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December 2006
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February 2007

I'm Headed to the Big Apple

Tomorrow I'm taking the good ol' Amtrak down to NYC to visit my best friend from college.  I haven't seen my pal, Jeff Haley, in 10 or 11 years.  I'll only be there for a couple days.  We'll do some long-awaited catching up, listen to a ton of music, I'm sure, and check out some his favorite eateries in the Bronx.  I'm really looking forward to my time with Jeff.

On the other hand, I must admit I feel a little bit guilty leaving Elizabeth at home with the kids (all alone for 4 days).  But she's being extremely gracious about it.  And I told her I'd buy her something nice in New York.

The round-trip train ticket from Niagara Falls is only $140.  I couldn't feed my car for that little.  AND it will only take me 1 hour longer by train than if I drove it straight.  I think, if we can find someone to watch the kids for a few days, I might plan another excursion down to the city and show Elizabeth some of the sights.  She's never been to NYC before.  I think it would be a lot of fun.

Television Appearance

I've been booked to perform on a live television show broadcast out of Buffalo, NY on March 9; TCT Alive.  The opportunity kind of came out of the blue when they contacted me at the recommendation of someone I don't even know - but who supposedly knows me...

I'll be doing 3 songs live during the broadcast on that day and might possibly tape a few more songs with my band for a later broadcast.  Should be fun.

I will post some video on the site here when it's all done.

Grace on the Move

For the last 14 months Grace Community Church (both my spiritual family and my employer), has been in a capital campaign to raise funds for a new ministry building.  I just realized today that I don't think I've ever posted an update regarding the project since we started.  So, here we go...

Since Grace was planted in the Meadowvale community of Mississauga in 1998 the church has grown from its original team size of 13 people to roughly 270 people.  We have used rented facilities (public schools) for our weekend services since the first day.

In 2002 we partnered with our mother organization, Grace Brethren Canada, to purchase a portion of a small office building.

We currently meet at West Credit Secondary School where we have more or less maxed out our space.  And as far as many of the staff at the school are concerned, we have maxed out our "welcome" at the school as well.

In the fall of 2005 we began a campaign to raise funds for a permanent facility (either warehouse or land) to use as both our office space and weekend service facility.  Our ultimate goal is to have a building that functions much like a community centre.

With over $300,000 pledged toward the project, we are currently on target to reach that goal by June at the end of our campaign.  We have recently engaged a full-time consultant to work on the massive duty of researching and locating the best possible purchase options for us.

We serve a community that is fairly well land-locked as far as development is concerned.  And that fact has driven property values into the almost unreachable zone.  For example, another church in a neighboring community has just put their building on the market as they have outgrown it.  The building is about 14,000 square feet and sits on just under 5 acres of land.  The listing price is $5 million dollars.  In just a couple of weeks, they already have 2 bids on the property higher than the list price.

We are looking and praying for either 4+ acres to build upon or a 22,000-24,000 sq. ft. warehouse.  Grace's 10th anniversary is coming up in September of 2008 and our goal would be to celebrate that benchmark with a grand opening in a new building.

If you're a person who prays, you can pray for us - specifically for Steve Mainguy, our development consultant.  And if you know any info that might help us in our search, you can pass that on as well.

The photo here is a satellite view of the area where we are currently serving and where we'd like to be able to buy/build.


The Top 10 Books I Read in 2006

10. Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2 by Steve Stockman

9. Beauty Tips From Moosejaw by Will Ferguson

8. The Broker by John Grisham

7. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

6. The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus

5. Simply Strategic Growth by Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan

4. A Purpose-Drive Life by Rick Warren

3. Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

2. Jesus: An Intimate Portait by Leith Anderson

1. Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels

5 Reason Why '07 Will Be Better Than '06

5. We will have Ephraim potty-trained and will be rid of diapers forever (or at least until I need them)

4. I will get to spend a week with my brother (and other family) in July

3. Grace Community Church will have completed our 2nd investment campaign and should be embarking on permanent facilities soon

2. We will camp even more times at Craigleith park than we did last year

1. My daughter, Sarah, will get her first job - and start wasting her own hard-earned money