No moral compass

That’s basically what this Abacus survey of Canadians on issues of morality seems to suggest, for the vast majority of Canadians. This presents a challenge for evangelism (so many false values to get past) and an opportunity (Christianity is clearly different). May we be bold and call men from darkness to light!

a very special guy


This is our dear friend Al, receiving a knighthood from the Republic of France for his role on the beaches of Normandy, June 6, 1944. He has been invited to a special ceremony there this year (all expenses paid), but at 92, he doesn’t want to chance it. He said to me today, “I made it off those beaches alive once, I’m not sure I can do it again!”

More importantly, Al testifies that he is depending on the work of Jesus Christ to save his soul from sin. He regularly attends our services with his wife and brings one of our other ladies along with them as well. Yes, he is still driving and is as sharp as a tack. He is actually kind of hard to keep up with, but he is a real blessing to us.


I don’t know if my American friends can see this video, its an interview by a Canadian TV personality, George Stroumboulopoulos. I can’t stand George and I’m not a huge fan of the Prince, but I was a good deal put off by the beginning of the interview.

The way it appeared to me, Strombo, as they are sitting down, unexpectedly sticks out his hand to the Prince, expecting to shake hands. Prince Charles appears not to notice at first, then, to spare George embarrassment, reaches out and shakes his hand.

It might be just me, but I seem to recall that you just don’t do that… If you meet a royal and they initiate a handshake, it’s all good. But we commoners keep our hands to ourselves otherwise. At least … that’s the way I think it is supposed to be done.

I am sure on-air interviews aren’t easy, for interviewee or interviewer. But wouldn’t George have been briefed on protocol before he sat down with the Prince? Or is he just completely clueless? (I tend to think the latter.)

a tim’s olympic moment

We’ve been enjoying the Spring Olympics out here on the Wet Coast. Of course, that means the sporting events are interrupted by commercials.

One commercial we have been seeing over and over up here is promoting Tim Horton’s coffee shops, almost a national institution up here. It is one of those very few commercials that you don’t get tired of, so I thought my American readers might enjoy seeing it:


The screen here in Canada says it is based on a true story, but I haven’t been able to find any background on it.

I did find this discussion of it, which I think helps capture the emotion of the spot… and the ‘Canadian-ness’ of it as well.


Canada Day

Today we had an inter-church picnic. Besides our church, there are two other independent Baptist churches in our city. They are both small mission works like us. Another church from an hour and a bit north of us also joined us. I didn’t count, but we had well over 50 people, maybe into the 60s.

To my state-side friends that might not seem like much. To us it seems a great blessing to be able to gather together, to fellowship, to hear the Word, to play games, to sing our anthem, to know that the gospel message that calls men OUT from the world and all the taints of worldliness is not something we hold to quiet and alone in our little, struggling churches, wondering if we are the only ones. No, it is the great God and Saviour of our souls that unites us, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is his church and we are grateful to be a part of it.


proximity of political paralysis

I ran into a friend of mine the other day. He was outside one of our grocery stores, campaigning for his seat in our legislature. He is the incumbent MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for the riding next door to the one I live in. [For our American friends, an MLA is like a State Representative, except we have a unicameral legislature, so an MLA has much more influence than a State Rep would. There are other differences as well, but that will have to suffice as an explanation.]

I first met my friend when I was selling real estate to support our work here in Victoria. Another friend referred him to me. One day I picked up my phone at the office and this voice said, “Is this Don the Baptist?” And when I answered “Yes”, the voice went on, “Well I am John the Socialist.” And indeed he is. We get along rather well, in spite of political differences. The story of that house sale is one of my best from real estate days, but we’ll let that go by the wayside, too. John told me the other day they are still in that house, happy with it, and planning to renovate the kitchen soon.

As I said, I ran into John while he was campaigning. We talked about a few things and noted our differences. I was talking to my daughter about it afterwards. I told her that if we lived just a few blocks further west, I’d have a real problem deciding who to vote for. That might come as a shock to those who know my political views – my friend is a member of a party that I think I could almost never vote for. They are through and through socialists, so wrong headed [Read more…]

state of the Canadian church is publishing a series of articles describing the state of the Canadian church. This must be an annual thing, because they published a series of seven articles last year. Today’s article is called "Protestant realignment". I thought I’d highlight a few paragraphs that struck me.

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persecution or good governance?

In Canada today, the biggest news story of the day is the arrest of two Mormons for polygamy. These men are the heads of rival factions among a Mormon sect in Bountiful, BC. There have been numerous stories about these men, their wives, their children, their feud, and on and on over the last few years. With the arrest of two of the principles yesterday, our news media has exploded with stories and opinion articles concerning the matter. news says there are 599 related articles when I clicked on this link, but once you arrive at the link, it says 89 related articles. I am not quite sure how that works, but the story is undeniably a big story here in Canada and is surely of interest around the world, especially in places where there are many Mormons.

One of the men arrested yesterday was on TV today claiming religious persecution. Now… is this religious persecution, or is this a matter of good governance?

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a little history on-line

For a little week-end change of pace, I offer you an historical artifact recently established and placed on-line for all to peruse.

That would be the archives of the British Colonist, forerunner to our local newspaper, Victoria’s Times-Colonist.

The British Colonist was founded in 1858 by a man formerly known as William Smith, but better known as Amor de Cosmos. That’s right … ‘lover of the universe’. British Columbia has always been a place for eccentrics.

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on things canuck-like

Yesterday I made a comment about how we Canadians identify ourselves. Typically a lot of our self-definition is in terms of how we are not like Americans. A certain distressing (to me, at least) smugness lies in the Canadian sense of superiority over Americans.

It is to be expected that smaller, less powerful neighbours will be somewhat jealous of the more powerful next door. I think this is true to America’s south as well as to the north. But for us on the north there is an added sense of competition from sharing the same language, heritage and culture, but not sharing similar positions or power in the world.

Yesterday was Victoria Day in Canada, one of our statutory holidays in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. The holiday is set to occur on the first Monday before May 25, even though Victoria’s birthday was May 21. This day is one of our uniquely Canadian cultural events. It is always celebrated with a grand parade in our city, complete with American high school bands from Washington state. (I love to hear them when I get a chance to go down to the parade.) This year, our civic pride was boosted by a band from one of our local high schools winning the band competition.

One of our nation’s senators wrote an article in a Toronto paper yesterday on the occasion of Victoria Day. He made an interesting comment that highlights some essential differences between Canada and America.

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