Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Hockey

Eight Things I’m Pretty Stoked About

There’s lots going on these days. It’s keeping me too busy to write much of substance lately. But, here’s a little glimpse into a few of the things that have got me pretty excited right now (in no particular order).

  1. The Lord keeps adding to our number. We ran out of chairs again yesterday in our Sunday morning service. I’ll need to ask the school to begin to set more out for us. Several people have indicated that they’re interested in becoming members and sticking around. How encouraging!
  2. We’ve had some pretty awesome visitors lately. Over the past two weeks we’ve been blessed to fellowship with saints from sister churches in Toronto, as well as those who’ve travelled from Saskatchewan, BC, and England.
  3. It’s been such a blessing to witness the prayerfulness and enthusiasm of Paul McDonald as he begins his ministry at GFC. It’s contagious and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use Paul in our midst.
  4. I’m excited to begin our evening series on the spiritual disciplines. I anticipate it will be a special time in the life of our church as we learn to pursue God even more earnestly.
  5. I’m really looking forward to our new small groups starting up in just a few weeks. Those are always used of God to do great things in the life of our church.
  6. I haven’t preached the past two Sundays. It has been a blessed break and I’m thankful for it — but man, I’m excited to get back into the pulpit! Especially since I’ve been studying 1 Peter for a while now. I’m praying that the ministry in this next series will be out of the overflow of all that God’s doing in my heart as I prepare for it.
  7. I’m playing hockey again this winter for the first time in a while. Man oh man, I’ve missed it. I just hope I don’t stink as bad as I’m anticipating I will. I’m pretty excited to have some guys from church joining me on the team this year as well. We’re hoping God opens some good doors for evangelism.
  8. We are starting a new Fighter Verse schedule this week. For the first time we’re trying to match our memory verses with the teaching schedule in such a way that our memorization will help each week by reminding us of what we’ve just heard on Sunday and what we’ve been learning together. I’m excited to give it a try and see how it works!
There’s lots more, but that’s a little highlight list. God is far too good to me and to our little church. I can’t wait to see his goodness even more in days to come.

My Disordered Heart

** This is written as part of the series 30 for 30: Reflections on Life at My 30th Birthday **

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Something funny is going to happen tonight. The Vancouver Canucks will play the Boston Bruins in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. From the time the national anthems play, right before the drop of the puck, I’ll be on the edge of my seat. My mind will be focused, my eyes locked on, my whole body ready to cheer, jeer, or boo, as events unfold. My heart will be engaged. I will yell and holler and make a fool of myself by getting so upset about a game. But it will grip me, engage me, affect me.

Why in the world would this be? I’m not even a Canucks fan (and goodness knows, like any Christian, I’m definitely NOT a Bruins fan!). So why would it grip me? Maybe we could chalk it up to the sport of hockey. Except that’s not right either. Last night I was overjoyed to see the Mavericks demolish the Heat and their thugs team. But I’m not a basketball fan, or a Mavs fan. So why would my heart be engaged by such irrelevant foolishness?

The short answer is that I don’t know; I just simply don’t understand my heart and why it reacts the way it does. The long answer has to do with Eve and Adam eating a piece of fruit, and plunging the world and all their children into the disordered chaos that we know as life.

One of the things I came to see early on in my pursuit of theology was the Noetic effects of sin. That’s the doctrine which says that our minds don’t work like they should–our thoughts are corrupted–because of the fall. What came much later, but I now see with even more clarity, is the emotional equivalent (although I don’t know if it has a name). What I have observed in myself is that my heart–the centre and source of my affections and desires–is fundamentally disordered.

The classic contrast illustrating this is the Saturday night hockey game to Sunday morning church. On Saturday night I’m engaged and excited, jumping up and down, raising my arms, calling out spontaneously, enjoying every moment. On Sunday morning I struggle to stay focused and I’m embarrassed to lift a hand or make a noise that isn’t ‘pre-approved.’ How sad that my heart finds more to delight in in a useless game than the glorious gospel of God become man, crucified for sinners, risen to given us joy and life!

There are many more examples. Why am I quicker to cry because of a movie than because of my sin? Why do problems with our house make me sadder than problems with our marriage? Why, when I talk about Jesus, do I care more about what people think of me than I care what they think of Jesus? Why am I so often driven to despair by the smallest of problems? The list goes on and on… The things that I know matter most don’t affect me most and the things that affect me most often don’t matter at all. My heart is disordered.

Of course, the only remedy for this is the gospel. My heart is just like everything else in creation. Though it was created to be ordered, because of the fall it is subject to futility, corruption, and disorder. But the gospel makes all things new. The gospel promises the Spirit of God ‘circumcising our hearts’ and making us new creations in Christ. The whole of our life now is a process, a growth, becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ. Not just in the ways I think or in the ways that I act–but also in the ways that I feel. I want my heart to be like his heart. I want to be moved to love and compassion and anger by the things that move his heart to love and compassion and anger.

I pray that if God gives me more time on this earth, it would be a journey towards Christlikeness of life, thought, and emotion; that my disordered heart would be increasingly ordered after his own.

For the Kerux…

When I saw this I just had to…

What I Already Knew

On the eve of what essentially amounts to a ‘do or die’ game, the Canadian Press is reporting today what the enlightened of us Canadians have known for some time. The Montréal Canadiens (aka Les Gloriuex) are Canada’s Team.

So much for ‘Leaf Nation.’ Maybe they’ll have more luck getting support on the golf course?

A Great Night in Photos






And finally, one that says it all…

A Hockey Post

It’s not often I post about sports, but I couldn’t resist this time. I came across an article by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports on the topic of Gary Bettman’s 15th anniversary as commissioner of the National Hockey League.

In this article, he said everything I’ve thought about Bettman and the job that he has done better than I ever could. If you’re a hockey fan (or even if you’re a Sabres fan), this is an important read.

If online petitions were good for anything other than wasting time and filling up people’s inboxes with spam, I’d definitely start one to get Bettman out. That guy stinks at his job, and everyone seems to know it except the NHL Board of Governers. What’s up with that?

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