It’s a Canadian Youth Ministry Podcast! Episodes begin January 11th! New episode every two weeks. Also available on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.
A Canadian youth ministry podcast? How did that get started???
This past October, on the deck of a camp building in the middle of nowhere in Grey County, Ontario, on a cold and rainy morning for which I was not dressed for the weather, something dawned on me. I was deep in discussion with a friend from college; it was one of those impromptu chats that are so engaging that I forgot the cold wind blowing through my t-shirt, reminding me of the coat which I had just on the other side of the lodge’s heavy double doors. My friend, Mike, is a youth pastor in Barrie, and I was speaking at his youth retreat. That morning, we found ourselves on the porch, deep in discussion about youth ministry, the Church, discipleship, and the challenge of ‘competing’ with bigger churches with more money and flashier programs.
Act I – Volunteering with Youth For Christ in Strathroy
Act II – Volunteering with YFC in Cambridge
Act III – On staff with YFC in Cambridge
Act IV – On staff with YFC in…
Many times in my life, I’ve been at a crossroads, a meeting of ways, and had no idea which direction to take. How do I know what the right choice is? If I’m a Christian, how do I know what God wants me to choose?
What if God doesn’t want to give me a big sign? What if faith isn’t always asking God for a miraculous answer? What if we’re getting it all wrong?
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who recently celebrated 70 years of marriage, once said, “If a man opens the car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” There’s a nugget of truth in this joke: novelty fades in marriage as much as anything else.
On Saturday, May 14, 2016, a cloudy, blustery, and unseasonably cold day, I married the woman of my dreams. As my wife and I prepare to celebrate our first anniversary, I have found myself reflecting on how we’ve grown and what has changed in our relationship.
I don’t think Jesus was humble. I really don’t. If I met him today, humble is probably not something I would take away as a first impression. Now, before you start quoting Philippians 2:6-8 or Romans 15:3 to me, let me explain. I believe that our understanding of humility is so skewed that, were we to meet Jesus, many of us would come away saying that he was arrogant and presumptuous. Why do I think that? I’m glad you asked!
How do I know if the person I’m with is the one I’m supposed to marry? Or, to Christianize it, how do I know if this person is God’s pick for me? What if I make a mistake? What happens if I miss the person that God is preparing for me? How do I know?
In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj struggles with this same question. He has been dating Emily for a while, but another girl walks into his life that he is drawn and attracted to. Should he break up with his girlfriend and pursue a new relationship?
“Anytime the world sees you as just one thing, it’s exhausting, because you aren’t just one thing, and it’s very difficult to have to constantly meet someone’s expectations. Someone’s simplistic, less than complexly-human definition of personhood, is exhausting to have to live inside.”
– John Green
There’s an unavoidable, honest, deep-felt sigh that follows when someone finally says, “You look tired.” It’s as if your soul, delighting in being finally uncovered, joyously betrays the ‘I’m good’ lie you just spoke in obligatory reply to the ‘Hello’ with which you were greeted. Our personal rat-races are built on such deceptions – meant to convey sincerity and care, but mostly just regulated to the realm of polite, social etiquette.
Productivity, my Stockholm lover;
Verily, your name is weariness.
This past week, I spent four days on a Spiritual Retreat. That might sound super lofty, but it was really just four days alone at a Christian retreat centre. I’m blessed to have a job that gives me spiritual retreat days every year, but this is the first time I’ve used them.
I had one main goal when in going: to reconnect with Jesus. God spoke to me back in March, informing me that I neither loved Him nor understood His love for me. Wow. That was a shocker. Like, hit-you-between-the-eyes shocker. Jesus can be a no-holds-barred kinda guy at times. So my hope was to rekindle that divine romance (and avoid a few more punches).
They say that opposites attract. And usually when ‘they’ say that, they mean in romance. But is it really such a good idea to find ‘your opposite’ for a relationship? Are we really attracted to people who are different from us, or actually those with whom we have more in common?