Murdoch Olsen Funeral

Last week we lost an important member of our family as we lost my father-in-law. On Monday we had his funeral and I had the honour of providing the message.

His obituary can be found here.

Below is the audio recording of the service.

Training Principles

Scripture: Romans 5:1-11

So over the number couple of weeks I’ve been coaching track and field at Dr. T.L. Sullivan. It’s a short season, and they basically had no coach the last number of years, and they needed one. Badly. Last year was pretty much a mess for organizing the kids to compete. In fact, they didn’t have a single practice before they went to their first meet, and most didn’t even know what events they were competing in until they arrived at the track. So I stepped in to help and give the kids a chance to train and be able to compete with some semblance of confidence.

I tell you, it’s been fun. Even at the practices, working with the kids to improve their techniques and see their excitement grow for their chosen disciplines. It’s been a lot of fun.

Then last week and this week, watching them compete and put up great results they never expected from themselves, all while making new friends while doing it, it’s been even more fun. We even had 3 kids from TLS qualify for provincials next weekend.

All of this also rekindles for me how much I love track and field. I competed all through junior and high school many, many years ago. I still have friends today from when I used to compete, and not even from the schools I attended.

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What’s This About?

Scripture Reading: Romans 1:1-17

Being connected is an important part of being human. Life gets lonely when you think no one else is like you. So when you start to find people who think and act like you think and act, you get excited and you find yourself really wanting to be in the company of those people.

There are many different ways we can find this fulfillment. It can be through a favourite sport, or a favourite movie genre. It could be for food or for hobbies. There pretty much is no limit as to how we could connect with other people.

That’s part of the reason why I go to Cruxifusion every year. It’s an opportunity to meet with other clergy of my age who love Jesus and love the church. Sure I could go to Maritime Conference, or our regional meetings, but those rarely engage in the type of conversations I like to engage in around the topic of church. Which are primarily around sharing the gifts of God expressed in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and what he is doing in our churches.

We are designed to have relationship with others. Our bodies even crave it at times when we haven’t been able to connect with those who are like us. Geeks like to hang out with geeks. Jocks with jocks. Artists with artists. Musicians with musicians. And so on and so on.

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Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:16-20

So I was in Toronto last week for my annual clergy conference. As always it was an incredible opportunity to spend time with some very good colleagues and friends and to make new friends. This is an important gathering for all of us. It’s a time to refresh ourselves, to worship together and to just relax after a busy time in the church year. We had some excellent speakers this year who shared with us how they see the world at work, but also how changes in the world impact how we act as Christians and as churches, and how we might respond to these changes. I think we can all agree the world is very different than it was 50 years ago.

The choices we now get to make on Sunday morning is just one example of the changing world. Do we go to church? Do we go shopping? Do we go to the rink or the gym or the court? Do we just plain sleep in because the rest of the week is so busy? It’s no wonder church attendance has fallen over the last 50 years. There are just too many choices, some of which are just more interesting.

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Easter Sermon – “He Is Not Here”

Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10

On Friday, everything seemed so dark. It seemed like the weight of the world came down on our shoulders. Jesus died! He hung there on the cross, accepting his fate, that death would win the day.

The news of Good Friday does not end on the cross, however. Jesus died, yes, and he was lowered down from the cross and placed in a tomb. There his lifeless body was to remain.

Friday night, all day Saturday, the disciples and other followers of Jesus hid away for fear that maybe they could be next. There they also mourned the loss of their great leader. The one they had seen do so many things! He taught with words that brought life to the hearts of those who heard him. He healed people of diseases. He cast out evil spirits. He even brought people back from the dead. Yet it seems he could not save himself.

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