• Tilling the Good Soil of the Land, and the Hearts of the Haitian People

    “Why did this happen?!” We ask questions like this when unexpected and ostensibly senseless events occur in our lives…and this is the question Jen cried out to God when year after year she received news of death—the suicide of her graduation classmate, another classmate suicide, and finally the shocking murder of her stepfather. Frustration and depression accompanied Jen as she searched to understand why these events had taken place, and why her church failed to live out the community it preached Sunday after Sunday when she needed it the most.
    Categories: Culture,Global Missions,Written
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  • A Call to Action for Christ

    I shift around in my seat, look down at my notebook, and hear a cheerful and upbeat voice. “Kirsten?” I look up and standing before me is a man with happy eyes, a toque pulled down tightly over his head and a bearded smile: Dave Olson.
    Categories: Culture,Local Missions,Written
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  • I Hugged an Abuser

    There is something about the demonstration of compassion and love toward those who are known to have committed heinous acts of abuse, that evokes within some of us a cry of “Unjust! Undeserved!” or perhaps, ”Beware! Don’t be fooled!” or even “You are being weak! Stand strong!”. I get this. I’ve been on the other end of stories like these many times, and my initial response is often fueled by a desire for justice and protection of the individual who has been hurt. But there is more going on in these stories, in yours and in mine… there is a depth and breadth of pain that must be considered, and stepped into. And there is hope on the other side.
    Categories: Culture,Suffering,Written
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  • Life as Worship with Diane Martin

    Diane says that her understanding of worship and glorifying God were particularly challenged when she neared retirement. Diane worked as an elementary school teacher for 37 years, most of which were spent teaching kindergarten. Over the course of almost four decades she built many deep relationships with fellow teachers as she worked diligently to help young children embark on their school careers. As the right time came for her to transition out of her career, she found many people were asking her, “What are you going to do?” “Where are you going to go?” However, these were not the questions Diane was asking herself.
    Categories: Culture,Worship,Written
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  • Serving as Worship with Tracy Wong

    “I wasn’t sure what leading would mean. At that time, I didn’t have internet. And leading would mean that I’d need to communicate with 40 plus people on a regular basis. This really meant that I would have to engage and that was a little bit scary. I felt the responsibility to be stewarding 40 people with the right heart for serving. I’ve led a lot of things before—children’s camps, work things, leadership roles—but never with the kingdom in mind.”
    Categories: Mission,Worship,Written
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  • Music as Worship with Adam Cormier

    The music fades, the lights go dark, and the room goes that strange relative quiet of a thousand people waiting for the next song to start. A purple light shines on the stage, and as the lead singer begins the first verse, the audience sings along - though not everyone knows every word. But all know the chorus, and when it comes, the crowd's thunderous participation threatens to drown out the music coming from the stage. Hands fly into the air, propelled by lights and sound and the happy rush of being part of something bigger than yourself, and we hear that old familiar tune: “I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing.”
    Categories: Music,Worship,Written
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  • Nature as worship with dave olson

    Longtime Westsider Dave Olson has been meeting with God in nature since he was very young. “I grew up going on nature walks with my family” he says. “One of my earliest memories is a trip up to Mount Cheam with my dad. I remember being so afraid of heights that I had to crawl on my hands and knees the last few metres up the mountain and I wouldn’t go anywhere near the edge.”
    Categories: Culture,Worship,Written
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  • Community as worship with Shelley Horsfield

    “I guess you could say that I became a Christian because of community.” It was nearly a year after Shelley and her husband had moved to Los Angeles and she still didn’t have a close friend. One day a woman came to the cafe she was working at and asked if she’d like to go see a movie. Over time they became a good friends and she eventually explained grace and the gospel. “Her relationship with Jesus was so vibrant and I wanted that,” Shelley explains, “I found out later that God had prompted her to start a friendship with me.”
    Categories: Community,Culture,Worship,Written
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  • Orphans In Our Midst

    When you think of the word “orphan,” what picture comes to your mind? On which continent, or in which country, does this child live? Have you given much thought to the orphan living in your neighbourhood? Have you considered that there are orphans attending the same schools as many of the children who attend Westside’s Sunday school?
    Categories: Culture,Family,Global Missions,Local Missions,Mission,Orphan Care,Parenting,Written
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  • Hospitality as Worship with Mike & Jen Por

    We sat in the living room after a delicious meal of grilled sausage, fresh corn on the cob, grilled zucchini, warm bread and delicious wine. We had sat together like this many times before after wonderful dinners like this and talked about life, Jesus, friendship, frustrations, joys, sadness and so much more. This time it was my pleasure to gain a better understanding of my friends and how their generous hospitality is a “spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).
    Categories: Community,Culture,Worship,Written
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  • Generosity as Worship with David & Keri Haywood

    David felt and continues to feel God’s direct call on his life to serve those who are less fortunate, whether the root is financial, addiction or mental illness derived. While his heart breaks often for the people he tries to help, the Lord fills him with joy through his service, too. And the Lord has revealed much to David over the years about Himself: how His timing is perfect, how His plan is different from our own, and how to love unconditionally within intense suffering.
    Categories: Community,Culture,Local Missions,Worship,Written
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  • Work as Worship with Peter Hildebrand

    Peter is one of those rare people who from a young age had a dream of what he wanted to be when he was older and actually achieved it. He became an architect. When I asked where it all started, he said it plainly: “Drawing and lego.”
    Categories: Culture,Worship,Written
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  • Sport & Recreation As Worship with Nicolaas Kuit

    In writing this blog, I had the honour to sit down for an interview with Nicolaas Kuit who has been one of the leaders of “Westside Outdoors” since Feb 2016. Nick is an avid competitive curler here in BC and enjoys many outdoor activities including cycling and running. Neither of us had done an interview before, so like any experienced outdoorsman Nick “checked the map” before taking his first steps. “If we are framing sport through the lens of worship, what is the definition of ‘worship’?” he asked.
    Categories: Culture,Worship,Written
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  • The Word & Prayer as Worship with Marilyn Harapnuik

    Although she grew up in a Christian home, Marylin would say her faith didn’t really blossom until her twenties, when she experienced nearly a decade of suffering in a spiritual wilderness. During this season of pain, regret, guilt and heartbreak Marilyn was forced to confront what she really believed about God.
    Categories: Prayer,Written
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