Sunday, July 29, 2007

A tribute to Steve Bourgeois - Up north saying goodbye

It was with sadness in my heart that Hayley and I drove up to Timmins to say goodbye to Steve. It's funny how life goes. The last time I chatted with Steve was last summer when we were visiting Timmins for the first time. He was in Ottawa and I had asked him all about the north and Iroquois Falls where he grew up. He was suggesting places for us to visit (Chez Nous' poutine was a MUST!) if we had time to make the 45 minute drive from Timmins to see his old stomping grounds. Looking back it's sad that we never visited until now.

Steve's last words to me were: take care, we'll catch up soon!

I'd give anything to have a few minutes now to catch up with him. I'm scheduled to be at a conference in Ottawa in November and I was hoping to connect with Steve then. Life is like that isn't it. We get busy and leave loose ends. The biggest sadness I feel is that I never got to tell Steve how much I appreciated him and the times we had together. I never really got to say goodbye. Alot of us are feeling that sadness. Alot of us are thinking of people currently in our lives we should talk to. People who might not know how special they are to us. Who do you need to call? Email? Hug, or write a letter to?

I need to tell those of you who I've known a long time ago but haven't caught up with in a while. I need to tell those of you who take time to read this blog. Those of you who pray for us. Those who support our ministry and especially those of you we haven't seen in a while, but always talk about getting together. I want to say that I love you and let you know you've touched my life.

Therefore, I think it would be a fitting tribute to Steve if we all picked up our collective phones/pens/keyboards and made the effort right now to tell someone how much they've touched our life. As soon as you finish reading this - just do it!

Hopefully God will give each of us just one more chance to catch up

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Funeral for Steve Bourgeois

Steve's funeral will be held on Saturday, July 28th at 11AM at Iroquois Falls Bible Chapel. Details can be found on the funeral home website - here, including driving directions and visitation times.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday prayer requests - Reading and Running

Yesterday I had an amazing meeting with Silvia Ruegger and Brian Warren about their Running and Reading clubs through their organization Kidsfest. The program started in 2004 at Chester Le Junior Public School near Bridlegrove and we have worked with the same kids over the years. I had kept in touch with them, and was very impressed by their work helping inner-city kids in poverty get fit and literate! These clubs are rolling out all over the country and Silvia and Brian are a real inspiration so pray for them as they manage this huge task.

Also continue to remember the Bourgeois family in prayer. We still have no word on when Steve's funeral will be. It's also difficult for them as today would have been Steve's 28th birthday. On the Steve Bourgeois facebook group Mark Jenkinson offered this birthday prayer:
Steve, today we remember your birthday, because your life changed ours forever.

A birthday prayer, "Our heavenly father, we thank You for each and every day that you gave us with Steve. You blessed us so poignantly and profoundly with Steve's smiles, laughs, kind words and selfless acts. Each and every moment was a gift. We reflect on his life and the indescribable impact that he made on ours, and we can't help but offer up our thanks to You Lord, the one who works all things for good, and has ensured this outcome because of the death and resurrection of your One and Only son, Jesus. For it is in His name we pray, AMEN."

Monday, July 23, 2007

More memories of Steve

I found a few more pictures of Steve. One of him with Hayley and one of him with me. Hopefully I can find some more. It was on that trip to Ireland with Steve that I first met my wife Hayley, so those are special memories. I actually have about 6 audio tapes from that trip (this was before digital cameras) and listening to Steve's voice has been surreal. He was always so cheerful...but more than cheerful, he was positively jumpy in a joyful way! I have one picture from that Ireland trip of him scaling an ancient Irish castle with his bare hands! That was the Steve Bourgeios I'll remember

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Steve's MSN profile?

I've been looking over old MSN conversations from Steve and remember him having loads of pictures on his MSN profile. He had pictures of Pam and a recent trip they were taking. Has anyone been able to locate that profile or know how to search for it in the google archives?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Steve Bourgeois Facebook group

For the Steve Bourgeois facebook group click here. We want to try and compile as many pictures/stories/memories as we can. Steve's brother is on a cruise in the Caribbean and won't be back until Sunday. No funeral arrangements have been made yet. Our prayers are with the family.

Memories of Steve

Today I'm still feeling shock and sadness by Steve's passing. I'm not sure what to feel or do right now, but I think I'll start by remembering the good times. Here are a few pictures of Steve on our trip to Ireland. It's funny cause Hayley actually liked him first. :)

If others have pictures please add them to the growing facebook group in Steve's memory

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Goodbye old friend

I am very saddened to report that my old friend and former roommate Steve Bourgeois has drowned in an accident in Belize. Here is the news story - click here. I'm not sure what to feel except for an aching lostness of missing someone I hadn't seen in a while and the reality that it has now become permanent.

We'll really miss you Stevey B

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Prayer requests - The lady down the hall

Today I experienced one of the most beautiful things a father can experience: Genuine caring and empathy for others from a pure heart, expressed by his own child.

As some of you know Lukas has been setting up a little lemonade stand outside of our apartment. When the weather is hot we travel down and set up shop next to the man who sells vegetables out of his van. The ice cream truck is also there at the curb but Luke's 25 cent lemonade is a much better deal so he usually sells a jug or two in a sitting. We usually have a number of kids buzzing around asking to help or advertise for us. One time a little boy brought some paper and pens and everyone made posters for the lemonade stand.

Each time Lukas makes a few dollars. We have a deal that half the money has to go to saving and half is for him to spend (he usually immediately blows it at the ice cream stand, or wants to spend it on candy :)

Well today Lukas called me. He had a question. He asked if it was ok for him to give away all of his lemonade money to the little old lady down the hall. She is older and lives alone (we have asked some of you to pray for her) and Lukas said he was worried that she didn't have enough food to eat, so he wanted to give her the money to help.

This was an amazing moment to be a part of. I hope I get to experience many more like it.

Please pray for this lady, for Lukas and for the many others that we have not yet met who need help in Thorncliffe Park.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday's hot topics - Why do we do what we do when we do it?

On the forum Meghan posed an interesting questions for everyone - Why do we do what we do when we do it? While there are many ways to apply that statement - personal habits, work, family, etc. Meghan has focused our attention on the pernicious issue of dressing up for church:
*I sometimes even wonder if the people who deem that we must wear a suit and tie, "sunday" dresses, etc. actually have it backwards. The Mennonite men do not wear ties because they believe it is a symbol of the worldly business man. I can't help but think, at times, that if our churches are run like businesses/institutions, then the wearing of ties, etc. is very appropriate. The sad thing is that this is not what the churches are to be...What say ye?
So how about it folks. Suit and tie? Jacket. Sport coat? Shorts? Sandals? Ripped Jeans? Does God care? Post your thoughts on the forum - here - or in the comments below.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The sayings of Sylas v5 - Chicken

The other day we were eating supper when I heard Sylas' little voice.

Daddy, what's chicken made of?

Wasn't really sure how to break it to him :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Early Church quotes volume 1

Currently I'm writing a paper which means I'm reading alot of early church sources. Whenever I come across a good early church quote, I'll post it up here for my beloved readers to chew on. By early church I mean before 300AD

Seeing as today's early church quote is the first here on the athensBLOG, it's appropraite that is comes to us from Athenagoras of Athens who lived in the second half of the 2nd century and wrote, in his 'Legatio 11':
What, then, are these teachings in which we are reared? “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, who makes his sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and sends his rain on the just and on the unjust”

Who [of the pagan philosophers] have so purified their own hearts as to love their enemies instead of hating them; instead of upbraiding those who first insult them (which is certainly more usual), to bless them; and to pray for those who plot against them? …

With us, on the contrary, you will find unlettered people, tradesmen and old women, who, though unable to express in words the advantages of our teaching, demonstrate by acts the value of their principles. For they do not rehearse speeches, but evidence good deeds. When struck, they do not strike back; when robbed, they do not sue; to those who ask, they give, and they love their neighbors as themselves

The thing that stuck out most to me was the last part of this quote - they do not rehearse speeches, but evidence good deeds. Seems to me that in modern Christianity too much of our time is taken up with rehearsing speeches, rather than doing good deeds. How about you and your church? Do we have 'good deed ministries'? Or just ministries where we try to get people in to hear our rehearsed speeches? How are you and I doing good in our community? For example, do you have a ministry to help the poor? Not just give to the poor, but help them? Are you helping the widows and fatherless? These are things that we hear alot about on Sunday mornings but are we actually doing them? Are our churches actually developing systems and ministries to make sure that their congregants are doing the things that are heard from the pulpit? Or are we well-rehearsed-speech-pulpit lovers with itching ears? A reading of Ezekiel 33:30-32 reveals this problem is nothing new. The other thing I noticed is the line - unable to express in words the advantage of our teaching. Makes me wonder about all the emphasis on apologetics these days and if it's worth as much as a cup of cold water given in the name of Jesus. Must be the Salvation Army rubbing off on me :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday prayer requests - Q2 report now available!

Usually I would post our quarterly newsletters online, but recently we've set up an email subscription list. If you'd like to subscribe leave a comment, email me or send an email to: and I'll send you a copy of the Q2!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Thorncliffe Neighbours go wild!!

Yesterday was the second annual Thorncliffe 'Neighbours Night Out'. This community festival was a real treat to be involved with. There was fun for everyone - food, games, jumping castles and vendors. Folks from various organizations and levels of government were also on hand (including Ontario Conservative leader John Tory who I had the pleasure of meeting). Dan & Jerry ran the sound system all day and since Dave & I were on the planning committee we got Jon Corbin, aka 'The Runaway' (click here for his Myspace page) to come with his sweet beats! He did an amazing job and when it was time to give away CD's the kids went ballistic! Check out this video I took of the kids dancin their hearts out:
Thanks to everyone who made this event possible. We look forward to another great event next year

Monday's Hot Topics - Sunday - Sunday - Sunday!!

So what did you do this Sunday? Watch a car race (hence the title)? Did you sleep in? Have a late brunch? Or attend church?

On the forum, our beloved WikkidPerson has once again provoked us, this time to thinking about Sunday:
Obviously, saying "God, I'm only going to give you one day of the week, as I live six others with less to do with You, I'll have one outfit that's dedicated to You and wear other stuff the rest of the week, I'll sing one kind of music for You on that day and sing other stuff the rest of the time, and I'll hang out with certain people on that day, but with my real friends the rest of the week" obviously, saying that is nonsense. What wife would put up with that kind of treatment, let alone our creator?

How to shift the focus from "See God? It's Sunday and I'm at church singing hymns with Christian people!" to "God, I see You in the course of events that make up my day-to-day living."
Do you think Sunday is more important than other days? Does God think it's more important? Post your thoughts on the forum - here - or in the comments below

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Cuthill clan and the Cuthill house

The other day I accidentally found the Cuthill crest online - click here. But after a little investigation I also found a completely different Cuthill Crest - click here.

I have no idea which one is the 'real' Cuthill Crest. I guess that's the price you pay for having sweet Scottish heritage. While I'm not sure which crest is which, perhaps the folks at Cuthill house - here - could help answer the question! Cuthills of the world unite!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wednesday prayer requests - The Dan & Jerry show

As I mentioned yesterday we have two fine gentleman/interns/minions staying here in Thorncliffe for the month of July:

Dazzling Dan Carlson (picture right with fiance Pam)

and Jovial Jerry Bolton (picture below).

Today we got them checked into their apartment, they rolled out their sleeping matts and thus began a month long adventure of epic proportions. Like any good summer blockbuster the script of their time here is unfolding as they live and move in our sweet hood. They'll be doing a variety of groundbreaking, mindboggling tasks of heroic proportions (read: anything I tell them) so pray for these guys as they huff and puff and build the kingdom in Thorncliffe Park!! Also pray for more and more folks who will want to move in to work alongside us and live among the swarms of new Canadians.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lego Bible updates

We've got a sweet group of Missourians up here for the week! Also Jerry and Dan, our summer interns are here so stay tuned. Things are a bit busy so here's the latest updates from the Lego Bible - click here