Monday, December 29, 2008

ANNOUNCEMENT: Ever Felt Shocked & Amazed?

Have you ever felt shocked and amazed? Well I have; most of this year actually. Ok, so it has been awhile since my last post, sorry. Taking a bit of a break from many things lately and it has been very nice. I wanted to share an amazing kind of update with you.
After less than a year as a posting blog I want to share with you folks a little of what you are a part of. I have an incomplete list of where different folks are logging in from. Don't worry there is no personal information involved either in the gathering or the sharing of information. So without any further ado share in my amazement and wonder (these are really in no order whatsoever, that I know of anyway):

Richmond Hill, Markham, Bracebridge, Toronto, Simcoe, Hamilton, Scarborough, Georgetown, London, Waterloo, North York, Windsor, Mississauga, Kingston, Mount Hope, Whitby, Aurora, North Bay, Peterborough

Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer,

Prince Edward Island:

Melfort, Saskatoon, Regina, Elbow

Brooksville, Gainseville, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Miami







Cedar City

New Jersey:


Blacklick, Columbus


East Bridgewater

North Carolina:

La Vergne






Whether it is the blog or the podcast, come on over, come on are welcome.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

THOUGHT: Have you heard "sexting"?

WASHINGTON (AFP) - One in five US teens has sent nude or partially clothed images of themselves to someone by email or mobile phone and twice as many have sent sexually suggestive electronic messages, a poll showed Wednesday.And American youngsters aged 13-19 are having tech-sex despite a majority of them saying it could have "serious negative consequences" on them, the survey commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCTUP) showed.

More than half of the 1,280 teens and young adults up to age 26 who took part in the online poll, conducted in September and October, said they had received a sexually suggestive message from someone else -- and one in five said they had shared the racy message with a third person.

Eight in 10 teens said they would be concerned about sending a sexy image of themselves or racy message because they "might regret it later," while nearly 70 percent said they were worried it could "disappoint family."

Where teen tech-sex gives real rise to concern among adults, said NCTUP, is that more than one-third of teens (38 percent) say exchanging sexy content makes dating or physical sex with others more likely, and three in 10 say those who exchange sexually suggestive content are "expected to hook up."

"That so many young people say technology is encouraging an even more casual, hook-up culture is reason for concern, given the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in the United States," said Marisa Nightingale, senior advisor to NCTUP.

Although teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have dropped by one-third since the 1990s, they remain high compared to other developed countries and carry high costs to the teens involved, their children and society, NCPTUP said in a report published last year.

"The US birth rate of 41 per 1,000 in 2004 was much higher than Canada's 14 (in 2003), England and Wales' 27 (the highest rate in Western Europe), Japan's six and the Netherlands' five (the lowest rate in Western Europe)," said NCTUP's "Emerging Answers" report, published in November 2007.

More than 30 percent of girls in the United States become pregnant before they reach age 20, and many become pregnant a second time before their 20th birthday, according to NCTUP.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of all 15- to 19-year-olds in the United States have had sex at least once.

Be aware.

You know what? Here is another thought. So you are under 18 and you want to have fun and play around...if you send your pictures by any means you have become a what? A trafficker in child pornography. By definition that is what is happening. Also understand that a picture once released may never really be pulled back in. Once it hits the web it can never truly be pulled down. Those images can reappear at anytime to anyone.

Given the natural volatility of teen relationships this "fun" action may turn into a very embarrassing situation for you and for your family.

Think about it and help your friends to think about it too.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

THOUGHT: What We Have

So we are in a recession. It is true now, it is here. It can't help but cause us to consider our money and what we do with it. I have learned that it feels so much better to be in the habit of giving than in the habit of holding back. What material possession can I own that will provide a better connection to God? Who is responsible for what you have now? You or God? Who will take care of your needs? You or God?
Here are some other thoughts in this snowy, blowy, recession-ish kind of time:

When Americans earned less money following the Great Depression, they gave more. When income went up, they began to give less of it away.

Offering money, many Christians believe, should be like Hollywood's version of romance: spontaneous, exuberant, and impulsive. Financial gifts should be joyful, we think, so we give only when the urge strikes. "Structured systems" such as annual pledges "seem to strike many American Christians as rigid, impersonal, legalistic, and even unspiritual."

This attitude translates to giving from our wallets instead of our paychecks. When the offering plate comes by, we dig into our purses or pockets and freely, joyfully give of what we find. Meanwhile, nearly all of our income is spoken for.

One congregant put it this way: "God requires it, but...he also tells us that he doesn't want us to give if we don't want to." The proof text for this attitude is 2 Corinthians 9:7: "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
The application, however, suggests that God prefers consumerism to generosity. If buying the bigger home or larger car makes it more difficult to give cheerfully, we will cut back on the giving until it's cheerful.

So we give our money like we spend it: haphazardly and without intention.

Giving should be a matter of intentional obedience, a joyful expression of returning thanks to God.
Martin Luther said "A man's pocketbook is the last piece of him to be converted." Money has a strange power, as the current economic crisis illustrates, that suggests humility and prudence are the appropriate attitudes toward it, not exuberance and impulsiveness.

Excerpted from an article in Christianity Today
Scrooge Lives
December 2008

It makes you think. How do I give? Do I give? Why do I give? Who is the primary concern when I give? What do I plan around when I spend?

It is my belief that generosity is as essential to spirituality as forgiveness. Although, ironically is not forgiveness simply another way to offer generosity?

It is not convenient to be generous. There will be many who argue against it. Do not, however, complain about your poor spirituality if you are not giving. What does it mean to have faith? How will you experience the true wealth of grace if you never risk and need it? Now there is a Christmas gift worth giving and receiving.


Monday, December 8, 2008

ANNOUNCEMENT: International Human Rights Day

Did you know that December 10th has been set aside and named as International Human Rights Day? I didn't. What's the point of hugely significant day like that if no one knows about. Ok so not no one, maybe just me. But I learned and now I want to make sure that you know as well.

The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights. The commemoration was established in 1950, when the General Assembly invited all states and interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.

The day is a high point in the calendar of UN headquarters in New York City, United States, and is normally marked by both high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organisations.

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurs on December 10, 2008, and the UN Secretary-General has launched a year-long campaign to lead up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (with more than 360 language versions available), organizations around the globe will be able to use the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.

I didn't know, but now I do.
How will you live differently now that you have been reminded?


Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st World AIDS Day

December 1st is World Aids Day and International AIDS Awareness Day. Be aware. Go check out some info. It is not the only horrible illness in the world but today is the day to focus on how our world is being ripped apart by AIDS. Make sure that before you just role along you at least take a moment to beg our Heavenly Father to have mercy and give us the ability to help the helpless and give hope to the hopeless.


Full Disclosure Soulhouse November 30th

We had the fantastic honour of sharing our worship with Markham Baptist Church. It is so good for churches to get together and do things together. Special thanks to Dexter Hinkson, Youth Pastor from Markham Baptist for being a bold enough leader to ensure our two churches came together.
It was a great night, Robin Parshad did an awesome job GOING PUBLIC. Kati Sherman did great in her debut role as a worship leader. Well done guys. There is nothing like a focus like ours that night: our Mighty God. It just makes you swell. Take a listen.