Do You Use Music or Does Music Use You?

Do You Use Music or Does Music Use You?

I was talking with someone the other day as he described the impact music sometimes had on him. He has a history of liking pretty heavy music and was noticing that when he played it he would find himself getting frustrated or angry.


Our conversation continued as we explored some of what was going on and whether or not that anger was already there or if it was something the music brought on independently.


It was quite an interesting to try and figure out if when he was “in the mood for hard music” it was because of underlying anger or simply a mood.


I know that there are times where I will be skimming through radio stations as a drive and say to myself “not in the mood for that” but I also notice that different music can have different impacts on my mood and state of mind. This past lent season I decided to do something different, I chose to give up all music that wasn’t “Christian” content. It didn’t matter if the music was neutral or even if it has a good message, if it didn’t include Jesus on some level I didn’t listen to it.


The results were, that even when I wasn’t “in the mood” for that kind of music, putting it on would direct my thoughts and often calm my spirit.


Even before this experience I noticed that I would occasionally put music on when I was already in a state of anger, and I would put it on with the intention of letting off steam. Usually though, this only added to the steam, it didn’t actually release very much of it.


I realised that allowing my mood to determine what I listen to was like letting the music control me, allowing it to determine how I would feel and allow it to foster my feelings for good or for bad, whatever those feelings might be.


You may be thinking that this isn’t so bad right? Like what if I’m in a romantic mood and choose love songs and find myself more loving and kind to my wife when I get home? That can’t possibly be bad could it?


No, I don’t think it is, but there is a flip side to that. What if I’m frustrated and I put on heavier music on the way home from work? My intentional may be to let off steam, but realistically I walk through the door still wound up and frustrated, which in turn causes me to take some of that frustration out on my family.


I believe that we are entirely capable of determining our mood and attitude if we only choose to pick music based on the mood we WANT to be in rather than the one we are in.


What if, instead of allowing music to determine our mood, or our mood to determine our music, which in turn controls our mood – we choose music based on the mood we knew we needed to have and are choosing to have in that moment?


Its kind of the same thing as obedience when it comes to our children. They could “choose” to disobey because they don’t feel like doing what they have been asked, or they could choose to obey because they know its best and they know what the results will be.


The option is yours, move ahead and let music control you or use music as a tool to determine your direction, the state of your mind and body and essentially your mental and emotional health.



Speaking Life – A New Year’s Challenge for a Family Mission

As many of you know we had an incredibly busy summer. Only being home for less than two weeks all summer was an adventure, but it was also kind of hard on our kids.

As much as they got incredible experiences of being at different camps and doing things like sailing and rock climbing that others may never be able to do, they were worn out and tired by the end.

Melissa and I understood, we were missing home too. We needed to think of a way to bring our children into the experience of serving and ministering to others Continue reading

A Disturbing Culture Shift: Popular Apps and Websites and What They Tell us About Today’s Youth

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend and shift in the current teen culture. The point of awareness came to me when I was preparing and researching different apps that are currently popular with teens.Anonymous selfie

In my naivety I assumed that teens were into the apps and sites that I am accustomed to and personally use. I found myself thinking things like “these are popular and main stream” but quickly found that what I consider normal and popular, like so many generations from the past, is no longer popular with newer generations.

I first started asking what was going on when I kept hearing that teens simply weren’t interested in Facebook. Continue reading

A Youth Leaders Guide to Supporting Teens Struggling with Porn

This post will serve as a quick guide for youth workers who have someone they are working with and mentoring come to them and confess an issue with porn. The assumption is that they have come in order to get help. This list is directed towards youth workers specifically but can easily be adjusted for someone of any age if the term “parent” is changed to spouse etc. Also note that sharing and accountability as described is best done with people or youth leaders of the same sex. What to do (not in any particular order):

  1. Outline steps they should take.Computer. Computer Problems
  2. Offer to let them check in with you every day.
  3. Offer to help them find help from a counsellor or pastor.
  4. Offer to help them talk with their parents.
  5. Encourage them to educate themselves.
  6. Teach them about God’s design for sex and sexuality.

 What not to do: Continue reading

The Honour of Speaking at Camp with my Kids

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 11.32.05 AMI was speaking at a spring break camp last week in Maple Ridge. I was sharing on character traits of God and how He applied to the lives of the campers and staff. Leigha and Josiah came with me and at one point I asked them if they would like to be a part of the talks. Both of them said they wanted to be, which surprised me to some extent because speaking in front of 80-100 people isn’t something many people would want to do.

I was and am honoured to say that both Leigha and Josiah took  turn speaking and sharing a story of God working in their lives during the Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 11.35.09 AMsessions at camp this week. It was an incredible honour and experience to have them serve beside me like they did, and although they may not become preachers, I look forward to a long life of serving beside my children.

Here is a quick video of each of them on stage with me, sorry for the bad audio but at least you can get a feel for it.

Becoming a “Master Leader” as a Pastor

I’m a pastor and have been for over 10 years, I love doing what I do. Teaching, preaching and building others up, walking 1586016_300x300with others and helping find ways to meet their needs are all parts of what I do. But there was a problem, in the midst of all the ministry and caring there was something that I didn’t learn in school and, quite frankly, had never seen effectively exemplified in the churches I had been a part of. That problem was in the area of leadership.

Continue reading