an innocent bystander no longer

"In a world built on free will, we must be the Freaks. While we may not be called to martyr our lives... we must put our selfish wants to death... Then the world will see Jesus. That's why I know the answer to my question, "what will people think?" -I don't really care. My life is God's. I've crossed the line from innocent bystander to hard-core participant in what Jesus has called me to." -Michael Tait, "Jesus Freaks"

8.25.2006

A Confession

People of the world...I have a confession to make that i am both at the same time ashamed and embarrased of and also excited about. Perhaps it has been a long time in the making but I am now officially...a BASEBALL FAN.

I am not sure whether it was: my participation in fantasy baseball, having Randall as a my roommate for a year, playing games of stick ball on the lawn at Galt, MLB 06: The Show, or what exactly tipped me over the edge, but here I am loving baseball.

I think Gary Matthews Jr. deserves a lot of the credit for his two spectacular grabs he has made this year patrolling center field. Honourable mention also goes to taguchi of the ChiSox...Bj Ryan for being LIGHTS OUT...and Ryan Zimmerman...my pick for ROY. I have also developed a mild crush on Torii Hunter-the guy has got speed, defense, a cannon for an arm, and hits 20 jacks a season!

"My Team" as of today, which is based not at all upon ability or anything like that, just the guys i love...would be as follows:

C: Joe Mauer
1B: Lyle Overbay
2B: "O-Dog" Orland Hudson
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
SS: Cesar Izturis
LF: Carl Crawford
RF: Reed Johnson...gotta love Reed
CF: TORII
DH: Big Papi

Starting Rotation:
Carlos Zambrano
Fracisco Liriano
A. J. Burnett
Aaron Harang
Daniel Cabrera

Bullpen:
Brandon McCarthy
Johnathon Bronxton
John Grabow
Scott Eyre
Bob Howry
Francisco Rodney
BJ Ryan

i am not yet givin up on the jays this year...and also can't wait to play some ball at redeemer this fall.

later days...

7.27.2006

an innocent bystander no longer

Well, I know I haven't really posted too much stuff about India, but in the end I decided you will all just have to come and talk to me about the trip if you want to know more about. It is simply too hard to try and put my experiences into words on a page in a manner that they can be properly and carefully understood without the clarification that comes with actual real life person to person communication.
So...I will now be moving on to other topics

First of all, I have finally given my blog a title, as you can all see I am sure. Here is how it came into being:

Over the course of the past several months my life has been changing substantially. Starting around the end of January and extending to the end of my time in India, I experienced a drastic period of both healing and revival. Christ's power and His love has been bubbling and swirling inside of me, consuming me from the inside out. Never before have I felt so covered in mercy, grace, hope, and peace. I know that this is just the beginning of greater and grander things to come, but I also know it was something that I truly needed, something that my body, my mind, and my soul- required.

Just after I got back from India I started reading the book Jesus Freaks, compiled by the band dc Talk, which contains stories of Christians who have followed Christ with such abandonment and commitment that they were willing to suffer severely: psychological and emotional pain, physical torture of all kinds, and for some even death. These past few months perpared me to read Michael Tait's introduction to the book:

"Ours is a society built by pride, materialism, and dedication to the status quo. In a world built on free will instead of God's will, we must be the Freaks. While we may not be called to martyr our lives, we must martyr our way of life. We must put our selfish wants to death and march to a different beat. Then the world will see Jesus.
That's why I know the answer to my question, "what will people think?" They may think I am weird. They may think I'm fascinating. But I don't really care. My life is God's. I've crossed the line from innocent bystander to hard-core participant in what Jesus has called me to."


The night I read those words I needed to make a major life decision: was I going to continue sitting on the side lines, only doing the bare minimum to pass as a "Christian", or was I going to take the next step?

As mentioned above, the months past had prepared me for this moment and so I was able to rise -so to speak- renewed and romanced by the grace and love of God, awakened and empassioned by the blazing fire of the Holy Spirit, and boldly determine to be an innocent bystander no longer.

What does Jesus have planned for my life? I don't know. But I have a few clues and intend on spending from here on in attempting to catch, bit by bit, a greater glimpse.

I invite you to pray for me, to encouarge me when you see me, and to join me in attempting to become a "hard-core participant."

7.25.2006

ACCEPT

ACCEPT stands for Aids Care Counseling Education Prevention and Training. If you have ever been involved in a discussion about holistic ministry- this would be an excellent example for study . They are working very hard here to care for all the needs of the whole person-physical, psychological, and spiritual. When patients show up at the care center they are first seen by the resident doctor and the next stop is the counselors' office. ACCEPT is trying to educate the community at large by providing training and information sessions on site and is just in the beginning stages of making those same services available in the surrounding community by running workshops in the localvillages.
Last summer I worked in Hamilton at a local church-Wentworth Baptist Church-and it is interesting, and really quite awesome, that an HIV/AIDs care centre in India and a downtown church here in Canada have similar struggles. Both are ultimately attempting to make known to their communities the abundance and depth of Christ's love, but both are also aware that there are very basic needs; such as food, water, clothing, shelter, which are not being provided for all of their neighbours. It has become the objective of both of these faith communities to attempt to find a balance which involves providing both for the basic physical needs of their communities as well as the equally important spiritual needs.
Although the problems in India and the problems in Canada are often very different there are still similarities between them, and churches in both countries are striving to find similar ways of dealing with these somewhat similar problems. India is very very different from Canada, but the same sin of the world is abundantly present in both, and Christians in both are struggling to find ways to share the love of the same Jesus, the one and only Saviour of the whole world, with the people that surround them, their neighbours. To me that is encouragaging, and humbling, and exciting.

7.14.2006

So...

here is a brief overview of what my time in India looked like:
We arrived in Delhi, a city of 18 million!, on friday the 2nd of June. Spent some time adjusting our bodies to the time(9 1/2 hours difference) and to the weather (40 to 45 degrees on avergae!) then as spoken about in detail already, took the train to Bangalore. We then spent about 2 and half weeks there helping out at ACCEPT-which I can't wait to tell you more about in future posts. We got back on the train on the 23rd of June to return to Delhi.
On tuesday the 27th we went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, quite a spectacular site, but the 4 hour drive to and from unfortunately made me quite sick.
An aside: often people who have never before had trouble with car sickness in the past experience problems while they are in India- the roads are pretty crummy, traffic is thick so a lot of stop and go driving, and apparently it is about as common to purchase your driver's liscence as it is to actually earn it. All this adds up to = easy to get car sick in India. For myself, a seasoned veteran in the sport of motion sickness:( >this was not one of my favourite aspects of India.
So then, the 28th we took a short little train ride up to Dehradun where we stayed with an awesome family from Texas for a few days and saw a bit of what they were doing there. We then moved on to Hardwar, one of the holiest cities in India, where we spent some time seeing some of the major sites there. We were back in Delhi again late at night on the 2nd and spent our last few days doing some shopping and seeing more of Delhi. Our plane flew out thursday the 6th at 8am and arrived at Pearson in Toronto the same day(due to the reverse time change) at around 6:30 pm.
planning to expand on various aspects of my trip shortly
ccc-indiastyle

6.06.2006

1 John 4:8-12

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins..."

Yesterday we were finally given a much clearer picture of what we would be doing while in Bangalore. The place we are going to is a hospice for people who are HIV positive and home also to about 12 to 20 orphans between the ages of 4-12 who are also HIV positive. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always loved hanging out with, working with, and/or goofing around with kids. Jehan and I are pretty pumped to spend time with kids, getting to know their stories a bit and having copious amounts of fun and laughter along the way.
At times I am sure that this will be a trying and challenging venture, but at the moment I look forward to it and am intending to embrace things head on with as much passion and love as I can muster.

"...Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4