Feminism vs. Women’s Rights

It has occurred to me lately just how far we’ve come regarding women’s rights in our culture, particularly compared to 50+ years ago, and compared even to a number of other modern day cultures. Equality has become more of a natural assumption than a cause to fight for.

Case in point: The 2016 American election. In the two or three years leading up to the election, I fully expected that Hillary Clinton would be running for the Democratic party and that a major part of her platform would be “electing the first female American president”. But that didn’t really happen. And it’s a good thing! As it turns out, generally speaking, this election was not about “man vs. woman” (though certainly I’m sure some individuals did see it largely in that light). It wasn’t about “the underdog female conquering the big bad oppressive man”. I cannot tell you how glad I am to see that! We’ve come to a place where gender does not even need to be a factor in an election. However you may feel about the outcome of this particular election, I hope you can join me in taking a moment to appreciate this. Continue reading

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Hurt by the Church

2016 was a pretty decent year for me, all things considered. But towards the end of the year, some very difficult circumstances came up that have caused me some distress.

As the year came closer to an end, it started looking like a year for failure among genuine Christian leaders. I don’t mean the usual long list of false teachers that we may see on TBN, etc., but actual gospel-teaching Christian leaders. The former are an annoyance and a frustration because they reflect badly on the rest of us even though they don’t actually represent us. The latter are the ones that we should be deeply concerned about and humbled by when they stumble and fall. Continue reading

MS Misrepresentations on TV

When you are diagnosed with a serious condition, it’s natural to spend days, weeks, months, and years researching every detail about symptoms, treatments, potential causes, cures, etc. In time, you become far more knowledgeable about the condition than your regular family doctor. That’s just the way it goes. Family doctors don’t have the time or resources to learn all there is to know about any one condition. So, that’s your job. And I can tell you that, particularly here in smaller cities and towns in Canada, even getting access to a specialist once a year is extremely difficult. You become an expert because you have to.

It’s interesting how knowing a lot more about your own condition can kinda ruin the entertainment of medical TV shows sometimes. For instance, when I was first diagnosed with MS, the TV show House was still airing. We had enjoyed it, though I knew it was not exactly accurate. But shortly after my diagnosis, I just couldn’t watch it anymore. It suddenly became sickeningly evident that the show itself was almost a smack in the face when it comes to actual medical treatment.

But I’m finding it goes even beyond just medical shows. Too many TV shows try to use MS as a “human interest story,” but fail miserably at raising any kind of genuine awareness. Continue reading

Identity and Pride

Recently I’ve been following some debates between a Christian and an elder in the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. (They prefer to be referred to simply as Hebrew Israelites, but the word Black is important to help identify this particular movement in case you’re debatenot familiar with it.) Within the movement are a number of sects which vary widely in doctrine; from somewhat conservative to extremely violent, and everything in between. (Here is a discussion about this movement for any who are interested. And here are the debates: Debate One, Debate Two.)

In learning more about this movement and watching the debates, it’s easy to recognize Continue reading

Persistence in Ministry

Persistence-in-MinistryThis subject has been on my mind for a while, so I decided that it’s time to share a few thoughts. People live busy lives, and generally that’s a very good thing. But a natural result of this reality is that those in need who are not front and centre in our lives can be too easily forgotten.

I’m thinking in particular of people who are struggling with depression, pain, illness, disability, etc. They generally tend to be behind closed doors – out of sight – therefore also out of mind.

What’s worse: people who are enduring these kinds of struggles can be closed off and difficult to talk with. We might reach out to someone every now and then, only to have our plans canceled on us at the last minute. Then it becomes a lot easier to just carry on with our daily routine instead of trying again. We can be tempted to just say “Well, I tried,” shrug our shoulders, and leave it at that.  But reaching out with persistence requires a special willingness to be vulnerable over and over again. Continue reading