The Wrestler

This painting by Jack Baumgartner portrays Jacob Wrestling the Angel from the book of Genesis. It’s a central metaphor for this blog – wrestling with life, health, urban issues, and even with God.


“See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey” – Matthew 21:5 When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, just a week before He was murdered, He was still very popular. The entire city stood still in anticipation of Him. Jesus could have entered triumphantly on a horse drawn chariot, accompanied by an army. He could have had His servants carry Him in. Yet again, He chose a very different approach than anyone would expect of a King.


“Your love, Lord, reaches to the Heavens. Your faithfulness to the skies” - Psalm 36:5 Faithfulness to me is about covenant. It’s about making a commitment, a promise, and sticking to it. To be faithful means to be reliable, unwavering, and consistent. That’s hard to do. We’ve all failed in this. Yet God’s grace is big enough to forgive us for those times.


When I looked up the word goodness, the definition I got was this: “The state of being good”.  At first I kind of laughed; it told me absolutely nothing. Or so I thought. But when I reflected on it a little longer, I found myself focusing on ‘the state of being’ part. It does not say doing, it says being.


Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” - Mark Twain What kind of attitude do we do things in? What kinds of small things can we do to show kindness? Here’s a prayer for today to help us explore ‘kindness’ in our own hearts.


It’s easy to lose patience, often the hard part is finding it. The work that we do is hard. It’s exhausting. It can drain us of all of our resources; especially patience. Frequently we find ourselves losing patience with our co-workers, supervisors, clients, partners and friends. We get frustrated with ‘the system’ and lose any patience we might have had for it. We can even find ourselves losing patience with, well, ourselves. And I think that’s where it starts: with us.


I have a tattoo on my arm (much to the chagrin of my dear mother) with the word ‘shalom’ written in both in English and Hebrew. The colours used: red, yellow, black and white represent all people of all nations. The words are written on an ancient scroll with a fish, which symbolizes Jesus, bursting out of it. It says that ‘peace’ has a name, and His name is Jesus.


William James Pearson penned this very famous Salvation Army hymn in the late 1800’s, shortly after the organization was founded. But early Salvationists knew then what they know now; ‘joy’ is not the same thing as ‘happiness’. The world is full of pain and suffering and it touches us both personally and professionally.


Now that it’s February, we switch our attention to the missional theme of the month; LOVE. We chose ‘love’ for February because Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th. It’s a time where we intentionally express our love and appreciation for our partners, families and our friends.

Thinking about and addressing the systemic issues of hunger and homelessness in Canada

The prophet Micah did not say that what the Lord requires of us is to dress up in our best clothes, head out to church every Sunday morning, sing some songs, clap our hands, listen to a sermon, and drink a cup of coffee in the lobby afterwards with the other people in the congregation who look and think just like us.


Original song performed by Dion Oxford. Music by Corey Lacey. Watch video

Some Valentine’s thoughts

I spent Valentine's Day away from my family this year. It sucked! I'm in Myrtle Beach right now and have been since the beginning of February. I came here because winter takes such a brutal toll on my health (due to my life with MS) that I'm trying to avoid as much of winter as possible. So I'm skipping February! Now that I'm eternally thankful for.

Kickin’ it Old School

Erinn and I have had a fun couple of weeks. Our daughter has been away at 2 summer sleepover camps in a row and we've had opportunity to have a bunch of 'date nights'. We both love going to the movies, we did that a LOT when we were dating and first got married before Cate came along, so we've gone to see 3 films in the past 8 days. That feels like more than we've gone to in the past 10 years.

CBC News – Patient Praises MS Treatment

Dion Oxford, a multiple sclerosis patient, says his health has improved since he received treatment at the same clinic where Mahir Mostic died. Watch Video

An Open Apology Letter to Winter

Dear winter,
I have a confession and an apology to make.

I don’t hate you.

In fact, I think you’re beautiful. I’m sorry that I’ve been so angry at you for a few years now. I realized today that it’s not you that I’m mad at. It’s this awful disease of MS that I have that makes it so very difficult to get around in winter. I’m sorry for the misplaced anger. Please forgive me.

Us and Them

I'm been clean for 5 days now.
And sober.
Yes. I'm an addict. And for the umpteenth time in a row I have committed to kicking my addiction as a new year's resolution.
It's slowly killing me. It's damaging my health. It zaps my energy. It clouds my thinking.

A pre-Advent prayer

Holy God, on this first Monday of November, we thank you for the wonderful fall colours all around us and the beauty of your creation in this season of transition. We praise you for the wonder of the rhythms of how your creation works. For the reminders of your presence and your unfathomable imagination in the way that you have designed the universe. We are overwhelmed by your greatness and even more amazed that despite the awesomeness of the cosmos, you still know and love each one of us by name.

Gratitude: a tribute

Well I guess I'm keeping up with my trend of writing one post every couple of months. It's kinda pathetic I know, but it is what it is.
On Thanksgiving weekend I found myself at a loss for words. Not in every area of my life, those of you who know me best would know I'm never short of having an opinion on something or other, but just in the area of being able to name what I'm thankful for.

Happy New Year…I mean Labour Day

This is that weekend when we find ourselves both reflecting on how fast the summer blew by and also planning for new fall season beginnings (school, church, work, etc). For me, this Labour Day weekend of reflection and preparation seems multiplied by a gazillion. There's so much that I'm leaving behind and there's also so much to prepare for.