Agents Of Connection: Finding New Meaning To Being Local

I have been a part of the Missional conversation now for over a decade. In these circles, it never seems to get old to debate the meaning and artform of being rooted in place or becoming local in your identity; there is always this tension between affiliation and localization. These demands for inclusion and exclusion, who’s in and who’s out, tend to infuriate me a bit as no matter what side you lean to, you always seem to exclude someone. 

Then I saw a short film called ‘Agents Of Connection’. It opened my eyes to something; being local is not about finding yourself in a singular boardered place or land. Being a local means... 

Poetic Beauty Within The Profane: Reminiscing Flamenco & Gord Downie's Prowess

It was a concert I will never cease to forget as it was my first. I had just been released from the hospital months before and new to the world as an incomplete quadriplegic. With the inexperience to the hardships of winter in a wheelchair, the wet snow & coldness was hardly registering in my best friend Ron's & my mind as he walked beside me and I pushed my way home from the Chinook C-Train Station & The Tragically Hip concert on a late night in February of 1995. Probably a little stoked from the cloudy plumes that seemed to form in the Saddledome over the course of the evening but also warmed by the adrenaline of our own belting out of Gord Downie's poetic lyrics while not wanting the music to ever stop. Since the late 80's, The Hip was a part of our Canadian rich blood and rhythmic heartbeat.

Last year, as the band gave the news of Gord's diagnosis and their final tour, there was no way I was going to miss their final concert...

Transcending Empires & The Telling Of A New Story

"Let the dead bury their own dead." I have always been troubled by this statement of Jesus as he responds to a young man who expressed a desire to follow him. I mean, in the sense of logic, the dead are incapable of burying themselves. And in the sense of emotional compassion, this seems insensitive and lacking in Jesus' care for this young mans loss. But lets leave this thought here for a minute.

In my last post I wrote about 'Hoarding, Talking With The Dead, & Lessons Learned From The Past'. I started out describing how our house was filled with the boxes from my stepdad's apartment and the lifetime of things he had accumulated over time. While reminiscing as I went through the many photos, papers, journals, and materials, it was difficult to know what to keep and what to toss away. Even though...

Hoarding, Talking With The Dead, & Lessons Learned From The Past

f our friends didn't know us better, they might have thought our house had become a scene from the A&E show Hoarders over the past several weeks. After closing down the storage unit to which we were holding the belongings of my deceased stepdad's, we decided it best to put the remaining boxes in our home until we had a chance to sort through them and decide what to keep and what to let go of. It has made for a emotional and physical rollercoaster ride over the last month.

Opening each box seemed to reveal a little more of dad's story while we found a treasure of memories he had kept and moments we had even shared over the years. Good times while camping in the mountains and struggles during...

The Eclipsing Of My Soul

Closed. I sat in a waiting room this afternoon reading these words from my friend Preston Pouteaux. They brought me into a prophetic reflection of this morning's eclipse and the event of the world being drawn to witnessing the astrological wonder where the celestial orbit of the moon cast a dusk like shadow across the earth as it passed between our planets orbit and the ever present light of the sun. Emotions were high. Expectation. Mystery. Even a little fear.

It seems remarkable to think about the few moments when something so big would cut us off from the very hope of the rising sun. Could the moon truly be so engulfing as to keep our whole world in the dark, chilled by the loss of...

Charlettesville Vigil In YYC

"We Christians, in particular, need to face the degree to which white Christianity has failed – grievously, tragically, unarguably failed – to teach its white adherents to love their non-white neighbors as themselves." It was these words of Brian McLaren in his reflections 'What I Saw In Charlottesville' that convicted me in my walk as a disciple of Jesus to speak out against the injustice of racism and bigotry while at the Charlottesville Vigil here in YYC. After witnessing the brutal violence and death of Heather Heyer as a vehicle careened into a crowd of demonstrators last weekend, my heart raced with emotions as one sign at the vigil exclaimed in Heyer's last posted tweet, "If you are not outraged, your not paying attention!".

Arriving in front of City Hall, there was a fair sized crowd that had gathered around the platform. I saw people groups from many ethnicities and culture along with...

The Greater Miracle

Recently my friend Rohadi penned an intriguing post titled 'Your Wholeness Found In Community' as part of a conversation in Cypher Church. He shares that, "2000 years ago (and similar today unfortunately), if you suffered from physical problems you were kicked out of community. That left you on the outskirts of everything including the city."

Since April of 1994, I've lived through the lens of someone who has physical problems. After a high speed car crash on the highway just east of the city on the way to Chestermere Lake, I am an incomplete quadriplegic who lives life with the challenges of wheelchair mobility. I have always been one to say...

The Stillness Of Loss

They say writing out your feelings can be therapeutic so, I suppose this post is more an exercise of my heart in this moment of time. Our house over the last two months has been rather still, numb in a way, and quiet as we contemplate the loss that has come into our lives. It was July 12th when we first lost our good friend "Sir" David as he passed away due to the injuries of collapsing down the stairs following what we might think was a stroke. Then, after a 3 month stay in hospital from an unexplainable illness that caused drastic weight loss and the breakdown of his immune system, my stepdad passed away the morning of July 6th. Followed now on this past Monday July 24th when our good friend Rod passed away after a 5 year battle with liver and kidney failure.

While the loss of one close relationship can be devastating in itself, this unstoppable wave of death has flooded our thoughts and emotions with the feeling of mortality and the fleeting strength of physical life. Our hearts are broken for the families of our friends and...

Pancakes, Sausage Links, & Canadian Maple Syrup

"YAAAAAAHOOOOOOOO!" I just wanted to disappear! My mother's yell was no doubt heard blocks away as she let out her best Calgarian cheer from Nana's little kitchen on 6th Avenue as all 20 of us (at least it seemed like it) piled into her and aunt Ruth's small two bedroom apartment. It was a family tradition on the first Friday of Stampede to go down to Nana's for her famous Stampede Pancake Breakfast while watching the parade from her balcony 16 floors up.

I was always a little shy as my mother would put on her jeans, western shirt, and her white cowboy hat that she would wear once a year solely for...