Wednesday, October 31, 2012


"Ugh... I hate what they've done with halloween. It's become so commercial"
- Satan

Monday, October 29, 2012

Praying Boldly

We kicked off a new series at church yesterday, called BOLD. It's calling us a church community to invite more boldly, pray more boldly, and give more boldly.

To go along with the series, 3 weeks ago everyone at church was given a journal with 40 days of devotions, written by people who attend Connexus. We're about halfway through, and one thing has stuck out to me.

I don't pray bold prayers.

Sure I'll sing: "God you're big, you're massive, you're gigantic!" But I don't pray like He's as big as a job search or as big as a cancer diagnosis. I'll say: "God you're the author of life, you're all powerful, you're creative (I mean look at the narwhal)." But I don't pray like He is $20,000 big. He's maybe $18,000 big.
My prayers are always filled with meek disclaimers.

"Umm... maybe... if it's your will..."

"And if you don't want to... that's okay... sorry for asking..."

Read through the Bible and you won't see any weak prayers.  Perhaps God has been listening to my prayers and responding by saying: "Man Up! Grow a pair."

Daniel prayed bold prayers.

Joshua prayed bold prayers.

David prayed bold prayers.

It's time for us to start praying bold prayers. We serve a God that is bigger than a recession, bigger than a dysfunctional relationship, bigger than a medical diagnosis.

Let's begin to pray bold prayers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Oct 26

This Week's Reading List
How To Guarantee Your Dream Fails
Two Different Spirits Guiding the Christian Church
Set Yourself On Fire

Favourite Marketing Campaign In An Elevator

Favourite Interview About Organizational Culture

Favourite Video Game Marketing Campaign

Favourite Musician Playing An Awesome Venue

Favourite Promo Video For An Item On My Christmas List

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Didn't Want To...

This morning we talked about something that you never intended on liking, but it happened anyway. We got a number of responses. From running, to playing hockey, to photography.

Eating beef liver even got some love.

The reason for the question was this song. I would never say I'm a fan of Matt Redman, so when I first heard this song my feeling was 'meh'. Nothing earth-shattering, but a decent song.

Then we started singing it on Sunday morning and it grew on me. Last weekend on the student ministry retreat it was part of the worship set and that was the clincher. A room full of students singing at the top of their lungs.

Now when the chorus hits I'm transported to another dimension. My eyes close and I'm a goner.

Ever had a song sneak up on you like that?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Food Fights, Bike Rides and One Crazy Weekend

I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend with a group of crazy grade 7 guys for Connexus' annual student ministry retreat.

What an amazing experience.

I've been a youth leader at the church since it started 5 years ago, and every year I'm amazed at the students that come through. This weekend we talked about God calling us to a life that is More Than This. Including conversations about 'how do you know what God is calling you to', 'can your calling change' and 'do you have to work for a church to do ministry'.

These kids are in grade 7!

A fun weekend, filled with epic food fights, muddy bike rides and some great bonding time.

Do you remember going on youth retreats? Any fun stories?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Oct 19

Favourite Reads This Week
Things Not To Worry About
Earned Retirement Or Hedonism?
Stop Waiting For God

Favourite Listener Call

Favourite Movie Promotion

Favourite Video That Moved Me

Favourite TED Talk (This Week)

Favourite iPhone5 vs Galaxy S3 Video

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lessons Learned From The Cuban Missile Crisis

It seems as though the topic of leadership has been pushed to the forefront lately.

With the upcoming election in the U.S., Ontario's Premier stepping down, and the Federal Liberals search for their next leader, leadership is an everyday topic of conversation.

I watched a documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis today (the Cold War fascinates me) and was struck by the leadership of JFK and Nikita Khrushchev. By all accounts, World War 3 should have broken out in the fall of 1962. In fact, some of the 'experts' featured in the documentary claim that if the scenario were to be run again, the majority of times war would be the end result.

Here are some of my observations from the film:

1 - Both JFK and Khrushchev elected to negotiate before they engaged with force.
How often do I jump the gun and go straight to the aggressive, in your face option? Communication allowed the 2 parties to hear eachother out, gain some understanding of where the opposition was coming from and possibly find common ground. I could definitely implement this in my life.

2 - They sought wise council, but ultimately did what they felt was right in their gut.
It sounded like Kennedy's advisers were all over the map. Most wanting to invade Cuba, lay waste to the Russians forces, and teach the enemy not to mess with the mighty United States. Despite their advisers insistence otherwise, Kennedy and Khrushchev both elected to forego retaliation and believe the best of the other leader. Their council claimed that to not attack would be a sign of weakness, but they realized the decision was ultimately theirs to make, and they would live with the consequences of their actions.

3 - You have got to be lucky to be good.
They got a number of lucky breaks that kept the two countries from going to war. From the early detection of the Soviet arms being built up in Cuba, to the submarine commander surfacing his vessel prior to launching a nuclear weapon. They got lucky.

I can't imagine what life was like over those 13 days. To be on edge, knowing that just 90 miles off the coast the enemy was waiting with dozens of nuclear missiles, waiting for the order to attack.

If you have the time this week, check it out. It's a very cool, interactive documentary with so many layers. I plan on going through it again and watching all the special features.

Let us know what you picked out of the film.


Monday, October 15, 2012

To Infinity & Beyond

Not sure if you caught it yesterday, but we were glued to our tv to watch what might be the most epic marketing campaign in history.

RedBull (the energy drink company) financed the dream of Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner: to set the record for highest freefall.

As the door to the capsule opened, my heart began to race. This just got intense.

As Felix walked out onto the platform and the overhead shot was stunning. He stood there for a moment, reflected on the occasion and uttered: "I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are... I'm coming home now." And with that, he simply stepped off the platform and began to fall.

The first 10 seconds were absolutely amazing. I couldn't believe what we were watching, and I will never forget that moment.

I'm not sure how it compares to watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon, but it was a truly remarkable event that is forever etched in my memory.

The BBC Recap

The Jump
The Jump From Felix's P.O.V.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Oct 12

Favourite Reading Material
Infomercial Characters That Need To Get It Together
10 Ways To Experience Bizarre Natural Phenomena
Who Pulled The Trigger

Favorite Commercial For... Batteries?

Favourite Talk About Poetry

Favourite 4 Year-Old

Favourite Slo-Mo Video

Favourite Video About A Product That Likely Won't Be Around In 5 Years

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Running Together

We were at my parents' for Thanksgiving last weekend and stayed overnight to avoid a drive back north with a tired and (potentially) grumpy baby.
My sister had completed the CIBC Run For The Cure run last weekend in Toronto, so I asked if she wanted to go for a run the next morning to work off some of the prior night's feast. She agreed and said we'll do a 5K.

"No problem" I thought.

So the next morning we had a quick breakfast and made our way to the track for our little 5K. I started strong, keeping up with her spry 22 year-old legs, but by lap 3 I was sucking wind and it was no longer fun. By lap 5 (just past 1/3 of the way) I was ready to pull the chute.

But I didn't.

Know why?

She wouldn't let me.

She kept me accountable. Cheered me on. Encouraged me.

It's the same in all areas of our lives. Business, personal, spiritual.

Who's running with you? Who is cheering you on and keeping you from pulling the chute on life?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - October 5

Favourite Reading Material
Stop Trying So Hard & Follow Your Passion (From Inc)
Remembering Names (from Doug Fields)
Collecting For The Homeless (From Creative Criminals)

Favourite Dad (Other than my own)

Favourite iPhone Game

Favourite Stop Motion Video

Favourite Thing I Learned This Week

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 Songs I Can't Stop Listening To

5 Songs I Can't Stop Listening To

5 - Of Monsters & Men - Little Talks (Straight up fun tune)
4 - Casey Darnell - Our Great God (On my Sunday playlist. Pumped to have him lead at church this Sunday)
3 - Switchfoot - Souvenirs (I've been listening to Vice Verses for a while, but this one snuck up on me a couple weeks ago)
2 - Seth Condrey - Furious (originally a Jeremy Riddle song. Probably my favourite song from Sunday morning)
1 - Mumford & Sons - Lover Of The Light (The entire album is amazing)

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fork & 2 Paths

Have you ever been on Facebook, looked at your friends' photos, (from their summer vacation, trip to Europe, pub nights at college, etc), and had your eyes opened to the fact they are likely hurting, broken people?

When we encounter a situation like that, I think (as Christians) we can react in one of two ways.
A fork in the road, with 2 paths to choose from.

In Luke 18, Jesus tells the story of a deeply religious man who goes to the temple to pray. To his left he sees a tax collector and begins to thank God that he is not a cheat, a liar, an adulterer like the man off to his side. In other words, he begins to condemn the tax collector and by comparison believes he is justified before God. He sees the brokenness in this tax collector's life and looks down on him with a 'holier than him' attitude.

Contrast that to the story in Mark 6. Jesus had been so busy touring that he and his disciples hadn't even had time to eat. He suggested they get away to some place quiet so they could rest and recharge. But as they got in the boat to head out to Tranquility Island Resort & Spa, the crowd on shore began to follow them. His disciples told him to tell the crowd to head into town and leave them alone, after-all  they were tired from being preaching rockstars. The Bible tells us Jesus had compassion on the lost and broken people, so he got out of the boat and fed the 5,000 with some bread and a couple fish.

Quite the contrast. The first guy looked down on the lost and broken guy beside him, while Jesus had compassion.

So how about you? When you see those Facebook albums filled with evidence of poor choices, how do you see the person?

Do you look down on their behavior? Maybe even judge them?

Or do you look at those photos and feel compassion for a lost, hurting and broken person?