I’m not going to give you a history lesson on my childhood; that would be much more than what I want to write. But I do want to recap a highlighted pain and life-altering passion that I have encountered over the months while living away from home.

After graduating high school I headed to camp for some time in the summer. Nearing the end of the summer I was expecting to just work for the year because I hadn’t come across a school that interested me. As August approached, I made the quick decision to commit to one full year, working as a year-round instructor at camp. It was a choice I needed to make within days, and before we knew it I was back home packing my belongings to move in to my new home at camp. This was a sudden change for my parents. They were expecting me to stick around home for at least one more year, and before they even had time to take it all in, I was waving goodbye to them as they drove away, leaving their youngest to live alone. Now, if you know anything at all about the geography of where I live, you’ll know that my house is only about half an hour from the camp, not a big deal, but being my first big venture from home I was happy to be living on my own. There was plenty of excitement and things to do to keep me occupied, that I wasn’t even calling them once a week to catch up. Over the year I visited home maybe seven times including Christmas. I didn’t really notice much because I had already been away at camp for the summer before then, so it wasn’t as big of a deal to me. But imagine my parent’s position. I was the son who claimed he would never move out, and would live with his parents forever. They weren’t expecting this at all.

Before I knew it, the following summer was nearing its end and I was not planning to pursue school for a second year. I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I figured I would just work again for the year, but I wanted to live somewhere else. In no offense to my parents or the home they had for me, but I wanted to explore and challenge myself with new elements. I ended up deciding to move to Newcastle with a friend and his family whom I had never met. Now think of my parents, who still hadn’t fully coped with me being thirty minutes away for the first year, and now I was asking them to drive me and my belongings to what I call the city, only to be living now three hours away. If they thought I didn’t want to see them much while living at camp, how could they expect I would ever want to see them from the city? Through all the comments they left with me about how I would be missed, I never truly understood what they must have really been feeling.

…Until I thought about it for myself.
I was the funny guy in the family. I was the one who was almost always smiling. I could make them laugh; I brought excitement to the dinner table. And that was the first image in my mind. I was picturing my parents sitting at the dinner table without my sister or me there with them, and that image broke my heart. I may be exaggerating the situation, but I can only imagine them sitting like robots, eating their food in silence with no expression in their faces. No more joy, laughter, fun, love. Robots to ask how each others day was at the dim light of the candle in the center of the table, while the dog lay stiff on the floor at my fathers feet. This image just kills me.
The next picture in my mind was all the times my parents offered advice. I thought they were trying to make my life hell, binding me by chains of rules and guidelines. The words they chose to use with me, their attitudes, and their approaches were what I expected all parents to be like. But as I moved in with this new family, my eyes opened up to a new perspective of who my parents were. In no attack or comparison to the family I am presently living with, but I quickly learned that my parents were genuine, special, and meant the world to me because I meant the world to them… and that is why they treated me the way they did. I was learning that it was all in love that they put these rules up, spoke to me, joked with me, and raised me the way they did. They loved me so much, and I never understood the depth of that love until I was away from them completely. I believe that is how discovering Christ’s love for us is like. We may never truly understand it until we are put in a place where He seems to be nonexistent, and suddenly our perspective on how blessed we are to know God is altered. The phrase ‘you don’t realize what you have, until it’s gone’ began to have a whole new meaning for me. And this killed me too.
I have such a gut-wrenching pain inside of my heart at the thought of all the missed experiences, conversations, and friendships. What’s more than that, I feel I have left them down so much. I feel like I have hurt them so deep in not having the desire I should’ve had to be friends with them when I was younger. I wish I could’ve been a more obedient, loving son… as loving as his incredible parents were. I wish I could go back in time and say yes every time my dad asked me if I wanted to go under the car to fix something or build or fix a household item instead of telling him I was too busy and just watch TV. I wish I could go back and value the conversations around the dinner table the way I value them now. I wish I could go back and do everything I could to make them happy. I wish I could understand and trust them with all the rules they set before me, knowing that they were for my own good and because they loved me. I feel I’ve missed out on so much, I feel I’ve screwed up big time, and I wish I could just go back and live with them again… because now, who knows if I will ever be back home living with them, to learn from them.

I wrote in a letter to my dad, ‘I feel that I've missed out on so much, but at the same time I realize that I haven't missed out on anything because it's right here, it's inside of me, you've made it a part of me.’ And it’s so very true. I have the memories inside of me to remember, I can reflect on everything that they’ve done for me, and know that it was all in love. And the big thing is… they aren’t gone! I was realizing all these things and treating them as if my parents were gone, that I could no longer make contact with them. But that isn’t it at all. They are very much alive and a bigger part of my life than ever before. I can accept that my time living with them could’ve been much better had I understood what I know now, but I can move on, react to that and love them in return.

I now call home at least once every week. I have such a higher respect for my parents, and a stronger desire and eagerness to get to know them better. I wish I could change back time… and love them in return as a child as much as I do now, but instead I will look on to the future and how I cherish them that much more now.

I pray that you will find a safe haven in my words here, and that you too may take a few moments to reflect on your family. On the struggles, pains, and pleasures that you have endured and may you be able to understand an irreplaceable and unconditional love from your parents. It takes time to grow and learn and appreciate the people God has blessed us with.

With the last image of a beautiful tree blanketed with an array of vibrant and magnificent colors of red, orange and yellow leaves, standing tall on a mountain top, which first began as a tiny little seed planted by the sower, I tell you this:

A father can root himself so deep within His son, that it may not be truly appreciated until much growth has taken place.


I have had a few conversations initiated by other people over the past couple days around the topic of anger. I have felt pretty stuck, because I fear speaking my mind with them, so I just listen and take in their opinions and dialogue with them in my mind, in my thoughts.

You see, these people I have spoken with all seem to avoid getting really angry with other people, which is a good thing I think, but instead they wish bad things upon these other people.
One phrased it like this, “What they said to me hurt, and I think they said it simply because they didn’t understand, they didn’t know how their words were effecting me and others because they had never been in my situation. But you know what? As soon as they turned around, I hoped that their day would come, when they would be hurt just as much as they hurt me. And I really hope that I will be there to see it, not to be sick and twisted, but just so I can see the pain they’re in and say ‘You had it coming, now you know how you made me and so many others feel.’ I look forward to that day when they get a taste of their own medicine.”
Another expressed their feelings about someone who had wronged them in some way, by claiming that they hate them, want nothing to do with them, and if they could they would teach them a lesson they would never forget.
This is so sad. And so difficult to respond to. We find it so hard to love people, but it seems to be so easy to find even the smallest things to hate about a person. How do I teach you about the love that I have with God, and how I believe we need to pass off this same love to anyone and everyone no matter what they’ve done to us.

There are some people who have really done me wrong in one way or another, and I’m sure you all have at least one person just like this. They’ve done what seems to be the worst they could ever possibly do, and they couldn’t care less how it affected you. As far as you are concerned, they have done the unforgivable to you. We all have, or have had these people, and will continue to have these ‘enemies’ for the rest of our lives. But I believe God loves them. I believe that no matter what they do or say, nothing is going to separate God’s deep unconditional love from them. The bible teaches us this. And I also believe that we are called to express this same love for everyone. We have done just as bad things to God, and no matter what we do, He will still always love us, so why can’t we swallow our pride or pain and do the least we can do, and love those who have done us wrong. We don’t have to agree with the decisions they made, they may have hurt us and it feels like we’ll never be the same, but I promise you, if you can love them, something will lift from your shoulders, you will feel lighter, you feel a little bit closer to being at peace. And this is God’s desire. He knows you hurt, He knows the pain you feel, He knows what people have done to you, and He doesn’t expect you to become best friends with everyone, I don’t think He expects you to forgive and forget… if you can, then kudos to you… but I think if we can at least just forgive them and love them, then you’re that much closer to mending the wound completely. Please forgive those who you are angry with, and try your best to love them. It will be hard and may take a while but please do your best to put whatever they have done to you in the past, love them, and move on. It comes back around to our representation of Christ. And as followers seeking to follow as best as we can in footsteps of God, we need to think of the way we treat those around us, especially those who have hurt us, or just get on our nerves.

There is someone in my life right now who I use to not be able to care any less about. This person ticked me off every time they spoke. I was excited when they weren’t around, and disappointed when I heard they were back. I would roll my eyes, talk behind their back, and never take what they said seriously. I would brush them off, discard their comments and not give a passing moment to being kind to them. But then I came to realize that by my responding to this person in this way, I wasn’t solving the problem, if anything I was making it worse. By hating them, I wasn’t giving them the opportunity to improve, apologize, or even have a desire to change. I know every situation is different, all pains are different, but I knew that I needed to love this person. As much as I didn’t want to, as much as I didn’t think they deserved it whatsoever, as much as I didn’t believe it would change anything, I knew that God wasn’t too proud of me for hating this person, and to be honest I wasn’t too proud of myself for it either. I wanted to get along with this person, I wasn’t wanting to become best friends, I just wanted to be able to tolerate them and love them. I would then know I was at least doing my part and giving my best effort to change the way I was toward them and forgiving them for the way they treated and still were treating me. I’m not going to say that the story ends with us holding hands skipping through the meadows… in fact, I am very relieved that this is not how my story ends. Instead, this person still isn’t the nicest around me, but I talk to them with a smile, sincere care, without attitude or holding grudges and it has helped considerably. And knowing that I have acted in obedience to God, when our conversations finish and I walk away, I speak out loud to God asking him to continue to ‘please help me love this person.’ And I know that He is.


It was not what you would expect it to be… and I’m dreading to write this as to what kind of example I am setting for those younger and how those older than me will give me plenty of lectures regarding my stupid decisions, but I want to share it anyway because it was great.

So you need to picture all of this in your mind, because I’m going to try and paint it exactly how it happened. I was driving in to work and Josh was in the passenger seat. We were just driving down the middle lane, not in the smart car but in his families other bigger vehicle, minding our own business. All of a sudden a police car passes us in the left hand lane. He’s wasn’t going too fast but obviously fast enough to pass us, and he didn’t have his lights on. So I thought, well I think I’m just going to follow behind him a bit. We’ve all wondered it, ‘if we follow a cop who isn’t in pursuit, at the fast speed that he is going at, we can’t get in trouble can we? Why I felt like testing this theory, I don’t know, but I decided to go for it. So I hit my left blinker and turned in to the far left hand lane. I kept a good two car distance between us as we continued to just mosey along our drive listening to our music. The cop eventually began to drive considerably slower, so I just slowed down not thinking too much of it, and remained on his tail. Josh and I were talking, not watching the road much, and the next thing I knew, the cop car had sped up and was way ahead of me! Well, this was just no good. So I put my foot to floor to try and catch up to him. I pretty sure he was testing me, somehow he knew my plans. As you can assume, by the time I caught up with him, we were definitely going well over the speed limit. We were both racing the left side of the highway as the other cars passed by in blurs of colors and all I could think was how crazy and stupid this was, but something inside of me made me continue.

So, I’m in pursuit of this cop, trying my best to stay on his tail, I don’t know why I was so confident that he didn’t know I was right behind him, because all of a sudden he pulled over in to the middle lane, squeezing between two cars. Now what! Where do I go? Do I follow him in to the middle lane clearly stating that I was in fact following him, or do I avoid the obvious and try to discreetly drive right past him? It was quite the predicament, one in which I had to decide within seconds. So I went with driving right past him, trying to slow down as much as possible. As we whipped by the cop with my foot on the brake, Josh was wide eyed and jaw dropped, not believing I just purposely sped past a cop. No harm was done, the cop remained in the middle lane and I kept going… for about two-seconds. All of sudden he pulls in to the left lane again directly behind me! Now I’m really getting nervous, my palms are sweating like crazy and I’m yelling at Josh. Josh turned around and after seeing the cop on our tail just burst out laughing, he couldn’t believe it. I knew I had crossed the line and had to evade this pursuit, so I kept driving until there was an open spot between two other vehicles for me to pull back into the middle lane to allow the cop to drive right past me and on to his next victim. Well, he seemed to have other plans. I managed to pull over in to the center lane, but as I was slowing down he crept up beside me in the left lane, but instead of continuing past, he decided to coast right there, directly beside me. Oh man, it was so hard not to smile. I kept my cool though. I just kept my eyes on the road and pretended as if I had no idea he was there. But the cop definitely knew that I knew he was there… how? Well I’m pretty sure that Josh laughing hysterically, swinging his whole body back and forth, wiping the tears from his eyes, and continuously telling me that the police officer was staring directly at me was a dead giveaway. But I wasn’t going to make eye contact with him. My heart was beating like crazy, what a rush! The adrenaline was is a constant flow. I was invincible, I was the law out there, I was the man… I was stupid… it was a very bad decision. As much fun as it was, it was not wise, I know that. And I think this is what the cop was trying to tell me. But it was still a good time. So the cop coasting beside me, trying to stare me down for at least 30 seconds, then he finally gave up and sped up and left my sight, allowing me to catch my breathe, calm down, and safely arrive at my work to tell the story to all my co-workers. I wish you all a very happy and safe day!


In his book Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller tells the story of a friend of his that put tithing into a whole new perspective for me. I’m not going to share all the details of the story but here’s the general picture.

Donald was with his friend and they were talking about needing money for a motorcycle. Donald saw this huge jar of cash on his buddies table and suggested they use that money, but his friend told him they couldn’t.
“Isn’t mine, Miller.” His buddy looked at him and claimed that the money wasn’t his, it was God’s.
“Don, let me tell you. You should be tithing. That is not your money. That is God’s money. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Stealing from God and all.”
Another friend of his shared, “When we do what God wants us to do, we are blessed, we are spiritually healthy. God wants us to give a portion of our money to His work on earth. By setting aside money from every check, you are trusting God to provide. He wants you to get over that fear -that fear of trusting Him. It is a scary place, but that is where you have to go as a follower of Christ.”

I’ve never really tithed before. If I have some cash in my wallet, and if it’s convenient for me, I’ll toss some dollars in to the offering plate. Other than that, there was no regular tithing by me. Whether it was because I didn’t have a job till I was out of high school, or because I wanted the money all to myself, I don’t know. But I do have a job now, I am making lots of money, so I need to think about this stuff.

Often, I’ve just struggled with the idea of tithing because I hardly ever carry cash in my wallet, and I know that what I do have, is not a sufficient percentage of what I make, so I don’t bother at all. I could write down a percentage from each paycheck somewhere, but where will that piece of paper end up in the next couple days, I won’t remember. But I liked Donald’s friend’s idea. He would take this money and put it in a jar. Each time he got a paycheck, he would add more money to the jar until he made it to church… then he would take the jar there and give it to the church. I know I can do something similar.

So, I’ve bought a journal type book… its contents will vary, but I will have one section devoted to tithing. When I get a paycheck, I will write down the set percentage I feel I should be giving at this point in my life. If I get a few more paychecks, those numbers will add up. When I finally make it to the bank I will take out the total amount out and give it to a church. Until that money is taken to a church, the numbers will remain written in my book. When it’s been given to the church, I’ll scribble out the numbers and smile.

This is my way of keeping on top of my tithing. I’ve decided it for myself, which I believe is important. God doesn’t want the money if our hearts aren’t in it, just doing it because we feel we’re supposed to. He wants us to want to give Him the money, He wants us to understand why we do the things we do for Him, in God’s name, and for the right reasons.


My mornings can be pretty rushed. Waking up with ten minutes to spare before I jump into the passenger seat of a smart car… yes, a smart car. Struggling to keep my eyes open, I eat my half spread toasted plain bagel with regular cream cheese as I drift in and out of reality asking myself why I didn’t stay in bed and sleep the day away. Amidst the confusion of two wild untrained dogs, a couple day care children, and a race against the clock, the morning always seems to take its first step on the wrong foot.

But once that bagel is eaten and the morning talk with the driver is complete, I sit in silence and it is beautiful. The silence? Some times. But more than that, the sun. We drive with our backs to the sunrise but God has blessed me with the perfect seat to watch the sun crest the horizon behind me. How does it work? The rear view mirror. The driver can’t see it, but from the angle I sit at every morning, I see it perfectly through the mirror. Hope rises, and suddenly my day gets back on the right foot. It's actually pretty strange how perfect this beautiful scene centers itself perfectly in the mirror, right from the angle I sit at... it's so great. What’s more than that, there is a gorgeous church sitting above the highway, and at the right moment, the ever-glowing sunrise pierces its beauty upon a cross standing tall on the roof of this church. You couldn’t ask for anything better. As busy as my day is in the morning, God has given me the opportunity everyday to take a step back and just reflect on His beauty.

And at the end of the day, it gets even better. I work in a warehouse, and so we are constantly raising the dock door to give product to its new rightful owner. Before my shift ends around 5, I often need to lift that dock door one more time. As I start to lift the door, the sun begins to creep in under the door. I lift the door fully and there it is.
The sunset.
You can’t even imagine the beauty of that sky. Beginning with a magnificent yellow stretching from left to right, through orange, red, dark purple, and finally into a rich blue, there is only one more thing that tops the picture; a single star directly in the centre of the sky. It must be a planet, because this thing is huge, and so bright. With no other stars around it, it is definitely the cherry on top.
And what makes it so impressive is that this beautiful horizon is outlined by the city’s skyline. A fast-paced highway on the left, and a plaza of 8 large restaurants and a 24-theatre cinema on the right. And you know what? I love it. I love this picture. Amidst all of what this world has to offer; Amidst all of the confusion, pain, suffering, wasted money, pollution, crime, war, hate, death… we can’t get away from the beauty of God. You can look at all the great thing of this world for as long as you want, but all it takes is just a single look up to the sky to remember that there has got to be something so much better than what the world has to offer us. Tomorrow, take a break from the busy life you have between 5 and 6, swing open the blinds and look outside a window or put a sweater on and step outside your front door and take a moment to look up to the sky and watch the sun set and know that there has got to be something so much bigger than anything you could ever imagine. Allow time to stop, and smile in the silence, it’s just you and God.


There was this one point during my relationship with my first girlfriend where we discussed marriage. Were we the right one’s for each other, were we meant to be together forever, what was God’s plan for us in the future. Obviously we didn’t know the answers to these questions, but once you begin asking yourself these questions, you begin to question whether your actions should change if this person is not your future spouse.
We were very careful in treating each other with great respect, honoring the other person’s emotions and body. As a boyfriend, I wanted to constantly honor her with everything I said and did, as well as honor my wife. Let me explain.

Sex was designed by God to be something between a husband and wife. This is an extreme of affection, although the world may be telling us otherwise, but the idea remains the same with any aspect of a dating relationship. The things you do with your boyfriend or girlfriend will have an effect on your relationship with your future spouse. I want to save sex as something intimate between my wife and me, no one else. And I don’t want to push the limits with someone who may not be my wife. The more you share of yourself with someone, the more they will be taking away with them if you were ever to separate. Do you know what I’m saying? I know you’ve heard this sort of thing before.

I want to honor my wife with everything I do… right now. It’s a hard thing to do, because I may not know who she is, but I have to believe that she is out there somewhere and I will someday have to hold account for the things I am doing right now. An author of a book I read collected his thoughts and wrote the hard memories of when he sat his fiancĂ© down on the porch of her house and cried all his sins and painful decisions that he made before meeting her. All the times he cheated on her with girls from his college, all the decision he made when living in what he thought as freedom… without a care in the world… without anyone to be affected by his choices.

He didn’t know her at the time when he was sleeping around, but he was suppose to save those things for his wife, and he gave them away to other girls… hurting these other young women, and in the long run, hurting his future wife.

What a gut-wrenching position that would be. To sit down with your future spouse and tell them all your dirty secrets, all the things you are ashamed of, all the sins you have placed against them. You are suddenly putting yourself in such a vulnerable situation where the outcome may result in becoming single again. But this is what you must do. Once you are married, there is no hiding who you are. You’re stuck with this person, which is suppose to be a good thing, but not when you are holding your past and even present struggles from them. You’re going to have to be 100% real with them if you want your marriage to run relatively smoothly.

Obviously, this is all speculation… I am no closer to marriage than you are… but these are values set forth by God. And I want to do my best to honor them, and in doing so honor my wife as best as I can, right now.

And it’s tough. I screw up so much; I’m the first to say that I’m the worst. And it just kills me to think about the day when I’ll have to sit my wife down and tell her all the things I’ve done without considering how it would affect her. All the times I’ve turned my back on the deep endless love I should have for her for something temporary. I want to love my wife whole-heartedly right now… but it’s so tough. But I’m trying. When I encounter struggles and sins, the best I can do is just think, well you’re going to have to hold account for this with your wife someday… are you prepared to hurt her like this. And these are decisions that we all must make.

I do believe that we will have to hold account for our decisions with a much greater person than our spouses; when we meet our maker in Heaven, and that should be enough reason to turn our backs on temptations, but at times it’s not enough for me, because God is not a tangible person I can see, I can’t see the effect of my decisions through Him. I suppose my wife and any girlfriends are like ‘God in the flesh.’ They provide me with a physical person that I care about and that I can see the effect of my decisions through. I can think of them as a person whose relationship will be damaged by the decisions I make. Am I making sense? I know that hurting God should be enough reason to turn from temptation, and perhaps that is something I need to work on… or maybe he provides us with physical, tangible people that matter to us as a representation of how our decisions may hurt our ever-loving God.

To my wife, I forgive you for any decisions you’ve made in the past, are making right now, or will make in the future. There is nothing you can do to make me love you any less. And I’m so sorry for every thing I’ve done and will do that has and will hurt you, please forgive me. I don’t know where you are right now, what struggles you are going through but know that I wish I could wrap you in my arms so tightly and tell you how much I love you. But for now, know that God is doing just that.

To my wife, wherever you are, I love you.