Laying Ambushes — A Family Update on a Special Weekend

Like so many Canadian boys of his era, Nick went through a pretty significant Nerf Gun phase when he was 8 or 10 years old. Between several birthdays and Christmases he built up quite an arsenal and, for a time, most of his play would in some way involve these guns. There was one game he especially enjoyed. When he found out that guests were on their way over, he would hide outside and watch for their approach. When they …

A Family Easter Update

Easter weekend is always a special time in Canada, not least because both Good Friday and Easter are public holidays. Whether you celebrate Jesus, Passover, the Easter Bunny, or nothing at all, you get two days away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. In an era in which governments seem intent on tearing out the religious roots of our nations, I do wonder how long these distinctly Christian holidays will remain. But for now, at least, they are …

Become a Patron

A Family Update and a Some Thoughts on Those Canadian Truckers

It has been a little while since I have provided anything like a family or personal update, so I thought I would do so today. Also, I have received quite a number of questions about the Canadian truckers and their Freedom Convoy, so wanted to offer a few observations on that. I am under some very heavy writing deadlines just now. I’m also in the season of pastoral ministry when I arrange personal visits with a good many members of …

My Favorite Family Memory

The Challies family is not what it used to be. It is not what it used to be because we have experienced some profound changes over the past few years. Most of these changes have been normal and good—children going to college, children getting engaged, children moving out—, while one has been unexpected and grievous—a child going to heaven. Between them, these changes have left life and family very different than it was before. I don’t know what aging parents …

You Just Can’t Have It All

Charles Spurgeon said it. Billy Graham said it. And even though it’s not really all that funny anymore, most of us have probably said it as well. It goes something like this: “Don’t bother looking for the perfect church since, the moment you join it, it won’t be perfect anymore.” Zing! There’s truth behind the quote, of course. It would be impractical and, frankly, ridiculous to expect that a bunch of sinful people could join together to create a sinless …

A December Family Update (and Non-Travel Report)

I turned 45 yesterday. My birthday was supposed to arrive when I was somewhere high over the Atlantic, perhaps just off the coast of Namibia, at the front end of a monster 16-hour homeward flight. I should have long since fallen asleep, and not known exactly where I was when the clock struck midnight, nor even what time zone it might have been. I suppose it’s possible that I would have turned 45 a few times while flying briskly from …

Family Update: An Engagement, a Scholarship, and a Beautiful Bench

Canada’s Thanksgiving weekend has just come and gone and we ourselves have just come and gone—we are on our way home from a brief trip to Louisville, Kentucky, where we spent some time as a family. We very much enjoyed our few days with Abby, with Ryn (Nick’s fiancée), and with Nate, (Abby’s fiancé). Yes, my Abby is engaged! Nate asked her to marry him at just about the time they reached their one-year dating anniversary. He had spent some …

The Gospel and the Pain of Fatherlessness

Sometimes one person’s story can stand in for that of millions. Sometimes one person can explain a situation that affects not only themselves but also countless others. Those of us who were blessed to grow up with fathers who were present, active, and engaged may struggle to understand the particular sorrows and challenges that come to those whose fathers were detached, uninvolved, or perhaps entirely absent. Blair Linne’s Finding My Father: How the Gospel Heals the Pain of Fatherlessness tells …

A Mid-August Family Update

We have somehow already come to the middle of August, and over the past couple of weeks have been experiencing the full heat and humidity of a Canadian summer. Temperatures are often hovering around the low-30s Celsius (+-90 Fahrenheit) with humidity making it feel more like 40 (105). But it won’t be long now before the heat breaks, the days grow shorter, and we head into the fall season. Last month we were able to get away from the city …

A Canada Day Family Update

Summer is now well underway in Canada. The hot weather began early this year and only now is the calendar catching up. If Canada has an unofficial beginning to summer it is the Victoria Day weekend (which falls around May 24) and if it has a more official beginning it is Canada Day (which is tomorrow, July 1). Schools have just let out, families are hitting the road, beaches are full, campgrounds and cottage country are swarming, and so on. …