Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


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Lasting Peace compared to Good Attempts to find Peace

After a hurried rentrée (return to school after a week off) and praying through the stressful situations that many of our friends find themselves in (and you too?!), I’m reminded that we do not live in a peaceful world. There is always something for me to be worried about. There is always something trying to steal my joy and peace.

The verse that came to my mind this morning was John 14.27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I am reminded of the ways that people around me (and me included) look for peace:

  • In political powers: my own nation of Canada is groaning and rejoicing with the political shift that has just taken place. In 4 years it will all shift again. Palestinians, Israelis, Syrians, Ukrainians, Romas are still waiting for political peace.
  • In economic prosperity: many of the deepest economic recessions have happened after stratospheric financial booms. A bumper crop can be wiped out with a hail storm.
  • In educational superiority: just when you think you’re getting somewhere, along comes someone who makes you seem very ordinary.
  • In family stability: we are all hoping that home will be a place of peace and security and look to copy those around us who seem to have it. Family is where tension and strife is most normal (and faith can make it even worse).
  • In physical health: one accident, one illness, one unusual test result and it’s all shattered.

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The Rewards of Being God’s Friend

An Introduction to Psalm 27

This is one of the famous Psalms, well quoted and well sung – for good reason. It’s got great soundbites, and twitter-able quotes. Many of us know some of the lyrics of this song of David and our hearts resonate with the themes. In heaven, I imagine, that each line is just the title of a whole library in God’s house. David’s intimacy with God shines through. His insight is inspiring to our spirits. His confidence is exemplary; we want to know the Lord like David knows Him.

Psalm 27 ConfidenceJohn Wimber, at his conferences, would sometimes say, “Many of you would like to have the same authority as I do, but none of you wants to go through what I’ve had to go through.” The same could be same for David. We all want what he seems to have, but none of us want to go through the pressures and trials that he went through.

The most likely event that David wrote this song was during his exile at the hands of his own son, Absalom. Continue reading


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How to do a singing Bible study

Dear Worship Leader,

I enjoy worshiping and singing with you – it’s easy because your heart wants to worship.  Your role is important because the songs we sing will stay with us longer than most sermons or even encouraging words.  Your worship, helps us worship.

I’d like to give you a little tool to help your Bible Study time turn into songs between you and Jesus with a little model: Read it, Write it, Say it, Sing it, Pray it (thanks to my friend Kirk Bennett).  The goal is to take God’s word and turn it into prayerful worship, new songs and increased revelation of God. Continue reading


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The default setting is: Pray

I have often wondered how when Jesus is so amazing – his life, his power, his wisdom – and yet most of my life I have struggled to spend time with him in prayer. I want to enjoy him, but my own brain and experience seems to keep me at a distance. It’s also easier to do things for God than to partner with Jesus and to spend the time needed in prayer.

Guilt. Shame. Hard work. Failure. Boredom. These are the words that often accompany the description of my life in prayer, maybe you Continue reading


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How to know if you’re growing in love…

To the favourite children of the King,When we first arrived here in Belgium I asked God what he wanted me to accomplish in the next 2 years.  Seems reasonable, He’s the One who brought us here.  I don’t want to be busy doing anything that is not the King’s business.  What was shown to me (through songs, scripture, the Holy Spirit and other people) is that he wants my heart more alive and me more in love.  If it’s possible to measure love and life, Jesus wants these to be the true measures of my success.

What do you think, looks like a path in Belgium.

I love to see how you are growing in your love of God and your skills in the Kingdom!  It makes me proud of you to see what fine men & women you are becoming.  As you grow in your love and faith, you will go through many seasons – probably over and over – and I want you to be aware of what they are so that you can not be surprised but rather be confident that God is the Greatest Lover.  And because he’s the Greatest Lover, He has set everything up so that you’ll fall more in love with Him and grow in your confidence that His love is secure.

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How can you make space for more joy in your life?

   This is your invitation to enjoy Jesus.  Now I suspect that some people might react to this statement with questions or even shock – how could I enjoy Jesus.  Serving sounds easy, worshiping is understandable but enjoying?  This is the journey that we will take together through the season of Lent.  A journey of discovering God as lovesick over us and of enjoying Jesus, the great bridegroom.

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What is Lent?

     Imagine that your mom is making your favourite meal for you.  She’s spent time this week shopping and planning and she’s spent all day in the kitchen baking and cooking and thinking of you with every dish she’s preparing.  Now imagine that on your way to this feast, you stop off at McDonalds and have a Super-sized Big Mac Combo and a milkshake.  As amazing as that might sound, it’s garbage compared to what your mom prepared and when you show up to eat, you aren’t even going to be hungry.  Who of us would do this (at least intentionally)?  No, if someone is making us a special meal, we want to come to the feast hungry.

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Is going to pray like going to funeral?

This summer I’ve been invited to 7 weddings (but because of moving continents we’ll only make it to 3). What I enjoy about weddings is that I remember my own wedding and I’m reminded about what a wedding is really about. Now some people will try to tell you that “It’s all about the dress,” and others will try to convince you that a good wedding is the only way to start a good marriage. As I was packing and shredding old documents, I recently came across the budget for our wedding. Somehow we spent $309 on our whole honeymoon, including $89 for our first night in the hotel and $25 for gas to get to Edmonton. I have no idea how that happened! (But this is also why I council young couples to get married when they’re poor – they don’t have to spend as much on the rings and wedding!)

What do you think about at a wedding?

What do you think about at a wedding?

There’s so much going on at a wedding that it’s easy to get distracted by the real purpose – to find joy in the wrong things or to be frustrated by things that don’t matter. Continue reading