Tag Archives: celebration

happy birthday, pax

 

yesterday was a special day.

paxnorth, the church i’ve been apart of for the past two and half years, turned 5 years old yesterday.  we have come a long way.  having started in a small living room in the north end of the city, then moving into one of the local bars in the area, then to a local elementary school, the journey has been interesting, to say the least.

to celebrate our coming of age we threw a large birthday party, complete with streamers, balloons and a big community lunch.  but before the birthday party festivities kicked off, a couple of brothers who i’ve come to develop deeper friendships with made the decision to take the big plunge.

jeremy, one of my small group brothers, decided it was time to get rebaptized, feeling that his former plunge wasn’t what he felt it should  be.  in the presence of close friends and family, jeremy explained what God has been doing in his life for the past while.  he described how God has been freeing him from past hang ups, hurts and addictions.  he spoke about the difference this freedom has meant in his life today.

jeremy is a talented musician and worship leader.  his very presence on stage is like a breath of fresh air.  his heart to lead people into a joyful celebration is really incredible.  he is also a new father to a little boy, levi, who was a miracle to hilary and him.  watching him with his little boy is pretty awesome to see.  he wears his love for his boy right on his sleeve.

if only all fathers could do the same, our world would look different.

before jeremy got dunked under the water, our small group gathered at the front and had a chance to share a few encouraging words with jeremy.  i got choked up like i knew i would.

those finer moments in life always seem to get me.  i’m glad that they do.

irish decided he too would  make the jump into the cold tank on stage and take the plunge.  he shared with the congregation his story, which for those who had never heard it before, was powerful and moving.

irish has been a gangster of halifax and dartmouth for many years, attempting to fill that empty hole inside of him with as much drugs, violence and crime as he could.  he ran as far and as fast as he could away from God.  eventually, through the freedom offered only in the gospel, irish left that lifestyle behind and embraced the life God had been calling him to for many years.

irish and i have journeyed together for a while now.  he has lived with me for a time and has spent numerous hours in my living room talking life, God and everything else that falls in between.  we have shared meals, ideas, dreams and doubts.  we have laughed, cried, celebrated and mourned together.

brothers from separate mothers.

after irish took the plunge, we met in the middle aisle of the room and embraced.  tears, friendship and celebration all wrapped up into one.  i didn’t even care that he was soaking wet.

ok, i cared a bit.

i realize some people reading this right now might have no idea why yesterday was a big deal.  so what?  some guys got wet in a water tank. big deal.  making public commitments are special in their own right (eg. marriage) but commitments to the Creator of all things falls into its own separate category.

happy birthday, paxnorth.

thanks for an awesome day!

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today was one of those days

i sit here at the end of a very long day trying to put into words my thoughts about today. its not easy. i write and i erase. i write some more and erase it too. my words dont seem to capture whats going on inside. i resign myself to just write and let it stay. the backspace button is suspended for this one.

today was great. other adjectives that come to mind- awesome, epic, incredible, amazing, fantastic, super-duper, etc – fail to explain today, so im left with great. great like michael jordan in the 90’s. great like that giant wall in china. great like that greek dude named alexander who conquered a lot of land. simply great.

for starters, today we broke our week-long fast. and not a day too soon! we decided to celebrate with a feast of sorts. on saturday we had gone grocery shopping and bought a ton of food. we slow cooked a bunch of meat, made delicious salads and prepared dozens of fresh sandwiches. we made everything necessary for a proper feast. then today after easter service at church was finished we went down to east hastings, into first united shelter and a few of the dive bars along the strip, and grabbed as many people as we could to come celebrate with us.

it was a feast to remember.

earlier in the week someone had asked what was the point in fasting if it didnt lead to some change. sure, losing weight is a form of change and can be positive for some but what good would that be outside of the individual? what about the collective? what about the community? what about those living on the streets who had no choice at times but to fast? we decided to add instead of subtract. we decided to build instead of tear down. we decided to create a space and environment where community could be born. we decided to take the words of the bible seriously when it says: ‘ share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house’.

the result – the best easter dinner ive ever had. period.

(sorry, mom.)

dividing lines were crossed, new friendships were made and everyone left feeling like they had just been part of something out of this world cause they had. a celebration for the ages, if i would be so bold. not because of what we did though, but because of what our friends on the streets brought – their stories, their laughter, their appreciation, their smiles, themselves. they turned what would have been a regular meal between a few friends into a great (theres that word again) feast.

community was born today in an east hastings flat as the world in and around it celebrated the resurrection of its Savior. i feel immensely blessed to have been just a small part of it.

i already cant wait for next year..

***

he is risen.

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