Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sabbatical Life part 1

tweetable-smarty-giff-2One of the most difficult pieces thus far on sabbatical has been turning my phone off. Since June 1 I haven’t been checking my emails, my phone has been off from texting and calls, and I haven’t been on any form of social media except for this blog.

First off this isn’t an act of being pretentious. I love using my phone and social media and find it quite useful in my life, I am not trying to do something in order to impress anyone or lord it over anyone.

The reasons why I find this so important to do for these 3 months are as follows:

  1. I need to try and be intentional about hearing God’s voice. My email and phone often hinder this objective.
  2. My email and phone are very closely connected to my work, therefore taking a 3-month sabbatical but still taking time to check in isn’t much good. It would be like me swinging by the office a few times a week.
  3. I find these tools often take more of my time than I would like to admit. A 3-month break might help curve some of that.
  4. I find some of these things actually bring anxiety into my life, this is certainly something I do not need during a sabbatical.

I find this very difficult because I am such a social person. It’s very strange to be somewhere and not be able to look up directions or call someone when I need to. I think some people have found this to be very annoying and difficult because they are used to connecting with me at any time and I often respond.

I struggle with being a people pleaser and it has been an early lesson in this sabbatical that I have set up my pastoral ministry in the last 7 years to be at everyone’s beck and call. I have created my own monster by allowing such easy access and quick solutions for people that now that I am away people are finding it tricky and I am struggling with the guilt of letting people down.

This has been a valuable lesson that I look forward to shaping when I head back in September. I can’t please everyone, nor should I. Not having email or a phone has helped with this.

So my friends if you have been trying to reach me keep trying but you won’t hear back until September…maybe.

Jars of Clay

Jars-of-Clay-2This is one of the bands that Joe, Ry, and I went through. I’d say for sure top 10 fav band of all time. Here is how I would rank their albums best to worst.

  1. Jars of Clay
  2. Much Afraid
  3. The Eleventh Hour
  4. Who We Are Instead
  5. If I Left the Zoo
  6. Redemption Songs
  7. The Shelter
  8. Inland
  9. Good Monsters
  10. Long Fall Back to Earth

Discography Challenge


Music has been a huge part of my life. I can listen to albums and remember when I bought them, where I bought them, how they made me feel etc. I love getting lost in new music and talking music with friends.

Two guys that have introduced me to some of my all-time favourite bands are Joe and Ryley and we recently started to listen to music together again. Joe came up with the idea from Josh Porter (lead singer from Showbread). We each have chosen 3 bands and on our own will listen to their entire discography, we talk through the music as we go and when we are done we rate the albums. It’s been a lot of fun. Expect some of my thoughts about the bands soon!


On September 5, 2011, I started as the Youth Pastor at Gospel Chapel MB in Grand Forks. I was engaged to Shayna Martin and was 23 years old. 2461 days later on June 1, 2018, I am starting my first sabbatical. I am now 30 years old with two children and yes married to Shayna. It has been an amazing and wild ride and I am very blessed to have such a great family, job, and church community.

Going into a 3-month sabbatical is a strange thing for me. The last time I had 3 months off and not working some sort of job I was 11 years old. I now have 3 months to rest, vision, and hear from the Lord before I enter into perhaps another 7 years. I have time to read, write, but most importantly be with my family and enjoy a summer together where I am not working Friday nights and Sunday mornings. Please pray for me and my family as we journey through this season together hearing from the Lord about what he has for us going into the fall.

My journey into healthy living

Healthy living encompasses so many things, time management, mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional, eating right etc. Today I just wanted to give you a very brief look at what has worked for me and some success I have had.

Throughout 2016 and 2017 I knew some changes needed to happen in my life as I started having kids, working a full-time job, and simply just starting to get older. I didn’t want to waste the prime years of life being unhealthy and unfit. I have a deep desire to do ministry well for years and to keep up with my children as we run and play. So I thought I would start by talking to people who seem to live healthy lives and dive into some good books to help me along the way. In no order here are the books I went through in the last year that have helped shape me in healthy living specifically pertaining to weight loss and physical health.


Better Than Before

This was a great place to start, some parts were cheesy but the general principles in this book helped me realign how I approach habits and how important they are in weight loss etc.



Where Gretchen Rubin talks more of the practical everyday application of habits Charles Duhigg dives more into the scientific/business/facts of habits and how to master them!



A very interesting look at how we do things in life and how in fact we can be a lot more productive in all areas of life…and just so you know it turns out doing less and not working harder may be part of the secret.



This book really opened my eyes to the calories in and calories out myth. How it has been proven that calorie management and exercise actually results in very little if any progress. I would recommend¬†this book near the top of the list, it can be repetitive, though I feel it’s intentional to help get the message through our heads, what we have been told for weight loss is a lie.



whole 30

So I didn’t actually read this book but my wife did and we are currently using it. We started January 2 with this meal plan and it has done wonders for us! I am very proud of my wife for sticking to it and doing a ton of work for meal prep, cooking, and shopping. This has really helped.

There have been a few other books that helped along the way but these were the top of the list. December 31 I weighed in at 310lbs and today January 31 I weighed in at 287. This is pretty incredible for me. Clothes don’t fit well, jeans that we a bit tight are too loose, and I am feeling great!

A major change is needed that is the crux of it all whether it is weight loss, money management, time management, whatever, you need to work hard and make big changes and I still have a way to go yet but making changes and forming new habits walking away from old ones is very helpful. It really is a lifestyle change and as you form new changes they will impact other positive changes and it dominos. Small steps, take your time, and get after it!