Thursday, November 23, 2006

Coping with Errancy

What to do when you’re in a Christian meeting and someone says something like this: “Perfect peace casts out all fear”. It is a trait of my personality to notice imperfections and inconsistencies (I’m an analyst!), and this is obviously a misquotation of scripture. In this case, what he was quoting was 1 John 4:18 where it says “perfect love casts out all fear”.

After hearing this, I got to thinking about how necessary it is for leaders and teachers to be correct 100% of the time. Is it so necessary? Is it even possible? I do not want to be a stickler or a disrupter of peace, nor do I want to be one who lets anything slide, and ignores even gentle manipulation.

So I got to thinking about motives, because I think that is really the key here. When there is something said to a group that is absolutely incorrect (I’m not talking about perception of truth here), one of these must be true:

> They are wilfully and knowledgeably lying (to whatever end)
> They are sincere and ignorant, for lack of a better word, and have good intentions.
> They are sincere and ignorant, but with a wrong motivation.

In which cases do we, who can see error, try to correct? How do we go about correcting? Do we even have this authority, as laypeople? On the flipside, do we have the obligation?

Maybe there’s a time to correct, and a time to leave it alone. That may depend on its severity; a simple misquotation versus an assault of fundamental doctrine.

Knowing some of the folk who frequent my blog, I’m sure there are some opinions out there on the subject. So comment away! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Pedestalling - Related Article in today's Post

Thought this was a sassy little article that fits well with what I wrote a few days ago about the church full of the imperfect, and what that church is really all about.

Take a look: Amazing Grace Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hitting Home

A few hours after writing and posting the poem 'The Sting of Death', I recieved an email saying that a member of my former church had unexpectedly passed away this morning. It became quite relevant very quickly. I'm blown away at the reality of the "joy of death" in our faith! What other group of people is happy and rejoicing upon news like this? We are sad for our own loss, and for the family he leaves behind, but we gather around them knowing that the sick reality of death has been redeemed, and in such a great way! Our funerals are celebrations!

The Sting of Death

the sting of death
poison injects
with purposelessness
and invalidity.
the thief of life,
limiter of love,
end of what is good.
cohort deceit to keep its hold -
disbelief its strength.
the sting of death
in truth and faith
is converted to
the joy of death,
if death at all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Pedestalling seems a common building material used in constructing walls between people outside the church and people inside the church. By pedestalling I mean putting people up on a platform of unreasonable expectations. This seems a good and just excuse for staying out of or building up a case against the church in general.

I think this testifies to the fact that the very grace this church operates by is itself an assault on the rational mind. It is this God who chooses the weak to shame the strong, who can convert a life in a single moment and have it changed forever, and who seems keen on using the very opposite of a human's rational expectation to carry his valuable message. His message is grace and that is why he sends those who have experienced grace the most - they are a sign, a testimony. They are imperfect.

People stay away from churches which are full of hypocrites; and that's their reason. Absolutely, the church is teeming with people who say one thing and do another; whose spiritual fathers can be quoted as writing "that which I hate I do". We are those who agonize over our imperfections, and whose perfection is full knowledge of our loved imperfection. (see 1 John 4:18)

The church without hypocrites is an empty one. The church that only accepts perfect people would be the one that is equally as criticized as those which are criticized for being full of hypocrites. It seems the actual fact is, people are looking for a way to disbelieve, looking for loopholes in the church or the faith. But the rational mind will eventually be assaulted by the lack of excuses.

Let's welcome even more hypocrites into the church, and let's bring them in every Sunday morning and teach them, so that we can all grow together, and become perfect in Love. Let's ask the imperfect to fill our pews, and tell them that they're not the only ones. Let's stop pretending and admit our failures, and give voice to the testimony of grace. And most of all, on both sides of the fence, let's stop judging each other. There is no one on this earth who has enough insight into the big picture and each individuals' own journey to make a judgment of any kind.


I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,

but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30 : 1 - 5

This is like the theme verse of my life (thus far!); very meaningful to me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Everything's Great!

I'm quite excited about life at the moment. I finally decided to start putting some of my ideas into action, not letting fear control my life anymore. Ideas about serving the poor, visiting the lonely, exercising spiritual gifts and natural gifts, taking steps in the direction of dreams, etc. Life has quickly become exciting!

And most of it has to do with the fact that I think I have found a church - at last! I absolutely love it - Global Harvest Centre. In case you're in the Abby area, it's the one on McCallum Road across from CIBC. They don't hold services there anymore though; they've outgrown it. So they're meeting across from the Dragon Fort restuarant in the banquet centre there.

It's funny, I was just reminded of something yesterday morning as I was getting ready to go to the service. The last time I had been there was maybe 1.5 - 2 years ago, and at that time I felt that their chapter of the church would grow and expand and would have to move across the street. I kept it to myself then, but it has become true! I am so encouraged in the gifts!

I met 'Mother Hastings' at the service yesterday. Well, that's what the homeless people and other workers down on Hastings in Vancouver call her. She's a servant to the poor who is spending her retirement feeding the homeless. It was an honour to meet her, and others there at GHC. Worship was amazing (Michael Larson is the leader!), and the preaching was so engaging!

One of the ideas I have had is actually a dream I've had for quite a long time. Don't laugh. It's to sing on 100 Huntley Street, the Christian talk show here in Canada, hosted by the Mainse family. So I called them up to ask what it would take to get on the show, and I landed in a studio last night putting down a few songs as a demo. A studio! It was so exciting for me - that's what I love!! It was great. The end-product isn't my best; my voice is so tired. You all know how little I use my voice to speak, well I've been speaking for 8 hours a day recently at work (on the phone), so my voice is SOOO tired, and you can hear it in the recording. Oh well, I guess we'll see if this bears any fruit!

Also, congrats to my sister and her husband, who are expecting their third child. I'm very excited!!!

Life is exciting...!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Something to Ponder...

A holy man was having a conversation with God, one day and said, "God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

God led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple" said God, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

"He took up our infirmities
and carried our diseases."

Matthew 8 : 14-17 niv

Sunday, November 12, 2006

11/12/06 - International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

This day comes up once a year and every time I hear the statistics, I am humbled and awed. To think that in our lovely, wonderful world this could be going on! It seems so archaic and outdated, but here are some of the figures being circulated around the Western Church today.

Since the death of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago 43,000,000 Christians have become martyrs.

Over 50% of these were in the last centure alone.

More than 200 million Christians face persecution each day - 60% are children.

Every day over 300 are killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Every 3.5 minutes, a Christian dies for their faith. Every 3.5 minutes in 2006! Not AD70, not 733, 1550, not 1788, not 1890! 2006!

As you go about your life today, please take a moment to remember those whose faith is much more expensive than ours, and ask God to give them the strength to endure their persecution.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ambitious India

"India's state-run space agency approved its first indigenous manned mission into space yesterday, aiming to put an astronaut outside the Earth's atmosphere by 2014... The mission is expected to cost US$2.2-billion. ISRO is already working on the launch of its first unmanned mission to orbit the moon in 2008." National Post, 11/8/2006

"...the number of Indians living in extreme poverty approaches 300 million."

I don't know that I need to say much else to express my disagreement with India's decision to flex its spatial muscles, or to at least get in the game. I admit I don’t have all the facts, nor the sentiment of those 300 million living in "extreme poverty" in that country regarding the endeavor. Nor do I know the benefit on the economy of becoming a member of the 100-mile-high club; could be great or small, could be none at all. But at first glance, this seeming-vain expenditure seems like a snub to their poor, actually more like a slap in the face.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Holy Spirit Credit Union undergoing a rebranding...

This is very cute I thought. There was actually a credit union called the Holy Spirit Credit Union. My favourite line from the article is this:

"Kirkwood says he hopes the change will eliminate any confusion in the market and help build on Holy Spirit's double-digit growth in assets and profit over the last three years."

Please click here to read the article.

Orphans for Sale!

Can you believe it? I just had to post this link to a sickening article. How far will stuff like this go? Every time you think it's gone far enough, it goes even further.

Take a look: For the fashionista who has everything, EBay now selling 'African orphans'

Friday, November 03, 2006


"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial.

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive.

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

1 Cor 10 : 23-24

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What Did You Do?

It seems a common guage of a person's status to ask what they do or did with their time. After "how are you?" in a small-talk conversation inevitably comes "what do you do?". And every Monday morning (at least in my world), we all ask each other "what did you do over the weekend?".

This may be a long-shot observation, for some of the reason of the questions may be genuine interest (it is for me sometimes), or maybe even something else I haven't noticed. But it seems the questions come out of a genuine belief that "you are what you do". It's a sizing up. They could easily replace the question with: "how cool are you?", and get the same sort of answer - something about what they do.

I have to laugh at myself for letting this misbelief linger. I find myself answering such questions with an inflated choice of words. For the weekend question, as an example, I often answer "oh, I kept it pretty low-key this weekend", which, of course, translates: "I didn't get up to much this weekend, but that is NOT NORMAL; you should hear what I normally get up to!"

It's not evil that we do this - ask and answer each other - just foolery. They that measure their existence on a yard stick of activities will only be fulfilled in seasons of busyness (which I find distracting). I am slowly becoming conscious of the meaning to my existence being found more in who I am, rather than what I do.

To End All Wars


I've watched To End All Wars several times now, including once this week. The first time I saw it was the most impacting, of course, and it may have had something to do with my then emotional state, but I have never been so profoundly touched and shocked by a film as I have by this one.

The Story is a true one. It's of a Scottish regiment held as POWs in Thailand by the Japanese in the second world war to end all wars. In brutal violation of the Geneva Convention these soldiers are kept in worse condition than animals, and are put to work building a railroad for the Emperor of Japan.

To help them find meaning in their extreme suffering, the men begin a 'Jungle University' and learn from the works of Plato and Jesus, to name two. The content of their learning then is called into action in their daily lives.

If you can stand a little brutality and a little swearing, I would very highly recommend this film. As I said, no other has affected me near as much.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And the winner is...

Me and my team-mate, Lily, won the pumpkin carving contest at work yesterday. And here is our masterpiece "Count Credentula" (company is called Credential). We get a free lunch at Mangez-Mangez today! Happy Halloween!