Dinner tables vs fences

 I have been thinking about hospitality a lot recently in my life, but also for our church.  Hospitality was always built into what it meant to be a Jesus-follower from the beginning. He expected that his followers would be hospitable, but also that they would rely on hospitality.  Many times he sent them out, and sent them with nothing at all. This wasn't because he wanted them to suffer under poverty, but because he expected them to rely on the hospitality of others, and trust God to provide for their needs. Jesus had dinner in the homes of others. He was born in a stable, in a borrowed manger, not his own house. He was buried in a donated tomb.  The earliest 'church' met in, ate in, and worshipped in one another's homes.  The word "mine" became something of a cussword to the early church.  My house  was not "my" house, it was God's house, and you were always welcome at our dinner table. Somewhere, somehow, this all changed.  Somewhere along th

It's Spring...maybe?

 I think we are finally in that season where 2nd winter, 2nd fake spring, and finally 3rd winter have passed. We are finally into real spring, which brings also, the season of mud and wet everything.  I love spring though. Spring is this beautiful time, where it seems like all of creation brings about this theme of hope, and new life.  Trees that looked dead, barren, frail, are starting to blossom, and will soon fill huge forests with their beautiful vibrant colours. The grass is starting to grow, the sound of lawnmowers will soon fill your Saturday mornings.  We have a lot of trilliums in the property I live on, and they are some of the first to come. Their shoots have breached the fallen leaves, they are poking through the ground. Its a beautiful time that reminds me that no matter how it may look on the surface, underneath, things are growing. Things are alive.  The church is like that too. Right now, many of our doors are shut to the buildings, we meet online, we meet in our living

It is finished...

 This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, and I preached on the last words of Jesus, the words of Triumph, where He says "it is finished". I reflected on the words "finished" and all the things that are not yet "finished" for me right now.  I am close to finishing up my final semester of Grad school, close to finishing my thesis to present. The Easter season of church is almost finished, meaning I'll get a little less busy for a time.  We are in the middle of hiring people at the church, but that too will soon be finished. We start and complete things, over and over in our lives. Occasionally we reflect, and look back and see what we have left 'un-finished'. My trailer is currently in the middle of being remodeled, and its taking quite a few months, as I slowly work towards it on occasions where I have a bit of free time. There was no rush on the project over the winter months, but now that my wife and I have booked our first camping trip in the trail

Lessons from Making Maple Syrup

  So, the house I live on, is on the front lawn of the church. This property was here before the church was, in fact it was here before most of the houses in the neighborhood were here. Its a great property, it has lots of trees, its hidden back from the road which gives it some privacy. In the summer there are so many leaves that you cant even see the church from our kitchen window, even though its only about 150 meters away.  Those trees are beautiful, and in the fall they drop all their leaves (much to the annoyance of my neighbor who has no trees on his property) This year, I have been trying to teach myself new skills, new hobbies, trying out new things instead of watching TV in all my down time, actually doing things to develop myself.  So I looked at those trees, and realized a bunch of them were maples. I decided that my love for maple syrup, would turn into a new skill in making my own syrup at home.  I did the research,  read the blogs, read the books, joined the online group

Spring is coming

 Spring is on the way.  You can just tell if you look out your window.  The snow is melting, the sun is shining, the days are longer and brighter, and this coming Sunday we will even be pushing the clocks ahead by an hour (a dated and weird practice which scientists will admit has no use in our culture today, however, that is a tangent I shan't go off on) Spring is coming.  This year, with the coming of spring, we have more good news. The vaccine is on the way, indeed, all Ontarian's who would like to get the vaccine will likely be able to by the summer politicians are saying.  This is good news, whether you personally will or wont be getting the vaccine. Its good news because it means things will open back up, stores, restaurants, our homes.  It means we will be able to start getting back to some things we used to do, like travel, family times, eating out.  Some things have changed, and some things will likely not go back to the way they were, but that's not all bad.  Ther

Sunday in-Person is open!

 Well, with every week it seems there are new updates as to what the new rules and restrictions are. And coming up last week, was the moving of our region from Lockdown into the "Red Zone" What that means is we can open back up for in-person services. There are restrictions in place for worship services, rites, and rituals, which will have to guide our re-opening.  Such as: 30% capacity of the room we are in  Masks required Social Distancing Required Contact Tracing in place One-way traffic and dedicated entrance and exit doors NO fellowship/socializing following the service NO small groups, bible studies, or fellowship groups are able to meet yet NO singing during the Sunday Service (the gov't has "highly-discouraged" singing and shown many links to singing (even with masks) leading to increased risk of COVID transmission With these restrictions in place, we can safely return to an in-person service (for those that would like to).  Some may ask "why do you

Forgetting Communion

 Well, yesterday's Sunday Service came and went, and it was about 15 minutes into the service that I realized I had forgotten it was a communion Sunday. Again.  I forgot last month too.  I had a bit of a frustrated chuckle, and wondered if anyone would notice.  If you've grown up in a Baptist Church, you're likely familiar with the fact that the first Sunday of the month is typically your communion Sunday. It's not set in stone, but thats the usual way we have operated.  But I forgot.  Two months in a row now, we will be observing communion on the second Sunday of the month.  And I have two thoughts about this.  The first thought, is that this is entirely okay. Its okay to observe communion on a different Sunday. After all there is not an exact formula in the scriptures about how and when to observe communion. Every denomination does it differently. Some do it every Sunday, some don't observe it at all. Some only observe it when they feel called to.  So its okay to