Pastor Chris (Page 4)

Pastor Chris (Page 4)

All blogs written by Pastor Chris Clarke.

I Worry Too Much, How about You?

Sometimes I feel like I am a real sentimental guy. There are days when I look at my boys (aged 5 and 3) while they are climbing on me, asking for hugs and running around, yelling in high pitched joy-filled voices that hurt my ears.  At these times, I feel compelled to think about the future; the times when they are going to be quiet, the times I will have more time on my…

Feeding the 5000 Requires Making Space

Do you remember the story of the feeding of the 5000 in Matthew? Jesus suggests that he and the disciples ought to feed the people, all of them. It is a monumental project, the feeding of so many people in the middle of nowhere. Such meals are huge deals today, just ask anyone trying to organize a wedding with 100 guests how they would like to handle the logistics of what…

A Letter on the Great Overture

Dear Presbyterian Brothers and Sisters, How are you? I thank God for you whenever I think of you. I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately and trying to listen to you and I must ask you if you are tired of splitting up? Tired of the threats? Tired of seeing people speak out of both sides of their mouths? Saying one thing in public and another in parking lot? I am. I bet…

Walking Through the Motto in Lent

It’s Ash Wednesday and the internet is a flutter with what people are giving up (cheese, chocolate, booze, saying no, television, Facebook), and what people are picking up (saying yes more, saying I love you more, praying, meditating, running, scripture reading, small groups). What the Pope says we should do (love others better), and various other takes. Common among them…

H3 Leadership. Reviewed.

“Be Humble, Stay Hungry, and Always Hustle”, says Brad Lomenick in his new book. I received the book thanks to the Carey Neiuwhof leadership podcast that I listen to when I walk my dog and, man, I am happy I did.  This book contains loads of good advice, helpful questions, ideas and plans for changing not just the organization involved, but the leaders themselves. As…

Do I Need to Check My Brain at the Door?

Frederick Faber once wrote about one of the most challenging paradoxes of the holy life; that God is best known in the heart rather than the intellect. Darkness to the intellect/But sunshine to heart, wrote Faber. It is a paradox that I, like Jacob, have been wrestling with. I am someone who grew up in a largely secular culture and was mostly schooled in secular halls. I…

Mark Buchanan, Things Unseen

Continuing to read my way through books left to me by my predecessor I recently read, former Duncan New Life Baptist Minister, Mark Buchanan’s Things Unseen (2002). It might be a little long in the tooth at this point but it’s no less relevant for that! Mark puts into words feelings that I have long felt but lacked the right vocabulary for. There you are, standing at a…

Hidden Crosses

For a couple of years on and off I have been swimming and trying my best to repeat simple mantras as I do so. I’ve done lap after lap focusing on that ancient line Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy on Me or some other short easy to repeat prayer or verse. Despite my best intentions, I spend most the time counting 1-2-3 breathe-1-2-3-breathe, and getting lost in the pure…

I Wish I Could See the Future, Sort Of

This morning is one of those classic West Coast mornings with a pea soup fog so thick you could be anywhere at all. Many people find such darkness scary, they fear what’s around the corner, or right in front of them, because they cannot see it. Like them in many ways I wish I could see the future. Like them I can be bothered when I need to step out in faith, trusting in…

Seeing What Is Sacred (Review)

“Seeing what is Sacred. Becoming more spiritually sensitive to the everyday moments of life” By Ken Gire  This is not a new book; it came out in 2006 and was left in my office by my predecessor (part of a small group of books he seems to have thought would be helpful to me). I picked up because I was feeling a bit weary and a bit overwhelmed as I looked at my…

Thomas Turns 3

Today is Thomas’s third birthday, I have now been a dad for five and half years. This is a sweet time in life, when my boys still think everything I say is gospel and they still want hugs, bedtime books and stories, and nighttime cuddles. It is a real joy to spend so much time with them and to share so much love with them. They each have special kisses just for me and…

The Pastor Also must Chose How to Vote

Michael Coren made news recently writing about a long true reality: no single political party is bible-encompassing enough to guarantee that party the Christian vote. Many factors go into how a person votes, Christian or not, and no single party is always going to find allegiance with any one group. It strikes me that as Christians vote they tend towards family focused…

12 things I learned in Year One

This week marks the one-year anniversary of my time as an ordained minister plodding away on Vancouver Island so I thought I would offer 12 thoughts in no particular order. People are nicer and more generous than you think. The popular perception is that people are bad (and yes we do live in a broken world with a lot of pain) and that we need to be protected from each…

Thoughts on The Compelling Community

“The Compelling Community. Where God’s power makes a church attractive.” Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop. Crossway; 2015. In their book on community Dever and Dunlop pose a tough question, have we in our churches created communities that would exist even if God didn’t? Stop a second to think about that. What draws the people of a given congregation together? Do…

Sharing Old Stories Can Be So Sweet

The other night we had some folks over to our house for a few drinks. One of the couples are in their sixties and they did something that is often overlooked and underappreciated. They told us their stories from when they were younger, stories of hard times that could be told with laughter and a glint in their eyes now that they are so far removed. IT was beautiful to…