Skip to main content

Posts

Painful in a Different Kind of Way

I’m having trouble falling asleep tonight, but I only have myself to blame for checking my work email on a Friday night. Another family has circulated an email to say that they are leaving. This wasn’t a surprise to me, given some exchanges I’ve had with them over the past few months, but the thing that is frustrating me right now is that they didn’t even respond to the last email I sent their way. Part of what I wrote as I signed off included the following expression of hope:
I realize, based on your comments, that the space we are inviting our community into might not be a place where the two of you are willing or able to go. But as you're prayerfully weighing this decision, what I would ask (and perhaps we can pick this up when we connect in person next month) is whether this one issue must override everything else good and wonderful that has defined your relationship with Elevation over the years.
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please fo…
Recent posts

The Parking Garage

July 15, 2018. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve sat down to write. My brother and his family are visiting from South America and I have hit ‘pause’ on just about everything over the past couple of weeks so we can spend as much time as possible with them during the short time they’re here. The last time they travelled to Ontario as a family was three and a half years ago, and that was in the winter, so this time around, we’re doing every summer activity we can think of, giving my niece and nephews as many new experiences as we can. We took them to a beach on one of Ontario’s Great Lakes, took the ferry to Toronto Island before catching a Blue Jays game, and crammed the whole family into a big old house just outside of Niagara Falls for some sightseeing. And that was just the first three days!
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)
On the day we went to the baseball g…

It All Started With an Email

Today is Canada Day, 2018. As diverse as our nation is, there is one thing that pretty much all Canadians have in common: we’re proud of our country. Every July 1, the University of Waterloo hosts a giant celebration that has drawn crowds of up to 60,000 people on the sprawling grounds of Columbia Lake. I’ve attended nearly every year for as long as I can remember, and that moment at the end of the night—the one when the fireworks show ends and those tens of thousands of people overflowing with something like a love for everyone around them all get up and walk away from the grounds at the same time under the dark summer sky—is hands down one of my favourite moments of the year. 
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)
The fact that Canada Day fell on a Sunday this year meant that the number of people in church was about half of what we’d normally see. But it was a lively c…

Courage and Vulnerability

Speaking on anything less than a good night’s sleep is not ideal; my mind isn’t quite as sharp and my words don’t flow together quite the way they should. So when I stepped onto the platform after the scripture reading this morning, I knew I wasn’t at full capacity and that it was going to be a struggle—and this on a morning when I really couldn’t afford any slippage. People who don’t normally attend church sometimes ask if I get nervous when I speak on Sunday mornings and I always tell them, “No,” which is the truth when you’ve been doing this every week for nearly twenty years. But on a morning like this, I felt like I was doing it for the first time.
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)
The energy was high and my heart was pumping just a little faster than usual. The church was as full as it has ever been, which was unusual to see at a time of year when many people i…

Stretch Out Your Hand

This post includes the full transcript of my sermon from June 24, 2018. If you would prefer to listen to the podcast, you can find it here. This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link to start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.
The first reading this morning is from Mark 2:23-3:6.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Another time Jesus went into the synag…

This Morning

June 24, 2018. I went to bed earlier than usual last night, knowing that I needed a good night’s sleep before standing up to speak this morning. But good intentions aside, it’s 4:45am and here I am sitting at our dining room table, trying to give free reign to some of the thoughts swirling around in my head in hopes that their release will allow me to get back to sleep again, if only for another hour or so.
I followed through on our Board’s request that I share my heart for our church and try to wrap up this season of uncertainty before the summer kicks in. The past couple of weeks have been almost exclusively dedicated to thinking and praying through how I can put my thoughts into words, searching for a way to inspire as many people as possible to commit to this next leg of our journey. This morning, I’m definitely feeling the heaviness of it all—feeling it deep inside my chest. 
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start …

The Sound of the Bell

Our Board met the other night to discuss what some next steps might look like for our church. One of the team members hosted the meeting at her home, so we were able to sit out on the deck and enjoy a perfectly comfortable spring night. There were a couple of important items for us to talk through, but as the case has been for the past six months, we all knew what we would spend most of our time talking about. One of the items I put on our meeting agenda was “Silent May.” Everyone liked the phrase and we joked about making it an annual tradition to set aside a month where we wouldn’t talk about any heavy issues. But more than liking the name, the rest of the team each reflected on how they had a similar experience to myself, finding deep value in taking a break from this intense conversation. 
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)
There is just something about giving you…