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.

20 February 2012

A Frosty Fest weekend as seen through Instagram

A stroll through the thoughts and sights of Frosty Fest 2012... via Instagram

If you don't love your city, you should either learn to love it or find one you can; because God loves it and sent you into it to show it.

So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you're eating to God's glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God's glory.
1 Cor 10:31

Nothing worth doing comes without some kind of fight.
Bruce Cockburn

Even now I can't describe why I love skating so much.
Nancy Kerrigan

"Hundreds of people lined up outside Freedom House Church in the Market Square Mall on Monday morning for a pancake breakfast astonishing organizers and bringing people into the downtown for family day.

“We were prepared for this but I can't say that we were expecting it,” Dave Carol, also known as Captain Kindness said. “We sent out 20,000 tickets to elementary school kids in the city for the pancake breakfast but this is the first year we've done this, so we really didn't know what to expect. Clearly, it's a winner with so many people showing up this morning.”
Dave Carrol in the Brantford Expositor article called "Organizers estimate 15,000 took in Frosty Fest"

If you're planning on eating and going on the Berry-go-round... go on the Berry-go-round first. Or else bring a mop.
Captain Kindness

I was asked what my favorite part of Frosty Fest is. My favorite part is THAT it happens.

There were days where I'd sit in church and be bothered that we weren't doing "The Stuff"...
I don't feel that anymore.

"Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live" 1Tim 2:2-3

Dave Carol: "Today felt like seeing the dream of what so many of us have had for years about what Brantford could be. Turns out... it now IS."
Chris Friel: "We are where we wanted to be"

We're stronger together than we are apart

"Today I saw Brantford in a whole new way"
An excited young person

"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." Jer 29:7

"If you build it... they will come"
The Voice

"Horses, like old wooden sailing ships, are breathtaking"
Aaron White

“We really want to let the community know that churches like Freedom House are about the community, We want to be part of the transformation of the downtown.”
Brian Beattie in the Brant News article called "Celebrating Winter at Frosty Fest"

"This weekend is one of the reasons I love my job so much"
A Parks
& Recreation worker

After 3 days of full-on work... Frosty Fest was cleaned up by a team of volunteers in ONE HOUR
Worship and Work.

Brantford can be changed BY good INTO good.

"Not to us, but to your name be the glory"
Chris Tomlin

"Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws we wait for you;
Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts."
Isaiah 26:8

11 February 2012

I don't normally RIP celebs online but...

I don't normally RIP celebs online... but for some reason I had a "heart" for Whitney Houston and often prayed for her life. First thing Krissy said tonight, "I think she made up with Jesus". I think so too. This was her last semi-big release we played on The Wave a few years ago called "I look to you". I heard it and sensed the anointing that you used to hear in her voice. She's older, a bit worse for wear... but there is something poignant about it. Life isn't about great voices. Life is the story of the redemption of man. There is tragedy in today... but grace is vast. From Cathleen Falsani's "Sin Boldly" on Grace:

"It's somebody throwing their arms around you and saying, 'I love you, but you are an asshole'. 'Yes, but you're my asshole', I envision God saying."

9 February 2012

We're likely not all THAT unique (The Boy Inside the Man)

You know why it's so powerful and impacting when people are open and honest about their lives? Because it's inevitable that others will relate. Assuredly there will be someone within earshot that is thinking/feeling/experiencing the same thing, convinced that they are the only one.

I don't think think the human experience is too different for most of us. We'd like to think of ourselves as the sole proprietors of our own lives... but time continually shows us that we're not.

I was driving home from work yesterday and one of my favorite old Tom Cochrane songs came on the radio called "Boy inside the man."(BTW that's why it's so important to play radio roulette; because you never know what's playing on the next station) I love this growing up, coming of age song that always resonated with my teenaged self; hopeful of future exploits. It still does now as a man with that same boy not too deep inside my plumping, greying, aging exterior.

But it wasn't until yesterday that I realized the story told in this song followed my life timeline nearly EXACTLY.

When I turned seventeen
We had passion, we had dreams
Thought the love we were fighting for
Was something holy, something more

I used to make these grand, "principled" stands about the things I was sure that were of eternal significance. My wedding MC spent most of his airtime mocking me for it... rightly as retrospectively many of the issues were quite pedestrian ones. But it felt important... and so it was. Most of the motivations behind the stands I still believe. And then entered a girl...

When I turned twenty-one
We were outside on the run
When I walked out with my girl
We went halfway around the world

Krissy and I finished college and married at 21. It was time to blow this Popsicle-stand like the character in Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run who bursted out of class to get away from these fools. We moved to Africa for 7 months to experience the big blue planet. I hoped we'd never return to the culture I openly loathed and we'd run the globe hand in hand forever. But...

When I turned twenty-five
We were hungry, we had drive
When I turned much older then
When the boy was lost in pride

... we couldn't escape the call of God to return and dig in to our city to be agents of cultural change. We worked, sacrificed, bred, nested, built, pioneered... and were SURE that we'd see revival in our city before my 30th birthday. You couldn't tell me no.

Now I just turned thirty-one
I have lost and I have won
Still I've kept my dreams alive
Cause the boy will never die

I'm now 35. I HAVE lost and I HAVE won. The losses still sting and some I feel like I carry each day in my lunch pail to work . The wins are also marvelous and I revel in them. I'm figuring out how to reconcile the dreamer boy with the responsible adult and feel some equilibrium at night. Both me and my wife better understand that the boy inside the man never dies and if he isn't fed adventure... he gets grumpy :)

I followed this storyline yesterday shocked at the similarities. But maybe I shouldn't have been. We have different plot points, characters and scenes in our individual story-lines. But the ebb and flow of our lives are somehow kindred.

The life of man is very relatable to one another. I'm sure it's why it's so important to spend time with people older than you. They've been there and can tell the tales of war victory and defeat that remind us that we're not alone... but we still need to live ourselves through the season of life we're in. I don't like the phrase, "learning the hard way" because it implies that seasonal-struggles are because we've been dumb enough not avoid hardship and struggle.

We HAVE TO plough through seasonal-struggles. This is the result of Adam and Eve's "fall" where God said to Eve:

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth."

Adam likely snickered until God turned to him and said:

"By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”


It's not all bad because it's how we grow. To have a child... there has to be labor pain. Women share stories to help assure the babied-one that they are not alone before and after labor. But eventually the moment comes when it's just them and that kid fighting it out on their way to wisdom, experience, that euphoric post-birth peace that falls in the room. Humans have been going through this process since Adam and Eve.

We're not nearly as unique as we think we are. Still make your plans. Still fight your fights. Still work your work and learn what you're supposed to from THIS day. But rest in knowing that God is quietly orchestrating & navigating your life through the minefields. He's done it before and He's doing it right now even as you're reading this. He's doing it so that one day you can lay resting on a bed reflecting on the beautiful story that was the boy inside the man

6 February 2012

Napoleon Bonaparte on Jesus

“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force! Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

3 February 2012

Frosty Fest 2012 ... and here's why.

I'm thrilled to let know that on Family Day weekend (Feb 18-20) Freedom House has partnered again with the City of Brantford to bring you Frosty Fest... Brantford's Winter Carnival.

That's me in the leotard. Surprise.

We invented Frosty Fest because our city needed it. Years ago... we began to seek out our public officials who serve our city to ask how we could serve them to help make our city a better place. That began a relationship with, among others, the Parks & Recreation Department that has led to numerous partnerships to help create an optimal, positive, community atmosphere in our downtown public square Harmony Square.

Together we realized that there was a big hole when it came to public winter community gatherings. The city asked us if we knew how to throw a winter carnival... and we, with gooey happy petrified eyes... said "OF COURSE WE CAN!"

10,0000 come through Frosty Fest each season. You can find all the details HERE but it's free admission and the party includes Figure Skating shows, free skating, ice carvers, horse-drawn trolly rides, pony rides, a full midway, professional snowboarding demos, a pancake breakfast, snow taffy and winter sweets, free kids games... and a GIANT Red Superhero leading "how to" Random Act of Kindness Blitzes throughout the downtown. For three days... downtown Brantford is a winter dreamworld. And it's awesome.

Here's a video that a festival patron shot last year:

And the Captain Kindness tour from TWO years ago:

I tweeted this the other day

Frosty Fest is a TON of work. Not every church or group should run a winter carnival... but each should find something that is missing in their community and DO IT. The philosophy behind it is something we ALL need to be in active consideration of. Serving our city has powerful consequences in the right kinda way. This week I had someone wage a Twitter war on me (and Freedom House) intimating that we were a part of some sort of hidden conspiracy! It was fabulous! Because he was kinda right It's a "Conspiracy of Kindness" like my friend and kindness mentor Steve Sjogren's book is entitled. It's a counter-cultural overthrow of the self-centeredness our society is plagued with. The cure to what ails is something that we all have in us to harvest and distribute! It's Kindness. It's saying... "Here you go. This is for you. I see value in you." It's transformational.

"Work for the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have called you because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
Jer 29:7 paraphrased

Why Frosty Fest? Because God cares about cities prospering... because he cares about people prospering... because he cares about people. And so we're throwing a party to show it. Love to have you there.

2 February 2012

President Obama's Prayer Breakfast Speech

I would not have voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and I wouldn't vote for him in 2012 if I was an American. But in many ways... it just doesn't matter when it comes to personal attitudes and the responsibility of the average citizen. If we've talked before, you know how passionate I am about respect for our leaders. You don't have to agree with them. You're also free to argue points. Honoring and respect seems SO difficult to people but to me is vital to provide civility, the context for legitimate democracy... and a clean conscience before God who says in 1 Peter 13-17:

"Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government."

This morning in America, they had their annual prayer breakfast. Barack Obama said some very important and powerful things that are very telling as a professing Christian who is both heavily lauded and criticized from within the church and outside too. Obama began down his road to public service AND is personal relationship with Jesus by serving the city of Chicago through his church. And he has had to hold on HARD to the things he knows are foundational through Christ in the struggle of leadership in a democracy. He has had to put up with people (quite literally) calling him the Anti-Christ based on little more than manic writings from unknown dissenters... and having to find to a way to sleep at night while making decision that have DRASTIC effects on the prosperity of nations. You give that a try :)

Here are some highlights:

My mother, whose parents were Baptist and Methodist, grew up with a certain skepticism about organized religion, and she usually only took me to church on Easter and Christmas — sometimes. And yet my mother was also one of the most spiritual people that I ever knew. She was somebody who was instinctively guided by the Golden Rule and who nagged me constantly about the homespun values of her Kansas upbringing, values like honesty and hard work and kindness and fair play.

There was, of course, Martin Luther King and the Baptist leaders, the ways in which they helped those who had been subjugated to make a way out of no way, and transform a nation through the force of love. But there were also Catholic leaders like Father Theodore Heshburg, and Jewish leaders like Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Muslim leaders and Hindu leaders. Their call to fix what was broken in our world, a call rooted in faith, is what led me just a few years out of college to sign up as a community organizer for a group of churches on the Southside of Chicago. And it was through that experience working with pastors and laypeople trying to heal the wounds of hurting neighborhoods that I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace Him as my lord and savior.

Now, that was over 20 years ago. And like all of us, my faith journey has had its twists and turns. It hasn’t always been a straight line. I have thanked God for the joys of parenthood and Michelle’s willingness to put up with me. (Laughter.) In the wake of failures and disappointments I’ve questioned what God had in store for me and been reminded that God’s plans for us may not always match our own short-sighted desires

And let me tell you, these past two years, they have deepened my faith. (Laughter and applause.) The presidency has a funny way of making a person feel the need to pray. (Laughter.) Abe Lincoln said, as many of you know, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” (Laughter.)

It’s also comforting to know that people are praying for you who don’t always agree with you. Tom Coburn, for example, is here. He is not only a dear friend but also a brother in Christ. We came into the Senate at the same time. Even though we are on opposite sides of a whole bunch of issues, part of what has bound us together is a shared faith, a recognition that we pray to and serve the same God. And I keep praying that God will show him the light and he will vote with me once in a while. (Laughter.) It’s going to happen, Tom. (Laughter.) A ray of light is going to beam down. (Laughter.)

My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years. All the more so, when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

So my prayer this morning is that we might seek His face not only in those moments, but each and every day; that every day as we go through the hustle and bustle of our lives, whether it’s in Washington or Hollywood or anywhere in between, that we might every so often rise above the here and now, and kneel before the Eternal; that we might remember, Kaye, the fact that those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint.

When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to give me the strength to do right by our country and its people. And when I go to bed at night I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to forgive me my sins, and look after my family and the American people, and make me an instrument of His will.

I say these prayers hoping they will be answered, and I say these prayers knowing that I must work and must sacrifice and must serve to see them answered. But I also say these prayers knowing that the act of prayer itself is a source of strength. It’s a reminder that our time on Earth is not just about us; that when we open ourselves to the possibility that God might have a larger purpose for our lives, there’s a chance that somehow, in ways that we may never fully know, God will use us well.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may He bless this country that we love.

I find this powerful. Those of us who are politically minded would do well to remind ourselves that our leaders are just normal people and none of the ideas and concepts that they come up will bring salvation to our land. Their job is to try and create the context for us to live freely in peace. There will never be a political savior (although if you're in the market for a savior... I know a good one if you need one). But we ARE called to wisely steward our resources and come up with ideas. I like to know where leaders turn for grounding, foundation and guidance. I like it when leaders turn to God. Most do at some point. Because the job of bringing prosperity isn't something that we "do". We just facilitate the coming of the goodness of the one who was called "Good" incarnate.

God bless the United States of America on this day and the days to come.

Here's the whole speech if you're interested

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