Friday, December 29, 2006

Store launched!

The online store for my book has been launched on my website. Click the banner below to be taken there.

After figuring things out, the book will be sold there for $12.99 Canadian, which includes free shipping to Canada and the United States. If you're looking to have your book signed by me, this is the best option to go, unless you purchase somewhere else and get me to sign it the next time you see me.

Thanks in advance for all of your support in this! It means a lot to me that I have so many people behind me in this dream!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Look Mom! I'm on Amazon!

Today my book was posted on Amazon for purchase! Tonight when I did I search for my name on and the book came up, I was almost overcome with emotion. This makes it so real to me! I'm a published author- kind of crazy isn't it?

If you wanted to purchase the book on amazon, the links are below. If you wanted to purchase it directly from me, within the next few days I will have an online store set up where you can do so. And some of you have asked whether or not signed copies of the book will be available. The answer is yes. If you really want to receive a signed copy (although I have no idea why), I will do it. But you will have to order it from my website ( or buy it somewhere else and get me to scribble on it the next time you see me.

Happy reading!

Buy from (Canada)
Buy from (United States)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Movies & Memories

I love Christmas. When I was a kid, I'll admit a big part of my love for Christmas came from the whole gift getting thing. But I've grown up. Yes, I still love getting gifts. But I also love giving gifts. I love spending time with people. And I love reflecting on what Christmas means, really means.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is our family traditions. And one of my favorite family traditions is watching Christmas movies together. Laughing at all the same parts and later quoting lines from the movies as similar things take place in our celebrations. My favorite Christmas movies are (in no particular order):

-A Muppet Family Christmas
-Ernest Saves Christmas
-To Grandmother's House We Go
-Griswold Christmas Vacation

Now I don't love these movies because of their artist flare or their snappy humor (because to be honest, some of them are kind of cheesy). I love them because they mean something to me. When I watch To Grandmother's House We Go it brings me back to when I was very young and we would watch this movie with my grandmother because she thought the Olsen kids were so cute. And then after the movie was done everyone would talk about how much I used to look like them when I was around 4 years of age (yes, times have changed!). When I watch the Griswold Christmas Vacation I'm taken back to Christmas' past when our family was lovingly referred to as the Griswold's because we always seemed to have one disaster after another, but in the middle of it a lot of holiday cheer.

Yes the movies are funny- I'll always laugh when the squirrel jumps out of the Griswold's tree or when the Muppets all experience the same icy patch, but even more important than that- these movies have a lot of meaning and memories surrounding them. And those are very valuable things to have!

So Merry Christmas. I pray that you all have a wonderful holiday, remembering the real reason for the season and enjoying memory making time with family and friends! I'll leave you with a few of my favorite movie quotes:

Ernest Saves Christmas:
Santa Claus, aka 'Seth Applegate': This is Ernest. I'm Santa Claus.
[odd silence]
Ernest P. Worell: Surprised?
Harmony Star: Uh, no. No, not - not really

Harmony Star: There's no such thing! Think about it: a guy who flies around the whole world in one night. It just doesn't quite correspond to the laws of time and travel.
Ernest P. Worell: Now, now, now, now, now, it's possible. You take the International Date Line, multiply it by the Time Zones, divided by the accelerated rotation of the earth... uh, carry the 1, and, uh, allowing for the Vernal Equinox on the Tropic of Cancer, he might just pull it off!

Ernest P. Worell: Ahh, smell those Christmas trees. You can keep your 'Channel' Number 5, just give me a whiff of the old lonesome pine. That symbol of brotherly love, that centerpiece that all mankind gathers around to share the cranberry sauce shaped like a can.

Buddy: We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Buddy: What about santa's cookies? I suppose parents eat those too?

Griswold Christmas Vacation:
Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for ya? Get ya something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere..leave you for dead?
Cousin Eddie: Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
Clark: Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

Muppets Family Christmas:
Turkey: Where's my room?
Gonzo: If you're not careful, it'll be in the oven. See you at dinner.

Fozzie Bear: Are you ready to listen to me?
Kermit: I'm all ears.
Fozzie Bear: What does he mean he's all ears? Frogs don't even have ears!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blessings In Disguise

Last night I went to bed ultra-annoyed. I'm sick with a cold that I can't shake and wouldn't you know it, but over the past week I've had a case of insomnia on top of the apnea. Which for me has meant being dead tired all day, then coming to life at about 11:00 and parking myself in front of the TV watching re-runs until some ungodly hour when I can fall asleep, then going into my sleep apnea state.

To put it mildly I was annoyed by the inconvenience. I know how much school work I still have to finish before Christmas and I know that my cold wasn't going to be leaving without some rest, which I also know I'm not getting.

But this morning I woke up with a different perspective. As I stumbled out of my room I saw breakfast laid out for me on the table with an extra-large double double. But more than food and an injection of caffeine, I saw love. I saw that I'm not alone in my struggles and that I'm going to get through this in one piece.

God will provide for me as He always has and He will give me the strength I need to push through every day until I am better. And in the meantime I have a roof over my head, a wonderful family who cares, and more blessings that I deserve. Sleep apnea may rob me of my rest, but it can't rob me of that!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

First Interview

My first interview for the book has been posted on Infuze Magazine. Please check it out and leave your comments either on their site or right here!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sleep issue has sleep name

So a few weeks ago I went to the sleep clinic and today I got my results. As crazy as it sounds I found out that I have sleep apnea. Basically what sleep apnea means is that throughout the night you stop breathing and in order to start breathing again, you wake up and then sleep until it happens again and again. For most people who have disease they do not remember waking up during the night- I am one of these people.

Sleep apnea is fairly common, but I am one of the unfortunate few who have a severe case of it. During the 74 minutes (they recorded it, not me) that I slept during my night at the sleep clinic I stopped breathing for ten seconds or longer a total of twenty-three times! I write these words and I still have trouble believing or understanding it. I'm told this means on an average night I stop breathing for ten seconds or longer over a hundred times.

This comes as a shock to me. I mean I know that I've been very tired over these past couple of months and that it's gotten to the point where I have a hard time functioning throughout the day, but to think that I've gone from sleeping fine a year ago to being diagnosed with severe sleep apnea is crazy. I'm 23 years old- this shouldn't be happening. But it is.

The only thing that they've come up with to explain why the sudden change and the severe case is that the tendency to have a problem was there, but it developed as severe and as rapidly as it did because of the trauma to my body with the surgeries, blood clot, infection, etc. That's a pretty steep side effect for something I thought was behind me.

So where does that leave me? To be honest a little discouraged. I don't question why this is happening to me or blame God for it. I'm way past that point. He's done a lot of amazing things in my life, so I'm not going to start complaining when a few bad things happen. But at the same time the reality of this is not too great. The long term health complications are scary without treatment and the idea of sleeping hooked up to a machine every night for the rest of my life isn't too thrilling either. But I don't really have much of a choice.

So on January 5th I will be going back to the sleep clinic to get tested out for one of those machines and until then I'll just have to suck it up and come to terms with this and figure out exactly what changes are going to have to be made in order to accommodate for this illness. Because something has to give, I'm just not sure what that is yet.

It's not the worst thing that could happen. But I would still appreciate prayers for rest cause I need it now more than ever.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Book Update: lots happening this week

This week I took my last look over the edited manuscript and now it is in the process of being sent to the printers!

While reading over the book I kept having the thought "did I write that?" come to me. Not because the publisher made a lot of changes, but rather because I can see the hand of God on every page and I pray that very hand of God touches everyone who reads it!

The final endorsement just came in- check it out at the myspace for the book: Shameless plug: if you're on myspace please add that site to your friends list and pass the word on! Thanks!

This week I also had my very first interview for the book- great questions from him, silly answers from me. Sounds about right!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

5 years of MAD

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of when the MAD Christian Radio Show hit the airwaves for the first time. Which meant it was also my fifth anniversary of being on the radio.

These past five years of doing MAD have been absolutely incredible. As a young kid I played "radio station" with my siblings, but never dreamed that one day I would have my own show, but so much has changed since then. I've gone from a shy kid lacking confidence to someone who is actually comfortable on the air. And not only comfortable, but feeling fully alive and that's a great thing to be.

I've been asked a lot recently "what do you think is next?" and honestly I don't have an answer for that. I never could have imagined that all of this would have happened when the radio show first started and I have no idea what God has in store for the show or myself in five years.

I do however know that in the short term for me personally some really exciting things are going to be happening. I've been offered a part time job writing for a national countdown show and I have decided to accept that- it was quite an honor to be asked and its something that I really want to do, even if it means letting go of a few other things in my life. Another highlight coming up soon is of course my book being released- wow, I'm still having a hard time believing that one.

I mean how blessed can one person be? I'm only 23 and I'm living my dream. Yes my life has being filled with some hard things and I'm still facing a few personal challenges, but who am I to complain?

I'm living a dream. I love what I do. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Been A While...

Yes, I realize I have become a very inconsistent and lazy blogger, but just in case you were worried, I don't plan on repeating this cycle very often.

This past week and a half has been so busy, I don't know how I got everything done. Big project for work. Study. Gym. Prepare a radio show. Two meetings. Assignments. Drive to Toronto and back. Another meeting. More assignments. Prepare Bible study. Write test. Answer Emails. Put together radio show. Deliver Bible study.

And on top of that, I'm walking around like a zombie because of some sort of sleep issue that has been going on. Needless to say, writing has been one of the last things on my mind.

But in the midst of this busyness and sleepiness it has been good. The trip to Toronto and back was really great- excellent results at the doctors and lots of laughs along the way. This week I've been having so much fun sorting through the archives and picking moments to put together for the MAD Birthday Special that will be airing this weekend (more on that to come).

The project for work is completed and I think I'll be free from that commitment until after Christmas, which will free up some time. The Bible study tonight went really well.

Life has been busy, but it has also been really good. More on God and life to come- I'd write more now but I have to practicing sleeping so I'm all ready for the clinic tomorrow night ;)

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Tonight I was contemplating on my life and I came to an easy conclusion: I couldn't be more content than I am at this moment. I feel as though nothing is lacking and that is a great place to be in. I don't feel this way because life is perfect because it never will be, but rather because I am very happy in this place.

Looking at my life it is quite a contrast from even a year ago. A year ago I was sicker than I have ever been in my life and I really didn't know what the future held. I didn't know at first if I would get well again. And then once I did, I didn't know if I would ever be able to resume my ministries. My voice was shot from the tubes that were forced down my throat and if there's one thing you need in radio, it's a voice. My energy was non existent. And the contract that I was supposed to receive for my book was cancelled when the company sold out. My schooling was out the window and I didn't know if I would ever be able to resume it. Things were very uncertain.

Yet today my life couldn't be more different. My voice was restored, alongside of most of my health. The radio show is going stronger than ever- just this week five new stations in the US decided to air it and this month I'm celebrating five years on the air! My book has been picked up by a publisher and will be in stores in mere weeks. I'm back in school and I have my funding for that. Life is good. Quite a contrast from a year ago.

Yet through this contrast I have learned that my faith in God is not dependent on circumstances, which to me shines the existence of God in my life even more so. My faith in Him is just as strong today as it was last October. In fact, through the trials it was made even stronger.

Today I know beyond all doubt that God has a plan for my life and that His plan is perfect. I am no longer worried about where this life leads me because I know that no matter what "detours" I have to take, I'm going to end up exactly where He wants me. And there truly is no better place to be!

So today I smile because I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life. And ironically, it is the same smile that came to my face last year at this time when I had the same realization. Yes the circumstances this time are different, but that peace is still the same.

And so today I go, I listen, and I obey. I may stay here for a while longer or God may have something else for me just around the corner- I don't know. But I do know that with Him as my guide, my life will be complete both in the smooth stretches of the road and in the bumpy sections of road.

As the Proverb says so well: "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Thank God for that!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The forbidden word: death

Want to make everyone around you uncomfortable? Say the word "death" and mission accomplished! I've talked to many different people from different walks of life from different age groups and the one thing that we all have in common is that we don't like talking about death. This discomfort stretches across lines of race and religion. Of wealth and poverty. It makes no difference where we come from or what experiences we have: we're uncomfortable with death.

I can say that pretty confidently because I for one can admit that death makes me uncomfortable. I don't like to talk about it. I don't like to hear about it. It's far easier to just ignore it than it is to face it. And so my vocabulary avoids it. My actions ignore it. I talk about healing and life and leave the talk of death to doctors and funeral directors.

Even during my illness I didn't want to talk or think about death and being in a hospital made that kind of difficult to avoid, yet avoid it I did. When a patient down the hall from me passed away, I hid in my room until I was 100% certain that there were no upset family members still in the hallway. When I would hear multiple "code blues" over the speaker system, I would say a quick prayer and turn up the television. I did everything possible to avoid the topic in a place where the subject can't be denied. And I know I'm not the only one to ever do this.

Actually when I really think about it, being uncomfortable with death makes sense if you believe in the God of the Bible. But it sure doesn't make sense if you don't. I know that sounds opposite to what we are taught, but hear me out for a second.

If we are nothing more than a by product of a big bang and there is nothing more than nature that is behind our existence, wouldn't death be the most natural thing in the world? In an ever evolving world, old life dies and new evolved life springs forth. It's the circle of life. It's the chain of nature. Yet if that was the case, wouldn't we have evolved on some sort of an emotional level to not only accept death, but deal with it as a regular occurrence in life? The same way we deal with our human limitations? Really if we had evolved free from any sort of a god and any kind of concept like eternity, death would make sense. It wouldn't paralyse. It wouldn't destroy. It would be a natural part of our existence.

But it's not and that makes my faith the most natural thing in the world. Why? Because the way I read it in Genesis, we as humans were not designed to die. We were created to live forever in the Garden of Eden. We were given access to eternal life, but we messed it up and through our sin introduced all kinds of nasty things into our world. So instead of leaving us to live forever in a fallen state, God did us a favour and evicted us from the garden so that we didn't have a choice in the matter.

Life outside of Eden meant that where once we were created to be alive for all eternity, we transitioned into fragile and mortal beings. It also meant that in order to have eternal life, God would have to provide another way in Jesus. We were made to live forever, we messed it up, and thus our struggle with accepting death makes sense.

And while the Christian faith explains our problem dealing with death, it also makes death out to be no less than a glorious transition. I tend to think of it now in the same way as being put under anaesthetic for surgery: you feel yourself floating then blank out. But in death instead of awaking in a recovery room somewhere in pain, you wake up in the most glorious place that could ever be wondering why you were so nervous about the journey.

Yes death is uncomfortable to talk about at times and yes, it doesn't always make sense. That's just one more consequence of the fall, but thank God it's not a permanent one!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

God In This Moment?

In the song "God In This Moment" Gavin Mikhail sings:

"Until the day you took away from me
The only thing that mattered in my life
Can't you see why I am angry with you?
I'm hating you for all you put me through
And, I don't know why inside this silence is deafening
You know I gave up everything for you
I followed you always, all along ."

Throughout my life and especially during my journey since I surrendered my life to Christ, I've had many God moments: times when I knew beyond all doubt that He was there in this with me and that I was not alone. But for whatever reason there was a time during my illness when I did not have that same assurance.

This was foreign feeling for me. Before during the trials in my life I always knew that God was there and that He had a plan in spite of the storm of life. It didn't matter what it was or how bad things looked, I always knew that God was there and that with Him it was going to be alright. But during part of my illness, perhaps the worst part, I felt just like the writer of "God In This Moment"- wondering if in fact there was a God in this moment and if there was, angry for the deafening silence. And to be honest, feeling a bit betrayed.

You see as bad as the first surgery was for me and as much as I wasn't a happy camper to be going through that, I always had the assurance that I was getting better. Yes I was sliced open, but I knew it would heal. I also knew that each day after surgery you feel a bit better than the day before until eventually you begin to forget the pain. And so from October 19th until October 22nd I could see God in the moment. I could see purpose: I had a medical problem that needed to be dealt with and surgery was the only way to do that. Fine. I wasn't blaming God for the fact that I was born with extra cells that turned into cysts.

But all that changed on October 23th. I was out of the hospital and recuperating at home, anxious for the day that the pain became a distant memory. But I was in for a little surprise: I started a fever. Then violent shakes. And then started losing a whole lot of blood. In the days to come instead of being lead down a road to recovery, I became sicker than I had ever been in my life.

It was in that place that I couldn't see God in those moments. In the moments where through tears I begged God to give me some relief and none came. In the moments where I was being rushed to the ER and prayed to see the right doctor, only to open my eyes and see the wrong one over and over and over again. In the moments where I prayed for healing only to have a higher fever, more violent shakes, and more pouring blood.

And it was those moments that I felt let down from the One who had always been there for me and that was a hard thing to swallow. I mean I thought I had been faithful. I thought that I had given up so much to follow Him- was that worth nothing? It's not like I expected God to be my fairy godmother who would suddenly take a wand and make the world okay again, but I expected at least a bit of hope that God was in those moments. Yet during those horrific seven days, I was coming up empty.

That left me with a choice: I could either believe that this experience was a reflection of both God's character and what our relationship was like or I could believe that even in this very dark place there was a purpose. I chose the later of the two and to borrow from that same Gavin Mikhail song, my prayer became:

"God I hope You're there in this moment
Watching over me
Can you show me you're there in this moment?
Something to make me believe."

And that He did. You see while God didn't send legions of angels or sudden healing, He did send His peace- that same peace that surpasses all human understanding. So when the doctor came in on that Sunday morning and said I was being rushed up to surgery where I would be re-opened and left opened to heal properly, I didn't panic. And when I, Miss I-can't-stand-anything-medical, saw the nurses pull five feet of packing out of me that very night, I didn't freak out. And when even after a second surgery, tons of antibiotics, and enough time later I still wasn't free from infection, I wasn't fretting.

Why? Because God used those very dark days, the days when I didn't feel Him in those moments to prepare me for what was to come.

No, it wasn't pleasant and there are many days, especially when I see my scars in the mirror, that I wish it didn't have to happen. But it did and through my illness I learned something very important: no matter what we go through, God is in every moment. The ones when we feel His presence and the ones when we don't. In the days when we're on spiritual highs and on the days when we are dragging ourselves through spiritual deserts.

The problem is that through our human eyes we only see one perspective. As the quote from Henri Nouwen at the top of this page points out, in the eyes of God there is no distinction between our sorrow and our joy because "where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom."

Our lives on earth, illnesses included, are indeed divine contradictions.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

One year later

One year. That's exactly how long its been since my whole health "adventure" started. I say "adventure" loosely for the lack of a better word. Or maybe there are better words, but "adventure" is the one that is more comfortable to say and hear. I don't know.

Regardless it was exactly one year ago that I was lying in a hospital bed in recovery wishing that I had never ever consented to surgery. The pain was so intense that I literally thought in my drug-induced state that the surgeon had left a knife or something in there. But alas, it was not so!

Looking back on that time is always a weird experience for me. Weird because at the time I didn't fully comprehend what was all going on, which I guess was a good thing. But also weird because one of the big things I learned during this year is that the average person is not comfortable with the idea of illness. We don't talk about it. We don't think about it. And if we are unlucky enough to experience it, we try to forget about it the minute its over.

But I haven't been able to forget as much as I've wanted to and I'm starting to realize that remembering is a blessing in disguise. Because it would be very easy for me to move on and put everything behind me, but in doing so while I wouldn't dwell on an awful lot of bad memories, I also would be dismissing all of the great things that I learned during my illness.

So what did I learn? I'm glad you asked :)

The time of doing nothing during my months of recovery taught me to appreciate and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life. For the first time in 18 years I made a puzzle and actually enjoyed doing so. After I was well enough to move around I learned how to bake and every week would make a different dessert for our family to enjoy at Sunday coffee times. I spent a lot of time in bed and even though it wasn't by choice, I learned the value of rest.

I learned how lucky I am to be alive; to be able to move and walk around freely; to have free health care and professionals who work around the clock to ensure our health.

I learned the beauty of walking in the rain; of stopping to stare at the snow flakes floating down; of spending small moments in prayer with my Father.

I learned the meaning of what it means to have joy that is not dependent of our circumstances; of what it means to be strong; and of when to ask for help.

I learned to appreciate life; both the good days and the bad; the big things and the small.

I learned that healing wasn't what I thought it was; that God is bigger than any problem we face; and that miracles occur everyday, even in the ordinary.

I learned a lot and over the next week or so, I'm going to be sharing different lessons with you that I learned during what was one of the most difficult things that I have ever faced in my life. Why? Because life is a journey and journeys weren't meant to be taken alone. So I'll be sharing what I learned on this little journey in the hopes that it speaks to you in your own.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


An article I recently wrote has been posted on

Click here to check it out!

Music Speaks Part Two Continued

When We Know The Story Continued

Here are the other U2 stories behind the songs that I know and promised to post in the comment section of the last post. If you guys know any other stories behind their music or anyone else's, feel free to add it in the comments section!

The song "Bad" from the album The Unforgettable Fire was inspired by a friend of Bono's, who on his 21st birthday was given enough heroin that it could have easily killed him.

"Pride (In The Name of Love)" was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr and is the second most played song live in the bands history.

"The Sweetest Thing" was written by Bono as an apology to his wife- he forgot her birthday while on tour. Being so personal, when the song is played live Bono plays The Edge's piano parts. I guess his wife forgave him because she actually appears in the video for this song!

"Walk On" was written about and dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi. It was U2's effort to praise her for fighting for freedom and her activism in Myanmar where she had been under house arrest since 1989.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Music Speaks Part Two

When We Know The Story
In this second instalment of the "music speaks" series, I'm going to share some stories behind songs that I've learned over the years that have touched my heart and given me a deeper appreciation of the music. If you know a story, feel free to share it in the comments or post an entry on your own blog about it!

Come, Now Is The Time Worship
A well known worship leader and his investors lose more than one million dollars in a failed ministry project. The worship leader loses his home and in an attempt to regroup, moves his family to England. Once there and already depressed from the failures experienced in Canada, he and his wife find out that three of their six children have a condition called "Fragile X Syndrome", which is a form of mental retardation.

With overwhelming circumstances surrounding his life, Brian Doerkson went on a walk to pour out his heart to God. While most of us would use this as an opportunity to vent, question, and search, that wasn't that case for Brian. Over and over he kept being reminded "come now is the time to worship." Minutes later he was back at home and in minutes the song "Come ,Now Is The Time To Worship" was born.

About the song Brian says; "I believe God wants us to come and worship just the way we are, though when true worship happens we don't stay the way we are."

Days of Elijah
Singing it with our little actions at church you wouldn't assume it, but I doubt the writer had a funny grin on his face when the song was first being formed. Why? Because the idea for the song was sparked when Robin Mark was watching 1994's year of review and more specifically the segment about what occurred in Rwanda that year.

After watching the short documentary type show, the writer "found myself despairing about the state of the world and, in prayer, began asking God if He was really in control and what sort of days were we living in. I felt in my spirit that He replied to my prayer by saying that indeed He was very much in control and that the days we were living in were special times when He would require Christians to be filled with integrity and to stand up for Him just like Elijah did, particularly with the prophets of Baal."

And thus the song came to be. Something to think about the next time you hear it in church or on the radio.

Where The Streets Have No Name
The inspiration for this U2 classic comes from a story that Bono heard about Belfast. In Belfast you can tell what someone's religion is and how much money they make based on what street they live on. And the further you go up the street, the more expensive the houses are, and thus, the more money the people living there have. So if someone says what street they live on, that not only tells you what kind of background they have, but you can pinpoint their income based on where on the street they live.

That stuck with Bono and he started to write a song about a place where the streets have no name.

Here is Our King
I would have never guessed where the inspiration for this song came from, but now knowing the story it does it make sense.

"Here Is Our King" was sparked as David Crowder spent two days with his eyes glued to his television set watching the deadly aftermath of the tsunami that struck on Boxing Day 2004. Watching the devastation reminded David of the depth of our fall:

"We know things aren't right, we know that things aren't as they were intended. But here is this thing that comes from the middle of the sea to bring upon us devastation and to take from us our fathers and our mothers and to pull from our hands our children and our friends and our minds cannot fit this in. It is the depth of our fall upon us. Even the ground under our feet is not right. The air we breathe is not right."

But even in the midst of the depth of our fall, we have a glimpse of what is to come:

"Here though, the hope I found in Christ miraculously expands. I believe we are part of a bigger story unfolding. I believe that the rescue of creation has been coming toward us for a long time.... He is coming to set things right. He is coming to set things straight. He is coming and this is tremendously hard to take in, but our hearts swell and this tide of hope groups and father all of this, after this brokenness, after these tears, after this fury, after this tearing that is life...finally, finally. Majesty. Here."

Something to think about the next time you sing:

The ocean is growing
The tide is coming in
Here it is.

Here is our king, here is our love
Here is our God who's come
To bring us back to Him
He is the One, He is Jesus.

Watch for the next post in this series "How The Songs Changed The Writers" coming soon!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Music Speaks Part One

For the first time on this little webspace called "Divine Contradiction" I'm going to be doing a series of posts titled "Music Speaks". Here's the first instalment:

What's Their Story?
Last week at College and Careers we had a time of praise and worship. As I flipped through the song book and took notice of many songs that have met me in different places of my life, I couldn't help but wonder "what's their story?"

Who is Marsha Stevens and what inspired her to write "For Those Tears I Died"?

"You said You'd come and share my sorrows
You said You'd be there for my tomorrows
I came so close to sending You away."

When she wrote this was she sitting alone in a hospital room? At a graveside? What brought on the song? A time of heartbreak? A time of loss? Of pain?

Or how about Craig Musseau? What's his story? When he wrote: "I sing a simple song of love to my Saviour, To my Jesus. I'm grateful for the things You've done."

Was he rejoicing over a blessing? Facing a trial? Remembering the Lord's faithfulness in the past? Or looking towards it in the future?

What was their story?

When I was in Nashville this past April attending GMA Week I attended an event titled the Songwriter Showcase. At this concert, the writers of some of the biggest songs of the year came out and not only performed their music, but they explained the story behind it. Laura Story talked about the drive at night that inspired "Indescribable" (performed by Chris Tomlin). Christa Wells explained the heartbreaking circumstances behind "Held" (performed by Natalie Grant). And for me, somehow knowing the story behind the song adds so much more meaning to it. Not that removing interpretation is the end goal, but when you add the inspiration to your own interpretation, it can be a pretty amazing thing.

Keep checking back for the next post in this series titled "When We Know The Story".

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Why I'm Thankful

Izaak Walton once said: "Blessings we enjoy daily, and for the most of them, because they be so common, men forget to pay their praises." Well today I took a short time out to remember to pay my praises for what I'm thankful for:

I'm thankful for my family
I always knew that I had an amazing family, but I was reminded even more so of that during my illness. They made so many sacrifices for me- I still find it hard to believe. My Mom tossed aside everything else in order to be by my side throughout the entire ordeal. She lost many a night of sleep sitting by my side in the emergency room and she put aside her own feelings of disgust in order to be my "nurse" and take care of me. My brother gave up his room for almost six months because it was easier for me, even though that meant he missed out on many of his beloved NHL games (the TV in his room can pick it up, whereas the downstairs TV can't). My grandfather and aunts paid for me to have a TV in my room in the hospital, which is pretty expensive considering how long I was in the hospital for. My sister gave up her vehicle for many weeks so that my family could visit me and then later so that I could get to all of my doctors appointments and such. And not once did she ask for gas money either!

I'm thankful for my friends
Again during my illness I was reminded once again just how blessed I am to have some of the people in my life that I do. Yes, as I've shared before there was some disappointments during the past year, but you know what? That doesn't matter to me anymore. Big surprises make up for little disappointments and I was very surprised by some very special people. The people who called long distance to check up on me. The friend who trudged through a snowstorm in order to come and see me, just when I need to see somebody! All of the "out of towners" who emailed my sister to get updates on me (you thought I didn't know didn't you? ha!) God has blessed me with many amazing people in my life and if you're reading this, chances are you're one of them!

I'm thankful for my ministries
God has been blessing me so much by allowing me to be involved in a few really awesome things! The radio show is so amazing. College and Careers is a blessing. The new dance ministry is very powerful. The book- all I can say is WOW!

I'm thankful for good music
Music speaks so loudly to me in my life and it's such a precious gift. And during the past year my musical appreciation has deepened and my tastes have widened and I'm thankful for that too. I used to say that I like every type of music but country and gospel. Well after one trip to Nashville that's no longer true.

I'm thankful for God's provision
Over and over I have seen God provide for me and it is amazing and humbling all at the same time. From unexpected checks in the mail to a few really great jobs to working things out with the student loan, God has most definitely provided me with exactly what I need!

I'm thankful for my health
Health is one thing that is way too easy to take advantage of and I've been guilty of doing that. Well I hope that my experiences over the past year stay rooted in my mind for the rest of my life just so that I don't ever forget what a gift it is to be healthy.

I'm thankful for knowing Jesus
Having Him in my life makes each day sweeter, each low higher, and each joy that much richer. He is my sustainer, my savior, and my best friend!

And finally I'm thankful for life
It was close to a year ago that I nearly lost my life and going through something like that reminds you just how precious every day. I'm thankful for every moment that I have, both the good ones and the bad. I'm also thankful that this is not the end. One day we all will make the transition from this life to the next and really that's all it is, a transition!

So what are you thankful for? Leave a comment with your list!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

History is in the making...

Let me start this post with a disclaimer: I am not a dancer. I never have been one and I don't really feel any overwhelming desire to be one now. But years of watching my sister's recitals has taught me something: I may not be a dancer, but I can choreograph.

Sounds strange, I know. How can someone who doesn't know the moves, figure out the dance? I don't know, but I do know that it's happening.

As some of you know, my sister has been involved in organizing dances for different Christian events in and around the Timmins area for the past three years. Well usually I played some sort of small role, like picking the music and operating the sound system. But this time around I've taken on a different role. Just call me Kristen the choreographer.

After choosing the song, this incredible picture came to me of what the dance could look like and the powerful impact that it could make. Scenes flashed across my mind and to my dismay, I actually became really excited about this possibility. So with my family listening, I explained to Erin my idea for the dance and explained the different moves that the background dancers could do while the two main dancers did their thing in the front. And in the words of my brother: "It's surprisingly good."

And so Erin will be leading a group of dancers to do a routine to Matthew West's song "History" for a retreat that will be happening in a couple of months. And this time instead of pressing play and pause on the stereo, I will be helping to put it together. Scary.

It's kind of crazy the way God has teamed up my sister and I because personality wise, we're very different. And the same goes for talents and giftings. But at the same time, we compliment each other and this isn't the first time God has moved us to join forces to do something together for Him and I'm sure it won't be the last.

History by Matthew West
It's been a bad day
You've been looking back
And all you can see is everything you wish you could take back
All your mistakes
A world of regrets
All of those moments you would rather forget
I know it's hard to believe
Let me refresh your memory

Yesterday is history
And history is miles away
So, leave it all behind you
But let it always remind you of the day
The day that love made history

You know you can't stay right where you fell
The hardest part is forgiving yourself
But let's take a walk into today
And don't let your past get in the way

Would you believe that you are history in the making, in the making?
Every choice that you are making
Every step that you are taking
Every chain that you are breaking
History is in the making
Every word that you are saying
Every prayer that you are praying
Every chain that you are breaking
History is in the making

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The power of music

I will never cease to be amazed at how powerfully music can speak to us. From the choruses of Bach to the emotionally powered Dashboard Confessional to the praise songs that fill our Sunday mornings, music speaks to us.

This past week I got an email about the power of music that literally moved me to tears (which isn't an easy thing to do). Music speaks and music moves.

Speaking of music, today my copy of Gavin Mikhail's CD "Like Normal People Do" came in the mail. I've never been more excited to get a CD.

Ever since being referred to Gavin's myspace a few weeks ago, I have become a huge fan of his music. I purchased his first album "Personal Beauty Needs" from itunes and it's incredible. I come into contact with a lot of good artists through the radio show, but this guy is one of the best I've heard. The funny thing about it is Gavin is not a "Christian artist", yet his music has inspired me more than any other CD I've heard this year.

If you have even two extra moments, check out Gavin's website and listen to the songs there. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

All We Need

Rich or poor, God I want You more
Than anything that glitters in this world
Be my all, all consuming fire.
You can have all my hands can hold
My heart, mind, strength and soul,
Be my all, all consuming fire

Cause we have all we need in You
All we need is You
All we need is You

All We Need by Charlie Hall

The secret to a content life: Give as much as you can away. The more we hoard, the more we want and the more we want the less satisfied we are with what we have.

And the more we give away, the more the wealth is spread. Recently I went to the global rich list and entered in my last years income (that according to North American standards wasn't very much). According to their stats my income puts me in the top 41% of the richest people in the world! So where do you stand? Well...

-Someone who makes $30,000 CAN a year: top 8.9%
-Someone who makes $40,000 CAN a year: top 4.37%
-Someone who makes $50,000 CAN a year: top 1.78%

Those stats, along with scripture lead me to believe that spreading the wealth isn't only the responsibility of the 400 billionaires published on the recent Forbes list. We have all we need financially (living where we do) and spiritually (knowing who we know). We need to share the excess with those who don't. As another song from Charlie Hall says: "We could feed the whole world with the crumbs of our bread." And if the story of Jesus and the loaves of bread and the fish is any indication, when we give God everything we have, He will multiply it until every mouth and soul is fed.

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." (Philippians 4:11-12)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Cheery website

I've changed up the website that I will be using as the base for Walking Through A Fallen World and anything else related to the book or future projects.

I had launched it about two months ago, but I wasn't really happy with the appearance and had gotten a few comments on how it felt a little dark. That said, it didn't really match with the purpose behind the site or the book, so I've gone with a different more "cheery" design.

Check out the new site: or and let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Yesterday I registered for my very first copyright. So if you were planning on writing a book titled Walking Through A Fallen World anytime before I've been gone from this earth for fifty years, you're out of luck!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Crazy week, crazy weekend

It's been an insane week. Between College and Careers starting up again for the fall, my courseload and work I haven't had a whole lot of extra time. However that has taught me to be more efficient with the time I do find in between and I have made some progress on a few things I've been working on...

Website updates
The appearance of the MAD website was getting old, so I changed some stuff up. Added new photos. Fixed the station listings to ensure accuracy. Added links. Take a look at

Room changes
A few months ago I changed up some stuff in my room, added an extra cupboard for storage, etc. Well this weekend I finished stage one of the decorating process. Nothing fancy though. Added a few framed photos to the walls. Put up more bumper-stickers in my ever growing collection (long story). And finally went through a stack of papers that has been building up for way too long. Good to see some progress.

Gym Membership
Before my surgery last October I was a 5 time a week gym goer, so I'd be lying if I said that hasn't be a routine that I've missed. I wanted to join up again in June when I was given the all clear, but couldn't afford it. Well, thankfully the Lord has provided me with the money (actually he has provided me with someone who wanted to pay for my membership- score!) so this week I started up again.

The gym is in a building close to my house that actually used to be a catholic church. Even though it's kind of sad that the church closed, the gym did an amazing job restoring it- they even left in the stained glassed windows. Beautiful.

College and Careers
Well C&C started up again this week for the new school year. It was great to see everyone again and to have a chance to re-connect after the summer. This week to kick things off, I lead a study on using the gifts that we have been given, whether that is time, money, our abilities, etc. It's funny because I had a completely different study prepared, but on Tuesday night I really felt that it wasn't the study I was supposed to be doing. So at the last minute I scrambled to put together something new that God had laid on my heart and it was amazing how God used the message to speak to me and the others there. He is so good!

A quote to leave you with:

"Just do whatever Jesus calls you to do the moment it is clear to you. Do not procrastinate; do not hesitate; do not deviate from whatever course of action He calls you to." Erwin McManus

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What God Has Done (And Continues To Do)

This November brings the fifth anniversary of the MAD Christian Radio Show and I can't believe that it has already been five years!

I can remember what my September looked like five years ago: all the planning that went into the show. The fear, the insecurity. When I started the show I had no idea what I was doing (and in a lot of ways still don't lol) but I had no idea that the show would go where it has. And when I say that I'm not trying to brag because I'm very much aware that the success has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with God. He could have chosen many more qualified individuals to do this, but for some insane reason He chose me and I am very thankful for this gift.

And it is a gift. Yes it's a heck of a lot of work at times, but as I've said many times over again: "I love what I get to do and I do what I get to love." I love discovering new bands and giving them a shot at real airtime. I love sitting down and making a playlist for a show, then looking back and seeing the theme that God has interwoven into it. I love interacting with radio stations around the world and getting their perspectives on ministry. I love writing the devotionals and I love it when God reminds me later of those words and uses them to teach and change me. I love producing the audio and figuring out what works and what doesn't. I love checking the radio show email account and reading stories of how God has used the show in people's lives. I love reading radio trade magazines and learning from some of the best in the business. I love meeting listeners and hearing their stories. I love producing the podcast and making use of the latest technology. I love what I get to do and I do what I get to love.

And somewhere in the middle of living this dream, I see God's hand working and it is amazing. He used an 18 year old who was a baby Christian at the time to start something that would still be going strong five years later. And today He uses this 23 year old, sitting in her house in Timmins, Ontario (a place most people have never even heard of) to broadcast the message of His love and grace to over 30 cities in five different countries, to the world on 20 online stations, to cyberspace through a website that receives thousands of visitors a month and to iTunes users through a podcast that receives over 1,000 listeners a month.

Scary? Yes. Humbling? For sure.

But I haven't brought this up to say "look at me, I've got it all together"- that couldn't be more not true. I bring this up, to first of all, give glory to who it belongs to: God and secondly, to testify that God is bigger than any roadblocks that may exist between you and your dream.

If you are a follower of Christ and you have a dream on your heart, it's no accident. In fact, it's a divine placement from a God who loves His children to dream big! Unfortunately too many times we scoff at these big dreams and think "God wouldn't ask me to do that". Well guess what- He would! My life is a testimony to that.

So what's standing between you and your dream? Is it a step of faith that you should be taking? Is it a choice that you should be making? Or are you, like the Israelites, still marching around the perimeter of what God has promised you, waiting in faith for the walls to come crashing down?

It doesn't matter where you are in your own journey after your dream, what matters is that you are on the journey and that you're not walking it alone. He created our hearts and knows our deepest desires. Sometimes all He requires us to do is take a small step of faith: whether that means walking on water or walking in circles around a city, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we do take that step of faith when it is required and trust Him and His plans for our lives in the meantime!

"May he grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all your plans." (Psalm 20:4)

"Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them." (A.W. Tozer)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Keeping our heads down

Well with yesterday being my last day of summer holidays, I decided to spend it at one of my favorite places: the golf course. I don't know what it is, but there's something about the game that just completely relaxes me. Maybe it's being in the middle of God's creation. Maybe it's spending quality time with my brother. Or maybe it's just because I get to throw all of my energy into making something an inch in size hurdle down a fairway 250 yards. Yeah I think that's it. ;)

Seriously though some of my best times with God have been while playing golf. Golf is also the sport where I've gotten a whole lot of illustrations from for devotionals and articles. And one of these illustrations came to me today.

You see with golf in order to swing properly you have to keep your head down while you're swinging. If you look up too quickly to try to follow where your ball is going, it's not going to end up where it should because you can't do a proper follow through by jerking your head up. No instead, you have to keep your eyes locked in place and trust that those around you are watching where the ball goes.

The same thing applies to us as Christians if we want to be effective in the ways we minister. To do it properly, we must keep our heads down, focused on the task at hand. The second we start looking up and around trying to count results before we're even finished, we mess up. We take a shortcut and as a result, lack in our follow through (and in the case of many Christians we lack in follow up).

This is the reason why churches don't grow when they count salvations instead spending that time training those new Christians to be disciples. This is the reason why some ministries grow in number, but collapse later under a shaky foundation. When we focus on numbers and results we lose sight of what's right in front of us. And when that happens, often what's right in front of us fails.

"The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever." Psalm 121:8

Knowing that, doesn't it just make sense to keep our eyes on what they should be watching and trust God to watch over the rest? After all, our eyes aren't capable of seeing the whole picture. While we can see the physical, only God can see the complete spiritual picture and when we're using our gifts for Him, that's the only perspective that really matters in the end anyways.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Number 5 is no more!!!

Ok, so I went to the doctors today and I have really good news: my cyst has burst!!! Yes that's right, number five is no more! Contrary to what my sister wanted me to do, I did not name this one (she named my previous four).

To say that I'm relieved is an understatement! I was so hoping to not have to have surgery again because to be quite honest, I don't think that my body has still yet fully recovered from the last ordeal. I know emotionally I was definitely not prepared to have to do something like that again, so I'm very happy that I don't have to.

So what does this mean for the future? Well I had a choice to make. I can continue to go for ultrasounds and tests every few months to see what's happening and keep monitoring everything, but I have chosen not to. Maybe it's something I will change my mind on in the future, but I my reasoning now is that I don't want to live like this for the rest of my life: being supersensitive about every pain or twinge, going for test after test, waiting for results and then doing the whole cycle again.

No, I'd rather enjoy every day and not worry about what may or may not happen in the future. Some may call that irresponsible, but after almost three years of dealing with these cysts, I've come to the point where this is something I feel comfortable doing.

So thank you all for your prayers and support! The prayers definitely worked and I feel truly blessed to have such a great group of people around me :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

First Endorsement

So as a part of the whole publishing process, a few copies of my manuscript were sent out to various people for them to read (and hopefully endorse). Well today I received my first endorsement:

"We're all walking through a fallen world, and at times we need a guide to point out the trails and the traps. Kristen McNulty's book does that, raising important questions with insight and offering answers with integrity."
Craig Borlase, author of God's Gravity: The Upside-Down Life of Selfless Faith

I don't know why, but getting this makes the whole thing even that much more real to me. It's so exciting!

Well I'm off to my aunts cottage for the weekend. I'm sure I'll have lots to post about on my return ;)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Seeing Past The Surface

This week I've been spending a good deal of my time painting at work. I can't say I've ever done much of it before, but I got a quick crash course this week.

The amazing thing about paint is that you can take something that looks so weathered and beaten and make it look completely brand new with just one coat of paint.

Unfortunately though, that paint will start to dull and it won't be long before it starts to flake away. It's a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

Maybe that's the reason why when God works on our hearts, He never does a surface job because He knows it'll only be temporary. No, when God does something, He digs deep down to the core of the issue and does His work.

Unfortunately many times as Christians we don't like this process because it's a little too long and painful. So we slap on our own coats of paints and ignore what is rotting underneath. And while temporarily that may make us look good for a day, a week, a month, or maybe even a year, God sees past that. He sees the cracks, He sees the stains- He sees what needs replacing.

And so with gentle hands and a patient heart he slowly chips away at our coats of paint until the real problem is exposed. And when it is, He doesn't leave it out there to flaunt: He removes the problem and restores things to the way they should be.

This is never an easy process and it's usually not quick: it was never meant to be. But it is the only way that we can be truly transformed from the inside out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The "Something Major"

"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires."
Psalm 37:4

For the past five months my belief in the words of Psalm 37 has been tested. You see it has been a lifelong dream of mine to write a book and have it published. Last summer I felt that the time to write was now, so I took a step of faith and started to write.

That decision was further confirmed when a publisher approached me and said that they wanted to publish my book, so I kept writing and finally came up with a finished product.

Unfortunately before I could sign a contract (or maybe that was fortunate) the company sold to another publisher who converted it into an educational publishing house. So I was left with a 35,000 word document and a broken dream.

As I submitted my proposal to other companies and got a lot of "sorry we have a full line-up, try again later" emails, I started to doubt if maybe this book idea was just something I wanted for me and not something God wanted for me. But deep down inside the fire was still burning.

Well that little fire got a dose of gasoline recently when another publishing company offered me a deal!!! Supposedly they were impressed with the content of the sample chapters they saw and really liked my writing style.

Needless to say, the whole experience is very surreal! Because not only does this mean that a lifelong dream is being turned into reality, but it could open up so many doors for my future it's hard to believe! By the way this was the "something major" that I was talking about a couple of weeks ago. Sorry I couldn't share the details sooner, but I had to wait until everything was finalized.

So what's happening with it right now? Well I just finished my final edit of the manuscript and now I'm in the process of choosing possible photos for the book cover. And at the same time, final edits for my "author website" have be completed and it's now online. You can take a look at it by visiting I'd love to hear any feedback that you guys have on it!

Praise God for the desires that He places within our hearts and for the way that He arranges our futures!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Trip to Huntsville

So last week my sister and I ended up spending a few days in the Huntsville area. It was kind of a last minute trip- we had stumbled upon a great hotel deal online and since she was on holidays, she decided to go and asked if I would like to come along. I of course said yes!

The hotel that we were staying at was fantastic. They had many on-site activities that we took full advantage of including tennis, canoeing, swimming, and pool. I also tried my hand at kayaking, but ended up getting out of the kayak rather quickly as I just don't have the balance needed!

On Thursday we took a trip up to Ragged Falls, which was a good distance from the hotel, but we had went in 2002 on a family vacation and really wanted to see it again. The last time we took a boat right up to the bottom of the falls and then climbed up. This time we had to settle for the trail, but it was fun. The falls are beautiful and its always wonderful to be in the middle of God's creation (to the right is a photo I took of part of the falls).

The only downfall (no pun intended) to Ragged Falls was the stupidity of two parents. They decided it would be fun to launch their kids down the river leading to the falls and it could have very well turned into a deadly activity. As it was the father slipped and fell into the rapids and its a miracle that he didn't end up going down the falls. I understand the idea of adventure, but this was just plain stupidity.

My favorite activity of the trip though was the horseback riding! Neither Erin or I had ever been before and we both really wanted to try it, so we booked a spot and got to ride some pretty nice trails. It was a lot easier than what I thought it would be, although I'm sure it would have been harder if I would have gotten an active horse. Mine was kind of lazy and at one point stopped dead in the middle of the trail and wouldn't go further. I tried everything to get him to move, but he was quite stubborn. It took a lot to finally get him going again, but once he did, he was pretty good for the rest of the ride.

It's too bad horseback riding costs so much here because it's something that I could see myself seriously pursing as a hobby. What can I say- I have expensive tastes. First downhill skiing. Then golf. Now horseback riding. I think I'm going to stick to tennis- its fun and free. ;)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

More Good News

I just came back from a week away (first at my aunts cottage, then at a place in Huntsville- more to come on that soon) and I came back to more good news!

True Volume Two
In February I received an email from someone who was putting together a compilation book of stories of how God has moved in people's lives in different circumstances. She came across my writing from the Impact Devotionals that I do for the MAD Christian Radio Show and she was wondering if I would be interested in submitting something for the book. I of course said "yes" and sent in a submission.

Today I received the news that my submission was screened by the panel and has been accepted for the book which is titled True Volume Two (the follow-up to True Volume One) and is being published by Zondervan.

Obviously it's quite a honor to have something that I wrote put in a book like this! Watch for it in stores soon!

And I know what some of you are thinking "Is this the something major that was mentioned in the previous post?" Well the answer is no, this is pretty awesome, but there is still something pretty huge in the works. It's so hard not saying anything, but a promise is a promise. More on that to come in the next few weeks :)

I have been looking for work for the past couple of weeks, but I haven't had any luck in finding anything. Most of the summer jobs were given out months ago and many of the ones that remained either required that I speak French (which I don't) or have my own vehicle (which I don't).

So in the meantime I've been doing a bit of work for one business (just a few hours a week). When I was out of town my Mom took a phone message offering me a job! So between the two, I'll have enough hours to make some extra cash and not be working so many hours that I won't have time to complete the two other projects that I've been working on. God is good :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Great News!

This has been the week of good news all the way around!

This morning I got a lovely email indicating that its looks like I will be approved for a student loan! This is nothing short of a miracle because I was told by almost everyone that there was no way this would ever happen. If everything works out right I will be starting my next round of courses in September, which in itself is another miracle- this is the fastest my student loan has ever been processed! Praise God!

Radio Show
For quite a while now I've been wanting to upgrade the equipment that is used to record the show, but I haven't been able to because its just so expensive. But again God has provided! This week a sponsor for the show came on board who has generously agreed to provide new equipment and assist in promoting the show across Canada- another huge answer to prayer!

Something Major
And if that wasn't enough, something else really major is in the works. Unfortunately as much as I'm dying to, I can't share details until everything is finalized, but I can say that this is huge. If it all works out, a lifelong dream of mine will be fulfilled and it could open so many doors for my future!

I promise to give you all details as soon as I can!

Praise God for His provision once again!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Toronto Trip

Good Report: My Mom received a good report at the doctors. It looks like the treatment has worked and thus, its safe to leave things "as is" for now- she will be going back in the fall to confirm. Obviously this is a big answer to prayer- thanks to everyone who took the time to pray!

Starbucks: I always find it kind of a contradiction to be walking in the busyness and hype of Toronto and have that all fall away just by walking into an establishment. Yet this is the type of environment that the good people at Starbucks have established. Good coffee- good quiet time.

Music: Albums from Warren Barfield, Downhere, Paul Wright, and Hawk Nelson made the driving time fly by. Plus on this road trip I realized it's official: I am officially a radio geek. I unapologetically scanned through the dial while passing through every city- much to the annoyance of the other passenger at times.

People: During my travels over the past couple of years, I've met some pretty interesting people. This trip was no different. We made friends with a little boy at the hotel who proudly held the door open for us as we walked through with our luggage. He later told his mom "look- those people are our neighbours! I helped them and they helped me!" Kids are cute.

I also spent some talking to the lady who runs the hotel gift shop. I think she remembered me from the last time we were there in May. She was quite surprised to find that I was using the arcade games the hotel had installed and I didn't try to justify it. Actually- I wouldn't be surprised to see her playing taxi the next time we go back. You gotta have some fun...

Things I would have rather avoided
Traffic: I don't know how people in Toronto can drive through that traffic on a daily basis. We got stuck in two traffic jams: one for almost an hour. The other for 20-30 minutes.

Impatient People: While we waited in the doctors office, three people (out of the eight that were in there) were angry that they had to wait to see the doctor. One guy kept approaching the secretary every few minutes, reminding her that he was still there waiting and "had a very important day a head of him." I don't know what bothered me more: his rudeness or his assumption that he was more important than every other person in that office, including the doctor. I'm not one to usually get annoyed by other people easily, but I was very annoyed. So much so that I left the waiting room and went for a walk outside. I don't envy doctors or their secretaries their jobs for more than one reason.

Distance: Sometimes its easy to forget just how far Timmins really is from Toronto. Well when you do most of the driving yourself and its up one day and back the next, you realize it. It's too bad Timmins wasn't located a little further South... not that I'm complaining or anything. I really do love life in Timmins.

In Conclusion
All and all, it was a very good, but short trip. And in this I found one advantage to be unemployed and uneducated: it gives me the freedom to "go along for the ride" whenever there's an opportunity. That's not the worst place to be in.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Going, Going, Gone.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Toronto for my Mom's doctors appointment. If all goes according to plan, I will be back on Thursday night. Prayer for safe travel and good results at the doctors would be appreciated!

You Were There

You were there when I was a child
Running scared and terrified of fear.
You were there when I was abandoned
Feeling hopeless and anger still.
You were there when the walls fell down
And I was standing there in the rubble
(No idea of where to go from here).

You were there when I was alone
So unsure and yet unnerved.
You were there when I was forsaken
Feeling hurt and mostly plain unsure.
You were there when I was broken
Pieces laying there on the floor.
You were there when I had enough
Desperation craved without a word.

You were there when I finally turned
Facing and believing truth.
You were there when I finally accepted
Took You at Your Word.

But now my life is changing at a pace I can't ignore
And somewhere deep down inside I wonder,
Are You here? Do You know?
Do You see me in my pain?
In the times I cry? In the days I hurt?
Do You know my deepest fears? Those unspoken words?

And in this place that I don't like, I hear Hope
It whispers now and answers my doubts.
You are here, You do see, You do understand.

Ever when I can't see You
You're standing next to me.
Even when I can't feel You
You're holding me tenderly.

The truth of the matter is
Nothing separates me from You.
You were there, You are here
And You will be here always.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Submissive Prayer

Lately I've been struggling with the idea of how to pray over a situation that I feel strongly about, yet still submit to the sovereignty of God. You know how it is when you find yourself praying about something and you know the way you want it to turn out. Yet at the same time, you struggle how to pray for that knowing that God may have something else for you in mind.

For me right now there is nothing I want more than to just be healthy again. I've been struggling a lot this weekend because I really don't want this cyst. I still have nightmares from my last surgery and the complications and while looking back I can see God's hand in it, I don't want to go through that again. At the same time though I'm very much aware that in the past God choose not to heal me from this and so while I'm still praying for healing, I don't want to be completely self-centred in my prayers or my outlook on my life.

So this weekend I found myself in that place of not knowing what to say, but knowing that saying nothing was not the answer either. Thankfully I found out though that I'm not the only one to have this dilemma. Jesus, during one of His most difficult hours in the Garden of Gethsemane, faced the exact same struggle:

[Jesus] went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting Him might pass Him by. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." (Mark 14:35-36 NLT)

Once again Jesus showed the perfect answer to one of my dilemmas. Jesus prayed for what He wanted in the flesh, yet at the same time surrendered Himself to God's perfect will. Through one quick prayer, Jesus told God exactly how He felt about what He was facing, asked for what He wanted, yet was still submissive in the fact that deep down He wanted God's way, not His own.

And so while on Saturday I was caught up in a few moments of wrestling with God, today I'm approaching Him with a completely different prayer:

"Father God, I know that with you all things are possible. Please take this away from me and restore my health. Yet I want Your plan for me, not mine."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

In This Storm

In This Storm
Things are changing
Wars are raging
I can’t see a thing.
My life is flashing
My hope’s are dashing
And here I stand in vain.

In the midst of this pace
I look for You and Your grace
Yet here I stand alone
Where are you my God?
Can you see where I am?
I’m so lost right now
I just don’t know.

The sky is darkened
My fears are sharpened
As I weather this storm
My foundation is cracking
My assurance is lacking
I don’t know where to go.

The lightning cracks
The thunder rolls
And in this storm
I find I’m not alone
He’s never left me alone.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

2-4-1 Special

So today I received my test results and it turns out that I do have both an infection and another cyst. I thought it would be one or the other, but I got the two for one deal!

But all the news is not bad. The infection is being treated by an antibiotic and the cyst is small enough that it doesn't necessarily mean surgery. Unless I have more pain I'll be waiting until the end of August before making any decisions. At that time I'll go for an ultrasound to see the size of it- if it's smaller, then we can leave it. If it's bigger, then it'll be coming out.

It's been a crazy ride and from the news today it's not over yet. But at least I know that I'm not riding alone.

Monday, July 03, 2006


So I finally made it through the semester! I didn't think it would be possible to get all the work I needed to get done in the time that I had, but somehow it all ended up working out!

This past week was intense as it was filled with exams and last minute assignments, but on Friday afternoon I got everything handed in a few hours before the deadline. Talk about relief!

Saturday morning I got up early and went to the Bible study that I've been a part of for the past few months. I haven't been able to go as much as I've wanted to, but for the times I have been there, it has been really good. I've been challenged and I've been stretched and I've been blessed to have a small group setting where I can feel free to just be myself.

After study I spent the rest of Saturday and part of Sunday at my aunts cottage and it was a blessing. The cottage is the one place that has always been somewhat of a refuge for me and this time was no different. I got to spend some good quality time with God, which has been hard to come by lately. During this time I also learned a few things that are very applicable to my life right now and one of them is that this is a time to wait. While it makes sense circumstantially, now it also makes sense spiritually. I'm not one who takes to kindly to doing nothing- I like to be heading somewhere, anywhere. But right now I don't have a choice but to wait and to trust.

So I'm going to be using this unemployed, uneducated time (for however long it lasts) to wait upon God and get to know Him better and see where this journey ends up taking me.

On that note, I must thank you all for your prayers- they have made such a difference. I still don't feel the greatest, but it's not as bad as it was and I feel a real peace regarding all the situations in my life right now. Thank you. I have my test at the hospital tomorrow and I will keep you all updated on how everything turns out.

Monday, June 26, 2006


School Situation
My case has been reviewed with the school and although it is too late to undo the mistake that was made by cancelling my funding, they are working with me to try and get a new loan so that I can start more courses in August. This may not work because the student loan provider doesn't take too kindly to students who didn't complete the courses they were supposed to, but I'm writing a letter to them explaining the reason why that happened and telling them to verify with the school that it was not my fault.

In the meantime I'm working hard on my exams. I had one on Saturday that went good and now I'm preparing for my next two (one tomorrow and one on Friday) although it's been really hard because of another situation that's been going on...

Health Situation
For the past two months since my incision healed I have felt pretty good- unfortunately that changed this weekend. Saturday I began experiencing some pretty intense pain, along with a few other symptoms that I experienced last summer before having my cysts removed. I was very fortunate to get in with my doctor today and it turns out that based on my symptoms there is a good chance that I have another cyst. Obviously this is not good news. Right now I'm on a waiting list to get a scan at the hospital that will give a clear picture of what's going on and tomorrow I see the specialist after my exam. My mind is still reeling from the fact that I could be going through something like this again, but deep down I do have a peace about the situation.

But that said I still do covert your prayers for me during this time. Please pray especially that I would be able to do well on my exams and finish up the school work that needs to be finished: it's very hard for me to focus on my school work when I'm in pain like this and taking painkillers only manages to fog my brain further. Also please continue to be in prayer for my Mom and her skin cancer- she's finishing up her treatment this week and in two weeks will be going to the doctor in Toronto to see if it worked.

Thanks friends!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Steel Bars

So this is how it feels at the rock bottom of despair
When the house I built comes crashing down
And this is how it feels when I know the man that I say I am
Is not the man that I am when no one's around
This is how it feels to come alive again
And start fighting back to gain control
And this is how it feels to let freedom in
And break these chains that enslave my soul

Jill Philips- Steel Bars

I heard this song again the other day and did it ever hit me. I don't think there are any other words that can articulate my struggles over the past couple of months better. Even though on the most part I'm a very optimistic person, I did hit the rock bottom of despair and it wasn't a pleasant experience. In a lot of ways I wish I could forget the experience, but I've found myself being reminded of it a lot lately.

The rock bottom hit on a cold Friday night in November. I was in a hospital room by myself, my family had left for the night and I hadn't had any friends visit that week. Physically my energy was nonexistent and the infection still had a scary hold on my body. I don't think I'd ever felt so alone. I flicked the TV on and started channel surfing in an effort to distract myself from the reality that kept trying to creep into the dream world that I had created. But it wasn't long before reality forced its way in and stayed for a pity party.

My condition took a turn for the worst and I started losing blood rapidly. As nurses came in and out of my room, I used the few minutes of silence in between to completely break down. And break down I did.

But if there's one good thing about hitting rock bottom, it's that things can only go up from there. And for the past few months I have been fighting my way upwards. I've been learning what it means to be fully alive and I've been embracing the freedom that is found in Christ. I can't say how grateful I am for the opportunity to do so because the truth of the matter is: just because my heart hit rock bottom didn't mean that my health would start to improve along with my heart. In fact I'm very much aware that things could have turned out much differently. And maybe that's not such a bad thing to be made aware of because it's certainly increased my appreciation of the everyday.

So where Friday brought pain and sorrow, Sunday was a completely different story and in that I had my own little Easter experience. When I woke up for the first time in three weeks without a fever and shakes and looked out of my hospital room window and saw the sun streaming down, I couldn't help but think that maybe this is a small glimpse into what that resurrection moment was like for Jesus: transitioning from despair to hope, from death to life, and from sadness to joy.

And while everything was not perfect from that Sunday morning on and there still were many hard days ahead, I was changed and I was not facing this alone and that was all that really seemed to matter. Even now in my life, that's all that matters. Life is not perfect- I doubt if it ever will be on this earth. But I move forward, day by day, living life to the fullest with my Best Friend: the One who knows my journey from start to finish.

"In this crazy world, there's an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they're never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom." (Henri Nouwen)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Update on the School Situation

On Wednesday I wrote a lengthy letter to the president of the school, explaining the situation and asking for his intervention. He has since responded and has promised to look into the matter. Now it's just a waiting game.

In the meantime I've been looking into other options. One problem that I didn't think about at first was health benefits. If I work part time and am in school part time my benefits will be discontinued. The only way I can have benefits is to either be in school full-time (and thus be covered by the family plan) or be working full-time (and thus be covered by my employers plan).

Health benefits are pretty much essential for me. The medication that I'm on is pricey and if I run into any other problems, I need coverage. Had I not had a health plan this past year I would have been in big trouble (actually one interesting fact for you- I was told by one of my nurses that between the government and my family plan, at least $300,000 shelled out for my care. Isn't that crazy?!?).

So no decisions have been made yet. I'm trying my best to focus on my current school work and not think about the worst-case scenario. I'm very confident that God has a plan for me even in this and I trust that He will reveal that to me in His perfect timing!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Photo

Almost exactly a year ago I headed out to New Brunswick to attend a radio seminar and afterwards had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing.

Well one of the sights I saw was Dickson Falls in Fundy National Park. A photo I took of the falls is currently featured on (the website of canwest- Global TV, The National Post, etc.).

Check it out here and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just one of those days

Last night a friend emailed me this scripture verse (thanks Byron):

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4, The Message)

Reading it last night and recalling it today was nothing short of divine. You see today hasn't been a very good day. I received some news regarding my schooling that isn't good and I don't quite know what to do about it.

You see the original plan was for this semester of school to run from January 1st to April 30th. The thought behind this was I was supposed to be healed by January and have enough energy to resume my university studies. When that didn't happen I spoke to people both at the school and at the student loan centre to request an extension on my courses. Between getting treatments every day and having not at whole lot of energy because of the infections I knew that I could not complete my courses by the end of April. As it turned out, my incision only ended up healing then anyways.

Both the school and the student loan centre agreed that this was a valid reason for an extension and granted it, with the promise that my next round of courses would start July 1st and my loan would remain in tact.

Well today I received a message from the school that I'm not allowed to start my next round of courses in July because my student loan has been cancelled for the year. For whatever reason, someone at the school decided that it would be a good idea to do this without my permission and now there is nothing I can do about it except apply again and wait until October to start. This wouldn't be the worst thing in the world except that by cancelling my loan I am no longer eligible for any assistance from here on out.

On top of that, by cancelling my student loan, the school forfeited the grant that I was supposed to receive next month. The grant was worth almost $3000.

So now I'm trying to figure out my options. As it stands they are as follows:

-Quit school, find a job and count my loses.
-Find a job in July and work until November, then re-apply for school and pay for it with my job earnings. Repeat this cycle until I'm finished school.
-Find a part-time job and work while studying at a reduced course load.
-Move to the Cayman islands and live on the beach.

Right now the last option sounds like the most appealing one! ;)

Seriously as of right now I'm just trying not to think about it too much. I still have a lot of work that I need to do to finish up the courses I'm in right now and I don't need the distraction. I'm also determined not too think about it too much because thinking isn't going to help me make a decision, but prayer will.

And at the same time I've been reminded, both through that Bible verse and through my life experiences as of recently, that this is happening for a reason. I may not know the reason, but I do know that God is in control of my life. I'm also very much aware that God is my provider, not the student loan people and if wants me to continue on with this, He will make a way!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Word of Life

Check out this powerful article from James MacDonald:

Words of Life
By Dr. James MacDonald
Proverbs 15:4 “ A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
James 1:26 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”

Without exception, all of us know first-hand what a blessing and what a weapon words can be. Throughout Proverbs and James we read that life and death are in the power of the tongue.

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life,” says Proverbs 15:4. Tender, good words, spoken from the heart, at just the right time promotes joyful relationships. But the flip side is also true, “ but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Perverseness means “crooked.” Perverseness is twisting someone’s words so they’re distorted from what they meant. Perverseness brings hurt and harm. Proverbs 15:4 says those kinds of words have the power to break the spirit; it’s painful to admit—we shatter and wound those we love with the words we say.

Maybe you wonder why your spouse keeps their distance. Why can’t I connect with my son? Why am I not close to my friend like I used to be? Ask yourself, “Have I wounded their spirit by something I’ve said to them?” When a person’s spirit is injured, they close themselves off to you. They put up a wall. Ask God to bring to your mind the gentle words to say to them to make it right. Start with these five things:

#1 A word of regret. Go to your loved one and say, “I’m sorry.” Don’t let yourself off with the big catch-all “sorry.” Be specific. Say, “I’m sorry I said this,” “I’m sorry I did that.”

#2 A word of responsibility. “It’s my fault. I have no excuse. Please forgive me.” Sure, others have a role in the conflict, but you can’t fix anyone else. Do your part.

#3 A word of hope. “I’m going to try harder.” Again, be specific. “I’m going to try harder at affection; I’m going to try harder at attention. I’m going to try harder at listening to you.”

#4 A word of commitment. “I’m here for you. We’re going to get through this together. Nothing will change my love for you.” Make sure your loved one knows that. Most people will flourish in that commitment.

#5 A word of affection. “I love you.” Say it sincerely. Say it till it comes easily from your lips. If you didn’t grow up with that kind of affirmation, you might need to work a little harder at this one, but break the chain and be the solution in your family.

Think honestly about the words spoken in your circle of loved ones. Today, you have the power to bless or to hurt them. Choose to plant the tree of life by the words you say.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Must Read Article

We've all been hearing a lot about the AIDS crisis lately and rightly so. There's an epidemic that needs all of our attention, but all too often it becomes easy to sit back and let the words bounce off of our filters that stops things from penetrating our hearts.

But thankfully there are people who are working tirelessly to get our attention on the subject and one of these people is Kay Warren (wife of Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren). Click here to read an article of hers, published on CNN. It's a must read for any follower of Christ!

It's time that we all get disturbed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'll Be Happy When ____________

We don't have to look very far to see people who are searching for something. Actually pulling out a mirror could do that for most people. Let's face it: no matter who we are or where we come from, we are all looking for something more.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say I'll be happy when I get a promotion or I'll be happy when I have more in my bank account or I'll be happy when I have a significant other or I'll be happy when ____________ (fill in the blank).

As a result we've become a Starbuck drinking, ipod listening, suv driving, credit card buying generation and we're still not happy. Then we convince ourselves that if only our lives were different, we'd be happy. So we buy lottery tickets and hope for our fifteen minutes of fame and when that doesn't pan out, we still hope because we've convinced ourselves that if only we were rich and famous, then we'd be content.

Well recently I read an interview with someone who put a hole in that theory. Jim Carrey (who happens to be both rich and famous) said: "I wish everyone could get rich and famous and everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that's not the answer."

This is coming from someone who lives in a California mansion, who has made more than $25 million for shooting just one film (Bruce Almighty) and who in 2003 was named Hollywood's top-paid actors. Most people would think Jim Carrey would be on top of the world, but he honestly admits that the money, the fame, and even having everything you could dream of is not the answer.

So what is the answer? It may sound simplistic, but really the answer is Jesus.

Jesus is the only One who can complete us (Col. 2:10). Jesus is the only One who can heal us, from both the inside and out (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus is the only One who can give us lasting joy (John 16:22). Jesus is the only One who can give us peace, even in the midst of troubling times (Phil. 4:7). Jesus is the answer to what we are looking for.

And we are looking. In their chart topping song "Meant To Live" Switchfoot sings:

"We want more than this world's got to offer
We want more than than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life.
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?"

I believe many of us have lost ourselves but the good news is we can also be found. The same shepherd who left the ninety-nine for the one who wandered off finds us wherever we are. And when we allow Him to, He comes in and changes us from the inside out.

We were meant to live for so much more. Thank God because it would be a pretty depressing world if we weren't.