Recently we discussed the ways in which our world has changed; from when religion was so incorporated into everything to now removing Christianity from education, the workplace and just about everywhere. This led to discussions related to Ecclesiastes and it’s contrast to today’s living where so many are asking, ‘what’s the point? what are we living for? Why should I believe? Give me proof.’

After travelling through the Old Testament, we hear some pretty cool stories about guys like Moses, David, Sarah and so many more. But by Lamentations we read how everyone became depressed and were living in Exile. While so many were in jail or living as slaves, people began talking about these great radicals named David or Moses and these stories were brought to new life, it ignited a new flame inside them. It helped bring restoration to their souls and gave them a reason worth living for.
And in a sense, we are back in the Babylonian Exile now, living in a mixed up world where we are asking ‘what’s the point?’ We’re losing hope. And this leads us as a Christian community to ask ourselves how we can sing and tell our stories in a new way as we embrace this changing world. Do we dare to tell the exciting stories that gave us life, that gave us meaning? Will we live to be radicals?
I love the parallels between this and my learning last week regarding the different ministry organizations that we learned about. I discovered that people were having such a big influence on those in need –but they weren’t following the normal career moulds. They taught me that I can use my creativity to be unique in my career choice. To colour outside the lines, to step outside the box, beyond the borders and see what lies in the mysteries of the unknown.

I loved the story that Tony Campolo shares about a birthday surprise he organizes for a woman he’d never even met. He said, ‘I belong to the kind of church that throws birthday parties for hookers in a diner in the middle of the night.’
I think as the church, we need to strive to be different; to be radical, and to share our stories in new innovative ways to a lost world.


In today’s society, swearing is associated with rebellion, a bad-boy style; they contain a negative connotation. If you consider times when your faith is brought into the spotlight, a common first question is “have you ever sworn?” or “do you ever swear?” This is our proof that, to today’s culture swearing is considered a sin, and a part of the human language that should not be included in the Christian dialect.
For this reason, I choose to use my words carefully and not swear. Not necessarily because I think these words are sinful or wrong, rather because of the example they set to others. Non-Christians view swearing as a big sin, and if I’m heard swearing, their first thoughts are ‘hypocrite.’ I don’t want to bring this image to God’s name and how I represent Him. I choose not to swear because it allows room for conversation. These days, it is often very difficult for non-Christians to see Christ in people because Christians don’t think of their representation and the bad rep they might be giving to God. People will notice when you don’t swear, and whether you realize it or not, if they know you are a Christian, they will look constantly to find fault in you and I believe that they discover our faults the most through the words we choose to express ourselves.
Including using God’s name in vain, other swear words are just not a part of my vocabulary because I know I am representing so much more than just myself. I represent Christ through my actions and my words. I want others to see Christ in me –raw and real- without any hypocritical hindrance.


Hi everyone.

I have now headed out into my Outtatown Program. If you don't know what I'm talking about, scroll down to get an idea of what I'm up to this year. Keep checking out this site every once and a while as I hope to update you with some insight from my experiences as I journey along. In addition to my blog here, feel free to head over to our official Outtatown Site 2 Blog(http://www.outtatownsitetwo.blogspot.com). this iwill always be updated with photo's and overviews of key parts of our trip to keep you up to date.
You can also view my personal pictures on Facebook and you can check out this site to see who all my new friends are: http://outtatown.com/students/07site2/
Thanks for your interest!


Well everyone, I have headed out into my Outtatown Program. if you don't know what I'm talking about, scroll down to get an idea of what I'm up to this year. Keep checking out this site periodically as I hope to update you with some insight from my experiences as I journey along. We will also have a Site Blog, where you can check out some articles from myself and others in my Site Group as we travel throughout the entire year -and we'll post tons of pictures too -but you'll have to wait a bit longer for that! Until then, add me on Facebook to see some pictures so far, and check out this site to see who all my new friends are!



A week ago, I joined in a Medieval Feast where we ate chicken legs, corn on the cob and potatoes with our hands. It was a huge success, but as I helped clean up after the meal and friend approached me as I held the garbage can in place and said, ‘I can’t take it.’ I didn’t know what He was talking about and before I could ask, as another person dumped a platter piled high with whole potatoes into the garbage can, he repeated himself, ‘I can’t take it. Look at all this good food we have to throw out while there are so many people who could really use it. Because of my character and how I generally react to people who try to make me think, I tried to disregard what He said and pass it off as a conversation I didn’t want to get in to at the time. But as I continued on throughout the rest of the evening, I meditated on his comment.

It’s nothing new to us. Not many people are naive enough to believe that everyone in the world is as good off as us in North America. We’ve all heard the stats; we know that 80% of the world consumes 20% of the world’s resources and vice versa. We know that there are people in the world that live on less than a day. We recognize that it isn’t right and things need to change. We’ve heard speeches and have maybe even given our own messages about the poverty and injustice in our world and try to convince people to change the way they live, but I am finding it hard to believe or comprehend that we can make a difference, that we can change all of this.

Yes, we can help those we pass by on the streets. We could welcome people into our homes, we can open up a drop-in shelter, we could get laws passed to crack down much harder on human trafficking and the porn industry, we could boycott making purchases from businesses that take part in slave labor and sweat shops, we could only buy fair trade products. All these things are positive things we could do I guess, and as big a supporter of beginning a revolution as I am, I can’t help but ask ‘what can this one man do?’ It’s one thing to believe in something, it’s another thing altogether to make that belief into a tangible action that really causes change. Will we ever be able to make those stats from 20/80 to 50/50? Will we ever be able to alter the human mind and convince them that human trafficking and the porn industry is nothing that unifies our world and brings praise to God’s name? Will we ever be able to put a stop to slave labor and sweat shops? Just because you may only buy fair trade coffee, doesn’t mean that . Sure your self esteem may be heightened because you feel you’ve added another notch to your belt, but will your personal decision cause any difference? We can acknowledge that we are wasting hundreds of potatoes because nobody likes eating plain potatoes with their hands –but at the end of the day, what is your opinion really doing the cause change? Tomorrow we will still throw out our leftovers and uneaten food simply because we couldn’t eat it all, and as much as you wish you didn’t take that much food in the first place, and as much as you know there are plenty of people elsewhere in the world who could use all that food –what can you possibly do about it? So, you keep eating and keep throwing food out, and just try to put your beliefs at the back of your mind. But you can’t help how you feel, you know it’s wrong, you know you want to do something about it. But what? Are you going to move to some desolate place in Africa and live on very little so you are no different? Are you going to build a food shelter in a small village in Africa? Are you going to go on the street corners and love the prostitutes that stand there? And even when you do these things, although you will definitely make a difference in those people’s lives –will you change the stats? Will you begin a revolution that brings awareness and attention to the other people that wish they could do something but are too afraid to do anything?

I don’t know how to make it happen. I don’t know if it can be accomplished. I don’t know if we can be content with causing change in our little community and loving on certain people and feeling like we’re doing our part. I don’t know if we are cutting ourselves short when we could really be doing so much more. I don’t know what the answers are. But I ask myself, can I chase dreams big enough to change the world? Take what I believe to new limits, take it beyond being able to pat myself on the back, take it further than influencing one persons life, and cause change that will turn heads and hearts.

Whether you’ve been that guy or girl before or not, you are probably familiar with the ‘flip and point for wisdom’ Christian. You know what I’m talking about. When you’re faced with a particular dilemma, simply close your eyes, shoot up a quick prayer for God’s guidance as you allow the thin pages to flip past your thumb, then stop flipping the pages once you are convinced you have passed Leviticus, and firmly stamp your index finger down on the page, and dramatically open one eye slowly while squinting the other as if to pinch a grape between your eyelids. Some believe this works; others think it to be a load of croc.
My personal experience tells me it rarely works, and you only leave doubting the strength of your prayer signal and maybe God didn’t hear you ask Him for guidance.

Are you familiar with the infamous C.S. Lewis novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? It follows the lives of a couple siblings who play a game of hide and seek, and accidentally find themselves in this magical world known as Narnia. Why can’t everyone go to this awesome place though you ask? Well, the trick is –you can’t be looking for it. This is why when the youngest sister tries to show her brother the secret passageway to Narnia through the wardrobe, she is unsuccessful because she knew it was there. She knew it had worked before, therefore she was expecting the wonderful world of Narnia to greet her, but to her dismay she was only welcomed by the other side of the old wooden wardrobe leaving her confused and frustrated.

I bought a book earlier this year because the back intrigued me. Earlier I had recognized that something in my life needed a real makeover and so I searched for a book to help me out. I was so determined to fix this problem in my life that when I found this book and read what others had said about it, I knew this was the answer. Through the rave reviews, I was convinced that I would find exactly what I was looking for in this book. So I began to read. But chapter after chapter, I was losing hope in ever finding the answer. I only wanted to hear the authors opinion on my specific problem –meanwhile he was talking about some other really great things. I shut out all these others things because I wasn’t interested in them –I was looking for only one thing, I wanted to find the answer from God that I was looking for, but was only greeted with disappointment and I never found what I was looking for. I was told that this book had exactly what I wanted to hear, but I ended up just walked into the back of an old wooden wardrobe that served me nothing but discontent.

And I can’t help but wonder if this is how it always is? Are we always searching for God to reveal himself when we want to see Him? Do we try to search for the remedy, but in actual fact try to create one ourselves? Have you ever been told to take a chunk of time completely alone and in complete silence and see what God has to say to you? Instantly, we go into a search mode as we sit in silence and try to look for God… what does He want to tell me right now? What am I dealing with that He can miraculously talk to me about as I sit here in silence. Have you been told to read a certain piece of scripture because it is bound to effect you? All of a sudden, you are looking for something in influence you more than anything else…looking for some sort of revelation, something that will speak directly into your heart at this exact moment as you are dealing with this specific situation.Are we too busy trying to listen to what we want to hear, that we don’t hear what God wants to tell us? We think we’re listening to God’s voice, but maybe are we speaking for Him? Are we putting words in His mouth? Are we forcing Him to speak to us about one thing, when He has completely different plans for what He wants to tell us?

Do we say we are waiting around to hear that still small voice… when we are really just flipping through the pages and pointing at something we hope will break the sound barrier.
In his famous book The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis says, “Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God…For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?”

As I look onward to my coming year of adventure, travel, and learning there are the obvious eager excitements and stirring emotions, but there so much more than that. I am learning more and more about this program and I understand that as much as the teaching is faith based and focused on our personal walks with God –it is not just for Christians. The students will range from all walks of faith and as much as this excites me it also intimidates me.

As you may or may not know from my past blog Why Do I Believe? I am not the best with confrontations regarding my faith. When posed with questions, not even very difficult questions about why I believe what I believe, I caved with nothing to back up what I believe. No real reasons for why I believe what I believe.

This was one of my main reasons for wanting to dive into this school program; so that I could better root my self and develop tangible answers to the questions I would face –which I am still hoping to obtain from this coming year. But knowing that I will be living with people from all walks of life who will challenge my beliefs, I’m nervous. I’m already intimidated by them and the anticipated debates I may encounter. I understand that I will be living with some incredible people and will definitely learn from them –how can you not learn from such different people when stuck with them for such a long period of time in such close proximity. For this reason I am excited to embark in this quest.

I often get caught up in what the Bible tells, and when people ask me questions I need to have biblical references to back myself up –which I do believe is important. But I am reminded by Thomas’s thoughts, that it’s more than just being able to battle scripture with people. What good is studying the scripture if you can’t back it up with your lifestyle. And this is where I want to place my focus for the next month leading up to this new adventure.

I know I may not know everything about my faith, I am still learning and plan to learn much more through this next year. I know challenges will be thrown in my face and I may fall flat on my face with nothing to stand firm on, but I know I will learn from that.But rather than dwelling –and anticipating- on that so-called failure, I want to focus on my lifestyle. How am I living right now. Do I represent a life that is glorifying to God? Do I live a life that brings honor and praise to His name? Am I approachable, trustworthy, kind, loving, selfless, an encourager, a listener? And if not, what needs to change? How can I better develop these characteristics so that when people see me, they see something different. They see that there’s something greater than anything that is dwelling inside of me. They will recognize that and discussion may erupt from this desire to imitate the life of Christ. So, this is my challenge for myself for the following month, and I pass on the same challenge to you. How are you living your life, and is it a life that demonstrates a desire to grow closer with God, a desire to live a life that imitates the life lived by Jesus Christ.

“He who follows me, will not walk in darkness” –John 8:12