Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Creation Museum open for business!

My good friend Andrew Prescott had a post recently on his blog about a new Creation Museum that opened up this week in Kentucky. You can see a video of founder Ken Ham cutting the ribbon - here.

The project was sponsored by Answers in Genesis, which had this to say on it's blog:
The guests and even the secular media expressed praise for the professionalism and quality of the exhibits. Rejoice with us for this historic day and please continue to pray as many more media descend on the Creation Museum, which has created a buzz in the secular media (and Christian media) worldwide.
Hopefully this will give everyone further reasons to believe in the Bible. As someone who believes that God created the earth it is exciting to see this Museum open it's doors.

Wednesday prayer requests - Evey Dyck surgery

I sent a prayer request to some of you on Monday about Evey Dyck who was going in for surgery on Tuesday. She had 2 operations yesterday, one to remove a tumor from her rib cage area and the other was open heart surgery to patch a hole in her heart. I just received word this morning that things went fairly well but please continue to pray!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday's hot topics - What is church??


Since moving into Thorncliffe we've been praying alot about how to go about starting a new church. I haven't met too many people that have started a church from scratch so the ideas about how it should be done vary. Add to this the massive cultural mix of non-christian-background folks in this area and the question of 'how to' becomes even harder to answer.

As I've been thinking about these things the nagging question that I keep coming back to is 'What is church"?? I asked this question on the forum - *here* and there have been some interesting comments and discussion. Here are a few responses I've received:
- Our small home Bible study group is to my limited mind "what church should be", much more than the Sunday morning service is.

- I can't help but wonder why people want to cling to the term "church." Can't you just do like the apostles and say "We're getting together to hang out" or "to discuss the bible" or "to pray"?

- so...Church as I understand it is not a thing, a thing we do, or a place we go, she is a person. The Church is the body of Christ.

- my response is "a bunch of morons" lol

- What is a church? It's a bunch of people that get together with a shared mission - to glorify God.

- I believe the time for what we generally think of "churches" has past. A manifestly failed experiment God winks at. I think it's time we stopped using the term too.
Seems lots of people are asking the same question. How about you? What do you think church is? What do you think church *should be*?? Post your thoughts on the forum - click here

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thieves and vandals in Thorncliffe

Breaking news from Thorncliffe - click here.
Over the three-day Victoria Day weekend, a number of businesses and homes were targeted by culprits. A construction trailer on Jamieson Bone Road was entered sometime over the weekend and a Yamaha generator and a Stihl circular saw were stolen.

A garage on Thorncliffe Drive was entered and a cordless drill, battery charger and a grass trimmer were taken...
Huh? A garage...wait a minute, there are no garages in Thorncliffe, it's all high-rises....lemme read that article again....
...Solar lights, a bird feeder and a large metal heron were damaged over the weekend at a Sumac Terrance home. Police say the metal heron was bolted to a nearby rock, however, the vandals managed to remove it and left the item lying on the lawn of the home.
...oh wait a minute it was Thorncliffe Drive in Bellville! Yikes, sounds like a rough place to live. I'd hate for my kids to grow up in that neighbourhood. Maybe people in Bellville should move to Thorncliffe Park drive where it's safe :) No bird feeder vandalism here!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday prayer reqeuests - Josh in Africa!

My friend Josh Duffy will be heading over to Africa soon with Iris Ministries!! Currently he's camped out in good old PEI after finishing up Bible school. Josh sent out this update earlier in the week:
In the first few months of my ministry in Africa I will be helping to staff a Missions School in Mozambique with Iris Ministries, this school will be raising up African missionaries who will reach their own people; Later in the year I plan to minister in Sudan, where the work is much more raw and pioneering. Children and evangelism are two of the main focus points there. These are exciting times for me as I venture out toward the call of God on my life.
Exciting indeed!! Let's pray for Josh and support him as he heads out (donations can be made through Iris Ministries - click here). May many more young people take risks like this to help those in need!

FEAST!!

This Sunday night, 6PM, Leaside Bible Chapel. Come and eat, sing and watch a compelling drama. It's like Medieval Times only better! Bring anyone that's hungry for food or for God.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

'Living with Islamists' and the 'Incarnational Imperative'

A friend tipped me off to a recent article from Christianity Today that really resonates with me, especially since my trip to Pakistan and move to islamic-dominated Thorncliffe Park. As you'll see from the article the author spent 'A year in Pakistan' which 'gave me a glimpse of what Christian witness might look like today'. What might it look like in Pakistan? In Thorncliffe? In your neighbourhood? His conclusion about the 'incarnational imperative' is profound:

We also need to find ways to broaden the way we practice Christian witness in this post-9/11 world...I had been sold a bleak picture of the Muslim world so at odds with my experience of the Pakistani people. What also stung was encountering hundreds of Pakistanis who had never before honestly interacted with someone from my country or of my faith.

Never once in Pakistan did I bring up the subject of religion, yet somehow I was always talking about it. People flooded me with questions: What do you think of the clash of civilizations? What do Christians believe about the prophet Jesus? Do Americans hate Islam? And my favorite, posed by a rather baffled old mullah: What is premillenial dispensationalism? My Muslim Pakistani friends were gracious enough to interpret for me their world and their faith. In light of our incarnational imperative, we Christians ought to be more eager to do the same.
How will we 'interpret our world and our faith' to those around us here in Thorncliffe? What does our witness look like? What will our church look like? As we call people to live incarnationally and move into Thorncliffe, and as I read articles like this, it makes me think we are at least on the right track, asking the right questions so that our main objective is making sure that only Jesus shines through!!

The sayings of Sylas v4 - Tire swing

We were driving on the 401 the other day when Sylas piped up from the back seat:

Hey dad, if the wheel fell off that big truck...then... we could make a tire swing!!

(ps. Don't forget to join my facebook group and help - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2341259290)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back from the 'Peg

Hey everybody! Thanks to everyone who's joined the facebook contest. We've got till Wednesday to get the biggest group. If you haven't joined yet, just click on the link:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2341259290

I had a great time in Winnipeg. My course paper is on how the early church (first century) dealt with converts from Judaism. If anyone out there has articles or books that they think would be helpful please let me know.

On the home front everyone is doing great and we praise God for the interest that many have shown to moving into our neighbourhood to help out with our new ministry! Please pray that we would be enabled by the Spirit as we seek to establish prayer groups the would resemble Acts 4:31.

Have a great Victoria day everyone!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Let's get Jesus on the radio!!!

Those of you who are already on my facebook list might have got this invite already. Those who didn't, I'm asking you to join my facebook group and get your friends to invite their friends to invite their friends. If by next Thursday I have the biggest Facebook group a local radio station will give me 7,000 bucks! More importantly we can get Jesus on the radio! Do it for me. Do it for Jesus. Just do it. Click here to join: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2341259290

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Question of the day - from 'friendly' Manitoba

Well folks, I'm here typing this from Winnipeg! Land of the Blue Bombers and Winnie the Pooh! I'm here on a course and finding it a nice 'friendly' place (as the license plates say). I'll be processing alot of stuff over the next week on muslim history.

One question I recently has was about a little song kids sing in church - Peter & John went to pray...Question:

Why did Peter and John go to the temple to pray? Why didn't they meet with the other Christians to pray? Does it matter if someone coming from another religion still attends their place of worship, but simply accepts Jesus as the Messiah?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What does 'incarnational' and '614' mean?

Since moving to Thorncliffe Park we've talked alot to people about 'incarnational' ministry and the '614 network'. I like the word network as opposed to church, but that's another post. Well, just what does incarnational mean? John 1:14 describes it best:
The word became flesh and dwelt among us
The ethos of incarnational ministry is actually dwelling among the people you are ministering to. It is intensely and intentionally missional. I know it sounds basic but in today's North America Christianity we are quite used to driving to church and being somewhat disconnected from the community of people living around our place of worship.

The other aspect of the '614' model of incarnational ministry is intentionally moving into the bad parts of town. The numbers 6-1-4 come from Isaiah 61:4 where God says:
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
This involves moving towards ruined cities, not away from them. Towards dangerous places, now away from them. Towards devestated people, not away from them. Starting to get the picture?

So what does incarnational ministry look like on a day to day basis? Well for us, it looks like living in an apartment instead of a house. It looks like sending our kids to the big huge muslim dominated Thorncliffe public school instead of homeschooling or Christian school. It looks like being surrounded by our neighbours in the elevator, park, mall and school.

Last night it looked like a fire alarm at 10:30PM. A friends kitchen was on fire. 15 fire trucks. Water and smoke damage in their apartment. No place to stay. A phone call to another friend. A pull-out couch. Comfort.

May this incarnational model spread to everyone in every church. Think about where you live, where you could move to and what impact you could make if you were the Jesus that moved into their neighbourhood.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

'Toronto Challenge'

I wanted to let my Christian friends in the GTA know about an amazing opportunity right here in our own backyard that I'm a part of called Toronto Challenge". Have you ever wanted to go on a missions trip, but couldn't afford it? Have you ever wondered 'How could I get involved with missions in Toronto, but didn't know where to start? Have you ever drove by a mosque or temple and wondered 'what do they believe'. If you have, 'Toronto challenge' is for you!

'Toronto challenge' is a missions trip to Toronto through Operation Mobilisation. Starting July 14th you can come for one week, two weeks or three weeks, whichever suits your schedule.

Participants will visit people from every religious background and every part of the world. Go to a Mosque, Synagogue, Hindu and Sikh Temple, receive training and actually reach out to people right here in the city! I'll be teaching a bit so it'd be great to see some of you there :)
For more information visit the OM site - here or download the poster and registration form online - here

Here's the write up from last year: Canadian Christianity Magazine

Hope you can make it!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday's hot topics - my god can beat up your god!

One of the things I love most about facebook is connecting with old highschool friends. It's been amazing reconnecting with people that I haven't seen in 10 years or more. One of those good old friends is a guy named norm who goes by the username phenormenon. He recently asked a great question on the forum:
what is the difference between the god that you worship and the one that catholics pray to, or the mormons, or the 7th day adventists, or the jehovah's witnesses? is there even a difference between these gods or are we all praising the same divine creator, we just call her by a different name and have different traditions for worship?
What do you think? Do you have an answer for norm? What is the difference? Post your response on the forum - here

Friday, May 04, 2007

Need a title v30

My cousin-in-laws in PEI (Ty & Lisa Stapleton) are expecting their second child. Recently I saw this ultrasound picture they had and had to post it. Can anyone think of a good title??

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wednesday's prayer requests - Thorncliffe cross-walk

The Toronto Star ran an article on Thorncliffe's busy cross-walk yesterday - here. While the issue itself is no shock to those of us who live here, notice the people who are more frequently crossing the street and what this tells you about the community and it's future.
Few places in Toronto are more densely populated than Thorncliffe Park, where dozens of highrise apartment buildings line Thorncliffe Park Blvd.

A focal point for residents is the Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre, at 48 Thorncliffe Park Dr., which also has a branch of the Toronto Public Library in it. People are coming and going all the time.

To get back and forth across the street, there's a pedestrian crosswalk right in front of the community centre's main entrance that slows traffic on the heavily travelled street enough to allow people to safely get to the other side.

Helena Guan, who lives in the area, emailed to say the flashing yellow lights above the crosswalk – which are supposed to switch on when a pedestrian pushes the activation button on the posts at either end – have been on the blink for a month or so....

We watched for about 20 minutes yesterday and counted upwards of 100 people using the crosswalk – mostly kids and women pushing strollers – while many others ignored it and crossed wherever it was handy