Tuesday, March 31, 2009

day off

It seems like I always have a list 40 miles long for my days off, and no matter how hard I try I can never seem to make a dent in it. I actually did better than usual today. I picked up the car from the garage, I dropped my wife and my laundry off at my grandma-in-laws house and went off to a not-job-interview which went extremely well. I bought a book, I rented (fostered) some kittens, I bought a pizza, I ate the pizza (best part) I dropped Sarah off at her bible study, I set the kittens up in their temp home, I went downtown to collect some money I was owed, I picked Sarah up from bible study, dropped off the car at my parents and came home. Sounds like I did a lot, but my house is still a disaster. The cat got into the toilet paper, the dishes haven't been done in days, there is still laundry ALL over the bedroom floor.

When do I become a grown up again? oh yeah, it's happened. this is as good as it gets. How did my parents do it?

10 ways to love God (part 4)

Exodus 20:15
15 "You shall not steal."

Seems easy doesn't it? Just keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times and you should be okay, right? Well, sort of. We seem to have developed a strange sense of entitlement in our country where we can justify thievery. And you can steal just about anything now too, so much more than when this verse was written. You can steal cars, bikes, satellite signals, movies, internet, video games, music, the list goes on! It seems the more tech savvy we get as a species the more inclined we become to steal things. And we have a strange justification process that we go through, "I deserve to take this because..." (insert pretty much whatever reason you want.) I am not innocent of this either, I used to work for a movie store and I would get hungry or thirsty in the middle of my shift and feel entitled to have some pop or candy. I of course wasn't the only one on staff doing this. One other employee had an affinity for Dr. Pepper, one night during inventory the store manager looks at the inventory results and asked (in a very stressed out voice) "How are we missing 46 Dr. Peppers!?"

I try my best not to steal anymore, but I find I'm still tempted some times. It's the thrill of thinking you can get away with it. Luckily, I've never been caught.

I'm noticing a recurring theme withing the commandments. Stealing, like coveting, comes down to a trust issue. To steal isn't only wrong because you are taking something that doesn't belong to you, it's also wrong because you are telling God "I don't trust you to provide for me, so I'll take it myself."

Jeremiah 17:11
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
is the man who gains riches by unjust means.
When his life is half gone, they will desert him,
and in the end he will prove to be a fool.

God calls us to a life of faithfulness and integrity. We are to be Christs ambassadors on earth.
In Matthew 7:16 it says;
"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?"

in Titus 2:10 it says;
"and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive."

It comes down to this, if we are doing things like stealing, no matter how small the gain or how innocent it may seem, then we are not being an effective representation of the love of Christ. So remember, we are not a people who steal, we are a people who trust in the Lord. So try and have good fruit on your trees ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Expensive and Obsolete

I'm having a good day today (I think). It's hard to tell lately. There seems to be a general sense of doom that burns in my soul, but I'm trying not to get bogged down by it. I worked today, I hate working Sundays. I hate working everyday to tell you the truth. It's not so much that I have to work, it's just the work I'm doing. I haven't actually done my job in several weeks now, every time I go into work they have me working on the sales floor. What's more is other people are doing the job I should be doing, which makes me obsolete. I am also paid more than any other non-management employee in the store, and the combination of being expensive and obsolete concerns me, but I am trusting God to protect me and lead me to a new job. I have a not job interview with the CBOQ (Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec [i think that's what it stands for...]) to talk about whether or not I am ready to enter into ministry. There aren't any jobs available currently, but they will keep me on the radar. There is a need for youth and worship ministry, but not a lot of churches have the infrastructure or the budget to accommodate that kind of position. At this point however, if there is a church that needs a janitor AND a youth pastor, I would jump at that and do both. In the meantime I am looking elsewhere. I think I would like to work at starbucks, I like coffee, I've worked in a coffee shop before and it's actually a lot of fun. We will see what happens. Either way, I need to turn my thoughts and my efforts to God and dedicate my work, whatever my work too him. That is where I will draw my joy.

Romans 12:1-2
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Blood Money (part 2)

So my moral dilemma turned out to be a non issue as there was not enough people at the show to even total the amount of money promised to me. How much did I get paid you ask? The answer is this:reimbursement for the tickets I had paid to have printed. Nothing else. Not even gas. Oh well, live and learn.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blood Money

Although the title of this blog is a little intense, I feel it is mildly apt. I am a musician, I do musiciany things including playing concerts. I was approached by one of my contacts (of somewhat less reputable commendations) to play an out of town show. They wanted me to handle the promotions aspect of the show because I have my own promo company. I told them that I would be willing to do some promo stuff for the show, but not all seeing as how I'm at a geographical disadvantage. The agreed upon price for the show was $200, which is one of the higher sums I've been payed to play a show, especially since it's a solo gig I won't have to split it with any other musicians. Although I'm not entirely looking forward to playing the show, I am enticed by the money, $200 bucks for 45 minutes work is not bad at all, and up until last night I had no qualms accepting the money. Sarah told me however that she doesn't want me to take it. She doesn't trust this guy either, thinks I shouldn't have agreed to play the show... I have to play the show because I'm a man of my word, but now I don't know whether or not to take the dough. Until last night the money was the only thing making this venture worth while. I don't know what to do. We're hard up for cash, but Sarah won't eat any food bought with this money, or live in an apartment payed for by this money. If I accept the money am I forfeiting my integrity? Or am I just a musician looking to get payed? I don't even want to play the show anymore... cut my losses and go, but I already said I would play. Stupid morals...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I just realized I advertise this blog as talking about movies, music and God, and so far it's been all God and no movies or music. Soooo, Foo fighters are the best band in the world, I saw Taken (4 out of 5), Watchmen (3 out of 5) and He's Just Not That Into You (4 out of 5), be on the lookout for bands called the Broadcast, The Phone Booth Criminals and metheus Bound, the next three best bands in the world. anyway, there you go.

10 ways to love God (part 3)

Exodus 20:16
16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

What does that mean exactly? To me it always inspired thoughts of a court room, and perhaps in part it does refer to that, but I get the feeling it goes so much deeper than that. When you get right down to it this verse is referring to false testimony, slander, lying, deception and well, dishonesty in general. Old testament justice, in cases of courtroom false testimony would punish the liar in the way the accused would be punished as we can see in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 19:16-19
16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.

Pretty serious stuff. In Proverbs it says this;

Proverbs 19:5
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who pours out lies will not go free.

I am the worst with lying. I love it, and I think I'm pretty good at it. What I don't love is the after effects. We all lie, and anyone who says they don't lie is probably lying to you at that very moment. and why? Why do we lie? We know what trouble it will get us into, we all know the stress, the having to tell more lies to cover the one small lie we just told. I mean, come on, this is sesame street stuff. We learned this when we were 5! Let's watch some veggie tales and see how Larry Boy deals with a lie.

But why is lying bad? What about it is harmful? It all comes back to trust. If you are lying it means you have probably done something unrighteous and you want to cover it up. When your heart is set on righteous things and you trust in God to put a righteous want in your heart then you have nothing to hide and honesty becomes easy. However when you start lying, you remove your trust from God and place your trust in your lie to keep you secure.

Isaiah 28:15
15 You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death
and have made a deal to dodge the grave.
The coming destruction can never touch us,
for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.”

Revelation 3:17
17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

Lying is a problem, especially for me. God has been doing a work in my life lately and I feel I can not lie anymore. Every time I do lie, I feel sick until I come forward and tell the truth. If you can, stop lying as soon as possible, because one day you may receive the same call to honesty as me, and then you will have to be honest about all the lies you've told over your lifetime. And the people you come clean to will be your wife, your friends, your parents, your boss, basically anyone you've been dishonest too. That can damage relationships, and make things quite awkward for a while. However after the awkwardness passes, I'm sure you'll find your relationships are ten times better than they ever were before.

Ephesians 6:10-11
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

If you trust in lies, then your heart is not with God. So trust in the Lord, don't succumb to the temptation of lies, be strong and courageous and love the Lord your God with all your heart.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm depressed. I always get depressed when the seasons change due to a handy little illness called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D. get it? it's funny! like a crying clown!) I thought I had escaped it this year... I actually thought my depression was cured because I haven't felt it in so long, but it's back. It hit me hard too, I feel like I've been trying so hard to fight it off but it finally caught up with me.

Psalm 34:18
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

It's amazing how one can feel so happy and yet so abysmally sad at the same time. I'm ecstatically happy because Jesus is my Lord and savior, God lives, and he lives in me, I'm married to the most beautiful woman in the world and I have a generally great life. And then I have this other feeling, this meaningless emptiness. I feel like someone left the tap on without putting the plug in the drain. There's lot's of water going in, but just as much flowing out.

With depression comes the want to do things that are self destructive. Probably the worst of these things is the want to stay depressed. It's so easy to get comfortable with your depression. It becomes your friend, it's reliable, it's dependable. Eventually however it becomes you god.

Proverbs 17:22
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Those words ring true. I will remain vigilant however, I will trust in the Lord, I have no god but God.

Romans 4:18-22
18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."[a] 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."

and so I hold true to this promise from Isaiah and hope that it will be credited to me as righteousness

Isaiah 9:2
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death [a]
a light has dawned.

10 ways to love God (part 2)

Exodus 20:17
17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

When I was 17 years old, my friend rented a very nice guitar from Long and McQuades. If I remember correctly it was an Ibanez hollow body blues guitar with the burnt ash finish and the humm-bucker pickups that made her sing like a crying fairy. She was beautiful, and at the time I don't think I'd ever held a nicer instrument. The best part about it was my friend (the renter) did not actually play the guitar, so he lent it out to all of us guitar guys. Holding this guitar was like holding a muse, I must have pumped out 15 songs on that baby. Around the time that my turn was over I was trying to figure out who to lend it to next. I turned to my friend Reg and asked "Hey man, you wanna borrow it?" I was expecting a resounding "YES!" but the answer I got shocked me. "No," he said "I think if I had it I would covet it." I took a step back. I had heard of coveting girls, oxes and donkeys, but never guitars. That was the first time I had ever really thought about what that commandment was really talking about. It wasn't so much about infidelity or ox wanting as much as it was about being to focused on material things.

In Proverbs 13:4 it says "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."

Not coveting seems to be more than just being satisfied with what you have, it also seems that when you set your sights on God's desires the things you want will shift from material things, to more righteous things.

I have a real problem with coveting, I love that butterfly feeling I get thinking about my next purchase, or wanting to increase my lot in life. I love longing for things in the future, or planning out what I want to do with what and when. That's bad news for me, as we see in Luke when Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, in which a man spends all his time making his barns bigger so that he can store more grain for himself and be better off, and when it's finally finished his life is demanded of him. That's not to say it's wrong to have a five year plan, or that we shouldn't save money or anything like that, I think it's more of a warning against spending all of your time worrying and dreaming about things that you can't necessarily control. In Matthew 6:25-26 it says

25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important that clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

And in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 it says

10Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. 11As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?

When we trust in God to provide for us what we need, and not necessarily what we want, then we are showing him our faith, our trust and our Love. When we spend our time worrying about how to further the kingdom, and less about how to further ourselves, we are showing love to God. So remember, the commandment, being terms of service for the Christian and Jewish faith, we are not a people who covets the things of the world around us. We are a people who trust in God, and therefore show him love.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blah days

I had a big blah day today. It started off great, I got to spend the morning with my sweetheart, we ate eggs and potatoes for breakfast before I headed off to work. I have been getting less and less shifts lately, and the ones I have been getting are awkwardly spaced out so that I work for a few days, then have three days off, then work for one day, then have three more days off, then work for another few days, then have sporadic days off the following week. Combine that with my stomach flu that I had last week and I feel like I haven't been to work in almost a month. Today I was told that I need to bring a doctors note each time I'm sick, no matter how ill, or how short or long my leave is, I need to bring one in. This irked me, not that I'm not sick a lot, or not that I wouldn't necessarily even request the same thing if I were the manager and I had a frequently sick employee (mind you I always went with a 3 day or more doc. note policy) but simply I feel like I have been there long enough to have the content of my character displayed. I honestly don't think I have faked an illness to play hooky since high school, and even then I wouldn't so much fake as just leave. (I turned 18 early, it came with some inherent benefits) The fact that they took me aside to tell me this was an attack on my integrity, the fact that it took them a week to tell me that was embarrassing on both ends. Fighting the urge to shove my fingers down my throat and vomit all over one of the $3000 couches and hand my boss a "doctors note" that read "I QUIT!" I silently brooded in my anger and dreamed of the day I would be released from this probationary upscale hell hole. On my break, in an attempt to calm my anger I was flipping through the psalms. There was a lot of talk about wing shadows and enemies vanquished and praises to the Lord, but I was too angry for it to mean anything. Sometimes the third degree I get from my boss will make me question whether I am actually good at my job or not. I'm constantly affirmed however through satisfied customers, and I feel like I'm doing an honorable days work in the sight of the Lord, and even the managers there have said that they have mistaken my nonchalant attitude for laziness (apparently I need to be pulling my hair out and screaming to be an effective CSR)

I don't know where this blog is going. I just feel so frustrated. I read through a quarter of psalms today, honestly, like 40 chapters. Sometimes (and especially on days like today) I feel so hungry for God that I have to devour the word like a fat kid on so much birthday cake, and yet on days like this one it doesn't help. I feel like David, crying out "HOW LONG OH LORD!" but I'm screaming it to the empty walls inside my brain! I feel like my anger is separating me from God, and that makes me angrier which tears me further from him! And yet when all my anger and energy is expended I know he'll be the first voice I hear, BUT IT"S SO FAR AWAY at this point. Here is a good bible verse that pretty much describes how I feel today, a bit over dramatic, but that's the David we've all come to know and love. cheers.

Psalm 13

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

10 ways to love God (part 1)

In Matthew, a man asks Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus answers that the greatest commandment is to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This of course is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:5. Now to the uneducated ear (that being mine) I always then assumed that must have been the first of the ten commandments, this of course is not so. The first commandment is to not have any other gods before God. A friend of mine explained to me also that the term commandment is somewhat of a mistranslation, the Hebrew word used is Aseret ha-Dvarim (or Aseret ha-Dibrot) which means "the ten terms" and the way they are outlined in the Hebrew text is not so much "You shall not" but rather "you do not". Instead of a command, these ten things are a reminder of who these people are. You are not a people that murder, you are not a people who steal, you are a monotheistic people etc. It is the terms of service for calling yourself a child of God. However it seems to make things more difficult in that light. Before I knew this I could say "Yes I'm a Christian, I don't always follow the rules, but no one is perfect. Thank God for forgiveness." And indeed, thank God for forgiveness. However in light of the commandments being defining characteristics of the Judeo-Christian faith, I feel until I can honestly say that I follow the ten terms, (or at least try my best) then I am not in the right to call myself a Christian. (of course I still will call myself a Christian, simply because to have to explain this to EVERY person I meet will be a pain...) I feel I need to explore this in more depth. I never really thought about why these rules are so important, simply that they are rules, now that I see they are more of an agreement... I need to re-evaluate my morality... sounds like fun.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Oh, by the way, if anyone actually reads this and hasn't heard yet, I was accepted to Tyndale. We're still waiting for Sarah's reply, she got her application in after me though so we're not worried.


I was in church today, it was actually a fairly good service, I could identify with the sermon topic (minus some ill-advised analogies on the pastors part) and it kept my attention for most of the service. I almost feel however like I'm going to church for selfish reasons. I play guitar on the worship team and I find myself thinking a lot "I hate this song" or "I don't like playing with this person" and things like that. Today was no exception. I kept catching myself being grumpy throughout the whole service. What's more is my friend Phil sat beside me during the sermon, which can be a handful. Phil has epilepsy and is developmentally delayed, so there are often (on good days) frequent interruptions for mid-sermon-high-fives or updates on the latest episode of Smallville (of which I have never seen even one) or the upcoming dragon ball Z movie. On the bad days there might be frequent seizure interruptions. To my shame I actually found myself thinking "why today, can't I just have one Sunday to sit with my wife and enjoy the service?" The truth is I have had many Sunday's with Sarah, and I will have many more.

Today's sermon was on faith, and the difference between immature, adolescent and sacrificial faith. One of the points was that immature faith was relying on the magic ability to make God's will do what you want, where as sacrificial faith is relying on God's will to happen in your life, no matter what. The pastor probably worded it better than that. Jesus tells us to have faith like a child, in Matthew 18:3 it says

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Phil has faith like a child. If I can't take 2 hours out of my week and spend it worshiping God and loving a brother in need without complaining about it, how can I further the Kingdom of God? The truth is I don't think I can. My faith seems pretty immature. I want to know how pastors do it, (especially since I hope to be one some day) every week, working on Sundays (I hate working Sundays!) not sitting with their families, sacrificially loving the body of Christ... come to think about it if it happened that way I'm sure church would be a lot more appealing to people. But that's where we need to be! That's where I need to be! I wish I had that sacrificial faith, that I could be more concerned with what I'm doing to further the Kingdom, and not so much with how the Kingdom can further me. At the same time however, I really feel that one needs to have an outlet where they can be spiritually filled... Maybe that's where small groups come in. Also, morning devotionals, evening devotionals... okay God I get it! It's time to suck it up and be a man. Time to suck it up and be a Christian! In Romans chapter 8 verse 11 it says

"11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."

It goes on to talk about obligations, and I truly believe I have an obligation, to God, to the Church and to myself. I have to be the church I want to see... oi, well I'll give it a shot.


Saturday, March 21, 2009


Lately I have been feeling an overwhelming need to be completely honest. I think God is tearing me up, from the inside out and trying to rebuild me into something better. I think I have a real problem with lying. I never lie about anything big, just a bunch of little lies which make my life way more complicated. The biggest one is lying by omission. Anyway, what I want to accomplish with this blog is not to have a journal for me to write in, or to write down anything necessarily profound, but merely to be honest, to be honest with myself, with you and with God. My goal is to echo what Job says in Job chapter 27:6
"6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering.
My conscience is clear for as long as I live."

So here goes. I had a hard day today. Not actually, I was just being a wimp. I was feeling really angry and resentful for no reason. I was getting mad that I had to clean my apartment, mad at the way people were driving, mad at my friend for making snide comments during a meeting and there was really no reason to be that mad. I had to clean my apartment so that people could come over, the other drivers were going the speed limit, and my friend was only joking, but I was still getting irritated over nothing. I think what was even more frustrating was I couldn't find anything in the bible to help with the situation. I live on biblegateway.com, and I was searching through the topical index for anger, resentment, frustration etc. I think I have some kind of topical index in my pocket bible, but I can't find it. The worst part is I know I'm being a huge baby about it. I haven't even asked God to help me with it yet. I'm just being stubborn. Okay I'm going to try and find out what the bible says, wait here... Okay! Psalm 73:21-25

"21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you."

So that helps a bit. I'm going to pray now, you can keep reading if you want. God, why am I like this? why do I let this stuff get to me? It's senseless and ignorant, and we all know it. I ask God, that you would hold my hand and guide me with your counsel, guard my heart and my mind and walk with me. cheers.