March
25

 

Here is my long long overdue book review of “The Gospel According to LOST”, by Chris Seay.  I have seen similar books before that compare POP culture topics to the gospel, but this would be the first time I have ever read through one.

This was a very quick and easy read. It only took me a few sittings to get through the book.  I am a big fan of the show, and the show of course has been a major hit both in viewing ratings and online forums and blogs discussing every aspect of the show.  What does this mean, what does that mean…fans scour the Internet looking for insight into the show.

The book is breaks down into chapters based on each character.  I thought that was interesting, and would be good when speaking with people that would be fans of the show to capture their attention and relate gospel topics into something they know.  It might get them talking more or be more receptive.

I would recommend people to read the book as it would get them thinking how they also could take POP culture topics and explore faith more deeply with them.  This book takes something that most fans of the show would be open to further discussion anyway as that is what fans of the show do.  It would help in building community with fans of the show.

February
8

Much has went on over the past couple of months, which has taken focus away from updating the blog.  Catalyst was on hold for a while, we have it running again with a temporary speaker on the AM, while I focus on a family matter. Here is a short recap of the last session we had on Crazy Love before the break.

The title of this session was “When You’re In Love”

When you are in love you go to great lengths to be with the one you love.  I remember everything I would do when I first met my wife.  The back and forth driving, the late nights…just to be able to spend a few minutes after work with her.  The many times I would phone her in the payphone while working (this was before cell phones and txt’ing).

The question that was dropped at the start of this sessions was “Are we deeply in love with Jesus Christ?” 

Many times, we will just say, “Yes”.  But we need to examine our lives and see if that is really the case.  Even as I type this recap, I am examining some things in my life, and it is gut check time, are there changes to be made, focus to give.  Let’s be honest.

Are we craving a genuine love relationship with Him?

Galatians 5:13-14

Why are the words of Psalm 63:1-5 not an honest reflection of our lives most days?

Are we fooling ourselves? Can we really be in love with God and that it would be the most satisfying aspect of our lives?

God wants to change us, He died so that we could change. But are we letting Him change us?

Revelation 3:20

James 4:8

John 10:10

Not in the future, but in the now.

As we begin to focus more on Christ, loving Him and others becomes more natural.  As long as we are pursuing Him, we are satisfied in Him. It is when we stop actively loving Him that we find ourselves restless and gravitating towards other means of fulfillment.

We can experience closeness with God…these verses can help us communicate with Him.

Psalm 131:2

Psalm 4:7-8

Psalm 16:11

Psalm 28:7

Psalm 90:14

Psalm 119:111

Tell God:

  • that you want Him to change you
  • that you love to genuinely enjoy Him
  • how you want to experience true satisfaction and pleasure and joy in your relationship with Him
  • that you want to love Him more than anything on this earth
  • that you want to treasure the kingdom of heaven so much that you’d willingly sell everything in order to get it
  • what you like about Him
  • what you appreciate
  • what you struggle with
  • what you are angry about
  • what causes you to get frustrated
  • that you want to experience His love
  • how you feel
  • what is really important to you
  • what isn’t important to you
  • that you want Him to change you
January
6

Here is the recap from the second Catalyst talk in the series, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.

The title was “Profile of the Lukewarm”.  The talk was back in November on the 29th.

Fact: Jesus is not interested in those who fake it.

Is there evidence of the kingdom of God in your life?

Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things that can distract us away from Christ?

Hard hitting scripture to think about – Phil 3:10

Would you describe yourself as in love with Jesus Christ? Or do the words halfhearted, lukewarm, and partially committed fit better?

Lukewarm people attend church – Isaiah 29:13

They give money to charity and the church – I Chron 21:24, Luke 21:1-4

Don’t really want to be saved from their sin – John 10:10, Rom 6:1-2

Moved by radical stories about what people are doing for Christ  - James 1:22, James 4:17, Matt 21:28-31

Rarely share their faith – Matt 10:32-33

Gauge themselves to the secular world – Luke 18":11-12

Jesus is a part of their lives; only a part – Luke 9:57-62

Love God, but not with all of their heart, soul and strength – Matt 22:37-38

Love others, but do not try to love others as they love themselves – Matt 5:43-47, Luke 14:12-14

Will serve God and others, but there are limits on what they will do – Luke 18:21-25

Jesus said, Luke 14:31-33

Jesus asks for everything.

When you go through all the scripture that Chan uses, it is quite an eye opening and challenging chapter of the book. It did stir up some comments and lots of questions from those in attendance in Catalyst that morning.

December
18

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog.  I need to get back into a regular groove. 

In Catalyst we have been going through a series called “Crazy Love”, based on the Francis Chan book of the same title.

This session was November 15. Here is a quick recap.

  • Creation is simply amazing. God as creator, made over 350,000,000,000 (est.) galaxies. Generations of people never knew they existed.  What is our response when we look up on a clear summer evening and see the expansive universe?
  • Look at the intricate detail of creation.  A caterpillar as 228 distinct muscles in its head.  The precision of the human body on how it all works together when healthy.  For instance, when you study how insulin is produced and regulated in someone without diabetes…when it doesn’t work you have the different forms of diabetes.  Precision.
  • Whatever God’s reason are to make such diversity, creativity and sophistication the point of it all is for His glory.
  • We are called to worship Him.  All creation echo the truth that He is glorious.

How do we learn to know God? Here are some basic and crucial points about God. Scriptures used somewhere under each point when teaching are in brackets.

  • God is Holy – This means He is set apart, distinct from us. Perfectly set apart, with nothing and no one to compare Him to. (Exodus 3:14)
  • God is eternal – We all had a beginning. Everything in creation had at one point in time a start to their existence, a specific time.  Everything that is but God.  He always had been, since before there was an earth.  Big bang…only when God spoke into existence the beginning of time, I guess there may have been some sort of big bang (not the scientific theory). (Psalm 102:12, 27)
  • God is all-knowing – We can fool some people about who we really are.  Put on the masks.  But that is impossible with God. He knows us deeply and specifically. (Hebrews 4:13)
  • God is all-powerful – Colossians 1:16, tells us everything was created for God.  We live though as if God is created for us, to do what ever we what.  Maybe we have watched too many Aladdin movies from Walt Disney. (Pslam 115:3, Daniel 4:35)
  • God is fair and just – God is the only being who is good, and the standards are set by Him. (Proverbs 8:13)

When we stand in the awed silence before a mighty, fearsome God, whose tremendous worth becomes even more apparent as we see our own puny selves in comparison.

I will be posting recaps of session’s 2 & 3 soon (or at least that is the plan)

November
9

Here a recap from the last Catalyst session we had a couple of weeks ago. This past Sunday was a special Remembrance Day service and we did not have a session.

This was part 4 of 4 in the Social Justice series, titled “We Can Do Something”. 

There is a always a question that people ask themselves when they encounter the issues of social justice.  They see the issues, the needs, the hurts etc  and wonder what could I, one person do?  God uses some ordinary people to accomplish some great things….just open the Bible read a few narratives, see where these people came from, were called out from.  Then read the beginning of the Book of Acts, specifically Acts 1:8.

These were the scriptures we used in the session:

Ephesians 2:10, Micah 6:8, Isaiah 1:17, I Peter 3:15, I John 3:17, Matthew 23:23, John 10:10

  • Seeking justice is the task of bringing the truth and power to bear on behalf of those who are oppressed.
  • There are roles for everyone to engage in Social Justice
  • Pastors, Teachers etc…need to be teaching about the God of Justice. Teaching about the authority of the Word of God, to know God’s passion for justice.  They can show us how God can use everyone to meet the needs of social justice.
  • Frontline workers…live in the communities where the victims of abuse live. Living and working among the poor.
  • There are so many gifted, talents of people that can help meet the needs of the oppressed, Christians that are trained as police officers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, business, politicians, cooks etc.  These talents and skills can be used to help meet the needs of these people in situations not just in places around the globe, but in the neighbourhoods and communities that they travel to work in everyday.
  • Poetry, art, music, video, these are creative talents that can be used to help capture and tell the story to others to show what is happening.  To help bring awareness and attention.
  • No matter what talent a person has, God can use it to help someone in need.

We ended the session and the series with the following two scriptures:

Luke 10:25-37, Matthew 25:31-46

The next series starting next week is based on the book by Francis Chan, called “Crazy Love”.

November
7

Here is another Thomas Nelson Blogger Book Review

Finished this book about a month ago.  Here is the review of the second book by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. To start I never read the first book, so jumping into the second one had me thinking I may not be able to follow some of it. 

Even though I didn’t read the first one, as I started with the chapters, the authors were able to include enough info to help me follow along. It is a really easy and quick read. The book is a result of the success of the first one, and includes details of what has been the outcome since that book was written.

This book has enough challenges in it, that I found myself underlining and make notes in the margin to use as quotes when teaching and speaking.  Throughout the book I found myself thinking, very strong point of view and it we could only apply that to our lives, what a difference it would make.

Here is a sample quote,

If all the Christians – I mean all of ‘em – got outta the pews on Sundays and into the streets, we’d shut the city down.

We’d shut down hunger

We’d shut down loneliness

We’d shut down the notion that there is any such of a thing as a person that don’t deserve a kind word and a second chance. (Pg 56)

I would recommend this book…it will not take long to get through, but you will make many mental notes as you make your way through the pages.

October
30

Getting this post out late.  Been meaning to get to it all week.

This past Sunday we completed session 3 of 4 that we are doing in Catalyst on Social Justice.

We talked about hope. 

With everything that we have talked about in regards to Social Justice and all the issues and problems ongoing in the world. There are 4 aspects of God character that we can trust in: (I am listing the scriptures we used for each aspect/trait)

  1. Justice – Isaiah 30:19, Isaiah 61:8, Ecclesiastes 4:1, Psalm 10:13-14, Psalm 11:5-7, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Psalm 146:5-20
  2. Compassion – Psalm 145:9, Exodus 3:7, Exodus 22:26-27, Psalm 9:9-12, Psalm 12:5, Lamentations 3:36, James 5:4, Isaiah 53:3, John 11:33-35, Acts 1:8
  3. Morals – Isaiah 59:2+16, Jeremiah 5:28-29, Jeremiah 21:12, Amos 2:6-7, Zechariah 7:8-12, Luke 11:42
  4. Rescue – Psalm 10:13-18, Psalm 35:10, Psalm 140:12, Jeremiah 20:13, Luke 4:18

Stayed tuned for the Facebook Event announcements for the Catalyst Meet-Ups. 

This Sunday we close out the series….next series on the horizon, Crazy Love, based on the book by Francis Chan.

October
24

Last weekend we had an All Nations Sunday at Calvary Church.

I had forgot about that special service….I had sent a Facebook invite out to Catalyst that we would have a gathering. Just before service started Pastor asked if we should stay up for the special service. We decided we would because we wouldn’t have enough time to get through everything.

Catalyst will be on tomorrow and we should have the annoucement for the 1st MeetUp next Friday.

October
11

This past weekend there was no Catalyst due to the installation service of Bishop Hanscom and Pastor Jeremy. It was a great service to be a part of today.

We are half done the series on Social Justice.  2 down and 2 more to go.  This upcoming weekend we will be back at it. Also, it should the first Catalyst Meet-Up.  This is where members of Catalyst will gather somewhere in the city and discuss the topic we have covered in the Sunday Catalyst gathering. The meeting place will be announced Sunday and through the Facebook group.

I am also planning the next couple of series…the next series will be based off the book by Francis Chan, “Crazy Love”, this book is amazing. The following one may be based on txt messaging, and Facebook/Twitter DMs…..where I will take questions from Catalyst throughout the week and preCatalyst and answer and teach based off the questions. 

October
8

This past weekend we continued our series on Social Justice.

We dove into some scripture that talks about how we should not be surprised that we live in a world that has so many injustices.

Job 24:2-4, 9-10

Psalm 37:14

Isaiah 3:14

Lamentations 5:11-13

Ezekiel 22:29

Joel 3:3

Amos 1:13

We got into a good discussion when I mentioned that Jesus was born into a situation that can be classified as one of the most brutal acts of injustice ever, Matthew 2:16.  Can you imagine if you went to a Christmas production and they had their drama take on that angle. 

Read: Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 6:14-15, Acts 1:8 as you engage into Social Justice issues.

I closed with a quote from Ed Stetzer tweeted on Twitter Saturday night…”When James speaks of ‘faith without works,’ the example he uses is social justice. Faith caring is dead faith.”

Matthew 14:27 “Take courage, It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

I also continued to stress the fact that being Apostolic, means social justice is at the core of who we are…read scripture and it is without a doubt, Jesus calls us to engage.

October
2

This past Sunday AM we had our first meeting of Catalyst.  We are rewinding the Social Justice series from 2008, as we never completed that series.  I spoke the first message again, this time however, I added more ideas on how being Apostolic means social justice takes on quite a significance.  If you examine scripture from the Psalms, to the words Jesus spoke, actions that Jesus did, actions and behaviours of the Apostles…social justice is important; very important.  In fact, I would say that when you are engaged in acts and needs of others, the “least of these”…it allows for you as an individual to connect with what the spirit of Christ is already doing in that situation.  We dove into more of this, and will continue to explore the subject of Social Justice…the goal is not just to be studying, talking…..but to take it to a new dynamic.

This week, we will be speaking in the AM again, and plan for the first meet-up of Catalyst the following week.

I also announced that every 2 months to 1.5 months, we will be having Catalyst At Night gathering in the main sanctuary on Sunday evenings.  This is not a break out session or service, but rather we are going to brand the evening service as Catalyst At Night.  I will be speaking, and we will be adding some additional elements from Catalyst.  Should be good. 

September
16

Tim Sanders today has relaunched his book, “Saving the World At Work”.

Click here to visit the relaunch page

TESTIMONIAL:
“With intelligence and passion, Tim Sanders reveals the new competitive logic of business: Being great now depends on being good.  Whether you’re in the boardroom or the mailroom, you owe it to yourself to read Saving The World at Work and to begin putting into practice its powerful lessons.” Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind


I plan on ordering my copy….I recommend that you purchase one as well.

September
10

I have finally gotten around to posting the review of the book “Collapse of Distinction” by Scott McKain.  This is part of the Thomas Nelson – Book Review Bloggers program

The title and subtitle grabbed my attention right away, the subtitle is “Stand out and move up while your competition fails”. When I started reading it I went into the book and thought is this only going to be a book for business or will it be able to be applied to church as well.  I think the concepts and principles in the book are valuable in both cases.

McKain does a good job in describing how business’ struggle with sameness. The pitfalls of being the same as everyone else. He also tells you what to do about it. How to stand out, to become distinct.

One of the first things that caught my attention was when McKain wrote that many business’ focus on not losing to the competitor.  He says that we should be focusing on the customer instead. What the customer really wants.  I believe we can give lip service to this and say we are customer driven or focused.  But I think this book gives good insight it making that a reality rather then just a good statement on the company website.

The customer must get the sense or the experience in dealing with your business or church that they have received exceptional value in that experience.  Or a compelling experience.

McKain describes three levels of business or professional differentiation:

  1. Sameness
  2. Differentiation
  3. Distinction

He also goes into detail on 4 cornerstones

  1. Clarity
  2. Creativity
  3. Communication
  4. Customer-Experience Focus

I am in the midst of starting a new business venture and I plan on reading through this book again and building in concepts of this book into my business from the get-go. I recommend this book to any business leader, church leader…especially those that are just starting out.

September
9

Saturday night I sent out the message to the Facebook Group about Catalyst.  Catalyst is being relaunched at Calvary Church. When it is relaunched it will be bigger then last year’s Catalyst.  Those that were on Facebook Saturday night, Sunday morning or on their mobile device stepped into the service Sunday morning with a little pre-service information.

Sunday morning, Pastor Jer in the AM spoke on the changes happening at Calvary Church. Part of what he spoke was the relaunch of Catalyst. Catalyst is unique to itself at Calvary Church, and it is being led by my wife and I. It is also a department by itself. There was lots to cover in the AM, and Pastor Jer couldn’t go into all the fine details of what this change to Catalyst meant.  That being said, there were some questions by some people after the service.

This upcoming Sunday morning we will be having a “Catalyst Remixed”. This will be a time to go into the changes in a little more detail.  I will also take questions and provide answers. 

There are reasons that we are going to relaunch Catalyst the way we are.  Primarily, with just being a Sunday morning class, it was too restricted, and couldn’t maximize its potential.

September
5

It is official this September Catalyst is once again launching at Calvary Church.  This time around there will be more to Catalyst then just a Sunday morning experience. I met with Pastor Jeremy this week and we discussed how we needed to take this to the next level. 

Catalyst will be for 19-35 Singles, College and Careers.  Sorry, those that are married will not be able to attend, even though some have asked me if they can.

Look for the new trailer announcement coming on Facebook in the main sanctuary soon.  The first series will be the one we never did finish in 2008 due to my family interm’ing in Cornwall.  That series was on Social Justice.

Again, there will be multiple ways to connect with Catalyst, this blog, Facebook Group, and following me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/regbertrand).

There are a few things that we are still developing….but see you soon.

August
16

Things are progressing with my study for my mortgage agent license. I have completed 11 modules in the course book, and have booked my exam for September 4th. 

I have launched my websites and Facebook Fan page for this new business. I plan on making use of social media for marketing this business and will post more about how I plan on doing this soon.  One of the things I would like to do is explore some features of the Facebook Fan page where I can implement an online application tab within Facebook. 

I also got word this Friday night that Catalyst will be starting again in September. I will be meeting with Pastor Jer to talk over some of the past experience when Catalyst was going in 2008. Also to get some of his expectations for Catalyst.  I have some opinions on how it should launch.

 

Tags: , ,

August
8

This past week we have been camping in the Whitewater region near Renfrew, ON.

It has been relaxing being in the outdoors, even if I haven’t been sleeping the greatest in the tent.

I spent some time down at the lake tonight before supper with my oldest son. It was nice just looking out over the lake and the surrounding trees. We also spent some time talking.

It definately is a change of pace being out here. I like it, it reminds me of the series I taught in Catalyst called “God is Green”.

Tomorrow, I might try and rent a canoe for an hour or a kayak.

August
5

I am posting from my Blackberry, sitting around the campfire. So there will not be any links to content mentioned in this post.

One of my last posts was about my lack of reading recently.

On my wishlist was the book by Francis Chan, “Crazy Love”. Last week, I noticed a tweet by Don Ryan that he was reading the book and loved it. He also mentioned that it would challenage you.

I picked it up last Friday at Borders in the Poconos. I am really liking the book, and agree with Don, it challenages you.

I am just under half way through at this point. Looking forward to finishing the rest of the book.

August
2

Here are some more photos from the recent ABA BMX Racing National event Soul BMX Racing competed in.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.

July
23

Lack of Reading

Posted In: Books by reg

This past week I have noticed a decrease in the amount of reading I am actively doing.  I usually have a few books on the go, 2-3.  I have started a couple awhile ago, and was making my way through them…but then I realized this week it has been awhile since I had actually picked one of them up.

To me this is not good….I need to get reading….there are reasons.  BMX has been really busy the past couple of weeks, regular races, clinic, and National races in the US.  Going through my business course has also grabbed time where I used to read.  I just completed module 3 of 10.

Even with that, somewhere I need to make some time for reading. Maybe a new book is needed, haven’t been to Chapters in awhile either.

Tags: , ,

July
19

Here are some pictures from the ABA Empire State Nationals Pre-Race Friday.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

July
18

Haven’t been posting to the blog recently. Things have been busy, and I always remember when I am calling it a night. Got to get into a regular blogging routine again. Of course, I am always twittering http://www.twitter.com/regbertrand

BMX Racing is been busy to start the year. This year we hosted for the first time at Ottawa BMX a Pro Clinic. Nick Goertzen ABA #1 ‘A’ Pro held a two day clinic.

Currently, we are down in Horseheads NY at the Empire State Nationals. This is the first time we have been to a National Series race for the ABA.

I have also started a course that should last 4-10 weeks, since it is correspondence there is just a minimum timeframe of 2 weeks and max of 10 weeks. I plan on doing it in about 5 weeks. It is a business course on becoming a licensed mortgage broker. I have been doing the modules at night.

I am going to be launching a website in the near future for the business and some other social media elements. I have a draft of how I want to have everything connected and flowing together from Twitter, Facebook, websites, email etc. it is in a mind dump in my moleskin.

July
1

This past Sunday we were at our last service in Cornwall at Faith Apostolic. The new pastor is now in place.

We will be going back to Calvary in Ottawa. It will be a few weeks before we are readjusted to the large church setting. We also have grown in numbers with B4, since our kids were in a large Sunday School setting.

The services in Cornwall were a bit different. I had each of my boys choose one message I had spoken in Cornwall in all the services we have had at Faith Apostolic and these would be the messages I would speak to close out our time there.

It was interesting to see which ones they choose, and to remember some of the responses and comments when I originally spoke the message.

In the AM service I spoke on reaching people for Christ in a message called “The Gutter.” This was the very first message I spoke at Faith.

In the PM service I spoke a message from the Baggage series. The message was about letting go of the baggage of the past.

It was interesting because both of these messages fit so well for Faith and the future.

Right now I have some things brewing that could be huge for the future. In many ways, very exciting.

June
24

Here is a short recap from a couple of weekends ago at Faith Apostolic. June 14 2009.

  • AM Service - Dealt with the question - Why Don’t I Always Feel the Presence God?
  • Maybe you have over hyped how to feel the presence
  • Maybe your heart has grown hard
  • Maybe you haven’t been obedient
  • Maybe you have built a wall of sin
  • Jesus has got grace and the power to transform your life, and He loves to reveal Himself to those who seek Him. 
  •  PM Service - Dealt with the question - Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer?
  • Maybe you have a broken relationship. A relationship that is not where God would want it to be. Relationships matter to God.
  • Maybe you do not believe God will.  Another words, low expectations.
  • Maybe God has something better in store. His will and His way, are higher then ours.
  • Need to pray to understand what the will of God is for the situation or need.

Tags: , ,

June
17

I read the following post on Rhett Smith’s blog, called “The Values of Generation Y/Millennials That Will Help Transform Work and Church”.  I recommend you read the post and also the watch the clip from 60 Minutes, which I have embedded.

After reading through Rhett’s post and watching the video, even though I am of Generation X, I would say there are items in this report that fit me well.  Like Rhett, I feel at home and operate well with this generation due to being involved in youth ministry and college/career ministry over the past 10 years.

I have noticed in my 9-5 workplace……even if they wouldn’t admit to it, they have a long way to go to adapt.  I find my current 9-5 employer is very old-school when it comes to things in this report.

Watch the clip and head over to Rhett’s blog he has lots of posts and resources.