Friday, May 20, 2016

Burger's Preist

There are a lot of things that wear the "Christian" label. Music, movies and books are the obvious ones, but there are others like clothing companies and... ah... I think that's it.

Or so I thought. A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to check out a new restaurant in Barrie called Burger's Priest.

I saw the sign going up a couple of weeks before hand. Seemed weird. Although, the thought of having a new burger place to check out quickly replaced my confusion with the name.

Disclaimer, I would have checked this place out either way, but I did go as part of a media day... and it was really good!

I'd say the burger to fry ratio was a bit off (seemed like I had more fires than I knew what to do with), but both were great. I've really developed a taste for "pretentious burgers" over the last few years. Unique and creative mix and matches of cheeses, meats and toppings. They had a couple of those. One including deep fried mushrooms. YES, PLEASE.

And milkshakes! I hadn't had one of those since I was a kid. Not sure if it was good or if I was just milkshake deprived, but I want another one!

Anyway, the thing that stuck me most is how Christian the joint is. There is a wall with scripture in English and Hebrew on it. All the burgers have Christian and theological terms/ names associated with them and little crosses adorn the menu. It was kinda neat.

I dug it!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Be Thou My Vision

I wouldn't call myself a hymn guy. Personally, I prefer modern worship songs. That being said, I do have a soft spot for hymns. Especially when you put a modern twist on it.

My favourite hymn is Be Thou My Vision. Originally, it was an Irish folk song. You can hear a bit of that history in the overall sound/ composition.

I know and love this song. However, I feel like I just heard it for the first time recently.

We sang it at church on Sunday. It wrecked me. I don't know how else to describe it.

I'm a big advocate of meaning what you sing in Church. If you don't want to surrender your whole life, singing "I surrender all" probably isn't the most sincere thing you can do!

During practice I was hit with this line - 

Verse 3 
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise; 
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise... is that true?

I hate to admit it, but I don't think it is for me to the level I believed it to be.

Riches and praise are tangible. They can be measured. Success can come through awards, critical acclaim or wealth. None of those things are inherently wrong, but to strive for them is.

To make God your main focus is hard. There's not a goal you can set. There's no tangible standard or evidence for it. Depending, there may not even be any earthly reward. However, as Christians, it's what we're called to do. It's what I am called to do. To daily take up my cross and follow him. That's hard.

I did sing the song on Sunday. However, not as a statement of my frame of mind or how great at being a Christian I am. I sang it as a prayer. A prayer that one day I would be able to say that line without any hesitation. That I could sing it without a shadow of a doubt that that is who I am. Someone who seeks God before praise, wealth or anything else this world has to offer.

Monday, April 18, 2016


Matt Thiessen from Relient K is one of my song writing heroes.

The guy can write. Like... really, really, really well. He's the Matthew West of Christian Rock.
He'll take a sentence that doesn't seem to have any logical follow up line and put the perfect verse... and make it so fun!

Example - 

It's simple, catchy and just sappy enough to not be cheesy. Love it!

In recent years, Relient K have been... less than awesome in my books. The songs are still well written, but seemed to be lacking a bit of that youthful cheekiness. The joy wasn't there.

Enter their new song Bummin'. To be honest, I don't know what I think of the song... nor do I know if the joy is back.

What I do know, is I've listened to it about 12 times today and am [finally] enjoying a new upbeat pop-rock song from Relient K!

'Bout time!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Growing up, worship music was produced by one group - David Crowder * Band. I couldn't get enough of them. Still can't really... which is too bad since they closed up shop a couple years back.
David is still writing and recording. It's still good music... but it's missing a bit of that special David Crowder Band something.

Anyway, I've been going through their discography recently and was reminded of the song Remedy.

It's a really cool song. Very minimalistic in it's instrumentation. Just a simple piano and banjo line with a bit of drums. Sure it builds, but the first 2 minutes are a breezy, enjoyable ride.

Lyrically, like all Crower Band songs, is where it really shines. It's a song about our "sickness". That sickness being sin. Our need of a cure and how Jesus is that cure. The thing I love most about it is the closing of the song. Through the violin swells and soft banjo plucks, the song turns into a prayer. A prayer for God to use us to be a remedy to a sick world.

It something I've been thinking and praying about a lot recently. How can God use me to be a "salve" to the world. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and comment about other people's issues. But how can we help? So I guess I'm liking this song for more than one reason!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Defeating A Resolution

As I mentioned at the top of the year, I have a lot of goals in 2016. One of the most important ones, (to me) was to start reading again. My goal was a total of 5 books in 2016. I'm quite happy to say, I managed to do in under 4 months!

Here's a run down on what I read and what I thought of each book.

House of Silk - Anthony Horowitz
House of Silk is the first official book in the Sherlock Holmes series since the death of the original author - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was sceptical at first... but did Horowitz ever nail this one. He managed to capture Doyle's writing/ mystery style perfectly. The mystery itself... was unexpected. It took a pretty dark turn pretty fast in the last few pages. However, as a die hard Sherlock fan, I'm still glad I gave it a read.

House - Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker
Peretti and Dekker more or less wrote the books that defined my childhood. I stayed up really late getting absorbed in Thr3e, Blink, The Oath and The Circle Trilogy (which had 4 books in it....). More recently, I haven't been able to enjoy Dekker as much. Still love Peretti.

House was o.k. It didn't seem like a Christian book for the first 300 pages... by the time the allegory kicked in it didn't really work for me. The set up didn't line up with the payoff. After waiting years to read this... it was a bit of a let down.

Murder On The Orient Express - Agatha Christie
As you may have noticed, I like mystery/ thriller novels. This is a classic, so why not? Well, it turns out it's a classic out of a series of classics... so I kinda dropped into the middle of the main character's run as a detective! Once the mystery started, I enjoyed it. Before that I was confused as to who everyone was and  why the book was acting like I should know who they were!

Airframe - Michael Crichton
This book both made me terrified of flying and totally confident all at the same time. It's about a plane crash that shouldn't have happened and the investigation to figure out why it did. I learned a lot about air planes, most of which probably isn't true. However, if I even get into a discussion with a pilot, I may actually understand him now! The book was enjoyable. There was some strong language in it, so bare that in mind before picking this up.

The Visitation - Frank Peretti
After the disappointment of House, I decided to revisit my favourite Peretti novel. Would I still like it as much as I did as a kid?

Yes. Yes I did! It's weird... I've had a lot of life happen to me since I read this the first time. That life experience made me appreciate this book all the more. It's not a book for everyone. especially if you don't like supernatural elements. However, if you're a Peretti fan, grab this one! It's 520 page masterpiece of thrills and faith. My Christian walk is better for reading this one.

There's what lead to a successful resolution! What have you been reading? I need to get some new books!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


There is a lot of debate about the ratings systems in place today. People seem to think it's suppressing art.
Personally, while I don't think they are perfect, I like having them. I almost always rely on some form of content advisory when going to see a movie (mostly IMDB and Plugged In), but having a big PG-13 on the sign helps the decision making along! You  know what to expect going in.

TV also has a rating system. So does music... however, I've never had to use that one!

What confuses me is why books don't have ratings. Yes, there are a lot of books on the market. Around 300,000 were released and re-released last year alone... however, it's weird there isn't some sort of system in place.

There aren't even content advisories. Plugged In will review hip new books and Common Sense Media has a few... but it's hard to find a consistent source for content in novels.

I've started reading a couple of books only to bail within a couple of chapters because of excessive harsh profanity or lewd content. These aren't even obscure or edgy books. One is considered to be the grandfather of science fiction. The other was 1984 which is taught in high school... which I guess means I'm being too uptight? I donno... I thought it was a little racy.

Book industry - Get your junk together and start putting content advisories on your stuff!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


I love winter. Nothing compares to taking a stroll through a blizzard or sipping on a tea unable to see across your yard from all the white. The cold... isn't as great in my books... Especially when it's really windy or damp. It cuts though you. That's isn't fun. Snow is fun.

That being said, I'm really excited for spring. I'm looking forward to taking a couple of trips around the Barrie waterfront on my bike, being able to take a walk without losing feeling in my legs and hitting up local eateries on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

What I'm most excited for is my most crazy goal. I want to ride my bike to work and home again... on the same day. I technically did this last year. My car was broken so I rode in one morning, bummed rides all week and then rode back home at the end of the week. It felt good, but I'd like to do a round trip in one day.
The biggest issue doing it is psychological. It's almost all up hill on the way to LIFE. Which is fine for the first 5 minutes... the next 20 are the killer! Working up the courage to do it is hard... Hopefully I'm able to do it this year!

How about you? What is your goal for this spring/ summer?