Thursday, March 26, 2009

THOUGHT: Freedom & Independence (2)

Don't forget that in the midst of all your pain and heartache, you are surrounded by beauty, the wonder of Creation, art, your music and culture, the sounds of laughter and love, of whispered hopes and celebrations, of new life and transformation, of reconciliation and forgiveness. These also are the results of your choices and every choice matters, even the hidden ones. So whose choices should God countermand? Perhaps God should never have created? Perhaps Adam should have been stopped before he chose independence? What about your choices? You demand your independence, but then complain that God actually loves you enough to give it you.

God's purposes are not for His comfort or for ours. His purposes are always and only an expression of love. He purposes to work life out of death, to bring freedom out of brokenness and turn darkness into light. What you see as chaos, He sees as a fractal. All things must unfold, even though it puts all those He loves in the midst of a world of horrible tragedies--even the one closest to Him.

That is Jesus, isn't it?

YES! and that is the essence of Easter. The Father loves Jesus...lots. Everything is about Jesus, you know. One day we will understand what He gave up for us. There are just no words.

thoughts from "The Shack"


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

THOUGHT: Freedom & Independence (1)

Nobody knows what horrors God has saved us from 'cuz people can't see what never happened. All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice. If God were to simply revoke all the choices of independence, the world as we know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning. This world is not a playground where God keeps all of His children free from evil. Evil is the chaos of this age that we bring to God, but evil will not have the final say. Now it touches everyone that God loves, those who follow Him and those who don't. If God takes away the consequences of people's choices, He would destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all.

Why is this hard to grasp? Well, it is probably because we have such a small view of what it means to be human. You and the rest of this Creation are incredible, whether we understand it or not. You are wonderful beyond imagination. Just because we make horrendous and destructive choices does not mean we deserve less respect for what we inherently are--the pinnacle of God's creation and the center of His affection.

...more tomorrow
thoughts from "The Shack"

Monday, March 23, 2009

THOUGHT: A Rose By Any Other Name

Well I am not sure if this is exactly what the infamous Bard, William Shakespeare truly meant with his famous line of poetry, but it triggered my thinking. In my own peculiar brand of mixing thoughts I came up with an association between Shakespeare and a common saying.

For the most part I think that I am a fairly relaxed and not driven kind of personality, but every once in a while my children provide my with opportunities to reevaluate myself. This one was kind of a doozey.

We had gone swimming as a family and it was fun. We had splashed, laughed, played, slid, jumped and rubbed the chlorine deeper into our eyes. We had fun. The family swim ended at 5:30 and by the time we were changed and heading out it was now six. We had to get in the truck, get home, make supper, eat supper, have baths (to get the chlorine off), get changed brush our teeth, read books, have more fun and get at least Finnley to bed by 7:30. We needed to stay focused and accomplish these tasks. We exited the building, I with Merlin and Sheryl with Finnley. Merlin needed to climb the large concrete planters and so Sheryl went off ahead. Merlin climbed, ran around a couple of times. I generously offered him 2 minutes for his frivolity, while I stood waiting, twitching to be off and complete my list of tasks. He finally came over and jumped into my arms and we were off, safely, "look both ways," through the parking lot. The lot was almost empty and so it was easy to see our destination. I leaned into the walk assuming that Sheryl and Finnley were already strapped in since Merlin and I had squandered so much time.

We appraoch and notice that the doors are still locked and I didn't have the key. Now I was waiting outside in the wind. Where were they? I survey the lot. There they are. Way over back by the building. As they s l o w l y approach I remind Sheryl that she has the keys and we are waiting here, you know? things to do, places to go. She informs me then of this life transforming principle: Finnley needed to stop and explore every piece of garbage he could see.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Stop and smell the roses.

Well, Finnley had stopped all along the way drinking in pleasure, learning, insight, imagination and delight. He had been revelling in the glory of all that was around him. He was delighting in life. He was delighting in the pleasure of his loving mother's company. He was learning about textures and colours. He was drinking in a truckload of simple pleasures.

Finnley's rose had a different name. His rose was garbage. It still smelled as sweet for him.

He taught me that I rush. He taught me that I see very little depth sometimes. He taught me that I lose focus on what is important occasionally. He taught me that I don't understand as much as I might think. He reminded me that I don't always value relationships as much as I tell other people to. He gave me a clinic. He schooled me.

He made me laugh. He shared some of his delight with me. I think I need help with that more and more. Sharing someone else's delight might just be better than my own.

Some new world wisdom gleaned from Finnley: stop and smell the garbage as you play with it.

Oh yeah.

The keys were in my pocket.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

THOUGHT: The Big "G"

You do something wrong. You know it. You've stopped lying about it. Now you feel guilty. Does this feel familiar?

How did feeling guilty work out for you? Did it help? Did it fix anything? Did it motivate you to be better? Did it cause you to reflect on God's goodness?


It's not about feeling guilty. Guilt will never help you find freedom in Christ. The best it can do is make you try harder to conform to some outside system. God is all about the inside. Not trying harder but being transformed. Freedom is what we have been saved for it. Learning to live in freedom is hard but rewarding work. May we be guided forward by the loving Spirit of God.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

THOUGHT: Why Are You Loved?

Have you ever thought that maybe you like Jesus more than the Father? Jesus seems so gracious and the Father, well you know, sometimes He just seems kind of ... mean?

Sad, isn't it? Jesus came to show people who The Father is and then most folks only beleive it about Jesus. They get played off as good cop/bad cop most of the time, especially with religious people. When religious people want you to do what they want or think like they think, they need a stern God. When they need forgiveness, they run to Jesus.

But the whole Trinity still existed inside of Jesus when He was here on earth. Jesus reflected the heart of The Father exactly. The Father loves you and invites you to love Him.

But why? Why me? Why God do you love someone who is such a screw up? After all the things I've felt in my heart toward You and all the accusations I made, why would you even bother to keep trying to get through to me?

Because that is what love does. Remember, God doesn't wonder what you will do or what choices you will make. He already knows. You don't surprise Him. You don't frustrate Him. You don't disappoint Him.

thanks again to
The Shack
You are loved.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This just in. Check it out...pretty swanky, am I right?
Let's start the sign up and payment early so we can save you guys some money.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

EVENT: The Soulhouse That Just Happened

For those not able to be there live I just wanted to share some paparazzi shots for you to get a look at the new stage/set design. This creation came to you from SMoA and specific recognition needs to go to Kali Hillier and Dave Malerenko. Nice job guys. If you haven't seen the Jen & Dr. Chan skit yet, what are you waiting for? Checking it out, cuz it is funny stuff.

It just gets better and better. What a great night we had together, singing, laughing, learning and praying. The Spirit came for a doubt.


Monday, March 9, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: GFYR Event Info Just Arrived

For those of you who have been waiting...this just arrived minutes ago. No digital images so far but hopefully something pretty will arrive soon and then I will share it with you.
Here is what I know:


Friday April 10th, 2009
Registration starts at 4PM
Event runs from 5-9:30

Bayview Glen Alliance Church
300 Steeles Ave E. (@ Bayview)
Thornhill, ON

register on or before April 3: $12
After April 3: $18
At the door: $20

We will begin collecting money immediately. Decide now and save cashola.

Details will be given as they arrive.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

QUOTE: A Piece of Your Heart?

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
--Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Series on the horizon

What would be a better tribute to our new series than U2 releasing their new album? Hey thanks guys what a sweet tribute to Soulhouse. Bono you are just always thinking. So in honour of our new Soulhouse series being on the horizon U2 is releasing their new album No Line On The Horizon.

Check Your Head: New Series!
Living in joy, living in freedom, walking in the light, walking with the Spirit are all different ways of saying the same thing. We are going to be studying the book of Philippians for guidelines on how to do those things and battle the things that steal your joy. How do you do it? Well the first thing to do is "Check Your Head."

Join us and check it out starting March 08 09.