Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Video of the week - Iowans, don't vote for Huckabee

This video of the week is from the infamous "Talking to Americans" program. I hadn't noticed before but watch carefully to see Rick Mercer interview Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee. Someone this stupid does not deserve to be President (specifically 0:29-1:50):

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bill MacDonald : January 7, 1917 - December 25, 2007

It's a sad day for those of us in brethren assemblies here in North America. One of the great men of God we have come to know and love over the past century has left us:
At 5PM on Christmas day Bill MacDonald went home to be with Jesus. A group of us gathered early in the morning just to hold his hand, to read the Christmas story and to softly sing and pray...At 3 p.m. I spoke with him to let him know some guests had arrived. There was no longer any facial response, but he squeezed my hand for the last time.
Please sign the guestbook - here - with your memories of this great man.

Bill chose to not marry so he could serve God with more of his time. He served as President of Emmaus Bible College for many years and I still have the copy of the book he sent me called "Singleness". While I didn't follow his life choice on the subject, I have always cherished his personal note to me and the email exchanges we've had over the years. He was always an encourager and many of us felt enthused to have known him. May his example encourage many of us to be sold out for God! We'll miss you Bill.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Hayley!!

Each December 25th it's my yearly duty to make sure Hayley's birthday is not forgotten in all the busyness of Christmas. So again I'm posting up a sweet pic of my sweetheart so she knows that at least one person remembered. We recently learned that the founder of Pakistan was also born on December 25th so it's quite a special day. If you're reading this, please leave a comment below, or leave a message on Hayley's facebook - here wishing here a great big Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Need a title v39 - Away with the manger

Lukas has had some interesting experiences at school this Christmas season. Tonight he wanted to make a little manger scene to take to school for show and tell. Here is the finished product. Can anyone think of a good title for this creation?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Video of the week - Merry Christmas!!

Like many of you we have found that this week before Christmas is turning out to be quite hectic! So instead of my regular blogging schedule I simply wanted to post this video from all of us to wish you all a Merry Christmas:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Watching a rEVOLution - Ron Paul for President

A while ago I posted a video and proclaimed my new found love for US Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. Today I love him even more and hope to watch him make political history.

A group of Ron Paul supporters have organized a fundraising drive called "Tea Party 07" to commemorate the Boston Tea Party on December 16th, 1773. Their goal is to raise 10 million dollars for Ron Paul in one day. It's amazing to watch this grass-roots revolution. Click here to watch history and find out why Ron Paul is the phenomenon of the 2008 US election. He has more YouTube subscribers and video views than Barack Obama, more donations from war veterans than any other candidate and more donations in a single day than any other candidate. He is the only Republican that has consistently opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, he voluntarily opted out of a government pension and would completely eliminate income tax. If you're in the US I'd highly recommend voting for him.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Mennonite Vision Salvation Brethren Army Ministries Church??!! (Wednesday prayer requests)

This Sunday I was taking in the Lord's supper at Leaside Bible Chapel when the words of sweet old hymn #169 from the black book caught my attention:

We would remember we are one
with every saint that loves thy name
United to thee on the throne
our life, our hope, our Lord the same

What a great reminder of the unity we have with all Christians! I'm glad the founders of the brethren movement made one of their cornerstone doctrines unity. They would welcome anyone that was a Christian to simply break bread with them. Their attitude was that if Christ had received someone, so should they.

Recently I wrote an article for the Vision Ministries newsletter about our little church that's getting started. You'll notice by the title that our church is a blend of many flavours of Christian denominations. And I think that's a wonderful expression of the early brethren.

We really pray that our little church will be an amazing display of what can be accomplished when Christians come together in unity to help those in need. This is why we are partnering with various groups and denominations. Please pray for us, and consider how you could be part of what God is doing here!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The future of Canada: Immigration 4 times birth rate

Today Statisctics Canada released their data on Immigration, citizenship and language from the 2006 Census. As I've been saying for some time now, the future of Canada will be found in immigrant communities like Thorncliffe Park. Therefore I was not surprised to read the report, but I think if the church doesn't wake up fast we'll be in some serious danger of being lost in the multicultural shuffle. As CTV reports:
The latest census figures show that 19.8 per cent of the population in 2006 was foreign born, the highest proportion since 1931 and up 13.6 per cent from five years earlier. By contrast, the entire Canadian population grew only 3.3 per cent in the same period.
Did you catch that? The entire population grew 3%, immigration grew 13%. Immigration is 4 times the birth rate. And where are people coming from?
For the first time, the proportion of foreign-born immigrants from Asian and Middle Eastern countries (41 per cent) outstripped those of European heritage (37)...between 2001 and 2006, language groups from Asia and the Middle East recorded the largest gains
As a final note CTV makes a prediction we should all take to heart:
An aging population and the declining birth rate has Canada on track to becoming fully dependent on immigration for population growth by around 2030, Statistics Canada data suggests.
How will you process this data? What is the immigrant population of your church? If it's low, will your church make any adjustments to prepare for this? What will your church look like in 2030?

Monday, December 03, 2007

HV F8TH

**UPDATE** The Globe & Mail reportsMr. Henry will get his plates after all

Are you offended by this title? Seems the Ministry of Transportation thinks it's pretty offensive:

Russell Henry has had the (license) plate HV F8TH - have faith - for 20 years, and when he applied to replace his old, rusting plates, the Ministry of Transportation denied his request. "It does not meet the ministry's current criteria since this configuration could be considered by some members of the public to connotate religion," the ministry's letter indicated
Minister of Transportation = Jim Bradley - click here. Members of all faith groups (Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu) should write and express their thoughts on this matter to the Minister.

Monday's hot topics - "The Golden Compass"

Not sure about you, but I've been getting alot of requests from Christians to *not* see a movie called the Golden Compass. This movie barely registered on my radar when I saw the previews. My only thought was "This looks like a cheap LOTR/Narnia knock off". I didn't actually want to see the movie until there was all the controversy. Now I'm quite interested!

On the forum, WikkidPerson raises a valuable question about this very issue - wether Christians should watch things that are produced by people who don't hold Christian values - click here

How do you feel about the Golden Compass? Should Christians avoid entertainment created by people whose religious views and world outlook we feel to be incorrect? Post your thoughts in the comments below or on the forum - here

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The sayings of Sylas v13 - Cookie

This edition of "The sayings of Sylas" features another one of our Bridlegrove 'homeys'. "Cookie", as he is known to all of us, dropped in on Friday and stayed with us this weekend. You may remember he lived with us for a while last year and so it was lots of fun catching up, reminiscing and hearing about what he's been up to. Cookie is a favorite with our kids so when it was time for him to go tonight we figured our kids would be sad:

Daddy: Sylas, come say bye to Cookie, he's leaving
Sylas: No thank you
Daddy: Sylas, Cookie's going away don't you want to say goodbye?
Sylas: No, i don't have to say goodbye...he's still right here in my brain!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Video of the week

This is an amazing video from Georgia. Police storm in and shut down a TV station while still on air. Thank God for freedom of the press here in Canada, let's never take it for granted.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The sayings of Sylas v12 - Grammy

Last night sitting at the supper table Sylas had a thought:

Daddy, what would happen if Grammy exploded?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Only the Injil v3 - Making a splash

Recently I became a 30-something, which at first glance was quite depressing. There has been, however, one sweet consolation - I am now in my 'Jesus years'. These years in Jesus' life (between 30 and 33) were powerful, dynamic, miraculous and ultimately led to the greatest grass-roots revolution in human history.

Realizing this, I picked up my Reese Chronological Bible and each day, for the next 3 years, I will seek to read about exactly what Jesus was doing at my age!

____________________________________________________________________

This edition of "Only the Injil" focuses on Jesus continuing to build momentum with his new movement. Last time we saw him 'making a splash' so to speak, getting baptised by John the Baptist so everyone could see. This time he uses the biggest celebration that the country has to make his public debut

Everything Jesus does is so fascinating and instructive. There's so much that could be said about each of these 'editions' that it's hard to really decide what to include. I've put this edition off for far too long for just that reason.

For example, last time I was simply writing about how Jesus gathered his disciples but there are some really comical interchanges (I think) as Jesus first meets his future disciples through their friends. Take John 1:42. Andrew brings Peter to Jesus and the first thing Jesus says to Peter is 'hey buddy, I'm gonna call you 'The ROCK'! Or when Jesus meets Nathaniel (John 1:46) his first words are 'hey, here comes an honest man!'. You can almost see a smile on Jesus' face as he establishes himself as a guy with something about him that they would want to follow.

Jesus had personality and people skills. To me, it's almost comical to read how he interacts and make these new followers feel comfortable with him, and at the same time makes them want to follow him. This is interesting, especially as we think of making contact with people. So many times I've brought people to church and the leaders that are supposed to be experts on this stuff completely drop the ball. One time a friend of mine brought their mom to church and when I introduced her to the key leader in the church his first words to her were 'Hello, it's great to see you, but where have you been for so long'. Total idiot. In contrast, Jesus puts people at ease, makes them feel like he's interested in them, points out good things and even gives them little pet nicknames :)

> Jesus @ 31 years & 2 weeks old - So after gathering his first followers, Jesus hangs out with them in Capernaum for a while (John 2:12). Lots can be said here about discipleship. Spending time with people. Deepening relationships. Having no agenda. Too often I see Christians that hustle their contacts/disciples from this event to that event and rarely just hang out with them. Think about it. If you had someone that was interested in following Jesus what would you do with them? Bring them to a program/church/event? Jesus' strategy is totally different, he seems to me to be anti-programatic in his discipleship. He takes them home to meet his mom. Is that something you've ever done? Bring your friends to meet your family? Let them spend time in your home. Ask yourself, how often do the people in your church programs come to your home? Would people that are in your church programs be able to 'just drop in' and stay with you for a few days? It doesn't sound like something that could make the church bulletin but it's exactly what Jesus does.

Then they go to a wedding in Cana of Gallillee (2:2) and He does a simple miracle there. I won't comment on this, other than to wonder what Jesus meant when he said 'woman, my time hasn't come (John 2:4)'. As you read through what Jesus did in the next few weeks, was he saying he didn't want to be revealed until the time was right in Jerusalem at the passover? I'd be interested to hear thoughts on that.

What happens next is phenomenal. How did Jesus go from being a poor carpenters son from Nazareth to national phenomenon in such a short time? Was it simply his magic Jesus skills that helped him, or was he more strategic? John 2:13 mentions Jesus taking his disciples down to Jerusalem for the passover. It's what every good Jew would do. Take a pilgrimage. Sacrifice. Once again everyone would be there. Jesus once again decides to crash the biggest party in the country. This time though there's nobody to introduce him so he makes his own introduction. Cue Super Bowl Sunday part 2.

Jesus has already developed grass-roots word-of-mouth interest throughout the country, reminiscent of William Wallace lore in Braveheart ("William Wallace killed 50 men"), about who he was. So what is Jesus' next move? He takes it to the next level by going to Jerusalem with his new disciples and making a massive spectacle! There are so many applications here I don't know where to start. Think about this, there is already a buzz in the country about who this guy is that John baptized, but now he goes to the capital city Jerusalem right at Passover time and intentionally picks a fight with the religious leaders!! If being baptised by John the Baptist was Superbowl Sunday then this stunt is the World Cup of Soccer in comparison.

Everyone that was there to see John the Baptist would be there in Jerusalem. Also, all those people who weren't there, but heard reports about 'this one' would also be there. All the whispers are now escalated. He did what? In the temple? Did you see him? Who is this guy? This is what would be heard at supper tables across the land. The strategy Jesus uses is amazing to watch. Literally everyone in the entire country is talking about him, as well as other pilgrims who had come from other places just for the passover. I liken it to the scene when V takes over Jordan tower in the movie V for Vendetta and gets his message to the entire country.

With these 2 huge publicity stunts Jesus ensures that he is the talk of the town and all eyes are on him. He sets the stage for eveyone to be interested in everything he's doing. Every move will create more whispers. Every sentence will be analyzed. The stage is set. While I can barely contain the excitement of this, next time I will look at the content of what Jesus does in the temple and what statement he's making with all this publicity.

Up next - Temple tantrum

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The sayings of Lukas v37 - Christmas

Last night we set up some of our Christmas decorations. After putting up the nativity scene Olivia started pointing and saying "Baby Jesus".

Hayley: Yes, Olivia there's baby Jesus up there
Lukas: Where's baby Jesus? Oh there he is...and the wise men...and shepherds....but where's King Herod??

Monday, November 26, 2007

World Clock

*UPDATE* Here is a link to the World Clock - it was too big to keep on the blog for too long


...Reminds me of the title of a sermon I read once: Time is passing, death is coming, are you prepared to meet God?

And if that's just too depressing, here's a countdown to Christmas

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christian response to Muslim letter

A while back I mentioned that 138 Muslim leaders had signed a letter titled "A Common Word Between Us and You" - click here for full text.

Just last week Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and other Christian leaders wrote a response which I thought was good in that it explicitly asked for forgiveness for the Crusades and other wrongs that Christians of the past have done to Muslims (click here for full text.)

Log in to our new blog for more observations...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

One more reason why I love facebook

Those of you who have added me on facebook know I have some pictures up of my "Bridlegrove Homeys" - click here.

One such 'homey' is a young lad (at left) I met in 2004 named Orlando Franklin. Remember that name. When I met Orlando he was just 16 years old but already stood 6 foot 7 and weighed around 280 pounds.

Like most of the 'homeys' that live in Scarborough, Orlando moved away and I completely lost contact with him. That is until someone tagged him in one of my pictures on facebook and we got reacquainted. Much to my delight I discovered that Orlando is now the starting offensive lineman for the Miami Hurricanes and making headlines across the football world!! Way to go Orlando!! I believe he could go quite far in football, so say a prayer for this little 'homey' whenever you hear about the Miami Hurricanes.

Happy Birthday Olivia!


Today my little girl turns 2! Happy Birthday Olivia

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Need a title v38 - Justin

Justin's pretty excited. Can anyone think of a good title?

Video of the week - Ottawa

Here's a quick video I took in Ottawa. It was amazing to see the verses from the Bible that are inscribed in stone right on the Parliament buildings:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wikkid tales

Well I'm back from Ottawa with loads of goodies and ideas. The best part of a conference is always the people that you meet whom you haven't seen in a while. One such person is the infamous Wikkid Person himself!!

It was great to see him again and yak it up over fish n chips at an Ottawa pub. We talked about everything from our experiences with various branches of the brethren to church culture to music. He reminded me that I still needed to listen to his 'Tales of the Prodigals Elder brother' collection of MP3's on his website. I decided to check them out and they are a brilliant masterpiece of the confusion that is growing up Christian. Since I was not raised Christian these 'tales' are instructive to me as I raise my own kids. So I wanted to share these 'tales' with all of you. If you go to Wikkid's website you can find these MP3's ready for download on the right side of the page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blogging from Ottawa

Hi everybody, it's 11PM here in Ottawa and I just got in my hotel room. Had lots of fun at a number of pre-conference events, the awesomest of which is getting to spend some time with Alan Hirsch! I'll try to post some video I took but my batteries ran out. I first heard of Hirsch from one of our interns Dan Carlson and he truly has some awesome ideas. Unfortunately for some, it seems to me that these ideas involve completely deconstructing church as we know it.

And not just in ways like having services on Saturdays or something like that. His 'Finding Nemo' analogy about aquariums vs. the ocean was key. He went so far as to say that the aquariums we set up (safe, clean church environments where only 'good people' swim) are not only artificial, they are actually detrimental to the fish, as they are unable to survive in the ocean. If I'm understanding this right, he's saying that church is actually detrimental to people's ability to do amazing things for God. That's something I've been saying for a long time, but usually have been told I'm crazy. To show up at a conference and hear the main speaker saying what I'm thinking in my deepest thoughts is something I'm really excited about.

But what do you think, is church in the west actually detrimental to people's ability to do great things for God?

The sayings of Sylas v11 - Microwave

Today Hayley & Sylas were making applesauce when Sylas heard a beeping sound:

Sylas: Mom, it's finished waving!!
Mommy: What's waving?
Sylas: The Micro-wave

Monday, November 12, 2007

Diamonds

I found this on a friends blog:

Imagine

Tomorrow I leave for Ottawa to attend the Imagine conference. Should be a really good time and I'll try to blog a few times about what I'm learning. I'm really looking forward to hearing Alan Hirsch, Sam Owusu and Ed Stetzer, as well as getting to chat with friends from all over Canada.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Video of the Week - I think I love Ron Paul

I'm not an American, but if I was I'd vote for Ron Paul.

100,000 reasons to read

Today the little counter at the bottom will click over 100,000!! So I thought I'd take a minute to thank all of you who check up on us, pray for us, support us financially and read up on what we're doing here on the athensBLOG!

If you do the math....

100,000 divided by 3 years = 33,333/year
33,333 divided by 52 weeks = 640/week
640 divided by 7 days = 91/day

We started this blog way back in 2004 as a way to keep folks updated on our trip to the Olympics in Athens. Since then it's blossomed into a discussion forum, as well as a wiki, we've been able to post ministry updates, thoughts, pictures, videos, stories of our kids and prayer requests. We hope you've enjoyed the last 3 years!

'No church Sunday'?

Over at Lon's blog he's got an idea for shaking things up in the peu's. An idea he calls - No Church Sunday.
the idea of intentionally not gathering as a church on sunday...Really, we’re not even suppose to be going to church, we are the church.
So how about it, would your congregation be willing to take a 'sabbath' from church?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Letter bomber in court today

You may remember a bomb scare here in Thorncliffe back in August. Today the bomber appeared in court and faced 8 new charges related to a seperate incident.

CityTV reports:
The man accused in all those other crimes is now facing eight new charges of attempted murder. His alleged weapon: tampered water bottles. Cops aren't saying much yet about their latest case against 37-year-old Adel Arnaout. He was arrested last August 31st at a gas station in the Thorncliffe Park area

Monday, November 05, 2007

Parenting 101 v15 - Girls

When I am confronted with a difficult parenting situation, I'll put the issue out there to plumb the depths of the vast parenting knowledge of my beloved readers....Here is our fifteenth edition of Parenting 101.
__________________________



Lukas' understanding of the world is increasing by the minute. He's learning to read and discovering many wonderful things. His questions are much different than before. Some things still don't make sense to him. For example, the other day at the supper table Lukas asked:

Why do girls have long finger nails?

I couldn't think of a good answer. Any ideas?

Monday's hot topics - The Word of God

Recently on the forum a fellow named jpurssey stated that he believed Jesus was the Word of God, not the Bible:
I also believe that Jesus, not the Bible, is the Word. The Bible is a very useful collection of texts
Many people reacted to this statement, and a poll was started. So far it seems most people believe Jesus AND the Bible are the Word of God.

What do you think? Is Jesus the Word of God and the Bible simply a record of him. Or are the actual pages in the Bible the Word of God? Or both? Or neither? Post your thoughts in the comments below, or on the forum - here

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Imposter!!

Not only is there another Hayley Cuthill out there, turns out there's another Shawn Cuthill on the loose:

http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/sport/Hockey-Sam-hits-five-for.3440582.jp
Pelicans gave Walsham Kent, Heatrick and Sweeney for the second half, but the goals kept coming through Shaun Cuthill
Go Pelicans!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Video of the week - Welcome to Toronto!

In this week's video Justin & Aaron document their first few months here in Toronto and Thorncliffe Park. It's a sweet little video of the city, with cameo appearances from our little prayer group, Hayley, and our apartment:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Parenting 101 v14 - Burn in hell!

When I am confronted with a difficult parenting situation, I'll put the issue out there to plumb the depths of the vast parenting knowledge of my beloved readers....Here is our fourteenth edition of Parenting 101.
__________________________

Today at the supper table Lukas was telling us about his day at school.
He mentioned that some of the kids at school asked him if he was a Muslim or a Christian. Now, this happens all the time and the kids are usually nice about it. But this time when he said he was a Christian the kids gasped and said:

Oh no - you're a Christian! God only loves Muslims. You'll be put in a fiery place

Now I've never had somebody tell my child he's going to hell before. Wasn't really sure how to respond. Any advice?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sayings of Sylas v10 - Overflow

Last night the kids were getting ready for the bath.
Lukas peed in the toilet and jumped in the bath
Sylas peed in the toilet and jumped in the bath
Olivia peed, but when she flushed the toilet overflowed!

Grammy put Olivia quickly in the tub and tried to deal with the overflow.
Sylas, looking over at all of the water said:

Wow, Olivia sure had alot of pee!!

Monday's hot topics - Why can't I own a Canadian?

I posted an article on the forum, which raises some questions about applying Old Testament laws.
When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
Interesting. How do we know which laws to apply and which not to? If we are under grace then are these laws abolished? If so, how can we argue against homosexuality. If not, then how do we know which laws apply to us today?? Post your thoughts in the comments below, or on the forum - here

Friday, October 26, 2007

Video of the week & Need a title v37

Hayley and I laughed so much at this video we couldn't decide wether it should be in 'video of the week' or 'need a title' so it's both. Can anyone think of a good title:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Willow Creek got it wrong...

...and they have the humility to admit it. This article details Willow Creek's round of research called "Reveal".

I would encourage all of you to watch this video, and also Bill Hybels response to it.

My favorite quote: "Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Parenting 101 v13 - Birthdays and Monsters

When I am confronted with a difficult parenting situation, I'll put the issue out there to plumb the depths of the vast parenting knowledge of my beloved readers....Here is our thirteenth edition of Parenting 101.
__________________________



Today is a special day! Well actually tomorrow is, but today is Lukas and Sylas' birthday party!! Woohoo! As posted in the Markham Economist & Sun tomorrow is Lukas' 6th birthday and Sylas' 4th. It's fun having boys that share the same birthday cause we just have one big fun party.

Aside from the birthday excitement Sylas asked me a question today that I needed a little help with. We were walking back from the park when Sylas said:

Daddy, why don't Monsters have hearts?

I couldn't think of a real good answer. Any ideas?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Only the Injil v2 - Jesus' first followers

Recently I became a 30-something, which at first glance was quite depressing. There has been, however, one sweet consolation - I am now in my 'Jesus years'. These years in Jesus' life (between 30 and 33) were powerful, dynamic, miraculous and ultimately led to the greatest grass-roots revolution in human history.

Realizing this, I picked up my Reese Chronological Bible and each day, for the next 3 years, I will seek to read about exactly what Jesus was doing at my age!

____________________________________________________________________

For this second installment of 'Only the Injil' I wanted to look at how Jesus built momentum and gathered his first followers, or disciples. What is the picture you get in your head as you think of Jesus gathering followers? I wonder if we think much past the scene of Jesus walking along the beach, stretching out his hand and saying 'Come follow me' and then by some mystical powers people would drop whatever they were doing and follow him. Is that all there was to it?

> Jesus @ 30 years 11 months - Let's start mapping this out. It would seem Jesus called his first followers after coming back from 40 days in the wilderness. He had already made a very public appearance by getting baptized at the height of John the Baptist's ministry, so Jesus would have been well known to the people he called to follow him.

First of all, imagine with me the hoopla surrounding John the Baptist around the time Jesus got baptized. Mark 1:5 states that "All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John". Everybody was there. This was like Superbowl Sunday and Jesus decides at this exact moment to get baptized! Think of the strategy as Jesus walks through the massive crowds and then the person they are there to see, John the Baptist, turns and says to everyone 'Look, it's the Messiah, he's the one you really want to talk to'.

The whispers would fly! Not only through the crowds gathered in the wilderness, but to almost everyone in the entire country as these spectators traveled back to their own towns. This 'publicity stunt' was the background for Jesus' return from the wilderness. Everybody knew who John said he was, and were waiting with anticipation to see what he'd do. This is an excellent lesson on momentum building. Jesus didn't just show up on a street corner and say 'Hey everyone, I am the Messiah", he was very strategic in how he used natural networks to spread his message and build curiosity and anticipation.

Now, if you look at the map of Jesus' travels it shows an interesting pattern. In John 1:35 John the Baptist is stationed in a town called Bethbara. On the map to the left this town is near the area simply called 'River Jordan'. John is walking around Bethbara with his disciples and Jesus shows up, fresh out of the wilderness, everyone wondering what he'll do. It's interesting to me that all Jesus really does here is piggy back off what is already going on with John. He leverages the momentum John has created. He shows up the first time where John is baptizing. He shows up a second time when John is teaching his disciples.

What is really amazing is what happens next! John is walking with two of his disciples, he sees Jesus and says to them 'Behold the lamb of God' (ie: hey, remember this guy I told you about?). John 1:37 then states 'the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus'. Did you catch that?? Jesus scoops John's disciples!! And John has no problem with this. Today's equivalent would be if a minister at one church encouraged their congregants to join another church with a better minister! We find out later in verse 40 that one of the disciples Jesus scoops is Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

Now we see Jesus really start to teach us about networking. What is Jesus' next step? Does he set up shop in Bethbara and tell his new disciple Andrew to bring people to him for a synagogue class each Sunday at 11? No, John 1:41 says that Andrew finds his brother Peter and says 'We have found the Messiah!!". Peter comes and follows as well - 2 disciples for Jesus. Next we see Jesus travelling up to the city where Andrew & Peter are from which is Bethsaida. If you look on the map you'll see that it is a considerable distance up the Jordan River to the sea of Galilee, where Bethsaida is located.

Why does Jesus travel all this distance? He is working Andrew and Peter's natural network. He visits the town where they are from (John 1:44). He finds Philip, probably someone Andrew & Peter knew from town and then Philip brings Nathaniel - his brother? relative? we're not sure, but it is someone in Philip's network, which resulted from someone in Andrew's network, who was from John the baptists network.

I want to pause here to contrast what we are used to in church with what Jesus is doing here. Usually we experience church leadership that does not spend a whole lot of time exploring someones natural network of friends. When someone comes to church they are given a list of meetings and groups to go to, which may actually extract people from their natural networks!! Jesus does the opposite. He natural flows through the contacts that his new disciples are most comfortable with. One person at a time he works Andrew's network to gather his disciples. It's all there in John 1:35-51.

To many of us discipleship is a mystery. Over the years I have heard many complaints by Christians who have longed for someone to 'take them under their wing' and teach them about Jesus in a deeper, personal way. I've also heard lots of people yearn to know how to reach out to their friends, neighbours and coworkers. Jesus has the answer for both. For me I am thankful to God that this did happened when I became a Christian. I came into the church via a natural relational network (girlfriend) and met with many people who were more interested in me and my network than how many meetings I attended. One person I am most indebted to asked me where the teenagers I knew hung out. We would visit these areas (where I used to go drinking) with Bibles to talk to the people in my natural network. The emphasis was me going to them, not them coming us. Quite the difference.

I feel this is a very significant lesson for the church. We need to be going where people are. We need to not be so concerned about our holy hymn singing times and instead seek to reach out to real people, get into their lives so much that they will open up their natural networks to us, and as leaders, with grace and humility introduce ourselves and our faith to them. We may find that if we take this approach entire communities will open up (like Bethsaida) for us to show the love of Jesus.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The sayings of Sylas v9 - Hot soup!

Today we were sitting at the supper table when Hayley brought out some hot soup:
Hayley: Don't touch this soup, it's burn-your-mouth-off hot!
Sylas: Don't eat it daddy...or you'll die...like that other time when you fell down the beanstalk!

The story of the Canadian 10 dollar bill

If you have a Canadian $10 bill, look at the back right side of the bill. You will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial. His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last month at the age of 90.

That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the Second World War. Born in England, he was one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg.

He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. Enroute to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire. Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk. Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in North Africa and Italy. Enroute his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck. In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel.

Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital. They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre.

After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county.

At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa.

One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him. "He had no idea he would be on the bill," his daughter said.

And now you know the rest of the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 16th - the greatest day in history

From a quick perusal of the Wikipedia article on October 16th it would seem this day is the best day of all. Some highlights:

1775 - Portland, Maine burned by the British
1905 - The Partition of Bengal (India) occurred
1914 - Mohammed Zahir Shah, King of Afghanistan born (d. 2007)
1923 - The Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney.
1931 - Charles Colson, American Watergate conspirator, born
1951 - The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, is assassinated in Rawalpindi.
1962 - Flea, Australian musician (Red Hot Chili Peppers) born
1995 - The Million Man March is held in Washington, D.C. The event was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
2003 - Apple launches its iTunes Music Store, an online download music store, for the Microsoft Windows platform.

Today is also Boss' day, World food day and HM President Johnathan Macris' birthday

King of Afghanistan? Walt Disney founded!! Church Colson born? Itunes! This has to be the best day in the entire calendar! Happy October 16th everyone!!

Video of the week - kids today

A lot has changed since 1976. Here is a video by some University Students in Kansas.
a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.
Just imagine if this video was made in a church.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In my Jesus years | Only the Injil v1 - The wilderness

As some of you know my 31st birthday is coming up soon. While I won't reveal the exact date here, I will say that the process of transitioning from a 20-something to a 30-something has been fairly traumatic to my youthful outlook!

While it's been difficult to think of myself as a 30 year old, there has been one sweet consolation - I am now in my 'Jesus years'. These years in Jesus' life (between 30 and 33) were powerful, dynamic, miraculous and ultimately led to the greatest grass-roots revolution in human history.

Realizing this has stirred something inside of me. Recently I picked up my Reese Chronological Bible and each day, for the next 3 years, I will seek to read about exactly what Jesus was doing at my age! The Chronological Bible actually goes so far as to put dates on the events in Jesus life, so I'll be able to follow along fairly well. These may not be exact dates, and I may use other sources but it should be a fun project retracing Jesus' steps each day when he was my age and posting my findings here. I may call this series 'Only the Injil' or 'My Jesus years', I haven't decided yet. Probably 'Only the Injil' as this title lends itself to a better understanding by my Muslim friends. The word 'Injil' is an Arabic word for the gospel, derived from the Greek word Evangel, or good news. So maybe that makes me an evinjilical :)

As an intro I thought I'd post a bit about what happened during Jesus' 30th year, seeing as my 30th year is almost over:

> 30 years 1 month - John the Baptist begins to preach, ferociously condemning the religious leaders. When people ask John 'What should we do' (Luke 3:10) he answers by saying in verse 11 'He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none, and he that has food, let him do likewise'. Do you have two coats? John the Baptist states you need to give one of them away. Perhaps now is a good time, before we in Canada have to face winter. Try to find someone this week that needs your coat and give it to them. I'm sad to say I've rarely done this, or witnessed Christians or churches that have done this. I wonder why we shy away from helping those in need. One Christian leader I know, upon being asked this question shamelessly stated 'Well, you know what they say...if you feed a stray cat" as if to lower the value of a human life in need to that of a garbage picking feline! Folks if we are believers in Jesus we are commanded to help those in need. It's not enough to simply study scripture until you can quote it from memory. If we are not doers of the word then what profit is our bible knowledge? Knowledge puffs up and perhaps this pride, which is often seen in evangelical bible memorization clubs is exactly what the Pharisees were suffering from.

> 30 years 9 months - Jesus baptized and 'full of the Spirit' is led into the wilderness to be tempted. It's very interesting to me that the Spirit is the one leading Jesus into temptation. The Spirit leads each of us into tests, to make sure that we can handle the power that is on the other side of the test. Each of us go through the 'wilderness' at times. As John Piper states in the 'video of the week', God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss. This is what makes the health and wealth gospel preachers so hideous - they would not have allowed Jesus to go to the wilderness. But God does and will 'lead us' into wilderness situations. During these times may we follow Jesus' example of satisfaction and obedience to God in the midst of desolation, loneliness, temptation, isolation, sorrow, hunger and thirst.

Up next - Jesus' first disciples

Friday, October 12, 2007

Need a title v35 - Wedding kiss

Here's a picture of our dear summer intern Dan Carlson attempting to kiss his new bride Pam Janzi on their wedding day, August 11th. Can anyone think of a good title?

Last day of Ramadan!

Imran gives us some insight into the last day of Ramadan:
Today could be the last day of Ramadan...My biggest problem is not thirst / hunger. Although the first day caffeine deficiency bothers me. Lack of sleep is my biggest problem. You wake up at 5:30 to eat before starting the fast. Then you try to sleep right after with full stomach. I woke up tired, stomach hurting and dry mouth. I shouldn’t try to go sleep but I’m so sleepy then.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Give peace a chance

Well I'm done crying about the Ontario election. It seems Dalton McGuinty and his catholic faith hid far enough under the radar to scare everyone away from John Tory. Perhaps now McGuinty will cancel funding for Catholic schools?

In other news it seems something extraordinary has happened in Muslim-Christian dialogue:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21248862/site/newsweek/from/ET/
Oct. 11, 2007 - Getting religious leaders to agree on anything is notoriously difficult. So this morning’s announcement—that 138 of the world’s most powerful Muslim clerics, scholars and intellectuals from all branches of Islam (Sunni and Shia, Salafi and Sufi, liberal and conservative) had come together to write a letter to the world’s Christian leaders—is being hailed as something of a miracle.
Wow, it will be interesting to see how the Christian leaders respond.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The sayings of Sylas v8 - Dentist

Today was a monumental day in the life of Sylas Cuthill. It was his very first dentist appointment. No cavities, his picture on the 'cavity free' wall and a new shrek toothbrush. Tonight, I sat down to talk so Sylas about how the dentist was:
Daddy: What did you think about your first dentist appointment?
Sylas: Well...it was a bad saditudety
Not sure if that's a good thing, or a bad thing??

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

John Tory endorsed by the East York Mirror

Recently our local paper, The East York Mirror endorsed John Tory as their choice in our riding of Don Valley West:
Friday, October 5th. “Ontario needs a different type of leadership, and John Tory provides it.” “In Don Valley West, we are obviously endorsing Progressive Conservative candidate and party leader John Tory…we believe he is the best choice for Ontario and therefore must be elected in his own riding. Voters are reminded that Tory’s roots run deep in the Don Valley West riding and it took great courage on his part to run in this riding against Liberal incumbent and education minister Kathleen Wynne. Tory did not take the easy route and seek a safe seat, he chose to run in his own community and deserves to be elected by its voters..."Tory's Tories should form next Ontario government"
That endorsement is good news for Tory as it will be a tight race to beat out Kathleen Wynne. Personally, I've been accosted by way too many desperate Kathleen supporters here in Thorncliffe to take her seriously and Tory just has way too much experience to pass up voting for him. That's also how many others here in Thorncliffe feel.

Despite the negative attention the Liberals have sought to cast on the issue of faith-based schools (hey wait, doesn't McGuinty's wife teach at a faith based (Catholic) school? Hypocrit!), I think if we look at what Tory has done in the past, the choice in Don Valley West is simple. Tory has run major corporations like Rogers, been the chairman of the United Way and CFL as well as being a long time volunteer here at the Salvation Army. He did all this *before* he was a politician. He's not getting into this for the money or the fame, he actually wants to make a difference and show Ontarians what can happen when Ontario is run properly, by someone who has proved himself in the real world. The East York Mirror is looking forward to a Tory win, and so am I.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thorncliffe Park - "Canada's highest immigrant concentration"

While blasting the Liberals in a recent Toronto Star article, Immigration and Diversity reporter Nicholas Keung refers to the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, stating:
Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, serving an area with Canada's highest immigrant concentration.
So not only does Thorncliffe have the highest Muslim concentration in Canada, it also has the highest concentration of new immigrants to Canada. Just one more reason you should move in to the area :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


I wanted to wish all my readers a happy thanksgiving by quoting the Canadian govenment decree that instituted this holiday:

From : http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/jfa-ha/graces_e.cfm
Monday, 14 Oct. 1957
For general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings
with which the people of Canada have been favoured
May you all have a wonderful day off, reflecting on what the Almighty God has done for you!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dawkins - Lennox 'God Delusion' debate

Well the debate is over and I've been trying to get the audio from this site but i guess it's pretty busy.

People are writing responses here and a few people blogged the debate. Hopefully I'll have a better update soon. The group that put the debate on is selling DVD's so I'm not sure if we'll see a video surface on YouTube any time soon.

There is a good video of John Lennox on YouTube that should tide you over:

You can check out more on Dr. Lennox on a website called gladyouasked.org, where he answers people's tough questions about God. Hopefully there will be some updates from the debate soon!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Early Wednesday prayer requests - Richard Dawkins debates John Lennox!!

Christian (and Brethren) legend Dr. John Lennox will debate atheist Richard Dawkins tomorrow (click here for details). I wanted to ask for prayer for John since Dawkins is a pretty fierce opponent!

For those who don't know Dawkins, he is a staunch athiest, recently wrote the book 'The God delusion' and has been described as 'Darwin's pitbull'. For those who don't know John Lennox I've heard him speak live and he's a serious genius, able to kindle the mind and spirit with his logic and enthusiasm for Jesus. This should be a good debate!! Go get em Johnny!

Karachi stock exchange - 'Worlds biggest mover'!?!?

Today there was a surprising leader among world stock markets - The Karachi stock exchange!
Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan stocks surged the most in a year after the Supreme Court ruled that President Pervez Musharraf will be able to seek a second five-year term in an Oct. 6 election...The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index rose 384.06, or 2.9 percent, to close at 13,737.74, its highest since Aug. 3. That's the biggest gain since August 2006 and the largest fluctuation among markets included in global benchmarks.

``The rally was to be expected after the court decision,'' said Abdul Azeem, an analyst at Invest Capital & Securities Ltd., in Karachi. ``There is a perception in the market that Musharraf's re-election will be good for the economy.''

Monday's hot topics - Christians and Environmentalism

Forum member Daoust posed a thought provoking question in the form of a hypothesis on the forum:
Hypothesis: Christians who have a general understanding of the 'big picture' of world events, ie. where the world came from and where it is going to are less likely to be concerned about or active in environmental issues, environmental policy, and environmentally friendliness...Agree or disagree with my hypothesis?
Do you agree that Christians should not be concerned about the environment? Do you disagree and think that Christians should be more active environmentally than others? Post your thoughts in the comments, or on the forum - here

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thorncliffe Park Public School - up to 1667

I've been telling people that Thorncliffe Park Public School has 1500 students from Kindergarten to Grade 5, 93% of which English is not their first language. These stats came from a Toronto Sun article. However, upon checking the school's newsletter (click here for PDF) it looks like that number is actually 1667 students (K-5) with 94% 'primary language other than English'. No wonder there are all those new portables up in the soccer field!

Lego Bible updates


The Lego Bible has some recent updates from the story of David & Saul, including David becoming King!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Triple Letters - the triplet blog

My good friends Josh & Colleen MacFadyen found out recently that they are pregnant with TRIPLETS!!! As Hayley put it 'This is the most exciting thing that's ever happened to someone I know!". These triplets are due some time in December and Josh has started a blog called Triple Letters to document the journey. His latest entry has some great ultrasound pics. Check it out!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Driscoll

A friend of mine, Lon, just happened to post today about Driscoll and his emerging breakdown of 3 categories - here.

Lon also posted an audio clip - here - of Driscoll telling the story of how he became a Christian through the awesome ministry called 'missionary-dating' (which also produced yours truly). Three cheers for Driscoll! Three cheers for Christian girls who date non-christian guys!!

Video of the week - Emerging church breakdown

There's alot of discussion in Christian circles about a relatively new movement called the 'Emerging church'. The folks in this movement are mostly 30-something pastors & leaders trying to deal with life in a post-Christian society. Gone are the days of praying in school and reverence for scripture in public domain. These new young leaders engage with the culture and are rethinking the way we 'do church' to see if there are things that we can do better so we can make the important message about Jesus the most important thing we do.

Watch Pastor Mark Driscoll explain what it is:


Now, there has been some criticism about this movement from those who are often referred to as 'fundamentalists'. Folks who perhaps believe that the form of church is fine and doesn't need changing. I disagree with them because if the church was doing it's job it wouldn't be losing young people at such a staggering rate.

Driscoll also has a paper on the Emerging church that helps calm some fears about the changes that us young leaders are proposing to the way we do church. It's worth a read - click here:
First, the Emerging church is a broad category that encompasses a wide variety of churches and Christians who are seeking to be effective missionaries wherever they live. This includes Europeans and Australians who are having the same conversation as their American counterparts. The Emerging church includes three distinct types of Christians. In a conversation with Dr. Ed Stetzer, a noted missiologist, he classified them as the Relevants, Reconstructionists, and Revisionists...
Take a look and post your thoughts in the comments about what you think of this 'Emerging' trend. Are you a 'relevant'? A 'reconstructionist'? A 'revisionist'? Is this emerging conversation a good thing? Bad thing? Heresy? Blessings? What are your experiences with this 'emerging church' generation?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Incarnational ministry - Save money and the Environment!

A while ago I posted my thoughts on what we call Incarnational ministry. For those who haven't heard, Incarnational ministry is where you actually worship/serve/go to church as well as work, live, play and go to school all in the same geographic location. In our case that means Thorncliffe Park.

Incarnational is great for community building, meaningful relationships and loving you neighbours but there's something I hadn't considered - Icarnational is good for the environment and the pocket book!!

You see I have a speed pass with Esso. Handy little things they are. I just swipe and go, giving no thought for tomorrow, until the bill appears at the end of each month. The average month's worth of gas, since we got the speed pass, has been anywhere from 250-350 dollars depending on how much driving we've had to do. But think about all the driving you don't have to do when you're Incarnational! No driving to school, just walk to the school in your community. No driving to work, just walk to work/church in your community. No driving to friends houses, just walk down the hall in your apartment building.

So today when I got my gas bill I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised that it was a mere 92 dollars! That's all the gas I used. 3 fill ups. Not only am I saving money, I'm cutting down on harmful exhaust fumes. I wonder if being Incarnational is part of the election platform from the Green Party? Come on everybody, get your Incarnational on!

Grampy's 100th

Here are some pictures from the 100th birthday party of Daniel MacLeod
Grampy & Nanny all spiffed up


And yes that is Olivia on Nanny's knee. It's tough being the favorite great-grandchild, but somebody's gotta do it :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

What's the population of Pakistan Mr. McGuinty?

Last night Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was a guest on Global TV's 'Focus Ontario' program with Sean Mallen. Mallen asked McGuinty wether he should at least consider having the conversation about faith-based schools in the future. McGunity's response was a flat out no and to support his stand he said:
It's not going to happen on my watch and I'll tell you why, because we're up against 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.1 billion Indians, 280 million Pakistanis...
280 million Pakistanis?? This guy doesn't even know the population of Pakistan (currently 164 million). I wonder if anyone here in the 75% Pakistani riding of Thorncliffe Park noticed that.

Monday's hot topics - The Athiest's dilemma

Forum member Paul Blackmore recently posted about his experience with those who have turned away from Christ and are now atheists. Blackmore states:
Here then are my observations for what they are worth re: this modern-day trend away from the Christian faith by those who formerly professed it...The athiest is first sold a "christian bill of goods" that turns out in the end to be riddled with falsehood. Upon discovering such untruths within the bill of goods that he has been sold; he abandons and rejects the faith
Blackmore lists 4 or 5 reasons why he believes folks chose to turn away, laying much of the blame for this on Calvinistic teaching.

What is your experience with those who have turned away? Is Calvinism at the root of the problem? Post your thoughts in the comments below of on the forum

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Need a title v34 - Church


Recently I moved all my online pictures from Yahoo to Flickr. Thankfully this was an easy process and Flickr's online photo storage is far superior. I was looking through some old pictures and found this picture which I took in Israel.


Can anyone think of a good title?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thorncliffe Park - more Muslims than any other provincial riding

For the upcoming Ontario provincial election, Thorncliffe Park is stationed in the riding of Don Valley West. Liberal incumbent Kathleen Wynne is in the fight of her life against Ontario Conservative leader John Tory. Both candidates have had many events here, trying to sway undecided voters, but currently only John Tory signs are up on Thorncliffe Park Drive. One clue as to why Tory has such momentum in this area could be the faith based school concept.

An article from National Post gives some insight into the demographics of Thorncliffe Park:
Don Valley West is a diverse riding. Down the road from Leaside, where soccer moms raise children in spacious brick homes, is Thorncliffe Park, where recent immigrants crowd into high-rise apartments.

It is home to more Muslims than any other provincial riding — 13.6% of the population is Muslim, more than 15,500 people.
The article doesn't give a source for this data, but I'm guessing it's from the 6-year-old Canadian Census? We are still waiting for the 2006 census data which will probably show a much higher Muslim population. Or perhaps these stats are for the entire electoral district, which would include all of Don Valley West (Leaside, etc)? Whatever the case this Muslim demographic here in Thorncliffe will make the election topic of 'faith based schools' quite a hot local matter for both John and Kathleen.

Video of the week - "Be a man" with Mark Driscoll

In honour of a real Christian man like Daniel "century iron man" MacLeod, this week's video features Pastor Mark Driscoll talking about being a real Christian man, not just a chick-i-fied church boy in a sweater vest:

Driscoll's got it right though, you get the young men you win the war. He has other good thoughts - here on church planting and people in the Bible that were 'pretty rough dudes'.
'Most churches' Driscoll says 'don't know what to do with young entrepreneurial type leaders. Most of the time they think they're trouble makers...but I got a feeling if you got around Paul when he was a young guy or you got around John the Baptist or Elijah...these dudes seem pretty rough to me"
So come on guys, get on out there, be a man, plant a church, punch a heretic in the nose, win the war, be a dude!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The sayings of Sylas v7 - Outer space

In the spring Lukas brought home a morning glory shoot from school. We planted it on the balcony and every day when we wake up we look out to see if there are any blossoms. The other day when we looked out there were 11 in total! A new record! Sylas however wasn't so excited.

Me: Look at the blossoms on the morning glory
Sy: Daddy, I'm sad
Me: Why?
Sy: Because my morning glory didn't grow
Me: Your morning glory?
Sy: Ya, I left it on the planet I came from
Me: Pardon?
Sy: You know the planet that I came from in outer space

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Daniel MacLeod's 100th birthday!!! Sept 18, 1907-Sept 18, 2007

I'm at home with the kids while Hayley flies to PEI today. Her grandfather, Daniel MacLeod, turns 100 years old today!! It's quite an amazing feat to live to 100 and it takes someone like Grampy MacLeod to pull it off! When we got married 7 years ago he was a mere 93 years old, but was still walking about 5k each day. Can you imagine how much the world has changed since he was born?? This past Christmas we were talking about hangings (Saddam) and new fuel efficient cars when it came up in the conversation that hangings were still legal and cars hadn't been invented when Grampy was born!

The only good picture I have on me is this one, where he is holding baby Sylas in 2003. Hopefully Hayley will get some good shots of his century party tonight!

It's not everyday that someone turns 100 so to show Grampy how special he is please take a minute and LEAVE A BIRTHDAY GREETING in the comments below and we'll make sure Grampy gets to read them!! Have a great birthday Grampy!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nerds who shook the world v2 - Chester Donaldson

This is the second in a series I've called 'Nerds who shook the world'. Looking back on people who were very influential and how they got started. May this be an encouragement to all of us, wether young or nerdy, to trust God and do amazing things.
______________________________________

Ever heard of Bowsman, Manitoba? Neither had I until I saw the 1945 Emmaus Bible College Yearbook. That year a young man from Bowsman named Chester Donaldson was just a young fresh-faced student. As you can see from the picture he wasn't even...let's say the most proficient in the hair brushing department.

But don't write Chester off just yet. After graduating from Emmaus, this 19 year old went on to start many of the brethren assemblies up north as well as Northland Bible Camp in Timmins! I'm not sure exactly how many churches he planted, but I have read his autobiography titled 'A Kernel of Wheat' where he talks about driving up Yonge Street to Timmins, back when it was a dirt road! Fresh faced Chester, a pioneer church-planter? Zits and all!? If God can do amazing things through Chester, imagine what he can do through you!! Our history has not yet been written. What can we do if we simply trust God and go for it!? Here's to you Chester!