I’ve reached an odd crossroads right now. On one hand, I think I’m an arrogant hypocritical person with the coldest heart one could ever possess. On the other hand, I think I can be a thoughtful, caring warm-hearted individual. Where do I find myself amidst all of this?

I miss having a girlfriend, that best friend you value and can always obtain support and care from. Some might think that a guy who misses having a girlfriend after dating one for almost two years would really be missing some sort of physical intimacy. This isn’t the case at all. I’m sure I could admit in saying that I would love to have a person to have physical interaction with, but what’s more than that to me, is my desire to make a young lady happy. I miss having someone that I can do spontaneous things for just to show how much I care about her. Yes, that’s just it. I always loved doing creative things, or spending quality time doing activities or just sitting and spending time with a female. I don’t need the physical intimacy for me to be happy, all I want is to be able to make her happy, and that in and of itself would make my day the best ever. I understand that you can do this for anyone and everyone; that you don’t need a dating relationship to surprise someone with something to express your appreciation for them. But, even still, I do wish I had… not necessarily a girlfriend… but just someone to do things with and for, and care about and be cared by. I miss having a best female friend.

This sounds good right? I’m a good guy for desiring nothing but to make a young lady happy. But why was it so easy for me to go cold turkey when we broke up? Why was I hurt for only a week, and then was fine to continue on with my life after that? Why, when I moved out of my home for the past two years, leaving my family behind, did it not sadden me as much as it should have? Why do I not miss my high school friends? Why do I not cry much? Why do I not break into tears when I hear of friends my age who have died recently? Why, when people tell me how much they will miss me, or have missed me, I don’t really have much of a response for them.
I don’t know the answers.

I value my friends and the people in my life. But do I value them enough to cry with them when they are hurting? Do I value them enough to call them on the phone when I haven’t spoken with them in a long time and truthfully care about how they are doing? Do I value them enough to embrace them with arms of care, compassion and heartache before I leave for a very long time knowing that I won’t see them for months on end?

I don’t think so, and I don’t know why. I feel like such a rude, ignorant, bad-word person. I feel like I’m so cold-hearted, and self-centered, and probably come across as someone who doesn’t care much about anyone but himself. And that kills me that you may be reading this and think to yourself ‘I thought I knew this guy, I was wrong.’ Inside I would love to be so compassionate that I would earnestly miss people when I leave or when they leave. I want to care about everyone, outside of my own agenda, but I don’t know why I can’t seem to find it in myself to be more warm-hearted toward those closest in my life. And especially when I have endless accounts of things I did for my old girlfriend to go out of my way and try and make her feel like she was the only thing that ever mattered to me. How do I jump from having such strong desires to still have a person like that in my life, to being able to tell you right now, if they were to ever leave my life, my heart would mend quickly?

I hate myself for knowing that when I say goodbye to everyone here and head back home, they will miss me very much, but I will just see them as a memory; the next chapter of my life coming to an end. I’d like to think that it has something to do with my childhood and there is a series of events from my past that I have removed completely from my memory, which has created me into the person that I am today. I’ll let you know if I ever flashback into the thoughts of a failing past and discover where all of this once began.


This past Friday night, I sat in on a speaker at the Valley View Alliance Church in Newmarket. His name was Rick Osborne. He had been in jail for about 25 years and was one of Canada’s most wanted men in Canada when he was 21 years old. He was heavily involved with drugs and gangs, and his testimony was incredible. Having been shot 4 times, one of those in the head with only his bike helmet protecting him, and one near the mid-south of his body, to overdosing on some of the worse drugs, to finding comfort lying next to prostitutes, to escaping prison and spending years in ‘the shoe,’ his story breaks down all misled stories of the convict-lifestyle portrayed in some television shows. His message was one of a quick and slippery slope into the places no one desires to go. It was an eye-opening lesson about a strong Christian teenager who got caught up doing drugs only once before he ran from home and never returned. I haven’t found a website of his yet, but if you come across it check out his story in more detail.

Following this event, I saw the film ‘Reign Over Me.’ A film starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle, a pair of reuniting college roommates learning from each other and helping to support and lead the other from the lifestyle they are currently living into a life worth living for. It was a good movie I thought, slow at times, and it felt like it dragged on quite a bit, but a film with a phenomenal soundtrack is bound to have a strong impact. With Sandler taking a serious role once again, and having the movie based on the reoccurring aftermath of 9-11, I would give it 3.5-4 stars out of 5.

The next day, I attended the Evolving Church Conference at The Meeting House in Oakville. It was a day of speakers focusing their messages on restoring social justice in our world, a message that I fully agree with. Understanding that the level of poverty is overlooked by too many people these days, and that there is so much more we can do to simply: love. I believe this, and know of the things that are going on in our world regarding it, but I couldn’t say I really enjoyed the conference itself. Everyone that I attended it with enjoyed it, but I had a very difficult time following along with the speakers. Jim Wallis, Ron Sider and Shane Claiborne were the main speakers, and their messages were sincere and thought-provoking, but social justice is just something I can’t really wrap my head around enough to dialogue with others about. Overall, it was a good worthwhile event but didn’t benefit and effect me as much as it may have for others.

This brings us to Sunday, when Josh and I continued our journey traveling to different churches each week. If you recall in my earlier blog ‘Sunrise to Sunset’ I made reference to a church that I drive past every day on my way to work. I also have wanted to attend a Catholic Church service but have been nervous not knowing what to expect. We decided to go to this church, and wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be a Catholic Church, but what’s more than that, it was a Ukrainian Catholic Church. Let me just say, it was quite the experience. The interior of the building was beautiful and reflected such stunning stain glass windows and painted biblical murals. There was singing throughout almost the entire service, only the priests 10-minute sermon was spoken. I didn’t sing along because I had no idea where they were reading the words from, and because I’m pretty sure the majority of it was sung in Ukrainian. It was great to just sit back, enjoy, and take in this way that this Catholic Church functioned. And those are my weekend’s stories.


I’m leaving my work in just a few days. Next Friday in fact is my last day before I say my goodbye’s and leave my Brick crew in Whitby. It’s sad, they’re great people, they really are. They all make working there so much more enjoyable and although we share some differences, I couldn’t have asked for any better people.

From the sounds of it though, they could say the same about me. There is one woman who, when I first began working there, told me to go back to school as soon as I can. Now this same woman is giving me hugs and begging everyday for me not to leave. There are people offering to take me out for a goodbye and good luck drink before I leave. It seems as though these friends of mine are earnestly disappointed that I am parting ways with them all. They don’t want me to leave; I have had some sort of influence on them. Perhaps it’s my cheerful smile, or my constant singing to the radio as I walk down the isles, or maybe it’s my sweet dance moves that I pull off whenever I enter the offices. I really don’t know what it is, but there is something for each of them that cause them to feel sadness at the thought of me leaving.

Now, don’t take this as some sort of pig-headed, egotistic message because I am honestly telling you that I don’t know why they will miss me. I don’t know how I could’ve had much of an effect on them. Don’t take this as a sympathy-seeking call out either, I don’t hate who I am and wonder how anyone could ever love me. But the question that arose after receiving the previous comments from my fellow co-workers is merely this:
If I Knew Me, Would I Want to be Friends With Me
Do you understand the question? If you were someone else with a different name and appearance, and you met who you are right now and had a five-minute conversation with yourself, could you see that being someone you would want to spend more time with? It’s not meant to be a conceded question, and I think by answering this question for yourself you will be one step closer to finding out what you may need to change about yourself in order to hold on to the people you care most about. Furthermore, in no way am I suggesting that you should change who you are as to keep your social status quo or to fit who your friends think you should be or expect you to act.

Simply put, are there things about you that would tick you off? Are there things that would drive you up the wall? It’s kind of funny to think of, because at first thought you’d think ‘well, obviously I don’t have my own pet peeves.’ Maybe not, but consider another’s point of view, what would their pet peeves of you be? Would it be your rebellious attitude, your stale jokes, your insults, your ‘eating with your mouth open’ habits, your clothing choices, your punctuality or lack thereof? How you deal with stress, with conflict, with joyous occasions. Maybe the first step in learning how to be more appealing and hold on to those you care most about, is putting your selfish desire and stubborn way of life to rest, and become willing to adjust and remain open to the suggestions that those around you may have to offer.

Perhaps for you however, the question is not about conformity, rather individuality and being the person you are for as long as you can be. Why should you change just to make others happy? If they don’t like you for who you are, screw them. You can find better friends that won’t judge you and force you to become someone you’re not. You are your own man or woman, and that’s that. Maybe they aren’t really the type of people you want to invest your time and energy into anyway, so whether they care about you or like certain things about you or not, doesn’t concern you in the least.

In the end,
No one really likes to be someone that nobody else likes,
And at the same time no one likes to be someone that they themselves don’t even like.

So how will you decide? What will determine what changes who you are? You are not the same you were when you were nine. People always change, it’s what has influenced those changes that matters and will you continue to let those things change you. Can there be a balance between being who you are to feel good about yourself and make others feel good about you too. And if so, where do you mark this balance. Who do you want to be?


I read an article a few days ago in Relevant Magazine that sparked something inside of me to ask myself if those around me can tell I am a Christian. I guess there are three ways for people to know of ones faith; by verbally expressing what one believes, by the things one doesn’t do, and by the things one does do. I think it would be most fulfilling for a Christian to hear that they are most recognized by the things they do do (yeah, I said do-do). But what are these things that a Christian does that causes someone around them to notice something different about them, something spiritual, something that leads to God.
This guided me into thinking, if when I die I head up to heaven only to see my good friends in hell, I would hate to know that I didn’t do more for them. It’s a nerve-racking experience for someone to share what they believe with non-Christians because of the mind-boggling questions that might arise, or the rejection that could come with the conversations. I’ve never really had to think about this because most of my close friends up until this year have been Christians. But while working this past year in a place surrounded by people who don’t believe the same as me, I have been provided with many opportunities and conversations with these people… my friends. I’ve developed good friendships with them. And I don’t want the above scenario to happen with them. I don’t want to look from heaven and see them in hell and wonder if I could’ve said something more to them.
So I had this conversation with one of them. I explained how I was leaving soon, and as a Christian I know I am called to share my faith so that others may have the opportunity to know God, and that it would kill me to leave this workplace and know that I never got to fully explain my faith to them. I was then confronted with that very question, ‘well, why do you believe what you believe then?’
This led into a lengthy conversation. It wasn’t an argument or debate, it was a discussion. But to tell you the truth, I was finding it hard to not answer with a Sunday school answer. I wanted to have a better answer then just ‘I was raised this way’ or ‘look around you, look at all of this creation, how could I not believe there is something more out there.’ I didn’t want to give these answers. First, because I wanted to have personal reasons that I really felt. Second, as I thought these answers in my head, I listened to myself speak and thought… ‘what kind of answers are those?’ Do I really look outside at creation and believe that there is a God? Why? Why do I really believe what I believe? Because there’s got to be some bigger reason for life? Because it’s an easy way to get to heaven? Why? Do I seek for closure in my faith when nothing makes sense and everything is confusing? When I pray, is there really a God that hears me or am I talking into the air? Is it all a big hoax? Is there physical proof that everything in the bible is real? Was the bible written by a bunch of guys with theories like Dan Brown and The Davinci Code? Do my answers even make sense to me?

Why do you believe what you believe? And don’t just give yourself the Sunday school answers. Really think about it. If you are a Christian or not, what reason for life is there for you? What do you think will happen after death?

I don’t doubt God. But my thoughts are really getting tossed around right now. I really want to try and figure out why I believe what I believe. As my answer to this question a few months ago to someone who isn’t a Christian I told him, ‘There is just something inside of me that believes, and unexplainable desire to know God. The God of the universe, the God of this world, the God who created me, the same God who loves me unconditionally.’ But is this just a pretty way to describe it because that’s what I’ve been taught? Or do I seriously believe that. If I think about other religions and the gods that other people pray to and live their lives for, most of them seem really phony and ridiculous to me. The thought of trusting some spiritual lady from the water to watch over your prayers and keep you from any danger as long as you don’t eat any red meat. Or believing that you’ve been saved from some other god by being struck by lightening and now you have premonitions that you believe are provided from this higher god of the clouds. This stuff seems so bizarre to me… but I seem to believe in a God who claims to have made the first man with some dust and then used his rib to somehow create the first woman, and Satan came in the form of a snake and made this woman eat an apple and that was the first sin. I believe that a man came to the Earth and brought people back from the dead, healed the blind, and died on the cross, somehow giving me the opportunity to go to heaven instead of the inevitable hell. Why is this not just as crazy to believe? And why do I believe it?

I’ve mentioned in the past on my blog that I’ve had plenty of opportunities to talk to my co-workers about God and what I believe. I hadn’t been shaken by them, or so I thought, even though they had more than enough reasons against the possibility of God than I did for it. I would just leave those conversations knowing that I needed to search for better answers for my faith so that I would have knowledge to support what I was sharing with these people I care about, even though I believed God would speak through me to them whether I really knew everything or not.

Over the last while I’ve been swamped with work, and not having much personal time. I haven’t been reading as much as I use to, and I wasn’t praying as much because everything else was taking up my time. I got a book to write my prayers down so that I stayed accountable and would know that I was praying, but it seems routine right now. I’ve had so much work going on, but I’ve seemed to be doing it fine on my own, looking back realizing that I haven’t really looked to God for strength and guidance. I don’t think I’ve been very dedicated to God or reliant on Him as much as He would like me to be.

I haven’t cried in a long time. I was talking to someone last night about this… I really do hold those extreme emotions inside… yes I see crying as an extreme… I just bottle stuff inside I guess, and so I don’t really cry. I know I shared a close moment with my immediate family this past summer… but before that, I really couldn’t tell you when the last time was that I cried. Am I hard-shelled? Am I stubborn? Am I cold-hearted? A lot of people would probably say no, but I sure feel that way right now. I’ll share what I want to with people for attention or sympathy… sometimes for honest support… but overall I regret to say that I do just bottle things inside.

I don’t know what will become of all of this. I am hoping that I will have some sort of transformation that will involve a non-Christian who I’ve been talking with about God, it will reaffirm my faith, and I will cry a lot. It’d be a picture perfect blog and I am eagerly awaiting that day. But I also know that the bible offers the advice that as a Christian, I am not expected to have everything together, and that I shouldn’t have masks to cover who I really am or how I really feel. When something isn’t right, I need to share that. When I feel weak, there will be people to hold me up… When I need to speak, there will be someone to listen. Even if it is just through reading my blog you are doing wonders by letting me just express my thoughts and allow me to figure things out a little bit better.

I’m still happy, I can still dance, and I can still make people laugh. I am not depressed; shaking in the corner of a damp dark room, believing there is nothing worth living for. I am just searching for real answers that I can develop for myself as to why I believe what I believe.


Well, let me tell you… I am a big music guy, but Switchfoot is not one band that really tickles my fancy. However, because they are a favourite of Josh’s we took a visit to the local Ticketmaster and grabbed our tickets for a Switchfoot show on February 28th at The Kool Haus in Toronto.

Josh picked me up from a 9 hour day at work in the good ol’ smart car and we hit the road for the 7 o’clock show. We made it there about 20 minutes early, so we caught ourselves in line right near the front with a few friends that had already been waiting there for a couple hours. After what seemed like hours waiting, 7 finally rolled around and we were welcomed into the club. All my friends were patted down and ushered through the doors, but when I arrived to meet my first intimate moment, I was patted down, right to left, top to bottom, and I was told to reveal my new camera to him. After one quick glance, I was informed that my camera was too professional! I made the claim that it was digital, not SLR, and even tagged a line a friend of mine used in a similar situation by claiming that I needed it for a school project. No dice. He told me I could either leave it at their drop off booth or take it back to my car. So I quickly called out to Josh, got the keys and had to trek back to the car in my tight single t-shirt and jeans. As you can probably assume, I ended up having to go back to the end of the line and spent at least 10 minutes freezing in the cold, just to get patted down a second time and finally enter through the club doors.

I met up with all my friends inside. They were located at the front right side of the swarming mob of people crowding around the stage. I squeezed my way through and found a nice spot to stay. That ‘nice spot’ lasted about 10 seconds. Soon enough, more people added to the mob and we were all being pushed closer and closer to the front of the stage. The concert began at 8, and honestly I have never been so squished by other humans in my life! For the next 4 hours, I was surrounded by sweaty, bad-breath, screaming friends and complete strangers. As I stood there for a minute, I could feel my feet were almost off the group because the bodies around me were holding me up, that’s how tight we all were. At one point, there was a girl on my left trying to squeeze past me causing me to push against the girl on my right, who in turn pushed back. They were suddenly having some sort of unofficial sandwich game with me in the middle. Calling out ‘ladies, ladies’ I was looked at by a friend who turned around to see what the commotion was all about and claimed, ‘Ben man, are you being sandwiches between two beautiful girls?’ And their response of course was, ‘you know He’s loving it.’ Now let me be frank, as a male equipped with hormones, there was something about this situation that I must say I enjoyed, but let me tell you I did have my future wife on my mind and doing so tried to stay as clear minded as possible (Scroll down to read my blog titled ‘My Wife’ to get an idea of what I’m talking about here). There were a few other instances where I felt the obligation to protect certain girls at the show from being crushed by somewhat blanketing my body close to theirs. Mind you, there were a few young guys who needed the same protection at times. I can honestly say though, I have never been so intimate with any woman or man as much as I was at this concert… but it seems as though that is all part of the experience… um…right?

Half way through the show Jon Foreman, the lead singer of Switchfoot, decided to take a detour out onto the dividing rail between the audience and the bouncers. As he stood on this rail being held up by the bouncers, countless fans were stretching out their hands, screaming, grabbing at him. Let me tell you though, this all took place on the left side of the stage, far away from me. As a spectator, I saw this and was disgusted. I couldn’t believe these people were idolizing Foreman this much, there were going crazy over him and desiring to touch his human flesh. After a minute, the moment passed and Foreman returned to the stage to finish the song with his band. A few songs later, he decided to venture out on to the rail again, this time on the right side… yes, right where we were standing. So here came the infamous leg of Jon Foreman, and the people around me crowded the arms to get a touch here and grab there. This was ridiculous. As he continued singing, his hands were even in reaching distance, so the fans around me were going crazy having to touch the bare skin on the back of his hand. How could these people be worship Foreman as a person so far that they felt the urge to reach out and simply touch? As disgusted as I was, there was in fact something within me that was overcome with the same urge and before I even knew what was happening, my hand was stretched out in front of me, I needed to have some Jon Foreman. And what do you know; he reaches out and holds my hand. If that isn’t intimate, I don’t know what is. As he braced his palm on mine as I held him up for almost 10 seconds, he also waved the microphone in front of a buddy and me as we sang along with this idol. Before I could even take in what was happening, I passed off his hand to someone else to experience this amazing feeling. I don’t know what it is about concerts. Like I said, I'm not even a big fan of Switchfoot, but there's just something about having a celebrity reach out to you when you’re caught in the moment, and there's nothing you can do but give in to them.

Before we knew it, the show was over and we were back in the car driving home. We were sweaty, our adrenaline was rushing, and we had stories to tell. All in all it was a great night; an evening full of intimacies that I could never have imagined I was going to experience.


I regret to be posting this blog so late from my last one, as I have been very busy and will continue to be. For those of you who are the praying type, now would be a great time to start taking down some notes, as I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers over the next little while. For those of you who blaze past any sort of religion, fell free to just keep reading and think of me.

I’ve been really swamped with many projects, and whether I’m taking on too much or not, I don’t know, but I’m committed and in some sick-sense I enjoy the responsibility. And if I wasn’t doing as much as I am now, I’m sure there would be plenty of people telling me to do more with my time… so essentially, I’m just saving them and myself from the lectures.

1. I am working hard to prepare a service for the youth group I help out with. I only have a few more weeks with them, and would like to share something deep on my heart with them before I leave, and that is the influence of music and media. The dark sides of media are something I hate seeing teens falling into, and this is my first real time to just share from my heart, how I feel about the music we spend our time listening to. I’m working hard to co-ordinate everything for this to lead a presentation that will shake them and make them re-evaluate their influences.

2. As you know I work at camp, and we are putting together a worship service called ‘Refresh’ in Hamilton at The Freeway (www.frwy.ca). I’m semi-organizing this event, as well as heading up the worship band. This is something really exciting to do, and I’m happy to be a part of the team for this event of community, worship, and prayer. The night is designed for staff and friends to be reminded of camp, and to get that fire started inside of them for another great summer.

3. Countless campers and staff at camp (www.miniyowe.com) have requested for our worship band to make a studio recorded album. We’ve shrugged off the idea as being wishful thinking in the past, but I am putting plans together to make this a reality. It seems simple; record music, burn it to a bunch of CD’s, and make money. But this has been such a long learning curve for me to try to understand all the different variables to consider for this project. From copyright laws, to band member schedules, to CD design art… this is a big project. We’re hoping and praying that all works out for this summer, but I am not making any promises at this point. But this will be a big step and incredible experience for our team to undergo, and the results will hopefully be quite pleasing to many.

4. I am finishing my work at The Brick in a few weeks, and am planning to take April off for personal time. Josh and I are still looking into a few organizations that we may be able to hook up with for some mission work down South, but those plans are not looking too promising. Two alternatives are just taking a train somewhere and relaxing; a great way to top off our year living together, or perhaps some sort of vacation with my family. I don’t want to work for April, so I am hoping we can manage to make something work to give me a reason not to. We’d really like to pull together some sort of end-of-the-year event for Josh and I though.

5. If all goes well, I will be heading to Camp Mini-Yo-We for Spring Crew in May and June; this is a time where 20 students work to prepare the camp for the summer and host guest groups. Then I will be working at camp for the whole summer as the Ministry Director of Boys Camp for the second year. This is my next big project… preparing all that I need to in order to fulfill this position. I haven’t really begun looking at this yet, but need to soon. There will be lots of preparation for the summer if I want to pull off a great experience for the campers with the worship music and bible studies. Please pray that I can get on top of this and that ideas will really begin to flow as to how I can properly present each day’s message so that the campers will get the most out of them.

6. On top of Ministry Director for the summer, I have also been offered the position of having a large involvement with the ministry of PRiME, the teen’s camp at the end of the summer. This too will be a big task to take on, and as much as I would love to be involved with it, I am struggling to see how great of a job I can do with everything else I have on my plate. So, sorry Amanda, I’m still working on this decision.

7. And lastly, next fall. I have sent out an application form to Capernwray Bible College (www.capernwray.ca) in British Columbia and am anticipating the response. In addition to this, I have the opportunity to join a program called Outtatown (www.outtatown.com) which is based in Winnipeg through the Canadian Mennonite University. I would spend the first semester traveling Canada with 30 others, from standing in line with the homeless at soup kitchens to having a bible study on the Rocky Mountains. We then continue into the second semester serving in either South Africa or Guatemala. This would be such an amazing experience, so my application will be sent out shortly to them. This of course is a big decision for me as well, one that I pray for a strong leading from God with.

So there you have it. Wipe your wondering tears from your eyes, put the 9-1-1 phone call down, and tear down the Missing Person signs from the lamp-posts on the street corners, because I’m alright. I'm here, and I'm safe… just busy. I will continue to post my blogs, perhaps not as regularly as I was, but keep checking back, because amongst all that’s going on with me right now, I have plenty of things running through my mind which I am always more than happy to share with you. Thanks for reading, and I’ll write again to you soon.