The Desire To Belong

ince I was very young, I have always had a deep intrinsic desire to feel that I belonged. It’s that sort of need for an embracing emotion of knowing I am well thought of, liked, & a part of the “in crowd”. Everything I would do centred on gaining someone’s or somethings approval; even if it was just my own. The problem was, I felt the reality of this desire to belong was significantly different from what I expected. As such, my beliefs about who I was & what I could do about it had me making choices that lead to very conflicting truths.

There is nothing wrong with having desires in life. It is how we respond to those desires that shapes our life in either positive constructive ways or damaging negative ones. Having a desire to make a difference in the world, for example, is very healthy & can be very positive in shaping your’s & others lives for the better. But the beliefs in how we…

Part II: Des & The Valley’s Of The Shadow Of Death

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...” It seemed these words had deep profound meanings to me after much of the suffering & loss that I’ve experienced in life here in Canada. And yet, as I listened more to my friend Des’s story, my shadows of death seemed to pale compared to the depths of his valley’s & the fear of evil was overwhelming to that which surrounded 1994 Rwanda.

They had climbed into the bleachers of the local soccer stadium as a much anticipated national match was taking place. Des described sitting there with his Muslim friend, talking about Jesus while cheering with the crowd. “And then, out of nowhere,” Des said, “A laud BOOM came from outside the stadium!”

In Search Of Wonder

Close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath while inhaling through your nose & then slowly releasing it out through your mouth. Take another breath. And then another.

What do you hear? Do you notice your muscles tensing? What smells are coming into your nostrils as you breath? Can you still your thoughts to just be in the moment? What are you feeling? Are you alone? Do you feel connected?

Since I was younger I have had a deep desire to search out & find the wonder around me. Sometimes it seems like I am the only one who sees this need for transcendence. But then I catch glimpses of others who are also in search of wonder, like my friend Dan who shared last week that his, “ journey has been very much realizing that [wonder] is everywhere & it’s not just in the walls of the church.”

APEST & The Working Of The Spirit Through The Interfaith Task Force Of I-Care

You would be hard pressed to try & escape the polarizing conversations of racism & prejudice found in our social neighbourhood bantering & comment drops on social media platforms these days. In a recent poll, Global News reports that only 47% of Canadians feel racism is a serious problem in our society today; down from the 69% who recognized its serious negative presence in 1992. In essence, nearly 50% of Canadians generally feel that having racist thoughts is normal & acceptable.

While it seems easy to turn a blind eye to the injustices against one minority group over that of another (especially our own!), we cannot allow for prejudice of any kind lest we fall to the same failures of human characterization ourselves…

Am I Affirming?

It was two years ago that after a gathering I had organized, a young lady wearing a baseball cap & leather jacket walked up to me & asked, “Are you affirming?” I hesitated in my response. My first thought was, what are you meaning by “affirming?” I knew the inquiry was a quantifying question with the expectation of answering a quick polarizing yes or no. On a much deeper level though, I also knew it was meant to either mark me as accepting & embracing all that is considered Gay Rights & in support of the full moral right of what it means for one to identify as being LGBTQ2, or… exclude me to the outer farthest reaches where all bigots, hypocrites, & “egotistical ignoramuses” belong. The problem I had was that I felt the question was far more complex & dynamic then just a yes… or no response.

Mom

Over the past month I have been working on scanning all my old photos into a digital catalog. It has been a real journey of memories & discoveries of lost moments in time; most especially as I remember my mom. Looking at many of the old photos - some faded, some that I don’t remember, & some that seemed like they were from ancient times - I felt overwhelmed with the realization of how much wonder my mom instilled in my life.

Practicing Holy Silence In The Upper Room

“He was silent & gave no answer.” The description of Jesus as he stood before the judgement of the Temple Priests during his final week before crucifixion has remained transfixed within my thoughts. Why? With accusations that would surly lead to great suffering & catastrophic loss, how can Jesus just stand there & remain silent without even a whispered defence to his righteousness.

This past week has witnessed a great loss itself as many stood in shock of seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral in an inferno blaze as it became a ruin of history & iconic symbolism. It wasn’t long before…

How Do I Read The Bible?

I think my first memories of hearing stories from the bible come from my early childhood. My mother would read to me before bed each evening while taking out this old & very large pictured children’s bible to narrate the stories of Moses, Samson, David & Goliath, & of course, Jesus & his band of disciples. Thinking back on this, I’m sure it has shaped the way I see the scriptures today in many ways.

It was a week ago that a small group of us asked this very question, how do I read the bible? Whether you accept the bible as being authoritative or not, it’s hard to escape not knowing many of the stories told within it. Between thematic presentations in film & music to YouTube & TED Talk motivational speakers, the stories of the bible entwine themselves into our culture & daily lives. So what significances do these stories have to us & how are we to read them in an authenticated form?

Over the years, I’ve come to see three main practices as a way to approach the bible…

The Glory Of The Cruciform Within The Disabled

I have spent the majority of my life in a wheelchair following a car accident in 1994. It has been a journey that has both had me endure great hardships & revealed some incredible summits of success. I wouldn’t trade my life in for anything different. But, it was the words of my friend the other day that had me paralyzed with how to respond.

“Perhaps one day,” he stated, “I’ll be racing up & down these hallways with you.” For the past while, my friend has been struggling with progressive physical neurological challenges. I wasn’t sure how to respond. While on the one hand, I wanted to encourage him that physical challenges are never an end to the possibilities of success & the fullness of life. Yet on the other hand…