14 April 2009

Go Barefoot


08 March 2009

Goodbye is Not Forever

I have been thinking for weeks that I need to address this but every time I sit down at my computer and begin to type the words that appear on this blank slate are sparse at best and inadequate to articulate what needs to be said.

There was a man whom God used to change my world. I don't know if he ever knew it, but I would not be who I am or where I am today were it not for his teaching and concern for me personally. I have not talked about Dan Cummings to very many people but his influence in my life has been significant to say the least.

Throughout my teen years, he encouraged and nurtured my heart for people, service, and ministry as a whole. I grew so much in my understanding of who God was, what the gospel was, and how that should impact my life. Unfortunately, in college I began falling away from everything that I knew to be true. The worst part is that no one noticed, or so I thought.

One day, Pastor Dan called me into his office. I had no sooner sat down than he leaned forward on his desk, looked straight at me and said, "What are you doing?" I thought he was talking about my plans but he quickly restated his question, "What are you doing with your life?" I didn't really answer his question. I didn't have to answer because he knew that I was floundering. I left that meeting with "reading material" for my supposed trip to FL, the trip that he knew I would never take. That reading material sent me to school in Minneapolis (where he continued to encourage me and make sure that I was taken care of) and, as a result, changed my life forever.

Pastor Dan died a few weeks ago. I have been criticized by a few people for not grieving "properly" and for lying about being "okay" when I am supposed to be heart broken and grief stricken. My supposed callous attitude, however, is not what it appears. The truth is that my heart hurts. I can no longer call him whenever I have a question, or walk into his office to talk, or ask for another reading list. The realization of everything that God used him to accomplish in my life has made me, perhaps, more sorrowful at times because I never told him how much I appreciated him.

There is one truth that has stayed my heart and my emotions and that is this: We do not mourn as those who are without hope. That means that, if my hope is in the Saviour as was Dan's, one day when I am face to face with my Saviour I will also be reunited with those who have gone before. With Job, I am forced to say "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Jb1:21b) Goodbye is not forever.

20 January 2009

New Found Respect

I have long been a critic of one of the most influential men of evangelicalism. The reasons for this are many and I won't rehearse my qualms with Rick Warren before you now. I will, however, say that today I gained a new respect for him.

In a world that is full of relativism and tolerance, few dare to speak truth in the public sector. Pastors who approach secular speaking engagements are commonly warned to avoid certain topics that are considered intolerant or close-minded toward those who would not share the same viewpoints. But today, Rick Warren spoke in a way that hasn't been condoned -- and not just to a crowd but to the whole nation. May God bless his openness. Check out the video below.

12 January 2009

Quote Worth Noting

"So God's ethical guidance of his people does not add any new sentences to the cannon of Scripture. But neither is it necessarily an intellectual process. God deals with us personally, even inwardly. His operations within us are mysterious, not to be simply described or categorized. He can work through the subconscious, through dreams, through memory and intuition, as well as through what we usually call the intellect."

John Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2008), 360.
This quote is borrowed from the blog of Ryan Golias. Thanks Ryan :)

10 January 2009

Travel the Road

I was flipping through stations on tv earlier this evening and ran across a documentary. It was about these young men who spent seven days in Somalia to make a food drop. I found it really interesting. It was made in a similar format as the Invisible Children documentary. I thought maybe it was a branch off of some sort. At the end of the program, during the credits, a website appeared on the screen so I looked it up. What I found surprised me, and kind of excited me just the same. I'm hoping you will find it interesting too!

Check out: Travel the Road

02 January 2009

Winter Break Reading List

I used to be an avid reader. I would read everything under the sun -- anything that was well written that I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, that passion for reading has faded over the past five or six years. Life has happened and the joy I once found in books, languages, and learning has been replaced by unhappy events, stressful semesters, and the drama of real life relationships. Not all of life has been bad but it seems that energy that has been required to live life has left little energy for anything else.

Lately, however, I have seen my time and energy wasted on Facebook, chatting, and even tv. The more time I have wasted the more I've disliked this easy, dare I say lazy, lifestyle. Finally, I decided to do something about it. I went to Barnes and Noble and wandered aimlessly until, finally, I found something and set my mind to reading it. The 460 page book was read entirely within the course of a few days. Though just a historical fiction novel, it gave me so much food for thought and new desire to learn again, not for the sake of passing a class or getting a grade but for the sake of truth and growth.

For all of that, I present not only the book that started it all but also the books that have and are intended to follow.

REDEEMING LOVE by Francine Rivers

Oddly enough, this book has been around since 1997. I hadn't heard of it until this year. What I enjoyed most is who it presents God to be.

The story is based loosely on the story of Hosea and Gomer but while it builds the character of Hosea it also builds the character of God (after all, Hosea was supposed to display an image of God as He interacts with Israel).

I do not know if I have ever felt more convicted at my own behaviour, as I compared myself with Angel (Gomer), or more gratitude and love for my Saviour because of His unending faithfulness and grace, as displayed by both Hosea and God himself, than I did when I had finished reading this book.


Admittedly, I am not far into this book, and yes, I do realize that it is not a theology book, but I picked it for a number of reasons.

The book picks up where Redeeming Love left off in that it continues to build my appreciation for what God has done in sacrificing Himself to secure my freedom in Christ.

It is also a short book and not a difficult read so it caters to my need to ease myself back into the world of reading. I find Lucado's writings are always a good way to remind myself of the gospel and light enough to slowly retrain my mind to focus long enough to get through a chapter.

LUKE FOR EVERYONE by Tom (N.T.) Wright

I began reading this one a little more than a month ago and I am taking it very slowly. I bought it initially for a devotional aide and that is what I am using it for.

In short it is a commentary, but as the title says, it is for everyone. Everyone can be defined as anyone who wants to know more about The Gospel of Luke but would not pick up a standard commentary and read it for fear of being lost or not knowing enough Greek.

I have a feeling I will be reading it for a while because I am going through it so slowly but I am not complaining. I am enjoying it.


I bought this book for a class but, because I discovered the class was unnecessary, I dropped it and as a result never read the book. I want to remedy that.

Though it was written well over 30 years ago, the questions Shaeffer addresses in this book still perplex people today. His writing style is sometimes considered difficult to follow but I am convinced that a little perseverance for such a small book will prove fruitful.


I can't lie. I've started reading this book countless times before but the fact of the matter is that I never had the attention span for it.

I cannot deny that is a lousy excuse for not completing one of the best works of the 20th century so I am attempting it once again. I am convinced that with renewed vigour and mental discipline I will complete it and gain much helpful insight in so doing.

Don't be misled by my poor history. This book is by no means dull. The letters exchanged between demons are helpful for understanding Satan's intent on destroying God's people.

Well, I am certain that this list is just the beginning of fulfilling one of my new years resolutions: To be diligent in my studying and growth and to enjoy reading with renewed energy, self discipline, and excitement.
There can never be a good excuse for apathy in any area of our lives.

08 December 2008

New Book for Boys on Relationships

Written by 9yr old Alec Greven, How to Talk to Girls, is worth checking out -- And so is this video review!