Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
If patience is a virtue
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
I'm sooo not virtuous...
Well, we've had a couple of ppl come to the house so far, but still no official offers. The waiting is driving me nuts. I hope to get this whole house business done soon.
On a brighter note, the World Cup of Hockey
has started which means I will be watching some serious hockey for the next 2 weeks!!!!! Yahhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My poor wife, a hockey widow again,
Saturday, August 28, 2004
but, mostly bad...Had a visit from my friend this weekend (one of the radicals who is now living in Taiwan...see testimony). It was a good time. We chatted on the state of the Land, theological questions like infant/child salvation and shared news on common friends. It was good.I also met up with another friend last night while doing open-air evangelism. This particular friend is a police officer now, he was on duty when I saw him across the street. We spoke for a few minutes and promised each other to have coffee sometime. For a street preacher, having a cop friend is a really good thing...LOL.It wasn't all good though. The spiritual bankruptcy of Canada still manages to shock me. 2+ hours of preaching the gospel last night and very little to show for it. At one point, I was preaching about the destructive nature of sin when a brand new corvette drove up right across the street from where I was preaching. A few minutes later, middle-aged man and a young lady (wearing clothes that left little to the imagination) walked to the car, and as the man pulled out a camera, the young lady stretched out lustfully on the hood of the car. The man took the picture and they all had a big laugh. All of this with the gospel being preached in the background. The hearts are hard.We (my pastor and I) did have a good conversation with a young Italian fellow. He asked the right questions, but in the end, he couldn't except that his sin was separating him from God. Maybe he'll turn to the Bible and acknowledge his sin...who knows."Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity." (Psalm 118: 25)
A good old fashion scolding...
Friday, August 27, 2004
now you're all going to get it...
Master eff, you can ignore this post. All of my other readers, pay close attention.
Reading my posts without commenting is like someone who walks into my house, opens the refrigerator door, helps himself (herself) to a sandwich and then takes off. So please, pretty please, with lots of sugar and honey on top:
YOU BUNCH OF REFRIGERATOR-RAIDERS YOU!!! (LOL)(for those of you who weren't blessed with a sense of humor, this post was written with tongue in cheek)
Take therefore no thought for the morrow
Thursday, August 26, 2004
man! that's a tough one...
So we have someone coming over to possibly make an offer of on our home this Saturday. We've put our house up for sale (privately) 'cause the family is growing and the house, well, isn't. We presently have a 2 bedroom house that we really love, but 5 people in a 2 bedroom just isn't very practical.
I'm kind of anxious about the whole process, though I try not to be (not having much success).
On a lighter note, one of my "radical" friends (see testimony post) is in town from Taiwan where he teaches English. We're probably getting together this weekend so that should be fun. I also have a church picnic scheduled this weekend. Man!!! busy! busy! busy!
Worth checking out
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
for those who don't like nasty surprises...
Don't you just hate renting a movie, or worst, going to the movies thinking you're going to see something quite tame since it has a PG or PG-13 rating, and finding out, much too late, that it should have been rated R?
Well, I was just told about a site, by Focus on the Family, that reviews and rates movies, it's called plugged-in online
. This site is great! It breaks down movies into "spiritual content", sexual content (and it doesn't have to be total nudity for them to issue some kind of warning), violent content, profanity (and they include taking the Lord's name in vain) ... etc...etc.
The things we write...
who needs a lie-detector...
Couple of situations in the last couple of weeks made me realize just how much we reveal about ourselves in the things we write. With the emergence of e-mail, internet forums and yes, blogs, more and more people are writing, and revealing things that in real life, they'd probably strive to keep hidden.
And there is good in this, but there is a whole lot of bad in it too. For example: A serious Christian knows not to mock or call others names, especially mocking fellow believers. The Bible is full or verses on the matter (Matthew 5:22 ; Psalm 64:2-3; James 3:9-18...for example). Yet on many so-called Christian forums I visit, I read words like: "idiot", "stupid", "fool", and all in relation to a person (or persons).
So, where am I going with this?
My point: the things we write are often a clear indication of what is in our hearts (Matthew 15:7-20). If you call someone an idiot in an e-mail/post, then it's a pretty sure bet that you would be thinking the very same thing if you met that someone in person. And the thought makes you as guilty as if you said it (Matthew 5: 27-28).
Watch yourselves my brothers and sisters.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
I love being a Dad!!!
Monday, August 23, 2004
time to lighten things up...
I woke up this morning to the sound of my 1-1/2 year old girl calling:
She's still working on pronouncing "mommy". My wife was in the shower so I got up and picked her out of the crib. Once in my arms she pointed to her bed and said:
Bibi (her version of "baby") refers to a doll she's been carrying around with her that last couple of days. So I reached down and took Bibi and she quickly snatched the doll out of my hand and embraced it. You should see my little pumpkin taking care of this doll...it's hilarious! She'll feed it, put it to bed, take it for wagon rides, she'll even put her on the potty!!! (LOL)
To think I wasn't sure if I wanted kids when I was first married...
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. " Psalm 127 : 3-5
My testimony (conclusion)
Sunday, August 22, 2004
welcome back preacher...
After 3 years in Montreal, we moved back to the city my wife and I met. It felt good returning to a smaller more conservative city. I got a job with a federal research institute and my wife started work on our first child.
Returning to the AGC was out of the question; our doctrinal positions had shifted way too much for that. So we became members of the "church planting" mission I attended with my old "radical" friends (it's an independent Baptist church mission). It was and continues to be a very small fellowship, but the quality of the preaching is second to none. The pastor, though far from perfect, is definitely one of the most holy men I know; I've learned a great deal from him both in doctrine and in practice.
Through his influence, I've become a street preacher, a "substitute" pastor (when the real McCoy is away) and a Sunday school teacher...three positions I never would have thought myself qualified, or able, to fulfill. But with practice and the working of the Holy Spirit, I believe I'm doing well. I give God all the glory for the ability to do these most important jobs, I'm a really nervous guy by nature (LOL).
So that's who and where I am today. There are struggles and hardships, but the blessing of the Lord continues to be on me and my home. The Lord gave my wife and I 2 beautiful healthy children (plus one on the go), all the physical/material blessings a person could want, and the spiritual blessings have been abundant. Like Abraham, despite my various shortcomings, the Lord has blessed me beyond measure and I am thankful.
Praise the Lord! (Psalm 117)
My testimony (part 4)
Saturday, August 21, 2004
whoa! what a trip...The AGC (associated gospel church) I was now attending had much better preaching than the Pentecostal church of my youth. But it was only slightly better than the Baptist church I had just left. But one thing the AGC had over both...it had a whole lot of people! And in that crowd I found 4-6 young men that craved to know God more and seek to live truly holy lives.We radicals (LOL) started a Bible study/prayer meetings on Saturday nights. While other 20 year olds went out to bars, dance clubs and coffee shops, we met at each others houses, studied great doctrines like Dispensationalism, Calvinism, Bible Separation, Pre-Suppositionalism, Inspiration and Preservation. We would conclude our study with an hour (sometimes more) of heartfelt prayer.We quickly became inseparable. We would hang out 3-4 times a week, debating and encouraging one another. It was a blessed time. It came to pass, after a year of studying the Bible together, that pretty much the whole group became dissatisfied with the AGC we were attending. So all of us together went out and found ourselves a small "church planting" mission in the city that represented our doctrinal views and we would attend a bible study there on Wednesday nights.We sometimes let some girls in our inner-circle, and the young lady that had publicly welcomed me was always there. We became good friends and after 3 years of friendship, we got married.Marriage and careers quickly put an end to the inner-circle since most of the gang got jobs in different cities (some in different countries). Rook and I ended up in Montreal for 3 years where we searched endlessly for a church that would fit our particular doctrinal views (Fundamental, Calvinistic, Separated, Pre-Millenial, Soul-Winning). We couldn't find anything!!! I tried on numerous occasions to just try and ignore the points that I disagreed with, but it was just too aggravating. We ended up having to drive an hour to go to a church that was of like faith. This went on for a couple of years.stay tuned for the conclusion...
My testimony (part 3)
Friday, August 20, 2004
the light at the end of the tunnel, may be...
"The Lord...", I thought to myself one day. I had been through two years of anger and ungodliness and boom! just like that, the thought popped into my head (thank you Holy Spirit!) .
So I started going to church again. Being away from home, I chose a Baptist church. The preaching was OK, but I didn't know anyone in that church. There weren't too many people my age either, so the quality and quantity of fellowship I was getting was poor. It wasn't totally unprofitable mind you. I had started praying again, I was once again putting my nose in the Bible, and I had put an end to my drinking.
Loneliness was a problem though. I would read the Scriptures and tell myself: "yeah, this is all good and dandy...but am I expected to live this all by my little lonesome? No one my age or in my particular situation is living this way!"
So I would try to live right. Spend my time with God. Study hard. I was somewhat successful, but there was no joy, no happiness in my life. And that's when the Spirit went to work again.
Coming home from grocery shopping one night, I passed a large church. I had no idea what denomination it was, but in the front window was a schedule and on it were the following words: "College and Careers - Thursday 7 pm". "Hmmmm..." I thought, "might be worth checking out." So I did.
On Thursdays my classes ended early, so I hopped on a bus and just rode it around town until 7 pm. I would do that from time to time. Just ride around town, thinking about my problems (some real, some imagined), and generally felt sorry for myself (pretty pathetic huh?). Anyway, at 6:30 pm I made it to the church. My expectations weren't at all high. I imagined myself sitting next to two or three University freshmen and having a quiet Bible study.
As I sat down and looked around. Sure enough, there was about three or four students also seated. But as 7 pm approached more students started entering.
I couldn't believe it!!! By 7 pm, there were about 100 students crammed into a small room of what I would later find out was an Associated Gospel Church. We all sang some hymns and then a young lady went up to the front and said:
"Ok, it's time for introductions, so we'll go around a get everyone's names."
At first I was afraid of standing out as the "College and Careers newbie", but to my surprise there were other newbies that night. When my turn came, I gave my first name and the young lady replied:
"You're new here aren't you?"
"Yeah", I answered
Then, as per their tradition, they all clapped to welcome me to the group. The whole meeting was uplifting. The hymns, the study, the prayer, and the fellowship was just what I needed. I left the church that night, and for the first time in years, I was happy. I actually felt good.
Little did I know at the time that that first meeting would be the beginning of an incredible spiritual voyage...and little did I know that the young lady who welcomed me that night would one day be my wife and the mother of my children.
to be continued...
My testimony (part 2)
Pride cometh before a fall...
High School was an amazing time for me. I had academic success, I had good friends (not all Christian, but quality people), and the Lord blessed me in every conceivable way. I finished High School with the 2nd best GPA and I had won 3 scholarships for post-secondary education. I was the toast of my parents, my friends and even my adversaries were humbled. I was on top of the world.
It didn't take long for my sin to sink me like a rock in the ocean. My first year of University was a Class A disaster! I fell into lust (as opposed to love) with the wrong woman, I had stopped going to church, and I started drinking. My grades went from above average to below...well below average. I had lost the woman I wanted, I was academically ruined, and the new "friends" I had made turned out to be of the "fair weather" type.
I was lost. Despair and anger had taken over. My "social drinking" had become alcoholism. Defeated and broken, I took up several summer jobs in order to keep from pondering on my disastrous school year. Come Fall, I decided to leave University for good and instead take a biotech course at a technical college.
Academically, things got better in college, but my own personal problems remained. Drinking was still a problem and most of my time was spent locked up in my room, feeling bitter and angry. I would just sit there and listen to the sounds of the Smashing Pumpkins and Alice in Chains, their lyrics filled with the feelings I was experiencing. This went on for 2 years.
to be continued...
My testimony... (part 1)
Thursday, August 19, 2004
I'm not going to spend any time on my time before the second birth; it is sufficient for this post to simply know that I was a nominal Roman Catholic (like my parents) and I really didn't think about anything spiritual. On Sunday mornings, I would be out on my bike, riding around town with my friends.
Well, one Sunday morning (like so many ones before), I was riding around town waiting for my friends to wake up and join me. I stopped at a street corner, wondering which direction I would go next when across the way, I saw my mother walking towards a small church. I called out to her and asked: "Where you going Mom?"
"I'm going to this Baptist church this morning."
"Can I come?" I asked eagerly.
"No, I'd rather not, I want to check the place out first," she replied.
With that, she walked away and it was at that moment that the Holy Spirit regenerated my dead soul and I was born again (Ephesians 2
). I remember my first spiritual thought:
"Hey! this is Sunday! People who love God go to church on Sunday!"
I never thought or cared about anything like that before. So at 12 years of age, Rand was a born-again child of God!
Anyway, my Mom was saved a short time before that day, and she was looking for a church that would teach the Bible. Being saved, I had a thirst for the knowledge of God, so I started praying and reading the Word of God on my own. I convinced my Mom to let me join her in her quest to check out every church in town (Anglican, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, United, Jehovah's Witness...etc), in the hopes of finding THE CHURCH that would teach us the Bible and nothing but the Bible. Funny thing, we ended up at the Baptist church we started in.
A couple of years later, through the testimony of my mother and I, my father was saved. Which was really good, but a problem arose. My father's english wasn't great (he had trouble understanding the sermons). So we ended up leaving the english Baptist church and we joined a french Pentecostal church. The quality of the preaching wasn't too hot, but I nevertheless walked with the Lord thoughout my high school years.
(to be continued)
Why a blog...
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
I was asked why I started this blog yesterday (another mir reference) and I thought the question should be adequately answered. I insinuated in my first post that I was being pushed into starting a blog, but that isn't the whole story.
So why did I start a blog?
I started it because I think I need an out for all the thoughts floating in my head. Since my conversion, the Lord has brought me through some pretty harsh AND some pretty wonderful experiences. Some of these experiences are quite "unique" and I find that often, because of their uniqueness, it is difficult to find someone to talk about these things. So I find myself analyzing these experiences in my head, and it doesn't take long that the "old Pentium" gets weary of all the work (no comments!).
For example: A fellow believer
I met in a forum a few weeks ago asked me about "open air" evangelism. He wanted to know how I did it, what was the response, do others do it...So on and so forth. That's when I realized: "there are probably people out there who would be interested in reading about your experiences Rand!"
So there you go! That's why I started a blog. Mental health and the hope that I can comfort or challenge anyone who would take the time to read a post by a "quirky fundy Christian".
I think I'm almost done with the "intro. To the blog" posts. Maybe 1-2 more. I know they're kind of dry, but I think they're important.
A bit about me...
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
I'm not a very paranoid person by nature, but I really don't like volunteering too much information out to an unknown public. That is why I will keep specific personal information (name, specific location, age...etc) to a minimum.
That being said, I'm aware that reading a blog of someone you know nothing about isn't really cool. So, let's give you a little bit about me.
My nick is Rand. Rand is a character in a popular anime TV series called Robotech
. Why did I pick a cartoon character's name for my nick? Several reasons. But chiefly his style and attitude ressembles mine; he's resourceful, direct, and supportive. And I believe it is that last epithet that best describes me (and Rand). I don't believe I'm at my best when I'm in the shadows or in the limelight. Rather I usually find myself in the company of truly remarkable men and women, where I quickly become their help, and they become my examples. I don't know if that sounds pathetic to some of you, but I must say, it's been a blest experience so far.
As you've seen in my "About Me" section, I'm Canadian. But don't let that fool you. In ideology I'm much more of an American than a Canadian. Don't get me wrong, I love being Canadian. I don't think I could live with a winter where there wasn't at least a foot of snow on the ground and life without Hockey Night in Canada
is a thought I just can't bear (LOL). But in politics, in matters of faith, and culture I find that I'm more at home with my American neighbors.
I have a son and a daughter (in that order) and my wife is working on # 3 (due at end of December). I work for a research institute as a technician where I do all sorts of weird and nerdy experiments that would bore you to death if I tried to explain it.
I'm a Baptist Fundamentalist and when I'm not home or at work, I'm at church. When it comes to my faith, I will go into detail in a future post. Might put down my testimony, we'll see.
And I will leave at that for now, for more on information on me, I guess you'll just have to stay tuned.
And so it begins...
Sunday, August 15, 2004
After months of resisting my friend's (mir) continued and relentless coaxing, I'm starting my own blog. Now I haven't figured out yet what exactly I will post on this site (though I have some ideas), but it's a pretty sure bet it will contain a lot of fundamental Christian material.
So...please stand by...we'll be putting something together soon...