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.

27 April 2010

The day you start bringing "throwin' eggs" to the office... is a bad day

"Chaos erupts as smoke bombs and eggs are thrown and fighting breaks as Ukraine's parliament ratified a bitterly controversial deal with Russia extending the lease of a key naval base. The deal signed last week by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych had been slammed by the pro-Western Ukrainian opposition as a historic surrender of sovereignty. Deputies also started fighting over a massive Ukrainian flag in the middle of the chamber, twisting and distorting the yellow and blue banner as smoke continued to billow in the chamber. AP/April 27, 2010

You know it's a bad day when you're walking out of the house on your way to parliament and you decide to fill your pockets with "throwin' eggs"

Mrs Ukrainian Parliamentarian: "Honey... are... are those my eggs in your pocket???? Don't you dare throw those eggs in parliament today. Those are for my cake... NOT for Yanukovych's jacket. "

I also love that there were "Just in case egging umbrellas" already on hand for this type of egging situation. Is this a typical Ukraine reaction? Eggs?

How does this happen? My opinion... is that is outside North America, politics means a whole lot more to the surface, basic human needs in lives than ours does... so people care more. In Africa, friends gave me the analogy that there, politicians are the difference between food and no food. Here... it's about variable tax rates. It's the same reason near 100% of honest humans will admit that they'd steal to feed their hungry kids.

That might explain today's egging... or maybe they're just dumb. I'm not sure if the Ukraine gets a mulligan on this one... but war is not that far removed from the country so it's CLEARLY a very sensitive issue. As expressing in "egging" form today.

I'm a picture that I'm holding of someone who is cool

I found this very thought-provoking video yesterday about the sometimes disconnect, narcissism, and ironic self-loathing-laced egotism of our current cultural trappings.

There are some astute sociological statements in this piece:

"The anonymousness of it makes me feel like I can trust it"
"There's a gap widening between the perception of myself when I'm in front of the computer and when I'm not"
"I think I end up role playing" (my Internet personality... a romanticized version of me)
"I get to be that presence watching myself"
"I don't want to look back at my youth as something I did on the computer"
"I think I want to be God"

I'll never forget when Alex Rodriquez released his infamous "Kissing myself in the mirror" picture. I couldn't figure it out then and I still can't now but what a picture of narcissism. Years ago, the Canadian band "Odds" wrote a fantastic song called "Someone who is Cool". I love the chorus:

"It was the suit that got me the gig
It was the tear that got me the girl
I'm a sheep in this wolf's clothing
I'm a picture that I'm holding of someone who is cool"

Being a picture that you're holding of someone who is cool is a pretty big risk of our culture. Kinda gives you a bit of the sick in the pit of your stomach feeling sometimes.

So it's likely the devil's doing. Burn the magic machine you're looking at right now. BURN!!!! (in an environmentally friendly way of course). If only things were like they were during Little House on the Prairie.

... not

All cultures are flawed. There are trappings and temptations that tempt us to move away from the KINGDOM CULTURE in every setting and era of life and time. We idealize and romanticize other cultures while cowardly labeling our own as unusually cruel and beyond repair! Those happy-ranchy-horsey-farmy-folk on Christian TV are just as screwed up as we are! They just have different trappings. Saddle-envy maybe.

A few weeks ago we had a city-wide church gathering where I was in charge of leading a prayer time for "The Media". In the middle of it, I really began to realize the power Isaiah 55:11 in the age we live in:

11 It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

My friend Chris is running for Mayor and wrote this this morning on Facebook

It's exciting to know that we are no long held hostage by the traditional media outlets...there are now a variety of ways to communicate the truth and not be held hostage by posers with a bias...you might not be able to win slander and defamation in court, but you can certainly win it in the court of public opinion...get ready

He's right about that in the public political forum... and it's just as true with the the life that God wants to bring to our world THROUGH YOU!

"The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart"
Romans 10: 8

We live in an age where EVERYONE has a voice and a platform. Right now I have 1,052 Facebook friends and 729 people following me on Twitter (not that that means anything... it's the just the number). Every single day... God has allowed me to have a life-changing word in my heart, that should come out of my mouth, backed by a promise that it won't come back void, and vehicles that allow access to thousands of ears. And so do you. And by the way... you ARE speaking a message of some description in one way or another.

disconnected, narcissistic, and self-loathing egotism only happens when we put the focus and base foundation on the cultural, temporal vehicles that we build as replacements for the sovereign unchanging voice of God. You know... an idol. There's nothing unique to our current culture about idols. They've been getting in man's way for thousands of years... and will continue in one form or another. They just used to look like golden cows.

The very real issues that short film depicts are prevalent and escalating but the times we live are only evil days if you let them be. People are the ones that matter... not our cultural flavors. We should never make the mistake of giving culture more importance than it deserves. But frankly... there isn't a time or place I'd rather be. We'll pick up this discussion Wednesday 9pm on FreedomHouseTV.com. Join us... I'd love to hear your thoughts.

26 April 2010

Life lessons from High School Musical

I have a long-standing distaste for musicals. As a kid I didn't like the quarterly appointment my Mom and sister made to usurp the TV so that they could watch the Sound of Music. I "LOLed" before it was an acronym at the thought of the West Side Story gangs singing and dancing their way across the street to knife-fight each other.

In high school, I fell in love with Drama and acting. It was the one class I legitimately looked forward to. My teacher was not a fan of musicals either and commonly ranted about it being bastardized acting where poppy-hooks took the place of legitimate character interaction. He bemoaned the theater world where Andrew Lloyd Weber was deified and Harold Pinter was a double jeopardy answer that only the cultural elite could identify.

One day, he swallow his pride and took us to see an original Canadian musical presentation of Napoleon at the Pantages Theatre in Toronto. It was everything I had expected and more. Lovely setting... great production... awful acting... a terrible script... and goofy songs with Napoleon singing his way through battles. The story was cutoff at the knees and you cared nothing about the characters in the end. My scorn for the musical was amplified that day. I love plays, play-writes, and live theater and I wish there was more around with depth... and I wish I was in them!

Yesterday though, my wife had a meeting in the afternoon, so I took my 3 kids SOLO to The St. Jacobs Country Playhouse (an really nice little theater) to see High School Musical... a musical. 3 kids and one parent not used to such endeavors is always logistically challenging when it comes to pee emergencies but I somehow juggled it so no pants were soiled and no little girls were scarred for life by urinal pass-bys. I loved being in a live theater atmosphere and so did my kids.

While High School Musical certainly didn't surprise or challenge me... it mattered very little. I watched my kids eyes widen as the curtain flew open. I watched them marvel at the sets, the lights, and the spectacle of the dancing. I sat beside Brianna (my 3 year old) because I expected her to be the one to lose attention first, but she made it through most of the show... diverting her attention once every 3 minutes to look at me and say, "I love you daddy".

Mellisa O'Neil (The 3rd Canadian Idol winner) sang beautifully in this charming show. It was wonderful to see this young girl, who seems like a genuinely lovely person, released to do what she loves doing. Afterward, she hugged my girls and told them she heard them giggling in the front row. They glowed. I glowed. It was moving... and it happened at a musical.

When people ask if I speak French... the first thing I say is "qui a volé la dinde?". It means, "who has stolen the turkey?" It means nothing... I just think it's funny.

But the second thing I say is one of the only French phrases I remember from school. It's "chacun ses goûts". I means "to each his own". What it kinda also means is grace. Letting people like what they like and like them liking it.

I'm not saying that my kids will subsequently be musical nuts as opposed to the thought-through written word... but I knew they'd like it, so the right thing to do is to like them liking it... and like it along for their benefit. One of the main reasons we had kids was to make sure that our lives weren't based around us. It's not becoming of an adult to be selfish and make decisions based on what tickles OUR fancy. It's actually quite unhealthy. It's unproductive. And it doesn't lead others into their freedom/destiny because sometimes people need encouragement to dream where THEIR passion is.

It's not Shakespeare... but the point of High School Musical is a good one. Be who you are... thrive in it... and come alongside others in their "thing" even if it's not yours.

23 April 2010

I'm doing the thing blog experts tell you not to do

Blog experts tell you never to bore reader with pictures of your kids. Swing on it blog experts. My friend Katie took these amazing shots of my offspring... and you're gonna love 'em dern ya.

22 April 2010

Baby, you’ve got a stew going

Life's been busy lately... so I have about 20 unfinished bits of bloggy babble. So what my parents used to do when they had little bits of stuff leftover that were too good to throw away but too small eat as a whole meal... was just as Carl Weathers said Tobias in Arrested Development:
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s still plenty of meat on that bone. Now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going."
Carl Weathers

1. Ever since Dino Ciccarelli... I knew right wingers were nuts (speaking as a card carrying right winger). Why did Rush Limbaugh feel that God hated the US healthcare deal so much that He felt compelled to take it out on the European airline industry? Pat Robertson should breathe a sigh of relief... at least his statements are about things that even kind of have a cause/effect connection! That's OK... yesterday Ayatollah Kazem Sedighitold of Iran said that women who wear makeup, snub traditional Islamic attire and dress "inappropriately" incite extramarital sex, which causes more earthquakes.

Every faith has got their PR Nightmares.

2. Why is Bea Arthur back from the grave (for any reason really) and pissed at McDonalds? Really? This is the shot of credibility that PETA desperately needed.

3. You know what kind of blogging/writing has jumped the shark? 20's hipsters convinced that they've achieved a lifetime of enlightenment because they travel. Stop it. You're just gonna feel dumb about that in ten years.

4. This is pretty awesome from Reverend Fun

5. A number of times over the last couple of weeks, I've stopped and looked at what Christianity looks like to some and thought... it's a wonder there are any of us at all. Good news is, that there are 2.1 billion of us so there's GOT to be something to this. The bad news is...


and Kerney Thomas is my favorite...

"Your miracle is one personal prayer package away" GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWD!

Baby, you’ve got a stew going. I love it when people are shocked that we can joke around and still be Christians. Ummm... how can you not? And on that note, the opening chit chat sequence of Freedomhousetv.com last night was a fine fine piece of live internet television.

19 April 2010

Sex Quote

VIA Josh Longbrake:

“Playful without honor is seductive. Honor without playful is dutiful.”

Dan Allender (Mars Hill) on sex

17 April 2010

OF COURSE the Americans are going to Mars

Let me just say... this is stupid. From the AP:

"Going to an asteroid could provide vital training for an eventual mission to Mars. It might help unlock the secrets of how our solar system formed. And it could give mankind the know-how to do something that has been accomplished only in the movies by a few square-jawed, squinty-eyed heroes: saving the Earth from a collision with a killer asteroid.

"You could be saving humankind. That's worthy, isn't it?" said Bill Nye, TV's Science Guy and vice president of the Planetary Society."

Yep... Bill Nye the science guy knows best. I think they are secretly hoping for the end of the horrid "Mission to Mars" where Gary Sinise holds hand with Martians lovingly and states, "They are us. We are them". Dang. Tears.

This is stupid because:

A) This is REALLY REALLY expensive... and putting a Mars trip on Visa even seemed stupid to Lance Bass. Fighting health care but embracing Mars, might be ill-advised.

B) Fox tells me that whole moon landing thing was fake in the first place. Their feet were over the crop marks. Hmmm... Are the area 51 folks just getting itchy to be even half-relevant again?

C) Instead of Marching to Mars (Sammy Hagar reference) to discover how the solar system was formed (for whatever purpose)... maybe just sit back and be in awe of the heavens that GOD created, trust that it's awesome, and revel in it's awesomeness.

D) Instead of worrying about how non-recycled cans, comets, cars and nukes are bringing about the end of the earth and tying to save us by going to Mars where we can't do a little something called breathing... maybe we should just get that there WILL be an end. It's in the plan. We're designed in the image of God to bring life to the EARTH God gave uniquely to us to have dominion over. And.................... we can't save ourselves. That's Jesus job. He didn't mention the great Mars escape. We're here until He takes us.

One thing they are right about. There is a need for a new Utopian society. And it's already waiting for us. Save the Mars money. Give your life away.

16 April 2010

What can people with vision and guts do in a city?

I wrote this piece today for Freedomhouse.ca about the Grand Opening of our new Freedom Gate Apartments. I wanted to share it with you Big Ear peeps too. I'm so blessed to help lead a group of people who not only TALK about how to transform a city in many aspects... but have the guts to do it.


After a roughly 4 year process, the public was welcomed through the brand new Freedom Gate Apartments on April 15th. There is so much to say, and so many people to thank.

You can check out a wonderful video piece the Brantford Expositor did where Brian lays out the vision for Freedom Gate here. Here's a piece of what Susan Gamble wrote about it (full story here):

Church answers housing need

A heavenly building project designed to do a lot of earthly good opened to the public Thursday for tours. Final touches are being made to Freedom Gate Apartments -- formerly Freedom House Church -- as it gets ready to lease out 15 new affordable housing apartments. "We wanted to be a church that wasn't all about what goes on in the church building," says lead pastor Brian Beattie.

"We wanted to do something that affected the community in a positive way and one of the big needs in Brantford is affordable housing."

Adding the developer (GK York), Nova Vita and Canadian Mental Health to a proposal that landed it about $750,000 in government grants.

The $1.5-million Freedom Gate project includes an extension at the back of the building that created an additional eight units, including one designed for a resident in a wheelchair. It also includes a two-level community room where tenants can host parties.

"A couple of our members want to live here and help us have a stake in the community," said Beattie.

The church plans to hold socials, conduct Bible studies and get back to hosting its Friday night barbecues from the common room.

"This is a great meeting area and a great place for people to see the love of God in a practical way," said Beattie.

You can also read about it in the Brant News here. Many from the city came through including our former mayor and current mayoral candidate Chris Friel who wrote this on Facebook today...

Recently someone asked me if Freedom House was a church or a community organization. The answer... is YES! The deal is this. In the "about us" statement on Freedomhouse.ca we say that,

"Freedom House exists to ensure that everyone God sends our way lives in Freedom. Freedom from the past and Freedom to walk in the destiny He has for your present and future. A church... yes. But Freedom House is more than that. We're a Ministry Center, where every member has a uniquely destined role in seeing Brantford become a prosperous, thriving, FREE city."

Freedom Gate apartments are just one more way to change a city BY good INTO good. It's physical and spiritual. It launches people with a heart for that street into full time, live in ministry and we hope instigates a culture change in many!
And it's all done with intentional community service and an attitude of kindness.

To rent one of the units (more pictures on our Facebook Page), contact our partner GK York online here or call Josie 519-756-5385 x228.

14 April 2010

Check out Freedom Gate Apartments

Come take a sneak-peak walk-through of the brand new Freedom Gate Apartments (The former Big Blue House) at 178 Market Street. Applications will be available at the open house Thursday April 15th from 2-8pm or for more info visit http://www.gkyork.ca/

Check out the details on the Facebook Event here

11 April 2010

Announcing: I AM a public figure

When someone runs for a political office, they often talk about entering "public life" saying that they are now a "public figure." I do understand since their income then comes from being a "public servant" (A service performed for the benefit of the public). The thought of becoming a public figure has and currently does intrigue me. Sooner or later, I'll likely do it. Or maybe I already am one.

I'm not sure that we're not ALL already public figures anyway. I think we all already have more responsibility and public accountability to one another than we choose to realize.

Have you ever been behind the mayor at the grocery store when he's buying milk? It's a much different experience for him than most because he's chosen to function in the public realm. Instead of being able to throw on a dirty hoody and slip in and out with his 1% without being noticed... the mayor has to always be "on". People in the cereal aisle will stop him to complain about potholes on their street. People in line will invite him to their bowling night. People in the parking lot will stop him to criticize his viewpoint on how to control the cougar population. It's an entirely different experience than for most of us because he represents something publicly, is in a position of influence, and people know that they actually MIGHT be able to see change happen through him if they get his ear.

Have you ever stopped to consider that you actually might already be a "public figure"? That your public actions already do effect others? That you already do have a responsibility to see others benefit through you? That, as a Christian, you do already represent the most important man and message that there ever has been? Have you ever considered that you are CALLED to be a public figure because you are an official ambassador of Christ.

As I was buying beef jerky yesterday, I thought about how my experience at Price Chopper would be different if I was running for public office. Would I make the same jokes? Would I have to budget more time instead of hurrying out to the van? Would I dress the same? Would I be more ready with an answer to any question if I was called upon? Would my eyes be looking deeper about how to make a more effective positive change at all times?

The answer is that I WOULD be more ready to make change and have an impact because I would know I could... people needed me to... and because it would cost me personally if I didn't. It's the cost of the call. Well as a Christian, our calling is a HIGH calling. We have the ministry of reconciliation between God and Man as Christ's Ambassador:

"God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."
2 Cor 5:19-20

The word ambassador means:

"A diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative"

This is the charge of a public figure. One that comes with great responsibility to benefit a cause greater than ourselves. Our job is to be visible and to have an impact reconciling (To reestablish a close relationship between) man/our communities... to God/ good.

Today... again... I am reminding myself (and you) that we're never "off". We ARE public figures and have a responsibility to God and others to play our part excellently... changing things BY good INTO good.

8 April 2010

My Night with Grooveshark

My wife is out with her friends tonight... so me n'Grooveshark have had one heck of an evening together.


Nightfall comes quick and lasts long.
It doesn't really, but it feels that way as my worn body returns home... hauling my spirit with it.

Another day of defeat,
and indifferent to's and fro's.
A satisfying if not entirely victorious conclusion to the story of the day.

The smells and sounds in the black black room are numbingly familiar on the outside, but a considering spirit feels the depth. The hum of the fan that was once a nuisance has become a necessity... like the morning coffee and the "I Love you Daddy" from the blond princess across the hall.
It's brisk on my biscuits. Colder than I wish it was... but anything less would draw my ire.

The bed is made. REALLY made.
I question the logic of this.
She knows it.
I think it makes her laugh.
The corners are tucked in.
Shoot. My feet have to breathe.

My skin exhales like child who's been holding his breath for sport as the shadow stirs to life beside me.
She'll never remember this.
I can do anything I want to do, except want I really want to do.

I want run my hand down the side of her old familiar high school tee shirt.
I see that shirt night in an night out.
I know it's smell... because I know her smell.
I've seen her cry in that shirt.
I've made her cry in that shirt.
I've seen her child-laden belly peeking out from under that shirt.
I've been stirred by her curves teasing me through that shirt.

We are no longer in uncharted waters; but each time we set sail, the natural gives the supernatural a sloppy wet kiss.
But this is not the appointed time.

I stop and look at her in the faint light of the streetlight.
A marvelous creation.
I see in her my Ebeneezer Stone that allows me to sleep nights.
She's not the provider of peace;
but just by being there, points me there.

She know my repetitive ways.
Even in her low degree of consciousness she rolls away from me.
Not out of frustration... but graciousness.
She loves me.
I know it.

Destiny whispers into my ear, "hold her before this glimpse of the divine slips away onto the pile of missed moments"
The electricity of touch engages and diffuses at once.
Some nights are fiery samba, but this moon dance is more lullaby than flame.

I've been here before... and I will be again.
The grainy films of our history soothes my soul as we doze towards the inevitable dawn.
The morning curtain goes up before it's welcome.
Flights of fancy fade.
Tales of Dora and Boots come quick.

So Vamonos...

My lips approach her ear and whisper the lovers oath.
It was my vow
It is my motivation
It will be my future

She receives the word into her spirit.
I can feel it warmly pour through her body.
She shrinks tighter into me.
She speaks words that I don't understand... but I know what she means.

There is no more me.

5 April 2010

Of what consequence are rings and fingers?

I broke my finger Saturday afternoon. I broke it playing basketball with a great group of teenagers and leaders during the middle of a youth conference where MANY were radically touched by a BIG BIG powerful God. It moved me and enriched my spiritual life greatly.

Of what consequence are rings and fingers?

On Saturday night, this group of teenagers gathered around me to pray for my finger. I got to use my gnarled swollen purple finger (that my wedding ring became lodged on) as a tool to walk them through how to pray for healing. We prayed for the swelling to stop and the pain to go away. And it did... for a couple hours.

Of what consequence are rings and fingers?

Today I got to be the 1st ever patient at a brand new medical center in Brantford. I wanted to get to work, so I got there so early that I beat the nurses. I high-fived them as they came through their new doors and let them all know how much I appreciated their hard work and service to our community. As the regular parade of frowns and complaints took their numbers, the nurses took my picture and promised to develop it and put it up on the wall to remember their 1st patient. I sat and prayed blessing over them. It was a completely wonderful and God-designed morning.

Of what consequence of are rings and fingers?

Rings and fingers are sacred in some ways but of stunningly little value in others. What you really have, is elementary skin and metal. Common creations without souls or spirits. And that's it... UNLESS you activate their sacred qualities by allowing them to be on the long list of common creations that God wants to USE to change things of MUCH consequence when they are released to Him. Putting the well-being of any earth-bit before that of a soul or spirit is folly.

Of what consequence of are rings and fingers?

This is what I wrote on Facebook Easter Sunday morning:

I have much to be thankful for today. I have a beautiful 3 year old Brianna Belle today. A living risen God. A church that will release a group of fired up teenagers to make a powerful weekend come alive at home too. Easter means life through Christ.

Rings and fingers are inconsequential.

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