My Blogging Wife

My dear wife, Allie, never ceases to surprise and amaze me. Just this week she created her own blog, entitled, “Uprooted To Paradise“. Her opening posts have been heart-wrenching and inspiring at the same time. I am delighted that Allie has chosen to share her story with the rest of us, as I realize that my version of our transition to Nassau, Bahamas fails to hit all of the notes. Allie’s blog nicely fills the gap with clever analogies, her winsome spirit, and some earnest reflection.

While Allie and I are headed to the same destination, on so many levels, I am reminded that our respective journeys are vastly different. I’m encouraged by what I’ve read in her blog thus far, but more so, I’m encouraged that Allie is trusting in the Lord, and in the wisdom of His providence. The journey is sometimes unnerving, but our destination is sure.

As we wait upon the Lord, we are reminded,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6)

News From Haiti

I don’t need to visit cnn.com nearly as much as I used to since I came across these excellent blogs of Canadian missionaries serving in Haiti.

The Van der Mark’s blog – I worked at Muskoka Woods with Laurens Van der Mark in the early 1990s. Laurens’ wife, Cheryl, gives a detailed account of what they endured the hours immediately following the earthquake in her Jan. 19 post.

The Rumford’s blog – Grant Rumford is an advanced care paramedic who works along with the Van der Mark’s for Mission of Hope. Currently, Mission of Hope is coordinating with Feed The Children Canada (where Grant’s father is the President) to continue care and relief efforts.

Rachelle in Haiti – Rachelle is an associate director of an orphanage in Haiti and has been posting regularly since the earthquake. (It also appears Rachelle is from my hometown of Niagara Falls!).

Embracing Hope -  Diana Wiebe is a school teacher connected with Mission of Hope. Diana has also provided regular updates and inspiring insights since the earthquake hit Haiti.

As we remember the people of Haiti in our prayers, we give thanks to God for these faithful men and women who are providing relief, comfort, and HOPE.

As I called the people of St. Giles Kingsway to worship on Sunday, January 17, it was with these words from Psalm 71. This is my prayer for the people of Haiti:

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.

21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.

Tech Soup

Twitter. Vod:Pod. WordPress. Tiny URLs. Should I be ashamed to admit that I had heard of none of these prior to 2008? It’s a challenge to keep up with technology these days, but I’m having a ton of fun trying! One of the things I hugely appreciate about these utilities is their ability to interact with one another. It may be a small thing, but I’m grateful that Twitter sends facebook my ‘status’ so I don’t need to type it twice. I love how easily Vod:Pod integrates YouTube videos to my WordPress blog. And I laugh at the thought of how incomprehensible my last couple of sentences would be to someone unfamiliar with the internet!

Seriously though, as I continue to anticipate the September 7 launch of The Well, I confess that I have leaned heavily upon these internet resources to help ‘get the word out.’

In particular, this blog has been the ‘hub’ of information for my ministry endeavours and theological musings, since it is more accessible than the task specific utilities. Recently, on facebook, I added the Blog Networks application in an effort to give this blog more exposure. If you enjoy this blog, and if you are a facebook user, I’d be grateful for your ‘adding my blog’ at http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blogpage.php?blogid=5108.

If you are interested in our ministry, The Well, I have a few links to recommend:

The Well > facebook group

The Well Launch > facebook event

The Well > homepage

You may have noticed that I’ve posted some new videos using Vod:Pod (right side of blog). You can track the videos I add through a ‘following’ function that is similar to Twitter. If you’ve ever spent ridiculous hours searching through YouTube for quality videos you can appreciate how much easier it will be to find videos through tracking folks with similar tastes on Vod:Pod.

After saying all that, I still feel like I’m scratching the surface here. May be you can help. Got a useful utility to recommend? How about a facebook application? Or a YouTube video?

Sorry to cut this short; time to update my twitter status!

Blog Wisdom

If you asked me, say a month ago, why I blog, I would likely have stammered through a largely incomprehensible answer. Thank-you Abraham Piper for providing me with a superior reply! Rather than parrot Abraham’s post, 6 Reasons Pastors Should Blog, I will simply commend the link to you while imploring my colleagues/friends to join the fray.

What prompted me to blog? Darrin Brooker and Carey Nieuwhof. Very different blog styles, but both are huge sources of encouragement and inspiration for me.

At this point,’I'm all in’……I love blogging! I’d post everyday (many seem to), but I’m just not confident that I can say something sensible on a daily basis (if you don’t believe me, just read the inconsequential things I post as my ‘twitter status’).

I was delighted to have my good friend and colleague, Jeff Loach, recently join the world of blogging. Out of the gates, Jeff is posting very regularly, and it’s great stuff. I wish I had a long list of friends/colleagues who were blogging that I could recommend to you. I don’t. Check my blogroll. That’s all I got.

Friends, blogging is a great discipline. It helps me to think biblically. It helps me to engage the world around me. It connects me with people who are asking similar questions.

If you are a pastor, or a church leader, go check out Abraham Piper’s post. Let’s blog. Let’s encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).

This is Fun

I’ve been blogging for almost a month now–and I love it! It feels like online journaling, except for the fact that my thoughts are open for the whole world to see. That’s kind of scary and kind of cool, all at the same time. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments a few of you have left, and it is my sincere hope that the number of comments increases. Because, in my view, what makes the blogging experience unique is your ability to talk back. My expectation is that your comments/responses to posts will inspire my future posts. In other words, I want this to feel more like an online dialogue than me giving a sermon (not that sermons are bad!).

Speaking of sermons….I’m mindful that this domain used to be the location for finding reformed theology resources (The Reformed Theology Source). I am still very much interested in furnishing you with resources to assist you in your journey of faith. Much of the content on the right-hand side bar reflects this desire. Let’s walk through that side bar now:

Random Quote: I have amassed a great collection of quotes over the years, but I’m sure that I have only begun to scratch the surface. If you have a short quote relating to God’s BIGNESS (His supremacy), I’d be glad to receive it from you, and I’ll consider it for use on this blog.

Facebook Profile: OK, this isn’t a resource as much as it is a utility, but I have been amazed at the two-way traffic I’ve discerned between my blog and my fb profile. I’m utilizing a plug-in, Wordbook, that notices when I write a post and kindly previews that post on my fb profile–very cool!

Featured Resource: I hope self-promotion doesn’t bother you. The featured resource is a little booklet I wrote, inspired by the hymn, Here, O My Lord, I See Thee. I use the hymn as a springboard to reflect theologically and devotionally about the meaning of The Lord’s Supper. The Heavenly Table really is a booklet, and is priced accordingly at $3.00.

Blogroll: I’m grateful that there are so many people smarter than I who are blogging. It’s a mixed group: two are full-time pastors, one is finishing training for the pastorate, one is a world renowned history professor, one is a professional musician, and one is a layperson whose knowledge of reformed theology exceeds my own. I encourage you to take the time and visit each of these quality blog sites.

Featured Messages: I opened this post by saying how I want this blog to more closely resemble a dialogue than a sermon. Well, hopefully you won’t consider it a huge contradiction to find some of my sermon notes on this blog! I have selected, and linked, what I regard to be some of the key messages I have delivered over the past few years. I have attempted to cover a variety of topics and texts with this selection. If you’ve heard me preach, or if you’ve read some of my sermons in the past, and think I’ve left out a critical message–please let me know. I’ll happily honour requests in this section!

Recommended Sites: Kind of self-explanatory. They are all worthy spots to visit!

Horatius Bonar CD: Remember the hugely knowledgeable lay person I mentioned earlier in the blogroll? Well, he has meticulously put together the best collection of Horatius Bonar resources you’ll ever find. Not familiar with Bonar? Want more info on the CD? Then visit here. (Just make sure if you buy the CD, you mention this blog post—I think I can get a breakfast out of it :) )

Recommended Reading: You are looking at cover images of four books (randomly selected) from my library. These books range from John Calvin (1500s) to present day authors. You’ll find a variety of genres represented in this selection.

 

That concludes our tour of the right-hand side bar for today. We hope you enjoyed the trip and I look forward to reading your comments :)