Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes – Christmas is Coming!

They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I would have to agree with them. This Christmas, I’m looking forward to having my daughter Tori come home from University in Brandon to spend three weeks with us here in Surrey, so we’ll have the whole family together again for the first time in almost four months! Add to that the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of the world, and you have all the ingredients for a joyful holiday season!

And so in honour of this festive time of the year, here are some of my favourite Christmas Calvin and Hobbes comic strips!

Calvin & Hobbes - Commercialism of Christmas

Calvin & Hobbes - Christmas

Calvin & Hobbes - Santa

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

Posted in blog, comic | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Bookshelf – Overcomers Outreach by Bob and Pauline Bartosch

overcomers-outreach-bookIn addition to serving as a guidance counsellor and teacher at Regent Christian Academy, I also have the privilege of serving as the Executive Coordinator for a Christian 12 step recovery ministry called Overcomers Outreach of Canada. Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to read through the book Overcomers Outreach: A Bridge to Recovery, written by Bob and Pauline Bartosch, the founders of our ministry.

As the back of the book blurb states, Overcomers Outreach is a network of Christ centered 12-step support groups. The vision that God put into the hearts of Bob and Pauline Bartosch has grown into a much-needed bridge that connects traditional 12 step groups and the church.

This book is an opportunity to explore new dimensions of personal healing as you take this life-changing journey of recovery. What follows are some of my favourite quotes from this book.

“The 12 steps… are based on biblically based principles like acceptance, confession, honesty, accountability and service. According to Dr. Bob S. and Bill W., founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, these principles were gleaned from the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the book of James, among other passages. The principles were developed into 12 steps that have helped and offered hope to more addicted and abused people than any other program.”

“What was needed was God Himself, revealed in flesh and blood through caring arms wrapped around those in despair, helping them break free from the addiction trap.”

“Others, who were not alcoholics, but struggled with codependency, sexual abuse, depression, and eating disorders, came to discover the hope found in working the 12 steps and began attending recovery groups.”

“Those of us who overcame life-threatening addictions will be the first to say that it was pain that finally brought us to our knees.”

“Why did we compile this book? Its primary purpose is to serve as a strong scriptural support base and positive network for thousands of Overcomers all over the world who can identify with and profit from the miraculous stories recorded by other Overcomers.”

“Christians in recovery no longer desire to hide or cover up as they had before. We quit being people pleasers and began to experience new dimensions of healing by being honest with ourselves and with others.”

“Just for today we make the positive choice to live in serenity, sober and abstinent, with God’s help.”

“H.O.W. can we get well? Be becoming Honest, Open and Willing to surrender to God’s will for us.”

“Somehow, we didn’t fit in anymore with our church friends… Even if we did get honest, we got the feeling that the church had become a kind of country club for saints, and that the club members would just as soon as have people like ourselves either become invisible or find other places to worship. Though our search was largely unsuccessful, we were desperately looking for a hospital for sinners like ourselves.”

“An Overcomers Outreach 12-step support group is a supplementary Christian program designed to help bridge the gap between traditional 12-step recovery programs and Christian churches of all denominations.”

You can order your own copy of the book Overcomers Outreach from our Canada office HERE or our US office HERE.

Click HERE to see the 12 steps of Overcomers Outreach.

  • Chris Jordan
Posted in Book, book review | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes: Let it Snow!

As most of you following my blog are aware, two and a half months ago, we moved our family from Beausejour, Manitoba to Surrey, BC. In Beausejour, we had four distinct seasons – including 30 degree hot summers and -30 weather and months of snow in winter. However, on the west coast of Canada, the weather is a little more temperate – no extreme highs or lows, only lots of rain, and very seldom will you ever see snow.

So today’s Calvin and Hobbes is a reflection of my cry, “Let’s have some snow!” No, not three to four months of it like we do in Manitoba. And not coupled with freezing temperatures. But one or two days right before Christmas would be wonderful, thank you.

So if we get some snow this December in Surrey, you know who to blame.

You’re welcome!

calvin-hobbes-snow-please

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Breathe – Youtube Video by Jonny Diaz – #ChristianMusic

Just Breathe.

That’s the title to a new song that has captured me lately by Jonny Diaz. I remember listening to it in the car one day and reflecting upon how the music in the song (listen to the first verse and chorus) mirror so well the words to the song. Brilliant!

“Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just…”

All through this opening verse, the music is building and building – faster and louder and higher – until it hits the chorus and then drops to the vocals only and says:

“Breathe, just breathe,  Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be,  Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe”

May the words to this song encourage and comfort you today!

Listen to the voice of God speaking to you…

Just breathe.

Come and rest at the feet of Jesus.

And just BE.

Amen!

Posted in music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes – Road Trip!

Well, it looks like almost a month has passed since my last ‘weekly’ update. Oops!

Here’s what’s been happening in my life on the rainy west coast lately…

Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to head out to a Promise Keepers event in Abbotsford, where I led two workshops on the topic of addictions and recovery. This was as a part of my role as the Executive Coordinator for Overcomers Outreach of Canada. Have I told you about this ministry? Overcomers is a Christ-centered 12-step recovery program available to help people overcome addictions and compulsions in their lives.

Then last weekend, I flew back to Manitoba to MC our annual Overcomers Outreach conference at Kilcona Park Alliance Church in Winnipeg. What a joy and a blessing it was to hear so many testimonies of people who have found freedom and victory in their lives through the ministry of Overcomers. Praise the Lord! If you want more info about this exciting ministry that is seeing lives transformed, you can visit our website HERE.

But perhaps the biggest highlight of my trip to Manitoba was going out to Brandon to visit my daughter Victoria, who’s currently in her first year of a music program at Brandon University. Although we Snapchat every day, and FaceTime every once in a while, it was so good to spend some time with her in person, go out for a father/daughter date night, and spoil her with a care package of all kinds of goodies from Walmart!

chris-and-tori

This week, I had the exciting opportunity to speak in three of our Christian school’s chapels about one of my favourite topics: Understanding the Holy Spirit. I talked about how Jesus has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit so we can know Jesus better, become more like Him, and make Him known to others. We looked at Jesus’ promise in Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive POWER after the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” and talked about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and some of the different gifts of the Holy Spirit.

austin-rca-worship

Although I am enjoying my new role in guidance counselling and academic advising at Regent Christian Academy, I very much enjoyed being able to teach and minister from God’s Word to our students – one of my passions!

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” (Acts 20:24, NLT).

Anyway, I hope you’re doing well today. To quote Bob and Larry from Veggie Tales, remember: God made you special, and He loves you very much!

calvin-hobbes-death-and-purpose-of-life

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections with Calvin & Hobbes: Give Thanks!

Dear friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a Canadian holiday which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The Governor General of Canada issued a proclamation in 1957 stating that this would be: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”

We spent our day together yesterday with family and friends, gathered around a table for a traditional thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy – and of course don’t forget the pumpkin pie!

It takes no effort in our world today to find things to complain and gripe about. But instead, I choose today to think about the things that I’m thankful for. Here are a few things I’m thankful for in my life:

IMG_6401

Family: The above photo is from an impromptu photo shoot last fall when we had the whole family together. Now, our oldest son Caleb is staying in the dorms at Pacific Life Bible College, and our oldest daughter Tori is off in University in Brandon.

img_0537

One of our family’s traditions – whenever we do big family meals – is to always invite lots of people to join us. This Thanksgiving was probably one of the smallest ones we have had in a long time. But once we have our own place, that will all change! (Thanks to Auntie Jen for opening up her basement suite for our squad this year!).

img_0484

Since we couldn’t see Tori this Thanksgiving, we had to be content to just FaceTime with her. But I thank God for modern technology that we are able at least to see her face and hear her voice, which will have to do until she comes out to BC for Christmas.

And those are just a few of the things that I’m thankful for this year. How about you?

calvin-hobbes-fall

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Praise Report – The Good Samaritan from Surrey

Dear friends,

When Liza and I got back home after the car theft incident on Monday, I prayed Psalm 91:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” … Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you… For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

We were sure that the thief or thieves would likely discard Liza’s bag as most of the items in it were of little value (resale value for thieves that is, though of course they were all precious to Liza), and so we prayed that we would be able to find that bag.

When I was at work on Tuesday morning, I got a call from the church offices. (Regent Christian Academy shares the campus with Horizon Church). The receptionist said that someone had found Liza’s bag, and turned it into Coast Meridian elementary school (right around the corner from where it was stolen!). Wow! I was so excited for Liza!

Apparently, the thief, had tossed the bag into the woods behind this elementary school, and one of the moms from the school had been out walking the next morning, and stumbled across the bag. She picked it up and turned it into the office. Our good Samaritan from Surrey – thank you and God bless you for your act of kindness and generosity!

When I went to the school to pick up the bag, we discovered that most of Liza’s things were still in the bag – her favourite shoes, her Bible and notebook and book. The only things missing were her iPad mini, electronic cables and headphones, and her favourite scarf. That’s amazing! The thief could have tossed all of these items out the window, in the garbage, or into a ditch somewhere, but they were all together still in the bag.

lizas-things

Well today Liza and I decided to go back to the scene of the crime, and I did a little walk through the woods to see if we could find her scarf. It was an expensive scarf she had bought from her brother-in-law’s store in Winnipeg, and would be hard to replace. I was pleasantly surprised when we found the scarf lying on one of those green power converter boxes right around the corner from Jen’s house. Another miracle!

But here’s the coolest part of the story. When we went through Liza’s bag, we couldn’t find anything in her bag at all that had the church’s name or number on it, or any other personal identifying information. How did the school know to contact our church? Could it have been His angels, watching over us? I don’t know for sure – it’s a mystery – but I still believe this was the Lord’s miraculous provision!

Sure, we didn’t get her iPad mini back, or her headphones or charging cables. But the Lord still encouraged our hearts and let us know that He is watching over us. God is Good! Amen…

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments