The conversation ended with us exchanging phone numbers and promising to come back and talk some more over the Bible. Please pray this will blossom into a family turned to Christ!!

B-unit dominates Pumpkin Hunt!!!

Well well well, chalk one up for the B-unit.
Last night was the "Great Pumpkin Hunt", which is an event held annually at Sanctuary, and organized mainly by Don Valley Bible Chapel. The idea behind the event is that different youth groups converge on the Toronto subway system for a scavenger hunt to find "the great pumpkin". This is a way for youth to not have to be forced to celebrate that old pagan holiday, which falls on October 31st (see below), but do something fun in it's place. Teams of 4 or 5 have a list of clues and must ask people in the subway "Have you seen the great pumpkin". Once the teams have collected all the clues, they discover a code and race to the final station to find the actual pumpkin. Winners are rewarded hansomely for the embarrasment of bothering complete strangers all night.
I believe this has something to do with the Charlie Brown - Great Pumpkin TV show, although I've never seen it.

Participants from Kitchener (Joe Boyacheck), Elmira (old Wishing Well guy), Scarborough (Brent Hargreaves - new Wishiing Well guy) and Noth York (Spov/Keith & Matt Craig - Don Valley) rounded out the list of contestants this year - and for the first time ever Bridlegrove (the B-unit) made an entry. We had 2 van loads of kids, which made for 2 teams - Hayley, Josh, Kelly, Dominique and Sabrina; Shawn, Clayon, Michelle, Nilanie and Alexandria (Connie & Tricia stayed back). Seeing as we had never participated, our hopes weren't that high that we would take home the pumpkin. We headed out, like the other teams, in a frantic scramble. While there was no running allowed, that didn't stop Josh Harding aka "Sargeant Swift" from running directly into a TTC driver and spilling her coffee all over herself.

As the night progressed it became evident that the 2 Bridlegrove teams were far superior and far ahead of the others! Our knowledge of the TTC allowed us to be more creative than other teams. Without knowing it, both our teams decided to split up and collect the clues seperately to save time, where as most teams stayed together so they wouldn't get lost. While on the train Michelle Ali prayed that we would win, which made the difference! If God is with us, who can be against us! Thank you Jesus!!

In conclusion, both Bridlegrove teams arrived at the last station at the SAME TIME! What ensued was a frantic chase to find this pumpkin. It was like a scene from chariots of fire. Up the stairs, down the stairs, East, West, yelling, asking. Thankfully Michelle Ali recognized the person holding the pumpkin and i was able to bound up the stairs and be the first to get to him!! Josh was close behind and so Bridlegrove (B-unit) had ended up 1st and 2nd place!!!

Shawn, Michelle, Clayon, Nilanie and Alexandria each recieved a 25.00 gift certificate at either HMV or Sportcheck, while Josh, Hayley, Kelly, Dominique and Sabrina each receieved McDonalds gift certificates. Josh was also awarded the title of "most spirited" participant, which felt almost as good as the sweat running down his back :)

So there you have it, quite a "first impression" for the B-unit. Hopefully the other youth groups won't be too embarrased and will invite us back next year :)


Log-29Oct04-Fri: 2:30-4 tracts at MAC with Scott Grieve, 4-6 Kelly & Josh over for dinner, 6-12:30 Pumpkin hunt

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Halloween recant

Log 28Oct04-Thurs::10-11AM read Bible stories to daycare kids, 11-2PM plan friday, calls, email. 2:30-4 tracts at LAM - good chats with "Hinna" muslim girl who is fasting for Ramadan and her Hindu friend. Pray for them and other Hindu's and Muslims that we talked to. Coincidentally yesterday the Gideons were there giving out New Testaments! This lead to lots of good chats. 6:30 Awana, 7:30-10 Maggie & Derek Bible study
Log 27Oct04-Wed: 10AM-5PM at chapel (meet, pray, reload laptop, catch up on emails, e-benji-lism email, rossland rally plan, return DVD to Mitchells, return Chrisitianity explored "starter pack", calls for Friday pumpkin hunt, repairs to house) 8-9:30 Prayer meeting



Like the friendly giant he is, our man Yetti (JM) made friendly some remarks about how harmless Halloween was - click here on an earlier post of mine click here. I found his post very insightful and well researched and agreed with him wholeheartedly.
I logged on tonight to find this comment, click here where Yetti states:
Kinda a recant...I am very much more inclined to say that they are some dreadfully wrong things assosciated with Halloween.

Spooky! A recant! I thought recanting died out with Martin Luther back in the 1600's. Who knew. Hopefully our man Yetti will shed some light on his new Halloween discoveries. Perhaps you have some opinion about Halloween? Is it evil? Does the Devil dance with delight when he sees little kiddies dressed up like Harry Potter? Should we abstain from participating? Can we use it to reach out and share the gospel?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Dinosaurs in the Bible

How old do you think the earth is? Billions of years, or thousands? Comment below...

Log update: (Hayley's parents are here and the hard drive on my laptop died)
23Oct04 Sat: Computer crash, Kitchener
24Oct04 Sun: 9:30-1PM church, 4PM-10 Birthday party for boys
25Oct04 Mon: Off day, 3:30-7:30 Condo next door using chapel for annual meeting set up, open, etc.
26Oct04 Tues: All day prayer
Upcoming: This week Scott Grieve and I plan to go to the highschools Wed, Thurs, Fri. Pray for contacts. Also pray for our bible study with Maggie & Derek on Thursday with some new helpers :). Friday will be youth group again - last week we had over 25 there and the numbers will keep going up now that Greenwood will be helping. God is good!

Click here for more: Answers in Genesis website



According to the Bible: Dinosaurs first existed around 6,000 years ago.5–7 God made the dinosaurs, along with the other land animals, on Day Six of the Creation Week (Gen. 1:20–25, 31).8 Adam and Eve were also made on day six—so dinosaurs lived at the same time as people, not separated by eons of time. Dinosaurs could not have died out before people appeared, because dinosaurs had not previously existed, and death, bloodshed, disease and suffering are a result of Adam’s sin (Rom. 5:12,14, 1 Cor. 15:21–22).8

Representatives of all the kinds of air-breathing land animals, including the dinosaur kinds, went on board Noah’s Ark (see How did the animals fit on Noah's Ark?). All those left outside the Ark died in the cataclysmic circumstances of the Flood—many of their remains became fossils.

After the Flood (around 4,500 years ago), the remnant of the land animals, including dinosaurs, came off the Ark and lived in the present world, along with people. Because of sin, the judgments of the Curse and the Flood have greatly changed the earth. Post-Flood climatic change, lack of food, disease, and man’s activities caused many types of animals to become extinct. The dinosaurs, like many other creatures, died out. Why the big mystery about dinosaurs?


Read on - click here. What do you think? Can evolution be a lie? Could eveything we've ever been told since kindergarten be false? Are the school systems lying?

22Oct04Log:12 noon - chapel, flyers with Daniel at Bridlewood mall, 2:30 meet Scott Grieve, 100 tracts at LAM(meet Sabrina,Kevin,Steven, Youssef, girl with Quaran,Novella,Ann-Marie,etc), 4PM back at chapel for "chapel", meet Veronica, home for dinner 5:30 (Veronica, Josh for dinner), Dominique & Sabrina stop by at 6:30, Youth at 7 till 10, Josh over after, bed 11:30.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I love my boys

Today is my boys' birthday. Lukas is 3 and Sylas is 1. That's right, there birthday is the same day! I am so thankful to God for giving me two boys to wrestle with! I love them more each day. Here they are:
click the picture to make it bigger. (Thanks to Josh Harding for this great pic!)

Log: Hayley's parents arrive

*update on spanking - does everyone understand that based on current Canadian law it is technically illegal to spank a child under 2 - therefore, am i a criminal?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

*update - here are some links to pro and anti-spanking sites:
Aylmer children taken for spanking, Christian view, What the Bible says 1, What the Bible says 2, All points of view, Ask the doctor, Real Discipline site, This last one is just funny!

As a follow up to yesterdays spanking post, I'm wondering how people feel about spanking with a biblical "rod" vs. a hand?

Log:
10AM meet with elders, pray, corinthian towers calls, argentina planning, meeting with Deb from Mitchells Christian book store, evangelism planning, received tracts & evidence Bible - 5:30 dinner - 7:45-10PM Prayer meeting

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Spare the rod...

I'm gonna open up a can of worms here. I believe in spanking. It's a good thing. Parents need to do it more.
.
I spank my kids. Our friends spank their kids. It's so nice to be around well behaved kids.
I believe that many of the problems in our society would be reduced if parents would just set limits and enforce consequences. I'm not talking about unleashing on your kid like that psycho dad from the "twisted sister" 80's rock video. I'm talking about obedience. Simple consequences for their actions. Consequences they know before they commit the crime.

What I really want to talk about is at what age do you believe someone should start spanking a child? I asked Costas Macris, founder of Hellenic Ministries who has 6 children in ministry, what he thought and he said "once they start being bad". A simple answer but profound. If a 5 or 6 month old baby is touching the plugs is it OK to spank their hand? When is it too young to spank?


19Oct04-Log: 10AM Basil the plumber over to fix tub, 11-6 chapel (phone, email, visit corinthian towers with flyers, fix chapel computers, printouts, planning argentina)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Our good friends Isaiah & Isabelle Bondt are here for the week with their two kids Thaddeus and Nadine!! Then Hayley's parents show up Thursday AND there's a chance that Joe and Joan Vautour from Italy will be here!! Woo-hoo! All this plus the usual madness of teenagers droppin in at any moment! Joy.


Log: Off today, Bondts arrive

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Lukas has not worn diapers in 5 days! Sylas is walking! God is good!

Log: 9:30 church till 1PM, Lunch with Dina Robert, 6:30-8 church

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Saturday Evangelism Training

*update - the dates for the evangelism training will be November 20th & 27th so as to not conflict with the Missionary Breakfast*

Coming up November 6th and 13th we will be running some evangelism training at Bridlegrove for anyone interested in practical, hands-on learning. Our teacher will be none other than the Sri Lankan superstar, Benjamin Devadason, who is full-time with SIM. He will be providing a much needed perspective on "ethnic evangelism" that all of us pasty-white folks living in Toronto need.
We will be meeting at the chapel around 9AM for training, prayer and then we'll head out to talk to real people around the Bridlegrove area. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Greek Orthodox, Catholics, etc. Pray for us, come to help, or post a comment with some tips on door-to-door evangelism

In other news, unbeknownst to me - the mowhawk had already arrived in Canada! Jenna and Shanice informed me that the Canadian Idol 3rd place contestant Jacob Hoggard - click here - already styled the rooster-do on national TV:


Log: 4AM-12 taking care of sick kids, Jason Tremblay over, 8 people over for dinner, chat with Jason & Joy till 12:30, Joy stays overnight

Friday, October 15, 2004

Pray for Hayley

Hayley went to the doctor and she has a mild case of pneumonia. My dad had it a while ago and so we aren't taking any chances.

Log: 11AM at chapel (calls, email, paperwork), 4PM chapel-time with daycare, 7PM youth

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Kerr Family Update: Update #1

Peter Kerr is bloggin! Check it out - click here

Halloween

Just wondering how everyone out there feels about halloween. Some say it's a pagan holiday and won't participate in anything to do with it. The history of halloween is spooky and demonic, no doubt - click here.


Others say that it has lost it's pagan roots and is now just a fun day to dress up.
This year however, it is on a Sunday!! What a great chance to spread the gospel! Usually I go out door-to-door with tracts because people are just sitting there by their doors expecting people to knock, and with time to read! What do you think? Is halloween to be avoided? Or can we use it for the gospel? Are we teaching our kids that paganism is ok and fun?


Log: 10AM read bible stories to daycare; 11:30 lunch with clayon,shelton, jamal; 1PM halloween planning/paperwork/phone calls/email; 2PM tracts with Scott Grieve @ highschool; 5PM dinner; 6:30PM Awana; 7:30 home study with maggie & derek till 10 (josh, clayon over)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Daily Discipline

A new feature on the blog will be a daily log of what I am up to. This will be at the bottom of each days post. This may seem strange to those who don't know me too well, however, what I do each month is keep a log of what I do and then tabulate some statistics and put it in a report. At the end of each quarter I send out the report to friends and churches. I'm going to post it here now so I can cut down on admin time. Accountability is the name of the game. Enjoy

Log: 10AM-2PM ladies prayer, meet with elders. 2-6PM prayer/paperwork/phone. 6-7:45 home. 7:45-9:30 prayer meeting

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

It's all about China

Yesterday we had 2 interesting experiences. Hayley was at the park where she met the wife of a man who comes to the English classes at Bridlegrove. Her name was Tracy and her family has been in Canada only 4 months. They were very open to a bible study.
The second was more humorous. Our neighbour Sherri (who you may remember from last year stayed with us when their house was on fire) dropped by just as we were going out with a box for us. She told Hayley that her father, in China, had bought a warehouse for his business. The warehouse was previously used by an underwear manufacturer and they had left boxes and boxes of brand new bras and underwear when they went out of business. Sherri had visited her dad in China this summer and brought back BOXES of bras & underwear! She brought some over for us and it was amazing again to see how God provided for us in such a funny way.
On a more serious note, does anyone have any experience having Bible studies with Chinese Mandarin speakers? They are VERY interested in the Bible and we are having a small group study in our home on Thursdays. Any tips on home bible study's or dealing with the chinese religious culture?

Monday, October 11, 2004

More thankfulness

Another reason to be thankful today- click here - is that we do not feel the persecution like other countries. Pray for them, and thank God for the freedom we have...for now.

Also, later on in the evening of the 11th Sylas Daniel Alexander took his FIRST STEPS!!! More detials soon.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

God provides

This is becoming a regular feature on the blog :) I think it's important though to give credit to "Jehovah Jireh" as he provides again and again for us, who live by faith for our "daily bread". Today we got a big bag of boys clothes for Lukas and Sylas. Hayley received it and was looking through when she started laughing and called me over. She pulled out a pair of "spiderman" sandals, then a pair of spiderman half-sandals, then a pair of spiderman sneakers, then a pair of spiderman winter boots!! On top of that there were the ninja turtle sneakers and others, which brought the total pairs of shoes up to 8!! It was amazing to see how God took care of us...and with such style. :) Let's take a minute this thanksgiving and thank him for the basic things he gives us like shoes and clothing...and don't forget to read the post about John Wesley below.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Do you desire to be told your faults?

Thinking tonight, at youth group, about the difference between Sebastians football team and the B-unit, brought back to my mind an article I read - click here - about how John Wesley organized his small groups in the 1700's. For those who don't know John Wesley, he was without a doubt one of the greatest Christian leaders of all time. His movement turned England and America upside down. His revolutionary style of street preaching, combined with hard-core discipleship won him many converts. We need more people like Wesley today who will stand up in the street corners and proclaim the truth of the gospel.


Actually the first article on Wesleys group that got me thinking was this one - click here - from Christianity today in 2003.
Long have I believed that discipleship is the missing link for the church in North America, but this article took it to new levles. Literally. It shows how Wesley broke up his followers into 4 groups, meetings or "bands" and how strict personal discipline was the order of the day. The way you moved "up" in the group was by recommendation from those above you, gauranteeing everyone was personally discipled. Strict confidentiality was also practised and an environment was created so people could "confess their sins to each other" in privacy and get help with personal, moral problems.

To do this, Wesley introduced his most controversial (at least in my mind) method. He laid down severely strict rules for those in his "group". If one was broken, someone could be "cut off". They would not be cut off forever, but would have to go back to group 1 and start all over. Here is a sample of some rules (watch out this is long, but a good read):

John Wesley’s Rules for the Band-Societies (drawn up Dec. 25, 1738)

The design of our meeting is, to obey that command of God, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."

To this end, we intend,-
1. To meet once a week, at the least.
2. To come punctually at the hour appointed, without some extraordinary reason.
3. To begin (those of us who are present) exactly at the hour, with singing or prayer.
4. To speak each of us in order, freely and plainly, the true state of our souls, with the faults we have committed in thought, word, or deed, and the temptations we have felt, since our last meeting.
5. To end every meeting with prayer, suited to the state of each person present.
6. To desire some person among us; to speak his own state first, and then to ask the rest, in order, as many and as searching questions as may be, concerning their state, sins, and temptations.


These were the rules for people IN the group, but look at the rules he set up in order to JUST get in to the meeting!

Some of the questions proposed to every one before he is admitted among us may be to this effect:-

1. Have you the forgiveness of your sins?
2. Have you peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ?
3. Have you the witness of God's Spirit with your spirit, that you are a child of God?
4. Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
5. Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you?
6. Do you desire to be told your faults?
7. Do you desire to be told of all your faults, and that plain and home?
8. Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in his heart concerning you?
9. Consider! Do you desire we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning you?
10. Do you desire that, in doing this, we should come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom?
11. Is it your desire and design to be on this, and all other occasions, entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?


How many of us would even get into our own churches if they asked us those questions? Also, at EVER meeting these questions would be asked of EVERY person:

*Any of the preceding questions may be asked as often as occasion offers; the four following at every meeting:-

1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting?
2. What temptations have you met with?
3. How were you delivered?
4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?


While these may be rules for entrance, really it boiled down to just one "requirement" for admission:

Conditions of Membership into Methodist Society:

There is one only condition previously required in those who desire admission into these societies: a desire "to flee from the wrath to come, to be saved from their sins:" But, wherever this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown by its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation. Thus we say to those who unite with us:

You are supposed to have the faith that "overcometh the world." To you, therefore, it is not grievous:

I. Carefully to abstain from doing evil; in particular:
1. Neither to buy nor sell anything at all on the Lord's day.
2. To taste no spirituous liquor, no dram of any kind, unless prescribed by a Physician.
3. To be at a word both in buying and selling.
4. To pawn nothing, no, not to save life.
5. Not to mention the fault of any behind his back, and to stop those short that do.
6. To wear no needless ornaments, such as rings, earrings, necklaces, lace, ruffles.
7. To use no needless self-indulgence, such as taking snuff or tobacco, unless prescribed by a Physician.

II. Zealously to maintain good works; in particular:
1. To give alms of such things as you possess, and that to the uttermost of your power.
2. To reprove all that sin in your sight, and that in love and meekness of wisdom.
3. To be patterns of diligence and frugality, of self-denial, and taking up the cross daily.

III. Constantly to attend on all the ordinances of God; in particular:
1. To be at church and at the Lord's table every week, and at every public meeting of the Bands.
2. To attend the ministry of the word every morning, unless distance, business, or sickness prevent.
3. To use private prayer every day; and family prayer, if you are the head of a family.
4. To read the Scriptures, and meditate therein, at every vacant hour. And:
5. To observe, as days of fasting or abstinence, all Fridays in the year.

These are the General Rules of our societies; all which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice. And all these, we know, his Spirit writes on every truly awakened heart. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be made known unto them who watch over that soul as they that must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways; we will bear with him for a season: But then if he repent not, he hath no more place among us. We have delivered our own souls. -Wesley's Works Vol. 8. pgs 270,271,272-274.


The article goes on to say "Because the Methodist Societies were not controlled by The Church of England some Priests from the Church opposed them and said they were divisive. John Wesley pointed out that they were not dividing Christians but introducing true Christian fellowship and support where it had not been."

On top of that there is a list of things people had been kicked out for (again, this is long, but gives you a good idea of how serious he was):

Detailed account of those who had left the society: since Dec. 30 was 76:

14 (chiefly Dissenters) because otherwise their Ministers would not give them the sacrament.
9 because their husbands or wives were not willing they should stay in it.
5 because their master and mistress would not let them come.
7 because their acquaintance persuaded them to leave it.
5 because people said such bad things of the society.
9 because they would be laughed at.
3 because they would not lose the poor's allowance.
3 because they could not spare time to come.
2 because it was too far off.
1 because she was falling into fits.
1 because people were so rude in the streets.
2 because Thomas Naisbut was in the society.
1 because he would not turn back on his baptism.
1 because we were mere Church of England men.
1 because it was time enough to serve God yet.

Detailed account of those who were expelled from the society: since Dec. 30 was 64:

2 for cursing and swearing.
2 for habitual Sabbath-breaking.
17 for drunkenness.
2 for retailing spirituous liquors.
3 for quarreling and brawling.
1 for beating his wife.
3 for habitual, willful lying.
4 for railing and evil-speaking.
1 for idleness and laziness.
29 for lightness and carelessness.
-Wesley's Works Vol. 1, p. 415 March 4, 1741


Hopefully some of you have made it this far and have thoughts on these "rules". Are they too much? Is it legalistic? Where is the line between church discipline and legalism? Would a system like this work today? Why? Are we just wimps and too scared we will "lose people"? How can we implement this in today's churches? Would it be better or worse if we did something similar?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Goofy

Lukas asked me a question tonight, while reading him a story, that I couldn't answer.
"Daddy, what kind of animal is goofy"
"Uhhhh....gawrsh...I dunno son"



He's not really a dog, like Pluto. But he's not really a rabbit, like bugs. Any ideas?

Day in the life

For those of you wondering "What does Shawn do all day", let me give you a little insight, as well as asking for prayer for a number of contacts that were made today.

1. Started off by reading Bible stories to the daycare kids. Today it was "Father Abraham". Lots of fun tryin to explain how two people in their 80's have a baby to 4 year olds. Luckily none of them knew the extremely annoying "Father Abraham" song. I would have not heard the end of that.

2. Had lunch with Clayon today at "Free topping pizza". Him and about 10 of his closest friends stood around eatin pizza behind the convenience store as guys walked by in their "do rags" yellin "where's my weed". This was a good intro to Timothy Eaton School. I'll be there tomorrow (Friday) to give out Bibles and invite the guys to play basketball on Friday. Pray for the seed to grow in this school, i've never had any contact there, only LAM and MAC. Connected today with Clayon's friends Shelton, Jamal, Jerome, and others.

3. Went to MAC highschool - click here with DJ Scott Grieve. I brought a 5 dollar bill with me to offer to anyone who could tell me all the Ten Commandments in order. We gave out over 200 or so tracts and had some great chats, but none of the 200 or so kids we talked to knew the Ten Commandments! Do you know them? Try to type em in the comments. We ran into Nagma again, as well as Nilu, Angie, Shane and the other regulars and I gave a copy of the injil to Nilu and Nagma. At one point there must have been at least 30 kids around us all brainstorming and writing down what the ten commandments were that they knew. Classic. I figured that the 5.00 was safe in my pocket until a little guy named Raj ran up to me with a print-out with the Ten Commandments on it!!! He had gone in the school, gone on the internet and printed them off! I told him that unless he could say them without looking i wouldn't hand over the cash. Well, his bus came and all his friends got on, but he stayed with us for at least another half hour and memorized them right there on the spot. I had to fork over the 5.00 (which I had borrowed from Uncle Wally in the first place) :) Even more important than the 5.00 was the realization that we have really connected on a spiritual level with some of those kids. It's good that we've been there almost every week for a year now and are seeing some deeper conversations and getting emails. Some said they might even come play basketball on Friday. One guy last week asked me for an interview for his "World Religions class". Praise God, things are good.

4. Tonight we met at the chapel at 6:30 when everyone was showing up for Awana. Who did I see walk in the door? Abigail from daycare!!! and her dad Bernard. Praise God! Also the Silvera's were there and so it was just good to see all these contacts coming together!

5. Hayley and I were there printing up some flyers to give about Awana in the neighbourhood, while the program was on. Clayon came, Josh came, Jason Tremblay came, and we headed to Hepscott court. Hayley went with Josh and they talked to a buddhist lady named "Carrie" who said "I was just sitting here thinking about what to do with my children on a Thursday night. I'm buddhist, but not really because I believe there is one God." She said she would bring her kids out next week. More prayer please.

6. Then after dropping off the flyers in the neighbourhood, we headed back to our house to meet Maggie & Derek (our wonderful Chinese friends) for a Bible study. We started in chapters 1 to 4 of Romans going through the 4 C's that prove God's existence outside of the Bible - Creation - Conscience - Condition (sinful) - Christ. Maggie & Derek were taught in China that God did not exist and had lots of questions about evolution. We directed them to Dr. Kent Hovind's website - click here for more scientific info. We have met with them informally for almost a year now. They read the childrens Bible I gave them every night and are getting a better handle on the language. Do pray for the language barrier, but also for the explosive potential of the Chinese community. They are hungry for God's word. Last week Ming Peng baptized 23 people down the road, some of them were our ESL students. Pray that Maggie, Derek & their friends would be that breakthrough for Bridlegrove to tap into the Chinese community.

Now I am just sitting here thanking God for the opportunities he gives us every day to share his message with those around us, and the contacts that he puts in our way as we go. Let's take a minute to thank him for all the great things he has done...

Billy Graham cover story

Read a very interesting article yesterday in Billy Graham's "Decision" magazine - click here. The article is in a section called "reaching the next generation" and has articles about what Billy Graham is doing different in his rally's, talks about his grandson Will Graham (son of Franklin) and other ways that churches have adapted to reach youth (like us).

The article goes on to talk about "Dare 2 Share" conferences where youth are challenged to share their faith. Here is one quote that caught my eye:
Teens get pushed to succeed everywhere except church. They get pushed to perform by coaches, teachers and parents. But in most churches teens are coddled or throttled not pushed to succeed. No wonder they are leaving the church in record numbers! They're bored to death, and I don't blame them.

Each of us can think about how that applies to our own particular church. Is there anything for the youth to do except sit in the pews? What is the solution? Here is another quote that gives us some ideas to play with:

At Dare 2 Share Ministries we have launched something called "The e-team Revolution"

What the online version of the article does not mention is the caption next to the picture. In that caption it describes each member of the "e-team" and what their role is in the youth group:
The "greeter" helps visitors feel welcome and makes sure they are followed up and invited back. The "webcaster" is an internet/computer savvy student who researches apologetics questions, invades chat rooms with the Gospel and keeps everyone up to date on what God is doing in the youth group. The "prayer warrior" is committed to praying that the Kingdom will be advanced through the e-team efforts. He or she also coordinates a youth group prayer movement to intercede for unsaved students

This approach seems to be effective and appeals to me. Has anyone out their tried it? Is anyone having success with reaching youth (unchurched) with this program,or others? How about Evangelism Explosion - click here? Has anyone tried it with youth? We have the challenge of "inner-city" youth, which are much different than "suburban youth" which makes it even tougher to mobilize them for evangelism. What can we do to encourage youth to share the gospel? What are you doing with your youth group? What has failed? What is working? What are we going to do?
The comment section is open...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Monday, October 04, 2004

Update

Update - see quesion 2 for an update for you sinful-shrimp-eaters

*Some of Keith's questions were more difficult to answer because the questions themselves had an assumption built-in that had to be addressed. For example:

7. Keith: And what about God going from vengeful and wrathful (like "Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God") to sweet and kind, like now?

The problem with this question is that it assumes that God WAS vengeful, and now IS kind. I addressed this false assumption this way:

Shawn: Good question. First off, as you study the Bible you realize that God is vengeful and wrathful all the way through the Bible. The first thing he did was kick Adam out of paradise for eating one fruit. He is vengeful at times, when people break his rules. One example would be the guy who God killed for blaspheming his name once , or like when he kills Mr. Uzza for touching the ark of the covenant. However, he is still vengeful right till the end as he killed 2 people in the new testament for lying. Revelation is the last book of the Bible and there is plenty of vengance as God starts judging the world.
The question really, Keith, is why isn't God vengeful and wrathful ALL THE TIME to us, the puny little people that break his commandments every single day. It's his earth and his rules, he could evict us the next time we swore, but he is "sweet and kind" by giving us lots of chances to turn back to him and believe. The Bible says "God is good, giving you time to repent" and that he "does not treat us as our sins deserve". Keith he is holding back his judgement right now, being sweet and kind to you so you'll turn to him. If you reject him he'll have no choice but to judge you and cast you into the Lake of Fire because you rejected his kindness.
The ultimate act of kindness was when he sent his son Jesus to be the savior of the world, and to be punished for all our sins. He died for your sins, Keith, and he's waiting for forgive you.

- anyone have a better answer? Please post it below under "comments"

Faith like a child

This was sent to me by a site visitor who is 10 years old, at Bridlegrove's Sunday School. I told her about Keith, and showed her some of his questions (not his comments) and she sent me this:

One day a 6 year old girl was sitting in a classroom.

The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children. The teacher asked a little boy.
TEACHER: Tommy do you see the tree outside?
TOMMY: Yes.
TEACHER: Tommy, do you see the grass outside?
TOMMY: Yes.
TEACHER: Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.
TOMMY: Okay. (He returned a few minutes later) Yes, I saw the sky.
TEACHER: Did you see God?
TOMMY: No.
TEACHER: That's my point. We can't see God because he isn't there. He doesn't exist.

A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions. The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy:
LITTLE GIRL: Tommy, do you see the tree outside?
TOMMY: Yes.
LITTLE GIRL: Tommy do you see the grass outside?
TOMMY: Yessssss (getting tired of the questions by this time) LITTLE GIRL: Did you see the sky?
TOMMY: Yessssss
LITTLE GIRL: Tommy, do you see the teacher?
TOMMY: Yes
LITTLE GIRL: Do you see her brain?
TOMMY: No
LITTLE GIRL: Then according to what we were taught today in school, she must not have one!


Thank you to Danielle Campbell for this story :)

Car for sale

Hey folks, I have some friends who live here in Toronto who are going on the mission field and are looking to get rid of their car. Here's the details:
2002 TOYOTA ECHO
33000 KM, NO ACCIDENTS,
STANDARD, NO AIR CONDITION
SINGLE OWNER, NON SMOKER,
$10600.00 OR BEST OFFER.
CALL 416 469 5463

Saturday, October 02, 2004

God provides

Well folks, a little change from the usual here. We'll get back to Keith and his questions, but I wanted to give God the credit for something amazing that happened last week.

As some of you know, Hayley and I live by faith. What that means is that we get donations and depend on God to take care of us, and our "daily bread". He has done a great job so far - quite miraculous infact as those of you who have sat in our big, leather green lazy-boys can attest. We got those chairs for free from God's hand, and He has also provided all the furniture in our living room, our car and many other things - all for free. He's the best boss that we've ever had and so we trust him but also don't expect to live in luxury. As Paul says in Philippians 4:12, we are "content in every situation"

Well, so far in our 4 year marriage God has provided us with sub-north-american standard (see www.globalrichlist.com for global standards ;) sleeping arrangements. We have been sleeping for almost a year now on an air-bed that you would use for camping. This was also donated and we accepted it as from God and have been content with it.
After a number of mattresses had deflated on us, we began to pray for a new bed. One day we went to Ikea just to look and get an idea of prices, but sadly everything was way out of our budget and we do not believe in credit cards. The one that caught my eye was the King size "Noresund" bed - click here: with the Sultan Hasselback Mattress that was on display. It was fun jumping on it with the kids, but we knew it was not realistic. We came home and patched the air mattress and kept sleeping on it.

Last Monday we were thinking of something to do for our "family day" and Hayley suggested we head to Ikea, then the park. It seemed like a good "outing" for the kids so we got ready and were packing up the kids in the car when the mail man came and put the days mail in our box. Just before we left I decided to check the mail, and to my astonishment found a cheque in an envelope for the exact ammount we would need to get the bed!!! I felt like I was in an "if like were like that, you wouldn't need Visa" commercial! But it was true! I showed Hayley and she just broke down and started crying. It was amazing how God had provided...but the story isn't over!

So...we rushed to Ikea and asked the lady about the bed we were "dreaming" about! She told us that it was out of stock for 2 weeks but she could order it for us. We were disappointed and began looking at other beds when she said "oh wait, they just took the display model down to "as-is" this morning". Hayley and I looked at each other, grabbed the kids and ran down to find that the exact bed we had been bouncing on with our kids was not only available, it was over 100.00 off the original price!!! God is so good! We were able to get 2 goose-down-filled pillows with the extra 100.00.

It was a truly amazing experience. One we have experienced time and time again as we trust God day by day for Him to provide. Let this be an encouragement to you that God can provide for you, as long as you wait for him and trust him. We had to sleep on that air mattress and be content with it for almost a year before He gave us the nice bed. Let us learn that extremely valuable lesson, especially in our materialistic north-american culture" that:

1. Hebrews 13:5 - click here - Keep your lives free from the love of money and BE CONTENT with the things you have, for He Himself has said "never will I leave you nor forsake you"
2. 1 Timothy 6:8 - click here - If we have food and clothes BE CONTENT
3. 1 Timothy 6:6 - click here - CONTENTMENT with godliness is great gain.