Varied Terrain: My Unexpected Journey into Leadership

This summer I returned to my roots and went backcountry backpacking in the Canadian Rockies. The trip lasted three days and covered about 60 km and 3,000 feet of elevation. (I wore Vibram Spyridon LS, incidentally. I may review the shoes in a future post…) Although I grew up playing in the Rockies, it still amazes me how incredibly and unpredictably varied is mountain terrain. Over 60 km, we travelled through trees and fields and rock slides. We marched over trickling, mountain streams and by (and into!) clear, glacial lakes; down winding ravines and up to rock-spewing waterfalls; through wet, … Continue reading Varied Terrain: My Unexpected Journey into Leadership

Women in Leadership

I haven’t had time to blog recently. It’s been a hectic few weeks with our graduation, a major alumni event (200 people), banquet planning for our upcoming banquets this Saturday in Winnipeg ( and next Thursday in Saskatoon (, planning and reporting for May Board of Governor meetings next week, and attending two major conferences: the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada General Conference in Saskatoon at the end of April, and a Competency Based Education conference, from which I’m writing this blog now in San Antonio. Me in San Antonio at the CBE Conference, hanging with the Mariachi band. The Competency … Continue reading Women in Leadership

The Tomb and Wife of Jesus: Handling Sensationalist Claims that Crop Up around Easter

My doctoral supervisor at Edinburgh, Prof. Larry Hurtado, would remark that sensationalist archaeological discoveries about Jesus frequently become public just in time for Easter. His point: Easter is the most profitable time to sell headlines and promote documentaries, books, and other media related to Jesus. Often, the “discoveries” are presented in ways sensationally to undercut orthodox Christianity, Da Vinci Code style. So the publication of the Gospel of Judas in 2006 came with the fanfare of having discovered the lost, real story of Jesus’s betrayal, complete with a National Geographic documentary. The Talpiot tomb came to public attention (again!) in … Continue reading The Tomb and Wife of Jesus: Handling Sensationalist Claims that Crop Up around Easter

On Generosity

Last week I shared a mini-sermon with our students on the topic of generosity. The context was to announce an invitation to the college’s upcoming fundraising banquets – see here, and please feel likewise invited to attend! The announcement prompted an opportunity to share briefly on a too often neglected area of discipleship: generosity. Generosity and the topic of money generally have become choppy waters to navigate for today’s pastors. Today’s pastors are frequently nervous to talk about money lest they – and the church – be associated with the self-promoting antics of flashy TV or “health, wealth, and prosperity” preachers who hijack Scripture’s rich … Continue reading On Generosity

“What Time Is the 3:00 Parade?” What the Church Can Learn from Disney

Last May I led our staff through a customer service seminar. We listened to an episode of one of my favourite radio broadcasts: Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly. CBC has just replayed that episode, so it’s available for free download for another week or so here; manuscript version here. The episode offers loads of fantastic advice for improving customer service using examples from places like Macy’s, Zappos and Disney. The examples from Disney most resonated with our staff. Disney staff are taught to value their customers as people,with the understanding that people remember people, not products. Consequently, Disney staff are coached to answer the question: … Continue reading “What Time Is the 3:00 Parade?” What the Church Can Learn from Disney

N.T. Wright’s New Book on Paul and a Primer on the “New Perspective” on Paul

I want to draw attention to a new book on Paul that will become a “must reference” (note: not a “must read”!) for anyone preaching or teaching on the apostle Paul or any of Paul’s writings. The book is N.T. Wright’s 2-volume Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Fortress, 2013), and I say “must reference” instead of “must read” because almost nobody is actually going to read the full volumes’ 1,700 pages! (I recall when Wright spoke at the British New Testament conference in Edinburgh, 2004, his doctoral supervisor, Prof. Morna Hooker of Cambridge, introduced him by saying that as … Continue reading N.T. Wright’s New Book on Paul and a Primer on the “New Perspective” on Paul