A Little Bit About Me...

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I have many hats that I wear. I am a husband and father. I am pastor/teacher at my church. I am part of a team working on a large project at work. I am a friend. I am a budding visionary. I am a writer, an actor, and a director. I am an artist. I am a student of the Bible. I have a brain that comes up with some pretty crazy and interesting ideas, and I have a personality to match. I try to treat all people how I would like to be treated. I strive to be steadfast, immovable in my faith. I seek after the TRUTH, and I believe that it can be found, not just 'from my perspective', but for all people.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Employed by the Church

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

Sometimes there is a bit of a line that is blurred between work where you get paid now, and work where you will be paid in heaven. There is also a difference between volunteer work and ministry. There is a difference between Sunday School and babysitting as well. In that last one, it is usually a choice.

Think about this for a second. Most people go to work , and they know what is required of them. They have a start time and an end time. There are times where they need to be at their post, and allotted times for breaks and lunch. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be, usually there will be a managerial type that mentions it. If you keep ignoring your guidelines, there may be some sort of disciplinary action.

At work, if I just don’t show up, I’ll lose my job. If I can’t be there for some reason, I am required to call and let my manager know. If I no longer want my job, I try to give a customary grace period to allow someone to come in and replace me.

Recently at work, the dress code policy was reiterated. It outlined what clothing was appropriate to wear in the workplace: nothing that was worn out or torn, nothing that is revealing or immodest, and nothing that is unsafe or too casual for my position. I am representing my division. If I worked in certain areas of my building I would have to wear appropriate protective footwear or a hardhat.

Also, at work, there are things that people can talk about, and that are appropriate to talk about. People are supposed to keep focused on their job and save personal talk for their breaks.

Now, let’s step back for a minute. What if people treated their work that they do in the church the way someone with a strong work ethic does? What if people showed up on time and were prepared for their job? What if they stayed focused on their work while they were on duty in the church? What if people just showed up to do the job that they had agreed to do? If for some reason they could not be there, what if they called to let someone know that they could not be there, and they took responsibility for their work… no, for their ministry. And what if they took a few moments to think about dressing for the job that they were going to be doing? And what if they kept their personal issues away from those around them, until the time is appropriate (ie: you are not on duty)? What about coming in with a positive attitude and a prayerful focus for the time serving in the church? Can you imagine how differently the church would run? Can you see how well it would run?

That’s the difference. In a church, it’s not just volunteer work. It is MINISTRY…. No matter where you are serving. It is worship. It is about serving God and others.

If you’re in nursery, you pray for the babies, and you serve the parents by allowing them to be fed. You give the kids a place to be loved. You may not see what they live in at home.

What if you are doing cleaning? You serve the pastor. You serve your brothers and sisters. You help keep people safe and healthy. You have the opportunity spend some time praying in the church.

Ministry also helps you grow in your faith. Challenging times…. Times that test your faith and your resolve do not happen when you are focused on God or in prayer or worship. What about the times where a kid tries your patience? What about the other sacrifices you make to serve? Have you ever been challenged when you are not expecting to be tested? Too many people shy away from ministry opportunities because of people or situations that they find hard. That is the time to focus on why you are there, and dig in and love God and love people. More of God. Less of you.

Imagine a church like that?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Who gets the message?

I was listening to a podcast this morning by one of my favourite apologists, Ravi Zacharias. His message was called “Mind Games in a World of Images”. He was talking today about some people in the film industry and how they make films and won’t let their kids go and see them. Dr. Zacharias asks why it was ok for these people to make the films and then let someone else’s kids go see them.

I love the media, but it can be a friend and a foe. I love what you can do with it. I love how messages are transmitted. I love the creativity of messages and how they are structured, BUT I am also cautious about the messages that I indulge in. As a person with some degree of maturity, I approach all messages with a reasoning mind. Many people do not. They just take into their mind whatever they hear.

Think about how dangerous that can be with the messages that are being sent all over… Music… TV… Web…. Movies… News… Comedy… School…. YouTube… Video Games… and the list goes on. Each message we encounter comes from a specific perspective…. The worldview of the author.

As a Christian, I see two issues. Whatever message I cover, or send out, I have to be very responsible for how I present my perspective. Secondly, I have to be that I keep my filters on. I filter everything through the Bible. There are some tough topics that people discuss, yes, but I have to make sure that whatever message I transmit is true.

There is great responsibility when you use the various forms of media, and especially easy since most things can be done from your PC.

Matthew 12:35-37 says, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

Whatever the message I send, I want it to be something that builds up and encourages… not matter the media… from my mouth or from my computer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I have new hero!

Yesterday at church we had a guest speaker, Mrs. Elsie Black. She is one of the pillars of the church at 88 years old. She sat on a chair on the platform and read some notes about some times in her life. Some were good and some were tough, but through it all her family trusted God and that got them through. We got to see a side of her that not many see. She was charming, articulate and had a great sense of humour. When she was finished she lead us all in some classic Christian songs.

Pastor Syd stood at the end and told us that just heard an excerpt from a book Mrs. Black was writing. I just sat and thought WOW! I have heard of too many people that as they get older, they try to start winding down when God still can use them so much. She, on the other hand, was taking something that she could do, and using the talents that God gave her, and she was trying to reach others.

The same spirit that God filled her with is the same spirit that lives in me as well. There is no kids spirit, no teens spirit, no senior citizen spirit. There is just God's Holy Spirit.

Remember that the most valuable piece of land in any city is the graveyard. It is tragic that there lies books that were never written, films that were never made, banquets that were never thrown, talents that died having never been used. Even approaching 90, Mrs. Black was using the talents that God gave her. I think we should all follow that kind of example.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I woke up a few nights ago at about 2:30 am from a nightmare. It was really disturbing and grotesque. I dozed back to sleep and went back into the same dream. It was like I picked up where I left off in the story. I woke up again from the nightmare, this time from seeing something even more grotesque and graphic. My heart was pounding. I started praying against what I thought might be a spiritual attack. I was afraid to go back to sleep. I watched the clock. The longer I laid there, the more the fear gripped me, and the more I was motivated to pray for God’s comforting peace.

Sometimes the church is called the sleeping giant. Too often the church as a whole becomes complacent and comfortable with what it does. There is no sense of urgency within it. If we take a moment to look into our culture that we are living in, and see the nightmare it is, we would wake up in a panic and with urgency. We would be motivated by what we saw, and cry out to God and take action.

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a raoring lion, seeking whome he may devour."

Sunday Blurb,

On Father’s Day, I was given the chance to speak co-operatively with my father, to our church.

I have to say that I found it a bit intimidating. I looked out on those in attendance and there were these men sitting there that had raised children that were strong in the faith. I was looking out to see other fathers that seemed to be off to a good start with young kids. Those fathers were there. They are plugged into the church, and into their kids lives.

The thing that disturbed me about Father’s Day was thinking about how many young people are growing up without a father. You see it more and more, either as a teenager, a young woman gets pregnant and has her baby. The boy sticks around for a bit and then leaves. Sometimes after a few years of marriage a couple breaks up and the kids are usually left with the mother. This really is a fatherless generation.

My point during my talk was that men need to step up and set an example both to young women who will be out trying to find a husband, and to young men as models of Godly fatherhood, husbands and just what it means to be a man.

Fathers have to lead by example.