July 29, 2011

Intelligence And Faith

There is a 'truth' that I keep bumping into in the debate that rages on between theism and atheism that I have to say gets my ire up. I am tired of reading that atheists are more intelligent than their religious counterparts. This half-truth is used far too often as a bard to attack those of religious belief, and as a refrain to keep atheists in line. An article titled Why Atheism Will Replace Religion: New Evidence written by Nigel Barber published July 14 2011 in Psychology Today is just dripping with this same slop.

I think it is high time that we challenge this very sloppy line of reasoning.

July 27, 2011

The End The Beginning

Well I hadn't intended to wait this long to write this Tidal Impact wrap up blog, but somewhere between late nights, driving home, church duties and family time I've made it to Wednesday. Oh well with a little more sleep under my belt I am bound to make more sense anyway.

Friday and Saturday were days of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand I was looking forward to going home, seeing my wife and children and sleeping in my bed. And yet I felt a profound sense of sadness. The past week had been a holy time. It was a time where we all felt God move in different ways and in different places. It was a time of ministry and service, a time of growth and stretching, a time of team building and friendship enriching. Like I said it was a holy time.

But eventually even Moses had to leave the burning bush in the distance.

July 21, 2011

Serving In Weakness

It's Thursday and we are tired. You could see the lack of sleep on everyone’s face this morning. Without a doubt every one of us wanted a few more hours in bed.

But we didn't have a few more hours. 7:15 breakfast, 8:00 team meeting, 9:00 children's ministry. Extra sleep was nowhere to be found. So we did our best to rise and shine and give God the glory glory.

And as we stepped out in faith to serve God, God honoured our action.

First let me say the youth lead the kid's program very well. The highlight of the morning had to be watching the teens lead songs games and the bible story with little help from myself or the other leaders. They nailed it.

The second highlight for the day for me was the food drive. Tonight everyone in Tidal Impact participated in a food drive.

And what a drive it was. Between set up, collection and sorting we took about three hours to do this project. Three long energy intensive hours. To make matters worse the air was humid, the rain came down from time to time, and the area we had to cover was large with houses well spread out.

Last night was all about serving Christ when the Spirit is pumping you up and God's energy is flowing through you. Today on the other hand was all about serving Christ when you may not want too. When you are not feeling the Spirit's power, and you much rather curl up with a book or the TV.

Today was about serving out of weakness.

The youth proved they were up to this task as well. Along with their wonderful morning ministry I am happy to report they collected food with smiles on their faces.

And collect they did. Tonight we collected roughly $3000 worth of food, or roughly one ton of food.

Tonight we made a difference in people’s lives, even if all we wanted to do was sleep.

July 20, 2011

Big God Moments

Yesterday I got to talk about some little God moments that I have been enjoying. Today let me tell you about some big God moments.

Tonight's rally was in a word; awesome. From almost the beginning of it I felt an energy running through me. It almost felt like there was lightening in my belly.

That feeling grew and grew until we reached the peak of the evening for me, The Lord's Supper.

Now I have helped serve the Lord's Supper lots of times since becoming a pastor but it has never been like this.

Teenagers lined up and came forward one by one, or in small groups. When they came forward I would get their name and a prayer request. After I had those I prayed for the teens by name holding their hand. Once that was finished I gave them the bread and cup.

Now you need to understand something about me. I am not an emotional guy. This is not to say I am heartless but I am much more a thinker than a feeler. Yet the compassion I felt for each person that came forward was beyond measure.

Tonight I heard dozens of tiny stories told by people wanting to follow Christ better. And as they shared I was able to respond with prayer helping them lift their concerns to God.

In that time I felt The Holy Spirit at work in me and around me in a way I rarely have before. I know the prayers I spoke tonight were not my words but the Spirit working through me.

Tonight was a great reminder for me of how great God is and how much young people need him. As I served tonight I found myself wonderfully re-affirmed in my calling, ministry and purpose.

Tonight was amazing. Tonight was wonderful. Tonight was awesome. Tonight was a big God moment.

July 19, 2011

Little God Moments

If you were to ask me; where did I see God at work today, I could give you an ear full. God's spirit was moving within and around our group.

However the stories I have to tell are not ones of grandeur. Nor are they stories of healings or mighty acts of power. Instead they are little moments of people caring with Christ's love.

Allow me to list just a few;

1. This morning as I walked in to our main cottage one of our Mom leaders handed me a cup of coffee, touched me on the shoulder and said 'we need to take care of our youth pastor'. Seemingly a small act but those words (and the coffee) were just what I needed.

2. At lunch the ladies that have been serving us all week noticed yesterday my caffeine withdrawal and had coffee ready for me.

3. Our youngest leader prayed over me during a prayer time. Her words meant a lot.

4. Darning the same prayer time one of our most quiet members spoke aloud a prayer for someone else on our team. Also our youngest guy went forward to pray with a member of the team we are working with.

5. We had a two times of holy play when families invited us to their homes to swim and eat. During those times our three teams acted as one team.

6. I found myself really missing my kids today, but my wife posted videos on Facebook letting me know they missed me too. (For some reason I cannot get them to load but the fact that they are there means a lot.)

Now I know what some of you are thinking. These things hardly seem like acts of God. There are no parting of the seas, no fire from the sky, no angels, heck not even a conversion. And that is true. None of these things are 'so big you can't miss it' moments.

But they are God moments; little everyday moments that God showed up in.

My prayer is that you too will notice these God moments each day no matter how big or how small.

July 18, 2011

In The Garden

Today during Tidal Impact we started our service ministry in a garden. We were given the tasks of weeding the walk ways and digging around trees so we could put mulch around them.

When we finished those tasks we went to a nearby home and removed the hay that was in their garden covering their potatoes.

I have never used a pitch fork before today. Neither had I landscaped trees, or dug holes for mulch. The same was true for most if not all of the team.

In the garden we were out of our element.

The work was hard. And the day was hot and muggy. Yet we worked with joy on our faces. I can say that I am proud of our group because I heard no grumbling as we worked. They served well.

As we were working I found my mind drifting to Genesis and Adam and Eve and that first garden. I couldn't help but feel that as we worked we were reconnecting with part of God's original design for us.

As we worked we became stewards of God's creation.

Caring for the Earth is on a lot of our minds right now. It is something we talk about and think about. But caring for the environment is not something churches are known for.

Which is a shame.

God made us stewards of his garden, then of the whole earth. I hope that I will continue to follow the example of my team and be a steward caring for God's gardens without grumbling.

I hope that from now on I can serve God in the garden with their joy.

July 17, 2011

Seriously Silly

I have a confession to make.....

I am not a naturally silly person. There I said it, I'm glad that's out there. After all everyone knows that youth pastors ought to be silly.

That being said today at Tidal Impact I watched people be silly, funny, and otherwise zaney for God.

And it was wonderful.

Somewhere along the line many of us seemed to have forgotten that just because something is important, it doesn't mean that it has to be serious.

This week is about loving God and serving others. But I think it is also about remembering to do both with a smile on our face.

Today as we praised God and as we played we helped to remove the myth that faith in God has to be dull. Today we showcased the joy of the Lord for all to see.

Tomorrow we get to take that same joy and turn it in to service. Please pray for us as we minister to kids, and as we clean up a park.

And pray that we do it all with smiles on our faces.

July 16, 2011

With A Bang

So tonight we thought we would start things off with a bang. Daniel our host came to the beach armed with three boxes of fireworks.

It was exciting I have never lit a firework before. Thankfully we ended our little light show with all our fingers, and eyebrows intact. We didn't even burn down our cottage!

The closing activity of the night has left me wanting more. Not more fireworks (not that I would turn those down mind you) but more power.

I want to see God move this week.

Our speaker talked tonight about letting our collective lights shine in the dark. He reminded us that we as a group are here on a mission to display God's glory.

He is right, we are. And we will.

I close the night finding out that the tasks I thought I had done before I left were not done. The dishes were not clean and the laundry not washed. I am disappointed to discover that I left those things unfinished.

But this week our goal is to leave none of the work God has for us left undone. We are here to do our holy tasks, whatever they may be.

Pray we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hands to work.

On The Road

The last few days of have been filled with anticipation, and sorting out last minute details. Slowly blanks have been filled in and plans have firmed up. This week is Tidal Impact, Canada's largest short term mission's week.

I am excited, and a little nervous. This week is a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Our team is new, and this combination of people has not worked together before. Yet I have worked with each person and am confidant in their abilities. Our partners are more laissez faire than I typically am, so it is hard to say if the last minutes details we firmed up were the true last minute details. Yet I know everyone has been working diligently to get ready for today.

July 13, 2011

Teapots & God's Existence

In 1952 Atheist Bertrand Russell launched an argument that sought to change who was on the offensive and who was on the defensive in regards to the existence of God. Since belief in God had longevity behind it many treated atheism as the point that needed to be established. Russell disagreed. He thought disbelief in God should be the standard starting point and it was up to those who believed in Him to convince people of God's existence.

This is his argument;

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time"

I know that I am almost 60 years late for the party but I would like to respond.

July 8, 2011

Walk This Way- Bible Czar

Last Saturday I had a chance to indulge myself in a little 'dream come true'. I simply love talk radio. I am a loyal listener of the local station here News 95.7 and I call in whenever I get an opportunity to do so. Of course with News 95.7 all I get to chime in on is all politics, and other such news items. While I enjoy such things my real passion is talking about Walking As Jesus Did. I really want to encourage people to Think Clearly, Worship Continuously, Relate Purely, and Live Justly.

To my surprise and joy I had an opportunity to 'appear' on an internet radio show based  out of Nevada called, 'Bible Czar'. They are a  new show that started this past April. I had a blast doing the show, the guys are a lot of fun.

If you are interested and would like to hear Rev Christopher D Drew 'expert' radio guest you can listen here.

What can I say I've got a face for radio!
Please don't agree with that :(

July 6, 2011

Sermons I am Proud Of-Pt4

This blog marks the last of the sermon 're-runs.' This sermon is that I delivered on Sunday July 3rd 2011. It is based on the text Galatians 5:1-15.

July 2, 2011

Sermons I am Proud Of-Pt3

In the thrill and fun of Canada Day, and a wedding I missed my Friday blog post. This sermon was written for October 3rd 2010. Rather I should say re-written for October 3rd 2010. I had written a different sermon on the same passage early in the week but I just disliked it so much. It felt wrong, somehow incomplete. No amount of editing or tampering could fix it. So finally on Saturday morning I decided to write a new sermon. This is that sermon. It focus on the story of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. Enjoy.