Blessed When Life Isn’t #blessed

When Susan’s younger sister was a little girl, she wanted her parents to change her name to “Pookie”. Needless to say, as an adult she is very thankful her dad didn’t grant the request of her younger self. For most of my life, I’ve seen prayer as a tool or a means of getting things from God. Like Susan’s sister, I’ve prayed lots of Pookie prayers that, from my point of view, went unanswered. We can come to God in prayer with great confidence – but not for the reasons I once thought. I’m not confident… Read More

Sacrifice, Freedom & The Act of Remembering

By Susan Dunk Sunday November 11th is Remembrance Day for us here in Canada and for most of the commonwealth countries. (That’s right … we still have a sovereign, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.) There is so much significance to this day and why it is called Remembrance Day. It used to be called “Armistice” after World War 1 and was recognized for the whole week. In Canada, the name was changed to Remembrance Day in 1930. I think it’s unfortunate the week was reduced to a day. We would do well to… Read More

Solomon: A philosopher who did his own stunts

Whether you like his films or not, you have to respect the commitment that Tom Cruise has in giving the audience a tremendous spectacle. There’s no green screens. He’s jumping out of the plane. He’s riding that motorcycle through oncoming traffic. He’s running across the top of buildings and jumping from one to another. He’s breaking his nose and his ankles in the process. He’s driving the car. He’s sliding the car backwards down a flight of stairs. He’s climbing up the rope into the helicopter. He’s flying the helicopter. The book… Read More

The Envelope

A father dies and leaves an inheritance to his two children, Jane and Grace. The family member handling the estate gives them each a letter containing the cheques for their inheritance. Jane takes the envelope and puts it in her pocket without opening it. Grace opens it immediately and finds herself in utter shock as she looks at amount written on the cheque. The two siblings hail a cab to go to the bank to claim their inheritance. They get stuck in an agonizing traffic jam. A truck has overturned and is… Read More

Parenting is Hard. God’s grace is Good.

Susan and I have three kids who are in university, high school and elementary school respectively. Our dinner table convos are diverse to say the least. There aren’t too many crossovers between life in an elementary school playground, a high school hallway and a university campus, but there is one thing that is conspicuously common to all three: The quest for identity. Good grades, physical appearance, sense of style, athleticism, musicianship, artistic interests, extracurricular accomplishments, material possessions, popularity, social media notoriety, dateability, cultural savvy … there is an endless list of things… Read More

Where is God in sickness and death?

In the first year of our church plant, I had the honour of officiating a funeral for one of our members. According to the Scriptures, Janet is not lost. Her family and her church family know precisely where she is. She enjoying the presence of God in a way that words could never convey. For Christians, thinking about our mortality is not morbid, but  reassuring. To be sure, we have deep sorrow in death – but we don’t have sorrow without hope. At the core of our worldview, we do not believe… Read More

On Politics

Voting is a privilege, a responsibility … and it’s often quite hard to do. While every political campaign positions itself as the “clear choice”, we voters often find that our choice is not quite so clear. Voting is always difficult because political platforms and the candidates representing them rarely, if ever, represent all our values in all respects. The headaches than ensue from mentally wrestling with each platform and how we align with the numerous issues at hand is a challenge shared by people of faith and non faith alike. Throw in… Read More

On Your Right … No Your Other Right.

As I write this from the window of a coffee shop, the traffic is driving by on the right side of the road … because I’m Canadian. If you’re reading this in Pakistan, Kenya, Fiji or one of 75 other possible countries and territories, then the traffic outside your coffee shop is  driving by on the left … which for you, is right. If you were to move here, we would say “Welcome to Canada – we drive on the right” and if I were to move there, you might say, “Welcome… Read More

The Hinge

Jesus Christ, for many people, is understood as a moral teacher, champion of the underdog and all around nice guy. He said a lot of “love your neighbour” type things, wasn’t afraid to sit at the social outcast table and unlike the religious-who’s-who, Jesus got invited to hang out at parties. The thing is, Jesus also said a lot of things that disqualify Him from being just another sage in a long line of tunic clad gurus. He said things like, “I saw Satan fall from lighting from heaven” [1] and “If… Read More

What is Lent?

What is lent? …. Is it scriptural? …. Should we observe it or not? Here’s an uber short FAQ on this historic practice on the Christian calendar … The spirit behind the season of Lent is beautiful: it is a time to prepare the hearts of the church to celebrate Easter. A time of anticipating the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death. This year, the season of lent is from Wednesday February 14 – Thursday March 29. It is a season of intentional… Read More

White Belt Faith

A number of years ago, I took a karate class with my kids for fun. One day my class was sparring and the sensei walked onto the mat in between matches. Since we were on a break, one of the instructors shouted jokingly, “Who wants to spar sensei?” I volunteered. I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to attempt to land a punch on a black belt who was morally obligated not to kill me. I thought it would be a great experience. Well, it was an experience alright. I… Read More

God’s Last Word on Sin

Last Sunday at Redeemer, I unpacked the well known account of the woman who was caught in adultery. The difference between the religious leader’s judgemental hatred toward the woman and God’s gracious heart toward her is a chasm. What the religious leaders thought Jesus ought to do and what Jesus actually did could not have be more opposite. The religious crowd salivated over judgement, Jesus extended mercy. The reason that Jesus merciful actions were not a defiant act that contradicted God’s law is because Jesus came to bear the full weight of judgement… Read More

The Jesus Of No Importance

CS Lewis (1898-1963) was a philosophic writer with an atheistic worldview. Before coming to faith in Christ, Lewis was full of excellent arguments, intelligent questions and nagging doubts that kept Him from believing the Christian gospel. Perhaps you are a person of non faith who can relate. Perhaps as philosopher Charles Taylor once put it, you are haunted by occasional temptations to believe in the divine. Between 1941 and 1944 Lewis did a series of apologetic talks on the BBC radio which were later compiled and put into a book entitled, Mere… Read More

God With Us

Written by Susan Dunk I am writing Advent lessons for the kids classes at KW Redeemer and I was reminded of a brilliant blog I read at this time last year by Dr. Jono Linebaugh. “What’s in Two Names”. The Redeemer KiDS will hear from the Jesus Story Book Bible’s “He’s Here!” which is the Biblical narrative of Christ’s arrival… “Now the birth of Jesus Christ, was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph… Read More

Where Fear meets Hope

Written By Susan Dunk “O little town of Bethlehem,” is one of those Christmas carols I don’t sing too often. To be clear, it’s a beautiful song, it just feels like I’m singing to a town…instead of the Babe of that town. However, in that classic Christmas song lies a lyric that sums up Advent in a single phrase: Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight This is the heartbeat of Advent … into our darkness shone… Read More