Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Don't you hate it when your whales just don't blow up the way you want them to?

Dave Overholt, who has really great hair, told a story on Friday night about blowing up a large dead beached whale. Dave tell's stories very well. He's especially gifted at speaking to high school aged kids. Most of his stories involve weird and odd things, larger than life events and people (and whales), and usually relate to a loving God.
Sometimes he talks about practical jokes. I read this today, in an article honouring a guy who had just died who I don't know, but I thought it was great, that his life was being celebrated by some of the goofy things he had done:
O'Meara's love of a good joke was well-known in West Hartford. Courant columnist Ken Cruickshank wrote in 1976 of a practical joke O'Meara once played on local police. O'Meara dragged a friend who had passed out from too many martinis onto a Ridgewood Road lawn, strapped a parachute to his back, and called local police, telling them "something fell out" of an airplane "and it landed on a lawn near my house. (full article)"

Here's a few interesting bits. At the expense of the environment, you can continue to legally grow bigger strawberries. A teacher in the states got in trouble for giving his student's a 'liberal quiz'. If you're under the age of 20, this could potentially suck. And finally, a piece on energy, economics and an interesting social study on the different ways people think and view problems.

Oh, the picture that goes with this post has nothing to do with beer, unlike the two previous posts. I would't want you to think that all I do is promote excellent european brews. No, I took this picture during a TV timeout last night at the memorial centre. I went with my brother and my dad, to watch the OHL All-Stars take care of the Russian Selects. It was an excellent game, made better by the opportunity to watch as Bob Gainey was honoured with the raising of a banner.

Leffe Brune

On Sunday night my small group from church had dinner together at St.Veronus, the Belgian Beer Temple. I decided to go with the old faithful, the Leffe Brune. Definately in the top 5 beers I've ever sampled.

Friday, November 25, 2005

This aggression will not stand, man.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new clooney/damon movie, Syriana. George Clooney is a pretty intelligent guy, and I think he's trying to make a statement with this movie. Damon is an incredible actor, and generally his movies are worth seeing. Basically, the movie is about Oil, and the industry that surrounds it. I've had a keen eye on all things 'oil' in the last couple years, with yesterday being dubbed the unofficial peak oil day.

I had my second interview with 'Big Brothers' last night. A case worker came to my home for a couple hours of intense discussion. It's a pretty thorough screening process, which is cool, and makes sense, given the day and age we live in. If you have some free time, can I encourage you to look into getting involved. They've got 60 kids (or 'littles', as I need to start referring to them) on a waiting list. They usually come from a single parent home, and are usually on the lower side of the income scale, and generally don't have too much advantage in life, and could really use consist role models. I'm a bit apprehensive starting out. I'm not really up on what 10-12 year olds do for fun, but I'm sure it'll be good times.

Today I learned that last year, NBC and CBS spent a grand total of 8 minutes covering the Darfur genocide.

I also learned that it's not sharks we should be afraid of. It's the octopus higher up on the food chain than the shark that should cause us to crap our swim trunks.

I learned a lot today. I learned that with the right vacuum cleaner I can become rich. And I'm not talking about selling them door to door, which I'm ashamed to admit, I almost did once as a part time job in highschool. That would've sucked a ton. Instead I worked at Wild Water and Wheels, watching kids drive off the go-kart track 8 hours a day in the blazing sun. Got the best farmer tan of my life that summer.

How cool is this. A giant pillowfight. I would've won. They key to a good pillowfight is to have a down-filled pillow, and a solid, high thread count pillowcase.

There's some pretty incredible quotes in this article about mega-churches. For example:
"These churches can do a ton of things that smaller churches can't, They have the resources to produce a professional-quality production every weekend, with music (often specially composed for the occasion and backed by a professional ensemble) and video and lighting and computer graphics and a preacher who knows how to work a crowd."
I especially like the 'preacher who knows how to work a crowd' bit. Yah, that's why I attend church. Then there's this, talking about the advantage of being in a church with 20,000 members, where you're sure to find someone else who enjoys NASCAR:
Or if you really love stock car racing, but hate being surrounded by drunken rowdies, you can go with a busload of your church friends.
Yah, never mind hanging around with other NASCAR fans watching the race. It's better to do that in the Christian bubble. I guess I'm a hypocrite here, sorta. I'm pretty much guilty of the Christian bubble thing too, but I try not to encourage it. And, as Barron says, "I spend a lot of time critiquing the church, Christianity, and religion. My hope is that this isn't confused with critiquing Jesus, or the Bible." I guess, for the most part, the things that I post on this blog are insights that I've been challenged by, or things that I want to challenge others to avoid, or raise awareness of. 'nuff said. Have a good weekend. You deserve it, man.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A matter of convenience

I'm about to rant. Now, I don't know the history of the "Christmas Tree", and it isn't really a huge part of my faith. I don't celebrate the planting of a tree 2000 years ago that would grow up to be the wood from which Santa's original sleigh was built. But, seriously, why can't a tree that's been called a "Christmas Tree" for decades continue to be called a "Christmas Tree"? Why must it be called a "Holiday Tree" to appease those who 'enjoy the lights' but don't celebrate the Christmas event.

In other news, being an engineer isn't all fun and games and designing cool stuff. Today, I spent a couple hours working on my Application for Licence, so that I can be a full-fledged Professional Engineer. I still need to read a couple of thriller's called Engineering Law and Engineering Ethics. Definate page turners that I won't be able to put down... So, when I'm not figuring out the overturn moment of a Radar Lifting Device, or calculating the tons of cooling required for a hair salon, you can find me with a pen in hand, filling out a form...

I decided today that I'm looking forward to snow. I didn't do a ton of playing in it last year. This year I plan too. Skating on the pond, GT'ing down a hill, maybe some snowboarding. Ahh, life is grand.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How you doin'?

I got an email from a friend of mine a few days ago, who I haven’t spoken to in a while, and she asked me how I was doing. I decided to be honest. This is what I wrote:
You asked how I'm doing. The short answer is 'well'. The longer answer: Tons of stuff has happened in the year 2005 for me, both in relationships, and in my faith, and right now I'm in a 'reflective, what does it all mean' phase. I've been doing a ton of thinking about how I live my faith out, and what 'church' should look like in terms of praxis. We've had some pretty significant events happening in our city recently as well, which have confirmed much of my thinking on it. We had a 'debrief' meeting at church last night, a few hours of open conversation with about 50 people in attendance, discussing what people are thinking as individuals, and what they are thinking for our corporate body. There's lots of different views.
Theologically/experientially, I know I'm missing something, and in some ways I think my charismatic friends have some of the answers, but not all (plus a few other things that confuse the situation further). That's another journey I'm on. I'm reading Maclaren's book "A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN" these days and I can relate to a ton of what he's saying. I've experienced so much in my short-lived faith and I'm realizing I'm a 'christian mutt', a mixed bag. I've been eating at the buffet of Christianity, and though I like some flavours more than others, all in all it's been a good mix.
I had lunch with my pastor today, which was great. I was really ticked off actually, because every Tuesday I meet with a couple guys at the church building for lunch, but both of them ‘forgot’. So, I knocked on Karl’s office door, and had a really good chat with him, about church, about our church, about testing prophecy, about ministry, and even a bit of politics. It was excellent.

There’s a bunch of people, myself included, who have a certain level of discontent with the way ‘church’ has been in recent history. I mean that in the generic North American style of doing church, not any particular body. Anyway, I’m excited by the fact that so many people are a bit aggitated and wanting to see something change, some newness, and that possibilities are springing up for this, and that larger church bodies are choosing to bless these people, and not fight against them. I'm presently of the opinion that it's not an either/or divide right now. We don't need to suddenly all stop doing church the way we've been doing it for the past few decades and start doing things in the 'emergent' vein, or any other model for that matter. We don't need to close the doors on our church buildings and solely utilize the house-church model. Both are valid and both minister to people and both bring glory to God. There's some of my thoughts.

  • Here's a good series on Jesus and the Emergant.
  • Bred for it’s magical powers, a liger. I kid you not.
  • I got a kick out of this... I've had troubles opening locked doors before too, but I'm not the president, and I'm not trying to duck out of a press conference early on TV. Watch the video. It's sad that we only get 3 more years of this kind of thing.
  • File this one under the "Things that aren't right in Christendom" category. I think there might be some room left in Pat Robertson's file to squeeze this one in. I've got no problem with a Christian being a successful businessman, but when you use your charitable organization's tax-exempt cargo planes almost exclusively for your personal diamond-mining operation, not for humanitarian purposes, that doesn't sit well. I can't believe how many millions of dollars are given to this guy every year by donors. Hmm, reminds me of something I read in Maclaren's book a couple nights ago. He was talking about the reformation and how it corrected several wrongs in the Catholic church, such as selling indulgences... Maclaren raised the question of whether certain 'protestant evangelicals' have reverted in a subtle way to this very practice. That's a very good question. Your thoughts?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Barron, attending a fine University in Toronto, has a lot of free time. Enough, in fact, to attempt ESP.
"The every station project" It's very ambitious. You can read about it here.
Other than an abnormal enjoyment of Transit, Barron is exploring ways of bringing his faith to film, in interesting, inventive and non-cheesy ways.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Office Space

Watched 'Office Space' last night. It's such a good movie. With such lines as "no-talent-ass-clown", laughter is inevitable. (click here for the script.)

It's snowing right now, as I write this. The first real snowfall of the year. It's collecting on the cars in the parkinglot. It's also collecting on the parking lot. Strangely enough, it's only collecting on our parking lot, not that of the neighboring unit. I guess thickness/colour/composition of the assfault must be different. Deep thoughts indeed.

I read a really good article in Harper's Magazine yesterday, called "The Christian Paradox: How a Faithful Nation gets Jesus Wrong." It's mostly about American Christianity, but I think there's things in it that are valuable to Canadian readers such as myself. I'd suggest taking a few minutes to at least skim it. Here's a brief sample:
Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I like to sit

Monday, November 14, 2005

Liquid Air

Some thoughts on worship:
Our attitude should be 'what gift can I bring to worship?' So, connectedly, our gatherings need to become places where people can exchange gifts - song, video, theatre, graphics, design, music, installation, dance... I've often wondered whether the reason God rejected Cain's offering and accepted Abel's was because Cain gave something that didn't have integrity - wasn't integral to him, wasn't a true gift. As we used to say at Vaux, it's like he popped into the petrol station to grab some cheap flowers to give on the way. Costing him... nothing. And when we stand their singing stuff over and over and over, the same old songs... I just wonder if God is saying "come on, where's something from you!" It's in this area that I really think that the alt.worship movement has been really strong. link

Changing gears... So, I don't know all the facts about Iraq, and what the Bush Administration did or did not know/fabricate prior to invading. But when Bush's national security advisor says this: "We need to put this debate behind us. It's unfair to the country. It's unfair to the men and women in uniform risking their lives to make this country safe." I'd have to disagree. How is it unfair to debate the reasoning behind why men and women are putting themselves at risk daily? How is it unfair to debate the intelligence that led to a war that has killed more than 2000 American soldiers, and countless Iraqi's? Personally, I think it'd be unfair not to enter into that debate.
And changing gears completely, it looks like Martha is done. Now that's unfair.

The Loudest Sound in My Heart

I went and saw Michael Pritzl, of The Violet Burning fame, on Saturday night at St. Timothy's Anglican Church in Scarborough. It was an excellent show, at an excellent venue. It's always great when you get to finally see one of your musical hero's live in concert. It's better when you get to have a short conversation with him afterwards. He played an acoustic set, which was surprisingly good. I wasn't sure what to expect, since The Violet Burning generally include electric guitar, feedback, ambient styles and the occaisional wall of sound. But, the songs he selected for this show worked really well on just the acoustic. Maybe next time they let him across the border he'll take the full band.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Betraying Jesus

Ok. This is a must read. Serious. Read it.

Other than that, here's a couple of other things to pass the time:
  • If you're afraid of radio waves, or other such government mind control, this is for you.
  • Apparently it's possible to 'vote God out of your city', like some strange episode of 'Survivor' or something. Sorry Pat, once again you've said things that are not likely going to lead people to God, but will likely have the opposite affect.
  • A tricky journalist can slip any question in.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


People are fun. Especially when they bike by your office window wearing full denim (jeans, jean jacket), white socks, birkenstocks, a cowboy hat, and what looked like a lasso in one hand, ready to rope some cattle (or ghetto squirrels). That guy made my day.

Blinking with Fists

I've read some pretty cool posts/thoughts in the past few days on the church. I highly recommend them. The first is a series on the Holy Spirit and the Emerging church, hosted at The Complex Christ. Last month I read an article about the emerging church, and whether or not it is 'lacking the Spirit', written from the Vineyard perspective. I've been doing a fair amount of investigation into various theologies on the Holy Spirit lately (influenced by a sermon series at my home church, personal interest and study for renewal, influence from several friends in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles), and twinned with my reading on church praxis and the emerging church, it brought two of my main theological interests together. It's an ongoing discussion, one that hasn't concluded or drawn any main conclusions. I like the questions that are being asked though, about how and when the Spirit shows up, and what that looks like, and whether we've limited his work to big things like healings and 'manifestations of power' and 'prophecy'. Personally, I belive that God is more glorified when we acknowlege and allow for him to work in the little areas of our lives. I'd prefer to be a person living in the 'fruit of the Spirit' and having that impact my day to day life.
The second post is by Jordon Cooper on leadership. He echoes many of my thoughts on leadership, but raises some good criticism as well.
The third is by Len, over at nextreformation.com. He challenges the hierarchy of so many church models. Personally, I think there's a certain amount of hierarchy that is required, but I think we've got a bit too much established in our churches.

So, that's the serious side. Here's the fun links:

  • In case of a robot invasion, read this and you'll know what to do.
  • Gullible people are fun. Especially when they put you on national TV.
  • Hockey Fights. Come on, you know you like them.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Hands That Built America

I got into a bit of a political discussion on the weekend at the mens retreat with a George Bush supporter. I'll not get into all the details of the conversation, but I told him that regardless of his foreign involvement (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Venezuela, etc.), it's the stuff his administration is doing at home that bothers me. Elimination of services for the poor, and tax cuts for the ultra rich, while the whole time mortgaging the future. Jim Wallis, of sojourners magazine, writes this, in his weekly post. Here's a brief snippet:
The House is scheduled to begin debate tomorrow on its budget bill, which includes $54 billion in cuts. On the table are cuts of $9.5 billion in Medicaid - by requiring co-pays for pregnant women and children for the first time; $8 billion in foster care, child support enforcement, and aid to the disabled; and $844 million in the Food Stamps Program, which would prevent 300,000 people from receiving food stamps. Forty thousand children would be cut from reduced-price school lunches. Lawmakers intend to follow these with a further cut of $70 billion in taxes that will primarily benefit the top 3% of taxpayers. The message from Congress is that in response to Hurricane Katrina, we're going to cut services for the poor, cut taxes for the rich, and increase deficits for our children and grandchildren.
I'd be frustrated by this if I was an American, especially if I was a Christian American, with a president who also claimed that title. I'm short on solutions here though, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut. And for my American readers, I know Canada has it's problems too, very similar to yours. However, I heard, in person, a leader of a provincial political party say that he make $120k a year and benefited from some tax cuts a couple years ago, at the expense of the poor, and if he were in power he'd change that around. He can afford the tax. He's the one who should be paying. Anyway, there's my political rant for the week. Here's some fun links:


We had another excellent weekend up north, with the guys from church. It's an annual event, which most of us look forward to attending. There's something cool about spending a weekend with a bunch of guys, playing sports, card games, enjoying the outdoors, praying for one another, eating copious amounts of food.
I took the picture above on Saturday morning, pretty late in the morning, which is amazing, because the lake was smooth like glass right up until around noon.

So, I think God has been telling me to spend more time with Jesus, reading the gospels, talking with him, getting to know him better, being more like him. Last night I read in Luke chapter 7 how Jesus, knowing what a guy named Simon was thinking in his heart, addresses him and says "Simon, I've got something to say to you." And Simon replies "Oh? Tell me." I wonder what Jesus would have done if Simon said he didn't want to hear it. Would that story still have made it into Luke's book? Simon had the luxury have having Jesus as a guest in his home for a meal, and so it was easy for him to converse with Jesus directly. He heard Jesus voice when he said "I've got something to tell you." It's a bit harder for you and me, to hear Jesus voice. First of all, I've got to believe that he actually speaks. And then I've got to know his voice. And then I've got to listen. And then I've got to act on it. Lots of faith based decisions in that process.
Anyway, I've been hearing a lot from Jesus lately, and I think the bigger tragedy to not hearing his voice would be to hear him and not do anything about it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Rex Murphy

Rex Murphy; a Rhodes Scholar, journalist, radio host, author, a thinker and unintentionally entertaining. Anyone who has caught his 'point of view' on 'the National' will not deny that he is an oratative genius, choosing every word for the impact and meaning it will convey, and delivering his 'point of view' with almost poetic rhythm and voice.
A couple of nights ago he delivered the following opening lines in reference to the Gomery report:

I don't know what else the federal Liberals could do to sully their party's reputation.

Sell the Peace Tower to Wal-Mart?

Turn the House of Commons into a time-share Club Med, with the proceeds going to a pool for David Dingwall's severance package?

But outside of those extremes, they've hit the bottom of the barrel, dug underneath the barrel, and found an even lower place where there are no self-respecting barrels at all. (more...)

...in other news...

  • A summary of a day with Mike Frost.
  • Drilling in the arctic. Don't get me started. There's only enough oil there to supply 5-1/2 months of the USA's current oil demand. That's a highside estimate. It hardly seems worth it.
  • This is why it's always safer to crap in your own crapper.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Some family history for you... My mom, front and centre in the shadows, at 3 years old emigrated to Canada in October 1951 with her older sister, three older brothers, and her parents. This is a picture of them on the boat on the way over. I did some digging, and I'm pretty sure this is the boat:
was built by Harland & Wolff, Glasgow (engines by Harland & Wolff, Belfast) in 1922. She was a 15,434 gross ton ship, overall length 575ft x beam 67.3ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 15 knots. There was passenger accommodation for 263-1st, 436-2nd and 1,200-3rd class. Purchased by Holland America Line while under construction, she was launched on 6th July 1922 after attempts on 23rd and 24th June had failed. Her maiden voyage started on 4th Nov.1922 when she sailed from Rotterdam for New York. In May 1926 she was refitted to carry 1st, 2nd, tourist and 3rd class passengers, April 1930 to 1st, tourist and 3rd class and Feb.1936 to cabin, tourist and 3rd class. Her last Rotterdam - New York voyage commenced 5th Apr.1940 and on 30th Aug.1940 she was torpedoed by a German submarine 200 miles from Bloody Foreland when carrying child evacuees to Canada. Beached on the Isle of Bute, she was repaired and in July 1941 became a troopship. Returned to Rotterdam in July 1945, she was partly reconditioned and in 1946 carried Dutch troops to Indonesia. In 1947 she was used in the Australia emigrant service and in June 1948 made her first Rotterdam - Quebec sailing for the Netherlands government with capacity for 1,500 single class passengers. In Sep.1948 she started her first Rotterdam - New York sailing and commenced her last voyage on this route in Feb.1951. In Oct.1951 she made her last Rotterdam - Quebec - Rotterdam voyage and in 1952 was scrapped at Hendrik Ido Ambacht. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.3,p.914]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Howard Hampton, leader of the NDP party in Ontario, will be in Peterborough tonight. I'm thinking of going and checking out the meeting.
Last night, Michael Frost challenged us, as believers, to converse with the 'empire' in the defense of the poor, for the cause of justice. Christians are pretty vocal when it comes to issues of gay marriage and abortion, but somewhat silent on poverty and social justice and human rights. Why is that? Personally, I suspect that it is because it’s a lot easier to attack someone’s position on marriage or abortion than to actually stand up for the poor. If you stand up for the poor, your own lifestyle is challenged. If you say that we as a society need to look after the poor amongst us better, while living in an oversized home, driving an oversized car to oversized events, taking in oversized paycheques and putting oversized meals in our oversized stomachs, there are some obvious changes and impact in our lifestyles that will have to happen, else we be dubbed hypocrites. I’m becoming more and more aware of the extent to which Jesus preached about caring for the poor, the orphans and widows compared to the extent that he spoke on homosexuality. We (most churches) have done a pretty good job of preaching the self-help gospel, the gospel of being a better person, of living a more balanced and fulfilling life, of being the person God wants us to be. But in this style of self-help psychological preaching, we’ve neglected the stories of Jesus partying it up with the ‘sinners’, the stories of Jesus advocating for the poor and downcast. We’ve become very inward focused, and most of the limited outward focus has been on preaching a gospel of words, a message of salvation (which is true), with word, and not supported with action. I’m a little frustrated by it all, and I see so much evidence of it in my own life that it really bothers me. Beyond ranting and spewing philosophy on this topic (and others), what am I actually doing about it? Well, not much, but not nothing either. Steps are being taken.
I guess one of my beefs with Christians who focus almost entirely on issues of abortion and same-sex marriage is that they often argue that these, especially the latter, will destroy the fabric of our society. To that I say this: I agree that same-sex marriage isn’t the ideal for society, but neither is so many kids growing up in single parent homes because of failed marriages (both in the church and out of the church, the numbers are pretty much the same), or growing up in poverty, or situations of abuse, or malnourished, or undereducated. I also say this: If you are in fact concerned about ‘the fabric of society’, than realize that poverty and unemployment (and underemployment) and corporate greed have a much larger impact on society than same-sex marriage. So, if you’re truly concerned about the society we live in, post-Christian, as it is, do something to affect change. Give money and time to food banks. Eat less. Pollute less. Love more.

... in other news...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dear God

Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter There is nothing good in there now. Amanda
Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. Joyce
Dear God, is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house? Anita
Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nancy
Dear God, did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? Norma
Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year. Peter
Dear God, I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget. Mark
Dear God, is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through the business? Donny
Dear God, I am doing the best I can. Really !!!! Frank
Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool. Thomas


My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love--so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about--not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us--perfect love! This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day--our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love--love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.

1 John 4:7-21, from the Messege paraphrase. The greek word for Love used throughout this passage is Agape. Other Greek words are Eros, and Philia and Storge, meaning romantic love, friendship love and natural affection. Agape is a divine, unconditional love.

This is the passage that Michael Frost spoke from on Sunday night.