The Grace of Rescue and Renewal

Paul wrote Ephesians from prison, which makes sense when you look at the overarching tone of the letter… Chapters 1-3 read like chains falling off and prison doors swinging wide open by the power of scandalous, justifying grace. Chapters 4-6 read like they are describing how to enjoy this newfound freedom, glorifying the One who freed you by empowering, sanctifying grace. While there is an undeniable shift in the letter in Chapter 4 from what Christ did to what the church ought to do, Paul’s teaching never abandon’s God’s grace. The things Christ did are… Read More

“They Don’t Deserve You”

As Wonder Woman hit theatres earlier this month and the reviews poured in, many of them carried the same sentiment: she’s the only hero in the DCEU thus far who hasn’t induced mixed feelings from the fans of the genre but instead has received near universal applause for getting the character right. We saw it as a family and I’d have to agree that the film was a good time. Diana’s mythology unfolds in an intriguing way and how they manage to get her from Themyscira into our world is interesting. There is… Read More

How Baptizing Children is Grace on Display

Infant baptism is a controversial topic of discussion. While we have historical evidence that the 1st century church practiced infant baptism and they referred to this as the “tradition of the apostles”, [1] the church has been divided on infant baptism since 1608 when Anabaptist leader Menno Simons, Baptist leader John Smyth and others asserted that baptism should be delayed until after the children of believers professed their faith. Before I continue, I want to be clear that even though I have come to embrace infant baptism and see God’s grace on display in it, my aim isn’t… Read More

The Pirates Curse

The 5th instalment in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean series hits the theatres May 26 and I’m sure the film will do well. Johnny Depp is a cool bloke who probably pulls off the whole pirate thing better than anyone. The film series started in 2003 with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The plot, in short, is that the crew on the Black Pearl took the cursed treasure of Cortés from Isla de Muerta (the Isle of the Dead), in the hopes that the treasure would satisfy their wildest dreams. Ironically,… Read More

Good News For Those who Face-plant

Every Christian face-plants. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been saved by grace, we still face-plant. It doesn’t matter if we have a diligent prayer life and are faithful in our scripture meditation, we still face-plant. Our mind wanders in some illicit direction. We lose our temper in a moment of unjust anger. Our selfishness comes out and hurts those around us that we love. Our heart, which acts more like a stomach, draws us in one direction or another and we find ourselves dumpster diving to feed on something we aren’t… Read More

Where’s Jesus?

I was asked once if preaching the grace of Christ week after week will get old. Well, Jesus said in Luke 24 that all of scripture is about Him [1], so I think it’s best to keep Him front and centre. If those of us who stand in pulpits are concerned about “Jesus fatigue” and keep Jesus in the background in favour of putting applicational teaching in the foreground, we’ve missed the greater point in the text. The same is true around the dinner table. Our desire is to raise our children… Read More

GRACE SAYS: GAME OVER.

KW Redeemer meets in a high school downtown. I preach on a basketball court and behind me is this old scoreboard. It’s dark, dead, lifeless – and I’m so happy it’s there. It’s darkened state screams ‘GAME OVER!’ GAME OVER on fear of punishment for your sin. GAME OVER on needing to earn God’s blessing. God doesn’t accept growth or progress – only perfection. Perfect worship to Him. Perfect love toward your neighbour. PERFECT. [1] That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news. Because you are united to Christ – God is not… Read More

We’re all toddlers.

When our son Nijel was just a little guy he’d say “I’m hungry” whenever he got over-tired. We’d take him to bed – sometimes kicking and screaming. Without fail, he’d be sleeping in no time. While sending an over-tired child to bed is just good common sense, reasoning with a toddler is nearly impossible. No amount of explaining our actions ever resulted in Nijel wiping the tears from his eyes and saying, “Well alright then, there you have it. Thanks for caring for me in such a wise and loving way.” Never happened. Children are so… Read More

Thy Kingdom Come = Rest.

I used to race this old 1999 BMW 328. The car was uber basic – and awesome. 5spd manual transmission, stock everything except for upgraded brakes, tires and stainless steel brake lines. I bought it quite used as I operate on a ‘cheap speed strategy’. It was my daily-driver-slash-track car. I drove it to over 230,000 kms until the engine started making this insane knocking noise. Sadly (regrettably?) I sold it. Now I’m rolling in a Ford Escape SUV. Very exciting. I remember at one track day, rolling into the pits and seeing… Read More

Here we are now. Entertain us.

Do you remember way back in May 2007, Charlie and his brother Harry were sitting on a chair when Charlie bit Harry’s finger? The little guys broke the internet. Do you remember the double rainbow of 2010? Here we are now – entertain us. ~ Kurt Cobain Like myself, you probably laughed at Charlie, the double rainbow and the innumerable amount of funny videos that went viral since. Needless to say, these two videos are old news and the next big thing is being uploaded as I type this. We love the next… Read More

On Healing

This week I had the honour of officiating a funeral for one of our members who is now enjoying the presence of God in a way that I can’t fully comprehend and my words could never fully convey. When you attend a funeral, you find yourself confronted by deep, probing and perhaps uncomfortable questions. Depending on your belief system, thinking about your own mortality is either a very morbid or a very reassuring exercise. I’ve attended and officiated many funerals. Teenagers. Infants. Elderly people who lived full lives. Tragic accidents involving young adults. Or as in… Read More

GRACE FROM A-Z (PT 3)

Susan and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this year. When we got married at 21 years old with matching zits on our wedding day, we always dreamt of going to Greece for our 20th anniversary, which we did, and Greece did not disappoint. We were sitting in a little cafe, when I noticed this lady taking selfies at a rather extreme angle. I’m no photographer, but I’m guessing that holding a selfie stick down at your feet and smiling down into the camera would produce a picture comprised entirely of your face and… Read More

Grace from A-Z (pt 2)

We have three kids with a decent age difference: 18,15 and 10. Finding movies that everyone actually wants to see and not just tolerate can be a little tricky, as you can imagine. I remember one time when our oldest, Rebecca, was out with friends so Susan and I decided to take the boys to the movies to see something that Rebecca would be happy to watch 7 years later on Netflix. We shouted up the stairs to surprise them, “Boys! Get your stuff on, we’re taking you to the movies!” There was… Read More

Grace from A-Z

Susan and I were at a function a few months ago and introductions were happening around the table. Getting asked what I do for a living is always an interesting conversation starter. So when the question came to me, I told everyone I was a presbyterian minister and the guy sitting next to me got really excited. He said, “Oh good!” and then he proceeded to share, with refreshing honesty, his disgust and frustrations with the church. It was really interesting to hear his thoughts and the experiences he had that caused him to… Read More

The power & the pattern for the paradox of marriage

Back in 1973, Pulitzer prize winning author Ernest Becker used the term ‘apocalyptic romance’ to describe what we observed the culture was growing to expect from sex, romance and marriage. In his book entitled “The Denial of Death” he gives us some striking arguments for why romance in the 70’s was growing more and more ‘apocalyptic’. He asserted that at one time, a person would look for meaning, identity and ultimate hope in the idea of God and the afterlife, but if one wasn’t sure that those things existed, their love interest was forced to… Read More