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Showing posts from 2012

My First Mass

This morning my family slept in pretty late. We have all been feeling under the weather for a week or so, and my wife and daughter especially have been feeling sick. The girls decided to stay home, and I was planning on staying home as well. Then at about 10:45am I suddenly had this urge to attend a Catholic Mass service. I have never in my life attended a liturgical service before. I have never been to a Catholic service before. There is a Catholic Church located about 3 minutes from our house, and the service started at 11:00am, so I decided to drive down and check it out.

As a music leader at my church, I occasionally go to other church services to try and learn ways to improve our church service. This morning was one of the most valuable learning experiences I have had so far. This is essentially my experience at my first mass.

I walked in the door and noticed a sign that read "No gum chewing, and no water. Thanks for the respect!" This is certainly different than the ma…

Lyrics For a Story (In progress)

These are some lyrics that I have been working with off and on for a year or so now. The music is written, and I would like to finish it in the near future. 


message from a bed the sheets are getting cold washed and separated, placed into a fold memory is getting dim fading thoughts, wrestle you back to him but yours is a story of hope beyond the hurting soul

good mourning man i've seen darkness, in the absence of breath and lonely lovers silence i've heard mourning, when a son is gone i've rarely... felt... you...
(and the scoffers are cutting lines and holding time just to pass me by. and i'm waiting to see who will win the fight and i'm waiting to see who gets drunk tonight and when morning comes i remind myself, grace is sold at a price)
which one has saving faith? which one is saving face? and what does one do, when the world's soul runs dry? but this is the season of the rising tide... (man)
the courtroom
he whispers a prayer, into thin air
"I know tha…

Dealing with Discouragement

Everybody goes through times of discouragement. As a whole, part of the human predicament is feeling insecure about our choices in life. Did I take the right job? Did I buy a house to soon, or too late? Should I start a family? We have the unfortunate task of living in the present, and even the wisest of us can make choices that lead us into places we really don't want to be in.

Maybe right now, you are feeling discouraged about where you are in your life. I know that I personally am.

I have a wonderful family, a beautiful daughter, and an amazing wife. But over the past few years, I have felt the burden of trying to pursue personal goals, and coming up short with the resources to do so.   All in all, I am an unskilled, uneducated, almost thirty year old man, who feels like he has no idea what he is doing in life. The more I talk to people, the more I realize I am not alone. As we grow older, life becomes more complicated. I have a family that relies on me. I am simply not free to …

Dr. Peter Kreeft - Christian Anthropology vs. the Sexual Revolution

I came across a very brief but excellent video from Dr. Kreeft on the sexual revolution. I have been trying to write on this topic for a while, and Dr. Kreeft says what needs to be said so well, I thought I would simply share his lecture.

For certain topics, I find myself time and time again, going to catholic resources for information. I think there is a huge void in teaching on this subject, at least in my church experiences, regarding human sexuality. I think it is time the Church, mainly the non-Catholic Church, stopped being ashamed of the truth that we are created in the image of God. We have kept the implications of that truth quiet, while a revolution that in the end, dehumanizes the entire sexual experiences has become so out of control, that I fear our entire Western Civilization may be in jeopardy. I am not trying to use hyperbole, but as I consider my own heart, and the sexual baggage that my generation is carrying, I know this is a message that desperately needs to be at …

The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One

I need to cherish this moment.

Have you ever been in a relationship that took a terrible turn? Have you ever been walked out on? Do you remember that feeling, after the messy break up, after the fights, after the name calling - that moment of clarity when you realized life will be much better off? 
Have you ever had a terrible employee, someone who you aren't really sure how to deal with, quit their job? Do you remember the heavy burden that was lifted from you? Do you remember how you wanted to just tell them, "you can't quit, you're fired!"
Well guess what Ontarians, we were in a bad relationship with a bad premiere for far too long. We have had a dishonest employee working under us for years now. 
Sometimes I think we forget, that politicians are employed by the people, for the people. That prestigious title of "Premiere", "Mayor", or "Prime Minister" is nothing more than a reminder, that they are to represent the whole of the gro…

White Vans and a Pastor's Son

When I was younger, during a particularly dreary time in my life, I decided to go on an adventure. I figured I wasn't a very content human being, and doing something unexpected might cure my blues. Quite frankly, I don't really have a lot of memories during a large chunk of my young adult life, but this one I remember quite well.

I decided to pack up a my bag, grab whatever money I had in my room, bring my Visa with its huge spending limit of $500 and start walking. The world was ready for my wonderful undertaking. I made it to the outskirts of the town I was living in, and decided it was time to increase the thrill of my adventure. I put my thumb out and started to hitchhike. Oh yeah, now I was living.

Of course, for the sheltered baptist man that I was, this was a huge moment of triumph. "Screw you world, screw your rules, I'm hitchhiking baby!" I don't remember how long I waited until someone picked me up, but eventually someone pulled over.

Now, I don't …

A Million Miles In A Thousand Years

My cousin Greg gave me a book over Christmas entitled A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I finally got around to start reading it, and in it, I am finding some very classic Donald Miller gems. It's wonderful when you read an author that is able to say what is on your mind so perfectly. The book chronicles Donald's experience of creating his memoir Blue Like Jazz into a movie, and in essence, the process of editing his own personal story.

A few summers ago I shared my story at my church. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. The previous summer I had received an email from the worship director asking me if I would like to share my story. During the summer people in the church share what we call, a "God Story" - a story about ones own personal life of faith. I sat there looking at the screen terrified. To be honest, I pretended like I never received the email, I don't even think I replied. My story of faith is full of embarrass…

On Jesus T-Shirts and Freedom of Religion

When I was a teenager, I felt great joy in writing slogans on torn up pillow cases, and pinning them to my black hoodie. It was a way to express myself and an attempt, albeit an awkward one, to integrate my religious and political views into my dress. Being a teenager is an awkward time in your life, you are not really sure who you are, yet you have ideas of who you would like to be. The result is a confusing mash up all of those ideas.


I understand wanting to wear a T-Shirt that expresses your religious views. If you haven't heard, a lot of conversation is happening regarding a student in Nova Scotia named William Swiminer, who was suspended for wearing a T-Shirt that read: "Life is wasted without Jesus."


When I was in high school I knew a girl who was suspended for wearing a hoodie that read on the front "Abortion is Homicide" and on the back a message about not silencing "our God." As some of you may remember, a lot of anger boiled up regarding that …

Jesus the King

Sometimes when I consider the world that I was born into, I come to the conclusion that the riches of a Western life are actually a deep cavern of poverty of heart.

For starters, when I try to remind myself that I live like a sultan compared to the majority of the world, my mind begins to create all sorts of excuses. "But I only have basic cable. I hardly get to go out for nice dinners. I don't own an iPhone. My car is only a two door, and man, it's hard putting a child in the back seat of one of those things..."

It's incredible really, that I, as one of the worlds richest persons, can even turn the fact that I have entertainment at will, food in my fridge, an insane amount of communication at my finger tips, a car, and a family that is safe, into a complaint.

I just don't always get it.

The fact that I have clean running water from my tap should make me realize just how lucky I am. I mean, the water in my toilet is cleaner than the water that some people are…

Really?

Lately I have been putting off blogging. Mainly due to the fact that my household has been invaded by a winter tradition known as influenza.

There are two things that I like to do when I am sick, play World of Warcraft, and sleep - unfortunately, since being a father and working a 6 day a week job makes the latter limited, I have been filling my time battling the Hour of Twilight. (OK, the nerdiness ends here.)

However, there has been another reason I haven't been blogging. I've tried several times, but each time I end up sounding like a big jerk for what I want to say. I've now decided that I don't care if I sound like a big jerk, because I need to get this out there....

If you have been following Canadian politics lately, you have no doubt been following the stories regarding an Orwellian change to the legal system and an interference in Canadian democracy.

Well, here goes... Are you ready for it?

I told you so.

It might actually surprise you that I consider myself c…

Child-proofing for Adults

The above picture is a common sight in many vehicles throughout Asia.  I've traveled throughout China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand and I've seen countless shrines to Buddha, Vishnu, the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and countless other religious figures in both private AND public transportation.  Some are simple displays like the one above.  Others can be quite elaborate involving multiple statues and offerings including flowers, food, expensive bottles of alcohol, money, pictures of loved ones and images of revered political figures (Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, etc.).  If it was only a matter of seeing such shrines in privately owned cars and vans then I would think nothing of it.  However, the inclusion of such religious displays in public transportation got me thinking of how some would react back home in Canada if they were to step on the city bus and see the fat man, or Stephen Harper smiling at them (Is Harper capable of smiling?).

In my humble opinion, a small (but very v…

This little lady...

... has completely changed my life...
How do you do it? How do you fall in love with such a wonderful little girl and then be expected to one day let her go off on her own? 

Iran is NO Threat & Professor Noam Chomsky

As many of you know, one of my personal heroes is MIT professor Noam Chomsky. What I love about Professor Chomsky, is his devotion to historical clarity, and the way in which he uses that clarity to brilliantly comment on almost any topic. Try going on YouTube and typing "Noam Chomsky on _______" and fill in the blank with almost any topic from pornography, to 9/11 Conspiracy Theories.

I have found his political theories extremely revelatory. Of course, like any philosopher, I am not in 100% agreement with him, but I do enjoy the fact that I am intellectually blown away, usually after a mere 10 minute or less YouTube clip.

As Western nations seemingly gear up for war with Iran, building straw men and fabricating fear, people often ignore their history, and look only to the present for the knowledge of their conflict causes and solutions. The United States will continue to try to dominate and impose its will on sovereign countries.

I hope that one day this will end - for in …

Thanks Bro.

I have a confession for you,

My first musical love was not all the wonderful alternative bands that we all grew up with. It wasn't the Ramones, or MxPx, or all the other punk bands I grew to love. It wasn't The Beatles, or the mighty Led Zeppelin, or Jimi Hendrix's intoxicating guitar playing.

The first type of music I remember thinking was the most amazing thing I had ever heard in my life, was straight up, old school Hip Hop. From the first time I snuck into my brothers room and listened to the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill, from the first time I heard Onyx on MTV  I was hooked on Hip Hop. Yeah man, I was a little kid raised in the mean streets of Boston Ontario, listening to songs that I had no business listening too. Then I moved to the rough woods of Lombardy Ontario, and even when I had this view from my backyard I was falling in love with The Fugees. (I found that picture on google from the road we lived on for a few years... I still miss that house.)

No, I was …

Dear America,

There seems to be this rumour going around that I hate you guys. I would like to clear the air, and set the record straight.

If I had to be honest, there was a time in my life when an anti-American sentiment ran strong in my veins. And not just the friendly rivalry that comes during an olympic sporting event, but something much more. Sure, some Canadians define themselves in terms that are opposite to your idiosyncrasies, values and ways, and this seems to make us feel better, because it makes us feel different. In turn, we devalue one culture to uplift ourselves. As I grow older, the irony of this form of cultural egotism astonishes me - As Canadians, we have plenty of wonderful attributes which stand alone. Sometimes I think we have a complex, we are like that "cool" kid that likes to put down others to make sure that cool image never gets tainted.

Unfortunately, I have the propensity to wage cultural prejudice, and for that I am deeply sorry.

In college, a lecturer once a…

Dear Caterpillar, please go back to the pit where you came from.

If you are from London you no doubt have been following Caterpillars shameless lockout of their employees in one of their Electro-Motive factories. If you haven't, let me give you the low down...

"Hi, I'm Mr. Union worker. I've been working hard for Electro-Motive diesel, owned by Caterpillar Inc. We make diesel trains. I've been doing my job for years and years. A lot of my skills, while not trades per se, have been passed down to me from previous employees. You can imagine, that helping in the construction of building complicated diesel trains is a little bit harder than your average factory job. Regardless, I put long hard hours into my work and these trains, which take weeks to complete, and is something I can be proud of. We've worked hard to agree to wages which are fair. Sure there was a recession in 2008, but our company has come through it, the orders are rolling in, and we are working hard!"


Now lets look in on a secret executive meeting at Caterp…

Taking Ownership of Poverty

Jesus loved the poor.

You might notice that I talk a lot about Jesus. Depending on who you are, and where you come from, this will either make you disgusted or encouraged. For a lot of you, the name Jesus makes hurt or anger swell up inside of you. You may have come across some people called "Christians" who turned out to be major hypocrites. You may have married one who ended up abusing you. You may only know the name Jesus as something that shapes and manipulates a voting population of the most powerful nation on earth. You might have a snapshot of Jesus. You might unknowingly try to live by his golden rule. You might respect him as one of many spiritual leaders.

But let me tell you why Jesus is the most important person in my life, and why I end up talking about him a lot.

Jesus loved the poor. And when I mean he loved them, I mean, he singled them out while on this earth, and poured himself into them more than any other group of people on the planet.

Some of you might no…

Fatherhood

I am becoming aware of the relationship between parenthood and time. This little creature, who is small in mass, but enormous in meaning, has created, like gravity, a force between my life now, and my life to come. Before I held my daughter, time seemed endless, something in the distant horizon - but it is now accelerating towards me at an alarming pace.

Six months might not seem like a long time to experience parenthood, but I assure you, the changing perspective that it creates is instantaneous. I am now charged with a very important task, a task that is overwhelming in its scope. I have to make sure I don't screw up - which unfortunately isn't a very easy task considering how screwed up I myself am. It's like every night I go to bed praying to God: "Ok God, please don't let me screw this up". God doesn't usually answer me when I talk to him, I usually hear this pretty strong voice that sounds really familiar pointing out every mistake I've made the …