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.

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.

Gateway to Help Homeless in Toronto

Ron Mainse catches up with Dion Oxford of Gateway Ministry at the Street Level Conference. Watch Video

A Prayer for the City

“Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to …

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Summer Church

I haven’t been going to church this summer. It’s too hot and humid. My tolerance for humidity has significantly decreased from last year to this due to MS related complications. When it’s humid I can barely put one foot in front of the other. It’s hard enough as it is. So when I told my …

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It’s summer. And things are heating up!

Usually when summer arrives and winter is officially behind us, it’s a symbol of a time to come up for air, take a deep breath, and enjoy the slower pace of life and work for a couple of months. But when you’re homeless, there’s no such thing as summer holidays. There are no cottage plans.No …

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Late Spring Thoughts

Well it’s pretty clear I can’t seem to find a regular blogging rhythm. The last time I was here it was the middle of winter. Now it’s late spring, the snow is all gone (knock on wood), the flowers are blooming, and summer is imminent. (Though I’m still wearing a sweater lest I freeze. But …

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A Retreat

I’m sitting in Henry Nouwen’s living room (www.henrinouwen.org). Well it was his final living room before he died. Now it’s a retreat center and perhaps one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets. I’m surrounded by his books. It is peaceful here. Spiritually peaceful. Supernaturally peaceful. Every time I come here for retreat, the inevitable happens. I come …

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A New Year’s Resolution

Well I decided during the Christmas season that I’d resurrect this blog site. I last posted something here back in 2010 when I was going through some stuff related to my journey with MS. So this site was mainly dedicated to processing the things I was thinking about as I underwent an experimental surgery called …

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The Homeless

Three minute video on debates about the definition of homelessness. Watch Video

Life with Multiple Sclerosis

The story of Dion Oxford, father, husband and Executive Director of The Gateway, a men's shelter in Toronto. Dion talks about his life with Multiple Sclerosis and why news of a medical breakthrough might change his life forever. Watch Video

Life with Multiple Sclerosis – Story Discussion

The Full Circle Ladies talk to Dion Oxford about the treatment he has received for Multiple Sclerosis and about the report, "Life With Multiple Sclerosis: Dion Oxford's Story" Watch Video

august 16. 54 days post liberation

well i guess it’s time to write another update here as to how i’m doing on the MS front now that i’ve had the procedure done. it’s strange to think that it’s been almost 8 weeks since i had it done in that hospital in san jose costa rica. on one level it seems impossible …

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july 21. 4 days post liberation

so it’s been exactly 4 weeks at this very moment since i was given that drug that put me to sleep and they inserted a tube into my groin whch was then snaked up through my venous system into my jugular vein where they then inflated a balloon to open a blockage that they found …

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