Friday, December 31, 2004

2004 Year in Review

Well folks, it's that time of year again where we look back and reflect on the year gone by. For us here at the athensblog it has been quite a year. For me personally it has been quite a year. Here is a brief summary of what went on:

- 56 people stayed overnight at our house this year
- 420 people came over to the house to eat (23 times we were invited out for meals)
We attended 36 major events (everything from Raptors basketball games to youth retreats)
- Shawn preached 74 times (not counting every Thursday reading to daycare kids)
- We made 295 contacts going door to door
- 26 home bible studies with groups of unbelievers & new believers
- 4,480 tracts were handed out. Mainly to kids at the three local highschools (MAC, TimE, LAM)
- 21 kids/Friday average for youth group
- We saw 41 new teenagers come through the doors to play basketball at youth group this year
- 2 young people were baptized
- We took youth on 2 trips – 1 to PEI, 1 to Athens
- We flew 8 times this year to 4 countries and 4 provinces

All while enjoying married life, trying to raise 2 boys and maintaining relationships and contacts we have made in the past. Truly it is God who works in us “both to will and to do” – Eph 2:10

*other highlights from 2004

- Olympic missions trip
- ChesterLe Sunday School
- “E-Benji-lism” – evangelism seminar with Benji from SIM
- KLBC students visiting us a number of times to help in evangelism.
- Camp in PEI
- Derek & Maggie
- countless basketball games in front of our house, or at the chapel on fridays
- Bridlegrove Day Camp (Aaron Lewis)

Do you have any other events for the list? Of those events, what was your favorite memory of 2004?

Thursday, December 30, 2004

4 years

4 Years ago today Hayley and I were married.
More mushy sentiments and pictures to follow.
Happy anniversary :)

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Happy Birthday to Hayley & Alyssa!!

My lovely wife Hayley celebrated her 23rd birthday today!

She loves sharing her birthday with Jesus, however this year she has even more competition! Our sister-in-law's (Leah) sister-in-law (Amy) gave birth to Alyssa Lee Mayo today, December 25th, 2004 at 2AM to parents Peter & Amy Mayo.

Congratulations to the Mayo's!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Look into the future...

I originally posted this at, I thought this article was appropriate as we look forward to 2005!

Today I had a great chat with my good friend Dave Sutherland from Leaside.
After the Markham Bible Chapel's "prayer and share" which was held at our house, Dave and I looked into the Brethren Crystal Ball to see what the future holds for us conservative assembly folk in Toronto:

Something Dave said stuck with me. Something powerful. At least for us who live in Toronto, and not in suburbia where the assemblies are still growing. I asked Dave mid-conversation what other people our age thought about the issues we were raising and he looked directly at me and said
"Shawn, there isn't anyone our age - they're gone already"
As we sat there and stared at each other, there was a painful admission on my part that he was right. Who is left to uphold the New Testament principles in Toronto? Bethany, Leaside, Greenwood, Bridlegrove, Westmount. The gospel halls seem to be doing OK but what about us? What will happen to the Bible Chapel's in Toronto? How long will they
last? Where are the young people? What can we do about it?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

New OG site

I was googling around and found another site about the "Operation Gideon" Olympic outreach this summer, this time from a lady named "Suzanna". It seems Suzanna was on the Cumberland Church Atlanta team. Here is the link:

Some excerps:

This was a mission trip arranged by Hellenic Ministries and it is called Operation Gideon Hellenic Ministries (HM) is a Christian agency which serves as a sponsoring and support organization for people called to serve Jesus Christ throughout Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean world.

This is a trip like no other trip that I have ever been on. My participation on this trip was inspired by many things, including my experience with the Greek Orthodox church back in 1997 and Jonathan Macris (head of HM) coming to Cumberland Community Church (CCC) in February, 2003. On this trip I felt many things, including joy, “enlightenment”, God, discomfort, hurt, and accomplishment. It is the work of Lord and the tribulations that accompany it. This is personal account of my experiences, feelings, and some the prayers during the trip. I dedicate this to all of you who supported me, prayed for me, and to those who also enjoyed this once-in-lifetime experience.
Suzanna has quite a detailed daily log. It's a good read so click, read and enjoy the athensblog memories of the outreach.

The season of giving...

To celebrate the birth of Christ and to say thank you to everyone who has visited the athensblog this past year I wanted to offer a free gift to my readers.
I've got more Gmail invitations! Who wants them? The first people to comment below get em (athensblog team members get first dibs). Click quick! Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bridlegrove on the map

Googling around for the word "Bridlegrove" tonight and found a new entry on the MSC website!!
Argentina; May 13 - May 30, 2005
This team is being organized by Bridlegrove Bible Chapel in Toronto, and the plans are to upgrade the playground area of the Hogar El Alba school for children in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Three stages are planned: 1) to upgrade the actual equipment, 2) to upgrade the security of the playground area and, 3) to pave some of the access ways between the various buildings. Hogar El Alba will be celebrating its 80th anniversary while the team is there, and this will give opportunities for evangelism. The cost has been set at cdn$2,450. Please use the contacts shown for information, and applications.
So there you have it folks, sign up now while there's still space!

From bad to worse

After the last report from the UK, here's a disturbing report from right here at home:

Ontario report criticized by Shariah opponents
Last Updated Mon, 20 Dec 2004 22:11:38 EST

TORONTO - Some Muslims fear a report released Monday will encourage Ontario to introduce Shariah law to settle family matters.

The 150-page report presented by Ontario's former attorney general Marion Boyd concludes that Muslims have the right to seek religious arbitration and mediation for family disputes such as divorce, custody and inheritance cases.

The religious laws referred to are not Shariah law, cautioned Boyd, but a set of principles within Canadian law.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Greece Hijacking

Some of you may have heard that recently there was a hostage taking in Athens - click here -
What some of you may not realize is that the place where the bus was held up was very close to where the athensblog team stayed for the olympics! Read the details below from Johnathan Macris:

First, his report during the event:

Dear Prayer Team,

The police chopper is flying overhead. 17 hostages have been released of the 28 who were aboard the Marathon-Athens Bus. The Bus left at 6.00am from Marathon, picked up the two gunmen in Pikermi at about 6.30am - about 100 yards from Kyle and Natassa's school and 100 yards or so from the Greek Bible Institute. The bus (with TIM written on the back) that you may have seen in the news is only a few minutes from our house. Its on Marathon Blvd where the Marathon race was run during the Olympics. The bus driver escaped earlier this morning - taking the keys with him. Pray for the remaining hostages that their lives will be spared. It's cold out. They must be hungry, scared and very tired.

It's hard to believe that 2 people can take our little neighborhood around the world through the news. (The bus is being held up in front of the supermarket where we do our shopping.) It reminds me of the impact of what a few men did on Sept. 11 to change the way the whole world lives.

Let's be the catalyst for positive impact in our world. Please pray for a peaceful resolution of this unfortunate situation.


Now after the surrender:

Hi-jackers Surrender!
Miriam and I wondered if this hi-jacking wasn't another event to put Greece in front of you and on the map of the praying world? Don't you have to ponder the "whys" sometime?. So often what has the mark of the enemy, God uses for the advantage of His Kingdom plans.

PTL! I believe your prayers made a difference yesterday. Less than 3 hours after I mailed you the prayer request, to everyone's great surprise, the armed men threw their guns down and the remaining hostages were released. No one was hurt! Praise the Lord. He has been gracious. Thanks for being a part of an event in our 'back yard.'

ORTHODOX CHURCH ARCHBISHOP SPEAKS PUBLICLY: On the 12:00 news last night, it was sad to hear the Archbishop of Greece, Christodoulos, ask the nation to pray...'pray to the St. Eleutherios (which means freedom) who has the power to release the hostages in safety. Not to Jesus!

Mrs. Kotopoulou has been on another national talk show on Tuesday. She was to be on air again yesterday, but the program was interrupted due to the hi-jacking. Mrs. "K" is the one that took dad to court in the mid '80's when dad was tried and sentenced to 3 1/2 yrs in prison for sharing Christ and giving a NT to her son. (Dad was later acquitted at the appeals court.) Non-the-less, this woman is still filled with a 'develish' rage. The talk show was an attempt to nationally and publicly demoralize a Greek pastor from the small country town of Karthitsa that had been invited to the talk show! They publicly ridiculed and denounced the Bible Society's New Testament that we distributed during the Olympics as heretical! (I wonder how they get around the 4 first pages that have the signatures, stamps and testimonial letters of the 4 Orthodox Patriarchs, the Archbishops public approval of this modern translation and 19 Orthodox Churches that are currently using it in Athens!)

The talk show was the most dissonant, loud, uncontrollable, frenzied, disorganized, chaotic, pathetic, annoying thing I have ever seen! One Greek pastor was in the hot seat and a panel of about 8-10 where attempting to verbally whip him into oblivion! The panel host couldn't even be heard over the din of yelling and chastising....and this carrying on happened on one of the leading TV channels in mid day! If the verbal abuse wasn't enough, they kept replaying a baptismal of a lady that took place by this church in the sea.

Pray for our country that is so desperate. In the one case - poor desperate unemployed Albanians who like thousands of others are facing the financial realities of a 'post - Olympic' Greek economy. In the other case, a fanatic Orthodox mother who can not dismiss the fact that her son today is a fine Christian and working for a large International Christian Organization. (Her son is the young man my Father gave the New Testament to nearly 20 years ago.)

All publicity, good or bad doesn't cease to be publicity! What the enemy desires for harm and shame - God, through your awareness and prayers is leveraging for the advance of the Kingdom throughout our country - please don't let up on your prayers!



PS GreekTax Saga: Have been twice to the tax office since writing you - for a total of 5 times. On my last visit that was supposed to be merely to pick up documents, I was sat down and somewhat interrogated as to what we use Porto Astro for, what we teach the kids, who teaches and why we differ from the Orthodox Church as a 'heresy'. Imagine being audited for your faith by the IRS! It turns out that the chief officer is a staunch Orthodox and responsible for certain Orthodox camps. I was refused access to the report that they will be publishing concerning our status. I know we are squeaky clean. I can not be so certain, however, of their 'conclusions'. So, for this too, may I ask your continued prayers.
" See I'm doing a new thing! Now it springs up...a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" Isaiah 43:19

Hellenic Ministries/Greece


Let's continue to pray for Greece! Many Christians visit there on vacation or on bible tours. Pray for the Lord of the harvest to raise up missionaries and labourers for this needy mission field

Thursday, December 16, 2004

What's wrong with same-sex marriage

How do you read the title of this post? Is it a question, a statement, a challenge or a bigotted homophobic slur? Increasingly this topic has been in the news and on the minds of many Canadians, as the Supreme Court ruled last week that there is no problem changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual male and female unions - click here - .

What does this have to do with me? Well, I will be doing a talk about the topic of same-sex marriage to a group of teenagers in the next few days. What would you say if you had the microphone? Would you condemn it? Would you defend it? Would you ask for a different topic? What would you say? What should I say?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

From the mailbox

From time to time on this site I will post portions of emails I get. This one came in the other day:

"i was reading exodus chapter 28 and i came accross this verse, 28:15. what do you suppose it means when it says, "a breastpiece for making decision"? why was the breastpiece itself so important to making decisions?

Any ideas?

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Chuan is a word that my Chinese friends taught me this week. It means "Great Ship" in Mandarin. As you know, Chinese is written in characters (it's practically art). The character that represents the word "Chuan" is a picture of 8 people in a boat - exactly like the story of Noah's ark!

"The breakdown reads "Eight mouths (people) were in the ship."

Very interesting stuff. Does anyone have any other info on chinese characters proving the Bible? Click here for more amazing characters or here.
"Over 100 of the basic Chinese characters seem to mirror the creation account we see in the book of Genesis."
Another good reason for you to believe in the God of the Bible and his son Jesus. What do you think? Is this just a "coincidence" or is this God's Word embedded in the Chinese language?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Good Bible Software?

Had a great Bible study today with our friends from Pakistan. They were asking for some Bible software, but I didn't know what to recommend.
What software do you use? Would it be suitable for unbelievers/seekers? If not, what have you heard of that is good for "beginners"?

Loggin in

08Dec04-Wed-Log: 9:30AM-1PM=prayer with elders, Nev/Max. 1-2:30=paperwork,emails, calls. 3-4:30PM= 50 tracts @ TimE & LAM (w Scott Grieve). 5-7=phone,dinner. 7:45-10=Prayer meeting, chat with Wilfred/David
09Dec04-Thurs-Log: 10AM=read to daycare kids. 11-2:30=prep for weekend, esl preach, sri lankan preach. 3-4:30PM- 50 tracts @ MAC. 6-7 Awana. 7:30-11 study with M & D (Kyle over).
10Dec04-Fri-Log: 9:30AM - set up for "chapel", 10:30-12 "chapel". 12-4 putting chairs away in gym, emails, calls, paperwork. 5-10 setting up & youth group with Greenwood
11Dec04-Sat-Log: 9AM preach at ESL, Pakistani couple over, Preach at Sri Lankan group, Bridlegrove Christmas banquet
12Dec04-Sun-Log:church, mormons, shawn's parents

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Pray for Len

I was chatting with Len Carolan, computer science student and web designer extrordinaire, today when he mentioned his new role as "evangelism director" at his Dublin University Christian Union (Ireland)!
Pray for Len as he takes the students out doing evangelism twice a week with surveys and tracts to reach the student.

There are 19,000 students in the school!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


In honour of Scott Grieve heading to Brazil I thought I'd repost something I had posted at Enjoy:

I was really encouraged this week when my homeboy Scott Grieve called me up out of the blue. I'd met Scott at KLBC , he was the year ahead of me and we got to know each other through various activities. I hadn't heard from him for about 5 years and now he's back in the T-dot with a desire to get involved in "extra(outside)church evangelism". "but" he continues, "i think i need some help getting started.".

What a thrill this was to me, what an encouragement, even just that he said that, let alone the fact that he really wants to go knock on some doors with me. We are meeting up tomorrow to hand out tracts at a local highschool and then knock on doors.

This my friends is what the church is lacking - discipleship - hands on, apprentice-type ministry where someone doing the work takes along someone else that wants to do the work. Kinda like Jesus and the 12 disciples - what a concept :P

I believe that the church in North America will be completely stagnant, impotent and lukewarm until we get this idea integrated into our "church life". NO MORE sitting and listening to messages on sunday. NO MORE meetings. NO MORE intellectual, doctrinal, verbatim feedback. We need practical, hands-on, front-line stuff.

That is why Gospel for Asia started 2,000 + churches in India last year. Go to and see why God is using people in India and China and why the church over here is sucking like a michael jordan comeback and calling it a revival.

I know that was a bit of a rant, but I just don't know how to incorportate that church model into the North American "church on Sunday" mentality. Maybe it's impossible, maybe God has left Canada and is hanging out in Bangalore right now - who knows?

All I know is that I want to understand how Jesus took 12 guys and changed the world.


Looks like my homeboy Scott Grieve is in Canada a bit longer! He was supposed to head to Brazil for a month, when the Lord had other plans. Here's what happened:

Session Start (MSN - Shawn:Scott): Mon Dec 06 14:58:48 2004
Scott: c-hill
Shawn: you out?
Scott: i was supposed to leave last night
Shawn: too much snow?
Scott: my travel agent didn't mention that i needed a visa
Shawn: oh dear
Scott: yeah
Scott: its been a rough 12 hours
Shawn: on the phone - new flight?
Scott: but it seems to be worked out. i leave next sunday and will now be staying for 38 days instead of 27
Shawn: sweetness - and you get to see the snow before you leave
Scott: now that its worked out, it makes it cool
Shawn: so what are the new dates?
Scott: as it stands now, i leave on the 12th and return on the 20th or 21st
Scott: of january that is
*** signed off at Mon Dec 06 15:13:32 2004
Session Close (Scott): Mon Dec 06 15:13:35 2004

So it looks like the tag-team of Cuthill and Grieve will again stand out in freezing cold weather to hand out tracts and talk to teenagers in front of MAC, Timothy Eaton and LAM highschools. Thank you Lord for delaying his flight!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Cuthill Rant series # 2

I'm recycling again. The post below previously appeared on site. My brother-in-law is here from BC so we're busy this week. Enjoy.

Had a good chat with my new evangelism buddy Scott Grieve on Friday about "the box", which we defined as "church-on-sunday" type christianity. The box, as we defined it, is the mentality that sitting in church meetings is paramount.
You've probably hear this line yourself in some form, about how being "at the meetings" is someohow equated with spiritual maturity. WRONGO! This mentality was around in the days of Ezekiel as well:
Ezekiel 33:30 "As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, "Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.' 31So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.

The two fallicies of this "box" thinking are this:

1. It promotes "knowledge which puffs up", instead of practical "wisdom" that "understands his way". The key is applying the knowledge to "their way". Where the rubber meets the road. When does that actually happen at church? One guy talks for an hour or so and then we pray that everyone who hears applies what he said, but we have no mechanism for actually applying it. Imagine a coach who gave his team 30 minutes of instruction a week, but never practised - then expected them to win when it came time for the game! Absurd. Such is the absurdity with this "box" line of thinking.

2. It promotes inactivity, and is revealed as lacking when activity is introduced. Some of my best "church" friends, who knew all the right things to say and went to all the right meetings were virtually speechless when confronted by an unbeliever, or were terrified when it actually came to doing that which we believe. Either that or "church talk" was spewed out, reminiscent of the modern Pez dispenser (which can, by nature, only dispense what was entered and not process the candy for itself):
. Not to say that evangelism is paramount either, so you can draw your own parallels with helping the poor, orphans, widows, fasting, prayer, etc.etc. Once I called up a very well respected preacher and asked the "what is the right way to fast & pray". Their response almost slew me..."I don't know, I've never done it".

Astonishing, however the dilemma for our generation is...what is the remedy. How do we break out of this "box" mentality? The comments section is open....

Friday, December 03, 2004

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Loggin in

Mon - Kitchener
Tues - Kitchener/Home/Hayley sick all day.
01Dec04-Wed - Shawn sick, Hayley printing calendars, Kelly over after school
02Dec04-Thurs-Log: 10AM Shawn reads Bible stories to kids, 12PM lunch with Bill Yuille, 2-5 meeting, planning, paperwork, contacts, email. 6-7 Awana. 7-8: put Awana flyers in mailboxes with Clayon, Kevin, Jamoy. 8-10:30: home study with Maggie & Derek, Matthan, Jason.
03Dec04-Fri-Log: 10:30AM daycare "chapel", 3-4 tracts@MAC, 7-11 Daycare Christmas party
04Dec04-Sat-Log: 9:30-12:30 ESL. 2-5 calls, email, calendars. 6-11:30 Leaside C&C with Clayon & Kevin.
05Dec04-Sun-Log: 9:30-1PM BofB, FBH. 2-5 Hayley at wedding shower. 5-10 pick up Ryan at airport drive to Kitchener

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

November report

I don't want to disrupt the great discussion below on God's will, but seeing as it's December 1st I just wanted to post our stats for last month:

-8 big events attended (evangelism seminars, missionary breakfast, rossland youth rally, bridlegrove/greenwood joint youth event, etc)
-20 contacts via door to door
-3 solid contacts with info & followed up on
-preached 9 times (2 @ LAM highschool christian fellowship, prayer breakfast, 3x
@ rossland youth rally, 3@youth)
- 2 daycare "chapels"
- 2 invites out for food
- 3 lunches out (clayon, sabah, jordan)
- 550 tracts out in front of highschools
- 5 home bible studies
- 10 new youth (76 total youth on fridays)
- 32 people over to eat

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

God's will

After a fruitful discussion about dating - click here - , the topic has moved to the realm of God's will. If, as I said, "Love is a choice", then what does that say for the bigger subject of our choice, and God's will. Do we choose our own path, or does each of us need to find "God's will for my life".

There are 2 sides to this debate. The "Personal" view, and the "Universal" view.

The "Personal" folks say that God's will is this mystical thing that you are always trying to find out. God's will is something for the individual and therefore each person must decern what is "God's will for my life". People in this camp are constantly waiting for some direct personal revelation. They are always waiting for God to "speak to them" in some magical way.

The Universal view is that God's will is revealed in the Bible and all we have to do is follow it. God's will is revealed to everyone in the form of commands for everyone to follow. My conclusion is that God does not reveal to each and every person what he wants for them, but leaves us with "over-arching" commands/principles or boundaries and then within those we are free to do as we wish. (As you probably guessed I'm in the Universal camp.)

What camp are you in and why? Have you thought much about why you believe the way you do?

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Athens team members rejoice. Jason, Mel's friend from Timmins accepted Christ just recently through the help of Mel's mom, while Mel was at school in London.
Pray for Jason to grow and for his discipleship.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Ever heard people say "door to door evangelism doesn't work"? Well before you believe them, ask them if they've ever done it! It works! Read on!

Today after our evangelism training some of us headed out to knock on doors and share the gospel.

Door 1: Scott and Jeff talked to a man named Jim who invited them in and welcomed a call back.

Door 2: Hayley and Matthan talked to a guy named Brandyn, who had gone to Sunday school as a young boy. He welcomed them in, was very open, said he wanted to start coming to church, gave us his phone number and is coming to our home bible study!

Door 3: Rachel talked a lady named Melba who invited her in for tea. They chatted for over 45 minutes and Rachel said "that's the best talk with an unbeilever I've ever had!"

So there you have it - doors works.
Ever think that's the reason that the JW's and Mormons are the fastest growing religions on earth! (by converts - Islam is fastest by birth rate).

Pray for these folks, but also pray that all of us would get our butts in gear and go knock on some doors! What are you waiting for? Have you ever knocked on doors before? If not, Why not? If so, please share, it would encourage us all.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Lukas' prophecy

Today we had a very intersting experience that I wanted to share. Hayley and Lukas went shopping and Lukas insisted on getting cake for some reason. Hayley said no and went to another aisle but he bugged and bugged till hayley got it. (not usually good parenting :)
They brought the cake home and it was all that Lukas talked about! They went on a walk, he talked about cake. He went to sleep, woke up and talked about cake. For some reason this kid wanted cake!

Well, Hayley finally made the cake after dinner when Maggie & Derek were here. Jason Tremblay also popped in to see us and maggie & derek, but we hadn't planned any formal bible study because Shawn was at a meeting.
About half an hour after he arrived, Jason got a call that Eder's class was done early so he was going to leave just before they ate cake. :(
Hayley said "why don't you go and get Eder and come back becuase we need help eating the cake". Because of the cake (that Lukas wanted so bad) Jason came back with Eder and they had a really amazing discussion with Maggie & Derek. Eder told her testimony and then Maggie & Derek opened up about why they are not believers yet. It was a great night, all thanks to Lukas and his prophetic cake purchase :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Cuthill rant series

November is turning out to be one of our busier months so I'm going to recycle a few posts that I put up on website.

Today's topic: Dating is a non-biblical concept:

Had an interesting MSN converstion with a friend (who will remain anonymous) that just broke up after a long-term relationship.
It was typical christian-dating talk. "They were the first person I loved", "I really loved person x", and my favorite "why would God lead us to love if it wasn't meant to be"

People - read my lips - God does not lead anyone to anyone. Period.
We get to choose, and sometimes we make bad choices. Unless of course we end up in an arranged which case, we choose to love the person.

LOVE IS A CHOICE. Get it through your adolescent, OC watchin heads. Love is a choice. Bottom line.

Therefore, before we go choosing to love someone, and allowing our emotions to get involved we better be pretty sure the person we are "in love" with is the person we are going to marry....or else it's gonna hurt....ALOT (And btw, don't blame God when things go wrong.)

Just my 2 cents - I have done the christian-dating scene myself - but am happy to report I escaped with a wonderful wife who I have been married to for almost 4 years now.

Chose wisely.

21Nov04-Log-Sun:9AM-1PM: BofB, FBH, 6:30-8 China video
20Nov04-Log-Sat: 9AM: Evangelism training at chapel till 12:30. 1-3: door to door. 3-5: veronica, clayon, alpha over. 6-11: Leaside C&C
19Nov04-Log-Fri: 11:30-1:Preach @ LAM christian fellowship, 1-3:maps for evangelism saturday,photocopies. 3-4:30: tracts @ MAC - good chats with Keith, afghan guys. 4-5 daycare "chapel" session. 5-6:30 veronica over. 7-10: youth (17 total, 2 new), drive veronica home - 11:30 home
18Nov04-Log-Thurs:10AM read to daycare kids, 11-2:plan for saturday, maps, photocopies, materials, emails. 2-4 tracts @ LAM highschool. 4-5:30 office. 7:30-10:30PM Shawn@MIC, Hayley Bible study with Maggie & Derek, Jason & Eder
17Nov04-Log-Wed:9:30AM - snow fence, clear drain with Daniel. 11-4 meet with elders (Nev,Daniel). 4-6 office organize, plan for saturday. 8-10 prayer meeting

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Logging in

Just back recovering from the weekend. More soon.

14Nov04-Log-Sun: 9-1PM: chapel, 1-4 Edward & anna for lunch 6-9 chapel for Zambia presentation

13Nov04-Log-Sat: 7AM-12:30PM=prayer breakfast @ Don Valley - organizing with MIC & giving report on Greece, 1PM pick up Veronica go to Rossland Ridge Rally, 1:30-10PM=Preach 3 times at Rossland - 11:00 home

12noon=at chapel(argentina planning, youth group stuff, prep for weekend seminars), 3PM=100 tracts @ MAC, 4PM "chapel" for daycare puppet show, 5PM set up for missionary breakfast at Don Valley, 7PM back at Bridlegrove for youth - 18 kids, 2 new. 9:30 help Mary Martin. 11PM home

10AM read to daycare kids, prep for saturday, print out handouts, changed offices. 2:30-4PM-100 tracts@LAM. 5PM dinner with Josh. 6PM Awana flyers. 7:30PM Bible Study with Maggie/Derek, Josh, Steve, Clayon, Novella. 10:30PM everyone leaves

10Nov04-Log-Wed: 10AM pray with elders (des), library planning, powerpoint for greece presentation

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


*Update - new link to "The Lego Bible" - This link was inspired by Jen Dallaire! :) Click and enjoy! .

I'm pretty much toast till at least Monday. I have to preach 4 times on Saturday - missionary breakfast and Rossland Ridge Rally - so I'll be out of commission, fine tuning for those. Also have regular bible study tomorrow night with Maggie & Derek, and a new girl from China named Linda. Then Friday I have to set up for the missionary breakfast and there's regular youth group.

So in the meantime I thought I'd pose a question for everyone to discuss:

Is George Bush a "man of God" as Patti says - click here - "He is a man of God and I am proud to have him as my president." ? Or is he a "man of war"? Can one be both? Wouldn't a man of God "turn the other cheek"?

click here for Bush's agenda
(ps. this is a spoof, but a darn good one)

Be back soon :)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Wilks on Wesley

My good man Matt Wilks recently commented on my previous article on John Wesley. Click here to read that article:

Matt says:

As I was reading a few entries I saw the one on Wesley's Bands and was mighty intrigued. The discussion on the comments was interesting too as some parts seemed to hint at the seemingly popular idea that the grace of God is some loosey-goosey license to remain undisciplined in our walk with Him.

Have you taken any further steps in the direction that Wesley encouraged, or had any other thoughts on the matter?

Actually I have thought alot about it, but have difficulty with how the concept fits with North American church-on-Sunday mentality.

What I could see is the implementation of some of the steps and bands,especially the first group called the "trial band" (except for the stuff where people get kicked out for any little thing, I don't know how that would work, but will consider it, maybe in the future). Also, one has to consider lawsuits these days for every little thing, so therefore the "rules" could take on the form of more of a "waiver" which memebers would sign. For example:

I _______________ understand that at each meeting i will be asked..
Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you? Do you desire to be told your faults? Do you desire to be told of all your faults, and that plain and home?...
Signed: __________________ Date: ___________________________

I've also thought along the lines of a "discipleship contract" that someone would enter into with the person leading the study. This would bring a more serious tone to discipleship, but might make it a little more robotic. I have a sample drawn up if anyone wants to see it.

So my question is, how would that fly? Have small group studies with the same rules wesley used, but get people to sign an agreement? What about a discipleship contract? What other steps could we use to start moving toward personal accountability, holiness and discipleship? How could we implement these important relational questions into north american church life? would people be offended if they arrived at church on sunday morning and they were asked:
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?
How would you feel?

10AM-12:30 - prayer with elders (Des), 2:30-4:30 - tracts at Timothy Eaton, great talk with Jamie, Chris, Matt. 5-11 - dinner with Hayley's cousin in Brampton.

04Nov04-Log-Thurs: 10AM-4:40PM - maps for e-benji-lism , contact pakistani couple, planning for friday (food, people, games, songs, speaking), powerpoint for greece presentation at missionary breakfast, 7:30-10:30PM - home study with maggie & derek, michelle, josh, steve

05Nov04-Log-Fri:12-2:30 - @chapel, plan for youth, calls, set up. 2:30-4 - 50 tracts at MAC highschool. 4-6 set up with ferne, kelly, josh, ted. 6:30-11 youth with Greenwood (eat, play, sing, talk, video) 41 @youth - 6 new

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Aaron Lewis is a young boy who attends Bridlegrove Daycamp. Yesterday he was playing at school when a soccer goal came down on the back of his head. When the paramedics got to the scene he was bleeding from his nose and mouth, so they airlifted him to Sick Kids Hospital. He suffered 4 fractures to his skull and a splinter of a bone punctured his brain. He was unconscious and put on a ventillator. He underwent surgery to remove the splinter and insert 2 plates in his skull. He is still not conscious. Please pray for Aaron. Anyone with updates, please post a comment below.

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?

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)

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


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


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

New OG

More updates from Greece. Click here to see the new Operation Gideon site with tons of new pictures, stats and reports.
Three cheers for Tim Rogers!

Monday, October 04, 2004


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?
TEACHER: Tommy, do you see the grass outside?
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?
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?
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?
LITTLE GIRL: Do you see her brain?
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:
$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 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.

Thursday, September 30, 2004


See Question 2 below for an answer about sinful shrimp
Feel free to post a comment on Keith's blog - click here - encouraging him to investigate the answers and continue communication.

New friends abound

Well folks it seems that our friend Mike has posted on his blog about me - click here . Now you all know I love the heat of battle, but I am finding it a bit difficult to answer all Keith's questions, carry on normal ministry, spend time with my wife and 2 kids and also now answer Mike. But i will. All I'm saying is that I need to get by "with a little help from my friends". If anyone would like to help in this endeavor, just leave a comment here, or on Mike's blog - click here, or post a comment below if you have an answer to some of Keith's questions.
Today however I am off to read Bible stories to the daycare kids, knock on doors, kiss my wife and hug my boys. Back soon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Keith's retreat

Keith's retreat wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that he has been revealed by our friend Chris - click here - now would it? As soon as this post went up, Keith stated "it's over". Coincidence? I think not. And why didn't he respond to Question 9 about the days of creation?

ps. it seems that Keith makes it a habit to post obscene comments on people's blogs so as to provoke them info fiery debate, then flee in the heat of the battle.
1. "Dan Rather" comments
2. "My Dog" comments
3. "Posters" comments
4. "It's official" comments

Let's not fault Keith for this, he is a lonely lost soul. Let's pray for him that he would find fullfillment in God.

More answers to Keith's questions are on the way.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

10 - Responsibility for sin

10. Keith: And if each person's quantity of sin is independent of his fellow man, how come so many children bore the sins of their parents?
- anyone have an answer? Please post it below under "comments"

9 - Creation days

9. Keith: Did God create men or beasts first? (See first and second chapters of Genesis, tool)
Shawn:- Our friends at have spent much time studying issues such as these and provide us with an excellent explanation:

Because in Hebrew the precise tense of a verb is determined by the context. It is clear from chapter 1 that the beasts and birds were created before Adam, so Jewish scholars would have understood the verb ‘formed’ in Genesis 2:19 to mean ‘had formed’ or ‘having formed’. If we translate verse 19 as follows (as one widely used translation1 does), ‘Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field …’, the apparent disagreement with Genesis 1 disappears completely.

8 - Jesus' grandpa

8. Keith: And who was Jesus' grandfather? Jacob or Heli?
Shawn: "The Jerusalem Talmud indicates that Mary was the daughter of Heli (Haggigah, Book 77, 4). Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli. Luke could rightfully call Joseph the "son of Heli" because this was in compliance with use of the word "son" at that time. Moreover, designating a son-in-law as a son had scriptural precedent. Refer to Son in Jewish Genealogies under Principles of Interpretation for more on this topic. Thus, Joseph was the son of Jacob, and the son-in-law of Heli."

4 - Jesus in India

4.Keith: And how do you explain the existance of historical artifiacts in India - click here - that make reference to someone named Jesus AND the striking similarities between Jesus's teachings and certain Buddhist texts?

Matt Cook (who's wife is from Pakistan) replies:
This theory mainly comes from an Urdu/Muslim work called Masih Hindustan Mein which means Christ in India. You see, the general idea from the Muslim camp is that Jesus never did die on the cross at all. In fact, one of the prevailing theories is that Judas (a good guy in Muslim tradition) took His place. Either way, the Qur'an makes it very clear that Jesus did not die on the cross, but someone was in His place. After the cross incident, there are two main schools of thought. The more traditional Muslim one is that Jesus was taken up into heaven and will return to judge the world at some point in the future (sounds familiar, eh?). The second one, from the book I mentioned, is a bit more interesting. It states that Jesus never did ascend to God. He lived a very long life (125 years) and died. In fact, there is a grave in His honor in Kashmir. It also says that He was a travelling prophet, going through jungles and visiting the lost tribes of Israel through modern-day Pakistan and eventually died there.

This veiw is really only held by a sect of Islam called Ahmaddyia (not too sure I spelled that right). This sect is really only found in Pakistan and is not considered to be truly Islam by other Muslims.My point in saying all of this is that the view that Christ travelled to India is only held by a small, varient sect of a religion that already has some funny vews of Christ (the Muslims also believe that Jesus, as a child, made birds of clay fly). It's not a buddhist thing, as our friend suggests, it's purely Muslim. The reason people often think that it has something to do with Buddhism is because Gautama (called The Buddha) had a similar life of self-sacrifice, temptation, etc. Some of the same words were used to describe Buddha that were used for Jesus. Buddha is called the light, the refuge, the king, etc. He is said to have been tempted by the devil, to have been full of compassion, the list goes on. I'd like to note that Buddha, however, lived many hundreds of years before Christ came into this world. The similarities between the teachings of Christ and Buddha must be coincidental. Many teachers preach the morality that Christ did. I've read a few of these Buddhist texts that people claim influenced the teachings of Christ. Let's remember, the idea is that Christ went to India after the incident at the cross. This is after the Gospels were written! Buddhism had made no inroads to Israel at that time. It's logistically impossible for Buddha to have influenced the Gospels like you suggest. Remember that every person had some sense of morality in them from the image of God. These "striking" similarities mean nothing. The view of Christ going to India is mainly from a deviant sect of Islam, nothing more. I could say more if you want, but only is you're still struggling with this idea. I'm cutting it short for space and time right now. Later I can bring out the specific texts in question, but not for now, this is too long as is.

5 - Eden

5. Keith: And what about the stories of Eden and The Flood being found first in Sumerian mythology?
- anyone have an answer? please post below in "comments"

2 - The Sin of Shrimp

2. Keith: Then, let's go to the old testament that makes it sinful to consume the staple protein sources of the Pacific Rim (
Shawn: By their nature, a water animal that has no fins to swim will crawl along the ground. Shrimp are scavengers, picking up and eating the junk on the sea floor. God knew this and instructed the israelites, who were living in pre-historic times void of a local hospital, not to eat these dirty animals. What a great God!

"Shrimp are scavengers, and will eat everything short of poo, including rotting organic matter- such as fish food that's been rotting in your gravel for a week (you dirty bugger you)"

Keith, would you eat a Racoon sandwich? How about a Seagull stew? No, because you see them going through your garbage. Same with these types of fish, they are the garbage men of the sea.

Also, this recent CNN article - click here - states that:
The typical serving of shrimp has two-thirds the amount of cholesterol you should consume in an entire day.

That's BEFORE butter, batter or deep-frying. Can you say "triple-bypass"?

- anyone have a better answer? Post in "comments" below

Friday, September 24, 2004

1 - intro and the devil

What I have decided to do, is answer Keith's questions 1 by 1, post by post. I will not go into all the questions because some do not have simple answers. Some questions will take a little longer to find answers to, but answers are there, so thank you in advance for your patience. As you can see below, Keith was speechless when I replied with real data concerning the reliability of Bible translation. Therefore I have determined that the best way to answer the questions is not in a group, but individually. So here is question 1:

1. Keith: The original Hebrew text (about Satan - Isaiah 14) was about some Babylonian king who did bad things to the Jews. A bunch of dumb monks screwed up the translation for King James.
Shawn: Upon further analysis it seems I missed Keith's question here, which makes it much easier for me since Keith did not stop to read the Old Testament himself before blurting out his "vitriolic hatred." A simple search for Satan in the NIV (since I know you and King Jim aren't buddies) shows that Satan is mentioned many times. Far from Keith's claim that "he doesn't exist".

Also see Wikipedia for more info: