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.

29 November 2007

BrantNOW Magazine!


If you live in Brantford... be on the lookout for BrantNOW's first ever MAGAZINE!

Flip a few pages and check my article called "Version 2.0". It all about speaking LIFE and what can happen when you speak good thing about a city.



Big props to Jamie Stephens (BrantNOW.com) on a great job!

Alright... because you asked... here's the article (but still read the Magazine)

Prayer Version 2.0

Word travels fast these days. How we interact with each other has been given and extreme-makeover. I hope you saw it coming. Because if you're not a Facebooker or a "Text Monkey", you're likely sitting at home right now wondering, " why am I not getting any emails, or phone calls, or telegraphs any more? Do I offend?"

Whoever "they" are, call this new wave of Internet usage, Web version 2.0. Where the Internet has given birth to new online communities of people who congregate and gossip about excruciating minutia. But this concept has much further social ramifications. It's changed the way our information is distributed. It's why movies are releasing longer trailers on You Tube and you can listen to… and re-post new, full, copy written songs on your blog. Word travels fast.

Reputations grow... plans are destroyed... opinions are formed by the masses. Life version 2.0 has given voice to the young, dumb, and easily influenced. Suddenly, who you are matters. Which brings us to Brantford. You can find a facegroup group "I finally gotten the hell out of Brantford", who's most recent comment is "Downtown smells like bird poop and Oreo's". Stay classy Chico. Yet this statement has influenced 714 people to join this group! 1341 Brantfordians are proud to declare that their lives have been touched by "Mike on a Bike". Many have take photos with him and posted them. (Including me). What does this really mean? Nothing. But it's making a statement of something inside their own heart. Speaking out loud what they see, feel and believe.

What are you speaking out loud? The truth is that your voice and what you say has always influenced your city. Because a city IS its people. Civic squares are nothing without people to skate on the rink. But if enough people band together and stir up bad sentiment about it... nobody will be there. And the best laid plans of mice and men will come crashing down.

What would happen if you decided to speak LIFE over Brantford. What would happen if you gave voice to the things that are great about the city you've chosen to live in. Think about it. Why are you here? You're free to NOT be here... but you are. Why? What would happen if you started speaking out the whys? I'll tell you what would happen. Others would say. "Hmmm. That’s a good point." All of a sudden, 2 people are speaking good things about Brantford.

I'm calling this Prayer version 2.0. Speaking life. One muggy Tuesday night this August, some of my radical, modern day hippie (only we're clean and have jobs) friends and me walked down to Victoria Park armed with an acoustic guitar and a nice new set of bongos. We looked at the Bank and spoke about financial prosperity in the city. We looked at the new University building and we spoke about educational success. We looked at St. Andrews United Church and we spoke about restoration and blessing the poor. We looked at City Hall and spoke about political understanding and unity.

We were simply talking to God and asking Him to increase "LIFE" things in a place that all too frequently sees its share of "DEATH" things. 6 or 7 people gathered around us and wanted to know what we were doing. We told them and asked them what they'd like to see change in Brantford? They said some really harsh, raw things like racism, gun fights, anger, violence, hallucinations and what one girl called "bad things". You didn't have to be Dr. Phil to know that "bad things" really meant some unspeakably bad things. It's not that hard to tell. So we prayed and spoke life, peace and hope. And that's exactly what every member of our team, and even the passers-by, left Victoria Park with that muggy summer evening in August... Life, Hope and Peace.

Prayer is the only way to make the midnight dreams make sense. It paints "the should be" shadows on a canvass then hangs it in the living room. It’s something that seems so intangible yet I know its real.
How? When my eyes are open... everything is fluid. Quickly changing. Unstable and built on ground that could shift at a moment's notice. When my eyes are closed, I come right back to the place of "what should be". It's unchanging and unshakable. It's a place we can call home. And we all need that place.

It's Brantford's "Revitalization Plan" version 2.0. We have to
choose to speak life. Not just for your own sake, but you never know how speaking LIFE could lift the spirits of the next great Brantfordian. We're living in a Brantford where LIFE spreads fast! Want to team up? Email me at brantfordrevolution@gmail.com

28 November 2007

Life Plans

Dave Carrol's Facebook profile

My facebook status this morning said: Dave Carrol is musing that life is ALWAYS up and down. Why are we always caught by surprise by it?
I then had a great MSN discussion with a friend of mine about this idea.

J says: that is an amazing thought
Dave at Work says:
ha... yeah I'm always shocked at how rattled we all get

J says: thats what makes it exciting...if life was predictable...I'd be bored

Dave at Work says:
But we always all react with emotion you know... and you have to... and it's good... but i often wonder just how and why we so lost in emotion of a moment

J says: cuz its emotion that makes us human...i think anyway

Dave at Work says:
and how quickly people bail on important things because of how something feels at a particular moment. I think emotions and feelings can lie to you. They fluctuate because of circumstance

J says: its because so few people have a plan.

Dave at Work says:
circumstance is fluid... you should find truth and make it a constant.

J says: thats deep. Too few people have a life plan...so therefore they can't put circumstances in context

Dave at Work says:
I'm honestly not that big on life plans per say. I think that sometimes when people put a "plan" in place they attempt to dictate the "variables". It deals in the tangible. I think that things like values, principles, and truths should be the plan. Don't sway from them... walk on in life in that direction and the circumstances play out how they may

Dave at Work says:
see to me an example is comedy for me. I really wanted to do it for a while. I knew I could do it and do it well. But I never felt any kind of peace about basing "the doings" of life on it. I felt God telling me that "it's a tool that I've given you to communicate important things." and that's how I've seen it play out in my life. It's not about the silly variables... it's about the solids.

Dave at Work says:
I've still got to do what was in me... but if I'd struck out on a plan of ... how do I get from here to there... i wouldn't have been in a place where I've got to use it for some more than I could have thought before

Dave at Work says:
I was just thinking about this because of a dude I know who seems to have... as Paul Simon wrote once... "fled from himself in the struggle from here to get there"

J says: when are you writing your first book???

Dave at Work says:
Ha... soon hopefully. It just looks like he's bailed on his principles... taking the easy wussy way out instead of being a man of integrity and learning how to change circumstance without throwing out solids

Dave at Work says:
just pisses me off

I don't know really. It's is tough thing to throw at someone. Because frankly, we're all Captain Plankeye in SO MANY ways. But life is always up and down. The idea of the season, is prominent in the Bible... so why are we so impacted by the winter when we KNOW the spring is always on the way.

I've never missed a spring.

27 November 2007

City in Haiku

"God digs the city.

How they age fascinates me.

People living close."
DC


Jeremiah 29:7
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.













Hebrews 11:10
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

"Working at motion.

Moving forward; falling back

One day we'll get there"

DC



Jeremiah 33:9
Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.


"Aging adds color.

Not that which was intended.

But secrets over time."
DC

26 November 2007

And now for something completely different

One of the things that our Pastor at Freedom House encourages us to do in worship is... something completely different than we've ever done before. To some raising their hands is a liberating stretch and GREAT FOR THEM!

Others bow. Others dance. Others write what they hear God saying.
Some sit in awe, Some yell at the top of their lungs. We're called Freedom House eh. It's just how we roll.

Truth is that nothing that we can do in an individual moment can capture the enormity of the Lord. We can barely scratch the surface of the Glory of God... let alone express with our fat little bodies His goodness in an old bar room.

But this is about a relationship here. It's a story made up of moments.

I have great friends who are about to be married in a few weeks. They're terrific people and I hope to be friends with them for years and years. They're about to wake up one morning, look at each other and say, "Wow... we're married." Their union as one begins and the rules of life change forever. The thrill and the weight of unknown adventure sits, seemingly tangibly, in front of them... but there's no way to reach out and touch it from the morning marriage bed.

What then?

You dance.
If on the night of your 10th anniversary, you're still the same person with the same "moves" as your honeymoon... you'll sleep that night in love yes. But bored... longing for the freshness of the honeymoon bed.

The same martial flirts. The same surprise romantic meals. The same perfume or cologne.
The same sexual routines. The same date night destination. There is comfort in similarity, but the honest truth is that much of that comfort is our own.

When you're in a relationship and your "one" does something new. Just for you. You're flattered. Your heart beats a bit quicker. You might even blush. It's something new... for you.

That's what it's like for God I think when you choose to worship Him in a new way. Doesn't matter if you're in the honeymoon bed or on your 50th Anniversary with "The Groom"... he still wants to dance. He still wants to know that his bride is loving Him as passionately and freshly as He's loving on her.

Job 36:16 "He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.

23 November 2007

The Farm

This my Great Grandparent's Farmhouse between Madoc and Bancroft Ontario.


View Larger Map

My family doesn't have lot's in the way of folk lore and lasting tradition. But what it does have... comes from this little farmhouse.

The road to the right is named "Phillips Road" after my great Grandfather Oscar. They ran a self sufficient farm, they hunted, they trapped, they planted and harvested, they tapped trees and made their own maple syrup.

They were wonderful happy people.
I wonder if our land needs more Oscar and Cora Phillip's.

22 November 2007

Naked


I wonder what God thinks when I throw my Hissy Fits?

Does He laugh at me? Or just shake his head. Either way. Glad I don't have to see it.

20 November 2007

Things that seem awesome today

I don't know who Mike Huckabee is... but this is awesome.

***Sidenote***
I do know who he is... it just sounded cooler saying it the other way



I saw this on "The Hour" last week. It's a guy who has made a series of t-shirts with the face of a complete stranger on it. The idea is that you wear it and think about the other person. In turn, you submit your face to be send to some other complete stranger.

Kinda a global community deal.

I like it... but what if we did it with prayer instead of nice thoughts?
I've always found it funny when people say, "you'll be in my thoughts". Umm... who cares if you're thinking about me? Pray darn you... pray.

Have you seen this picture of Jesus floating around the internet?


Is it accurate?
Offensive?
Challenging?
Wrong?

I think all to some extent. But really... Biblically speaking, how is evil overcome? Kindness and Servanthood.

Have you ever been in a foot washing service? I have done this a couple of times and it is POWERFUL POWERFUL act.

It's humbling, full of love, full of honor. It's equalizing.

1Cor 13: 3-5

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.


That's love that makes change. "Against such things there is no law"

19 November 2007

Freedom House Art


Pam Groenewegen (Will's awesome sister) painted this fantastic abstract interpretation of Freedom House.

Love to hear your interpretations of it...

What a wonderful example of how God is inspiring art in these days for HIS Glory!

16 November 2007

Warning


"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid."

GK Chesterton

Bye Bye Barry


See that skinny little man on the right. He MAY have become that big 'ole He Hulk on the left

Enough with Barry.

Good bye now.

I'm going to gaze longingly at my autographed Hank Aaron 755 photo on my wall.








Ahhh....





15 November 2007

I love live TV...


http://view.break.com/399779 - Watch more free videos

LOVE it I tells ya.

I used to host "Nite Lite". 2.5 hours of live Christian call-in TV where people of all makes and models would... let's say... "share" their...let's say.... "thoughts" about... let's say..."everything".

A couple of my favorites were...

Woman: "Do you know Queen Esther?"
Dave: "Not personally but yes."
Woman: "Remember how she bathed in myrrh?"
Dave: (Worried) "Ummm... OK."
Woman: "How do I make myrrh?"
Dave: "Why do you want to make myrrh?"
Woman: "I'd like to bathe in myrrh"
Dave's Co-host: "Why don't you use a modern perfume... like Calvin Klein?"

Or the day I spoke with the prophet Elijah (who apparently lives just outside Vancouver).

Or the day the phone call started with...

"Once I was in a car accident and I was taken into the throne room of God. He had long flowing hair and rubies for eyes. He told me that in heaven we'd all live on lakes and be farmers"


Like I said... I love live TV

13 November 2007

Silly Girls

I’m a father of 3… And I’ve learned something about women.

Women look at babies like men look at women.
Catching them out of the corner of their eye in grocery stores.
Trying to pretend their not looking… getting caught gazing across the room.
They even catch the eyes of other women…

“Did you see that one? That's baby's hot! So cuutteeee!"


12 November 2007

Faith is a roller coaster

Living a life that actively chooses to have faith as part of the decision making equation... is going to be a roller coaster.

There is nothing more euphoric than the feeling of seeing God do something you chose to believe before you saw. Unmistakable proof that we're not chasing a white rabbit.

That is until the next day when you take a dull blow to the nether-regions because things did not work out like you thought they would. ESPECIALLY when you've done what you've done BECAUSE of faith. It's not just like you've made a bad choice. You've intentionally CHOSEN to function illogically because of something you perceive to be an unseen constant.

It was a roller coaster weekend for me.

Hurtful harsh words and touching kind sentiments.

Greed and Generosity.

Peace and Anxt.

Literal pain and unexpected pleasures.

Friends who are hurting because of failed expectations. Sick families.
Broken relationships.
Loneliness.
Lack of provision.

I see myself fail and fail and fail and succeed and succeed and succeed.
Even in my strengths... I find repugnant flaws in my character.
Gaping holes in my persona.

But isn't this just life?
It's easy to see why "faith" can seem like a guise.

Remember the story about Jacob wrestling with God? I've had a few of those lately. But if faith really is the substance of things unseen... it's the times of failure, loss, pain that faith is really for. I've felt the hollowness of a life without hope.

THAT hurts.
THAT'S despair from the inside that goes so far beyond any outside pain that I've ever felt.

This is why one is unwise to make circumstance a foundation. It's a fluid. Always a fluid.
Your grace is enough.



9 November 2007

Raise a little Christmas Hell... in Jesus name


I'm pretty sure we all know that Christmas is too commercial. Charlie Brown taught us that lesson in 1965. Done. Gotcha. Agreed. I'm not we need to be told again.

We're not slaves to our culture though. We all get that right?

I can't dig the "Big C" church being so jaded about what Christmas has become. Are we having a little Christmas religious "I'm not playing" snit?

I believe it was the prophet "Trooper" that once said:

If you don't like What you got Why don't you change it If your world is all screwed up Rearrange it Raise a little Hell ... raise a little hell... raise... a little... hell.

You know how Christians raise hell?
Strategic Kindness. Ridiculous Love. Radical Generosity.

You don't want to go through the meaningless Christmas motions? Don't. Find meaningFULL
Christmas things and use this cultural opportunity to change the flawed.

"You MUST live in the culture you're in."

I learned this lesson from Cal Bombay (100 Huntley Street television), sitting in his office one day. He had just returned from one of his astounding missions to Sudan... litteraly freeing slaves. Like... PURCHASING the freedom of Sudanese people who were in enslaved in shackles. He looked at me and said, "You know the hardest part of these trips? When I get back to Ontario and my son takes me out for a Big Mac. But you MUST live in the culture you're in."

Wow.

Not every culture celebrates Christmas like we do. But if you haven't noticed... WE DO.

So use our culture with...
Strategic Kindness. Ridiculous Love. Radical Generosity.

One year for Christmas, Krissy wrote her mom a letter, telling her what was actually going on in her mind as a teenager. A gift that filled in many holes and something that every parent really wishes they knew! AMAZING gift.

This Christmas season, I want to find a way to encourage people who sacrifice themselves for something bigger. The "Naked Pastor" is a blogger pastor named David Hayward out in New Brunswick who is also a fantastically gifted artist. He paints..."His contemplative world of minimalist art inspired by the rugged coastal north country where he lives"...as onto the Lord"... as seen here on the left.


You should check it out... and bless him by buying a piece. I'm going to.
Don't bail on Christmas.

7 November 2007

Perspective

Great small group discussion the other night. We're reading the book "The None Should Perish"... a book that looks at things like spiritual warfare from an evangelism point of view.

There's something that I'm realizing more and more about The Bible and how it molds us. That A LOT of our effectiveness as Christians is about our perceptions of reality... and we should be constantly pursuing transformation...

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For example, Ed Silvo talks lots about "the heavenlies" and how we need to understand where we are spiritually if we're really going to be to effect the here and now.

The Black and White diagram depicts where things stood in "the heavenlies" in the BC times. Basically that because of sin, man was locked in the "Cosmic Grave"


The second diagram depicts what happened when Jesus unlocked those gates, and planted his feet in the grave and then also sat beside The Father in Heaven. We are the body in between . The top and bottom are constants... the variable is us. Are we going to be "The Body" and simply understand our authority to win the battle that's already been won.

Eph 2:6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


There is much more to the story... OBVIOUSLY. But it's about perspective methinks.

Understanding who we really are changes how we function. Or at least it should.

6 November 2007

Echo Prayer Manager


Not a bad idea... I'm going to give it try.

The other part of giving is...

... that it's hard! You immediately get bombarded with doubt. Fun Fun.

It's scarier when the days are dark.
I expect it from the night.
It's weirder when it gets dark on what I thought was a happy, fun, faith walk.
This faith walk was blessing and treasure and reward... and all it feels is lonely and isolated.
Tonight I curl up behind the cross.

I've heard tales of ABBA,
But never dared draw close.

I have no context!
I need context!!
Do I need context?
Maybe I don't.
Maybe I just need to curl up.

In long suffering, stripes, and sleeplessness I commend myself as a minister of God
Lord let me honest in your presence.

5 November 2007

The Giving Laboratory


My church is fascinating. Sometimes it feels like we're running a spiritually laboratory.

Brian: "Now... I wonder what would happen if try THIS Biblical thing..."
Bystander: "You realize of course you're quite mad"
Brian:"Muhahahaha....."

You really MUST read this scripture
2 Corinthians 9: 6,7,10,11

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

This past Sunday was something that we call "Miracle Sunday". It's one Sunday a year that we set aside and encourage people to give 90% instead of the 10% tithe.

"Let's see what it's like living on what we normally give to God to live on"
Brian Beattie


It's VERY challenging frankly (for obvious reason). Here's the deal with giving. If this God thing is real... then so is this principle. And most of us have no real leg to stand on when being critical of it, because we've never really tried it.

But think about it. When you're generous... EVERYBODY WINS.

I win because I'm willingly acting on what I DO believe... that money is not the most important thing to me. I win because I'll reap generously so that I can continue to be generous on all occasions.

Who you give to wins, because their practical needs are being met. We're taking this extra money and filling an entire stable through World Vision... check this out...

"By filling a stable, you can provide: a milk-producing goat and cow, hens and a rooster for eggs, piglets for protein and additional income, and a donkey to haul heavy loads. These precious animals produce protein, nutrition, income, labor, fertilizer and fuel. There could be no better gift for a community striving to break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-reliance."

This then frees the recipient's of the stable up to be generous to others! It's this constant cycle of generosity that should be our goal. Sometimes you just have to strike out and say, "if this is how it should be, then I need to do it this way."

There is work to be done in this world. Barn's to build in Uganda, and missionaries that need to be supported in Canada. We are extremely wealthy people are we are shockingly able to give so much more than we think that we can. Why wouldn't God give "seed" to someone willing to "sow that seed"?

Answer:
He would
He does

2 November 2007

1 November 2007

The Throne


The Throne
Originally uploaded by Big Ear.
The Princess on her throne.
Halloween was worth it... just for this picture.

Sudbury... GLORIOUS Sudbury... Nickel


I wonder if the good people of Sudbury... GLORIOUS Sudbury... ever fall short in their budget and think,

"Well... it's time to start chopping it into little nickels. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25..."


What I learned about Sudbury:

1) It's really far to Sudbury
2) I'm not sure I ever want to drive to Sudbury again
3) If you hit a raccoon in the dark in Sudbury, it's brain and blood and hair will wind up on your back window

Thank you for today's lesson about Sudbury. Please continue on your merry way.

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