In my time on my kid’s christian school membership committee, I have had people tell me that christian education is a luxury they cannot afford.

I know it is not financially cheap. In fact, I used to say the same thing myself…it’s true. We were going to go the public system.

But then a thought struck me.

If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, why would I let unbelievers, who hold to a completely different worldview and value system, teach my children? I cannot afford to not make use of “this luxury,” even if it costs me in this life.

Random thought for today…


My dear young sister in Christ Jesus,

You are so beautiful. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

God made you just the way you are; he knew what he was doing. He designed you, he formed you, he intricately crafted you with the most skilled hands.  He gave you your awesome personality, he gave you your cute smile, your bright eyes, the funny way you giggle, and he gave you your unique abilities and gifts. Your youthful enthusiasm is contagious; your eyes twinkle with wonder and bright hope, and your voice is full of kindness and love. He put all this together and created you. He made you to be an image bearer of Himself, the Creator of the universe.  Yes you are flawed by sin, we all are. You have your bad days, I know.  You have also done some not so nice things. Yet within you, God has planted something wonderful: The seed of faith. And he has watered it through the Word and Spirit. You have tasted the grace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a part of the bride, and that relationship means the world to you.  Now, you desire to have a husband to share your passions with, to share the love of Christ with, and to grow old together with.

Yes, throughout the Scriptures, God, through the inspired authors, reveals to us that marriage is a truly beautiful thing.  And it is! Oh my sister, what joy my marriage has brought to me! It is an institution designed to reflect the Gospel of grace, the relationship which Jesus has with his bride, us…His Church.  If you have this relationship with Jesus, dear sister, it makes perfect sense then, that you would desire a husband to share life with, to laugh with, to struggle with, to work with, to play with, or, as the old form says, to love and to cherish.

Sometimes I have been asked the question, “What should I look for in a man?”  Perhaps you, dear sister, are the one who asked.  If not, perhaps you have still wondered.  Maybe you are wondering if there is a perfect man out there. Well, you know that a perfect man does not exist on this earth, but you are still looking for a godly man to cleave to.

To marry.

To raise kids with.

To love.

Did you know that the man you are looking for will love God more than he will ever love you? It is true, dear sister. The first and greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” You are looking for a man who lives and breathes this. He is consumed with his relationship with Jesus. And this all consuming passion and love, that relationship, pours out into every other area of his life, from work, to play, to church, and everything in between.  The love of Jesus shines brightly from within him and manifests itself in love for others. Love for God, first and foremost, and love for others will be his mantra in life.

Dear sister, the wonderful thing about a man who is consumed with God’s love, is that he could be called a “Corinthians 13” man.  Being consumed with God’s love means that, even though he may not attain all this perfectly, the pattern of his life shows that he is patient and kind,  he will not envy or boast, he is not proud or rude, he is not self seeking or easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs, never delights in evil but rejoices in the truth, he always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, never fails.

Did you know that the man you are looking for is also a Spiritual Leader? It’s true, dear sister. He may never aspire to be an elder in the Church, and he doesn’t need to be one, but your spiritual health will be directly impacted by him. He will be a rudder for your home, for good or ill. You are looking for a godly man who will lead and guide you; who will love you with a servant’s heart.  The Puritans taught that the husband was the pastor of the home, and it is true. The Bible makes it clear that the man is the head, he is the resident elder and theologian.  So, you do well to ask yourself if your potential love interest meets the criteria for elder laid out in 1 Timothy 3:

  • Is he above reproach? Is he honest in all things?  Does he have integrity?
  • Is he a one-woman man? Does he avoid lust and pornography at all costs?
  • Is he sober-minded, level headed and clear thinking?
  • Is he self-controlled?
  • Is he respectable?
  • Is he hospitable?  Does he open his home to others, does he care for others?
  • Is he able to teach?  Does he have a good grasp of biblical doctrine?.
  • Is he a drunkard?  How much does he drink? How often?  Is he addicted to anything else? Cigarettes, drugs, porn…
  • Is he violent or gentle?
  • Is he quarrelsome?  Does he always have to be right?  Does he pick fights with people just because he can?
  • Is he a lover of money?  Does he work too much neglecting other things?  Does he have much credit debt? How much?

These are all good things to consider.

Did you know that the man you are looking for is also a provider?  He will provide for you not only spiritually and emotionally, but he will also provide for your daily needs. Dear sister, there is nothing wrong with women working outside the home, but it is God’s mandate that husband should bear the primary responsibility for the financial needs of the home. 1 Timothy 5:8 says that, “if a man fails to provide for his household, he is worse than an unbeliever”…and we are not to be yoked with unbelievers!  The man you are looking for works hard at his daily calling, with care, with all his might, so that he might provide for his own daily bread, for his future wife and family, and for those in need.

Dear sister, you may be thinking to yourself, “No man will ever meet all this criteria. There has to be grace!”  Yes, have grace, you will never find the perfect man, but at the same time please don’t play the fool. Beware of giving in to the emotions of your heart, they are strong and powerful. Jeremiah tells us that our hearts will deceive us! It says in Jeremiah 17:9 that, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Forgive my suddenly harsh tone, dear sister, but this is your life and I love you! The man you marry must walk with you hand in hand and lead you and your kids to the cross; you don’t need to be dragging him along hoping he will change. Seek out a godly man; not a make work project.  

My dear beautiful sister, you are worth so much to me.

Yet, you are worth infinitely more to Jesus.

The cost he paid was great. He gave his life for yours.  You are his. You are an image bearer of the Lord, with wonderful and unique gifts.  You are a blessing to me and all those around you.  I pray that one day you will find that godly man you are looking for, that “Corinthians 13” kind of man.  Hold out for one.  Hold out for the man who loves God more than he loves you. The one who will love you with a servant’s heart, the one who will provide for you spiritually, emotionally, and financially.  A man who will walk hand in hand with you, gazing upon your beauty, having eyes only for you, who will promise to love and guide you faithfully, to maintain you, and to live with you in holiness, according to the holy gospel. Who will also promise never to forsake you, but to be true to you always, in good days and bad, in riches and poverty, in health and sickness, for as long as you both shall live. A man who not only makes promises, but a man who keeps them.

Please don’t be in a rush to marry.

Hold out for that man.

Don’t settle.

With much Love,

Your Brother.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Posted: September 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

worldsuicidepreventionday2013Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Many of us have been affected by someone taking their own life.  Even Christians are affected by it.

Did you know that today in Canada…

  • 11 people will end their lives by suicide.
  • 210 others will attempt to end their lives.
  • 77-110 people will become newly bereaved by suicide.

According to the CDC…

  • Depression is the key indicator in two thirds of all suicides
  • Other key indicators are childhood abuse and confusion over sexuality.

As I write this, a story pops up on my news feed about a pastor and seminary professor who was revealed to be on the adultery website, Ashley Madison.  His wife found his body. In his anguish, he took his own life. He had a history of depression and addiction.

What should I do if I’m worried someone I know is going to commit suicide?

Dr Kay Bruce, in the article, 8 Things you need to know about suicide prevention., says, “Ask. An irony in our culture is that a majority of movies and many television shows have references to suicide, some even include graphic scenes. But to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide seems too personal and intense. Yet, think about it. If you were considering ending your own life, wouldn’t you want to talk with someone about that decision?

One of the best ways to prevent suicide is by making it safe for a person in despair to talk about their feelings and to connect them with helpful resources. Ask the question, “Are you hurting so much that you are thinking about suicide?” It’s a simple question, but it can make a huge difference.”

Speak up.

Reach out.

Psalm 143: A Psalm of David.

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    give ear to my pleas for mercy!
    In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
    for no one living is righteous before you.

For the enemy has pursued my soul;
    he has crushed my life to the ground;
    he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
    my heart within me is appalled.

I remember the days of old;
    I meditate on all that you have done;
    I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

Answer me quickly, O Lord!
    My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
    lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
    I have fled to you for refuge.[a]
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
    on level ground!

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
    In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
    and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
    for I am your servant.


If you have ever gone to the aid of an oppressed Christian, maybe the victim of abuse, and sought help from others, or tried to gather witnesses to approach someone who has sinned against you, you have probably heard responses like these:

“Leave me out of it.”

“I want nothing to do with it.”

“Not getting involved…”

“But that is none of my business…”

Oh but it is your business Kermit the Frog!! Put down your tea and read the Bible! In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells us that,

“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

Responses like these are all too common from professing believers in the church. People refusing to get involved because it will be uncomfortable. Perhaps they are afraid of repercussions, perhaps they are afraid of being the next victim. Oh they have seen the wickedness, but they either ignore it and turn their backs, feigning a blind eye, or they downplay it.

“What she did wasn’t that bad…”

“Aren’t you overreacting?”

They have heard the lies, the gossip, the slander. They have witnessed the abuse. They have witnessed the sinner in their sin. They know the sin, whatever it might be…but they refuse to get involved.

“Nope. I can’t do it.”

They refuse to stand with the oppressed, with the victims, for fear of their own comfort being ruined…and by refusing to stand with the oppressed, they, by default, stand with the oppressor.

In Ephesians 5, Paul writes,

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Paul not only tells us to have nothing to do with deeds of darkness, not to gossip about them, but also to expose them! If a Christian refuses to expose a sinner, an abuser, a liar, a reviler, a gossiper, when they know the truth, they are standing with them. They are helping to cover up the sin with darkness.

Frankly, the church has a woeful track record here. It seems that when push comes to shove, very few professing Christians are actually willing to stand alongside their oppressed brothers or sisters. Especially when standing beside that person might cost something. What I have noticed, is that when it is going to cost something, these people always start up with the same old nonsense, “Oh that is just her, she is like that, you should just get over it,” or “Nobody pays her any heed anyway, everyone knows what she is like…” or they all of the sudden become dispensers of some weird, un-biblical form of hyper-grace…”Oh just forgive him, and move on, it’s what Jesus would do”…

No it’s not.

Jesus does not just forgive and move on.

Biblical forgiveness never occurs without true repentance. And what is true repentance? It is naming the sin, admitting to your victim and to the Lord the exact nature of your sin, claiming it as your own, without minimizing it in any way, without shifting blame off yourself, and then forsaking that sin and turning to Christ. Turning to Christ because Christ alone is worthy of your repentance, not because it will be better for the sinner to “repent.” A truly repentant person will never expect forgiveness, they will never make demands, and they are ready to accept all consequences related to their sin. They forsake their sin and cling to Jesus.

Often, in the Church, to stand with the oppressed means that you might become oppressed as well. In cases of spousal abuse, sadly it is often the victim who gets villainized, and painted as the one who is breaking the marriage by leaving an abusive situation. When that happens, when the oppressor has the backing of people in the church…that is a scary thing, and a lot of people are simply too cowardly to take that stand. And yet the Lord has clearly told us in His Word that if we are not willing to stand with His people, especially when they are oppressed, suffering or in need, then we do not really belong to Him. That is right. If we refuse to get involved, if we refuse to stand with a victim of abuse, if we refuse to call sin sin, then we are not His children.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:41-42)

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Matthew 25:41-45)

Those who love God, love those whom God loves. That means also standing with the oppressed. That means exposing sin, not covering it up, or downplaying it, or refusing to get involved because it might go badly for you. If someone who claims the name of Christ, will not pay the price required to stand with the oppressed, then Christ will reject them on that Day when He comes to judge the living and the dead. Refusing to stand with the oppressed is, as Christ Himself said in the above text, the same as denying Christ Himself. And on this matter of confessing or denying Christ, the Lord is painfully clear:

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
(Matthew 10:32-36)

If it doesn’t cost us to follow Christ, are we really following him? Following Him means we all have to decide just whose side we are on. The oppressor or the oppressed. There is no middle ground here.  It is your business.  It is my business.

Christ is on the side of the oppressed. Are we?

At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! ~ 2 Timothy 4:16

Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.  But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:1-3


In the past year or so, since a nasty bout with depression, I have set out to learn more about myself. I want to know what makes me tick. Why do I think and act the way I do?  Why do things that matter to others, not matter to me and vice versa? Why am I so different? And why does that bother me? Last year I wrote,  10 Things You should Know about Introverts. It was well received by my fellow introverts.  A few Extroverts even thanked me for explaining why introverts are so odd…

Today I will narrow the scope to focus on the “brand” of introvert that I am, and what I am pretty sure my daughter is.  We are INFJ .  What is that? ok let’s get the dry stuff outta the way…Here is a simple definition:

  1. INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of the sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl Jung in his book Psychological Types. INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

Ok dry stuff is outta the way.

Recently, my 9 year old daughter asked me why she was so different from her peers…why she was so weird! I laughed and told her it is my fault that she is weird. She corrected me and said, “No, God made me like this.” I told her to embrace her weirdness. So she hugged herself…giggled, and walked away. INFJ’s often feel “weird”, like we don’t fit in, that we were made for a different time, place, or world all together.

Here are 10 things I have learned about INFJ’s.

  1. We despise spontaneity.  I have my next 3 months of meals and exercise routines planned out. (That makes me a little odd I know.) We plan things. When plans are taken out of our control it stresses us out. Like when we suddenly have to work late or have to follow someone else’s plan for the day. When it comes to social events, give us at least 3 weeks notice.  Nothing strikes fear into an INFJ’s heart like answering a phone call and hearing, “Hey we are having a get together, want to come over right now?”  When someone asks us, “Are you doing anything tonight?”, and we respond with, “No.”… that does not mean we want an invitation! We have actually planned to do nothing! That is right…it is written in our schedule to do nothing. I often plan to do nothing  and I really look forward to it.  That may sound boring, and stick-in-the-muddish, but doing nothing is how we recharge our batteries!
  2. What-I-think-vs-What-I-sayWe may come across as unintelligent in group conversation…especially in settings like a Bible Study. But we really are quite intelligent!  Really!  We tend to be the quiet listeners in groups. In our minds we may have formulated brilliant responses, but if asked to speak or offer input on the spur of the moment, those same words often dribble incoherently down our chins… However, when we are comfortable and are given plenty of time to think over a question and organize our thoughts, we can usually speak clearly, persuasively, and passionately. Though spur of the moment group-speaking is not a strong point, give us a platform like a blog, and we can often write like Nobel laureates.
  3. We love people. In fact we often desire to be with people, which may seem strange considering our introverted nature. But, to our friends and loved ones, we can appear to be sociable and extroverted. Which can cause confusion when our batteries become depleted and we withdraw to our secret hiding place, curl up in a ball, and turn our phones off. In large prayer meetings or bible studies we often keep quiet, but one on one, we can talk and pray for hours. We definitely prefer quality over quantity in our relationships. When we make friends, it is usually for life because we pour our entire heart into that relationship. When we have many relationships, which can easily happen in the context of the Church, we can easily become overwhelmed.  It can be maddening to us that we are unable to give 100% to each relationship. This can lead  to feelings of depression and eventual burn out. This is partly due to the next point…
  4. imagesWe are perfectionists.  In every area of life…from school, to  exercise, to church, to our jobs, to our relationships. It is exhausting. While having grace and compassion for others, we often don’t have grace for ourselves. Because we strive to such high ideals, we often disappoint ourselves when we fail. When we sin, we often put ourselves in the penalty box, rather than immediately turning to Christ for grace and forgiveness.  When I publish a blog post and notice spelling and grammatical errors, afterwards, I tend to tense up…
  5. infj-rageWe are hyper-sensitive.  To everything.  EVERYTHING. Seriously….everything.  And this is really difficult when you have a blog or “put yourself out there” for everyone to see. The slightest criticism is dissected, analysed, and taken to heart and replayed over and over and over…  If you want to get on our bad side, just question our motives or tell us we are wrong.  You will witness Yoda turn into the Incredible Hulk in mere seconds! Trust me, INFJ rage is not pretty, you don’t want us to go full Capslock on you…If you want us to never speak to you again, simply call us out in public, lie to or about us, or harm us or a loved one.  We’ll disown you, and then destroy you in our minds, wiping out your existence from our lives. (Did I mention we also have a flair for the melodramatic?)
  6. INFJ-Save-the-WorldWe want to save the world.  But we don’t want to be noticed doing it. We tend to be altruistic. Helping others comes naturally to us.  Not so much in the mowing-the-lawn or carrying the-groceries sense, but in the sense of helping people to grow spiritually and emotionally and in overcoming barriers in their lives. We tend to see helping others as our purpose in life, but we believe in teaching a man to fish, rather than giving him one. God has given us an ability and desire to help others. We thrive in helping people better themselves and reach greater heights. In the Church, we love being involved in leading people to a closer relationship with the Lord.  We are most fulfilled when we are helping others understand themselves and their problems, and helping them to overcome these problems.
  7. infj_read_soul_mugsWe are psychic.  I can read your soul…Ok, not really, but we do have an uncanny insight into people and situations. We get “feelings” about people and intuitively understand them. Our ability to intuitively feel and sense things around us is a large reason why we help others so easily. This is more than mere sympathy or empathy, we literally feel what you are feeling. We enter into the emotional state of our closest friends and family. Seriously. I don’t expect anyone but another INFJ to believe me. But it is true… it can be overwhelming sometimes. We can also see through lies and manipulation from miles away and we intuitively know what a person’s underlying motivation is.  One of the hardest things for us is when we stand at the door growling like a dog at the nice man who doesn’t just want to deliver you some mail…and no one will listen to us…
  8. We are extremely private.  We don’t open up very easily. We don’t trust very easily. This goes along with our perfectionism and psychic abilities.  Often we will present our selves as an ideal (One Christian Dad much?) to avoid having to open up. Since we can sense when someone is fake, or if we have ever been hurt by them, opening up to that person is not going to happen! We tend to judge these ulterior motives harshly, but instead of calling them out for these sinister motives, we prefer to slip away and let the relationship fizzle out…rather than wasting energy on it. But if your motives are pure, and once we open up to you, you will discover that under that cold shell is a vast chamber of compassion, love and warmth. We want friendships that are deep and meaningful and we give 100% to those relationships.
  9. We despise small talk and gossip.  Oh how we despise it.  It wastes valuable energy that could be used for meaningful, up building conversations! I will say, “Hi”, to anyone, but if an INFJ asks you how you are doing, we actually mean it.  We want to know how you are.  What’s going on in life.  What pain you are feeling.  We want to rejoice in your victories.  We want to weep with you in your sufferings.
  10. We will rock the boat…Gently (at first.) Along with our perfectionism comes a deep-seated idealism. But we are not merely idealists, we are decisive idealists, which means that our beliefs are matched by a determined action to see these ideals come to fruition. Rocking the boat is a typically rare thing for introverts, but it is something that INFJ’s tend to do if there is a felt need. Being altruistic, we do it not because we are trying to make ourselves look good or bring ourselves attention, but because we are trying to advance an idea or cause that we  truly believe will make the world a better place. Usually content to sit at home with a book and a coffee, when we come to believe that something is important, when that thing sets off the passion grenade in our hearts, we will pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch even our closest friends and loved ones by surprise.   A friend once said that we are the quiet revolutionaries.  That sounds about right.
  11. Money is nice, but it isn’t what motivates us. Most people do not get us. Even after reading all of this, most of you are probably still confused about us. I admit it.  We are different. We don’t need many material possessions to be happy. Things do not impress us. Money does not really matter to us. But we are in good company.  Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and other altruistic sorts have also been identified as INFJ…I am not sure how we can pigeon hole the Son of God into a made personality type theory, so just in case that goes to our heads…Here are some not so nice INFJ’s: Adolph Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.  Hence the reason I used the qualifier, “usually.”

Oops, that is 11 things.  Did I mention we are verbose?  I even edited out about 1000 words! Well, there you go.  Now you know a little more about me, without me having to open up! We are not perfect by any stretch, well, Jesus was, but the rest of us are sinners and kinda weird.  But to my fellow INFJ’s, God made you that way.  Embrace your weirdness!


What is your personality type? Since I have not knowingly met any other INFJ’s, I would love to know if there are other INFJ’s reading.

Monday Coffee Theology

Posted: September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


t’s Monday. After a day of rest, where we left our cares at the foot of the throne, the Lord gave us his blessing and sent us out into this week. We are re-energized, and ready. It is time for a fresh start.

But maybe you woke up and it doesn’t feel like a fresh start.

Perhaps you left your cares at the throne, but last week’s pain still lingers.

Perhaps you daily leave your cares at the throne…but you are still unemployed, separated, grieving, weeping, and the hopelessness, anger, despair that you continue to leave at the throne incessantly returns to you and clings to you like a needy toddler who won’t give you a moment of peace. Maybe this morning the bright morning sun is obscured by the smoky haze of the depression you are battling. Maybe your sun feels as if it has been snuffed out; maybe where you are it is just cold and dreary and drizzling.

Maybe your Monday, is just another Monday in a long string of Mondays that have no meaning any more. You are just surviving.

Perhaps, whatever your trial is… in the midst of all this pain, it doesn’t matter to you that the sun is still shining. And you are tired of hearing the theology, the verses, people telling you to “get over it because Jesus loves you.”

I have been there. I get it.

Maybe right now the only theology you need is a hug, to hear that it’s ok. And you know what? The Lord does love you, you are his covenant child, he weeps when you weep, and he collects all of your tears in his bottle. I know you can’t feel it right now, but you can feel a hug.

So to the rest of us, if you know someone who is hurting, depressed, grieving, and you have no clue what to say, maybe just give them a hug, sit in silence and drink a coffee with them. Maybe that is all the theology they need today. And maybe hugging someone and drinking coffee is exactly what the Lord sent you out into this week to do.

This post first appeared on the  One Christian Dad Facebook Page.


I met my wife when we were young.  Eighteen, to be precise.  We were working at Wendy’s Restaurant.  She was on cash, I was flipping burgers.  She loved the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, I loved those Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.

I loved the way her uniform fit.

I loved the smell of her perfume.

I loved her smile.

I loved her.

I remember the first time I told her that I loved her.  I meant it, but I don’t think I had a clue what those words really meant. “I love you.”


Love is not merely about how we feel.

Love is not merely about attraction.

Love is so much more than mere feelings and attraction and the squishy, roller coaster-butterfly-tummies of love’s first kiss. Love requires a daily commitment, a daily devotion of one to another.  Love requires us to empty ourselves of ourselves, of our own self interests and put in that place another’s interests. Love is to daily guide each other to the Cross, or drag each other there if need be.

Attraction, like beauty, will fade.

Passion, like a fire, will subside.

Emotions, like the tide, will rise and fall.

But not love.

No, not love.

Love is constant.

Love endures all things.

For love is not bound by the fickleness of emotion. Love is not an emotion; Love is an anchor.  Love is a harbour. Love is a place to find refuge from the storm. Love is a tool that the Lord has given us for each other.  And the master craftsman has apprenticed us in its use.

When I was young, I made the mistake of mixing up attraction and love. Love and lust. Love and emotion. Don’t make my mistake. Know what love is before you say it.

We love, because he first loved us.  When we grasp that reality, when we grasp the reality that he loved us at our darkest hour, and that he requires this of us for each other, then we catch a tiny glimpse of what our love is supposed to be.

Almost twenty Years later, (has it been that long already?) we have grown up a little bit.  We don’t work at Wendy’s any more, but she still “loves” Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. I still “love” Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.  And I still love her.

But now I know what that means.

And you know what? I have found that love endured through the storms will often reignite passion and attraction and emotion and occasionally, even the squishy, roller coaster-butterfly-tummies of love’s first kiss.

This post first appeared on the  One Christian Dad Facebook Page.


I learned today that a friend and brother in Christ passed through the door to glory. I was profoundly saddened at the news of his passing. We were not “close” friends per se, but there was a deep connection between us, though he was 20 years my senior. I loved him, though I barely knew him.

That is the connection of brothers in Christ.

He was a misunderstood soul; he suffered from serious mental illness, and brokenness abounded in his life, but he was as honest as the day is long. He demonstrated the epitome of childlike faith. I remember his contagious laugh, and his smirk of a smile as he spoke passionately of the love of Jesus, he deeply cared for others, and it is likely that this man was the last vestige of love for the Revised Standard Version of the Bible – he must have had 25 of them on a shelf at home. We had been deciding on a date to have coffee again when I heard the news of his passing.

I will miss him dearly.

We became friends a few years ago. His car door lock was broken and he asked if I could fix it. He heard that I was taking an online locksmith course, so I said sure. Though I now admit I had no real clue what I was doing…I somehow managed to fix it.

Sort of.

Regardless, that evening we spent 4 hours laughing and drinking coffee, while I “fixed” his lock. A connection was made that night. This man smashed through every barrier of preconceived notions I ever had… He taught me about love for the marginalized, for the outcast, for the orphan and widow – he taught me about true religion. It was through him that I learned we ought to get know the person behind the label.

Erwin Lutzer once said that,

Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. The road winds only through those paths through which Christ Himself has gone. This Travel Agent does not expect us to discover the trail for ourselves. Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.

Christ met my friend.

He walked hand in hand with him.

He led him through to the other side and met him there.

I am saddened at his passing, but I know that I will see him soon.

I will miss our coffees, and your laugh. See you soon my friend.


This post first appeared on the  One Christian Dad Facebook Page.

One Christian Dad:

I rarely reblog posts, especially satire, and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse…er lion…but I appreciated this.

Originally posted on - Indie Author of Speculative Fiction for Speculative Misanthropes -:

image1). Although I am personally opposed to the practice, I do not want to impose my moral values upon others. So if someone else wants to hunt lions, then who am I to judge? My motto is: If you don’t like lion killing, then don’t kill one.

2). It’s clear that laws against lion hunting won’t stop lion hunting. It will only make lion hunting dangerous for the hunters because banning lion hunting will drive hunters into back jungles to seek unsafe hunting. We do not want to return to “back alley” hunting.

3). Anti-choicers sit atop their moral pedestals and dictate that others shouldn’t have safe and affordable access to lion hunting, proving they only care about lions and not the hunters.

4). What’s the harm? Lions are only blobs of tissue, cells, muscles, and skin. It’s just like killing a cockroach.

5). Lion hunting should be “safe…

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I have difficulty praying the Lord’s Prayer because whenever I say ‘Our Father,’ I think of my own father, who was hard, unyielding, and relentless. I cannot help but think of God that way. ~ Martin Luther

I totally get this quote.

My dad was rarely home, and when he was, he was more of a dictator-couch-potato than a loving dad. You know the kind who would bark orders from the couch, and the “so help me if I have to get up!” kinda dad.  The loving memories with my dad do exist, don’t get me wrong, but they were few and far between. When my parents separated, I was around 15 or 16. My mom was a piano teacher so she had to work evenings.  Which meant that I was tasked with caring for my brothers who were about 4 and 11 years old. I cooked dinners, cleaned up, played with them…it wasn’t all bad, but I was still a child myself.  I got good at cooking ground beef and KD, and dishing out junk food. But I was not a good godly male role model. We never prayed, we ate in front of the tv, cuz mom was teaching. I did not do such a good job with my brothers. Now, with my own kids, I admit that I sometimes catch myself acting the way my dad did, being a “drill sergeant.”  When I fall into the unrelenting order barker role, which happens from time to time, I always go and ask them to forgive me. It is only by God’s grace that I am aware of my own shortcomings as a father, and that I strive, and stumble a lot, to be a godly father.

While my father was not present to raise me, I was blessed to have some men in my life who were godly male role models.  I did not realize it at the time, but looking back, I see the hand of God in placing these men in my life at strategic times. As a young child of 7, I was befriended by a man, who happened to also be my first Christian school teacher. He was someone I looked up to.  I remember when I met him, the summer before I joined the Christian school. He was doing some work – drywall or electrical, I can’t remember what –  on the home we lived in, and I remember him softly singing “Great is the Lord”  and other Christian songs while he worked:

Great is the Lord
He is holy and just
By His power we trust
In his love
Great is the Lord
He is faithful and true
By his mercy he proves
He is love

I was amazed.

This man was singing praise to God while he sweated and worked. He never cussed when he hurt himself, and he always had time to smile and give me a hi five. I liked him. As I grew into a teen, I would often go to him with questions, and I watched his every move, admiring the man who was not my father, but who was a godly role model none-the-less.

20100724_quest-holliday_397_DSC_04661-480x318In high school, I had another teacher who would, on his own time, tutor me in Chem and Math. He not only took time to tutor me, he also took the time to mentor and disciple me. He would talk to me about deep stuff. It was the first time I ever heard a man speak about sex in a way that was not mere innuendo or objectification of women, rather he spoke about it in a biblical, God and spouse honouring way. My mind was blown. He would pray with me, he showed me how to work on a car, and he even taught me how to lift weights and about healthy eating.

These two men, or godly male role models, probably have no idea the impact that they had on me as a child. I had a father, but he was never around, and that made me fatherless in a sense. Both of these men had their own families with 4 or 5 kids, and demanding jobs, but they took this quiet, introverted boy, who had a not-so-great dad at home, and invested time into him.  They helped to shape him into a man.  I thank God for placing these men in my life.

So what is it that these two men did that was different from my father? What was it that they did that had a lasting impact on me?

I came up with three things. There may be more, but these three stick out.

The first is that they were present with a purpose.

The second is that they used their words to encourage and build up. 

The third thing was they were tender with me.

Saying that two men were tender with a boy may come across as creepy in this day and age, but I assure you that it was not.  The Bible often calls fathers to be tender, loving, and encouraging; the Bible never tells fathers to be tough, overbearing, violent, abusive, intimidating, or quick tempered. I learned from these men, what it means to be tender, loving, slow to anger, patient, and kind. They were different from my own father. The purpose of their being present with me was obvious: to teach, love, shape, guide and nurture.  My father’s being present was merely about being home and watching TV. Sadly, I can say that I prayed with my dad less often than I prayed with either of these men, particularly the high school teacher. From their words and actions I learned  how much they loved their wives and children, from my dad’s mouth I heard crude jokes, and belittling comments.  From these men I learned about healthy relationships. From my dad I learned to objectify women. From these men I learned to pray. From my dad I learned that prayer didn’t matter.

My heart aches whenever I hear about another dad who won’t spend time with his kids, who works too much, or who won’t pray with his kids, and if he does spend any time with his kids it is all fun and games, or just discipline without any fun at all. Dads, please take the time to be present with a purpose, to use your words to build up, and to be tender and loving with your kids.  And if you know of a child, who has no father, or an absent father, consider taking them under your wing – with mom’s permission of course.  The lasting impact of a godly male role model cannot be overstated.  Be someone who demonstrates what it means to love his wife, who will encourage them, who will pray with them, and perhaps, even teach them how perform a bench press.