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.

23 August 2013

The Backroads of Ontario

Every year, my LOVELY Mother-in Law takes our kids for our anniversary week.  To celebrate 15 years of marriage we did something I've wanted to try for while.  We took our limited days and just... DROVE.  My goal was to drive along the Lake Erie Shore, head north along the Detroit River then continue up Lake St. Clair and finish along the shores of Lake Huron. I didn't want to see a major highway or town I've seen before.  We had a tent in the trunk, no reservations, and no set plans. Just adventure. We were just going to DRIVE and SEE and TRUST.

Ontario is a stunning and fertile province.   It's lush, filled with farmland, and while being the economic engineer of Canada... perspectively en masse, looks very little like the Golden Horseshoe that I spend my days living inside of.

Like I wrote about last year for our 14th anniversary, I don't vacation well. I have a hard time resting and like being "in touch." I'm always ready to be on the move. So we moved around.  Quickly, we stumbled across the Christian Campground where my wife, as a young, hurt, teenager found refuge with a youth group on a camping weekend.  She laughed remembering giggling at teenaged boy's boners in their sweat pants and how she discovered friendship outside of the destructive ones she felt trapped in.

We camped at Rondeau Provincial Park. We explored Point Pele and posed at the southern-most point in Canada.... which is at the same longitude of Barcelona Spain and Northern California. We dined low at converted double-decker buses that fried up fresh lake perch, and small businesses along shores hurting for roaming lunchers.  In every city I've ever been to... from Africa to Asia to the Caribbean to small-town-Ontario; the question that dominates my thoughts is "How could this community be transformed and revitalized?"  I ask every service worker, small business owner, Pronvicial Park attendant and gas jockey I can work the question into chit-chat without sound TOO weird. It healthily consumes me.

It was wonderful.  We were free.  Then...

... we hit the south-west shore of Lake St.Clair.  We hit underdeveloped shoreline roads and an 0 for 3 on finding a camping spot we thought existed on a 20 year old map. We got hungry.  We started thinking about the idea of having to sleep in our van by the shore of an unfamiliar lake; and we turtled.   We headed backwards on the main roads to Chatham to crash at the Travelodge. We did have a great night, followed by a great anniversary day... but it wasn't the COMPLETE adventure that it could of have been. 

So I stopped to think.  Our journey in life SHOULD contain unknowns, but our flesh repels the entire idea of unassurances.  We fell into safety's trap EVEN when we were intentionally trying not too.  Our bellies began to growl, our bodies longed for "soft." Our minds and souls overtook our spirits. God was gracious to bless us with a lovely time... but after a night of comfort instead of risk, the final day's adventure no longer existed in time and space.

Tomorrow's discoveries are entirely predicated on today's obedience.

There is no one I'd rather adventure, discover AND fail together with than Krissy.  We've traveled the world together and explored the depth of our culture together.  We're ONE and we've BEEN ONE for 15 years now.  Next time we try this, we're going to go further out on a limb together. She's the only who actually KNOWS me.   She's been with me at my lowest and most embarrassing, and still honors me by calling me husband.

Life is a series of failures.   Successes too... but frankly... we fail more. Don't buy the guru-schlock.  We've ALWAYS got to be willing to get up and go again, because falling short is a most-of-the-time proposition.  Last year's vacation was crappy.  This year's was BETTER. Next year, we might become Algonquin explorers and conquer even NEWER ground together. Maybe.

Today my prayer is, "God bless the beautiful province of Ontario that we were privileged to have experienced more of this week.  And God bless my wife, whom I love."  

16 August 2013

My week on the 700 Club

This week I've been a guest on the 700 Club Canada.  It's a little bit weird to say that, as the American version is a long-time Christian broadcasting stalwart. Shoot, I wrote extensively about it in my college thesis! I taped the shows a number of weeks in advance so I've been remembering what I said along with everyone else this week.

I've been in broadcasting (mostly IN FRONT of cameras and mics) in different capacities for 20 years, so this was far from a new or intimating experience. In fact, public communication is my "fish in water" place.  My Mom says I was born talking. But this WAS a little surreal. I don't really like the word surreal. It's overuse and misuse made it jump the shark a few years back I think.  But...it's a good word.

SURREAL: Having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic

On the first episode of the week during the middle of my discussion about worship, at one point I looked up and saw the words "700 Club" behind the head of Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson. I could almost literally feel a brief washover of surreal.  "Whoa... what the heck is going on here?  I'm the 700 Club?  What the?"  I babbled about something incoherent for 15 seconds or so until I regrouped and started making sense again.

The overreaching topic of the week was "Idols and Worship."  We talked about laying down US and lifting up GOD.  I talked quite a bit about Freedom House, the Kindness Project, and how serving one another as unto God transforms men, cities and nations.  It's surreal that I was considered interesting enough to talk to about these things, because I both:

  1. Have no REAL idea what I'm talking about
  2. Kinda DO now know what I'm talking about

1. Number one is because The Kingdom and the secrets of it are so vast, deep and rich. And I'm just a dude who wants to know more and experience it and manifest it more fully.  There is a marvelous verse in Proverbs 25:2 that says:

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings" 

Interesting isn't it?  God WANTS us to dig and work at finding out more. It's not a slam dunk that we'll "get it" without searching it out intentionally.  So with this as the context, you can see how VITAL to our spiritual health it is to remain humble and abound in grace.

2. Number two is because I'm BLESSED that I've found a group of friends (and you're SO VERY welcome to be one of them too) at Freedom House who are willing to TOGETHER explore the depths of that Kingdom. We've looked dumb just as many times as we've looked good.  But we've learned a few things along the way... AND it's not about US looking good. It's about GOD looking good.  His NAME and FAME are the desire of our souls.

A big thank you to Brian Warren, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, Jeff Stout and Todd Cantelon for inviting me to be a part of this great week. Here are the week of shows if you'd like to check them out.

Monday: Idols, Worship and the early days of Freedom House


Tuesday: Religious idols and the traps that are found within

Wednesday: The birth of Captain Kindness and "Why's" Freedom House's Kindness stuff like Flippin Friday.

Thursday: The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and serving and honoring OTHERS

Friday: Western cultural idols, William Wilberforce, Media... PLUS I tell about the day I met Krissy

Thanks for watching!

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