Thursday, January 25, 2007

20...uhhh...less than 20 questions....

One of my daily blog reads responded to this set of questions from one of her daily blog reads and challenged anyone taking in her blog to pony up and do likewise. So I'm bringing it Lori B- here goes (italics mine):

1. What’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why? (Two sentences max)

My last year of teaching grade 2 at McLearon in P-A-T, QC. I grew so much as a teacher that year, tried so many new things with my students and shared in so many of their successes. Also had a student teacher that year- really enjoyed that dynamic and think we helped each other develop as teachers.

2. Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did? (One sentence max)

Split decision- draw/create art, and write poetry.

3. Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting it off? (One sentence max)

Take a trip to Poland and Ukraine with my Dad and Gido to experience the roots of our family with the layers of generations together....

4. What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why? (Two sentences max)

Be more consistent in the little things in life, like prayer and devotions and working out/running, and how to coach football. The consistency in little things makes such a huge difference in the rest of your life, and coaching football because I love the game so much and enjoy connecting with young people.

5. If you could take a class/workshop/apprentice from anyone in the world living or dead, who would it, be and what would you hope to learn? (Two more sentences, max)

I would love to have been part of Jesus' group of 12 disciples. He was such an amazing teacher and leader, and to be able to have that imprint on your life- look at what the 11 accomplished for God...

6. What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?

Loving, reliable, passionate

7. Now list two more words you wish they described you as…

Humble, patient

8. What are your top three passions? (can be current or past, work, hobbies, or causes– three sentences max)

Becoming a disciplemaker, being a great husband and dad, learning about and using technology. A disciplemaker, because that's the greatest legacy anyone leaves- to walk with people and help them grow in God with the help of Holy Spirit, a great husband/dad because I'm the only one my wife and children will ever have, and technology because it's always changing and developing- it's a constant challenge to learn all the new things it can do and accomplish.

9. Write–and answer–one more question that YOU would ask someone (with answer in three sentences max)

What would you say is the turning point of your life- the moment that helped start you on the road to becoming who/what you are right now?

It was my last year of university, and I had a crisis of faith. I either had to turn my back on what I was raised with or dig in and find out if it was real for me- so I dug, and I found an overwhelming love that really changed my heart. Since then, things seem much simpler and clearer, and I have a focus that never wavers, no matter what's going on...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Ready... Set...Start?

With the crush of recent changes/additions slowing, life is regathering in a new rhythm for me- normal is re-establishing itself, albeit in a form somewhat different than before (which is OK- what's normal always shifts in life. You gotta flow with it).

What's not changing are the things that have been in the back of my mind for a while that I know are so important yet I never seem to get down to doing and being consistent in. Maybe it's the New Year vibe that's stirring this, but I also recognize the quiet prompting of God in it. He loves me too much to let me stay the same and miss out on change and growth that will make me more like him.

So the question is, how do you start to start doing the things you've always had trouble starting to do? Things like establishing some much needed consistency in devotional time and spending time reading scripture, like getting on track with some kind of physical exercise and sticking with it, like dusting off those dreams that light your soul up and actually doing something about them...

And no, I don' t have the answers. That's why I'm asking- I'm all ears. Any advice from the blog reading public would be greatly appreciated. Hit me back people! Chat later...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What heaven must sound like...

If you haven't heard this story yet, you are missing an incredible one. The boy pictured, Shawn Hornbeck, now 15 years old, was kidnapped over four years ago when he was 11. He was recovered by police this weekend when they tracked down another boy, Ben Ownby, (completed unrelated to this one) who was abducted this week and found both of them in the home of their common abductor.

He was found in a town less than an hour away from his real home.

Watching the press conference live on CNN, the parable of the lost sheep hit me like a truck. The joy on the faces of Shawn, his mom Pam and stepdad Craig and the rest of his family was something only those who know how much Shawn is worth and loved can understand. I realized that this was a picture of the rejoicing there is in heaven when any person who turns their hearts to God through faith in Jesus Christ does so, each and every time.

The other thing that hit me was that God wants to "find" people everywhere, including those in immediate proximity to me and to you. Making sure that we support those that feel called to reach people in far off places is critical to be sure, yet I was challenged again with the call to be light and salt to those that I touch every day with my life.

Help me Jesus to "find" lots of people and play a part in their homecomings with the help and power of Holy Spirit....

Deja wow...

Sometimes you hear things you say all the time said or sung by other people and it's really amazing to hear something you treasure through the hearts or voices of another person.

Each night, Jonah and I say prayers together, and we never fail to give thanks to God for Jesus and his amazing love towards us, for showing us how to live, love and change the world, for paying for our healing with the harm he suffered to his body, for making a way for us to be forgiven so we can be God's friends in such a way that no human relationship can compare and for the hope we have of salvation, of spending eternity with God in heaven to celebrate him and his goodness. It's the greatest treasure we have, and at the risk of being monotonous, I know it's so important that we never lose sight of the mercy and love of Jesus Christ that saves and transforms us every day.

So when I heard Paul Baloche's tune Because of Your Love the other day, it was like hearing something dear to my heart put to music. Not only is it a fun tune to rock out to, but I wept through the song about 12 times on repeat as I recounted the goodness of God in my life and remembered the love that changed my life. This one is definitely going on the "ride to work" CD to start my day with three times a week....

Check out Paul's website at For those that lead worship, you can download the chord charts and lead sheets for free.

Goodness you can touch and feel...

Today I am awash in the afterglow of the birth of my second baby and my first daughter. Lois Janine was born yesterday at about 6:10 pm in the IWK Grace Health Centre in Halifax, NS. She weighed 8lbs6oz, and she is beautiful like nothing else I have ever seen. (more pics here)

<=== Feast your eyes...

I wrote last time about how careful we need to be about letting our faith get hard to just how incredible God is and how limitless his ability to work things out is.

I don't know how to describe how overwhelming it is for me right now. Everything I see and experience in my life- when I walk in the front door of the house I really was starting to believe I was never going to have, when I kiss my wife, the woman I once almost believed I wasn't ever going to find, when I lift up and hug my son, who I once almost believed would never come and leave our family name to evaporate, when I hold this baby girl who is just killing me with how beautiful she is- seems like a dream that is almost too good to be true.

When I think about how little faith I have had for some of these things, I am blindsided with the reality that God really DOES love me more than I know, that he really DOES have a future and a hope for my life and that no matter what life looks like in the natural, he's reaching and working and putting every resource he has to use in causing favour to flow into my life and setting blessings in motion that will chase me down like the hounds of heaven. It really is about how good he is, because it's sure not about how stout or unwavering my faith is...

When my Grandpa lived here in Halifax, his favourite worship song was Jonathan Barnett's rendition of Psalm 34. I have learned to live the first words of that song- I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Dating back ten years, things have been really hard, either with wrestling with my identity and calling in Christ, or with remaining faithful to both despite not having full-time work and having to postpone dreams because of finances and logistics. I have learned to carve out a place of rest and refreshing in the hard places of life so that my heart remained soft and sweet. Those lessons are gold to me, and I will cherish them for my whole life.

What I am finding now is that they leave me woefully unprepared for how to deal with a season of plenty. My ability to worship from a real heart of love in the dry times has been well-developed after nearly a decade. Now I feel like a total novice- I don't know what to do with myself because it's like being punch-drunk after getting one blessing-hook after another to the spirit man.

In any case, I am thankful that my heart's reaction hasn't been to scramble for the comfort of the season I am used to, but to take a deep breath and let myself get whirled away. It feels strange, but I feel new again, and I'm just so thankful to God for it all. What an amazing feeling to be able to love with a heart in two places and be just as real in both of them.

I'm full and running over God, and it's only because of your goodness. Thanks for everything, and for my baby girl. Hugging her is like grabbing hold of your heart for me- I plan on doing that as much as possible...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life flies....

Wow. Over a month since my last entry, and so much has happened. We have completed the renovations on our new home (photos to come, when I get a second to inhale AND exhale..), packed, moved and unpacked and made a house a home.

As I write, Lori is in the early stages of delivery, and if our baby doesn't come forth on its own in the next 24 hours, our doctor has scheduled Lori to be induced on Friday.

I have been amazed in the last few weeks at the light speed God can move with in lives. Dreams that ripen for years that seem like lifetimes came together and full fruition for Lori and I in a matter of weeks, and it's been a real eye opener for me to realize that it's easy to slip into a complacent faith when you're contending for dreams and prayers in the long run and forget that nothing really is impossible with God or for God, and that it's so critical that we find space to dwell on who God is and connect with him so that we don't lose sight of his awesome power or incredible heart of love for us.

For all those who have prayed with us, chalk up a notch in the prayers answered column, do a little victory dance and stick it to the devil for a moment and celebrate God and his goodness. Then, if you don't mind, please stand with us for a safe and healthy delivery for Lori and baby by Friday...

Believe me- with a newborn as inspiration and subject of photographs, I can't go a month between blog entries. Stand by.... :)