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.

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