Friday, December 18, 2009


I got a Christmas card last night from one of my middle school students. (CLICK CARD TO ENLARGE) I'm going to keep it anonymous, but WOW, this card nearly brought Charity & I to tears as we read it last night!

Being in ministry can be one of the most thankless jobs--but in all the darkness of choosing a vocation that puts me right in the thick of the sin, brokenness, hurt, and crap that students deal with on a daily basis...there will always be a light--the light of Jesus--that pierces through the darkness and brings an overwhelming feeling of hope!

This card was that light! This card was that hope! Thank you Jesus for calling me into Youth Ministry.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jesus is God's Gift for the Naughty

Sorry for the lack of blogging this past month. Welcome to the Christmas season in the life of a Pastor! This is "go-time" for my life and my job. I preached on 1st advent which was an incredible experience!

You can download the sermon here: or you can search "Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship" at the iTunes store and subscribe to our sermon podcast.

A few weeks ago our Sr. Pastor shared a devotional that really spoke to me and has challenged me ever since hearing it.

"Jesus is God's Gift for the Naughty" (Matt. 21:23-32)

One of the worst Christmas traditions I know is Santa's naughty and nice lists. As the tradition goes, Santa gives presents to good boys & girls on his "nice list" and leaves lumps of coal in the stockings of the bad boys & girls on his "naughty list".

Parents use this tradition to compel their children into behaving in the weeks before Christmas, though I have never known one who has followed through on this threat! Still it has its effect and most children who, when threatened with a lump of coal from Santa, respond by acting nicely in order to get what they want on the big day.

Is anyone fooled?

After Jesus' authority was questioned in our text in Matthew, he told his listeners a parable about two sons--one "naughty" and one "nice"--that turned the lists around. The "nice" son was naughty at first when he refused his father's request. Later he repented and went to work in his father's field. the "naughty" son was nice enough to agree to this father's request though he never did what he was asked to do. The "naughty" one turned out to be the nice one, and the "nice" one naughty.

This season is a good time to remind ourselves and our children that no one is nice enough to deserve God's gift of salvation through faith in his Son. God sent his best gift, Jesus, for the naughty. This season is also a good time to remember that being a Christian isn't just about being nice. Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple, after all! Being a Christian goes beyond believing to yielding our lives to Jesus and to his authority, doing what God asks us to do.

True Christian faith is to be lived, not just believed.

Mark Issac, MDiv
Director of Advancement and Constituency Relations
MB Biblical Seminary, Fresno Campus

So I hope you take away from this message the same challenge that I did. Christmas is about Jesus...a gift that God sent us that we were not, and are still not worthy of....but yet he gave it freely to us! WOW. How amazing is that!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fat Pastor (update #3)

No I am not going to Wyoming. Yes my "weigh-in" this morning has me at 1 pound shy of my goal of 190 lbs. This means I have lost 34 lbs since starting this whole process back in late September.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So my wife told me I should update my blog...

Firstly I apologize to all (likely 2-3 max) my readers for the absence of blog postings this past month.

This month has been a month of re-focus & re-alignment of priorities in my life. So this blog post will look more like a shotgun blast of point-form ramblings, rather than a well crafted & thoughftul piece of prose.

1) I'm loosing weight: of this morning I'm coming in at 193 lbs. That's 32 lbs lost since I began my "fat pastor" weight loss plan back in late September. The amazing thing has been going shopping in MY OWN CLOSET for clothes that I haven't fit into for a long time! I am so thankful to my amazing wife who has been such an incredible source of encouragement and strength through this all. The other day when I tried on a 32x32 pair of pants I nearly passed out (not because they were so tight & I couldn't breathe...but because I actually fit into that small of a waist!) This has been a significant undertaking in my own life to change the way I eat, and to constantly stay motivated to spend 1.5 hrs three days a week at the gym. BUT IT'S WORTH IT!

2) Becoming a Godly Father: This certainly has been a steep learning curve for me over this past month as Noah continues to grow and becomes more aware of his surroundings. I have seen my own selfishness smack me across my face as some moments I'd rather do what I WANT TO DO, rather than what NOAH NEEDS ME TO DO. Taking 30 minutes after bath time to read him Bible Stories has now become such an enjoyable part of our pre-bed time routine! Noah needs a dad who loves Jesus, and who will model that love for Jesus to him. It's a very serious role that I have...and only recently have I begun (with much grace from my wife) to see how much Noah needs me to be a Godly I point him & his life towards his Heavenly Father.

3) Up-coming Canadian Youth Workers Conference: I am VERY excited about this conference coming up in early December. I see that as a Pastor I NEED times to get away and to be refreshed. What's even more exciting is that I get to spend the weekend hanging out and sharing a hotel room with 3 buddies who like me, are in the trenches of youth ministry. Oddly enough, they all have blogs and to give them some props, I'll post them here (click on their names for the hyper-link):

1) Matt Prior
2) Andrew Haak
3) Ryan Cardinal

There will certainly be many more friends of mine that will be there at the conference, but I am especially looking forward to just a few days to be filled, challenged, inspired, etc... I'm staying at the Sheraton Wall-Centre where the conference is taking I don't have to walk a few km's to my hotel like 2 years ago! Not that I'm a wuss, but these conferences hook you up with tons of free stuff, and to not have to lug that around ALL DAY will be a blessing.

4) Christmas in Lethbridge: Yup, it's our turn this year to fly out to the flat-land of Alberta and spend time with Charity's family for Christmas. We're gone for 12 days this year and I'm looking forward to hanging out with some good friends & family out there who I rarely get to see! Obviously the real reason we're going out there is for Charity's family to see Noah. But since he can't fly on his own...they kindly extended the invitation to us as well! (lol).

So there ya go. My blog is officially updated! Hopefully I won't be such a slacker over the next month! If you feel that my postings aren't coming often enough...just fire my wife a message and she'll gladly spur me on in my blogging journey...that you can be sure of.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

loosing weight: there's an app for that!

In response to Ashley's comment on my previous post, I thought I would share a bit into how I've been loosing weight this past month.

Truth be told, it's been kind of fun...and the process for loosing weight has been solely based on 3 iPhone app's that I downloaded.

App #1: iFitness - a great app that allows you to scroll through numerous work out routines, specific exercises for targeting muscle groups, and even allows you to track your entire progress. It's a decent app that only costs $1.99 in the app store.

App #2: Loose It - this FREE app has been at the heart of my entire weight loss program. What I've done is simple.
Part 1: Input current weight, height, age
Part 2: Input desired weight
Part 3: Input time frame to achieve desired weight

The program does the rest. It computes how many calories you can eat per day, provides you with a very thorough database for selecting the foods you ate and adding them to your "calorie count" for the day. It also provides you with the ability to select what exercise you've done and adds that to your daily "log".

I am currently on an 1,834 calorie a day budget. What I eat to meet my budget is solely up to me. It has been quite a learning experience to see before this how many calories of food I would eat in a "normal" day. It was anywhere from 3,000-4,000! No wonder I was getting "husky".

App #3: Restaurants: This free app provides a fairly detailed list of mostly fast-food restaurants that we all tend to frequent. It allows you to quickly look up what the calorie count is that you're about to consume....and then allows you to possibly make a more healthier choice.

I still eat 3 meals a day. I do snack in between those meals....but I am FAR SMARTER, about what foods I do eat, and what foods I've cut out of my life all together: foods such as all Pop (diet & regular), High Fat/Sugar snacks, High Calorie Starbucks beverages (mocha's, latte's) etc...

It's been a sobering experience to actually read the "nutritional label" on some of the foods that I frequently consumed only to be horrified with how fatty & high calorie they are!

I've also made exercise a very regular part of my life-routine. I am at the gym for 1.5 hrs 3 times a week (Monday, Thursday & Saturday mornings). This takes a great deal of discipline, and was REALLY HARD for the first few weeks, when I could barely do anything for more than a few minutes. Now that I can (PHYSICALLY SEE & FEEL) the difference it makes it so worth while...and so much easier to keep going back to the gym. I even when out and purchased an iPod shuffle so that I could have my tunes with me the entire time ('cause I almost shattered my iPhone one day on the treadmill!) Anything technological seems to really help me!

So there you go. That's how I've been doing this for the past month. I'm still only 1/3 of the way through my 3 month process. I would encourage any & all of my "20 something" friends/blog readers to take seriously their health and fitness. Our metabolism's are NOT THAT of what they were when we were in our teens'/early 20's.

The best part about loosing 18 pounds so far--CLOTHES FIT AGAIN! I don't even really need to go out and spend money on clothes....'cause old clothes that I barely wore before I packed on the pounds now fit again! WOO HOO.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fat Pastor (update)


I figured it would be a good idea to give you a quick update as to where I'm at with this journey. Well today I jumped on the scale before heading to the gym...

and that's what it said back to me! 206lbs. WOO HOO. That means I've lost 19 pounds since starting this journey back in early October. And I can really see the difference!

So that's where I'm at.