Kitchen Windows

Cooking and Philosophy. Both address fundamental human needs. One, a physical need to be nourished, filled, satisfied. The other a mental need to understand and explain the world around us. Both are also windows to a deeper spiritual need, Jesus Christ.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Cooking and Philosophy. Both address fundamental human needs. One, a physical need to be nourished, filled, satisfied. The other a mental need to understand and explain the world around us. To make sense of the details of life and fit them into some bigger picture. Both are interests of mine, so that's what I'll try to focus on here. It may seem like a random combination, but hey, that's me. More importantly, though, both cooking and philosophy and all the other pursuits of mankind, are simply windows that point to a greater spiritual need. All to often we get focused on the "windows" and forget to look through them. Every person, at the core, has a need to be nourished, filled, satisfied, in a way that food can never provide. To have some meaning in life, to find answers, that philosophy alone can never seem to provide. The answer is Jesus Christ. He, ultimately, is the focus here. Whether it's a recipe I happen to like, or some philosophical question that I find interesting, it's all for His glory. Remember to look through the windows!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Truth, Acted Upon

This is just a snippet of something that I've been working on for the last few months...

Faith is a word we use all the time as believers in Christ, but it is also a word commonly used by the world. What does it actually mean though? There are a few definitions of faith that I keep coming back to.

Heb 11:1: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith – “a continual gaze on a saving God” – AW Tozer

Faith sees the reality of the unseen or invisible, and it includes a readiness to act as if the good anticipated in hope were already in hand because of the reality of God.” - D. Willard

Faith is, by it's very nature an uncomfortable position. It's a choice to disregard the external circumstances of daily life that surround us and press in on us. To focus not on the facts of life, but the truth of Christ. There's a big difference between facts and truth. Fact change, Truth does not. Most of the time my life is dominated by facts. The fact that I have these things that I need to get done. The fact that I don't have enough money to buy what I want. The fact that something didn't turn out the way I planned. Christ calls us to live life by His Truth. Over and above all the facts of life He never changes.

The biggest problem in life is the suppression of Truth. (Rom. 1) I know what the Truth is, I may even affirm it verbally, but I refuse to act on it. I know what’s right, but I don’t do it. I know I'm wrong, but I won’t admit it. I know I made a mistake, but I won’t apologize. I know God is sovereign, but I won’t submit. Faith acknowledges the Truth and allows it to direct our lives. Faith takes the theory or theology and puts it into practice. It acts on it as reality. If its just theory that I talk about it’s hypocrisy.

It's interesting that in Hebrew there is no word for faith, the word used implies faithfulness. There is no faith apart from faithfulness. We don't come to faith once. We don't belong to a certain faith. The world uses faith in these terms, but the Bible does not. We live by faith, moment by moment. We live faithfully. That doesn't mean we're simply just striving and pushing ourselves to believe in God. The Bible says that God has given to each a measure of faith (ref?). It's a moment by moment surrender. I have little control over the facts of life, but I can believe in the Truth of the One who does.

I think that one of the toughest area to have faith is when I've made mistakes. I can believe that God is in control of external circumstances. The “accidental” events that affect my life. I believe He can use those for good, but do I believe He can use me for good? Even though I can't seem to fix my bad attitude, my weaknesses, my hesitation to believe can He still work? When I fail and God brings me around to the same situation again I start analyzing it for where I went wrong and how I can correct myself so that God can use me. I want control of the situation, instead of His grace in it. Instead I need to believe that He can use me as I am.

The answer is simple, it's Christ. Just because it's simple, though, doesn't mean it's easy. Having the answer and living the answer are two different things. It's a daily walk, believing He is who He says He is, believing Truth. It's faithfulness. Assured from God and learned by us.

Friday, November 17, 2006

On My Way Home... Eventually

I'm sitting in the lounge at the Montreal airport waiting for my flight back to Vancouver. It was supposed to leave at 8 this morning, but "technical difficulties" pushed it back to 1. It's going to be a long day. Oh well, it still been a great holiday. I thought I'd post a few pictures.

This is me on the shore of Lake Ontario in Oakville. Dan Horne gave me the grand tour of Oakville, Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Falls. It was a great day. The whole time in Toronto was really great. God worked it out so well that I could see lots of friends over the 5 days I was there. It was really neat to see people at their own homes. I spent almost every night in a different place so there was a lot of driving around (actually I had to bum rides the whole time, for which I'm forever grateful). It's such an encouragement to see friends continuing to learn and grow outside of Capernwray.

Last Friday I left Toronto and flew into Montreal. Steve Thiessen and Christine Wichert met me at the airport and we went for supper. I joined the Capernwray Quebec students for Missions Fest in Montreal. I stayed at the church with them and had a couple days to tour the city. The Metro in Montreal is great. You can get almost anywhere in a few minutes. I went downtown and walked around the old city. I also toured a couple of huge churches.

This is St. Joseph's Oratory. It and absolutely massive church. I spent a couple hours here. Even had my devotion here while organ music was playing. It was pretty neat. The Catholic church may be off base, but they do have a sense of reverence and awe that I think much of the church has lost.

On Tuesday I went to Quebec City for the day with a few of the staff from Capernwray Quebec. We spent the whole day walking around the old city. It felt like I spent the day in France. We even found a nice little Bistro and I had escargot for lunch (if you don't know what it is don't ask). The old buildings are incredible, so much history.
The rest of the week I spent at the Capernwray Quebec centre. It was such a blessing to be there and get to know the staff and students a bit. There's only 19 students so if has a great family atmosphere. On Thursday I had the privilege of cooking a meal for them. It was a blast. I was truly blessed and refreshed through my time there. Yesterday, just to round out the whole french experience Steve took me out for frog's legs. They kinda taste like a cross between chicken and fish. Not bad. My flights leaving soon so I'm off...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sooke Harbour House

This is the second time I've had to type out this post. I had it all typed out on a terminal at the Vancouver airport and saved it as a draft so I could insert pictures into it later. I went to do that now and my post had disappeared. So here it goes again...

Last Sunday I ate at the Sooke Harbour House with Scott, Sandra and Andy. We left Thetis at 1:10 and drove down to Vic. and met up with Robbie, Sam and Lindsay to hang out for a little bit. After that we drove out to Sooke and picked up Sandra and made our way to the Hotel.

We were seated in the dining room. There are only about 18 tables there along with some couches and a big fireplace. We were seated in a little side room with 8 tables in it. Our server offered us the "gastronomic experience," their tasting menu. Normally this is a 7 course dinner priced at $100. Because Sandra works there and she's friends with Jenny the sous-chef there the meal was free and we got an extra course. The food all comes from southern Vancouver Island. It has to be fresh and organic. I have to say it was phenomenal. Many people have asked for pictures so here is goes.

Course 1: Kale Soup served with a Baked Apple with Goat's Cheese and Hazelnuts and Thyme, Sour Cream Drizzle.

Course 2: Smoked, Seared Tuna served on Pickled Peppers and Haricot Vert with Sunflower Sprouts, Nasturium Bud Butter Sauce and Raspberry, Lavender Balsamic Reduction

Course 3: Seared Tuna, White Bean Croquette and Beet Cube served with Scallion Puree and Mint Apple Quince Puree.

Course 4: Chicken with a Sweet Chili Marinade on a Rutabaga Pavee with Pea Shoots, Mustard Sauce and Leek Sauce.

Course 5: Poached Sablefish in a Seafood Broth with Pine Mushrooms and Pea Pods.

Course 6: Seared Duck Breast on a Black Trumpet Mushroom Stuffed Pickled Rutabaga Slice, served with Sweet Pumpkin, Broccoli, Demiglace and Berry, Eucalyptus Sauce.
(This was our extra course. Jenny had been saving the duck for us.)

Course 7: Cheese Course: selection of locally made cheeses. Two Cow's Milk and Three Goats Milk Cheeses served with Apple, Dried Fig and Crackers.

Course 8: Strawberry Parfait with Red Wine Reduction, Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake, Poached Pear, Rhubarb, Strawberry Sauce and Creme Anglaise.

After dinner was done (4 hours later) we spent a while touring the guest rooms in the hotel and the wine cellars. All in all it was a great night. We got to Sandra's house around 2 in the morning and then headed up island around 5:30 so we could make it to work on time. It was a short night, but totally worth it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

No Excuses

Summer's over. Staff Conference is over. Ventures are over. I'm out of excuses for not posting so here's a little something to get the ball rolling. I saw this and laughed out loud.

I'm heading out on holidays in two days. Toronto for 5 days to visit friends, then on to Montreal for next weekend and Capernwray Quebec. I'll have lots of time to work on posts while I'm travelling. More to follow...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Summer Thus Far

Well I think it's about time for an update. The summer has been very busy. It's incredible that it's already half over. Holiday Bible weeks started a couple days ago and the first Bistro is tonight. I'll post some pics of the food once we get the kinks worked out. Here are some pictures from the last couple months.

This is the last picture I took of Steve at the climbing tower a couple days before he passed away. During the orientation he reminded us that truth doesn't change no matter what your perspective is. It the same as the rope. It will hold you whether you're 5 feet off the ground or 40. Fear comes from allowing our perspective, rather than truth, influence our view.

A couple weeks ago I had a picnic out at Pilkey Point with some of the other staff.

We had a farewell party for Chuck and Mona. I'll miss having them here and sharing a house with them.

Fishing trip with Candice, Sarah, Christina and Alex.

This is the shark I caught...

And the octopus Alex caught. He was lots of fun to play with.

Going snorkeling (sort of) from the school dock with Rachelle, Lois and Donna.

Just enjoying the sun.

Darren and I in the front of the Zodiac on our way for fish and chips on Salt Spring Island. There were about 20 of the staff that went. The restaurant is about 10 minutes away by boat.

At the restaurant waiting for our food

The three boats heading back.

Those are some of the highlights of the last couple months. The summer has been great so far!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Wow! Mexico was great. There's so many stories to tell and I learned so much. I'll try and highlight as much as possible here and show lots of pictures. First of all here's a brief summary of the trip:

We left on March 9th from Capernwray. There were 14 of us in a 15 passenger van with a trailer. We drove about 10 hours a day for three days, staying in churches in Eugene, Oregon and Tracy, California (south of Sacramento). We arrived in Mexico with no problems although we had snow every day of the drive. There was even snow in the mountain around San Diego! Sunday, the day after we arrived we went to a big church in Tijuana. It was a old boxing arena that seats about 3000 people and the church has over 17,000 member that meet in different places! That afternoon we went to one of the orphanages we would be working at and just played with the kids. Monday and Tuesday we can back to the same orphanage (called City of Angels) and did some construction projects. We built a stair case to a second story that had been added on to one of the buildings, did some drywalling and tiling and helped out wherever we could. If we didn't have jobs to do we would just spend time with the kids. Wednesday and Thursday we went to a different orphanage and built a roof over a new bathroom and moved a LOT of dirt to clear a spot for a new dining room to be built.

On Friday we spent the morning in Rosarito (just SW of Tijuana) on the ocean and did the tourist thing. In the afternoon we drove through the mountains about 3 hours inland to a place about an hour south of Mexicali. We stayed at a place called the campground, out in the country. Saturday we did work projects at the place where we were staying. In the evening the guys on the team drove into Mexicali for a men's meeting at a church there. It was a very Charismatic meeting. I've never seen a preacher bounce around the stage before! It was definitely an experience. Sunday our team split up and went to a couple different churches. The missionaries we were staying with pastor three different churches, all about half and hour away from where they live at the campground. I had the chance to preach that morning, through a translator. A new experience for me and one of my highlights from the trip. I shared about faith, just a lot of things that God has been teaching me lately.

Monday through Wednesday we did work projects in the mornings, at one of the churches. I got to help dig three outhouse holes, probably the most fun job of the whole trip. We would clean up in the afternoons and prepare for the church meetings each evening. For the service we would do some songs and drama and then do a program for the kids during the preaching. We probably had close to 40 kids, that we couldn't communicate with very well. Only one member of our team speaks Spanish.

On Thursday "morning" we got up at 3:30 and started driving. We got into LA about 10:00 and went to Huntington Beach for a couple hours. After that we drove down Sunset Blvd. and Hollywood Blvd. Leaving LA we got onto the highway and I looked beside me and there were five guys from the school here that had been on a road trip in California and were headed back to the school too. Pretty crazy! We had supper with them. After a couple more days of driving we made it back home safe and nicely tanned.

Okay, on to the highlights...

During the 1st week we met up with Fernando. He was a student here at Capernwray a couple years ago. He's from Mexico and is going to school in Tijuana. He would work with us in the mornings and then go to school from 4 to 10 at night, do homework til about 1 in the morning and then meet us again at 7:30. It was really encouraging for me to see him doing so well, so eager to be involved and growing in the Lord. It was a big reminder of how worthwhile everything that goes on here at the school is and that it has longterm effects.

The orphanages were so great. It was so tough to leave those kids, even after only a couple days with them. I wish I could have brought a few home with me. They were so joyful and accepting. They were all over us the minute we showed up. It was really humbling for me to be able to be a part of the work there. This trip was not a case of us going down to help the poor people in Mexico. It felt like we were working alongside them and helping out, more just to be there and observe, than for the projects themselves. The people that work at these orphanages are there 365 days a year, no vacations, no breaks and with barely enough money to make it from day to day. Living on faith. They provide not just a shelter, but a home for these kids, where they are loved and taught about Christ. It was a priveledge and a blessing to be there. The whole trip was like that, but I especially felt it at the orphanages.

Through the whole process of preparation for the trip and on the trip I really saw how God takes care of details. Being in that position of responsibility I knew too well of all the things that could possibly go wrong. The only way that the trip could have gone as smooth as it did is by God's grace. I learned to walk in faith rather than worry about the details all the time. I feel a lot different now than when I left. A different perspective and focus. Maybe that's to be expected after a trip like this, but it seems much deeper than that. Maybe it will fade over time, but I hope it doesn't. It's not just a feeling of, oh we have so much and they have so little. I can't put it all into words and I don't know where it leads. It's more of a sense that there's so much more to life, we get caught up in the routine of our society. Somehow, playing with a child that means nothing to the world made me see beyond all that. I want my life to be that way. To have the same sense of joy and purpose that I did there.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I finally have an internet connection at home. Now I should, hopefully be able to post more often. I've just moved back into my old place after 4 months of renovations. As you can see it's quite a bit different than before. I've been enjoying the kitchen.

Life has been busy with getting ready for Mexico. There's a lot of little details to take care of. This weekend is a 4 day break for the students so it's been nice to have a bit of a break from everything that's going on. Andy, Kevin and Scott were over tonight for steak. It's great to be able to have people over again. Well this post is mainly just an excuse to show pictures of the new place so enjoy!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Thinking about Windows

I just finished setting up this page so that I'm somewhat satisfied with it. As I was working on my profile and the site description I got thinking more and more about windows (as you can probably see). It's something that's been on my mind for a while...

Everything in life is a window. Whether it's a mountain, a tree, a friend, a good book or anything else in life that holds some good. In each we can choose to see simply a pane of glass, or God's glory shining through. Is it just a tree, a job, another person? We can choose to see it that way and go through life believing that that is the only reality. Just looking at the window pane, complaining about the scratches, trying to clean off the dirt, put blinds over it. Life is nothing more than a series of events between different objects.

The Truth is that there is a Reality, a Person who shines through each of the windows. It's our choice whether we want to acknowledge Him or not. Don't get me wrong. God is not simply everything. For if everything is God, then nothing is God. God becomes meaningless. Rather, there is a Being who's character shines through what He has made.

So often we end up focusing only on certain windows such as Church, the Bible, prayer. If we limit ourselves or focus too much on one thing we miss out on the whole picture. For example, the Bible is a window. God's character is reavealed through the text. We can focus too much on the text, though, and miss what God is trying to say. We can explain, memorize and debate what is written, without letting it affect our lives. The experts on Scripture at Jesus' time were the Pharisees yet they missed who He is.

God is able to reveal Himself through anything. Look through the windows.


I forgot how cold Alberta can be! It's not even -20 and I was wearing 2 fleeces and a jacket today. It's good to be home though. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and catching up with family. I'm heading up to Edmonton in the next few days for Christmas. After that it's back to Calgary for a bit and then I'm heading back to the coast on the 30th.

The last week at Capernwray before coming out here was nice and relaxed. The students (including my brother) left on the 8th. The next week was a bunch of cooking, cleaning, enjoying nice long meal times, working maintenance for a couple days and a Lord of the Rings marathon. One of the "highlights" was cleaning our 25 yr. old ovens. It started with just cleaning the inside of the ovens. That gets done every week. We kept finding more and more stuff to clean and by the time we were done we'd taken apart most of the oven. It took all four cooks the entire day to get everything clean. It was fun... as you can see.

This was just a general update on what's happening in my life right now. The next posts will probably be a bit more focused on either cooking or what I'm learning. Catch ya later and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Getting Started

Hey Everyone.

Well I thought I'd join the crowd and start a blog. I'm gonna work on it over the Christmas break to get it up and running. So have a Merry Christmas and see you in the new year.