Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last thought regarding Christmas?

This year has been an interesting Christmas. Without question there is the importance of celebrating and recognizing Christ's coming to earth This year has been an interesting Christmas. Without question there is the importance of celebrating and recognizing Christ's coming to earth with significantly reflects the truth of my faith. The story of the incarnation is not like any other, the GOD who made us is one of us. However, when I look at our culture and what it has done with Christmas I have to shake my head. The consumer madness in a culture that is going through a 'recession' and yet we all 'want more.' as if we don't have it all already! I think this is becoming a rant...

But I am reminded of a quote by Mother Teresa that says "May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in." As I have reflected on our condition in our nation I am filled with gratitude. A gratitude that acknowledges the blessings of God on our lives, not with pride but rather with amazement and I am dumbfounded by God's grace in our lives.

So this year, one of the rellies (relatives) suggested instead of gifts that we pool our resources to do a hamper for someone in our community. Actually, this has been talked about for quite some time, it was that this year we finally did it. I have to admit that I have never seen as much excitement in our family for what we were about to do for someone else in a long time. There was an excitement in packing and organizing everything together, not too mention that it took two vehicles to transport the hamper and the rellies who wanted to deliver the food. Then the response of the family meant the world to us. As I watched my wife embrace the mom who received the hamper, there was a tear in my eye not too mention in both of theirs.

It was Max Lucado who said that "Gradually our big God changes us. Gratefully we lust less, love more, lash out less, look heavenward more." God is constantly at work work and he is changing our family and I like what we have seen this Christmas.Luke 2:34 says that "this
child is destined to cause the falling and raising of many" May Christ be your rising in 2011.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Who started rumor that "X" in Xmas an attempt to cross out Christ's name? Since Anglo-Saxon times X stood for Christ . . .Not too long ago I was listening to the radio and there was a big debate about the proper usage of holiday greetings. Of course, many 'christians' called in complaining about keeping the "Christ" in Christmas... wow..... So, for all the uniformed here is a great article that I wished the listeners of the radio program would have read before opening thier mouth!

Why is X Used when it Replaces Christ in Christmas?
By R.C. Sproul

The simple answer to your question is that the X in Christmas is used like the R in R.C. My given name at birth was Robert Charles, although before I was even taken home from the hospital my parents called me by my initials, R.C., and nobody seems to be too scandalized by that.X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.We don’t see people protesting the use of the Greek letter theta, which is an O with a line across the middle. We use that as a shorthand abbreviation for God because it is the first letter of the word Theos, the Greek word for God.The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.

Merry Xmas!

Friday, November 19, 2010

So, I have been thinking....

Breast Cancer, Movember, soon we will hear the bells of the Salvation Army ringing for Christmas. There are a million ways to give to charity and a million charities to give to. We at Soul have made a push to join Habitat for Humanity to help make a difference in our community and I must admit that I am a bit disappointed in that I actually believed that we would have more than $5000 plus raised by this point. Yes, I said it! Disappointed, because I simply believe that our community has great connections to tap into. So much so, that I got to thinking about who does the giving?

It is said that 85 % of adult Canadians give to charity. Only 38 per cent of adult Canadians sent money to religious organizations, while 57 per cent made donations to health groups and 43 per cent donated to social services organizations. What distinguishes those who give from those who don't? We assume the rich give more than the middle class, the middle class more than the poor. I've heard ‘liberals’ care more about the less fortunate, so we assume they give more than ‘conservatives’ do.

"20/20" did a story with The Salvation Army, who set up buckets at the busiest locations in two different cities: one at Macy's in San Francisco and the other at Wal-Mart in Sioux Falls. Which bucket collected more money?

The answer is obvious! The Wal-mart Bucket! Arthur Brooks, the author of "Who Really Cares," says that "when you look at the data, it turns out the “conservatives’ give about 30 percent more." He adds, "And incidentally, ‘conservative’-headed families make slightly less money." People at the lower end of the income scale give almost 30 percent more of their income than those in the upper class. Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. Brooks also says that giving goes beyond their own religious organization: "Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities." And almost all of the people who gave to our bell ringers in San Francisco and Sioux Falls said they were religious or spiritual.

So, this got me thinking…are people in Winnipeg “liberals” who make too much?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What can you do with $10?

What can you do with $10? Someone replied to that very same question with the answer of "not much!" To which really got me thinking. If $10 is not all that much, then it should not be very difficult for people to help contribute in a simple fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity.
After all, it is only $10. That's not much...therefore is should be relatively easy for us to donate to a very credible organization who make it thier mission to make affordable housing accessible to working families who earn less than the low-income cut-off.
Soul Sanctuary is taking the next few weeks to raise awareness for Habitat and to get all our friends, family, coworkers and electronic contacts together to make a difference by contributing $10 a person to Habitat.
We have made it very easy for you to contribute. Simply click here: http://www.soulsanctuary.ca/welcome.htm and then click on the DONATE button.
Thank you for taking time and donating a few of your hard earned dollars....

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm Sorry

Came across this blog post…and I have to share it with you…
5 Meaningless Apologies...and one that works

You've probably experienced it before, maybe more times than you care to count. You know...somebody apologizes to you, but the apology is cluttered with background noise. Rather than a sincere apology where the offender takes full responsibility for their words and actions, there's a hint of justification, arrogance, or even denial in their so called "apology." Before this turns into a pity party, let's look in the mirror for a moment. Chances are you've done the same to someone else. I know I have.

The problem is we play games with our apologies--five games to be exact. In her book,
The Art of Mentoring, Shirley Peddy describes these meaningless games that turn into meaningless apologies:

1. The Legal Game - This game involves transferring blame to the other party. Peddy says the legal game sounds like this: "I'm sorry that you took what I said the wrong way." This tactic suggests that the person we offended has the problem, not us. I'm pretty sure I recall a few politicians and public figures using this line.

2. The Journalistic Approach - This strategy attributes every detail of the situation to an unnamed source. The Journalistic approach sounds like this: "I was told you had handled this. That's why I reacted so strongly." My reaction is under my control, nobody else's. It's a choice.

3. The Scientific Apology - This approach pulls the situation under a microscope where every detail is agonized over. Here's how Peddy describes it: "Did A lead to B? Was there a scientific cause behind it? You say, 'I did X because you did Y. Perhaps if you had done Z...' Get my drift?"

4. The Theatrical Apology - This apology is high on drama. Here's how Peddy articulates it: "Oh, I can't believe I could have done something so awful. You wouldn't believe what was going on here. I mean, it's a zoo! Can you ever forgive me?" There's no need for the drama in an apology. It's nothing more than an attempt to justify our behavior.

5. The Political Apology - The final meaningless apology is political in nature....as if something happened but nobody was there. Peddy says the political apology sounds like this: "We regret a mistake was made by someone. Of course, since we had no control of the situation, we can't assume responsibility for the event." Ever heard a large company make an apology like this that was broadcast by the media for the world to hear. It lacks heart, sincerity, and avoids any responsibility.

So what's the appropriate way to apologize? Consider the Gracious Apology. The gracious apology takes full responsibility without twisting things, creating a bunch of drama, or shifting the blame. Peddy asserts that a gracious apology means that we fully admit our mistake, give opportunity for the other party to respond, empathize with their feelings, offer to correct the situation, and follow the apology with action steps.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Random thoughts....

"The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians – when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them. Indeed, there are impressive indications that the positive quality of joy is in Christianity – and possibly nowhere else."

- Sheldon Vanauken

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Taking a detour....

I found this article and I thought I would share it! Since I get scores of emails every day, I am dumbfounded at how people often misuse this medium.

“Therefore, I would like to humbly offer up 18 suggestions for better e-mail communication and etiquette:

1. Understand the difference between “To” and “CC.” As a rule of thumb, the more people you send an email to, the less likely any single person will respond to it, much less perform any action that you requested. The people you include in the “To” field should be the people you expect to read and respond to the message. The “CC” field should be used sparingly. You should only CC people who have a need to stay in the know. The “BCC” field should be used even more sparingly. People you include in the “BCC” field will not visible to others.

2. Keep messages brief and to the point. Make your most important point first, then provide detail if necessary. Make it clear at the beginning of the message why you are writing. There is nothing worse for the recipient than having to wade through a long message to get to the point. Worse, if you send long messages, it is much less likely that the person will act on what you have sent or respond to it. It’s just too much work. It often gets set aside and, unfortunately, forgotten.

3. Don’t discuss multiple subjects in a single message. If you need to discuss more than one subject, send multiple e-mails. This makes it easy to scan subject lines later to find the message you need. It also contributes to briefer e-mail messages and a greater likelihood of a response. Also, the more specific you can be about your subject heading, the better.

4. Reply in a timely manner. I don’t think e-mail demands an instantaneous response. I have written about this elsewhere. Responding once or twice a day is sufficient, unless you are in sales, customer service, tech support, or some other field where a faster response is expected. Regardless, you must reply in a timely manner, otherwise you will incrementally damage your reputation and decrease your effectiveness.

5. Be mindful of your tone. Unlike face-to-face meetings or even phone calls, those who read your e-mail messages don’t have the benefit of your pitch, tone, inflection, or other non-verbal cues. As a result, you need to be careful about your tone. Sarcasm is especially dangerous. If something gets “lost in translation,” you risk offending the other party. The more matter-of-fact you can be, the better.

6. Don’t use e-mail to criticize others. E-mail is a terrific way to commend someone or praise them. It is not an appropriate medium for criticism. Chances are, you will simply offend the other person, and they will miss your point. These kinds of conversations are usually better handled face-to-face or, if necessary, over the phone. Especially, don’t use e-mail to criticize a third party. E-mail messages live forever. They are easily forwarded. You can create a firestorm of conflict if you are not careful. Trust me, I’ve done it myself more than once.

7. Don’t reply in anger. In the heat of the moment, I have written some brilliant replies. I have said things in writing that I would never have the guts to say face-to-face. This is precisely why you should never ever fire off an e-mail in anger. They almost never serve their purpose or your long-term interests. They burn up relationships faster than just about anything you can do. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and write the message, then delete it. Usually a day or two after you didn’t send an angry e-mail, you’ll understand the wisdom of restraint.

8. Don’t overuse “reply to all.” Last week I received an e-mail from someone who needed to know my shirt-size for a golf tournament. He sent the e-mail to about ten or twelve people. No problem with that. However, some of the recipients, hit the “reply all” key (out of habit, I am sure) and sent their shirt size to everyone on the list. This, of course, just adds more clutter to everyone’s already unwieldily inbox. Your default response should be to reply only to the sender. Before you reply to everyone, make sure that everyone needs to know.

9. Don’t forward chain letters. These can be forgiven when they are from your mother, but they only add clutter in the workplace. Nine times out of ten, the information is bogus. It is often urban legend. If you feel you absolutely must pass it on, please make sure that it is valid information. If in doubt, check it out at Snopes.com, a Web site devoted to tracking urban legends and rumors.

10. Don’t “copy up” as a means of coercion. It’s one thing to copy someone’s boss as a courtesy. I do this whenever I am making an assignment to someone who is not a direct report. (I don’t want their boss to think I am going around them, but I also don’t want to bog my communication down in bureaucratic red tape.) But it is not a good idea to do this as a subtle—or not-so subtle—form of coercion. You may be tempted to do this when you don’t get a response to an earlier request. But I would suggest that you will be better served to pick up the phone and call the person. If they are not responding to your e-mails, try a different communications strategy.

11. Don’t overuse the “high priority” flag. Most e-mail programs allow you to set the priority of the message. “High priority” should be reserved for messages that are truly urgent. If you use it for every message (as one person I know does), you will simply be ignored. It’s like the boy who cried “wolf” one too many times.

12. Don’t write in ALL CAPS. This is the digital equivalent of shouting. Besides ALL CAPS are harder to read (as anyone in advertising will tell you.)

13. Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks. If you do so, you can put yourself or your company at risk. You could be sued for simply passing something along, even if you aren’t the original author.

14. Remember that company e-mail isn’t private. You have no legal protection. Anyone with sufficient authority or access can monitor your conversations on company-owned servers. If you need to communicate privately, then get a free account at
GMail. Use it for anything personal or private.

15. Use a signature with your contact information. This is a courtesy for those receiving your messages. It also cuts down on e-mail messages, since people don’t have to send a second or third e-mail asking for your phone number or mailing address.

16. Provide “if-then” options. This is another tip I picked up from Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week. He says to provide options to avoid the back and forth of single option messages. For example, “If you have completed the assignment, then please confirm that via e-mail. If not, then please estimate when you expect to finish.” Or, “I can meet at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Will one of those times work? If not, would you please reply with three times that would work for you?”

17. Use your spell-checker. I take my correspondence seriously. It reflects on me. As a publishing executive, I think the bar is even higher. If I misspell words, use bad grammar or punctuation, then I think it reflects negatively on me and my company. Lapses in grammar or punctuation can be forgiven. But misspelled words are just too easy to correct. That’s why God gave us spell-checkers. Make sure yours is turned on.

18. Re-read your e-mail before you send it. I try to do this with every single message. My fingers have difficulty keeping up with my brain. It is not unusual for me to drop a word or two as I am racing to transcribe a thought. Therefore, it’s a good idea to re-read your messages and make sure that you are communicating clearly and observing good e-mail etiquette.

If you have other e-mail etiquette suggestions, please post a comment at the end of this post. If there’s something that drives you crazy, I’d like to hear about that as well. Most of us, I’m sure have ideas that can make e-mail a more civilized, effective tool for communication.”


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wanting something more....

Winston Churchill said, "The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth serene and triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair."

Churchill longed for a day of justice and freedom, when people play fair and love one another, he described the relational world Jesus said we should long for...and pray for. Churchill called for "courageous and indefatigable effort." Until then, he eloquently proclaimed, we must never give up.
Until God's "kingdom comes" and His "will is done," we long for it; the question is, "Do I want it enough? Do I want it so much that I won't flinch, weary, despair or quit? Those are just some of the questions now churning inside of me.
Galatians 6:2-10 says "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Are there mistakes that you cannot recover from? Below is a post from another blog and I am interested in your thoughts…The author first defines that there is a difference between mistakes of competency and mistakes of character. Mistakes of competency is something that we all can recover from. It is like learning to ride a bike…you will fall, but eventually you will get it right. The authors then goes on to add that one of the greatest problems with mistakes of character is that the pain and aggravation of them usually lies on the surface of emotion or gets deflected over to another person or group, and never really sinks deep into the soul where ultimate change can take place. He goes one to push that idea a little further, and here are five mistakes that he feels that one cannot recover:

Adultery. Adultery is rampant in our culture. Ask people like Tiger Woods and the results displayed in his life. Ask politicians. Famous people just like ordinary people cannot escape the nuclear fallout that arises from adultery. Adultery is the ultimate betrayal. It bares naked the soul. It is narcissistic, wounded, and can’t be trusted. Adultery is expensive both in monetary terms and its relational fallout. Avoid it like you would the plague.

Pride. Pride is that inner drive that causes us to act against our own self-interest, even when everyone else can see it. Pride is lifting oneself up to a place which is not earned and cannot be sustained. Pride is so painful because it makes the bearer blind and deaf. It’s like walking toward a cliff. Everyone can see you’re near the end but you.

Resentment. You might say, “Yeah, resentment can be recovered from.” Yes, I would agree. But too many times it’s not. Resentment is bitterness that’s taken hold deep down in the soul and it poisons the well of everything you try to do. It blocks the free flow of life because unforgiveness cuts you off, not only from God, but from everyone else.

Laziness. Laziness can’t be recovered from because it wastes away the capital of life. It has no motivation or drive except that which comes from fear. And when you’re driven by fear, you’re being manipulated. Laziness discounts life as cheap, and people as something to be avoided.

Assumptions. Of all of these, assumptions are probably the most deadly. Let’s say that you are a middle-aged man and you eat like you are a teenager. You fail to exercise because you’re too busy and you don’t have time. You wake up at 42 and have a massive heart attack. Triple bypass surgery and a for sure shortened life is now yours because you, as so many others do, assumed that you’d live forever and that you wouldn’t have to take care of your body because you’ve always been able to abuse it.

Assumptions are also deadly in marriage: assuming she’ll always be home because she’s always been home, that she’ll take care of the kids, and that she’ll always think you are her hero. It leads to neglect which a lot of people do after you get distanced. Communication dries up and all of a sudden you wake up and you don’t care anymore. Assumptions in business, in life, and in relationships are all deadly and you need to avoid them at all costs.
What’s the antidote to all five of these? Gratitude, humility, and joy of work. Those simple things can get you up every day, remind you that life is a gift, that while you are not everything, you are something, and while you can’t do everything, you can do your thing.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Is God real? Does He care? Is He even there? Is He there for me? All questions sincere people ask all the time. Why? Because they’ve experienced heartache. They have been disappointed. They have been disillusioned.What do I mean when I say disillusioned? I’m talking about you having certain negative realities discourage you, bring you down, and disenchant you with Christianity. I’m talking about you being turned off of God and being disappointed with Him due to other factors happening in your life.

This Sunday we will look at a few things that can cause you to wonder if God is there for you…things that can make you disillusioned about God, the church and Christianity.
What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Sunday...a personal response to a serious blow

In this life we live, we will all suffer a serious blow of one kind or another. The question is how do we handle it? On a personal note, we lost my father to cancer in October, and then in May we lost our son Josiah. That was a double whammy. One loss was "expected" the other "not at all."
So the questions begin to arise, the emotions begins to surface, the feelings are raw and many times we find ourselves wandering in the desert.

What do we do? Where is God? Never mind the whole host of other questions and feelings that we all go through. How do we deal with this stuff? This Sunday we will begin to explore this and more....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Back to Business

That is correct....we are logging back on! Our time away is finished and it is time to get back into the swing of things. This Sunday is a do not miss! The topic is "Trusting God in the Tough Times." Would love to see you and hear from you....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A few days off......

For the few weeks, I’ll be taking some much-needed time off and won’t be posting on here...
Unless I think of something I just have to post immediately, or get bored...
Actually, I plan to unplug for a number of weeks and will post again in August.

Enjoy your summer!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sunday Recap

Most people look at Genesis 39 and use it for some valuable lessons to teach us how to face temptation, but I do not believe that is the central message which was intended for us to learn here. The thread which ties the entire narrative of chapter 39 together is the theme of suffering! Few would disagree with the statement that God was with Joseph in Potiphar’s penthouse, but many would question how God could be with Joseph when he was in prison? Most would agree that Joseph’s prosperity in Potiphar’s house came from God due to his faithfulness as a hardworking servant, but how many can say with as much conviction that Joseph’s purity with regard to Potiphar’s wife rightly resulted in his being put into prison?

Since many Christians today seem to think that obedience should always bring success and prosperity, Joseph’s imprisonment should cause us to rethink the success strategies made popular in western Christianity. Some wonder if much of our thinking concerning suffering and success needs to be challenged and changed.

Wht say ye?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reflections after the long weeked

So, I don't know about you, but we had a good time of unplugging for this last long weekend. Nothing beats hanging with the family and friends. However, in Sunday we continued our walk through Genesis and stopped at chapter 38 with the story of Judah and Tamar.

I have never heard the story of Judah and Tamar preached or taught, although I have heard portions of it mentioned from time to time in other settings. Now, there were a few practical elements that we walked away with, but I will throw this one out there:

Was Tamar right to do what she did? This is one of those ethical questions. If Tamar is right to do what she did, the question for us today is would we encourage people today to engage in a sin in order to achieve the greater good?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shake the Dust

Love this poem by Anis Mojgani! What do you think?

"Shake the Dust" by Anis Mojgani

This one is for the fat girls.
This one is for the little brothers.
This is for the school-yard wimps, this is for the childhood bullies who tormented them.
This is for the former prom queen, this is for the milk-crate ball players.
This is for the nighttime cereal eaters and for the retired, elderly Wal-Mart store front door greeters.

Shake the dust.

This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them, for the bus drivers driving a million broken hymns,
for the men who have to hold down three jobs simply to hold up their children,
for the nighttime schoolers and the midnight bike riders who are trying to fly.

Shake the dust.

This is for the two-year-olds who cannot be understood because they speak half-English and half-god.

Shake the dust.

For the boys with the beautiful, beautiful sister

Shake the dust.

For the girls with the brothers who are going crazy,
for those gym class wall flowers and the twelve-year-olds afraid of taking public showers,
for the kid who's always late to class because he forgets the combination to his lockers,
for the girl who loves somebody else.

Shake the dust.

This is for the hard men, the hard men who want to love but know that is won't come.
For the ones who are forgotten, the ones the amendments do not stand up for.
For the ones who are told to speak only when you are spoken to and then are never spoken to.

Speak every time you stand so you do not forget yourself.
Do not let a moment go by that doesn't remind you that your heart beats 100,000 times a day and that there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean.
Do not settle for letting these waves settle and the dust to collect in your veins.

This is for the celibate pedophile who keeps on struggling,
for the poetry teachers and for the people who go on vacations alone.
For the sweat that drips off of Mick Jaggers' singing lips and for the shaking skirt on Tina Turner's shaking hips, for the heavens and for the hells through which Tina has lived.
This is for the tired and for the dreamers and for those families who'll never be like the Cleavers with perfectly made dinners and sons like Wally and the Beaver.
This is for the biggots,
this is for the sexists,
this is for the killers.
This is for the big house, jail-sentenced cats becoming redeemers and for the springtime that always shows up after every single winter.

This? This is for you.

Make sure that by the time fisherman returns you are gone.
Because just like the days, I burn both ends and every time I write, every time I open my eyes I am cutting out a part of myself to give to you.

So shake the dust and take me with you when you do for none of this has never been for me.
All that pushes and pulls, pushes and pulls for you.
So grab this world by its clothespins and shake it out again and again and jump on top and take it for a spin and when you hop off shake it again for this is yours.
Make my words worth something, make this not just another poem that I write, not just another poem like just another night that sits heavy above us all.

Walk into it, breathe it in, let is crash through the halls of your arms at the millions of years of millions of poets coursing like blood pumping and pushing making you live, shaking the dust.

So when the world knocks at your front door, clutch the knob tightly and open on up, running forward into its widespread greeting arms with your hands before you, fingertips trembling though they may be.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Facebook concerns and thoughts?

So EVERYONE, please check out the follow two links.....
The High Price of Facebook: Your Privacy: http://is.gd/caSrm
Why I left FB this week: http://is.gd/c9kiz

I have always said that people disclose too much personal info on Facebook.
What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

May Sunday Reflection

We are back in Genesis and looking at chapter 37. Here we see that our main character is named Joseph. Joseph is a teen and appears mature and responsible for his age. Without question there is something special about this kid and we know by the story that it is that he has God’s hand on his life! I would go so far as to say, that this is a godly young man. This demonstrates that it’s possible to be 17 and ngodly. Joseph Unfortunately, in our culture we don’t give teens a half of chance. I am convinced that age is not the determining factor when it comes to godliness. The reality is there are only two classes of people in the church: mature and immature. Teenagers who have a great love and passion for the Lord are putting many adults who have been “saved” for decades to shame. The problem that I have seen is that many times we as adults pour water on the spiritual fire of our youth and young adults. I would say that in a nutshell, older people in the congregation/community must be cheerleaders of our youth and encourage them to take risks and live their dreams to make a difference in this world.
Joseph was a teen, a dreamer and his story teaches us firsthand what it takes to pursue and achieve your dreams. I am of the mind that God puts dreams in our hearts and minds. I believe that Joseph knew that in some way GOD was revealing Himself to Joseph.
What say Ye?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sunday Morning After Reflections

This past Sunday we had a special speaker named Paul Fraser.

Paul shared on 1 Samuel 4. He talked about how Israel went into battle against the Philistines and initially is soundly beaten. Then, Israel decides that they will take the Ark of the Covenant with them into the next battle with the Philistines. They are thinking that the Ark will be to them like a lucky charm and guarantee their success.

The Ark was the place where the Lord was to dwell in Israel, and the Israelites in a sense thought that they had God in a box and that if they brought the Ark into their battles that the Lord would go with them. However, just having the Ark didn’t mean that the Lord would be with them.

So, the Lord did not go with Israel into the battle, and thus they are soundly defeated and the Philistines capture the Ark and take it back to one of their cities to place it proudly on display in one of their shrines to their god Dagon.

One thing I walked away with was that many “christians” think that they can have God in a box. They think that they can go and live their life however they want to live it, walking outside of the guidelines of scriptures for their lives, yet if they just pray that God will act like a Genie in a bottle and grant their wishes. Or, they think that if they just wear a cross, just make the sign of the cross, just recite the Lord’s prayer, just get baptized, just join a church, etc., that they are going to have God’s favor. And when God does not show up and deliver them, they are choked at God. However, a person will never have “God’s favor” unless they come to the place in life of surrender to God, repentance of sin in our life, and then trust in the promises of God’s word.

Paul had a number of thoughts on this passage, I would be interested to hear what you would have to think!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday Reflections

Yesterday I talked about how our culture is spiritually hungry and desperately looking for authentic Christians. Yet in this time of spiritual hunger the church is declining. Not because the church won’t accommodate the culture, many churches are changing things to make things more appealing. Despite their attempt to please, many churches have nempty seats and little impact on people’s lives. Why aren’t people looking to the church? There are several answers to this question, but I think it all boils down to the fact the world looks at the church and sees people who cheat in their businesses, cheat on their spouses, they see people who gossip (I mean prayer request), and character assassinate, jump from bed to bed, get drunk, do drugs and complain as much as they do.

George Barna reported “Of more than 70 moral behaviours we study, when we compare Christians to non-Christians we rarely find substantial differences.” Ask any non believer what comes to mind when they think of Christian, the most common answer is “judgmental” even though Jesus said that he came into the world not to judge it, but save it!

In a word, they see hypocrites. People who say they have been changed and yet behave just like the rest of the world day in and day out. We really don’t practice what we preach! And yet, as I look at what the scripture teaches I see that we need to go out of our way to lead people to experience GOD, but now in that process maybe we need to redefine what it means to be a believer?

Sometimes I wonder if we make our faith simply a religion and we conveniently leave Jesus out of the picture? I wonder if we all need to be reminded that Jesus invited people into a relationship, a journey, that he invited us to have our spiritual thirst quenched?
What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

24 Part 4

The following takes place between 12:00 am – 7:00 am
One lousy sleep! But I am semi conscience!

The following takes place between 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Walked downstairs to find out that the hotel is serving STARBUCKS! Yes, so I had a Quad Venti Americano! Ummmmm….Caffeine…now the drive to Mariners Church( http://www.marinerschurch.org ) You need to check this place out! A WOW experience.

The first session began with Andy Stanley and he gave a great talk on Tomorrow. Intertwined with the history of Rome and the cross, and the one thing that has stuck out to me was that it is the CROSS which is front and center.

The following takes place between 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Once Andy was done I walked away with the question in my head “Have we as Christians, walked away from our first love?”

The following takes place between 10:00 am – 11:00 am
The next person to share was Eugene Cho. He is a pastor of a church in Seattle of about 500 people. He is also the founder of an organization called One Day’s Wages. ( http://www.onedayswages.org/ ) Check it out and read Eugene’s story.

The following takes place between 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Did you know that if your combined income is 68,000 a year that you are in .86 percentile of the richest people in the world? “Generosity is to rescue us from our greed.” This session has really inspired me regarding our plan to help raise funds for Habitat for Humanity!

The following takes place between 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Charlene Li is one of the co-founders of Altimeter (www.altimetergroup.com ) talked about using social media as a new way of thinking about leadership and connecting with the people you deal with. What struck out to me was the thing that I am the weakest on…the fact that people need to respond to all the feedback that is given. I always knew this was true, but I preferred not to do it, simply because it takes too much time. Well, I have to admit that I am rethinking my stand on that, add to it I am now going to make a conscious effort to work with Twitter. Yep, I said it. My Twitter tag is Soulpastor. How original!
And with that, focus on relationship.

The following takes place between 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Lunch…..mmmmmm Carl’s Jr

The following takes place between 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Mark Driscol from Mars Hill Church in Seattle is the speaker, and I must say that he was fantastic. He talked about the 11 things God does for church leaders and you can see his notes on http://theresurgence.com/

The following takes place between 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Getting tired from sitting and listening. Had to stretch the legs and had a great conversation with a fellow Canadian. I walked the grounds and went to the chapel to check out the prayer path they set up there. WOW. That’s all….wow.

The following takes place between 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Reggie Joiner was the speaker (www.rethinkgroup.org) and again…a fantastic communicator. His simple question was what is the ONE THING that gives one influence over those who do not have influence? That ONE THING is to treat every prodigal as the father treats his son (Luke 15:1)

The following takes place between 5:00pm – 6:00 pm
The ONE THING that I walked away with is that a loving father throws parties while older brothers throw fits!

The following takes place between 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Met up with some friends who spend their summer in Manitoba. We went out for some good food, great talk and looking forward to the summer!

The following takes place between 8:00 pm – 12:00 pm
Talked with the family, and I love my wife and kids!!!!! (XOXOXOX)
Wrote this blog for you and now plan to do some studying for Sunday…I am going to share my heart! I submitted my titled as ‘The Stupid Things We Do’ Be prepared to come and answer that question this Sunday!

With that in mind, our landlords double booked our parking lot this Sunday. I am going to ask all of you (able body folk with no kids) who call Soul home to park on the East side (if possible) or across the street from 1111 Chevrier (if possible) at the garage stations. As the church, we need to put others ahead of ourselves and I believe this is a simple practical way to do it.

OK Pet peeve. I can’t find a hockey game on the TV in this hotel. UGH! When will the Americans learn that HOCKEY is the ONLY sport! I must say, being at the Kings game last night was fantastic! I have GREAT IN LAWS…. YEAH TED AND DEBBIE!

Now, I need some alone time…you know me and GOD…..I need to hear what He wants to say to me…Then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

24 Part 3 Limited Edition

The following takes place between 11:00 pm – 7:00 am
Talk about having a restless sleep. The TV was left on, and I hate sleeping by myself. Anyway, after a shower, I got on the road to find Marnier’s Church, where the conference is being held.
The following takes place between 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Found the church very easily, then headed out for a coffee shop. Grabbed a wonderful quad Americano and headed back to the church. Walked the grounds…talk about a wow experience. Maybe I will post some pictures at a later date. But talk about wow. Got my registration connected and now I am ready to go.
The following takes place between 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Made my way into the main gathering space and began to wait…….2 gents from Portland joined my table and things were cool. We laughed, we cried, we shared….ok we laughed!
Around 10:30 Aaron Keyes (www.aaronkeyes.com) lead in worship and did a fantastic job. As we are singing, I was looking around and just two tables over, I noticed a familiar face. It was Phil…..Phil from Edmonton. MORE CANADIANS! YEAH, EH!
The following takes place between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
After the worship I connected with all the Canadians from Edmonton. Went to a session on grace and forgiveness and restoration which was lead by Jud Wilhite ( a pastor from Las Vegas) Mike Foster (formerly of xxxchurch.com) and Tony Wood (a pastor who shared his story of grace). The seminar was called people of the second chance and then the 6 of us went for Lunch! Ummm Mushroom Swiss Hamburger.

The following takes place between 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Excellent seminar with Dan Kimball entitled “Don’t be a Christian: Leading others to exchange religion for the Mission of GOD.” I love listening to Dan, he says a lot of things that I have heard him say before, but it is always good to be reminded!

The following takes place between 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
After picking up my sister in law, we travelled to downtown LA and waited for her husband to meet us. We were at LA Live. A great place of activity which was across from the Staples Center filled with food, stores and watching hockey fans play ball hockey. I must say that there were many Canuck fans. I being a Canuck, however, was NOT one of those fans. Was able to watch a number of Canadians, take on a number of USAmericans in a game of ball hockey. A repeat of the Olympic Gold Medal game.

After some wonder sushi my brother in law and my self went to the game. What a great experience. Man I miss real hockey! I had the opportunity to text my son, who was at the Moose game, what was happening and he in turn returned the favor. I think my game was better, although his went into double overtime. I have to admit that Kings fans are GREAT, LOUD and LOYAL. Not too mention they had some really funny and raunchy signs, which I cannot publish on this blog.
The following takes place between 11:00 pm. – 12:00 am
Back at the hotel, catching up on emails and this blog….must … sleep….tomorrow the book says be there at 7:30 am. REALLY? REALLY!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

24 Part 2

The following takes place between 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Take off from Calgary was beautiful. I love the mountains. Actually, I miss the mountains. What an amazing view…add to that they are still snow capped. God’s creation is…speechless….

The following takes place between 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
In flight….partially sleeping, partially watching tv…partially sleeping. No one is sitting next to me…no one to talk to!

The following takes place between 1;00 pm – 2;00 pm
Arrive in Los Angeles! Ummm, it is foggy, wait, that is RAIN!!! Add to that it is cool outside. It is actually warmer in WINNIPEG! Now, must pick up luggage and find rent a car place.

The following takes place between 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
So, I walk into the rent a car place and they laugh at me. “Sir, you are too big for the car you ordered.” To which I replied… “No, I’ll be good.” (Cheap Mennitoban response) Needless to say, the car was too small……. So, after finding my car in the rain, getting familiar with the console, I proceeded to look for my hotel.

Got honked at on the Freeway for using my blinker. I guess when it rains here in LA people get a little tense on the roads. LOOK OUT PEOPLE, I AM HERE!

Found the hotel and checked in…I love my GPS…it talks to me and makes life so much easier.

The following takes place between 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Got to connect with my sister in law and her husband and family and enjoyed a nice supper and time together. And Guess WHAT? My brother in law got us tickets for the KINGS VS CANUCKS game tomorrow night! Yeah baby.

The following takes place between 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Back to the hotel, did some reading, and planning for tomorrow as the conference starts first thing in the morning.

Good night.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A NEW 24

It is time to bring you all up to speed in the manner of 24. For the next few days, I am off to Irvine California to attend a leadership conference called Catalyst West. Now, I have to admit that this is going to be a hard time without my wife. As a matter of fact, I feel so bad leaving her that I cleaned, vacuumed and washed the house yesterday and made her a BBQed chicken dinner with baked potatoes, chick pea salad and broccoliflower. It was my guilt offering!
So here we go…

The following took place from 5:00 am – 6:00 am

I woke up! Had a quick shower, woke one of my sons up to get ready to drive me to the airport. Went to all the others in the family and said my goodbyes…even in their half woken state! Then off to the airport.

6:00 am – 7:00 am
Checked in, found my seat, checked out!

8:00 am – 9:00 am (Calgary time)
Woke up and proceeded to catch my connecting flight. So, as I approached customs and submitted my passport, the proverbial question came my way; “What do you do?” to which I responded “I am a minister.” I got a puzzling look from the officer, to which I added “I am a Pastor!” Again, there was hesitation on his part. Then after a few seconds he asked “When are you going home?” To which I responded, “I am back on Saturday!” Then he nods, “Just in time to preach!” “Yes,” I said.

That crazy little exchange got me thinking as I walked to security. This is not the first time I had this kind of interaction at the border. I think from now on I am going to say that I am a priest! Seriously, a priest. We will see how that goes coming back home.

Now, I proceed through airport security. After submitting my laptop and my shoes for testing I was asked to go through the new body scanners. “NOOOOOOOO!” (OK, I didn’t say it like that) I declined and I asked for a pat down. J After waiting for quite a few minutes, a young man came to do his job. Before he started, I told him that when we are done, he had to buy me lunch or at the very least a coffee. He quickly replied "After this YOU will have to buy Me lunch." I thought my comment drew laughs, but then entire place roared after his reply. Needless to say, this person was also considerably SHORTER than myself. I commented that I could use the massage, and he just blushed.

During this public intimate time, I confessed to him that “I don't trust the scanner, I think that they have come out too soon.” His reply floored me. He said “I don’t trust them either.” WOW, I can’t believe that he said that to me. Never mind that his supervisor was within earshot. Anyway, after my free massage, and I mean massage ( I feel somewhat violated) I found a local Starbucks and had some comfort food.

9:00 am – 10:00 am
I find a free WiFi and set up an account so I can get on Facebook, respond to emails and, of course, blog. I read, I write and I laugh.

10:00 am – 11:00 am
OK, the guy sitting next to me has the WORST BREATH! Seriously! I am two chairs away, and I choke every time he exhales and turns and looks my way. TOO funny, his name is Jerry! A friend of his just called out to him…he is on a different plane. I hope that they pass out TIC TACS! We are being called to board…must go…see you in LA!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just thinking.........

It’s Monday morning and the question is…”what in the world did I say!!???” Yes, I am having a Monday morning hangover. Yet, as I reflect back on yesterday I am reminded that so many ‘churches’ have so many “people of faith” showing up on Sundays who have no depth to their understanding of what the Bible says.

I have grown weary of cultural Christianity. Many folk want a convenient faith. A faith in a GOD who will accept all that we want to do without any consequence to any of our actions. We live in a culture that will pick and choose how or what they want to believe to best fit their lifestyle at any particular moment. I am not sure that is how GOD intended life to be.
Why is it in our own relationships with people we create boundaries and we are very easily offended when those boundaries are rubbed up against or even crossed? But for those who consider themselves a “people of faith,” many have no problem living a life that we know is offensive to GOD, and many expect Him to simply mind His own business, until we need Him to show up.
At no point in time am I saying that I have my act together. I, as well as others, am looking to change my life and let it reflect an intense and fervent love for GOD. I have to admit that it is an insult to a fully committed GOD and a Savior who went the distance for us to allow there to be shallow and disingenuous faith in our hearts. If it turns my stomach, it must make GOD wretch all the more.
What about you? Ever look at your heart and become disgusted at the weakness of your own faith? Ever listen in vain for GOD's approval on your half hearted commitment? I know I have. What compares to his sacrificial love for us? Whose heart is like His? Just thinking..
GOD, look at my shallow and frail faith and help me to deepen my roots in your favor. I long to replicate your love to the watching world. I long to connect to your heart in a way that radically infects my soul. Help me to walk this out; to flesh it out; to commit fully to the journey. I know that there is great benefit to my heart - but let me do this in honor of your love. AMEN.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It has been a while....

I have felt that this blog has been "out of service" for the last little while, and the only reason that it has been neglected was that I had to pick and choose where to spend my time. This was one area where I had to cut back on. But we are back!
So, I came across this post...Things I don’t understand

I came across this list and it comes from Chris Elrod’s blog (http://chriselrod.com) . It made me say to myself “Interesting!” What are your thoughts?

Folks that show up to church only a few times a year but expect the pastor to drop everything to provide them with his undivided attention.
People that put nothing in the offering plate but still have the stones to expect that their opinions on the church should count.
Parents who ground their children from church or the youth group…the very things that could help them with their behavior, future and afterlife.
People that expect the pastor to tolerate their political views…but leave the church because of his.
The occasional volunteer that expects the church to throw a parade in their honor just because they finally did what the Bible commanded.
People that have basked in the grace of God…but fail to give grace to anyone else.
Pastors that leave one church for another…for better pay.
The need for church growth plans, programs, books, conference, seminars and resource kits…when we already have the Bible
Women that tolerate their husbands having multiple affairs…”for the sake of the kids”.
Pastors that would rather be political pundits or civil rights leaders…instead of just preaching the
life-saving message of the Word of God.
People that have one spiritual standard for their pastor…and another for themselves.
Folks that think the word ‘disciple’ is a noun…and not a verb.
People that make comments about needing to go “deeper” in God’s Word…as if there is a Scripture in the Bible that isn’t deep.
Pastors that think accountability means never asking them the tough questions or taking the hard line when it comes to their failure to follow Scripture.
Men that think being the head of the household has something to do with the amount of money they are bringing in or the title they acquire at work.
Care to add to the list?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Response to Being a Pentecostal

Read and tell me your thoughts!

Recently a friend asked me a very important question after reading some of my posts on this blog. Specifically, he asked, “Are you still a Pentecostal?” This is a very important question for me, and I will try to answer this question in the following article. I hope this will help both my Pentecostal and Non-Pentecostal friends.

Indeed, I am a Pentecostal, but I wholeheartedly believe that the Pentecostal movement needs serious reformations. I believe that just like any other religious movement, the Pentecostal movement has its own blind spots and errors, yet at the same time, the Pentecostal movement shines in its own beauty. Whenever I say that I am Pentecostal, I do not mean that I belong to a Pentecostal religious system, organization, or denomination. Instead, I believe in the very essence, the very foundation of Pentecost that took place in the Book of Acts and also in my own life 18 years ago. Following are some points for reflection.
I am Pentecostal because I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, and I believe that the Holy Spirit’s power is still at work today; nevertheless, I don’t agree with some of my Pentecostal friends who use the name of the Holy Spirit in a simply abusive way, i.e., as an escape to do and say what they want in the name of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is part of the Triune Godhead and simultaneously a power or a force. Indeed, this force is love. I am Pentecostal because I believe that love is the greatest result of the works of the Holy Spirit. Jesus urged the disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them, at which time they received the power to witness about Him. I am increasingly realizing that the greatest sign of the Holy Spirit is the power of love! Love is indeed a power; it forgives, liberates, and heals. The Holy Spirit empowers us to love even the unlovable, to reach to the untouchable.
I am Pentecostal because I believe and emphasize the miracles of the Holy Spirit. I cannot deny them. I have seen with my own eyes people healed from sicknesses, some even instantly, when others prayed for them. At the same time, I disagree with some of my fellow Pentecostal friends who merchandize the works of the Holy Spirit. I disagree with the commercialization of the miracles of the Holy Spirit. I disagree with the overemphasis of miracles, signs, and wonders, while neglecting justice and the righteousness for the poor and oppressed. I disagree with those who practice Pentecostalism while their own personal character shows little to no signs of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I disagree with those who practice so-called Pentecost but do not know how to treat their spouses, neighbors, or children. True Pentecost-experience changes our characters and offers us humility, grace, peace, and love. These are as important as the signs and wonders.
I am Pentecostal and do indeed believe in the Holy Spirit, but I do not believe that the Pentecostal denomination or churches have exclusive rights on Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit is free to move among any Christ-loving church or denomination. I am Pentecostal, but this does not make me any better or superior than any other brothers and sisters who belong to different denominations. I am Pentecostal, but I do not tolerate any arrogance among those who claim to be Pentecostal. I love all denominations that love Jesus Christ. Because I am Pentecostal, I have learned to respect my brothers and sisters from different denominations. I have great friends from other denominations and from the non-denominational realm.
I am Pentecostal, and I believe that the Bible is an inspired work of the Holy Spirit; yet, I am also aware that the Bible was also written by the hands of man, so some aspects of the Bible must be viewed in its historical and cultural context. I am Pentecostal, but I disagree with some of my fellow Pentecostals who recklessly quote the Bible out of context and hurt others by doing so or use Scripture to manipulate others for various reasons. I disagree with those who use the Scriptures without love or consideration. For example, I disapprove of the homosexual lifestyle, but I am also aware of this ongoing issue in our society. I do not like to beat others with a doom and gloom message by using a “thus says the Bible” approach. By doing so, we are also condemning ourselves because the Bible describes many other things that condemn our personal behavior as. If we choose to be judgmental, we will be measured by the very judgment stick that we used. Do we measure others using the Bible? So, we will be measured ourselves by the very Bible itself. I do not approve of perversion in any way or by any means, nor do I tolerate it. Nevertheless, I am looking for wisdom and understanding to deal with this sensitive subject.
I am Pentecostal, but I disagree with my Pentecostal friends who quote the scriptures to enrich themselves financially. I am not against blessings or prosperity. At the same time, I do not believe in manipulative and exaggerative methods of fundraising or tithe-raising systems that are used by some men and women who claim to be Pentecostal. Unfortunately some televangelists have gone too far with this. I disagree with and disapprove of such acts done in the name of Pentecostalism.
I am Pentecostal, and I indeed believe in the end times and the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, I disagree with some of my fellow Pentecostals who describe with the end times and the coming of Christ. I am against commercializing eschatology because our end-time theologies can create fatal consequences in dealing with other people and other nations! In the name of end times, we easily label others as antichrists and justify our hateful actions towards them. I know that Jesus Christ is coming back; in fact, this is the foundation of my faith. However, I can never preach with 100% certainty how and when He will come back. Only He knows.
I am Pentecostal because Pentecost honors racial and cultural diversity. Pentecost is about people. Jesus Christ came to restore us to the Father; the Holy Spirit came to restore us to each other. Therefore, on Pentecost day, people from all nations under the heaven were present, and when they heard the disciples praying in foreign tongues, they each heard their own language, i.e., the Arab in Arabic, the Persian in Farsi, etc. Peter preached on that day about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all people!
I am Pentecostal because Pentecost is about hope, visions, and dreams. Indeed, the prophet Joel prophesied about such things on the day of Pentecost. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to give you strength and power to believe and hope, to dream about goodness, righteousness, dignity, integrity, and unconditional love towards people and creation. Pentecost gives hope when there is no hope. When people, nations, diseases, viruses, epidemics, natural calamities threaten to ruin the world, we are given the power to have the vision to rebuild, restore, care, and love! As Bishop Tutu said, Christianity is about helping God to fulfill His dreams for humanity and creation. That is Pentecost! At least that is what Pentecost ought to be.
I am Pentecostal because Pentecost is the day of equality for all mothers, daughters, and sisters! Pentecost is about equality between men and women in the Church. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter quoted the words of the prophet Joel who mentioned that God said in the last days both men and women, His servants, will prophesy (Acts 2:18). For centuries, and even today in many places in the world, women are being oppressed; they do not have equal rights with men. Unfortunately, men like me have forgotten where we come from; i.e., we are the seed of the woman. Today we speak about the rights of women in other nations, like in the Arab or Islamic world. We criticize how these nations treat their women. What about us? Does our Western society truly respect the freedom of women? What have our consumerism and capitalistic society done to our women? It has made them an object of lust, sexual desires, etc. Is this true freedom?
I am Pentecostal because Pentecost means sharing and participating in social action! In chapter two of the Book of Acts, we read that the believers devoted themselves to prayer and fellowship, and those who had much sold what they had and gave it to those who had less such that they had all things in common. The true Pentecost is concerned for the poor, the oppressed, the orphans, the widows, and the migrants. The world is full of imbalance, injustice, and poor distribution of wealth. It is the duty of the Church to rise up and do something about poverty, illness, and injustice in society. We must share what we have with others.
I believe that, if we do not change our style and if we do not correct our mistakes, the Pentecostal movement will lose ground in the Western world. We need a reformation in the Pentecostal Movement, just like other Christian movements in the past. Many criticize me because I am friends with a man like Brian McLaren. I must tell you that I would rather have Brian McLaren as my friend than those who manipulate others, commercialize the Holy Spirit, commercialize end times theology, or prophesy to enrich themselves. At the same time, I have Pentecostal friends, like Lee Grady, a Pentecostal brother who is standing up for the rights and position of women in the Church. Just like me, Grady is also tired of the showmanship and manipulation associated with the Pentecostal movement. In his new book, The Holy Spirit is not for sale, he addressed concerns that are quite similar to mine. As a Pentecostal, I have read the books of Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo while simultaneously admiring people like Lee Grady and my Pentecostal friends in the Netherlands who genuinely preach the gospel in love and humility.
Lastly to my Non-Pentecostal friends, I would say give the Pentecostals the benefit of the doubt and hear them out! Unfortunately, the noise of some “super” Pentecostals, you can not or choose not to hear the real ones. Fellowship with us because we want to fellowship with you. Let us learn from each other. Not every aspect of Christianity can be explained with theological knowledge. Some things cannot be explained theologically or even scientifically, but they can indeed be described as the moves of the Holy Spirit and found in the mysticism of His love and His work. Pentecostals have great things to offer the body of Christ, and at the same time Pentecostals should reform their own ways, address their own faults, and learn to listen to others, especially to other fellow believers from different denominations.
Blessings to you all,
Samuel Lee

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just thinking....

What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods but people who the Holy Spirit can use - people of prayer, mighty people of prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through people. He does not come on machinery, but on people. He does not annoint plans, but people, people of prayer.

EM Bounds...paraphrased....


Friday, February 12, 2010

Thoughts into the weekend....

Mark Twain said: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

So, here is the question: as believers are our ambitions self-serving or do they serve a larger cause? Do our ambitions diminish others and ourselves or do they result in blessing God, others, the world and us? How does Jesus’ statement “without me you can do nothing” impact this topic?

We live in a world, which likes to knock down people and takes joy when people fail. So, how do we deal with people who belittle us? What is our responsibility to those who belittle us with words or action?

What desires for significance does God put in us? Jesus claims those who will be great in the kingdom of heaven are those who humble themselves as a child, who are poor in spirit, who humble themselves instead of exalt themselves. What does that say to you?

Mother Teresa once said “Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.”


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MIller Review Part 2

Submitted by MBK

I loved Blue Like Jazz. It was the first book that I read in which ‘Post Modern Christianity’ made any sense to me. I think that was because Donald Miller told stories. I started to understand a whole new view on how we ‘do’ church. If I had one criticism of Blue Like Jazz it was that there was a lot of discussion about social justice or social activism but Miller himself didn’t really seem to do a whole lot about the social causes he was highlighting. I know that he has done a lot to address that in the past 5 years.

When I read A Million Miles in A Thousand Years it was clear that Miller was back to the style of writing that made Blue Like Jazz popular. Although I am sure that a book with the subtitle ‘non religious thoughts on Christianity’ had a much broader appeal, I believe this book is well worth the read for those who want to mature in their faith. It is clear that Donald Miller moved past complaining about social issues to doing something about them. The book came at exactly the right time for me.
This fall I have seen so many changes in my life. The analogy of living a story was a very powerful one for me. I remember a day when I particularly wanted to give up. I remembered a chapter of the story that spoke about being in the middle. At the beginning of an adventure we are all excited and energized. Then at some point we realize that what we are doing will be really hard. We are tired and we want to give up. Miller told a story that beautifully illustrates how God meets us in those places. It came to mind and I held on. For me the book was worth reading just for that.
I was going to say that if you liked Blue Like Jazz you will like this book. However as I thought about it, I realized that isn’t entirely true. If you liked the anecdotal story telling in Blue Like Jazz but you are ready for a next step, you will like this book.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Continued...

Below are some blogs that you can follow regarding what is happening in Haiti.
A simple reminder that if you have not given already you can give at http://www.soulsanctuary.ca/welcome.htm and click on the Paypal button. Your money will go to ERDO and it will be matched dollar for dollar by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency).


Thank You

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Want to Help or Must we Help?

Have you seen the news? Have you seen the picture from Haiti? Of course you have. I am reminded of December 26, 04 when a tsunami took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and the world responded. Now, one of the poorest countries in the world (top 20) is hard hit by an earthquake. We are encouraging people to do more than just pray, but also give. Did you know that a person living in Canada making $36,000 a year is in the top 5% of the richest people in the world? I think you can afford to give something? (Ah Gerry, using guilt! No Silly, compassion)

Go to http://www.soulsanctuary.ca/welcome.htm make your donation using Paypal and anything over $10 will be issued a tax reciept.

Thank You

Thursday, January 07, 2010

First Reader Review


Donald Millers - A million miles in a thousand years.I love the theme of finding meaning in your life and the stories of people he came into contact with. Creating memorable moments that will last a life time. Even if they are random things like jumping off a dock when saying good bye. The simple fact that he was afraid and doubtful with every move he made yet he still overcame the obstacles, this was very inspirational. I thought it was funny that I felt as though I was reading John Eldridge’s Epic again yet, in a different way. This one was far more personal and had so much more human connection as opposed to fictional movies. Very talented writer that brought you into his life, made you think about your life, and then moved to relationship with the Father (this is from me who hated Blue Like Jazz). How we quite often just drift through life as though believing is simply enough. (yes, I know it is) but there is no joy, no furthering of life. You become stagnant. When the movie producers stepped into Don’s life, I felt God say, this is not what I wanted for you. So here are my tools. Through the story of his life he began to see that indeed that wasn’t life.

I was reading a friends blog James Williams and thought it was weird he echoed the same thing. I thought it was very philosophical in a sense to re-examine your life. I believe it was Aristotle that said “a life unexamined is not worth living”…or something like that, any way my point here is that he didn’t really choose for it to be examined it was a sort of push that he fought. I think we can all relate there. I know the chapter I enjoyed best was the one that describes how change actually comes about. An Inciting Incident really hit home for me. I live very much in a comfort zone and it takes something really important to me for me to shift or move. Yet I love new adventures but it takes something really powerful to get me to move. Usually anger works best for me.

Although not clearly written I saw anger in Don, the constant changing his life for the movie to make people interested in seeing it. There's nothing like saying to a person we like the backbone and idea of your life but we have to change everything about you to make it good. That got me thinking. Would I want to read about my life, I’ve been told for years to write a book about my life and you know what it would probably make for a good story but would it in a movie? Would it look good in life? Would someone want to live my life? The questions go on….I got completely sucked into thinking OK when is that big thing in my life going to happen to force change again. Ridiculous thought I know, but that’s what I read and saw in my head. I almost felt a step by step book on how to live a more interesting and impacting life and I was sad when I had finished reading it. I had more questions that still weren’t answered. More fears and doubts that hadn’t been resolved. SO I was left wanting more.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

2010: Interaction

Every once in a while people get inspired by odd things, and one of those inspirations for me has been through the movie Julie and Julia. Now, as a person who loves to cook, this movie was one that cought my attention much to the scorn of the rest of my family. But, since I am the Alpha male in my fam, I made them all watch it over the Christmas holidays. Anyway, that is another story.
Where I am going with this is that I am looking to have more of an interactive blog for this upcoming year. I have a theme in mind of Faith, Family and the Future and will be focusing on that, however I want to invite you (the reader) to post more and to encourage healthy discussion.
Before we start something new however, I must finish the review of Donald Miller's Book 'A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.' I know that a number of you have already read this book and have an opinion, so I am wondering if you would be willing to share your review first?