Sunday, April 30, 2006


someone stole $60 from me tonight at church

its a long sad story.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

goin' to the chapel...

did a wedding today. it was at a camp in belcarra which is near port moody. it was a beautiful spot and the wedding was outdoors. it poured rain all day. as 3:00 approached it still appeared as though we would be moving indoors. the bride moved the time to 4:00 in hope of a break from the rain.

at 3:30 things cleared up and we proceeded with the outdoor setting which was quite beautiful. the wedding was very very casual. with things sort of being added and dropped as we went along. both bride and groom cried. i'm a pretty emotional guy and i wonder when i am going to cry as i actually perfrom a wedding.

the service went really well. i didn't misplace the vows as i did at the last wedding i performed! i really liked everyone in the wedding party. i am completely exhaused right now and still have the conclusion of my sermon to write as well as the entire service outline to prepare for tomorrow night. i have never been this cramped for time before but it has been an excpetional week.

will get it all done in the morning. right now i am going to zone out in front of the tv until i fall asleep.

Friday, April 28, 2006

outta town wedding

i'm doing a wedding tomorrow - it is at a camp in belcarra bc. i have never heard of belcarra - it is out by port moody, which to me is like going to mars. i have never been there before. we rented a car for the weekend to get back and forth. its wierd driving again. we sold the beetle in september , so we have been carless for 8 mths. and seem to have adjusted quite well.

although driving a car again sort of made me want to have one - especially since adam really enjoys riding around.

this wedding is at a camp. the bride and groom have made it into a really fun weekend, with the wedding party and their families actually staying out at the camp. since i am such a wimp, i opted out of actually staying there. felicia and adam will be coming tomorrow which should be fun.

what else - finished up sermon (almost). it is on reconciliation. parents come on sunday - am REALLY excited about that. they are taking us out to a really fancy restaurant to celebrate my grad on monday.

i am really quite proud of graduating with my mdiv from regent college. it was tough at times (esp. greek and hebrew), but by god's grace i made it through. i feel so blessed to have been able to get this great education. i still think theological education is important - even if my emergent peers would disagree. more on this in a later blog.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


beautiful day - bit breezy though. had a couple of good phone calls today. this afternoon i chatted with jamie arpin-rici ( a couple of weeks ago we had both vented on resonate about some discouraging stuff we were going through. so i thought it would be good to touch base with him - and it was good.

also tonight chatted w. warren. he said that i'm starting to sound like milton from office space (see above). this is due to the fact that i am getting kicked out of my office - i'm moving in w. josh the youth pastor. pretty soon i'll be at a desk in the parking lot.

anyways - started sermon today - reconciliation - now there's a biggie. should be good.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

godot / gap / sunrun

friday night - went to "waiting for godot" play by samuel beckett. it was fantastic - thoroughly enjoyed it.

saturday - visited with my aunt and cousin's family in the morning. always good to see them. and then shopping. some background - i developed an allergy to clothes shopping after christmas in san diego. we did SO MUCH shopping at the post-xmas sales that i took a "fast" from clothes shopping - i decided not to go into any clothing stores until easter. what made it tough is that someone gave us a $200 gift card for the gap. so this being after easter we went shopping. i bought a couple of shirts and that's that. i still hav eno burning desire to buy anymore clothes - i think we all have more then we need anyways.

today - SUNRUN! one of my favourite vancouver events. 50000 runners pounding the pavement. this time adam joined me in his stroller - i don't think i will do this particualr race in a stroller again - it is just way too congested - made it quite tough to manouever around.

BEAUTIFUL DAY today - hot and sunny - just great. i had this sinking feeling that our numbers would be down at first@night but it wasn't too bad. i actually was quite pumped after the service. we spent some time in quiet, reflective prayer meditating on a psalm verse by verse. we concluded with a video clip of u2 performing yahweh which went over quite well.

all in all a great weekend - thank you god.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


parasite came back - i feel like that story that jesus tells about the evil spirit that leaves and then comes back with 7 others. i was fine yesterday and then this morning all of a sudden i'm spending more time in the washroom then in my office. ditched work early - got my sermon done but not the service outline.

i've been reflecting on what my personal testimony is. for years i have given a fairly standard testimony of when i was "saved", baptized, when i fell away and when i came back. but i think this leaves out a lot of the nuances and shadows of my faith - like how right now i don't think i can explain what it means to invite jesus into your heart. or that i feel that we have collapsed the kingdom of god gospel that jesus preached into an individualistic ticket to heaven gospel.

looking ahead to next week:

wednesday - leadership meeting
friday - wedding rehearsal out of town
saturday - wedding ceremony out of town
sunday - preach evening service
monday - graduation!

then a few days off surfing in tofino.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


today i am disease free. went into the office in the afternoon. working on a sermon on jacob wrestling with god - i am wrestling to overcome the mystery of this text - any suggestions out there?

homegroup tonight - we are studying the ragamuffin gospel by brennan manning. highly recommended book.

not much else to report on - life keeps on rolling.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

day 2

day 2 of the illness. now i just feel exhausted all the time which makes the writing and preparing of a service for sunday that much harder.

slept for 90 minutes this afternoon!

cyril is coming over - we're going to watch a dvd together.

i'm tired - thanks for your prayers - keep 'em coming!

Monday, April 17, 2006


i have gotten the little parasite that adam has had the last couple of days. i am sick to my stomach and weak and tired. this sucks.

i spent most of the day loafing around the house being grouchy. the first day i can have a morning coffee (after lent) and i can't have my coffee because it would upset my stomach anymore.

i hate any kind of sickness. been reading in 1 timothy last week. it is interesting that in paul's instructions for elders and deacons, henever mentions women - its always men. now i'm egalitarian in my views of women in mininstry, but this is causing me to sit up and notice - need to unpack this a bit more.

pray for me - i want to be able to go into work tomorrow.


Sunday, April 16, 2006


Today Christ rose from the dead. And because of that we can lie a life with no fear. The last enemy has been conquered.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Been checking out other people's blogs - there is this huge community of bloogers in emergent circles - guys in london, scotland, winnipeg, spiritwood sk. and minneapolis who are writing and reflecting tons of stuff on emergent, post-modernity and technology.

Exciting stuff - makes me want to turn my blog up a notch.

listening to sigur ros.

reading "eyes wide open" - thoughtful reflection on pop culture from a christian perspective.

went to the orpheum theater for our annual easter blow-out. for some reason i wasn't really into it today - maybe the context of the valley i find myself in. skipped most of it to play w. adam in the kid's play area. had a good chat with a web designer who is going to help me podcast first@night sermons. hopefully we can get that up and running in a couple of weeks.

REALLY really enjoyed this long weekend. needed it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


today is holy saturday. today jesus lay dead in his grave. he was killed yesterday. tomorrow he changed the world. but this is saturday.

inbetween time.

inbetween death and resurrection.

waiting time.

waiting for the light to change

waiting in line

the waiting room.

you're going to have to WAIT your turn.

take a number and WAIT.

tired of WAITIng.

but we wait, unlike other people - we wait with hope. jesus rose from the dead and with that action the world can now wait in hope. we celebrate his resurrection tomorrow. we celebrate a new world order inaugurated by him.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

in the valley

ok - i have been in a valley of discouragement for 1 month now. i thought it would pass 2 weeks ago but it is still hovering around. i was just told today that i would not have an office at the church for all of the summer - i have to be out by june 1st. so first baptist church is not paying me anything, not providing any kind of resources - the one thing they were providing (office space) is now gone. they don't even want first@night to meet there in the fall any longer.

we have some big decisions to make about the future of the ministry - like will we go independent? will we go under another church? it is obvious that at this time first baptist simply can not support our ministry - i think they would like to but there is a lot of inner turmoil which makes it impossible at this point.

if we do choose to go independent we will need to find a new place to meet and will need to get registered as a charity - i will also probably have to go bi-vocational - get another job to support the family. things aren't looking so hot for the old ninans right now.

please pray that we weather out this storm and that god will provide something to open up so that we can continue to minister in downtown vancouver - our parish that we love so much.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006


above pic - adam filling some big shoes

staff meeting - continuing to battle the demons that threaten to bring us down but sunday's coming. weeks that i do not have to prepare a sermon are much less stressful - today i picked up all the stuff on my side desk to start to sort through. i have a ton of material form this conference that i was at back in novemebr that i need to go through.

did e-mails and phone calls as well. had a good lunch w. chris polachic, my campus crusade buddy who is quite thoughtful. batted around emergent/ministry/theological stuff until we were satisfied. chris and his lovely wife gretchen are moving to edmonton to become campus directors of the u of a. pray for them.

went to get dale's painting framed - ok, i had no freaking clue that framing is SO EXPENSIVE!!!! dale GAVE me this painting - as in it cost me nothing. now it is costing me upwards of $300 to get it framed!!! - that sucker better be bullet proof and be able to make me a latte.

tomorrow - back to back to back meetings with the people. also getting my haircut at a hair cutting school - its cheap! will post a pic of my new locks tomorrow.

everything will be alright.

Monday, April 10, 2006

me oh me

really cool first@night last night. i took a traditional liturgy for palm sunday and then contextualized it for our context. it was a beautiful symphony of prayer, song, art, film and the word. it has whetted my appetitie to be more creative on sunday nights.

mulling around some ideas for raising support for first@night for the summer, when we're going to be quite light. still working out some difficult feeling i presently have to certain people - pray for me!

saw inside man today - very cool spike lee joint - highly recommended.

beautiful sunset from my office window.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


had a really nice friday aft. and saturday w. the fam. yesterday i finished up all the planning for sunday night so i ended work at 1 and headed home. we took the aquabus over to granville island - there'sthis fantastic fish stand called "go fish" - they have the best fish and chips in vancouver. so we snacked there, then strolled around the market and the kids area and fed the ducks.

today we had our usual brunch at milestones - had the french toast which i do not recommend - too rich! then we strolled around yaletown. shocker - our favourite video store closed down w.out warning! we had been renting from hollywood video since we moved to yaletown. we were friends w. the owner and now its gone.

this afternoon we joined the vancouver aquarium - i mean we're not on display , we became members. adam really loved the dolphins, sea otters and other cool critters floating around.

all in all - nice family bonding time. started reading mark buchanan's book "the rest of god" which is about sabbath. he is quite a skilled wordsmith, along the lines of eugene peterson. he will also be speaking at first@night in may which i am quite excited about.

keep rocking.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

3 meetings

i had wanted to get my sermon done but forgot i had a couple of meetings today. at 10:00 i met w. albert chu - he is the head of church planting for the reformed church in canada and the pastor of a church called tapestry in richmon. he's a good guy. he just wanted my take on church planting in downtown - they want to plant in yaletown as well. this would mean there are 3 church plants happening in yaletown - don't know if that's too much. what if we all attempt it and only 1 survives?

then a few of us took marianne out for lunch to wlecome her on to full time staff as director of family and children's ministries.

then a new guy at first@night named jason dropped by the office at 3 to give me like 6 really rare u2 cds - including some live concerts form joshua tree and the vancouver show that i was at. looking forward to giving them a spin.

felicia's at work - just me and the boy - he went to sleep no problem.

been reading 1 thessalonians - paul really loved them and kept encouraging them to keep going through whatever tirals they were going through.

my sermon is on phil 2 - the humbling and consequent elevation of jesus.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

is it just me?

went to regent this morning to get some commentaries on phillipians - i'm preaching on phil. 2 for palm sunday. bought a com. by gordon fee which looks good. had lunch w. my buddy murray maisey. he's such a bright insightful guy - i'm richer for having him as my friend.

worked on this AWESOME av presentation for sunday - this sunday night is going to be VERY VERY different from normal. i am following the anglican liturgy for palm sunday but i have interjected it w. movie clips and an audio-visual journey through the stations of the cross. and then we end with communion. i am really looking forward to it.

still battling some demons related to work - it has not seemed to resolve itself yet. so many things to pray about - so much hurt, broken people. it just me?

Monday, April 03, 2006


day off! needed it - was going a little batty in the last couple of weeks.

last night was one of our best services ever - a sort of gift form god for persevering i think. spencer was spot on w. worship leading. my sermon was one of the best i had ever preached.

sad comment from one of our new attenders - "i feel so lonely in this city, that i might as well be living in a desert by myself."

the andy stanley debate continues to rage on resonate. its heartening to know there are many other young canadian ministerial practitioners out there who refuse to tow the status quo when it comes to ministry strategy. there is a new paradigm emerging and we are a part of it!

had lunch w. brent - also a newbie at first@night. really nice guy - hair stylist. had some good comments on church and religion in general.

felicia had a massage this aft. as i took care of adam - sort of a gift to her for the tough day she had yesterday w. our sick, cranky kid,

reading aqua church by leonard sweet - looks promising - a lot better then "7 practices".

inertia creeps up on us all - be on your guard!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

peace / 7 practises of effective ministry rant

my computer is acting extra slow which is making me kinda nervous. the above is a print by my new favourite artist - dale. ( dale comes to our church. i am going to frame the above print and display it at first@night. i also want to linck to his web-site form the first@night site.

dale has an amazing testimony which sounds like it waslifted from a movie. god's hand is really on him - god has protected him. i think his career in art is really going to take off.

brunch this morning. then hibernated for the rest of the day. finished up the sermon - i hate cramming it in on a saturday. will work harder next week. also plan on taking monday off - i feel like a thousand different voices have been talking at me this past week. need some air to clear my head.

my cousin from san diego is in town w. 4 of her friends. she dropped by for dinner - i'll probably catch up w. her again tomorrow afternoon.

tomorrow's sermon - gen 31 - jacob splits w. laban. through all the oppression and injustice god was always watching and at the right time intervened. cool.

i added this about 10 minutes after i wrote all of the above - i just finished reading this book called "7 practises of effective ministry" by andy stanley and a couple of other guys from a mega-church in atlanta. i don't recall reacting so strongly negatively to a book before. the pastors at fbc have to read this book together to discuss it - this book is the distillation of the 7 guiding principles for this church called northpoint community in atlanta.

i believe these guys are sincere and they are leading many people to christ. but they have so capitualted to the consumer driven culture we live in, that it is seriously problematic to me.

the 2 most problematic ideas they propose are:

don't preach all the bible because some parts are more important then others

a preacher should ask "is this helpful" before asking "is this true" when he/she prepares a message.

there are a few weak tips on leadership but overall this is a poor book and i regret that this book was selected for us to study together.

"wipe your tears away."