Wait Is That A New Post? It Is, Neat!

This is my first post since May of 2015. I didn’t mean to not write anything since May of 2015 that is just how things landed. I have however been feeling compelled to try to write again. Mostly because Facebook keeps reminding me of things I wrote before. I have been treated to memories and feelings that had nearly completely slipped away from me that I got to relive. I think that I would like to be able to relive the things happening around me now some time later too.

The journey from May 2015 to September 2016 has been dramatic. Everyone is of course older. I am still adjusting to the idea that my children are 7, 5, and 3 not 6, 4 and 2. We are in that space were we have said goodbye to all things baby, and most things toddler while embracing all things school aged, and pre-school aged. I know I said I wouldn’t miss those baby years but there are moments that I do. Those moments don’t come at 2 am, or at meal times but still they come.

Off to summer camp

Getting older, but as cute as ever if I do say so myself.

The past few months have included a few more profound changes as well. First Meghan has become a co-founder of a school. I haven’t gotten used to writing or saying that out loud yet it sounds crazy but it is very true. For as long as I have know Meghan she has been  driven, and talented and ultimately she could do anything she wanted, but I didn’t expect this. And yet here we are Meghan along with her best friend and business partner Adele have opened there own school called Via Vita Academy. They even were able to hire a wonderful teacher, Alicia to complete their team this first year.

I am in awe of you ladies way to go following your dreams.

The school year kicked off last week with 20 excited students ranging from pre- kindergarten all the way up to grade 9. The school is focused on small classes, peer leadership, excellence in academics and learning essential life skills. I don’t want to turn this into a commercial but if you are in the greater Halifax area, have school aged children and are unhappy with your current school you really should check them out.

Working hard on their school garden

Working hard on their school garden

As for me, I have concluded my ministry as the solo pastor at Sackville United Baptist Church and have begun a new ministry as the lead pastor at Stevens Road United Baptist Church. It has been a good transition all be it somewhat bittersweet at times. We hated to say goodbye to many friends yet we were so excited to follow God where he was leading us. Stevens Road is another big change for us. I am a part of a pastoral team including an associate pastor of families and a worship director. It is great working alongside talented and passionate people.

Pastor Erin and I having a grand time at our dessert auction. Thanks Snapd Dartmouth for the photo!

Pastor Erin and I having a grand time at our dessert auction. Thanks Snapd Dartmouth for the photo!

I started here at the end of May and it has been great so far. Lots to learn, lots of people to get to know and more importantly lots of great work to do. I love our vision here at Stevens Road we exist to; Inspire deeper faith and service, to integrate generations in worship and ministry and to impact our community and beyond. Now all we have to do is figure out how we are being asked to do those things.

I still feel like I am leaving something out… Oh yeah I achieved two life long dreams. I grew a scraggly beard that and bought a light up bow tie for Christmas Eve!

Marry Christmas! I swear my beard looks less scraggy in person..a little anyway.

Marry Christmas! I swear my beard looks less scraggy in person..a little anyway.

That is probably enough out of me, how are you?

RV Adventures

My folks bought a massive RV earlier this year. It’s an idea that has been percolating for some time. I remember when I was a kid myself my father voicing a desire to own a cottage or camper. It has taken sometime but here we are now.

The RV Park officially opened up and we have already take our first trip of the summer a few weekends ago.

So far I have to say that going to a seasonal RV Park is like entering into a whole new world. People are all out and about, they are speaking with their neighbors, heck they are even going out of their way to introduce themselves to new people like us.  But the strangest thing of all is the children, they all seem to be rather free range. To be clear I don’t mean just the older children, those teetering on the teenage years. I mean pretty much all of the children.

On the first night we were there I walked with my kids to the park only to discover it fully populated with 4 and 6 year old children, but completely devoid of parents. The next day brought more of the same. We walked down to the bounce pad only to discover that the children were there in full force but the adults were nowhere to be found.

I watched kids figure out play equipment by themselves. I watched kids sort out the rules to games by themselves. I watched kids figure out where to toss their garbage from the treats they bought at the store by themselves.

I even heard one girl who couldn’t have been more than 9 tell her friend that she had to go turtle hunting with these other kids that she didn’t know because she couldn’t find her. Unsupervised turtle hunting with strange children, what world have I found myself in, Lord of the Flies?

Blurry Kids At Play

All kidding aside I am realizing rather quickly that my job here is going to be to a) make sure my kids know how to get to and from the playgrounds by themselves b) know how to assert themselves if they don’t like how kids are playing with them c) have some ability to know the time of day to come back for meals.

Actually as I reflect on these necessary skills for the RV Park I am wondering if I have been more of a helicopter parent than I realized.

Up until now wherever my children have gone we have brought them. Most times we were there on the sidelines watching in case they needed us to jump in.  And we’re have even selected all their friends for them. In short we have had pretty much total control of their play up until now.

But that isn’t going to fly at the RV park. Like me my kids have already noticed that most children there roam free of their parents. Maybe this is a good thing. My kids are getting older and I have always been impressed with their abilities to handle themselves under my watchful eye.  Maybe it is time for my parenting to grow up some as well.

Then again while I was sitting here on the sidelines of the park contemplating about how much wiser and more mature my children have become over these past few months a girl told me that my kids are eating rocks.

Perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself. Or maybe I will add an item ‘D’ to our list of things to make sure the children know; a) Know how to travel to and from the camper b) know how to be assertive when needed c) Know to come back for meals and d) Don’t eat the rocks.

This should be a fun summer.


This post first appeared on the Urban Parent website. A wonderful site dedicated to all things parenting in Halifax.

Living Dangerously

Recent news stories have reinforced a belief that I hold. A belief that I routinely engage in the most dangerous activity imaginable for an adult male. Now I am no thrill seeker, and I don’t engage in extreme sports. I have never climbed a mountain, jumped out of a plane or gone white water rafting. In fact on the surface it would seem like I do very little on any given day that could be considered ‘dangerous’ in any sense of the word.


No the danger that I speak of is that I routinely interact with children and teens. Here is a list of my dangerous activities;

1- I help run a youth group

2- I coach my children’s sports teams

3- I help out at my children’s school

4- I take my children to the park, the mall, the grocery story without my wife accompanying me.

Maybe these don’t sound like dangerous activities to you. If that is the case God bless you. However I am painfully aware that there is a rapidly growing sense in our culture that every male presents a very real possible risk to minors.

If you think I am exaggerating here are two stories that filled my Facebook news feed over the past few weeks;

First a little more than a week ago a YouTube video went viral. It was of a man and a puppy going over to three different children at a playground to see if he could convince them to leave the park with him. He was successful each time. The video ended say that 700 children are abducted a day. Which as far as I can tell is not true.

And second a man in Australia who took a selfie in a Target store with a Darth Vader cut out. A mother thought he had taken a picture of her children. She then followed the man around the store took his picture shared it on Facebook describing what she thought happened. The picture was shared well over 20,000 times. The man discovered while he was sitting in a business meeting the following day that this picture of him was circulating accusing him of being a pedophile. He had to go to the police and relinquish his phone to prove his innocence.

These kind of stories chill me to the bone. But I am just not sure what to do with them. The fact is that children in the US and Canada have never been safer. Yet it seems like parents have never been more scared. Lives of well meaning, innocent adults are being destroyed, and children are being kept sequestered away for no good reason.

Back in February I was asked to be Olaf at a community festival. I did it because I knew my daughter in particular would be so excited to see Olaf in person. I also knew that a lot of other kids would enjoy it as well. I was excited, but also nervous.

I knew that the kids would want to hug Olaf/me, he does love warm hugs after all. And they would want to pose with him/me for pictures. And that is what happened. So during the evening I tried to make sure that you could see my hand in every picture that was taken. My hands were either resting somewhere on my costume or they were waving in the air. I got the sense that the women dressed up as Elsa and Anna didn’t have the same concern.

Daddy Olaf

My name is Olaf, and I am generally nervous about hugs


I love my children, and I want to be active in their lives. But I also believe in the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. So I want my children to have other adults in their lives that affect them in a positive way. And I hope I can affect others in a similar positive manor. I am just worried that it is getting too dangerous to try.

What do you think?