Camp is DONE!

Camp is done. OVPC Sr High camp 2011 is finished. Can’t go back. Can’t change anything about it, although I’m almost positive many of you wouldn’t change a thing, but the fact remains that camp has come and it’s now gone.

I’m thankful for the people who made camp what it was. Our district leader, Jeff Hillier, who I think is incredible, and deserves way more credit then he gets. Pastor Ben and his team that did an outstanding job of leading worship. Pastor Mike Love who did what he was asked to do, and that was to bring the Word. The youth pastors. I can’t say enough about how great the youth pastors are. They are heroes, legends, and role models, people I learn from and look up to. It’s a privilege for me to work along side these men and women. I’m thankful for people who take the time to be apart of camp and help out by being the camp medic for a week, the camp security for a week. I’m also thankful for the coaches who take time out of their busy lives to help lead students for a week.

I’m sure I’m missing someone or some team, who did a fabulous job this week, but can I say what I’m extremely thankful for. I’m thankful for the students. This week I saw students press in, I saw students put their hunger on display, I saw students love on others, I saw students encourage each other. But even greater than all that, I saw hope. Yes hope.

The whole week was incredible, but it was Friday that I saw it. It was Friday where I sat at the back of the tabernacle as Pastor Mark Raymer finished his session on intercession, and the only sound in the room was the sound of students hungry for His presence, hungry for a change. The only way I was able to describe it was “a holy rumble”. The bell rang for lunch, and still students would not be interrupted. They weren’t satisfied with the norm, but they wanted more. As a youth pastor, this is what I was thankful for. That sound was not just about hype at camp, that dies a week or two later. That sound was not just feelings in the moment, but that sound was the sound of a generation that has been woken up to the presence of their King, and anything else will not satisfy them.

Camp is over, but life should not go back to normal. Instead, we should move forward with full confidence that our city, our school’s our homes; our own lives will never be the same. So my prayer, and my hope is this, that when you go to church, to youth, or you spend time in your stronghold, you bring the same hunger, the same passion. The same God you were passionate about this past week did not stay at camp, so don’t leave your passion at camp.

Thank you, all of you who make me better. I’m blessed to do life with you.

Gilly (P Adam)


Remembering a friend

July 19, 2003…one of those days that I remember where I was what i was doing when I received one of, if not THE, toughest phone call I ever received. In a gas station parking lot hearing the words that my closest friend had passed away.
Now eight years later and it still brings sadness. Not a day goes by I don’t think of Jason. I think about the fun times we had when we were kids, and the laughs we shared as teenagers. But if I can be totally honest, I often think about how great of a role model he was. To family members, to friends, to people who knew him from a distance. Who he said he was, IS how he lived his life. As a Christian, he was someone I could look up to and hope I could be like.
Eight years does not remove sadness, and it doesn’t stop making you miss someone, but I can say that after eight years I’m still thankful for the privilege and honor of the many years before.

Miss you still J!

Put your 1’s up!

Another year for convention has come and gone, and what a great year it was. For many reasons, I enjoy convention. I enjoy seeing friends, friends that i’ve known for years, and friends that as years go by I’m getting the opportunity to meet. I also enjoy seeing the students press in, and having their lives changed by God. It’s really incredible to see. Another reason why I love convention is the memories. Convention for me has many great memories, like winning the 3-3 basketball tournament (yes i’m still signing autographs from that huge win), spending time with friends like Jason Senechal (Miss you J..put your 1’s up), and the year they had those basketball guys do the preaching (amazing 🙂 ) Being at convention brings me back once again to something that has become more and more evident for me lately.

I am the father of a little girl who is year and a half old. Olivia Grace is her name (yes that is her first name, she also goes by Liver, Liv, Grace, and when they do play by play in the future “Livy Grace” will be what they say..She’ll play at UNC). Liv is absolutely in love with the park, when we walk from the front door to the car she tries to walk to the park instead, and when she realizes we are not going there she gets upset. Seriously, she loves the park. On the days that we do go to the park she really only goes where other kids are. If you can picture our park, there are two playground areas, big kids and small kids areas. She doesn’t stay at one, she just keeps walking between  the two, it all depends on where the crowds are. Usually as we walk in between I keep telling her “You are a leader not a follower, please pick a spot. Leader, you are a leader” (yes maybe i’m crazy but i’m just trying to speak into her life now, causes she’s going to change the world). But walking in between the playgrounds is not what frustrates me, i’m getting to that now.

This is what usually happens at the big playground. Liv will take her time climbing up stairs, up the next set of stairs, then over the bridge, slowly and carefully, the whole time smiling at me or her mom, and i’m cheering her on, “awesome Liv, you are the best, that’s it, keep going”. That continues of course until she starts walking back, and then I start saying “no liv come on, you are better this, you are not quitter keep going” (don’t judge me). But finally she gets to the big slide, and she sits down as if she is ready to go, and finally the moment arrives where…..nothing happens. She just sits there. Other kids come around pass infront of her and go down the slide, this happens a few times. And the whole time I’m at the bottom “Come on liv you can do it, almost there come on, i’ll catch you”, but still she remains at the top just sitting there. My job from that point on is to go up the stairs over the bridge all the way until I get to her and get her closer to the slide and show her how it’s done. Once she finally goes down she loves it, and from the top of the playground I watch her celebrate with her mom as she accomplished something big in her eyes (and in the eyes of her parents).

Now if you can for just a second imagine this with me. My daughter at the top not sure how this slide thing works, and I make my way up to her and when I get to the top I just move her to the side and I go down myself and then I celebrate with Rachel at the bottom cause I just went down the slide, and I repeat this process over and over again, until it’s time for bed (Liv’s bedtime not mine). Now i’ve gone down the slide over and over again, but the whole time my daughter is sitting at the top not knowing how to go down. First, I’d look like the worst dad in  the world. Second, I’d look like creepy adult playing in the kids playground. Reminds me of when I was 17, babysitting these two kids. Their mom was having people over so she dropped us off at Mcdonalds. We were only supposed to be there for an hour or so, it ended up being closer to four. But this Mcdonalds had a great playground, so of course the kids played in it, and eventually I did to. I was having a blast, but after a while of me playing with the two I was babysitting and all the other kids, the manager came to me (while I was buried in the plastic ball pit) and said “Excuse me but your playground is at Laronde (amusement part in Montreal). I slowly got out of the pit hoping no one noticed me (I’m sure no one saw me during the hour of me playing). But I share that story because it reminds me that my time in that playground was done, I was to old for that, my role in that playground was now different. Same with the park near my house, my role is different than when I was a kid.

When the picture of my daughter at the park came to mind, there were a few verses that came to me as well. The first being Ephesians 3:12 “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence”. How awesome is it to know that we have access to the throne. When Christ died on the cross the veil was torn in two, giving us that opportunity to do so. No need to go through anyone else, but I can have my own personal relationship with Him. He tells us that we can approach at anytime and there is no need to be shy or to back away. AWESOME! But if I can be honest, it took me a while to learn this. The life as a Christian is progressive and it’s only getting better, and I learn more the longer I’m alive, but there was a time where I was stuck wasn’t sure how it worked. How can I go to God with this, or after I’ve done that. To go along with my illustration, I was stuck at the top of the slide not sure how it all works. I needed people to show me. And trust me, there is an incredible freedom to know that I can go to Him on my own anytime about anything.

This brings me to my next verse, Hebrews 5:12 “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” As a youth pastor I’ve seen students stuck where I was once stuck, and I believe my role is now to show them what I had to learn. It serves them or anyone else no good if all I do is learn the same thing over and over again, hoping someone is there to help me down the same thing, what I need to do is keep learning new things so that I have new things to teach them along the way. I’m not saying that I should forget what i’ve learned, cause even though I’ve moved on from that step I NEED to know how to show someone else. I’ve seen to many students stuck at the top of the slide not sure how this works, and there is no one interested in taking the time to show them, or they can’t find anyone who remembers how it works.

Convention is different for me now. Yes I still take things away from it, I learn things at convention, but my focus is that students are changed, challenged. It’s about them.

Here’s my hope. My hope is that when Ava (our next little girl who is due August 22) is born, and makes her way up the stairs, over the bridge, and sits down wondering how the slide works, that her big sister Livy Grace, makes her way up the stairs, this walking not crawling, over the bridge (hopefully still smiling at me or her mom) and gets to the slide, and sits next to Ava and says “hey, i’ve been here before. Not sure how it works right? We’ll do this together, until you get it on your own”. But I also hope this. That while I am still around, I give everything I can to teach students the things I’ve learned a long the way.  Because Some day when my little girls are  in youth they are going to make their way out of the pew, over the bridge of what others are thinking, until they get to the altar and they will sit there. And I hope that one of those students that you or I taught, walks out from the pew, over the bridge and to the altar and sits next to them and says “hey, can I show you what I learned”.

Who are you teaching?

Hope this made sense to you, because it did for me.


So here’s my deal, as I said in my first blog, I love God, but here’s the truth, He Loves me way more than I love Him. I wish I could be honest and say that I love Him more, or at least the same as He loves me, but it’s just not true. Having said that, I’m so very thankful that He loves me. It gets better though, He loves you to. Ya you, the one who doesn’t love Him back, He loves you. Hey you! Ya you, the one who says “I used to love him, but I’m just not down with that anymore”, He loves you also. Actually He is crazy about you. Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten you, yes yes, you, the one who says “I love God, I really do”, but live like you’ve never even heard of Him. He sees right through you, right through the masks that you put on in every environment you are in, and He still says “I love you”.

Doesn’t make sense, and i’m sure most of us can sit back and say “I don’t deserve this kind of love”, and you are right, we don’t, that’s why the definition of Grace is “undeserved”. But i’m not here to talk about Grace, there will be many people who will write about that one (I have no problem with that). But I am here to write briefly on what I think is sometimes a false quote; “Home is where the Heart is”. It’s a quote I’ve heard numerous times in my lifetime, and I’m sure i’ve even said once or a hundred times in my life (how many thought I was going to say twice? I know I’m hilarious) Anyway, I’m actually here to share that I believe Home is not where the Heart is…at least not all of the time. Let me explain, and yes I will be going spiritual all up in this place. (I feel great having written that last line)

For me it starts in the garden. We have Adam who walks the garden singing his favorite tune “And He walks with me and He talks with me, And tells me I am His own”, and God gives clear direction not to eat the fruit of a certain tree (knowledge of good and evil), or else they will die. Of course we know what happens, Adam does what He was told not to do, and he and Eve both find themselves removed from the garden. While reading this,  I was somewhat confused because God said they would surely die, but that didn’t happen. Did God lie? Did He just try and scare them by saying they would die? Nope, I really think He meant what He said. Let me keep explaining.

In John 10:10 Jesus is on the scene and He says this “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” To have life, is the evidence that something is not dead. As one author wrote “Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good, He came to make dead people live” (by the way, He still is making dead people live). Here I am once again, curious as to what is going on. God said you’ll die if you eat from that tree. Adam and Eve are banished from the garden, and now Jesus has come to make people live? The answer to my questions were answered in 1 Peter 3:18 “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely HOME TO GOD.” Here’s what I understood/understand. Anything away from God’s presence is death. Adam and Eve did die on that day. they died because they were separated from God.

Before I share what I really want to share, please hear my heart (or my home? no that doesn’t fit) on this one. I am well aware that I am far far far from being the best youth pastor, best christian, best person. I make a lot of mistakes, have made many many many mistakes, hurt a lot of people along the way (I wish i could say it was all unintentional). Ok, now that i’ve said that let me say this.

As a youth pastor, I get to spend a lot of time with students and hear their hearts, and their plans for their futures. But what if I had a student come to me and say “I feel God wants me to go into tap dancing school (it could happen), but I really want to be a missionary, what should I do?” and replied this way “you know I really think you should follow your heart on this one”? How wrong is that?! Reality is this, there are way to many people who are following their hearts, and not God’s heart. Bible says this “I have David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want Him to do”. David was not concerned about what his own heart wanted, but what God’s heart wanted. (yes I am aware that David messed up big time, but he also realized it and said this  ‘Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.’ maybe he knew what happened to Adam). This part is even worse and actually breaks my heart. There are way to many Christians, leaders, Pastors, who are more concerned with their heart then God’s heart. Some leave churches, positions in churches, start new churches, and leave God because they have followed their own hearts desire. There is a reason God tells us to guard our hearts, because He knows the effects in can have on the course of our lives.

A Home is supposed to be a place of peace, comfort, happiness (i know that unfortunately for some people that is not your picture of home, I pray that changes), and when we are away we can’t wait to get back. When we do get back we might think or even say “ahhh there’s no place like home”, and you are right, there isn’t. Being in God’s presence (Home) is a place of peace, comfort, happiness, joy, and ask anyone who has been away and come back to Him, they will tell you, there is no place like home.

I say this with every ounce of passion and enthusiasm that I have, God Loves you. And you were created to be with Him, and love FOR Him. I’m praying for you, ya you the one who (fill in where you are at with God)


put your 1’s up


Yesterday seemed to be a long day. There were a few factors causing the day to be long. The first being the weather. There is no sign of warm weather. It rained, it snowed, and the wind blew. This has been the pattern as of late. Another reason yesterday was a long a day was the fact that it was the second day without a Habs playoff game. Yes I am a Habs fan, I enjoy the playoffs. Especially after a loss, waiting two nights to watch them play is a long time. You have to sit with that bitter taste of defeat, and even worse you get leaf fans making comments about it(which I still don’t get, seeing as they’ve been out of the playoffs the past few years. Let me know how to win playoff games when you actually play one). OK got that off my chest. And finally, the third reason yesterday was a long day was because it was spent at the doctors office with my little girl Olivia.

It started Sunday night with her vomiting right before I left for church. Her food from the afternoon came up. She then continued to throw up. She seemed to be ok as the vomiting stopped, but she was not interested in eating. Monday the same thing happened, she threw up the liquids she had been drinking (still not really eating). Tuesday was a repeat performance of the previous two. Funny thing is, in between throwing up and not eating, she was her regular self, having fun, loving the park. All seemed to be good.

Then came Wednesday morning. She woke up earlier than usual with a cry, so I went to get her from her bed, brought her into our bed where she would hang with her mom while I got ready for work. She vomited again, but this time things seemed different. She had absolutely no energy, to the point where sitting her on the bed resulted in her just flopping onto her side wanting to sleep. No expression on her face whatsoever. It was quite sad really. As one friend said to me, it’s really hard when they can’t communicate what they are feeling. We brought her to the urgent care to get her checked out. No fever, just dehydrated and very lethargic. Normally when a doctor is trying to check on her she is fussy, but this time there was no movement from her at all. They of course wanted to monitor her so we stayed quite a while, making sure she was keeping down the fluids. She did, so they let us go home with clear instructions of “if she vomits twice, bring her right to the hospital”. As of this morning, no more vomiting and she is more active. (she and I both danced to the mickey mouse song “Hot Dog”. I was trying to be like Goofy)

I sat and thought a lot about this whole situation and I thought about how I was feeling when I saw her so emotionless, it was frustrating and sad. My insides were saying, “Ok come on, this is not you, smile at me, giggle, do something”, but nothing. I then began to think about God, and how He looks at us when we have become lethargic in our relationship with Him. I know, some of you might think, “ya ya go ahead and make it a spiritual blog”, and I am :). Truth is there have been plenty of times when my relationship with Him has been so very lethargic. I love the dictionary, so bare with me as I give a few definitions.

Lethargic: Sluggish and apathetic.

Sluggish: Lacking energy or alertness. Slow to respond or make progress.

Apathetic: showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern

I don’t think we were ever mean to become any of these things in our relationship with Christ. Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that every day our life should be filled with enthusiasm. I know there are some days that are tough, situations that are tough, and the list can go on as to why we can choose to be down and out, but the reality is we have every reason to be enthusiastic, every reason to be excited, every reason to rejoice. That reason is Him. I heard someone say recently, “We don’t worship Him because of our love for Him, but we worship Him because of His love for us”. Yes I do worship Him because I love Him, but I only love Him because He first loved me. But what happens when we realize that it’s not about our love for Him but His love for us, we can find a reason to worship Him everyday, because His love never stops. And by worship Him everyday I don’t mean you have to wake up put on your best worship mix. (you know the one that makes you lift your hands more than the other cd’s you have, the one where you’ve memorized every word in the song, even the part where the worship leader is expressing their heart to God, and you sing those same words as if you wrote them. You know you have that one cd)I mean worship with Him in every way.

One thing I noticed with my daughter being sick was that her being lethargic was a result of other things adding up. She was throwing up, but still active. She was not eating, but still active. A few days of those symptoms mixed together adds up to her being lethargic.

Our relationship with Christ doesn’t just go from passion to lethargy, but there are symptoms, and lethargy is the result. Stop praying, stop reading the word, stop going to church (yes going to church actually is important, no matter what people might say to you). Eventually when you stop a lot of what God is trying to get into your system, you’ll find yourself non-responsive to him, and distant.

I leave you with this. Just as I sat there saying “come on Liv, this isn’t you, smile, giggle, do something” I believe there are many times where God is doing the very same thing “talk to me, listen to me. This isn’t you. This is not how you are suposed to be”.

Thanks for reading.


Hebrews 2:1(MSG) “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.”

Being Consistent

Hello? Any one there? Please tell me someone is reading this..Well incase you are, my name is Adam, and i’m inconsistent.

This is not the first time I’ve decided to start writing a blog, but reality is I’ve never been consistent enough to actually finish writing one. I often sit back and think “maybe I’ll start writing a blog, I mean everyone else is, so why not..” (this may or may not have been an exact quote of something I actually said to myself). To be honest, blogging isn’t the only thing that i’ve been inconsistent with.

Working out is another one. I know I know, why do I need to work is probably the question you are asking me, because you have seen how I look, and really, can you really improve what i’ve got going on (please note I am not this cocky). But, yes working out is something I’d like to do, have tried doing, and have recently started and have stayed, for the most part, consistent.

The list could go on with things I’ve been inconsistent with, and I ask myself, why am I so inconsistent? One reason for being inconsistent is the thought of failure. I have realized that failure is normal, and it only helps me improve, but if we can be honest here, I still struggle with the fear of failure. “what if my blog sucks?” Sounds like a crazy fear, but it’s true. “What if nobody reads this?” “What if i’m not creative enough”. All of these thoughts have crossed my mind when it comes to blogging. They are also there when it comes to working out. “What if i don’t reach the goals i set out” “what if at the end of all this hard work, i’m still out  of shape and a B cup” (ya i said it). So my philosophy has been, don’t try or give up quietly so no one notices your failure.

Another area in which I’ve always struggled with being inconsistent has been in my relationship with Jesus. In case you were not aware, I love Jesus. But, it’s sad to say that i’m inconsistent. It’s frustrating because I’m aware of what He says about me, how much He loves me, and what He did/does for me, and yet i’m still inconsistent. When I say inconsistent, i’m not saying, today i’m a Christian and tomorrow I’m not. I am saying though, that in the small things, sometimes a bit bigger than small things, i’m inconsistent, and a big part of that is fear of failure.

I’m afraid that i’ll disappoint Him if i’ve done something the wrong way, like hitting a rock instead of speaking to it so water would come out of it. Please note that God did not ask me to do this, that was Moses, but if it was me, I’d be afraid of letting Him down because I didn’t talk to the rock properly so i saw no water. I’d also be afraid of the people watching me talk to a rock, i mean they are thirsty and i’m whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the rock..can you imagine if they didn’t get the water? Fail. (as I write this, the thought has come to mind that God could ask me to speak to a rock, to this I say “God please ask Aaron, thanks”)

For me it’s I don’t want to let Him down, and so at times i’ve found it easier to quit or not act in obedience just so I can avoid the failure. Here’s what i’ve learned, and I’m still learning, as I grow. It’s not the end result of my obedience that God is pleased with, it’s my obedience to Him. I think sometimes, He is well aware that it might not work out as we mapped out in our head, but the fact that we listened to Him, is what pleases Him, and my purpose is to please Him. 2 Corinthians 5:9 (msg) says “Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.”

My purpose is to please Him, and the best way to please Him, is to be obedient to Him.

That’s all for me. Oh my goodness, i just realized I’m about to post this..what if no one reads this?

Gilly (Adam)