Monday, May 31, 2010

What A Week!

Time flies when you’re crazy busy! If you’re an avid reader and wondering where I’ve been the last week let me catch you up. This week I ...

 Finished writing a devotional for my book

 Got started on another devotional

 Had a scrabble game and coffee time with 2 separate neighbors

 Attended the Life Without Limbs Conference/Event in the city

 Took Nick Vujicic to the mountains

 Spoke at a leadership luncheon Prior to the Life Without Limbs event

 Had dinner with the pastoral team from the Abilities Church in Toronto Ontario

 Connected with a pastor from Ukraine and briefly discussed partnering with their ministry

 Battled various temptations to sin, which caused physical pain and lack of sleep

 Paid some bills

 Been feeling sick this last week

 Went grocery shopping

 Had lunch with a friend

 Did the 5K at the Calgary Marathon in 45 minutes on ZERO sleep

 3-4 of those days included 15+ hour days, not including the sleepless nights

With all my craziness this last week, I just wanna have some fun… and if you’ve had a rough time lately heres a few goofy videos to lighten your day

Jeff Dunham & Peanut cracking jokes (warning there is some swearing)

A video of Nick Vujicic (part 1)

Nick Vujicic (Part 2)

Nick Vujicic (Part 3)

Nick Vujicic (Part 4)


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


In his letter to the church at Philippi the Apostle Paul writes:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
Philippians 3:12-14

One thing that strikes me is what Paul’s realness in this confession. Paul “gets” something and strives toward one thing I often fall short of. Forgetting the past and moving on! I never claim to be a Curt Henning (that’s Mr. Perfect for those non wrestling fans out there.), I often will be the first one to admit that I have faults and screw up on things from time to time – you just don’t hear about them. I have a hard time forgetting about them.

Probably one of the hardest things to do after one stumbles in their relationship with God is to get back on the horse. Pick yourself up out of the muck and mire you’ve gotten yourself into, and keep on trucking. Sometimes this is easy for me to do. But there are other times I wallow for a day or two, throw myself a pity party and just sulk. It’s not that I don’t know that once God forgives me, my dirty past is now water under the bridge. It’s just one of those times I wish we had no memory.

With that said, I’m left wondering a few things. Why is it so hard to ask God to forgive you, then as a New Yorker might say – Fug-ge-da-bo-dit? Sunday afternoon, I attended an H2O session at Erik and Bonnie’s place. During the session Kyle, the guy on the video, mentioned how the church is supposed to be like a stream of clean water. Everyone is invited to come and drink from this stream. But because of its marred past, this pure stream has become polluted. I wonder if our ability to Fug-ge-da-bo-dit and keep on going, adds to the bad rep the church has built up over the years.

Thoughts comments or suggestions anyone?

cool new wheelchair

someone should bring this to canada

Friday, May 21, 2010

John Calvin and Calling: An Absolute Truth?

Theologian John Calvin once wrote: “And surely we may then safely triumph over our enemies when we are assured of having the call of God to the office which we hold, or the work in which we are engaged."

I don’t claim to be a Calvinist but as I was reading this (as difficult and wordy as his writings are); it leapt off the page at me. As far as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with God’s call in my life. When I entered college I was dead set on graduating with a youth ministry degree. This became my goal due to an influence by my own youth pastor. Prior to entering college my youth pastor told me she received a word from God regarding my future. Now she never claimed to be a prophet, or have the gift of prophecy enabling her to speak a word into lives, having it unequivocally come to pass 100% of the time. One of the things she shared was God wanting me to graduate with a youth ministry degree.

Fortunately, that part came to pass – but with some struggle. More then once, I questioned God’s call on my life to go into youth ministry. Every time that calling came into question, God confirmed that I was in the right place completing an appropriate call on my life. As I continue to follow God’s leading, I question Calvin’s above statement.

In a recent job interview, I was asked by the potential employer, after spending nearly a decade getting my degree, why I’m not pursuing a career as a youth minister. I responded by saying, since graduating, I feel a need to work within the disability community. Expanding on that thought I feel the need to use my gifts to bless them, and help usher them into God’s kingdom.

With this “change in calling,” on my mind I wonder if Calvin’s statement is absolutely true. That is, 100% true 100% of the time. Evaluating my current place in life, I find myself in a place where Calvin’s thoughts on God’s calling could be true. I’m currently involved in two churches. One works with the disability community helping to Guide them into God’s Kingdom. The other place of worship is in need of a youth minister and is a venue to exercise my years in Bible College and training in youth ministry.

After much prayer and considering where my walk with the Lord has led me, to date I don’t have an answer and wonder if I ever will. One thing is certain. I do feel a need to work with both churches and that I have the blessing of God to do both. Still doubt occasionally creeps in and I wonder if I’m double dipping running the risk of burning the candle of both ends, or if this is INDEED God’s way of saying: “Hey Tim, do both!” If experience has taught me anything this struggle with my calling will be ongoing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trusting Words From The Apostle Paul

Last night I heard an interesting quote regarding the life of the apostle Paul.

The resource that was the apostle Paul to the church was massive. And God gifts him and makes him into this person who is an apostle and a teacher and a preacher and the church gets established through those gifts. And yet those gifts because they get exhausted for Jesus lead him to prison.

He went on to talk about the trust Paul had put in Christ. The profound thing about the life of Paul was that amount of trust he put in his savior. Carrying the message of the Gospel, afforded him many scars as Paul’s mission took him before abusers and persecutors on numerous occasions (see 2 Cor 11:24-28). No matter how bad things got, Paul had this reassurance that everything was going to be alright. I would suggest maybe that’s why Paul was able to say

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.” (Philippians 1:20-22)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Slay The Dragon That So Often Slays Us

For most that know me, its no secret that the last few years I have participated in a 5 km run for a local charity. This year I have kept up my newfound tradition with a few changes. In January, I joined the Wheelchair Sports Alberta Athletic team. As time allows me, I’ve been training with them to participate in marathons and road races via a hand powered tricycle.

May 30 2010 will be my inaugural race as I participate in the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. I’ll be doing a 5 KM run in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Cancer is a beast that hits close to home as I’ve lost an aunt to lung cancer. Some close family friends have faced the beast that is cancer and unfortunately for me, have lost their battles. I also know some cancer survivors.

Bill Byzek (dead due to Lung Cancer)

Helen Schmidt ( aunt who lost her battle with lung cancer)

John Wilson (cancer survivor twice over)

Robin Mccleland (breast cancer survivor)

I am proud to call them friends and find myself continually inspired by their stories. It is with these people in mind, that I am doing this race in support of the cancer foundation.

If you are willing please be in my corner on that day by tossing some cash my way to slay the dragon that so often slays us. You can do so by going to my fundraising page here.

thanks for your time and support, Tim Bits

Humor for Mothers Day

Moments prior to yesterday's stabbing in North East Calgary, I was in the same mall’s flower shop deciding on the contents of the bouquet that my mother would receive in honor of mother’s day this past weekend. She called me around lunch time to thank me for the gift and rambled on how nice of a gift it was. Shortly after that, I check my email and see a few blogs I follow posted something in honor of mother’s day as well. Now mother’s day is fresh on my mind so I figured I would bring some humor to my blog in honor of mother’s day.

motherly advice from all moms across the board

A little soap & water never killed anybody.
Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
Answer me when I ask you a question!
Are you going out dressed like that?
Are your hands broken? Pick it up yourself! I'm not your maid!
Be good.
Bored! How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age.
Clean up after yourself!
Cupcakes are NOT a breakfast food! (Tell that to a bachelor lol)
Did you clean your room?
Did you flush?
Do you live to annoy me?
Do you think this is a hotel? You can't just come here only to sleep.
Don't ask me WHY. The answer is NO.
Don't cross your eyes or they'll freeze that way
Don't EVER let me catch you doing that again!

If you’re the musical type. You might like this ode to mom

Things you wouldn’t hear mom say:

"How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?"
"Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too"
"Just leave all the lights makes the house look more cheery"
"Let me smell that shirt -- Yeah, it's good for another week
"Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I'll be glad to feed and walk him every day."
"Well, if Timmy's mom says it's OK, that's good enough for me."
"The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It's not like I'm running a prison around here."
"I don't have a tissue with me...just use your sleeve"
"Don't bother wearing a jacket - the wind-chill is bound to improve."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dirty Laundry

Hand washing dirty laundry is not an easy task. In some countries people carry their laundry down to the river and spend most of the day getting their clothes clean. For those of us who have the luxury of washing machines, this might be tough to imagine. But for a moment, I want you to imagine what it would be like if you did have to take your clothes to a river each day. Sifting through your dirty laundry you find the sweaty t-shirt you wore on a hot summer day. Thinking it should be easy; you decide to clean that one first. Having success you gain some confidence and decide to tackle your pair of khakis. The ones with that spaghetti stain after the waiter dropped the plate at last night’s dinner date.

Grabbing them from your laundry basket you squirt on some liquid soap and start rubbing them together. It works! The little bits of onion that have glued themselves to the fabric are now coming off. All that’s left is the red stain left by the tomato sauce. With some enthusiasm you keep on rubbing. A couple minutes pass and all it’s doing is making the spaghetti stain bigger. Being persistent you grab your grandmother’s old washboard hoping it will help. Ten minutes pass and all that remains of last night’s spaghetti stain is a weird color scheme of pink and beige on the thigh of your light brown khakis. Now frustrated, you bring out your instant stain remover; soak them in some water and hang to dry; vowing never to do that again. There’s a great parallel with this story in the psalms I want to share with you today.

The psalms are a collection of prayers by God’s people alive during the time of the Old Testament. Some psalms are written as praise to God – either for his awesomeness, or for interceding at the right time. Some of these prayers are God’s people in their rawest moments venting out their frustrations and revealing their brute honesty. Then there are psalms written after God has exposed a person’s sin, leaving them feeling guilty, bearing the stains that sin leaves behind. And they long to be clean. The scripture used today comes from one of those psalms.

Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with your praise.
Psalm 51:7-15
(The Message)

Israel’s King David wrote this psalm shortly after the Lord exposed him as an adulterer who got Bathsheba pregnant. He attempted to cover it up, and then created a conspiracy to have her husband killed (2 Samuel 11). After being confronted about his conspiracy he writes psalm 51 as a prayer of repentance for sleeping with Bathsheba.

When reading this psalm it’s clear to see that David longs to be forgiven and to be free from the consequences of his actions (2 Sam 12:13-14). His longing to be clean can again be seen in David’s request to be scrubbed clean and not thrown out with the trash. When David asks God to scrub him clean, the actual word he uses suggests that David needed to vomit out of his body whatever sin was dwelling within him that was displeasing to God. David’s hope is that his life will be transformed, and he will teach people about God’s ways instead of breaking God’s law.

Everyone that wants to follow God faces an internal war. This internal tug of war is a struggle with our human nature that seeks to satisfy our most sinful impulses and desires. Greed, jealousy, racism, sexism, violence, sexual exploitation, and chauvinism are all examples of the impulses we struggle with when it comes to pleasing the Lord. These are also areas in our lives the devil tries to use to pull us away from God.

The bible tells us to resist the devil and he will leave us be (James 4:7). But how does someone do that? I have spent the last few weeks wrestling with this issue in an attempt to provide an answer, and I’m still left wondering. Perhaps you can provide one that applies to your own “stain of sin”. With that said, let me provide you with the following scripture verses to stimulate your thinking:

Eph 4:17-24
Eph 6:10-18

if you have any thoughts or comments regarding this, please feel free to share, Tim bits

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Wonderwall

At the moment, I’m sitting in front of my computer piecing together another devotional for my eventual book. This particular piece involves an interaction with Paul’s words on the armor of God in Ephesians 6. Verse 12 in particular is jumping off the page at me and causing my mind’s wheels to turn and get me thinking. It reads from the NIV like this:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

It's not so much the actual scripture itself that’s got the gears grinding in my head, as a commentary I’m reading about Paul’s words. Allan Turner writes:

I’ll get into discussions with people... those types of people can range from professing Christians, those curious about the bible, and those who outright oppose anything to do with Christianity. Some are dealt with peacefully. Other times, we both walk away with questions and curiosities to ponder until a later date, when the discussion continues. Then there are times when our confrontations become heated shouting matches. And the only real solution is for someone to referee the situation, tell the both of us to go to our corners of the ring, take off our gloves and call it a night.

Countless times I walk away from those heated arguments confused, angry, and wondering if my actions were that of a light on a hill, or an outrageous beast looking for a fight. Early on in my relationship with the Lord, I’ve known about this spiritual battle the bible speaks of. Even then I’ve always wondered why these heated arguments occur. Is it a case of right and wrong, and those of us involved are too stubborn to see the err of our ways? In my experience, sometimes that’s true. Or is it an angel and a demon locked inside a steel cage, with the gloves on, dueling it out until one wins by knock out or submission? This is a question I’ve always had ever since that first heated argument, and one I continually seek an answer for. Maybe this will be one of those questions only God has the answer too and I'll only get the answer too when I get there. Until then i'll be echoing the words of Liam Gallagher when he sang this from Wonderwall

And all the roads we have to walk along are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would
Like to say to you
I don't know how

Thoughts, opinions, or suggestions anyone?

Strength In Numbers

“Two heads are better then one” was a song I remember hearing on Sesame Street when I was a kid.

The great thing about the classic children’s song is that there is some truth behind it in every day life. The reality of strength in numbers is also reflected in scripture.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Proverbs 27 reads: Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Prov. 27:9 & 17).

This came to the forefront of my mind late last night. I was reflecting on my day and sharing about my laziness with a friend. She then encouraged me to end the day on a high note, by not dwelling on my slothful ways, and start the next day fresh by picking up the slack I incurred Monday. It’s about midway through the day and I already am feeling better and more productive about today, thanks to last night’s strength in numbers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Avatar, Christ, and The Peace Child: Hidden Gems Of God's Presence

This week, I, like thousands (if not millions) of others became the owner of James Cameron’s newest box office hit Avatar. Sitting and watching it a second time (yes you read correctly SECOND time), I find myself learning about the Na’vi and the world of Pandora all over again. By the way, Kudos to the script writers for how we learn of the Na’vi. For as Jake Sully is schooled we to become akin to Pandoric lifestyle.

One question Jake asks his army buddies are about Eywa – The deity and life source for all things Pandora. The one thing from which all living things originated, and to which all things return upon death. This parallels the biblical teaching of all human life came from dust and will return to upon death (Gen. 3:19).

One of the first things we learn about Sam Worthington’s character Jake is that he’s a paralytic marine. Contrary to popular belief, Jakes paralysis doesn’t disqualify him from active duty. His heart and determination are displayed with his desire to keep up with his fellow marines despite his lack of mobility. When Jake first uses his avatar, we learn that life as a Na’vi warrior is drastically different then the average human.Not only is the genetic make-up of the Na’vi different, but Jakes first exercise as an avatar is exactly that – physical exercise!

We see the paralytic Jake Sully wiggling his toes, shooting hoops with his colleagues, and running through the fields of Pandora with exceeding joy – possibly recalling the days of old, prior to his paralysis and able to use fully functioning legs again! Revelation 21:4 says: God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. This is another of many examples of what Don Richardson calls redemptive analogies.

What is a redemptive analogy? Playing on the idea that God can use anything to communicate to people, it’s the theory that all people groups, including tribal cultures – like the Na-vi for example – have practices or understandings embedded in their way of life that can be used to illustrate the gospel. Don Richardson used this method of communicating the gospel to a tribal people in the 1960’s.

In 1962, he took his young family from Prairie Bible Institute to live with a group of cannibalistic headhunters known as the Sawi in The Netherlands and share the gospel of Christ. Don and Carol Richardson’s first attempts at sharing about Jesus didn’t go over so well with the Sawi people. As Don told them about Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus, the Sawi were inspired to be like Judas and Jesus became a laughing-stock among the tribe. They had success much later after witnessing a peace offering between the Sawi and two other warring tribes.

Each tribe would give up one of the infant sons to be raised by their enemies. Along with this trade, each member of the tribe would take a vow of peace as long as the child lived. There is no chance that a warring tribesman would kill the peace child as such an act was dubbed the ultimate sin. In this case, the ritual was especially poignant because one of the peace children was an only son . The Richardson’s were able to use this story as a parallel to Christ. Consequently, many decided to follow Jesus, and this led to a plethora of activities including having the New Testament translated into their native tounge. The Richardson’s mission in the Netherland jungle initially involved the young family showing the Sawi people that Christ had been imbedded in the tribes own mythology.

I wonder if the same could apply to the Na’vi of Pandora. From what we learn of Pandora, is there a Christ figure embedded in “the Na’vi way”? Where do you see Christ in Pandora and/or Avatar? Or even those who hold the same views about the natural world and humankind’s sense of being and existence. I see similarities between Pandora and the gospel of Christ, what about you?