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 October 2013

All I've ever really wanted to do

As of October 1st... I've made what some call a "career change." It's not, however, a totally accurate description of what I've done. The word career means: 
An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. - Career
I have been "doing" broadcasting for 20 years while making it my family's primary source of income for 15 years.  I've been blessed to have hosted a nationally broadcasted live TV talk show, started a radio station from scratch, done darn near every job that exists in radio... spending the final 9 years specializing in creative writing. This advertising season culminated by winning the National 2013 Crystal Award for the 2nd best radio campaign across Canada.

This has certainly been an occupation that I've undertaken for a significant period of my life... but the "opportunities for progress" part is where I got stuck.  Allow me to clarify and further define.  The word progress means:

Forward or onward movement towards a destination. - Progress
"Progress" speaks to destiny.  And "forward movement" could no longer be found without change.
I found Jesus for real... for ME... as a 19 year old.   I was raised in the church and had dangled my toes in the waters of Christendom on a few occasions but I'd never taken the plunge.  Spiritual inertia doesn't do a man good.  My "conversion" was powerful.  I don't know what it feels like for everyone, but for me, it was like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is all of a sudden enveloped by awe and Technicolor after living life simply seeing a whole lotta bland ole black and white Kansas all her life. I distinctively remember the moment where the trees looked greener and the sky (literally all of a sudden) looked a scalding bright blue.  It was as if a scrim had been lifted from my eyes, soul and spirit. It felt like I was flying. It was... REMARKABLE. 
Worthy of attention; striking. - Remarkable
I had no frame of reference for this. Nothing had ever happened even in the vicinity of comparably powerful. I knew that this God was the most worthy of places to invest my life into.  I went to my pastor and told him that, whatever it meant, I was IN.  Others HAD to know and experience what had just happened to me. It was too good to hoard to myself.  He suggested that I go away to Bible College and train to be a pastor.  I had many desirable qualities.  I could speak with authority. I had passion.  I was funny and engaging.  I thought it was a swimming idea.  

But the more I prayed about it... the more I felt uncomfortable with it.  The more I asked God, the clearer it was that He was leading me to Niagara College to learn about broadcasting.  I had been doing broadcasting my whole life.  I used to imitate Tom Cheek, calling 1986 Blue Jay games into my tape recorder.  I was a regular guest on a local talk show and had even shot a couple of half hour "Dave Carrol Show's."  So I was no stranger to broadcasting... and frankly... I'm good at it.  But I wondered if God knew what He was doing.  Maybe He hadn't heard me.  I WANTED to SERVE Him with my life and share Him with EVERYONE! 

18 years of broadcasting and 18 years of non-full-time ministry later... God has taught me many things.  He let me learn under great men from Africa, Canada, The Philippines and America too.  In 18 years of doing ministry, not even as my profession I feel like I've been beyond blessed to work with the people I have, seen some of the things I've seen... and have the dreams, friends and team I do around me to make the future bright.
God also has cultivated my desires and refined my "destination."  He gave me the dream of a seeing a CITY transformed.  It's what drives me onward. For 13 years, its he reason why I've done every single thing I've done.  My time in broadcasting facilitated it all.  It also facilitated my wife's dream of being a stay at home Mom while our kids were young. And I'm BEYOND thankful for it. For 10 years of doing Freedom House, I've been working basically two full time jobs... and it was simply TIME for a "career change" of sorts.  

Although... after I resigned, when my radio co-workers asked me when I started my "new job" I told them, "Ten years ago; before I started here." 

 
For my life, my ministry, my family and my church to progress towards it's destination.... things could not remain the same.  And so for the first time in many years, my days are also being spent developing Freedom House, The Kindness Project... and seeing Brantford transformed into a holistically prosperous city.

It's all I've ever really wanted to do.  But I'll say this.  Doing it as a paid profession, in itself, is not how its done.  It's done with obedience.  It happened for 18 years by NOT doing it with my days.  That was God's plan.  His PERFECT plan.  And if that had continued to be his plan, it would have been my responsibility to say yes with the same fervor that I did the day I went to my pastor as a 19 year old to offer my life to God.  

Obedience, in itself, IS success.

10 October 2013

CS Lewis on forgiveness, loving your neighbour... and war

Often when I read CS Lewis's masterpiece piece of literature "Mere Christianity" I miss the long gone days that I never experienced firsthand for myself.  Mere Christianity is not perfect doctrine.  It is one incredibly insightful man's attempt to describe his faith.  Early in Chapter 7's "Forgiveness," Lewis writes:
I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do-I can do precious little-I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. 

The chapter goes a very different direction than many writings on the topic, but it ends this way... speaking of a seemingly forgotten "For King and Country" honor that I fear has vanished from our post-modern mindset.

"Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment-even to death. If one had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy. I always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I still think so now that we are at peace. It is no good quoting "Thou shalt not kill." There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder. And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery.

 When soldiers came to St. John the Baptist asking what to do, he never remotely suggested that they ought to leave the army: nor did Christ when He met a Roman sergeant-major-what they called a centurion. The idea of the knight-the Christian in arms for the defence of a good cause-is one of the great Christian ideas.

 War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken. What I cannot understand is this sort of semipacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it. It is that feeling that robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage- a kind of gaity and wholeheartedness.

 I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the first world war, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it.

 I imagine somebody will say, "Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy's acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?" All the difference in the world. Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or a hellish creature.

We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it. In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one's own back, must be simply killed. I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more. That is not how things happen. I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible. Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves- to wish that he were not bad. to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not."

Marvelous

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