Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Morning Thoughts

Had a fantastic weekend. I spent Saturday observing the honouring of a few people.  Sharon Ens (mother of Christy W.) is now with Jesus and we got to celebrate the Good News of Jesus by the reality that death is simply a promotion to an eternity with our Creator and Savior.

On Saturday night, the Lambert's celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family. What was cool about this celebration is that the celebration centered on the grace and power of Jesus in their marriage, not on their ability or self-righteousness. Their testimony of the change Jesus brought to their lives and marriage is simply awesome!

We had a great gathering on Sunday morning. The Humphrey's welcomed and served us with breakfast, Chad lead us in worship, and Dave blessed us through the Word. I got to serve our Grade 4-6 students in Sunday School and the opportunity blessed me so much.  It had been too long since I got to serve Jesus in this way. I enticed my class with a $5 reward for each one that comes to me next Sunday and recites their memory verse. They thought I was crazy, but I'd be crazy not to take the resources God has given me and invest it in them for their blessing and the blessing of others. I hope to have an empty wallet this Sunday.

Sunday afternoon we went over to the Friesen's for a bonfire. It was nice to relax around the fire, chat about various things, and watch some of the skinnier guys try to climb on Jon's stucco. The kids rode bikes and played road hockey. I hate how busyness and life circumstances sometimes creates great gaps in time between meeting up with good friends.

Towards the end of last week we got news back from Angela's last CT scan. The scan reported that there wasn't any sign of new cancerous growth. We are pretty excited about that news. Tomorrow, Angela goes in for a stomach scope, which is the most accurate test. Her stomach is 'ground zero' for the cancer and the scoping tool should be able to take a tissue sample for biopsy. The doctors consider the situation hopeless, but we are asking God to do the "impossible".

My mom sent me this verse this morning and I was encouraged by it, "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD." (Psalm 112:7).  No one but God knows what this week will hold.  No one but God is worthy of my complete trust.  To Him, I give my life, my wife, my family, and this week.  Through Jesus, the best is always yet to come!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Live Smarter

I'm getting old.  Up until three years ago I could operate on 4-5 hours of sleep as long as one or two nights of each month I was able to crash for 12-14 hours.  That 4-5 has turned into 6-7 with a desire to crash one night a week for 8-9 hours.  The good news is that I have learned to live and work smarter (albeit, I have much more to learn).  What does living and working smarter look like for me?

I pray more.  Five years ago, I considered any prayer longer than a couple minutes a waste of time. I am now learning the value of communication with God. Prayer renders my actions/work more effective and efficient. Prayer accomplishes things I could never do on my own. Prayer places me in submission to God. Prayer brings me closer to God.

I read the Word more.  I have often fallen into the trap of thinking that Scripture's sole purpose is to provide good doctrine (solid answers to questions about who God is, who man is, and how the two relate).   While systematic theology is a great thing, the Word provides so much more. Through Scripture I am able to hear God speak with crystal clarity.  His Word is engaged by His Spirit and it transforms my head and heart's understanding.  The more I read the Word, the less I am concerned about having perfect answers and the more I am concerned about hearing and knowing God.  In other words, the focus of my reading isn't the text, but hearing and knowing the author of the text.

I see my life differently.  My shared values with the world are becoming less. In a culture that is very much time and production oriented, I am finding myself less concerned about efficiencies and worldly success.  I evaluate my success more on obedience than production. I value the process just as much as the result.  The way this lives out in my life is through relating to people.  It's very easy to rank people based on their ability to help me achieve my objectives. Those that can't help me are written off and those that can are used.  I am more convinced today than ever that God cares more about the grace I extend to others than what they can extend to me.  I can leave production up to Him and work on faithfulness in the moment.  This is perhaps my biggest challenge.  I am a slow work in progress.

I spend more time with less people.  Instead of running around trying to help everyone or be friends with everyone, I am learning to become more focused with my time.  In regards to our Church this plays out in an area the business world calls 'leadership development', but perhaps we can call it what it really is, 'discipleship'.  I'm learning a more complete version of discipleship.  We often stop discipling people once we feel they are pretty stable in their faith and they've stopped doing certain sins.  However, we shouldn't stop discipling someone until they do what we do (reach and disciple others) and until they do it better.  It's the truth behind the old Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime."  It's what Jesus did with the disciples.  It's what the apostles did with their disciples.  In the short-term production goes down, but in the long-term it will be awesome.

I am still a rookie in these areas, but feel I've taken some good first steps.  I also have many other areas to grow in as well.  I'm embarrassed that it's taken me this long to begin putting these values into action.  I guess it's better late than never.  I hope that I continue to grow in living and working smarter.  I hope to hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Merry Monday

Two busy weeks down and one more to go!  It's a fun and busy season at our Church and the Bible College.  We've wrapped up Easter and are now preparing for Spring and Summer.  Angela began her sixth round of chemo last Tuesday.  She is doing much better this round, even though scientifically it should be the worst.  Praise God!

I need to go into an 'Oscar' speech and thank many people who are so filled with God's love that it gushes out into loving others.  First, my two mothers are awesome... they have been on full-time duty, taking care of our kids and helping Angela.  Our Church family continues to make meals for us (it's been six months) and they (the meals and the people) are awesome!  On Friday, a bunch of energetic adults and youth set-up and ran the Lower Mainland Kid's Camp Rally... thank you for your investment into our kid's!  On Saturday, about 10-12 volunteers helped set-up and host Jim Moses' memorial... thank you for your love given to the Moses family.  On Sunday, as usual, we had a great number of gracious people serve in our Kid's program, main service, breakfast, and after-service coffee!  On Sunday night, we held an evening of prayer and worship.  It was awesome.  Around 40-50 folks came out to pray for the needs of our Church family and for one another.  We laid hands on the sick; interceded for others; shared words of encouragement; gave words of wisdom; and worshipped Jesus.  Thank you to those that came out, shared in faith what God laid on your heart, and gave of your time! Throw in a birthday lunch for my mom and the first mow of the year and it was a full, but great weekend.

This week will be busy getting ready for the College's graduation weekend.  We have a banquet on Saturday and a ceremony on Sunday night.  At the Church this week we have a family movie night on Friday, bake sale prep on Saturday, and then the actual bake sale on Sunday. Proceeds from the movie night and bake sale go to our summer camp bursary program.

I hope you have the best week of your life!   Wrap your heart around Jesus, surrender to His way of life, and you'll live a life without worry or regrets.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Merry Monday

We had a fantastic Easter Brunch yesterday.  Our auditorium was packed and our Church family brought so much food there was enough for fourths!  We were also able to bless StreetHope with the leftovers.  Nigel & Maureen organized a bunch of fun activities for our kids and we showed a mini-video that some have requested to see again:

This past week was pretty relaxing due to some amazing servants!  Aaron & Monica M. headed up our decorating and set-up.  They did a great job coordinating everything and our brunch never looked better!  Dave P. helped represent our Church on Good Friday, then serve on Saturday with set-up, and then serve again on Sunday!  He and Nicole are a huge blessing to me and our Church.  Lynn B. and all of her helpful crew did an awesome job of facilitating the food and kitchen work.  They were all such hard workers and blessed us so much.  Many people stuck around after to help clean-up.  Thank you to the Olsen's, Espezel's, Parson's and everyone else.

This week will be much more hectic. Angela goes in tomorrow for her last round (for now) of chemo.  Both of our mom's will be taking shifts this week! Things are ramping up at the College with end of semester stuff.  I also have a bunch of meetings including our summer camp fundraising team, Church council, Jim Moses' memorial planning and prep, our Kid's Camp Rally on Friday, and then our Sunday gathering and evening of prayer and worship!

I hope you have a great post-Easter week living in the reality and with the resources He has given us.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Merry Monday

I trust this post finds you well!  I really enjoyed our gathering yesterday.  Perhaps it was how the morning got off to a great start.  Outside our Church building doors a few hundred people stood in the cold waiting to begin their 5km race to begin.  In the middle of the frozen huddle were two Parkside faithful, Elisa and Anna-lisa.  Not only were they setting a great example of being good stewards of the temple, but they took the presence of God into their world!

During our service, Tony lead us in beautiful praise to our Lord and Saviour!  I got to share a word about the way in which our reputation can either break or make the transmission of the Good News (you can listen to the podcast at  While all of this was going on, Angela was getting a nice massage at the Fairmont in Vancouver (she was on a little getaway with her sisters).  I got the privilege of hanging out with my kids, wiping bums, and doing laundry.  Angela is going to give me a hard time for putting that last sentence in there.  Her response will be, "welcome to my life... two days and you think you deserve a medal".  My response to her response will ber, "Look at me, I'm built to have an axe in my hand." :)

I'm looking forward to our Easter Brunch!  It's one of my favourite Sundays.  For reasons I can't find words for, there is something that seems more Christ-like about having a brunch than a formal service.  If it bugs you that we don't have a formal service, I encourage you to attend the community sunrise service held at Heritage Park at 7:00am.

Also, if you want to get on to our daily email for our 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting, please go to  Have a great Monday!