Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My daughter reminded me this past Sunday of an important principle.

She was sitting on my lap and I simply said “I love you”.  Having been through this routine countless times before I anticipated a simple “I love you too Dad” in response with perhaps “with all my heart”, tacked on the end for good measure.

She surprised me though when she said, “Dad, I delight in you”.

Wow, did  my heart ever fill with love towards her when I heard those words.  It was incredibly moving to hear that my daughter delights in me. 

I imagine that this is exactly what my heavenly father wants to hear from me every day.  I tell God that I love him time and again, and honestly sometimes it seems that it is simply a rote exercise lacking much emotion.  How often do I truly delight in my God and how often to I tell him.

Not often enough.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

So what

Having stated what my beliefs are, there are two questions that I should then be able to answer. 

One is “why?”  Why do I believe?  I won’t try and answer this one today.

The second is “so what?”  In other words what are the consequences of this belief?  I shall now begin to investigate this question.

Popular culture would have us believe that our religious beliefs should be private; not just in thought but also in observance.  To submit to this cultural norm however would implicate me as a hypocrite for I would be impersonating someone without belief.

Hypocrisy is rampant in popular culture and some day I will reflect on it to a greater extent; but today I just want to highlight that if my religious beliefs uphold hypocrisy as a vice (which they do),  then covering my religious beliefs in a shroud of privacy is not possible without subsequently diminishing those beliefs.

Heaven forbid!  For when I diminish my beliefs, I am diminishing the work of Christ in my life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What I believe

Great sermon yesterday, taken from Philippians 1:6:  “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I am so thankful that Jesus started a good work in my life when I was just a child.  My day of salvation came when I was only five years old.

Since that day I have never abandoned my faith in Him and I have never seriously questioned the validity of the Christian message. 

What is the Christian message?  I think it is very well summarized in the Apostles creed.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Maker of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
    born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
    and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
    from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
    the holy universal church;
    the communion of saints;
    the forgiveness of sins;
    the resurrection of the body;
    and the life everlasting.


I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Today is the eve of my wedding anniversary.

August 21, 1998 was the day I married the love of my life.  Twelve years have now passed and not once have I regretted my decision.  My life is so much richer having my wife at my side.  I am committed to her completely.

There is a third person in this marriage however.

Both of our wedding rings have the following inscription:  Ecclesiastes 4:12.  Faithful readers of the bible will recognize this verse.  It reads:  “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The pastoral charge at our wedding was based on this verse and the comments to us as a newly married couple were this.  Together as a couple you can do so much more than either of you can alone; however in order to have a strong marriage, there needs to be a third cord, and that third cord is the person of Jesus Christ.

Our marriage is a Christian marriage and that makes all the difference.  It means that we have anchored our marriage to Jesus Christ.  Storms may still come, but we will endure the storm.

I love you Margaret.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One step forward

The past two days my time spent with God has been from 6:30-6:50 in the morning. Prior to that I was reading the Bible and praying at bed time.

I like to think of myself as a morning person, but I think it more comes as a consequence of not being a night owl.

Ideally I would turn off the lights at 10pm and hop out of bed full of vigor at 6am or earlier. This rarely happens. Often it is 11 when the lights go out and routinely I am being dragged out of bed shortly before 7am when the girls get up.

My commitment for this week is to ensure that I get up by 6:30 each morning and spend time alone with the Lord. Eventually I would like to get it to 6am, but one step at a time.

For me the morning is the best time to have my daily devotions, there are no distractions, and I can renew my mind before heading into the day.

Typically during this time I would one - read a portion of the Bible and two - pray.

Back in May, our adult Sunday School class listened to some teaching from Robert Morris. In one of the lessons, he outlined his time with the Lord as the following: one - wait, two - worship, three pray and four read.

I have found this formula to work well for me. The only danger being that I might fall asleep while waiting. Hasn't happened yet, but my mind sure can wander and keeping my thoughts on Christ isn't always easy. Nevertheless this is the method that I plan to follow for the next few weeks as I get back into the regular habit of devotions.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Why did I call this blog Embedded Christian?

Pretty simple really. I am an embedded systems engineer who is also a Christian.

I will start with the first part of that description. What is an embedded systems engineer?

For those that are interested an embedded system is essentially an electro-mechanical device that is designed to perform a few dedicated functions. This is in contrast to the general purpose computer you may have in your home.

Typically the software required to operate the device is contained on a computer chip inside it, and is thus called firmware (software that resides in hardware). Examples of an embedded system, would be your wrist watch, your stereo, your TV, your telephone, your cable box, your DVD player, your microwave and your car. In fact your car probably has a dozen or more embedded systems, ABS braking system, fuel injection system, traction control system, GPS, etc. etc. etc.

Me, I write firmware that controls a check processing module that sits inside an ATM. The software I write operates motors, actuates solenoids, monitors sensors and communicates with the main computer via a USB connection. Fascinating stuff if you are like me and enjoy making things work.

By rights, I can call myself an embedded systems engineer. I don't have to use the terms embedded systems designer, or developer or programmer. I have the authority based on the Professional Engineers Act of Ontario to call myself an engineer.

Now for the second part of that description. What is a Christian?

For those that are interested a Christian is someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. They believe that he was born of the virgin Mary. They believe that he lived a sinless life and that he was crucified. Furthermore they believe that he was resurrected on the third day, that he ascended into heaven and that he will return again. Fascinating stuff if you are like me and enjoy having fellowship with God.

By rights, based on the above confession of faith in accordance with the Word of God, I can also call myself a Christian. One who is embedded in Christ.

Friday, August 13, 2010


June 27 1986 is a day that I won't forget. Why? Because on that date I received my first one year bible.

The reading that day was about Joash the child king of Israel. The date is fixed in my mind, but it can also be easily verified because in the one year bible, each passage is assigned to a different day of the year.

That day my dad had surprised my brother and I by getting us matching one year bibles; it was the living bible version, green cover, with a picture of a sundial on the front. I was reminded of this again, because I have gone back to using a one year bible in order to bring consistancy to my bible reading.

All of that to say, the mind is an amazing thing. My mind in particular seems to easily remember seemingly unimportant events and dates, while at the same time forget what I needed to get at the grocery store.

In May of 1985 I travelled with my mom to England to visit my grandparents. When we entered their apartment building immediately I commented to my mom that the colour of the handrail on the stairs had changed. It was now black but I remembered it as a pale blue colour.

I was 9 at the time and my mom could not recall one way or the other if the colour had changed. My grandparents did confirm however that I was correct. What still amazes me about this experience is that the last time I had seen the railing I was barely 2 years old.

I had a great child-hood and I have many fine memories of growing up. Prehaps that is why I am a nostalgic person. I like to revive memories from my childhood. I enjoy reliving the sights and sounds, the feelings and smells that accompanied those memories.

I recognize though that beeing too nostalgic, can have its downside. If I live in the past it will prevent me from progressing in the present. If I compare every experience to a golden standard from my past I might miss out on making new memories.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Motivation and Duty

I started off yesterday entitling my entry "Motivation". The direction that I took with that post wasn't what I originally intended, so today I will begin to present my thoughts on motivation.

What motivates me to get out of bed in the morning?

I have never been a person that struggles with depression. Certainly there have been times I would consider my state of mind to have been depressed, but I have never encountered a time in which I would consider my state of being to have been depressed.

In general I am an optimist, I try to be in the words of the apostle, content in all things.

Notwithstanding something motivates me to face the day.

There are the obvious external motivators. The paycheck at the end of the week being a big one. Another being the chorus of little girls asking "is it wake-up time?"

As strong as these and other external pressures are they not the source of my contentment however. For the source I need to examine what internally motivates me.

Today I will examine one of them.

Duty ... an old-fashioned word, one rarely used today outside of the military, yet in all truth still an abiding principle that is one of my sources of motivation. I have a duty to my family, I have a duty to my employer, I have a duty to my Lord.

The world constantly downplays duty. It is assumed that to be more genuine an action has to be done though a motivation based on an emotional tug at the heart stings.

I find this logic baffling. Show me a person who behaves benevolently out of a sense of duty and I know something about their character. Show me a person who behaves benevolently out of an emotional tug at the heart and I know nothing about their character.

Obviously it is best to have the benevolent emotions to go along with the sense of duty, but when it come to getting out of bed in the morning, duty has proven to be a welcome motivator that is a very real source of contentment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Why is it that I can go to bed with my mind fixed on things of God, yet I wake up with no desire to get out of bed and meet with Him?

I ask the question realizing that my daily disciplines are sorely lacking in consistency. I can go days at a stretch without desiring alone time with God. This is not good, nor is it right.

One day, I will regularly pray and read the Word simply through a desire to do so.

I make that declaration because I know from my own past that close communion with the Lord is something that can be attained, though not without cost.

It is not that I feel far from the Lord for I don't. I don't feel far from my earthly father either, we enjoy a great relationship.

The truth is though that He isn't just my Father. As a member of the universal church I am the Bride of Christ and Jesus wants to be closer to me than my wife.

I can easily identify with the truth that God is my benevalent Father. What I have a problem identifying with is the truth that Christ is the benevalent Lover of my soul.

Why don't I desire him as I should?

The issue isn't with Him. It is with me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Where I am spiritually

This past week I have been reading for the 3rd time the biography of Keith Green. If you haven't read "No Compromise - The Life Story of Keith Green", you should.

The first time I read this book it was the fall of 1993 and I was in grade 13. The impact it had on my life was immediate and long lasting, the specifics of which will have to wait for a future post. I read the book again while attending university around 1996.

If one word could sum up my thoughts it would have to be "intense". Keith was a very intense individual and the story of his conversion and subsequent ministry inspire me to live my live with more intensity and with an increased devotion to Jesus.

Before you can walk with me on my journey forward, you need to understand the place where I am starting from, so let me first answer the question implied by this posting.

Where am I spiritually?

First and foremost I am alive.

I believe with all my heart that Jesus died for my sins and that through his death my spirit has been given life.

Yet so many people are dead spiritually and it greaves me to know that I don't really care. Is that too frank? It must be the truth, because I am not doing much to influence my world for Jesus.

That leads into my second observation.

Though I am alive I have a bad case of laryngitis. I know that Jesus wants to speak through me, but people don't seem to be able to hear my life being lived out. I pray that my life would be a light to those spiritually dead around me, but it seems that my light is not intense enough to cut through the darkness.

There is that word again … intense.

How can I increase their my spiritual intensity?

If I think about a flashlight, the obvious answer is that the batteries need to be fully charged to obtain the maximum intensity of light.

I guess that is what I am doing when I read the Word of God and other Christian literature. I am recharging my spirit. Intellectually this makes sense, but also emotionally I can feel this transformation, as my thoughts and motivations are becoming more centered on Christian ministry.

There is a second step though. I need to turn on the light.

Obvious as this may be, this is the hardest step to take.

It is so easy to keep my light tucked away in a pocket, only to pull it out when I need to minister to someone in crisis. It is much harder to shine the light of Jesus to people who are perfectly happy with theirs lives and do not appreciate the light. In fact their spirit's despise it.

This is what I struggle with every day. How do I let Jesus shine though me? Every day, every hour.

I need an answer. And not one that is trite. An answer that is worthy of the one who saved my soul.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Forever Family Day, and my reasons for this blog

Today August 9th 2010, is packed with meaning. It was this day three years ago that my wife and I adopted our precious twin baby girls. The girls have been the source of so much joy in our lives and it is impossible to imagine life without them.

As each year goes by I am realizing that the time of childhood innocence is so fleeting. It seems like yesterday that we were packing our bags for China. This realization also has me contemplating again my role as father to them. The time that I have left to mold godly character in them is so short, and when I think about all the ways in which I fail to live up to the Christian standard I have set for myself, I know that I need to sharpen my own character

The reasons for this blog are twofold. First it is meant to be a record for my children so that they can know who their earthy father is/was. Second it is meant to be a journal of sorts through which I can pour out my thoughts and prayers. It is my intention that it will be personal in nature, since I have no interest in simply reciting the days events. As a man I find it difficult to express my feeling orally, so perhaps this blog might become a much needed outlet for me.