Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


14 Bike Flats and Counting

Okay, so my friend Brendan says to me, “Robb, I’ve still never had a flat on my bike – not on the road or off road.”  Every time I tell him about fixing flats he reminds me of this.  I think he’s trying to be humble and grateful but I detect a note of boasting.

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Book review of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

A recent revelation of mine is that I’ve become a brand – not just a person, a dad and husband, but I’ve become a commodity.    A number of months ago this reality continued to frighten me but I think I’m coming to grips with this new normal.  Starting this summer, I’m beginning to manage my own online image.

So along comes Michael Hyatt‘s book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson).  Platform is a collection of wisdom on how to get your message across when there are so many competing messages – it’s especially for writers but really for anyone who has a message that they believe is worth hearing.  Hyatt says that while content (your message) is king, your platform (how people find you) is queen.

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Bike rides with purpose

I’m taking a little detour on my content to invite you to put some purpose to my bike rides. Typically I consider cycling to be a mental health activity (I’d rather pay my local bike shop than a counselor – sorry to my friends who professional counselors, they also do fine work).

Last week at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Convention I signed up for RIDE 2012 – a cross country ride to raise money for ministries and churches doing work in Canada’s inner-cities. I figure this is a great fit for me: cycling, inner-city ministry & fundraising!

There’s a few ways you can join me:
1. Sponsor me: do it online here. Do it before July 31 and I’ll put your name in a draw for a T-Shirt or a bike tune up (done by me). You’ll need to make your name public to be in the draw (the amount will not be public).
2. Ride with me: Saturday & Sunday mornings, I’ll leave my place about 6AM – ride the whole thing (2-3 hours) or meet me on route.  Just leave a comment and I’ll let you know my route.
3. Raise your own pledges! Join my team.

My goal is to ride 100km each weekend for the next 3 weekends.  Want to join me?


I’m so proud

This morning I want to take a moment to brag on 2 young men.

Last Thursday

I had the opportunity to present Cody and Martin scholarships (collected from Vineyard in Elmwood alumni) at their grad for Elmwood High School.  I’ve not been so proud of two guys who, when presented with opportunity to make poor decisions made a series of good ones.  They both got involved with floor hockey at Youth for Christ  when they were in grade 7, accepted invitations to Alpha in grade 9 & 10, were faithful participants in the Vineyard church, went on YFC retreats (Cody got baptized at one) and diligently worked to graduate.

Hmmm, me in a tie. Once a year it’s worth it for 2 such hard working young men.

Our family loves Martin and regularly we’ll see one or two or three of them sitting on his lap, talking and playing.  His crazy hair has impressed and inspired us (even influenced my Mohawk!).  This year Orien gave Martin the “Trusted Adult Certificate” – an award that many elementary students are encouraged to give as they learn about who to trust.  I had the privilege of baptizing Martin 3 years ago.  I think the most telling story of Martin came after he finished his first Alpha Course.  His 12 year old sister started coming with him to every church event because he’d been so significantly changed that she needed to know what it was that had changed him.  Martin will be at the University of Winnipeg in the fall.

Cody is a quiet, thoughtful young man who has a good history of saying yes.  Last summer he came with me to get training for Rock the River (how to share your faith) and then accepted my invitation to be a camp counsellor (I’m not sure he’d have said yes if he knew what he was getting into) where he did a great job of loving on a cabin group of elementary aged boys including my oldest.  Besides receiving our scholarship he also received the Clara Hughes Award – a top athletic award at Elmwood HS.  (Clara Hughes will compete in her 5th Olympics this summer and is an Elmwood graduate.)  Cody is taking the Bald Eagles pre-military training this summer as he considers his options.

Thank you to our Vineyard in Elmwood family for raising the funds to give each $500 and for walking with these guys over the past 4-5 years.  Thank you to Youth for Christ Winnipeg and the Samson’s guys for finding them, encouraging them, inviting them, teaching and having a lot of fun with them!  Thanks Tony & Kirsten for getting them out to your house group.  Thanks James for seeing what others couldn’t see and inviting them into the adventure of following Jesus.  Thanks Christa for cooking such good food that they kept coming back.  Thank you Jesus for choosing these young men for your purpose.