Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

30 September 2006

Fasting

Today I tried on my old winter jacket. I would say that I'm swimming in the stupid thing. Of course, it was big on me before and I weigh 50lbs less than I did last time I wore it. Nertz. I guess that's what a year of fasting will do it a fat guy!

Our pastor has called Freedom House to another 40 day fast beginning Monday. Now weighing 159lbs... I started to wonder just how thin this man wants me to get. But instead of food this time, God has called Krissy and I to fast the almighty television for 40 days.

One of the things that God taught be during my mother of all fasts, was that in the moment it's all about obedience (like nearly everything our walk with God) and answers come later. I know now that my previous fast accomplished many things.
  1. I never really believed I could loose that much weight
  2. Spurred me on to begin actual exercise
  3. Taught me to think about what I'm putting into my body
  4. Taught me spiritual discipline
Going without television (just when the baseball playoff are about to start I might ad), is going to walk us into another new world. As sad as this may sound to some, television has always been an overly large part of our lives. It's only on the rare occasion that we will shut the TV off in the evening and read, talk, etc. together. Don't get me wrong... we're careful what we watch but even if we're not intently watching what's on... it's on.

The Bible talks about how some things only happen with prayer and fasting. The practical result of fasting, is almost like a social experience. "What would happen if a person was without _______ for a period of time". Hmmmm let's watch shall we. Invariably we turn to God because our flesh begins squirming since it's accustomed to the comforts of our world.

One of things that irked me most when returning from Ghana a number of years ago was when people would talk about Africa and say... "Well aren't we blessed to not have go through what they do" or,"Makes you appreciate what we have." Well no Homer. They have something that we don't and, in many cases, it as a direct result of being without our precious physical comfort. They have a reliable social network (not government... actual friends... not computer MSN friends... wild!), they have joy. I WANT what they have.

I'm quite looking forward to seeing how, first my flesh, then my spirit reacts to no television for 40 days. It is likely going to be in a way that could only happen with a fast. Supernatural God leading dead flesh just releases our spirit from the POW camps we're struggling not to have to live in anymore.

24 September 2006

Thunderstorm

I woke up to the sound of a pre-dawn thunderstorm
It’s where we stand in history my brother
It’s where we’ve stood for a long time
God sends rain, we feel rain, we hide from rain because its effects are unknown
What will happen when we stand out in the rain?
What will the neighbors think?

A woman screams in childbirth
With the welcoming of the new, comes real pain
With pain comes violent change
There’s no hiding from it, there’s no escaping it, though there’s peace in embracing it
What will happen when change is embraced?
Will time release its close-kept secrets?

Raindrops stop and I look around the room
Everything is in disarray
It had to be this way
I know it
The way it was wouldn’t do, the way it was couldn’t have held up, that way is gone.
What happens next?

22 September 2006

Could I be Billy Bee

Today I auditioned to be the voice of "Billy Bee" of Billy Bee Honey fame. In all Billy's days he has never spoken. Could I be the one? I was telling my small group about last night and they were saying "You should pray and ask God what voice to use". What a funny prayer that would be

"Dear Lord, what does this adorable corporate logo sound like?"

19 September 2006

Fall

I love living in Canada. The seasons are so different and distinct. Each have their own feel, attributes, smells, stimuli, and lessons to be learned. The melancholy nature of fall is my favorite season. Odors of damp leaves combined with rich rustic colour blanketing the earth. Cool mornings and dim evenings. The boisterous summer, with it’s flashy cars, muscle shirts, teenagers possessing the landscape give way to an earthly hush and mature introspective moments. It’s the texture of the fall that excites me. It’s a visable tapestry of time. You remember when life was conceived… you had your moment in the sun, and you can taste the cold coming. The texture of autum.

18 September 2006

The Carrol's go to the Zoo
















I hadn't been to the Toronto Zoo in quite a number of years... but if you're going to punk out of work on a Monday, definetly not a bad place to take the kids!

12 September 2006

I'm a hypocrite


This can be such a discouraging/encouraging part of Scripture:

Romans 7: 14-25

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

On my lunch break today, I browsed through Chapters and was reading snippets from the book "Bono in conversation with Michka Assaya. He had some absolutely fascinating things to say about our Christian faith (which I do believe we share with Bono).

"Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. …When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my shit and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut?....

This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's far fetched"

He talks about how being around the religious makes him squirmish. And... play this out... and you know who he's talking about to a great extend? OUR PRECIOUS MODERN MEGA-CHURCHES!! Jesus kicked in the areas of His culture that needed a book-kicking. He didn't put up with wrong motives. He didn't put up with false fronts. He didn't put up with selfishness about the sacred. Bono's a hypocrit too mind you... and revels in it. Embraces it even to a certain extent.

I feel like my perception of the term "being sold out for God" is being rocked. In safer times, it used to mean, go to Bible College, be a missionary in a far off land, work at finding the right way to bring Jesus into a conversation with heathens, start a church and coddle over-fed larded up saints into bulah land, sing Amazing Grace at the funeral and start again. My apologies for my harshness... but not really.

I'm starting to see that we're like Paul... knowing what we should be, but being conned into SECOND BEST. And our "Modern Style" Churches that we all thought WERE the needed Revolution... was just a new context in which to compromise.

"Bono: The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled… It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven."

What's the answer? I simply do not know... YET. But I do know that living with hypocrisy is not good for my spirit. It deadens it. And it's heavier and heavier the further I go into ministry. I have a ravenous desire for the HOLY, yet my actions and words are yet to line up. When I preach or teach, it simply exposes more areas of my heart that have not had true heavenly revelation brought to it yet. At the same time, I know it's my merciful, gracious God spurring me further and challenging me to release what I know and exchange it for a new mind. Are other people experience this bubbling up in this age?

8 September 2006

Veggies on NBC!

Check this out! Starting tomorrow morning on NBC... VeggieTales will begin airing at 10am... followed by Larry Boy cartoons. Check out the personal blog of Phil Vischer... one of the creators of the cartoon. He tells the whole story about how originally NBC only wanted to take out the scripture verse at the end, but then gradually pushed to remove more of the God related references. Did they actually watch Veggie Tales??? It's an interesting scenario that I'm sure they got stuck in. Do we continue on without the God references or do we bail on an amazing opportunity to have a whole new audience for the veggies.

One of the things that VeggieTales have always done VERY VERY well is communicate Christ-like values in well-thought-out scenarios... that actually make me laugh. I'm glad that they've gone ahead. Props to Phil. Like he talks about, these video with Christian teaching are available in Walmart and this can only lead to more children learning about Christianity. Not to mention good values... and as a parent of their target audience... it's not easy to find programs that really point towards truth... not just fun. Go Veggies! I'm a big fan.




5 September 2006

1000 feet of hopscotch

I took a walk during my lunch hour the other day and I came across quite a sight. Some children (or possibly very lonely adults) had created a hopscotch game... 1000 squares long!!!

It was awesome! I have not hopped scotch for some time... nor did I that day, but as I walked along the duded up sidewalk, I actually began to get excited. The numbers progressed up over 500. The milestone markers were done in coloured chalk and filled with elaborate design. It was quite something to, nearly tangibly, feel as the excitement building in the architect's of such a creation.

Finally the number 1000 was so large that it spilled out on to the road. Fanciful, childlike, FREE. I wished that I had been there as one child egged on another saying "We should go for 500." "Bet I can do 1000!" "Oh yeah... 1000 squares"

It was like dream mission for hoppers. And you know how hard it was? Not very. It just took doing. It just took time. It took perseverance. It took vision. It took imagination. It took foresight. It took initiative. It took faith. But it happened. Our dreams are tangible. They're within our grasp. When our dreams are breathed by the God who gives us a life-canvas... in His mind, it's not only accomplishable... but it's already done. It's just sitting, waiting for us to activate faith and act upon His dreams.

The result is substantial and impressive. The results of action make others stop and take notice. It will spur them on dream themselves. It was just chalk on a sidewalk... but if hopscotch is where your heart is... the Bible says, "Where your heart, there your treasure lies."

In the children's eyes, this was the most beautiful thing they'd ever made. I cannot disagree. And although hopscotch is not in my HEART... spirit births spirit baby.

Take us out to the ballgame


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