Delightful Dallas Retreat Highlights: Sports, Sermons, Food, Friendship.


Howdy Y’all RumBloggers,

My retreat in Dallas was delightful!  Sporting events and concert, seminary retreat and research, sun burns in 80 degrees heat and soul-comfort-food in southern hospitality!  I went with my good friend Brian, who had a conference for the Canadian branch of Compassion International in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  While he was at his Compassion conference, I took in classes and chapels at Dallas Theological Seminary.  The teaching, the weather, the food, the people: they all worked together to refresh my mind.  In the evenings we took in sporting events and Texan foods. Here are some pics, reflections and video from one chapel.

1. Upgraded Spiritual Retreat at Dallas Theological Seminary.

I took in an upgraded serving of excellent teaching through the classes and chapels at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).  I thank God for the opportunity to listen to and talk with Dr. Bock, Dr. Bingham, Dr. Warren as well as many current and prospective students (Patrick, Jonathan and Jessica, et al.) and staff (Marnie, Josiah, Emily, et al.).  At Friday’s chapel, Chuck Swindoll talked about the importance of cultivating close friendships to survive the loneliness and sorrow of success.  Please watch the embedded video link below.  Many of Chuck’s ideas apply to my life and might do to yours as well.  I appreciate the loyal love of my family, close friends and a few fellow Christians on mission.  You know who you are! I am so thankful to friends who have double my joy and divided my grief.  Brian was a great friend to me during this week.  We had many great talks.  Thanks Brian! I am thankful to my best friend, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for my sin and rose again to give me eternal life now and forever.  I trust him as my rock and refuge during despair and lament seasons of the past and future.  Jesus is the ultimate friend.

Click here for Swindoll on Friendship: http://media.dts.edu/i/?MediaItemID=bce7b454-89ec-41d3-9368-d76aca64cfeb

2.  Upgraded Sporting Events at American Airlines Centre and Cowboy Stadium.

One of the themes of our trip was upgrades. We got upgraded seats at the Dallas Mavericks game (18 rows back from the court) and Stars’ game.  Upgraded seats to the Rodeo at Cowboy Stadium so that we were close enough to get dirt kicked on us by the bulls.  We got upgraded field passes for the Dierks Bentley concert. We got an upgraded hotel room.  We got an upgraded rental car.  Everything is upgraded bigger in Texas!  I hope this won’t be “Dallas” time I get to the Lone Star State. Yehaw, that was refreshing fun!

Father’s Day Success Story: Job’s integrity of faith and worship through pain, suffering and loss


Hey RumBloggers,

Happy Father’s Day!

You may recognize the name “Job” as a Bible character, yet not grasp important lessons about God from his life.

Catch up with the 50 adults who heard my freshest audio sermon by clicking here: June19SuccessStories 2

Comment and share please.

A poem and link about how hearing “Success Stories” every Sunday will inspire you to act more courageously


Hiya Rumbloggers, :)

I wrote you a poem to launch my newest sermon series.

“Success Stories” of faith inspire,

humans who crave volitional fire.

Loyal resilience is a constant test,

Gospel freedom is an active rest!

Bible history honours The Reliant,

who trusted God to make them valiant.

Pilgrims, parents, prophets and peasants;

experienced the profits of God’s Presence.

Father calls us to the Son, with word, by Spirit;

rewarding those who obey Him when they hear it.

What you led them out of, lead us out today!

What you led them into, lead us there we pray!

Click this link to hear the initial, orienting sermon for the “Success Stories” series recorded poorly, but live this past Sunday: SuccessStoriesIntro11June5

Join in at High Park Baptist Church’s Sunday service to focus on some of God’s “Success Stories” that will inspire you AND your friends, family, associates and neighbours. Invite someone to join you.

Remember, God is the real and powerful hero of our “Success Stories”.

A Poem and picture to start my 4th year at High Park Baptist Church


Dear Rumbloggers,

I started serving as Lead Pastor of High Park Baptist Church on June 1, 2008.
Today is the 1rst day of my 4th year.

I’m thankful for the care and commitment that has been shared between many of us over the last 3 years. You have encouraged my faith to be strong, courageous and resilient (Joshua 1:6-9)!

I’ve been trying to prepare a blog post that answers the question, “So how has the first 3 years in Toronto at HPBC been?” Well, many of you who know me would understand the challenge of summarizing three years, such as these ones, in a few paragraphs. So, I took a photo in Muskoka this morning that felt like it summarized some of the key concepts of the past 3 years. I make a few poetic points below the picture.

20110601-143947.jpg

White cap waves,
Wind under wings.

Green trees thrive along a rugged rock face.
Sun shines as clouds pass along this place.

What will year 4 hold?
What stories will be told?
How much redemptive gold?
What fruit of my love, so bold?

Isaiah 40:27-31

I can share more lessons learned in person sometime this summer. :)

Enjoy this St. Patrick Day Prayer – Christ With Us


Happy St. Patrick‘s Day RumBloggers.  I am about to enjoy a luncheon with our senior’s ministry before returning to message practice, but before that event, I wanted to send you a poem/prayer that is attributed to or inspired by St. Patirck.  I got it from the March 17th entry of a daily devotional book called “Promises to Keep” by Nick Harrison.  I have fond memories of one St. Patrick’s Day when I printed and distributed this poem in the bars on UWO campus one year. Enjoy:

Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left.

Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me

Salvation is of the Lord,

Salvation is of the Lord,

Salvation is of the  Christ,

May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

Changing furniture disease into a weights allergy. My 12 Week Challenge at SNAP Fitness.


Dear RumBloggers,

I am about to go for a walk in this damp weather and have a healthy lunch and workout!  Before I do, I wanted to post some recent changes in my health so that you can pray for good results!

After my football career ended over a decade ago, I developed a condition called “furniture disease”. Have you heard of it?  It is caused by chairs and couches and results in my chest falling into my drawers. ;)

At present, I am 2 weeks into a 12 week fitness challenge at my gym –  SNAP Fitness.  It is like a biggest loser competition with prizes and everything that externally motivates us.  We are in teams that train individually, but meet weekly for assessment and discussion.  Motivated by social and spiritual influences, I am ready to rebuild my health and fitness levels as a form of Christian worship, self-respect, and social example.  The program was launched on the Monday after my 33rd birthday! What a perfect time to get fit and work to put my chest back where it belongs! :)  Tonight at 8pm, we have our challenge team meeting. I will show them that my weight is down and my arms are bigger already! Results are motivating!

I think I am developing a new disease called “weights allergy”.  Have you heard of it? I think I am allergic to weights because every time I touch them, my muscles swell up! :) (insert gun show here AIA peeps)

I like the feeling of my “weights allergy” better than the old days of “furniture disease”.

Please pray for my change through this challenge.

My goal of weighing 220lbs on June 6 by focusing on muscle building in two ways.

1) consistently high protein/low carbohydrate diet with lots of water and vitamins.

2) consistently intense power lifting and weights training sessions.

See you at the beach.  Now, can someone point me to the beach? Is it this way or that way?

http://www.snapfitness.com/torontohighpark