Monday, February 28, 2005

Leafs undefeated

Well, my grandpa is a big leafs fan so after the funeral i thought I'd post this picture I got about the leafs being "undefeated" this season :)

Friday, February 25, 2005

My first funeral

My Grandma passed away yesterday. While this is a sad occasion, most of us knew it was coming. She was having breathing problems and last time we went to see her she had been quarentined because she was sick.

I have been asked to take the funeral. This is the first time I've done a funeral and I'm pretty nervous, any tips?


Seems the founder and lead singer of the hard rock band Korn, Brian "Head" Welch, has had a "religious awakening" and has turned his life to Jesus.

Here is a statement from the band's website - HERE.
Korn has parted ways with guitarist Brian Head Welch, who has chosen the Lord Jesus Christ as his saviour,
and will be dedicating his musical pursuits to that end. Korn respects Brian's wishes and hopes he finds the happiness he is
searching for.
HERE - is the MTV article:
On Tuesday, Korn's management made a formal announcement that guitarist Brian "Head" Welch was leaving the band to rededicate his life to Christianity. On Thursday night, in an effort to explain his decision to both his fans and his former bandmates....

So after a weekend of soul-searching, coupled with reading from a Bible his friend had leant him, Welch decided it was time to go...

Welch's solo material, which will be released under the name "Head", will not be Christian music...

And yes, Welch does plan on speaking on Sunday at the Valley Bible Fellowship. He's just not certain what he's going to say. He's just going to speak from the heart. And he wants his fans to know that even if they can't make it out to Bakersfield, California, to hear him speak, they can check out his message on his new Web site,, which launches Friday (February 25).

"Man, when I get up there onstage, it's going to be me just letting things flow. I have no idea what I'm going to say, it's just going to come out," he said. "I mean, I'm going to be like a kid up there. Because that's really what I am now. I'm a baby Christian."
First it was Afro-man, now the lead singer of Korn, who's next to convert Eminem?
CLICK HERE - to discuss other "famous conversions"

The Christian MSN

Downloaded my Beta copy of "FAITHpad" today. Rockin stuff. Download your copy at

Thursday, February 24, 2005

So how was Israel?

Well I'm back in the "unholy land"(Canada) from the "holy land" (Israel) and no doubt people will be asking me, and others on the team, frequently - How was it?

I think my univeral answer is 4 simple words:
"Better than Bible College"
Now that is not to knock Bible college in any way. I think Bible college is a good thing and people should go there. My Bible college - KLBC, - had a profound impact on me as a young christian. It gave me a foundation to build on top many years of study.

But by way of analogy, I'll quote the archaeologist from the "Nazareth Village" who said:
Reading the Bible is like watching a black and white TV. When you come here to Israel and see the sites (Nazareth village, etc), it's like someone has replaced the black and white TV with a colour TV in your mind. You can see things you never knew where there before.
So while Bible college gives you the foundation to build upon, Israel gives you the materials, the architecture, the paint, the floor, to understand the "grand design" of God's Word and the desire to study it for many many years. Honestly that was one of the best experiences in my life. It took Bible reading from letters on a page, to 3D, living, colour pictures in my mind. There are so many things that us here in the west CAN NOT understand about scripture without an understanding of Israel.

So today I'll be recovering and uploading ALL my pictures, as well as rounding off the reports and filling in details. I guess I should call this the Israelblog instead of the athensblog :)
Hopefully some day you too will see what I mean by visiting the Holy Land for yourself.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Home soon! :)

Just got in to our hotel in Tel Aviv and I'm on some kind of wireless connection! Woohoo! Hopefully it stays up.
We leave tomorrow at 2AM!!! That means we'll probably just eat dinner tonight and then straight to bed. I've uploaded pics and whatever notes I took during the day. See below for the day you want to see. I'll polish these up a little later with more description and complete pictures! Shalom!

Day 5:Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Biblical Garden:
Pictures: CLICK HERE, Report: CLICK HERE

Day 6 - Capernaum, Sea of Galilee, Syria:
Pictures: CLICK HERE, Report: CLICK HERE

Day 7 - Nazareth, Cesarea:
Pictures: CLICK HERE, Report: CLICK HERE

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Day 5 - Good news and bad news

*The bad news is that we don't have wireless internet in our hotel :)
*The good news is that we are safe and the folks at the sheraton hotel down the street were kind enough to let me on to post this little update. So that means no picture, updates for a little while. Don't worry though we made it through Megiddo and are going to take a nice boat ride on the sea of galilee tomorrow!
So for a few days, if you need us, call us. We love you all.

Day 5 - pics: CLICK HERE
Day 5 - report: CLICK HERE
Day 5 - summary below:

Not sure where we are going today, but it will be north. Either we'll travel up the jordan river to the sea of gallilee, or up the coast to mount carmel!! :) Either way it will be amazing, like everyhing else on the trip. Pray for internet access at our hotel in Tiberias! Shalom

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Day 4 - Dead sea swimmin

Day 4 - pics: CLICK HERE
Day 4 - report: CLICK HERE
Day 4 - summary below:

Well today was a little less packed, but still just as rewarding! We started off swimming in the dead sea, slathering ourselves with mud, climbing Masada and roaming around Quamran.

The dead sea scrolls are quite fascinating, however what i found even more fascinating is the description of the life of the "essenses" who where a first centure sect of Judaism. There communal system is VERY similar to what I've read of John Wesleys' system and so no doubt I will be launched into an all out search for their life and customs. I believe this is the key to reviving the church in North America - a return to community. The essenses had it, Wesley had it, Alcoholics anonymous had it. A community simply gathered to worship "the name" (Hashem). Now whatever popped into your head when you read that last sentence - erase it. What I mean is actual community, not sitting in peu's, not one hour on sunday, not one day a week. Complete life commitment. These essense had an amazing communal life and so I can only hope that God allows me to study more about them.

As for the picture of the day below, I was thinking of Gerry MacLeod when I took this picture, because me and him both know that this picture is the only time in my life I will ever have a beard like him :)

Friday, February 18, 2005

Day 3 - "Hotel hell" and the dead sea scrolls

Day 3 - pics: CLICK HERE
Day 3 - report: CLICK HERE
Day 3 - summary below

Today we saw a number of amazing sights. The holocaust museum, a visit to "the shrine of the book" where they keep the "Dead sea scrolls", a trip to the "holy sepulchure" where it is believed Jesus died, was burried and rose from the dead and finally who could forget the wailing wall - the symbol of modern Judaism.

The thing about today that was funny is that while checking out of our "Mount Zion" hotel we realized that it was overlooking "The valley of Ben Hinnom"...better know as Gehenna....HELL!! The going joke now is that we stayed in the "hotel from hell" (although the service was outstanding :))

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Day 2 - Old school Jersalem

Day 2 - pics: CLICK HERE
Day 2 - report: CLICK HERE
Day 2 - summary below:

After ariving last night at the ripe old hour of 5AM, I uploaded the days pics and decided to get 2 hours of sleep before trudging around Jerusalem ALL DAY. Thankfully my new airwalks are warn in by now.

Gerald was my bunk buddy and woke me up at 8AM with his best rendition of a chain-saw.

The day was as packed full as a day in Jerusalem could be. The highlight for me would be walking through a cohort of Jewish soldiers...and then another...and then another. We found out the women are actually allowed to fight in the Israeli army, albeit limited, however they pretty much train ALL the soldiers. Must be that mother instinct :)

The garden of gethsemane was very powerful as well. Way too much to take in. I only pray that this would spark a life-long interest in this area of the world.

As a side note, here is a picture of the Al Italia slogan "keep your head up":
. Can anyone tell me what that means? Why would an airline encourage passengers to keep alert? Are they expecting to crash?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Day 1 - Rome - The ongoing Saga of Italy sucking

Day 1 - Pics: CLICK HERE
Day 1 - Report: CLICK HERE
Day 1 - summary - below:

Well well well, another trip another stop in Italy. For those of you who don't recall the last 38 hour travelling episode through Italy, please refer to the archives. As for me and my house....we would rather steer clear of this mow-lett infested land (yes the guy who took my plane tickets on Al Italia had a beckham mow-let). However, the Lord seems to keep bringing me back to this place! This time for a 72 hour fiasco!! We started in Toronto at 5PM. Flew overnight to Milan (1 night sleep gone). Then we flew to Rome. Arrived at around 12 noon. Had a tour of Rome all day (oh joy, I've only been there twice already - but seriously I did enjoy a professional tour guide). Then get back on a plane at 11PM and fly to Tel Aviv (- 2 nights sleep). Now this was the first time I had ever flown Al Italia, and hopefully the last.

First, the headphones they provided were hilarious - reminiscent of the tin-can-to-the-ear. They were just a tube! That's it. The end attached to the arm of the chair and the music bounced it's way up to your ears.

Next we arrive in Tel Aviv at 4AM, then Mike Klomps luggage goes missing and by the time we drive the 45 minutes to Jerusalem it's 5AM (the sun is coming up as I'm typing this at 5:30AM). Ah the joy...more soon.

Pick of the day for Day 1:

This is an inscription of the Romans taking the Menorah from Israel when they conquered Jerusalem in 70AD, in fullfillment of Jesus's prophecy.

Alive and well!

just a quick note from all of us here in Jerusalem! It's 5AM local time and we just heard the call to prayer. We're completely exhausted but really excited as well.
We've arrived at the Mount Zion hotel with limited wireless internet but tons of stories and pictures! Hopefully we'll get on and get some details out soon!
If you read this, PLEASE pass this on to wives and friends of those going.

More real soon :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Born gay?

Drew Costen is at it again - click here for full discussion. Just at the airport, reading his response to the verse in Matthew 5:28, where Jesus tells us to control our lust (gay or straight). Drew says...
And yet, we can't help it, it is completely involuntary to have desire for someone. Whatever Jesus might have meant by that statement, I know I can't control who I am attracted to, it just happens.
Did Jesus mean we should control who we are attracted to, or was he assuming we would and that we need to control it?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Leavin on a jet plane

As most of you know I'm going to Israel tomorrow on a "clergy educational tour" - click here - for more details.
I won't actually get the chance to post again before I leave because Lukas has a doctors appoitment tomorrow morning - click here for updates - and after that we're going straight to the aiport.

I'm not sure what to expect over there, so I simply ask for prayer. Israel released 500 prisoners as well as the bodies of others - click here. It seems they are talking about peace, but one bomb could set everything back.

I will be posting updates on the trip here on the main blog homepage, but also uploading pictures and keeping an in-depth journal. Look on the left margin for links to the pictures and reports . To gain access to the in-depth reports, simply register on the forum - HERE. Thanks in advance for your prayers!! Shalom

Mona Eccleston with the Lord

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" Psalm 116:15

-----Original Message-----
From: Neville
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 12:26 PM
To: Bible-Chapel Bridlegrove
Subject: Mona has been Promoted!!

Dear Friends & Family.

Just a quick note to let you know that Mona passed into the presence of her LORD on Feb 14, 2005 at 2:30 AM. The girls and I were on site as she peacefully slept away at the Toronto East General Hospital. The Lord has answered prayers, she has entered His rest without prolonged discomfort. Arrangements are being made for funeral services on Saturday Feb 19 details to follow.

Neville ><>

Friday, February 11, 2005

Aleph-bet or Alpha-bet?

Just practising my Hebrew and found this handy site - click here. Makes me wonder where we got the word "alphabet", instead of the jewish "aleph-bet"?

Latest on Lukas

Yesterday the doctor called to book an appointment with us on February 15th to discuss Lukas' situation. That is the same day that I leave for Israel. Thanks for your prayers. For more updates on Lukas - click here

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Kathleen touchdown!

Kathleen MacFadyen touched down in Ethiopia recently. HERE is her blog, read about her first week in Ethiopia
A man ran up to us with a full grown man in his arms. He set him down on the street right where i was standing. The man was obviously starving to death, and we witnessed him die right in front of our eyes. It's a totally different place down here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

First '8 tracks', then 'Vinyl Records', now this...

Today I was at BestBuy gearing up for my trip to Israel. I got the memory card for the digital camera, the adapter for Israel plugs and then I asked the guy for audio cassettes because I plan to keep an audio journal while over there. He looked at me and said:
"We don't sell those anymore"
Huh? No more tapes? Obsolete? Am I getting old?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Rome-ward bound...

Just got off the phone with the travel agent about the Israel trip and we are going through ROME on our way to Israel! We'll get an all-day tour (10AM-11PM) with food, tour guide and hotel. God is good!

If anyone is interested in a trip like this email me, or post a comment below, or on the forum. These trips go each year at least so there may be room for you. At 700 bucks you can't go wrong! Especially now that they have declared a ceasefire!

*UPDATE* The tickets are now securely in the palm of my hand! Here's the details - click here

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Kathleen is outta here....

Kathleen MacFadyen (sister of Josh) flew to Ethiopia just yesterday. You can keep updated at her blog at

Here's what her last words were before she left:
I'm soooo excited, I leave for Africa tommorow! I have a stop in NFLD, London, Egypt, and then Addis Ababa!!! It's going to be a really long flight... probably around 36 hours. So I brought a good book, some music...and hopefully I'll be tired. Please pray for my flying safety, and that when we get there, everything will work out with our luggage arriving, etc. Anyways, gotta go get some sleep! You'll hear from me when i land!
Pray for her. Post a comment to encourage her.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Loggin in

01Feb05- tues -
02Feb05- wed - prayer
03Feb05 thurs-Lukas to Sick kids, al fixing basement shower, snells over, derek over, wayne stay overnight
04Feb05- fri - 100 tracts at MAC, meet with Ted, Ted & Kelly for dinner, youth group (19),
05Feb05- Russ, dave's wedding
06Feb05- sun - BofB, FBH, event - superbowl party with clayon,kevin
07Feb05 - Mark & Cassie over for birthday party
08Feb05 - Hayley visit Stacie Oatley Willis
09Feb05 - wed - 10AM - prayer with elders, 12-4 prayer, 4-6 office, 6-8 home, 8-10 prayer meeting - wed - drive kevin home after prayer meeting
10Feb05 - thurs - 10AM - read stories to kids, (hayley at anila's from 10-2PM)
11Feb05 - Fri - clayon, sabah, dominique,sabrina over before youth, 21 kids at youth (3 new) - preached from Genesis 6-10; clayon, sabah over after; drive sabah, clayon, kevin, alpha home
12Feb05-Sat - Sat - Jason Tremblay over. Argentina dinner. O'neils stay over night.
13Feb05-Sun - BofB, FBH, invited for lunch at Edward & Annas. Pack for Israel
14Feb05-Mon - Pack for Israel. Pick up Michelle at airport. Michelle over night.
15Feb05-Tues- Lukas doc appointment. Airport. Fly to Israel

15Feb05-23Feb04 --> Israel - details - click here

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Off to the hospital

Just off to sick kids with Lukas for the Barium x-ray. Not sure how it's gonna go trying to get a 3 year old to drink a cement-like substance :)
Anybody else had one of these Barium cocktails? What's it like?

*Update*Thanks to your prayers Lukas did great. Sick Kids was much better equipped to deal with him than previous hospital visits. The Barium was chocolate flavoured and he got to put stickers on the x-ray machine. We hope to know the test results soon. More HERE

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Loggin in - end of January

Jan 1-10 - HERE -

Wed12Jan05-Prayer day (9AM prayer with ladies. Prayer with elders. Prayer in library. Evening prayer meeting) 10AM-10:30PM
Thur13Jan05-Hayley sick
Fri14Jan05-kids sick
Sat15Jan05-recover (J&Eder over for dinner)
Wed19Jan05-3AM Lukas at sick kids
Fri21Jan05-Melissa arrives from BC. Wedding shower for dave & gen
Sat22Jan05-snowed in
Sun23Jan05-9:30-1PM services at BBC, 1-5:30 Jake & Catherine Martin over for dinner, 6:30 evening meeting.
Mon24Jan05-on phone all day (phil w, jason v, bill y, etc.)
Wed26Jan05-Prayer at the chapel. Pye takes me out for lunch at swiss chalet
Thur27Jan05- Read to daycare, israel plan, ebenji plan - invited out for lunch with scott/nigel. Maggie & Derek over for home study.
Fri28Jan05- invited out for lunch with Doyle, 6 kids @ youth group.
Sat29Jan05- SGC, hayley at chapel 12-3, melissa to airport, joy stays overnight.
Sun30Jan05- BofB, FBH (chairman), invited for dinner@Fish's, blurb on Argentina @ MBC evening
Mon31Jan05- Lukas at doctor