Friday, December 30, 2005

Spiritual Retreat at Westminster Abbey

Yesterday I had the incredible opportunity to go on a day-long spiritual retreat with my two best-buds Corey and Jason. It was a day of fasting, prayer, confession, sharing, and dreaming. The location of our retreat was the Westminster Abbey located in Mission, BC. This place is truly magnificent, and I encourage anyone to go and see it. We also had some time to wander through the many walking trails that the property has...and soon came accross the very beautiful lookout at the edge of the property...

We ended the day around 4pm and then drove back into Langley where we feasted at the China Kitchen...mmm....Chinese Buffet & then had coffee at the Wired Monk. It was a great day. One that I will remember forever. I hope that the three of us will be able to do this again very soon.



Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

To everyone out there who reads this blog, or stumbles accross it...I want to personally wish you a Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, or however you say it. May God bless you and your family & friends today, and throughout the New Year to come. Enjoy your turkey dinners with all the stuffing you can stuff into your stomachs! Savour the quietness of a city who's shops are closed for this day...where we rejoice because the Prince of Peace has come. Cherish the gifts that you recieved, because God's gift of everlasting life to us is the greatest we could ever ask for.

Merry Christmas to all,


Friday, December 23, 2005

Pimp my Christmas Tree...

Just in time for the guess. This fun game allows you to decorate your Christmas Tree and its surroundings!

Click here to pimp your Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas,


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A very prairie Christmas

Tommorow morning Charity and I are flying off to Lethbridge to see her family & friends for Christmas. I have already checked the weather forecast and it looks like we'll be having a brown real chance of snow. In a sad turn of events...I am doing something tommorow that I never thought that I would do...gasp...flying on Air Canada.

For someone who pledged allegiance to WestJet a few short years ago, this is a truly trying time for me. (some of you may think the last sentence was oozing with sarcasm, but I'm afraid not-I have seen and experienced first hand the atrocious service given to its passengers from this airline.) So in order to bring some Christmas chear to my flying experience I will be wearing my Santa Hat on the flight...unless security decides that it's a safety issue and isnt' allowed on the aircraft!

So I don't know how many posts I'll be able to write while I'm away for the next week. I hope to get at least one up of our Christmas time...and if I'm lucky I'll try to get the final part of Debunking Christmas posted (NO PROMISES!).

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, I pray that this time spent with family and friends refreshes you, comforts you, and fills you with an incredible peace. Charity and I will be home again for New Years...and we look forward to ringing it in with our friends!

Merry Christmas,



We made is safely to Lethbridge...and to my surprise all of our bags made it too!!! No snow here, they're having chinook winds so it's like 10 degrees above today! So looks like we'll be having a brown Christmas. I'll write more later.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Debunking Christmas: Part 2


So much of what Christmas is truly about is wrapped up in this Latin word meaning "the coming."

If the years of your childhood are anything like mine then your first recollection of advent would be the first advent calender your parents gave you where you had 24 chocolates waiting oh-so patiently behind perferated paper flaps. Again, if you were anything like me, you tossed aside all logic of waiting 24 whole days to eat all the chocolates (instead you followed the rule of one-per-day for maybe a week tops and then decided to consume the whole lot of them in one sitting--usually hiding in your bedroom so mom or dad wouldn't catch you.)

Is this advent I ask you? Has Willy Wonka and his darn chocolate factory overthrown another holiday for the sake of consuming more chocolate? I certainly hope not...

Millions of churches embark on a four week journey of Advent in the month of December. Advent holds a special place in my heart: it was under a GIANT Christmas Tree back in 1996, on the 1st Sunday in Advent when I got baptized. But advent is still more than this. In today's culture the 4 weeks that precede Christmas mean extended holiday shopping hours at our local malls. But advent is certainly still more than this. Advent was originally meant to be a time when Christians reflected on the meaning of Christmas: four weeks set aside to contemplate what the coming of Jesus meant not only to the world but to every individual's soul. Advent was also supposed to be a time of personal retrospection and growth. (Sadly much of the growth we see in the advent season is our bellies from consuming too many Christmas sweets & our credit card statements as we spend spend spend...) Certainly advent means more than this.

Can we take a step back and look in a mirror and ask ourselves, "am I honestly contemplating the meaning of Christmas?...and what does it mean to me?"

Or do I simply go through the mechanical motions of going to Christmas Eve Church Services, and every now and then saying "Merry Christmas" without even thinking of what those words truly signify? My buddy's wife has started something on her blog that I think really captures the essense of what Advent is about. You'll have to scroll back a bit to read the previous postings... but it's encouraging to see someone grasp the concept of Advent.

I think that many of us evangelical Christians need to re-think how we approach the Christmas season: advent is still fulfilling its intended purpose, but are we (each of us as inividuals) taking time to reflect on what it meant for a baby to be born from a virgin in a manger 2000 years ago. It's not the Jesus that many of us think about: a baby that cried, filled his diaper, and who was completely reliant on his mommy and daddy. But our Saviour came into this world, through a miraculous story, and I think that maybe we need to hit the pause button on our lives and reflect, ponder,contemplate, consider, mull over where our hearts our at, and what significance--if any--does Jesus have in our lives today. I'm not assuming that everyone who reads this blog believes in Jesus, but maybe....just maybe this Christmas you'll catch a glimpse of the miracle of Jesus' birth and come to see the real reason for the season.

Blessings to you all,


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Debunking Christmas

So what is Christmas all about...really?

I'm not looking for that corny Sunday-School answer here, but what I am looking for is a deeper, more significant, true-to-the-Word, understanding of why we celebrate this thing called Christmas.

Part 1: Christmas & the Church

*Disclaimer: I love the church, not only because I am a Pastor, but I whole-heartidly feel that my life calling is to serve the church with all my heart, soul, and strength.

What truly breaks my heart as of late, is that numerous churches in the lower mainland are closing their doors on Christmas Day. How can this be? Call me "old-fashioned," call me "modern" call me "narrow minded" but just because Christmas Day happens to fall on a Sunday...means that we don't gather together to worship our God as a community? It's been 11 years since the last time Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, and maybe because of the cultural shift in values that is happening in today's churches...we've decided that it's too much of an inconvenience to have to get up Christmas morning, shower, change, and have to drive to church. This is bull. Sorry, to get a bit passiontae but I've been pondering the question lately...

Is Christmas about family?

Is it? I know it makes us all warm and mushy inside when we reminisce of our past Christmas mornings, spent with mom, dad, brothers & sisters infront of the tree...but is this Christmas? Something inside of me has to say NO. Christmas as we know it today, has only really been around for the past 200 years. Sadly, prior to 200 years ago much of the celebration at Christmas time happened for totally Pagan reasons. Only after Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822, now commonly known as "T'was the Night Before Christmas" & Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol in 1834 did Christmas begin to evolve into today's Holiday.

Celebrating Advent:
I think that we need to look more closely at this practice of "the coming" of Christ. Advent was officially established by church leaders in the 6th century. Advent was originally meant to be a time when Christians reflected on the meaning of Christmas. Advent was essentially four weeks set aside to contemplate what the coming of Jesus meant not only to the world but to every individual's soul. When presented in the proper way, the way the early church intended, Advent also plants the spiritual seeds that grow into an understanding of the true reason for this special season: the birth of Jesus Christ. Here is where we need to camp out for a while and enjoy the splendor of the Advent Season.

... ... ... ...

Thankfully my church, and many churches in the lower mainland do celebrate Advent. Churches do recognize the importance of preparing our hearts, and getting that often needed slap accross the face to be reminded that Christmas is not about us. But why then are so many churches preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus, through Advent, and then on the "day" that has been given for his we not gather to celebrate as a community? To be totally honest, I think we are a very lazy culture, and one who sees going to "church" as nothing more than a once-a-week thing. The early church in the book of Acts looked nothing like many of our churches today...something that at times wants me to see us go back to the days of deep-rooted community, sharing and fellowship.

I don't profess to know how to see resolve come about regarding cancelling our church services on Christmas Day, but I hope that maybe you, duing the rush of this Christmas Season, won't solely focus on gifts, stockings, and even all that warm-mushy family time--but that you would take a few minutes to ponder the greatest event our earth has ever experienced:

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11 (NIV)

So my challenge to all of you who are reading this is... Go to church on December 25th & celebrate the miracle of Jesus' birth as a community. I will be! Chances are it's only 1 hour out of your day, and if it were any-other-Sunday chances are you'd go. So what's the difference? REALLY?

***UPDATE*** Click here to read about American Mega-Churches who are also cancelling their Dec. 25th Sunday Services...



Thursday, December 01, 2005


Again this post has zero intelligent thought...but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I am sure many of you remember the name Gaylord Focker from the movie "Meet the Parents." But this isn't from a movie...this is real life people! This has to be the worst name ever...

...please click here:

(thanks to Marko for exposing this site)