Wednesday, December 24, 2008

all about christmas

if you "don't like christmas" for one of the following reasons, please stop.

i'm just as guilty of feeling these things as you are, but stop.

 - "we have so much...they don't" "its just not fair!" "it's not right"
 - "people are SO materialistic"
 - "christmas is so commercial, seriously..."
 - "i don't have family or friends and i'm lonely" (sometimes translated "i don't like my family or my friends and i'm lonely")
 - "it's so tacky, and the carols never stop"

yes, these are all annoying, but that's all they are. they have no more authority over christmas than an obnoxious guest at a dinner party. 

we celebrate because after thousands of years of sin, and hundreds of years of captivity a son came to earth, who was God, and died for us.

its not about feeling guilty - if you feel there is an injustice being done by you receiving a gift and some other kid in africa not receiving a gift then the other 363 days of the year you should be feeling just as guilty too. this injustice is a daily thing. stop feeling guilty, jesus came. now start moving your life to a more chain-breaking lifestyle.

christmas was the ultimate chain-breaker. injustice ruled over our lives, we were bound by sin, and we were under an evil rule. jesus came and broke sin, and set us free.

thats christmas. rejoice, celebrate, be joyful. 

if you have ever disliked christmas i invite you to let it go. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

after all the mountains

i just finished rereading the last battle (the seventh book of the chronicles of narnia) and i would greatly recommend reading it (again).

if you don't want to know how it ends don't read this. 

anyway, it shot things in to perspective for me. 

all our lives we have these "mountaintop experiences" with God. 

(mountaintop referring to when the disciples were on the mountain and Jesus went up in to the sky with moses and elijah to chill for a bit, then the disciples realized how powerful he was and never wanted to stop worshipping on that mountain)

in these times we get so excited by Gods power, that we are filled with an overflowing love love, and an incomparable joy. 

we never want these times to end.

but like the disciples we have to go back to the world and try and live lives as the citizens of heaven we are.

similarly every time the pevensies (lucy peter and edmund - susan denies her narnian citizenship and loses her inheritance) go to narnia they have their own mountaintop experience with aslan.

but eventually they have to leave and go back to the 'real world' to live according to their citizenship.

the last paragraph of the last battle says that they were all sad and aslan asked them why.

they replied that they thought they would have to go back as usual.

i feel that sentiment a lot on retreats, or at worship gatherings.

then aslan says "there was a train accident...the dream is over the morning is come, your holiday has begun"

thats what i hope for.

i knew i was going to heaven, but i never realized it in that way. one day this world will be like a dream and i will be in the real world, the one we've all been practicing for. the world where there will be no more tears, and we will not be able to feel pain. that abundant love and joy we feel in worship will be the only thing we can ever experience, and as cs lewis put it in his book everything good: further up, further in. neverending.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

great night

tonight was great. seriously, great, and my God is SO good. 

a woman named doreen irvine wrote an awesome line in her book that has always stuck with me. "when God enters your life all the colours in the world seem brighter"

heres what made me think of that:

on my way home i met a really nice pakistani man in a santa hat, he said to me "the snow should start at 7 in the morning" then we laughed together for a bit, and i paid him for gas (yeah!). then i went outside and filled my car up with gas, when an old man with big glasses that enlarged his eyes got out of his car, walked up to me and said (in a thick german accent) "boy! don't you know it's winter (vinter)!" then we talked for a bit and finished by laughing at how hot my heater was. 

then as if the night wasn't already great, i went to tim hortons (don't tell my manager), and the woman told me what i wanted wasn't on the menu. so i sighed and ordered a plain iced cap. then i drove up and the girl took my money, and smiled, and i asked her how she was, she said "great!" and finished with a big smile and said "merry christmas!!!". the smile she showed me reflected a great deal of joy, and made her one of the most beautiful people i saw all day. 

all this at one truck stop! 
nothing special happened, but in every single person God's creativity was SO prevalent, and i got to see that in the space of 10 minutes after making a detour on my way home. isn't joy wonderful?

and then in addition to that:
i got to chill with one of the BEST families EVER - the drivers!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

shattering images

something that i've been thinking about for a while is how we see God:

we have the beautiful image of jesus carrying our sin on the cross, that's pretty wicked, i mean, we suck, and so God takes our suckiness on to His own shoulders. He died for all of us. sweet! there's our freedom.

we have cute baby jesus sleeping in a donkeys food trough silent...not really actually

then we have the burning bush...powerful - and other old testament images of a powerful God leading us...

these are all nice, good ways to remember God, but most of those are past images of God. ways that God HAS shown up. we need to shift our sight to right now.

brother yun, a great preacher, and minister for God said in his newest book "most churches see God in the past, and in the future, but never see Him as a present figure in our lives" that was a paraphrase because i'm too lazy to pick up the book and write it out. 

thats so true.

quick trivia question, in the old testament what distinguished our God from the pagan gods?

don't think too hard about it, it's really easy, their gods were inanimate statues. 

our God was known as "the great I AM" or my favourite "the living God".

our God is ALIVE, he didn't end at the cross, rather He began a new movement when He came back. "the great mystery of the ages has now been revealed - Christ in you the hope of glory".

remember the past images of God, how they show His love, but now remember that He Is in our lives right now. that when you were saved Holy Spirit came in to your life to help you live a new life without sin. 

He's right here right now, ready to perform signs and miracles. 

"I tell you anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do greater things than these, because I am going to my Father."


we forget that our God is the living God, that He isn't far off. He's living in us, and ready to do signs and miracles, and forgive us. we can have joy right now! we can be forgiven right now! He can heal us right now! we have this bad perception that we're evil, wretched, bored and helpless until He comes. but He can take all those away right now. 

He's moving right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

all of you

think about this, how does God fit in to your life?

if you thought "well sometimes i think about him through the day" or even if you considered Him fitting in to your life, i think you need to reconsider some things.

please, don't take offense, stop reading if it bothers you to hear that.

these aren't thoughts, or reflections, these are things i've personally experienced in my own life. 
things i've realized after living for a while.

He's never going to fit in to your life.

the bible tells us He's an all consuming fire.

jesus also compares our lives as jesus followers to buying a new pair of jeans, ripping them, and using them as a patch for our old jeans.

yes, that might be fashionable these days, but it's impractical. 

when you are given a new pair of jeans, why would you wreck them by adding them to an old pair.

we are given a new life, why do we try and fit it to the old life?

why hold on to sin, bad stuff, why hold on to grief and sadness? 

you can have a new life. 

jesus is a new vintage, you don't add new wine to a bunch of old wine, you take an empty barrel and pour it in to that barrel. 

we need to empty ourselves of our old life and let His new life flood in to us.

romans 12 (BEAUTIFUL chapter of the bible!) says this:

"do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world [as we did in our old life], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" 

the brackets were mine, do you get it? 

renew means to make new, i don't know if you've ever tried to make something new, but it doesn't work. i can't make my jeans new without a time machine. 

renewing our mind means starting over, throwing everything away, emptying ourselves, and receiving a completely new life.

He wants you to be new, and to live new. He's not asking you to fit Him in, but rather to let all of you be made new by receiving all of Him.

my challenge is this: if you're holding on to pain, if you're still reflecting your old life and trying to follow Him, or if you're not following Him at all then empty yourselves completely, let all you're preconceived notions, and thoughts fall away and let yourselves be made new.

that's what he's asking. in jesus' name be made new.

Friday, October 31, 2008

he breaks chains

all of us are not thirsting enough, not hoping enough, and not letting God be everything.

that is something that we as humans tend to do. we have short attention spans and forget that God is our freedom.

we do things forgetting who gave us legs - it wasn't our parents.

when jesus came the israelites had been in chains for centuries at the hands of countless leaders. he was the messiah - the one coming to set them free, to save them. when he entered the gates of jerusalem on a colt they shouted "hosanna! hosanna in the highest!". 'hosanna' meaning "he saves". 

he doesn't want us in chains

do you get that?

he doesn't want you hurting

you digging?

this crap about living "half for him", praying when you need to isn't freedom. freedom comes with a commitment and obedience.

i love abandoned, free worship of the one who made me, and died for me. what i do comes from what he did. 

i've got a new family in my life that i love so much, i'm so blessed to have them, and i'm going to a new church this year where i've found i can get lost in his presence, and thank him. he continually renews me and revives me and i love the light so much. i cannot imagine what my life would be like without him showing up every day with signs and miracles.


lover of light

this is one of my older posts that i really like, so i thought i'd repost it:

so lately i've been realizing something. mainly through a book i'm reading by thomas merton.

through this book, and through another book by a woman named doreen irvine, i've come to realize that most of humanity has a preoccupation with darkness, and all things negative. if i'm talking with someone, i've realized, i'm generally more interested in what's wrong, and what's frustrating than with what's good with their life. if i talk with someone more than likely, we talk about problems with the world, problems with our lives, sin, struggles, not what we're good at, and what God's blessed us with.

"those who live by the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires"

that's a quote from romans 8, one of my favourite chapters of the bible. what does the spirit desire? purity? love? grace, peace, light, joy? how often do we say "wow, God has blessed me with _____, ______, and ____"? not often do we have whole conversations about what our gifts are, and what God has given us. although, i think that would be more in line with what God asks of us.

"whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things"

when i started aspiring to be a lover of the light, i realized how interested i was in the bad, the shortcomings, the sins of others and of myself. but i've realized to look at the light isn't naiive, it's a virtue of God.

he has decided to look at the good in us, the praiseworthy things, and yet i still look at the darkness and sin.

i want to love light. and that is my prayer, that i might call myself a lover of the light, and set my mind on such things.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


a few things i found interesting:
 - i just watched a guy park at the opposite end of an almost empty parking lot and walk 3 minutes to the variety store to get ice, and walk 3 minutes back. why didn't he park at the spot in front of the variety store? i thought it was silly.

maybe he's a secret agent

 - yesterday at blockbuster i saw an AMAZING father in action. he had two younger daughters, and a son and his friend. the son and friend were about 8 and the two younger ones, maybe 5 and 3? the father wanted the son to rent a movie for his friend, and the daughters to watch a movie together. the reason i thought he was awesome, was because he expressed a genuine concern about the content of each film his kids looked at. he was willing to have his son rent one movie and his daughters another just so that he could make sure they weren't desensitized at too young an age. the son instead picked out a g rated movie so that they could ALL watch a movie together, incredible.

 - and on another note, i think jesus is amazing. nothing new on that front, just felt like throwing that out there. i can't get the words "taste and see that the Lord is good" out of my head, i'm trying to figure out what God wants me to learn from that verse out of psalm 34.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

fire in my bones

but if i say "i will not mention him
or speak any more in his name", 
his word is in my heart like a fire
a fire shut up in my bones.
i am weary of holding it in;
indeed, i cannot

i have this stuck in my head, it's jer 20:9, and i saw it first on my friend's shoulder, he has it tattooed there. 

i realized, i don't have much else to talk about than jesus, and when i'm not talking about him, i wish i was. we can "preach the gospel at all times; and if necessary use words" but when you are a very verbal person like me, the words come first. i'm a teacher, and a speaker, and i don't have too much else in my life. without him, i'm nothing, and so what else will i talk about? 

right now i haven't been teaching much in jr high, and i'm missing that, it was such a blessing, and i feel like i have so many words, and i might explode at some point. i need to be more at peace right now.

later gangsters

Monday, September 22, 2008

a few things

- i went to the ancaster fair this weekend, i've decided i don't want to grow old, cause then i won't be invincible anymore (that's sarcasm of course)
- people have wierd ways of relating to each other, they talk about all the bad in a funny way...why not laugh about and celebrate the good? that's more christ-like, lets not give evil any face time.
- we all enjoy bad things in some way, think about notes from underground "i enjoy my toothache, it gives me something to complain about", sadistic pleasure in a toothache...even though it's painful, and bad he enjoys it, similarly we get excited about sickness, and things we complain about, something to do to break the boredom - which is in some way sin because we are dissatisfied with what God gave us. if we are filled with the spirit things of the spirit (love, peace, grace, get it) follow. are you filled with the spirit, fully living in His love? think about what you enjoy and talk about, see if it is really that way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


in my car today, i was prayin' and chillin' as i do after work, and i got to thinkin'.

we all know that God is a three in one god. He is the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son (Jesus...just in case you're wondering).

now each part of God has a role, and each works together, and they are all equally this is trippy and stuff, so don't worry too much about that. He is God and that is what's important.

the Father is our father, He is a judge, a mentor, He is get the idea

the Son laid down His life out of love for us, He serves us and offers us forgiveness

and the Holy trippy, the Spirit convicts us, lives in us, and is a gift - who gives gifts

and remember, as it says in 1 John "God is Love", so all these characteristics are bound within the boundless love of God, being enacted within Love Himself.

don't worry too much about that, this is all leading somewhere.

the other day, i was at subway, and there you can now get either orange, american, or swiss cheese, all of which i like, and would gladly get at different times...but you see, i usually get orange fact i almost always get orange cheddar. not because i don't like swiss or american, but i just like what the orange cheddar does to the flavour of my sub more than the others.

in june i bought "viva la vida" by coldplay, and it's an awesome cd. i really like all the songs, and i listened to them all, but now i only really listen to 'lost!', 'death and all his friends', and 'cemeteries in london', a third of the whole album. not that i don't like the album, or occasionally listen to the other songs...i just prefer what a third of the album is i listen to that part of the album more often...

if you don't see where i'm going...i hope you're alright.

as humans, we always like some things, and some people more than we like other things, and other people. similarly with the trinity, we can sometimes get stuck - even though we might not notice it, preferring certain characteristics of God, and certain persons of God more than others.

some churches spend so much time talking about how God judges sin so harshly, and is a God of wrath (bound in boundless Love), that we need to avoid sin...and then they almost forget the forgiveness, gifts, and spiritual blessings of God.
that is preferring the Father.

then other churches spend all their time teaching: 'God is Love', He loves, forgives, and lays down His life for us...and we ought to do the same for Him, and for others! then we ignore His judgement, wrath, conviction, and gifts...we forget to be shaped by His rebukes - which are love as well.
this is preferring the Son.

and i'm sure we're all familiar with churches that teach about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God wants to heal you now, when you know God many miracles will follow, we follow a God of visions, signs and miracles, receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit now! and then we end up neglecting His rebukes, and forgiveness, and obsessing on spiritual gifts.
that is preferring the Holy Spirit

all of these teachings are right, and parts of God, but we need to accept all three. our God is our judge, and mentor, He does lay down His life, serve, and forgive us, and He has many blessings and gifts to give to us...but we can't pick and choose.

whether we like it or not, our God is three persons in one God. it's a mysterious thing, and almost impossible as a human to have a full view of God. but i challenge you spend your time meditating on each person of God, and let Him challenge you, rebuke you, bless you, and always let Him forgive you.

do not ever get comfortable in your perception of God, i guarantee you, He is infinitely bigger than you and your mind. you can always learn more about Him. it is dangerous to be stuck in one of these patterns. we are called to live a new life, following Jesus, a miracle worker, and we are always sinning, needing a rebuke. God fills all these needs, but when we ignore one of these, we are no longer fully following Him.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

foot washing

during the last session of opc jesus challenged me in a new way.

He blessed me with a chalet of guys i am honoured to know. He gave me an immense overflow of energy daily, and daily revealed Himself in incredible ways, through conversation, and joy. He overwhelmed me completely when i asked for revival. He breathed a great life in to me...and i can't get over that grace.

in john 13 we read about jesus washing his disciples' feet.

as Jesus enters the room he removes His clothing, wrapping a towel around His waist. He moves around the room washing each of our feet, and drying them with the same towel that covers Him. eventually He comes to us. surprised we say "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?!"

we don't know how to receive that service. it feels embarassing. it feels almost awkward, or like we are dependent?

why would i let Him who created the world wash my feet? He is far better than me, He is Holy and Pure. Perfect, unlike me.

"You shall never wash my feet!" i shout. my pride holding me back.

maybe i don't want to rely on Him, maybe i don't want to receive, it's easier to give, easier to serve. maybe even, i don't like thinking about how i hurt Him. maybe i just can't reconcile.

"if I don't wash you, you have no part of me"

i always want to help people, and if you ask me why, i will say "because i love Jesus".
and if you ask why i love Him
i say "because He loved me first"

He showed me this by serving me, by extending grace.

if i don't let Him serve me, and wash my feet, how could i ever let him die for me?

asking forgiveness means receiving grace, and receiving grace means letting jesus break down our pride and wash our feet.

during my last session at opc, i was overwhelmed by the grace He extended to me. i already consider myself blessed, but He extended an extra measure of grace wherein i felt so served it humbled me. i couldn't believe what was before me, and didn't even think it was real sometimes.

the creator of the universe wants to serve us that we might be forgiven and join Him for all eternity.

are you ready for that?

Monday, August 11, 2008

an update

okay! so i'm at home on my day off, let me update you on my life:

i'm up at camp 12 more days, i'm very VERY tired, and could use a lot of prayer.

i miss my mom, but God's been doing some awesome things in the wake of her death. it's amazing how when we're in pain he "makes all things new". that's redemption.

because i'm tired my anxiety is really bothering me, please pray about that.

God is working incredible things up here at camp, and i love Him very much.

today my jesus made me think about how deep my mom's love for me was, and showed me how much i miss her. that was hard, but in that place he said "my grace is sufficient". that's pretty sweet, and then he said that his love is deeper. when i said "she prayed so much for me" he reminded me of that place in romans 8 where it says the spirit intercedes for us.

where my mom has ended, the spirit has come to fill all those holes.

i apologize for bouncing around so much, i'm super tired, and just drank some sleep tea.

oh! also, i'm moving downtown this year, and i have my job back at starbucks as of august 25th, so prepare to experience some legendary service!

i'm so glad jesus loves me, you have no idea until you've felt grace. i don't know how i can forget it.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Hey, so many of you have been following the story of my mom, and so on saturday she passed away. that was sad, but she was a woman of great faith who experienced many trials and overcame them through her saviour Jesus Christ.

I loved her greatly, and will miss a great spiritual mentor, and mother.

if you knew her and would like to come to the visitation it will be held at Dodsworth and Browne Funeral Home on Wilson Street in Ancaster from 2-4 and 7-9 on Tuesday, June 24th.

the funeral will be held around 2 at Meadowlands CRC on Stonehenge in Ancaster.

love you all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


we have enough time in this world to spend time with one another.

we waste our time thinking about our time.

thinking about the future and the past. dwelling on past sins, and past memories, times we enjoyed and people that frustrated us.

this is a waste, of life, and of thought. we can learn and see God working in the past. but no matter how hard we try we can never live with God as long as we try to live in the past.

i am not a timeless being. i cannot live where God lives in the future or the past. i can only live with God right here, right now in the present.

if i am going to be at peace, if i am going to love, i must do it in this moment, not in any other time period.

God is timeless, i am not. i must live with God the only place that i can, and be present, so i know i have loved God.

the happening

i saw this movie the other day with a good friend of mine, and i thought it was very interesting.

you have a family who is experiencing apathy, and another family with a young girl.

right at the beginning her parents both die in the happening, a strange occurence where people just start killing themselves.

there is no real explanation for the occurence, and in the midst of this, the family grows closer, and realizes the significance of one another.

everyone tries to explain the occurence, and tries to understand it, but sometimes bad things just happen.

no explanation, and the explanation really isn't important.

there is still Good while things are bad.

we try to explain evil, sometimes calling it God's will (haha...yeah right), sometimes we say "all things happen for good" - no they don't, and then we try to place blame.

bad things happen because we are separated from God, no other reason, the only peace we can ever have is from a reconciliation with the one who created us, and even then we live in a beautiful world, with restless people. bad things will still happen all around us, the one thing pure is that peace we have knowing our saviour loves us, and that is more than enough for us.

going home

thank you all for your prayers.

the past while has been a rough time, but its the darkness that jesus came to redeem, it was because of the darkness jesus shone.

my mother has been through great trials, and steve's family has experienced great pain.

both have experienced horrible events, that were never meant to happen.

so often jesus would tell stories taking horrible pain, and showing where God fits in to it all.

we know that God causes no evil, that evil is only the result of separation from God. when we first sinned we left Him, and it's by Jesus' blood that we go home.

my favourite parable is the one of the prodigal son who left home, calling his Father dead, and living a life of sin until he realizes he is hopeless and desolate and returns home to his Father and finds himself once again embraced.

my mom has suffered the fallout of that original sin, the evil and the darkness, and the illness. she has felt the pain of a child far from home, and when she finally passes, she will be fully home. we will suffer the loss, but as we know Jesus can and is wheoever we need. His love is love enough. He is big enough to heal any pain, to satisfy any need. He will not abandon us. He will not leave our side.

the most normal thing imaginable

i so often hear people talk about what sinful and depraved creatures they are, and just as often i hear people talk about how broken and hurting they are... and that's fantastic (?) but also very ignorant. it feels like humility, but is also very proud.

the problem i see is that they love jesus, and believe he's saved them. i cannot be drowning, have someone pull me out of the water, and say "i'm drowning", that's ignorance, that's denying that i have been saved.

i was broken, but i'm whole again.

i can fall back in to the water, but then i can be pulled out again, i can start to fall, but my saviour will pull me back up.

i can still be a hurting person sometimes, but that is only the result of a lack of faith, a separation that still keeps me from being fully in God's presence.

we talk about our sinful disposition as though it were natural, when really, it's not. we were made to be with God, to love God, to love each other, to love unity and all things true, and then we messed up, decided to leave God for that awful tree, and now we live in the fallout.

by no means are we naturally evil. our nature is Good. like God.

the most normal thing imaginable, the most natural thing imaginable is love. we were made in Love's image, we were made whole, and perfect.

i might have a disposition to sin, but a predisposition to greatness in Love.

i can write about pain, and relying on God, and people see this weak person, that needs help, but my Help's already come, he's already saved me, and i know that He is the most normal thing imaginable.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

where are the jelly beans?

Hello my delicious tuna fish. My name is christine, if you buy me a shoelace I will call you my bride. In the soup dish that my flossing machine developed I found a scrumptious picture named car-liscence-plate. My lunchbox missed you the other day when I went to replace the flourescent paint-penguin. “goodbye for now my dear” said the christine to the rhinocerous trunk box. “I will forever cherish our every memory together”. “my toe hurts” I said as I listened for the sound of the speaker. When will the golden tuna fish arrive? I began to wonder as I lay prostrate in the yard. “oh no! the yard sale has begun and I’m so de-composed”. My tongue began to grow numb as the tuna fish began to get closer, I realized I must change the carpets below the fish. So as I mounted the ceiling to shoot gum at the floor, I began to question my motivation. Was I doing this for my tongue or for the fish? Am I the fish or am I me?

This was a question that had been plaguing me long-time. Then my wonderful lunchbox came to me and said who are you?

Who am i? am I the tuna fish? Or am I on the ceiling? Should I take pills? Or should I drive the car?

My wallet then said to me…where are the jelly beans?

I realized I didn’t know. So I drove all the way home in the rain from the ceiling wondering all the way how my car was in my house, and how I could drive home from my house, when all the time I never left the ceiling. My imagination ran wild as I drove… three hours passed before I clued in I hadn’t moved, but yet I was home and my toe was still hurting, and the speaker still blaring and I was in the yard on the ceiling by the fish and my yard sale had started but we had nothing to sell and a thousand people surrounded me and I didn’t really know where I was or who I am, and my tongue was swelling more and more and more and MORE!


Saturday, May 31, 2008

pathetic fallacy

this weekend has been a pretty rough weekend for me, i've been pretty drained by everything going on, but it has allowed jesus to shine brighter than ever in my life.

on thursday one of my favourite guys in this world lost his dad to a work accident. this hit me like a ton of bricks. i had hung out with him and his dad on wednesday and then on friday i get a call saying what's happened.

i hung out with them on friday, and it was one of the most pain-filled times i've experienced. i love that family so much, it hurt to see them like that, and steve's absence was felt greatly.

afterwards it really sunk in, that same friday my mom had a pretty scary episode, and everything seemed very dark. but at the same time i knew there was no darkness. i was constantly aware of a very bright light around me and in me, but it was temporarily clouded.

since thursday we've been having some rough rain, and this morning at my starbucks i had one of the rockiest shifts yet. i was all over the place, not realizing i was working.

then i hung out with my friend chris - a great example of God's love - and i was not at all with it. i was very down, and very quiet (unusual for me). as i drove him home a great wall of water fell from the sky deafening me by the sound of it's crashes. the entire time i was praying for it to leave, and i kept praying that it would leave and let me get home. i turned right on to trafalger to go on to the 407, and suddenly as i got on to the 407 the rain stopped, and i looked over from the ramp. there i saw a great black cloud and below it a huge stream of water falling to the ground, and then above me a great white cloud with the sun peaking out from it.

by this i knew my jesus was with me, i knew that he would care for all of his children.

my favourite plot device to point out is pathetic fallacy. today in the weather, by the light, i knew jesus was with me, i knew he was reminding me that no matter what, He is brighter than any light i've seen. no darkness can win.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


joy is a wonderful thing.

i praise God for it is something he has blessed me with greatly.

some of you might not know but my family is going through a very rough time with my mom. she's not very well. and in this time, jesus has showed up, everywhere.

i am not a happy person, i am not a loving person. and before i knew jesus, i could have never imagined that humans ever had or could have such a capacity for joy. i never knew that i could love in such a way that i care for others, even when it means losing something. i never knew that submission could bring joy, that sweating and bleeding for someone other than yourself could be joy-filled.

jesus is joy, jesus is love, jesus is grace, jesus is everything that is good.

thomas merton gives the idea that just as darkness is the absence of light, so evil is the absence of good, evil is the absence of God. so sin is the absence of good, the absence of God.

i was empty, jesus filled me. i was without joy, without joy, i was angry, i was selfish. jesus filled me.

in my time of need, in my time of pain, and in the pain of my family jesus has brought unity, brought joy, brought friendship. and even though i fail my family sometimes, and even though i cry sometimes, it is only by God's grace, by his amazing love that i can experience great joy, and join in the procession to the temple rejoicing if only for the fact that i am alive, rejoicing that i am loved.

i am loved, i have the joy, jesus is. let us rejoice.

thank you for all your love, and for all those that shine your love in my life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

life is true

as i went in to the weekend, not really looking forward to a long weekend, i had no idea what i was in for.

i went to the movies twice on friday, and saw prince caspian twice.
beautiful, moving, and very encouraging.

i spent all saturday resting, and hanging out with my family, which was a great change of pace.

then sunday, one of the highlights of my week, i went to church.

at the 8 am service we always have the same group, the same friends, and it's great to really get to know them in a setting of 10 or so people. we talked for a solid 40 minutes about our week, and a LOT about prince caspian, and then of course the lesson. but then something else, we started throwing a football around and laughing while we kept listening to this is home over and over again.

then my friend liam looks at me and says some of the most grace-filled words i've ever heard:

"you know what i think?
i think life is really great."

Friday, May 16, 2008


i am a weak, weak person. this i have realized from many failures, many bad decisions, and as a result - i crave power.

this is one of my many weaknesses, that in my weakness i am easily seduced by the thought of being powerful.

today i watched as peter (in the chronicles of narnia) decided to go out and attack the human's fortress.

as he made this decision lucy made the haunting remark:
"have you forgotten who defeated the white witch?"

peter made what felt to be the power-full decision.

i have felt this 'power' and that is where my weakness lies.

when i move too quickly, when i try to go out on my own, when i see opportunities to look good, when i push the gas pedal extra hard, when i show off, when i misuse my gifts, when i take up the sword, or shout, or point out someones flaws, when i play with fire, and when i destroy things without care: i feel powerful.

the rush i feel is pleasure, is excitement, and it's exhilarating, and seductive.

and that's a lie, that's deception
that's no truth.

as a jesus lover, my most basic belief is this: that Jesus is Lord.

and when i believe that i acknowledge that i have no power, i acknowledge that before He found me i was a lonely and paralyzed sheep bleating in the wilderness for a master to come and let me move again.

when i play with fire, when i shoot a spark that ignites a flame that burns and burns and burns, i feel powerful - when really i'm not. for what power would i have over that spark, over that fire if there were no creator involved? what power do i have? it was the Lord who gave life to the spark. i have no power.

it's all a lie, it's all deception.

that 'power' i feel, that rush that i feel is NOT power, it is a deception.

to try and take power that i have never had is to deny that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is ruler over all creation.

when peter went out to fight he forgot who won his battles, much like i could write forgetting who gave me words, much like anyone could forget who gave them breath.

"have you forgotten who defeated the white witch?"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


i've heard it said a lot "you are loved"

i've heard "you ARE loved" "you are LOVED" "YOU are loved" "YOU are LOVED" and even "YOU ARE LOVED" by the more zealous types...

and it seems repetitive and sometimes even a bit boring, unless you know just how incredible those words are.

every human action is looking for love, somehow.

if i try to make someone laugh to encourage, i am acting out of jesus
if i try to make someone laugh to feel good, i am seeking attention, seeking love

i can spend an entire day in a farm doing manual labour, and be seeking love, if i try to please someone, to get good feelings.

if i feel jealous, and act out of jealousy, it's because i am unfulfilled, and i'm looking for love, even if it seems i'm looking for what my friend has.

as long as i'm looking for love, somehow, even if it's a nagging insecurity, i need to hear those words.

as long as i have worries about tomorrow, about who i'm going to see, if my friend will cancel on me, i don't get it.

as long as i'm trying to be someone i'm not, even in the most miniscule way, i NEED to hear the words "you ARE LOVED"

when i realized i am loved, joy abounds, worry fades, friendships prosper - because i'm no longer trying

and when i know i'm loved no action, emotion, worry, or thing can cause me to act outside of love

Thursday, May 8, 2008

my home

all my life i have searched, and hunted, and tried to find a place called home, a place to be loved, and all my actions were spent seeking that place - that love.

my house is not my home, and neither is any building.
my friends have never showed me home, and neither does my heart offer any home.

i am an incomplete person - by myself.

when the pharisees asked jesus what the kingdom of heaven looked like he told the story of a young man who asks his father for his inheritance:

the young man goes to his father and asks for his inheritance, and so his father complies, and the young man leaves home and goes to the city and spends his inheritance on prostitutes and crazy parties. when his money runs out and he finds himself broke, and without food, he realizes the pigs he's feeding have a better life than him. he leaves his job, and decides to go back to his father and ask to be a slave. when his father sees him he runs out to meet him, and invites him back to the house for a great celebration.

when i was searching for a home, i was seeking love, and i found no love in others, or in any building.

i was looking for a father to embrace me and show me home. and when i was eight and accepted jesus, i caught an 8-year-old's glimpse of that home, and when i had some kind of spiritual experience on retreat throughout my youth i also caught brief glimpses of my home, but none of it stuck because i wasn't aware of what i was experiencing.

knowing God is going home.

the reason i never felt at home all around me, the reason i experienced such loneliness all throughout my teenage years was because i wasn't home. i wasn't where i belong because of one thing: heaven is my home, and i have been taken away from that place by a nasty thing called sin - the very thing that builds walls to keep me from my home.

and seeing this my jesus died to bring me home, and show me the kingdom of God can live in my heart.

my name is love

the most recent book i'm reading is the source of many of my ideas.

i am no longer mitchell, that happened a long time ago when i started following jesus.

when i started following jesus, his spirit started living in the new me - Him. as a result, i became Him, and He lived in me. and He is love, so i am Love.

that means that my true nature is love, and only love, no resentment. thinking about law, thinking about morality, and thinking about rules, and rigid religious traditions seems almost alien in the light of the name Love, because all those will be fulfilled by the incredible nature of love i find in my new self.

its not that they are no longer needed, but they should be fulfilled by the new life in me.

in the words of romeo "call me love and i will forsake my name and be new baptiz'd"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

lover of light

so lately i've been realizing something. mainly through a book i'm reading by thomas merton.

through this book, and through another book by a woman named doreen irvine, i've come to realize that most of humanity has a preoccupation with darkness, and all things negative. if i'm talking with someone, i've realized, i'm generally more interested in what's wrong, and what's frustrating than with what's good with their life. if i talk with someone more than likely, we talk about problems with the world, problems with our lives, sin, struggles, not what we're good at, and what God's blessed us with.

"those who live by the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires"

that's a quote from romans 8, one of my favourite chapters of the bible. what does the spirit desire? purity? love? grace, peace, light, joy? how often do we say "wow, God has blessed me with _____, ______, and ____"? not often do we have whole conversations about what our gifts are, and what God has given us. although, i think that would be more in line with what God asks of us.

"whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things"

when i started aspiring to be a lover of the light, i realized how interested i was in the bad, the shortcomings, the sins of others and of myself. but i've realized to look at the light isn't naiive, it's a virtue of God.

he has decided to look at the good in us, the praiseworthy things, and yet i still look at the darkness and sin.

i want to love light. and that is my prayer, that i might call myself a lover of the light, and set my mind on such things.

Friday, May 2, 2008

angry people

lately, i just haven't had the urge to blog, not that i haven't had much to say, just i haven't had much to offer.

that hasn't been good, but i've learned a lot.

something that's been bothering me lately is this: angry jesus lovers

not raging furies, or throwing objects, just people that seem frustrated, and don't know what to do with themselves. i hear them talk about ministries they don't like (guilty), people that don't seem to be following jesus the way they are (guilty at some point - and on another note: who knows how to follow jesus properly? not me), injustice (and not in a "i have something to offer" way).

on another note: i used to be a really angry person, jesus helped me through that, showed me peace, and showed me life, the only thing that really angers me is other peoples anger. it's something i have to work on.

it all seems wierd.

when people get all uptight, frustrated, and angry about injustice, and react with anger it doesn't seem to be the right response.

to get angry about a lack of peace to bring about more peace seems kind of dumb.
on the side of a starbucks cup is written "anger is contagious"

with that being said, will an angry reaction to calm a situation really do anything?
will angry words about injustice cause it to stop?

my interpretation of the bible was that jesus came to bring grace, peace, love and hope to the world, and then, in the ultimate act of love, he shed his blood. this was the redemption of all things.

his solution was not an angry one, was not a frustrated reaction, or outburst of words about what is wrong, but rather a laying down of his life to show love, and bring grace, peace, and hope to the world.

the solution to injustice will never be talking angrily about how wrong things are, it will never be getting angry.

it will be the kind of dedication to justice wherein we find ourselves so in tune with jesus that we are willing to lay down our lives for those in darkness - out of love.

that is shining. be at peace.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

it's been a while

it's been a while since my last blog, and i feel like writing.

thats a lie, i really could care less about writing. it's wierd.
my blackberry broke today, i miss her, i'm stressed out, because i now have no idea where i should be.

but it's really funny to me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

the father

on my darkest day you set me ablaze
found me in the desert curl'd 'neath a stone

held a shield
picked me up
carried me home
gave me water
lit me up
sent me out

all in a moment

you heard the bleating of my heart

quite the friend you are

spring comes

i can't express how beautiful love is

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

love letters

your name here,

i'm sorry, but i have to tell you something:
love is really stupid, but really amazing
seriously, love isn't wanting someone, it isn't doing what you think is right for someone,
and it isn't being jealous by any means, so i'm sorry, but i haven't loved most of you.

and i probably won't love you, so that's nice.

you're quite nice though, and i've been jealous of all your friends, so don't worry about that!

i've also taken the liberty of playing mind games with you, i tried to decide who you are going to hang out with for the next week. that didn't work too well.
i then proceeded to think about how great you are... well, not really, just how important i wish i was to you, so that's sort of the same thing, isn't it???

well, anyway, i've got to go, but i just thought i'd tell you that... well, i don't really care for you that much, i just care about how important you think i am, and so i thought i'd write myself a love letter just to say: i love me.

just in case you wondered

thank you for your time, and willingness to let me manipulate you,

yours truly

my name here

the alien

freedom is not something of this world

i've realized that.

freedom would be ignoring what people say about you.
not reacting in any way when you're accused of something.
not feeling the need to prove yourself
not trying to put people down so that you feel better about yourself
not telling someone why you're doing something wierd because you're afraid they'll judge you
not thinking about what other people are thinking about you
not justifying yourself at every turn

freedom is being who you are when you are
but you see we'll never know true freedom because we've been so burdened by the people around us, and the thoughts they have, and the judgments they're passing that we can barely go one second without making some action dictated by the circumstance we're finding ourselves in...

and it's just so hard to even conceive of making a single action dictated solely by the incredible acceptance, and love of God ... that it makes me want to try all the harder...

jars and sinks and cats

the lonely bathroom sink groaned as it tried to walk to the garage to pick up it's jellymobile. it was an unfortunate day, however, as the cats were literally falling from the sky, trying to avoid hobbling over any of the purple felines the sink made it's way to the garage.

seeing that it was pointless, it decided to do penance for each cat it injured. by the time the sink arrived at the garage it had to whip itself 8 times with the lightning whip. sarcastically alfred (the artistic garage owner) spoke to the sink telling him that the jellymobile was a hopeless case. realizing the situation the sink captured the biggest cat it could find, so that he would have a way to get around Lanstown.

meanwhile crush, the jar was sitting on his shoe and waiting for the hot dog to drive up to take him to the pop shop, but the meat was over 20 minutes late - something that never happens seeing as how the driver is obsessive compulsive, realizing this he hopped on the next vehicle he saw - which happened to be the sink's cat. as crush hopped on the sink turned around and tried to throw him off - but that was pointless as crush had a black belt in capoeira.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


i really haven't felt like blogging in the last few days, sure i've had ideas, and i've been journaling but yeah. i think i was probably the only jesus follower that didn't have a really emotional easter blog, and that might be a good thing for everyone's sake. i saw blood diamond the other day, it goes really nicely with the prophet jeremiah, in case you're looking for a nice pairing, anyway, i don't have anything to say, so i thought i'd speak anyway, don't worry, when i have something good to say i'll title it "good blog" or something other than "blogging".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

trying so hard...

i love the word trying, just because it so incarnates life.

no one wants to be a bad person, yet, i'm a terrible person. not because i want to be, but because i can't help being one.

the amount of effort it takes to live, is huge.

a lot of time being stupid, and trying to avoid sin, instead of trying to live for God

a lot of trying to balance work, friends, and other work

a lot of trying to stay in contact

a lot of trying ... you name it

everything is trying, and there's not much succeeding. and that's not me being hopeless, it's me being hopeful. the fact we're still trying means we have hope that one day something will break through.

i remember a lady i met in guelph saying "as i walked through the labyrinth i realized just how much of life is slogging, trying, trying to get to God, trying to get our reward, trying and slogging along in a busy world, and when i got to the centre of the labyrinth and looked around, i felt so satisfied and fulfilled, and as i sat there, i realized that i eventually had to leave the centre of the labyrinth and slogg all the way back to the beginning, and go back to life. just as the disciples weren't able to stay on the mountain when jesus went in to the clouds, they were able to gaze on the glory of God, but then had to return to life."

when i heard her say those words, i didn't give much to them, but i've come to realize just how hard life is, and how amazing it is that we even survive it. nothing but the grace of God there.

i'm constantly trying things, the little story i wrote was an attempt to break out of rigid mathematical thought patterns, and all i found was that i was using math and logic to figure out what would be unexpected in that story. i'm gonna continue to write those stories out though, and see if i can get freedom there, but i'm doubtful about it.

but man... tomorrow's Good Friday, that's exciting.

franklin the absurd pumpkin

i'll explain why i wrote this in a later blog, it's really selfish:

franklin the absurd pumpkin was on the jelly bean ferris whell, when the unfortunate machine decided to stop. his pet lightbulb pinko arrived on the scene just in time to see the machine break down. "pinko!" the cried out "i left the caramel boiling on the stove at home! go tend to the sugar lest it crystalize!" the lightbulb swam all the way home on hydroway number 72. pinko was the fastest utility on the river. he outswam all the toasters, and all the power sockets - mainly to save the boiling caramel. as pinko was almost home his hopes of saving the caramel from crystalizing were dashed, as he was thrown against a pile of rocks by the undertow. as he floated in the trees, glowing a painful glow he heard countless screams coming from franklin's house, the screams of crystalizing caramel. pinko cried, a painful cry. he felt that he no longer stood a chance of saving the caramel, or ever seeing franklin again. just when he thought everything was lost, a penguin by the name of christopher came alongk, although he turned out to be plush, and not of much use, seeing as being plush, he was as good as a ghost. although, fortunately for pinko, christopher the ghost plush toy, was good for one thing - and that was for getting the distress call to franklin. pinko sent christopher all the way to the jelly bean ferris wheel just to say "frankilin, your mother called earlier on today, she found your teepee burnt to the ground, and a thick layer of crystalized caramel covering the ground nearby, the ground is tainted, and will no longer be useful anymore, you ought to research new land". hearing thast franklin, being stuck on the ferris wheel tore his stem in grief. he then set the entire ferris wheel ablaze with the gasoline in his pocket. that in turn cauzed the entire machine to melt and set all the riders free, or so franklin thought, until he realized that the liquid had solidified, and cemented them to the ground. just then a cherry jelly volcano emerged from the ground and spewed jam all over them, giving them temporary nourishment. life for the riders of the once great jelly bean ferris wheel is no longer the same.

all of the participants now live a very dull life. the entire park has been turned in to an exhibit of the participants, and you can see them for yourself for $10 off of upper middle road in oakville.

oh, and pinko now is plugged in to a power outlet in newmarket, and can't speak anymore because he's almost burnt out.

i didn't like that story much

Sunday, March 16, 2008

a modern manger

this is where i think jesus would be born today

a nice trip

i haven't blogged in almost a week so i just compensated with two other blogs.

this past weekend was an amazing time. saturday was one of the highlights for me. i got to visit a really great family from camp who opened up there house for the day to me. i went snowmobiling for the first time, which was pretty wicked, and i saw some things that really made me think.

i have an obsession with dirty things - that sounds really bad, so let me explain. i love things that are torn down, wrecked, messy (if you've seen my car you know what i mean), broken (like me), and all that jive.

while we were snowmobiling we stopped at an old barn and abandoned house which really stood out to me.

like hamilton

screaming out of that place was a voice as clear as day "this is my house".

when you see a beat up house, an old respectable, but trashy place, you cannot help but wonder what it looked like - before the mold, lime, water damage, snow damage, rust, old furniture, dust, and gross stuff.

i've learned from my church that just as much as god's making all things new in heaven, he wants us to make things new on earth. in that place i had a vision of what that old house should look like.

it needed care, cleaning, love, someone to live there, someone to work on it and take all the garbage out.

i read haggai a few weeks ago while my church was on retreat and i was home, i remember reading "why do you people live in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins", those words still resound, as the curtain tore and god left the temple and entered the world to live in us.

our hearts, our communities, our cities, all lie in ruin like that house, needing cleaning, care, and someone to make a difference.

seeing that house made me realize what i should be doing, instead of sitting at this computer on facebook while blogging.

what i know

i struggle when i hear people trying to prove god's existence.
just because those essays, numbers, facts only confuse, and anger people.

the choice i like is the choice to share what you know. i never found god from someone saying "god's there...he made everything, he loves you", i found god from someone saying "yeah, when i met him everything was better". if someone gave me a tract, quoted scripture to me, or said "BELIEVE" i would've found them hostile when i was doubting.

the thing that changed me was someone telling me about a love they can't explain
a comforter they can't see
a father that listens till he's heard
miracles that don't make sense
and a peace that brings healing

nothing can ever say experience is false. the words "jesus was there for me" can never be taken away from someone

Saturday, March 8, 2008


hope is key not only to survive life, but to making it better.

for me, hope is spring, the promise of warm weather, it's there i see the hope of jesus coming back.

jesus is hope. he freed us by dying, coming back to life and leaving us his spirit to say "i'm coming back, soon". in fact the last words of jesus in the bible are "i am coming soon".

no words have as much hope as those. i am coming

it's that hope that drives change.

any movement, change, revolution, love, must have that hope behind it.
if martin luther king hadn't had hope that his race might be set free, if he hadn't had a vision of a free nation, he wouldn't have done anything

he had that vision that his people might be set free.

all of jesus' movements on earth were made to bring hope in to a desolate world ruled by sin and destruction

God sending his son is his way of saying "here's the hope to start you off".

any action we make on this earth must have that same hope behind it.
if i don't have hope that there's something more, well, i'd die.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

in the countryside

last night my bible was open to john 3 and there i found something i needed to hear

jesus and his disciples left jerusalem and went in to the countryside where he started baptizing people in water

that verse caught me, i read before it, but didn't get it, i read after it, and this was what i found:

john was baptizing people in a nearby river when his disciples came to him and said "the one you call messiah is baptizing people on the other side of the river, more people are going to him than to us"
and john replied to them saying "my job is only to point them towards the one called messiah, he is the one who should baptize them, he must grow more and more, and i must grow less and less"

that's a paraphrase, but you get it. jesus was doing the baptizing, and john was doing the pointing, if someone came to him, he would baptize them, always doing it in God's name. but rather than running to jesus saying "here let me help you with that!" he said "i'll wait here, and direct people to God, God knows how to baptize people himself"

as a human i naturally want to be involved, be on the frontline, saving people, but that's not my job, my job is to point people to God, prepare the way for God, not save their souls myself, i don't have that power. i've found sometimes i try to take that power, but my only power is to say "you are forgiven because jesus loves you, and has saved you." and to say "jesus has rescued me countless times from death, from sin, from myself, and he wants to do the same for you"

as i direct people to God, i must become less and less, and let jesus be more and more.

my problem is, i always want to be more. but that's not my place.

i dunno

i'm kind of all over the place right now.

i'm someone who would say i love jesus if anyone ever asked. but a lot of the time i'm asking for things.
"help me develop a better relationship with this person"
"let me be able to do this"
"this is what i need"

when really, in all honesty, those are probably the things i need the least.

if i'm to the point that i want to be friends with someone, or want to be able to do something, or feel like i need something, then whatever it is i'm asking for, has power over me, instead of God having power over me.

if i say "i need a pony" and obsess over it to the point i'm asking God for that pony, then the pony has become a point of obsession, and it's something i need to let go of before i get that pony. i'm putting so much time and effort in to that pony that i'm giving more time and effort, and power to the pony in my life, than God.

i think a more substantial prayer would be "God, give me what i need, and fill my soul with an abundance of life"

one of the desert fathers said "when i pray, i keep it simple, a few words, it's more honest that way, my most common prayer is 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me' and if things get really difficult, i resort to 'help me' that is how i pray"

i'm really bad at that, i like to talk a lot... so it goes more around the lines of "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me... i'm a wreck, help me to do me to be more like this... this is what i'm doing wrong... i need this... and this... and this... and this... and this person's awesome... i want to be better friends with them... helpme to love more... be more like you... i'm really bad at this... this is something i do well at... give me the opportunity to do this... to use this strength... " and by the time i'm done with praying... i've said about 20 gazillion words... so much for simple.

but hey, God can use anything.

Monday, March 3, 2008


i'm making all things new

the ominous words of God ring out in the book of revelations.
i had to write it like that.

you see:
jesus comes to restore, save, and bring life. throughout the whole bible God is an artist, a creator, someone who brings something new, something beautiful in to being. the first way we see God is as a creator, a sculptor, making earth, and not stopping until it's all good, it's all perfect, until it's all beautiful.

that's the first characteristic we learn about God.

then we screw things up, and it's God to the rescue to restore what was broken.

i don't know much about art, but i do know this: it's about beauty, aesthetics, stuff God understands better than me.

as a follower of jesus, i'm supposed to reflect those characteristics of God, one of which is beauty. we sing songs of God's beauty, we talk about it and all that jive, but we don't get that it's all around us.

God made a perfect world, it was his intent to have everything in harmony, when adam ate that fruit, he screwed everything up, and the world was no longer perfect. but the beauty wasn't gone. it's still there, it's still in everything,'s harder to find, and our job is to find that beauty, to work for that restoration, to make things new again.

it's like restoring an old painting.
it's faded, chipped, a bit damaged, there's an old frame, but the painting is still there, it's still got the beauty in it, just it needs work, it needs some new paint, some touch up work, some varnish for the frame, maybe some faux wood, it probably needs to be dusted...

we all have some artistic gift, some way to bring about further beauty in this world.

some people are gifted musicians, others are painters, some are sculptors, others are photographers. me, i'm a writer, a speaker, i try poetry sometimes, i do whatever i can. in all honesty, i'm not an 'artistic' person at all.

my friend randy is a gifted artist, bothe with music, verse, and his artwork. it all harmonizes, it's incredible.

another friend of mine: kie, he's a gifted musician, but he's also amazing at helping others unlock their musical abilities, furthering beauty in the world.

my aunt meanwhile, can take any old antique and restore it to it's old glory.

all these things are participating in God's creation and recreation.

i'm making all things new is a call for us to take what we're given, and use it to participate in the creation of a new earth.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

bad things, good people

ever since i was in grade 8 the question of "why do bad things happen to good people?" has resonated with me.

the easiest answer i ever received, the most understandable answer i ever got, was "because 6000 years ago two people ate a fruit that allowed them to judge good and evil, as a result the world, and the people in it, were broken, and separated from God"

yea, sweet. i get that. but what if there's more?

i was just lying down for a nap, and i got to thinking:

what if bad things happen to good people to make them better? what if 'good things' really aren't that good?

say i won a million dollars...wicked. i would probably become greedier, and more materialistic.

say my sister was killed by someone in hamilton, i would probably work towards creating a better hamilton, fueled by greater passion.

which one makes me a 'better person'?
a piece of scripture that's resonated with me lately is the part where jesus goes out to the desert. he spends forty days in the desert fasting, being tempted by satan. and after that, he leaves with greater stature and confidence. he leaves stronger, better in his faith.

my mom's had cancer since last march or so, and she's rapidly getting better. it's a crappy thing to go through, but she has so much more wisdom as a result. she is praying more, helping people more, learning that everything is a gift, and she loves jesus more than ever. her goal is to go back out and help anyone she can by sharing the story of what she went through. my mom got told she had at most 7 years to live in june, and now she's going to have a full recovery. life hurts, but it's making her better, it's refining her, the 'bad thing' that happened in her life, has made her a 'better person'.

jesus went in to the desert and endured great hardship, but in the process he was refined.
jesus endured more pain and suffering than anyone else, and yet, he was the only perfect person, the only pure person ever to live - granted, he was God in the flesh.

all of the disciples were persecuted, hung, crucified, hunted, put in jail, and they were better people for it.

what if bad things happen to make good people 'gooder'?
what if bad things happen to make us love more?

if i think about what has shaped me as a person, when i consider what has made me love harder, and brought me closer to God, i don't think of when i got my ps2 in grade 10, i think of the destructive relationship i used to have with my dad. i think about all the addictions i've fought, i think of all the times i cried, and realized that i should be screaming to God with all my heart the words "help me".

i think jesus is a lot more present in those times we cry out.

in fact, i think jesus takes those bad things, and redeems them.

what if we could learn from every bad thing that happens to us?
what if we could be a better person as a result?
what if we took every bad thing that's thrown at us, and said "jesus, take this, and make me better, take this, and make it yours, take me and make me more like you"?

i think we'd have a lot more truth.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

in your weakness

may i be constantly aware of my state of brokenness that in my brokenness, in my weakness - the root of humility - your peace, and your strength might reign o'er me

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


something on my heart right now is words.

there's the word, jesus, the bible you know.
the bible is something close to my heart. it's encouraged me, helped me, guided me, restored me, healed me, taught me, shown me jesus, and oh SO much more. i've read it, prayed it, loved it, been annoyed by having to hear and read it again in sunday school... etc... and for a while... it was a burden to have to read it. but now i see it... wow, it's been there, on my bed, on a screen, and wherever i need it whenever i need it - whenever i need that restoration.

but here's the thing:

so often it hurts

it's been used for so much bad - to get more money, to persecute homosexuals, abortionists, black people, to start wars, to support conservative government

and i've always ignored that.
the world is so far gone that we see even God's word, being distorted, twisted and abused.

in luke 10 we see satan tempting jesus by quoting scripture saying "see God will protect you, jump off this cliff"
but jesus knew better, he knew the whole story.

but the point is, that yea we're human, and the bible was written by humans, but God is so intentional that what we've received is what he intended us to receive.

in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us...full of grace and truth


the Word made flesh, crucified, resurrected, ascended, and incarnated through the accounts of four men, and one guy writing imprisoned and oppressed.

the thing is unless we realize the purpose of the bible - the word made flesh then word again - we don't have the Word, we have words, and those are fallible.

the problem was never the bible. i read a few days ago a quote by edwin muir

the fleshless word growing will bring us down


Monday, February 18, 2008

a light metaphor

something i have a hard time with is winter.

most of my family has something called sad, which basically means seasonal affective disorder. as the days get shorter, their bodies miss the sunlight, and it causes something like a temporary state of depression.

i've inherited that, and sometimes it sucks. though something that's easy to lose sight of is jesus, and the fact that he's not changing any time soon.

something that has great significance to me, as a result, is light.

when i think of spring coming, i get excited, because that means the days are getting longer, the light is winning.

when i think about darkness, i think about the source of sadness, the pain it can cause, and then i realize just how significant jesus calling himself the light is.

he's the source of all joy, and brings grace and peace in to the depths of darkness, and restores the light.

the sun rising each day is a testimony to jesus' triumph.

i dunno, just a few thoughts. i haven't blogged in a while.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

giving up control

i am a huge control freak. by that i don't mean i try and control everyone elses lives, but my own.

i have a schedule.

i seem spontaneous, but only on my own accord. i'll change my schedule in an instant, but someone else changing it? oh no.

the thing is, all the time i talk about surrendering to God, and letting God control your life, and i usually think i do let him do that, but i really don't think i do at all. hm.
i love God, and i trust him, i think.

i think the true mark of faith is fully surrendering, but if i "have to" keep control, then i'm not really surrendering.

it's wierd, i'm thinking about freedom, and control, two very different things.

freedom is thought about as having nothing burdening you, and then it leads on to being able to do whatever you want, freedom from the weight of sin is another.

being able to do whatever you want is a point of control... so i would probably right now say my addiction to control is keeping me from being free, something i just realized is that i need to give up control in order to be free, that seems ironic.

give up control to have freedom.

that seems counterintuitive.

wanting control, is still wanting, not being free. holding on to for your not being free.

being free is having nothing holding you back, having no bonds with anything but God, and being who you were meant to be - sans sin.

control is actually working against freedom so long as it's in human hands.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

alive, alive. alive!

but then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and i shambled after as i've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people who are for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'awww!'

that kind of person makes me feel alive, and at the same time, convicted. those are the people we gravitate to, the ones who give us a purpose and let us know we are human.

what's different about them?

they are experiencing and embracing the moment. i could go all "existential" and talk about them finding purpose in every moment, but that's not what i want to say.

those people are the ones who shine like stars, the ones who shine. the other night i read a passage about a lamp, on a stand. the lamp doesn't move, it just shines and shines and shines. same goes with us, we're in this place right now, why not just shine?

Friday, January 11, 2008

i want to be free

i want to be free

i want to experience freedom.
not the no-more-rules-type fake freedom we all imagine when we're six - but a different kind.

the kind of freedom i'm talking about is freedom from my self.

freedom from my compulsions, insecurities, fears.

if i had no fear of being judged, if i wasn't afraid of what people would think, what would my life look like?

i would probably dance a lot more... spend a lot less time thinking about what i'm going to wear (yeah... i do spend a lot of time doing that, just ask chrystal)

if i weren't always trying to live within social constructs then maybe i might be who i really am.

its hard to explain.

society tells me that when i'm steaming milk to make a caramel macchiatto, it's not 'normal' to play frisbee while doing a handstand... but if i were free from what society tells me, then i probably would do just that.

what holds me back from calling the shed in my backyard a secret fort and inviting all my good friends over for secret meetings and then buying a dog (who in our mind is our guard wolf) named magnus, and then digging as far in to the ground as i can to find treasure? the fact that society calls 18-year-olds who do that crazy.

i want to be free of that. i don't like that at all.

i hear all the time "the only opinion that matters is god's"
but no one lives like that. no one lives as though that is true in their life.

i have never met someone who is free. someone who doesn't care what anyone thinks, and is willing to be completely free.

i said "willing to be completely free" because, i know it's a choice.

if i chose to stop caring completely i could experience freedom, but at the same time, i'm unwilling to choose to do that, because i'm so scared, and that fear traps me.

i want to be free.

i just haven't figured out how i'm going to do that.

how i'm going to be who i really am.

god's set me free, but i haven't experienced that freedom. sometimes when i dance as hard as i can, or wear a sailor's hat in my car, i feel a brief sort-of freedom, but then people's opinions start to matter, and i start to change my actions, and try to justify my actions with words and my taste of freedom is over.

i want to be free.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

new years

this year i've decided that i don't have a new years resolution, but i do have a goal.

i want to realize as much of life as possible.

emily gibbs after her death says:

"do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every, every minute?"

this after trying to go back and share her newfound zest for life with her family.

emily made me realize i'm just as ignorant as her family.

when i talk about life's beauty and 'realizing life' i'm talking about living in the moment; appreciating the moment - the sights, smells, food, colour, taste of everything in that moment.

the reason paintings, pictures and movies are so popular, is that they capture what it's like to exist at a given point in time.

why do we like them? -- they do what we don't. they capture, and so realize a moment in time. they let us realize life after we live it, much like we do when we reminisce.
when we reflect on our lives, we romanticize our experiences, and when we do that we finally realize and appreciate those minutes we failed to realize when we lived them.

there's a series of pictures my friend jeanette took of us on a bridge. to someone looking at those pictures all they are is jeanette on a misty bridge, and mitchell on a misty bridge. but to me, they're so much more:
jeanette and me went on a walk through downtown hamilton with the intent of capturing pictures of hamilton's beauty, but the day we chose was one of the coldest days i can remember. it was close to zero with high winds and freezing rain, we walked maybe two hours - me not wearing a coat and her telling me "mitch, wear your coat!". multiple times i borrowed her gloves because i couldn't stand the cold anymore, and then her batteries died, so each picture we took we had to turn the camera on and hope the camera would stay on long enough to take the picture, this bridge, we bought batteries just to take the pictures of us on the bridge. and then i had to make sure we were both on the right spot of the bridge so that it looked cool. then when i went to take the picture of jeanette on the bridge, i took it from multiple vantage points. so for me, each one of those pictures has a memory, a moment that's significant to me.

there's another picture that i just saw of me jumping on a trampoline with my friend, i hadn't seen that picture before, and it brought back all these memories of us hanging out going for hikes early in the morning, the smell of summer air. and then us anticipating our time at camp.

it's not about saying "oohhh that looks nice". when you look at a picture it's about realizing just how special that moment was: remembering how you felt, what it was like to be there, the friends you had and the times that you had.
it's about going back and living in those moments.

my goal this year, is to live in this moment, and realize life while i'm living it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


wonderful day.

spent it with family of sorts.

most of you know i haven't had the best luck with cars... five accidents, three transmissions or something like that in a car hasn't spent much time on the road, although i did 26000 km in less than a year, which is pretty impressive. all that is behind me - my new years resolution was to keep my car on the road, or something like that.

yesterday i got in my car at 4 am to go to work, and then i see a flash at my feet and hear my loud heater die down. that was a sickening moment. so i drove to work as usual, just with my gloves on.

everyone knows that when i really want to do something and there's an obstacle in my way, i'll do it anyway. that's how it was today:
i had planned on hanging out in newmarket today with chris and my friend becel (jordan). i was really looking forward to nothing was going to stop me - not even the -12 degree weather.
i get on the road to go to chris' house and my antifreeze starts freezing on my car window (just a bit discouraging) but i rough it out, and by the time i pick chris up my toes are numb... and we still have an hour to drive. we tough it out (and stop at a rest place to pee and warm our feet), finally we end up at jordan's and go inside. of course our plan from the start was to go toboganning so we went for about 10 minutes and got cold. we spent the rest of the day at the mall and in his basement watching camp dvds and looking for where's waldos - not for waldo himself, but for the book; there were none on the shelf.

one of the highlights of the day was when we pulled out of the driveway at about 530 (-15 outside) to go for dinner with a friend, and the car fogged up completely, we scrubbed and scraped but couldn't see for the life of us. we then go inside and hang out a bit longer, and make plans to hang out some more. his family was great, they fed us, and were fun to be around. then chris and me leave to face the cold dark roads of newmarket. we try a new plan - lighting candles on the dashboard to make more heat... it was lots of fun playing with the fire and fog, but they just made little circles of visibility, so we blow them out and appreciate the birthday-like smell and decide to "just drive". that was interesting. its snowing by this point, and we still have lots of fog, so as a result we get on the 400 north, and as we see a sign saying "20 km - Barrie" chris looks at me and says "oh no..."

our hearts sank, and i just about gave up. we pulled off at the next exit and sat in our car going "nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" chris got out and cleaned the windshield and scraped off the frozen antifreeze while i called my mom to ask her to pray for us. chris got back in and we prayed again. we got back on the road and made sure to get on the 400 south.

a nicer moment was when a guy stopped beside us because he saw we were in trouble and offered help. i liked him very much.

then we started to go, and finally passed newmarket and started making progress. although our toes were very cold, chris was in my sleeping bag at this point shivering. he was awesome. never complained, just shook a lot. as trucks would drive by and splash muddy slush on our windows we would periodically pull off to clean the windshield by hand, until we mastered the spray and wipe technique, tough to explain, but it worked.

we then stopped at a rest stop to warm up. we got hot chocolates and wendys, and reflected on an amazing day.

when we got home we just smiled.

i can't imagine a better day.

i think my favourite moment was when chris said something around the lines of "isn't it great? we can see the cars in front of us!!!!!"

he really meant it. i was feeling the same way.