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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away - A Book Review

Why God Won’t Go Away was a good book, and took me some time to get through because of how much of a thinker it was. As a Christian, and someone that shares my faith with others I have had some encounters with atheists where they just ridiculed and name-called and the tone that all of their discussions came through was in anger… at me for believing in God… In religion in general.

In this book Alister McGrath writes about what he calls the New Atheism. You have probably heard of some of their “big guns”: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and the like. I have tried to read some of the writings of these authors, and each time I picked up a book they were so filled with sweeping judgements about all religions as a whole, and using the negative things done in the name of religion to say that ALL religion is evil that I had to shake my head at their lack of understanding.

Why God Won’t Go Away is divided into three parts. Part one is about defining what he means by the New Atheism, and how it is contrasted from moderate atheism. Part two addresses three core themes of the New Atheist proponents. McGrath addresses the claim that ALL religion leads to violence. He addresses issues in reasoning and I think quite soundly shows the limits of science and what science can prove. Part three examines the New Atheist movement in where it is today, and then shows some of the ways that it is falling off in momentum.

McGrath closes off the book with a story about a young man that approached him after a speaking engagement seeking an autograph. The young man shared about how he had been lead to Christ because of reading a Dawkins book. He felt that the book was so unfair and one-sided that he was compelled to find out the other side of the issue. In looking at the other side, he had now become a Christian.

Why God Won’t Go Away is an excellent book. You will come away seeing some of the weaknesses in the claims and omissions of the New Atheists.   I was provided a complimentary copy of the book for review by Book Sneeze.  Click the link on my right side bar for more information.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I was just doing some reading to prepare for the barrage or questions for "Stump Pastor J" this coming Sunday.  One of the first verses I read was Jesus telling his disciples that if anyone is going to follow him they will have to DAILY pick up their cross and follow him.

A few thoughts.... First, Jesus' road to the cross was hard.  It was painful.  It took all of his life but because he endured it, we can be saved.

Secondly, Jesus told them to be prepared to take up their cross DAILY.  Every day we need to examine our lives based on the standard of the Bible, and give our lives for Jesus.  That might not mean as much for those of us living in North America, but Christians in other parts of the world literally have their lives threatened.  It can happen here too.

It may not be in the form of dying for Jesus.  I heard a leadership thought that brought this verse in Luke 9 to mind.  A leader chooses the corporate good over personal pleasure or preference.

That is SO tough!  Making choices like that could cause discomfort or hurt is not a favourite passtime of mine.  As Christians we are to be leaders.  We are to make disciples... to model being a Christian.  Sometimes it will mean making hard choices where we have to make the sacrifice in favour of something for the cause of Jesus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with having patience in difficult situations. I have noticed it a LOT lately. With work, and kids, and dog and relationships, and people that oppose me, and keeping the house clean, and cooking…. Well, life just gets to me. Notice my wife is not on this list? I think she has been the one that said the thing that really made me think most in this. I’ll get to that later though.

Recently on Facebook I had a bit of a scuffle with an atheist that didn’t like the perspective I was taking. I have no problem with people not believing what I do, but I begun to lose patience when the person began to focus the attack on me personally. I didn’t like it, and I tried to respond to each of the things they were saying, but each of my replies brought out more aggression (I perceived).

The dog…. I know that my dog wants to do what she is supposed to, but sometimes her curiousity gets the best of her. She barks at things that go by the back yard, or the front door. It’s like my commands are not even heard. She is so caught up in whatever it is that she just goes until someone goes to get her. Guess this one is my fault for not spending enough time training her.

Kids…. Sometimes it would have been easier if they didn’t develop personalities… As much as I love my children, and as cool as I think it is to see them grow and learn, along with it comes some resistance to doing what they need to be doing… Don’t fight with your brother… Clean up your toys…. Don’t hit your sister…. Bring your plate to the kitchen…. Go to bed… Don’t fight with your brother… Don’t throw your toys… From what I hear this is only mildly different from those of you that have ‘tweens experience… but it gets to you after a while.

Cleaning is so tough… you go from one room to the next and by the time you go back to the first room after cleaning it the stuff is all back off the shelf…. One meal is usually enough to get the kitchen back into a tizzy. Sigh…

And then there is getting the kids to events, running our own events, getting together with friends, and helping others run their events… Wow… Tough… None of this is to try to garner sympathy. I know all of you have your own things to do as well. I have just been noticing that I have not been processing it all very well. Irritation comes a little too easy, and I snap at the kids or my wife a bit too easily.

So this is what I do when God puts his finger on something, I go back and take a look at what the Bible says about something. So here are a few verses I am praying through….

Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”

Colossians 1:11
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,”

James 1:3, 4
“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Psalm 37:7
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”

There are others…. But here is the thing that resonates in my mind most. It was one of those “Boi-oi-oi-oing!” moments. I thank God for a wife that wants what God wants, and knows how to speak into my life. I was talking to her about how I was noticing the quick to lose patience thing in me and she said something like, “Well, you are a Christian, and you should have the fruit of the spirit…. You’re just not walking in that.” (That was the stun moment.) I was reminded of this passage.

Galatians 5:22-25
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

There it was…. Right there in Scripture… If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit, and here is what that should look like… see above list. So it is not easy by any means, but it is something that I am trying to work on. I’m praying it through. I have to crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit... and I thank God for my wife.