mark's minute - march 8, 2018

Ah, Daylight Saving Time. The time of the year when we sacrifice an hour of sleep for no good reason whatsoever. Could even something as sinister as that be used for good?

Mark's Minute - Dec 07

Last week, I issued an invitation to you to participate in our Advent sermon series, and today on the blog I want to talk about one of the questions that’s come up in the course of those conversations: just how reliable is this genealogy anyway?

Mark's Minute - Nov 30

This week on the blog, I have an invitation for you to get involved in our newest sermon series. I hope you’ll take me up on it.

Mark's Minute - Nov 23

Today’s question seems like a simple one: what is “truth”? It’s funny how difficult it can be to answer that question, and I hope you join me as I think about it on the blog this week.

Mark's Minute - Nov 16

Today on the blog: gun battles, spiritual battles, and how a pastor reacts when someone claims he’s fighting a spiritual battle that’s actually just a battle of ego. Should be lots of fun…


Mark's Minute - Nov 09

Last Sunday I described an idea that we’re going to deploy in the coming weeks called the “Who Do You Know?” board. Today on the blog, I’m going to explain the idea in more detail and hopefully get you excited about what it’s intended to accomplish.

Mark's Minute - Nov 02

In the classic movie The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya says to Vizzini, “You keep using that word, ‘inconceivable.’ I do not think it means what you think it means.” This week on the blog, another misused word, and how to reclaim it.

Marks Minute - Oct 26

This week on the blog, I return to a topic I started two weeks ago with the promised part 2: how do we deal with the difficult parts of the Bible that we kinda wish weren’t there?

Marks Minute - Oct 19

You know the line about the best-laid plans? I had planned to do part 2 of my blog from last week, but then news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted, and it raised a number of issues that I’m working through. I hope you’ll work through them with me.

Mark's Minute - Oct 12

Have you ever had one of those moments reading the Bible when you think to yourself, “Ooh, I wish it didn’t say that?” Let’s talk about those moments, what makes them so hard, and how to deal with them. 

Mark's Minute - Oct 5

When tragic events strike, we all ask questions that are hard to ask and even harder to answer. I won’t pretend to have answers, but I want to share with you my reflections based on an account of the tragedy that’s very close to home.

Mark's Minute - Sept 28

This week on the blog, it’s volume 2 of “The Sermon You’re Not Going to Hear on Sunday.” The question: does God sometimes keep us in the dark on purpose? And if so, what purpose does that serve?

Mark's Minute - Sept 21

This week on the blog: some reflections on what happens when God forces you to take a Sabbath even when you don’t want to.

Mark's Minute - Sept 14

This week on the blog, I dip my toe into the waters of a controversial topic and try not to end up with my foot planted in my mouth.


Mark's Minute - Sept 7

Have you ever read a story to a kid and tried to do voices for the characters? Or have you found yourself doing voices even if you didn’t mean to? Wondering what those questions have to do with spiritual things? Click through to find out.

Mark's Minute - Aug 31

This week on the blog: how physical work is spiritual work. Or, the church that sweats together, um, no, wait—that’s not going anywhere helpful. But this blog entry will…

Mark's Minute - Aug 24

This week on the blog, the sermon you’re not going to hear on Sunday…

Mark's Minute - Aug 17

Today on the blog, an answer to a question from last week’s sermon, and some news that will hopefully make you more excited than ever to be at Parkland this week. If that’s not enough to make you click through, I don’t know what is…

Mark's Minute - Aug 10

Last Sunday, I got a question after the service that I wasn’t able to answer when we were together. It’s a really good one, and it’s worth investigating, so let’s do that together right now.

Mark's Minute - Aug 3

Today’s topic: a deep theological lesson I learned from my cat, and what I’m going to do about it. Seriously. And even if you don’t like cats, you’ll want to read this post because there’s an invitation at the end I don’t want you to miss. 

Craig's Minute - July 27

Have you ever brought someone to church? Did they receive it the way you expected? Do you have a friend that seems like a Christian, but you also see what they do on Friday nights, and you aren't so sure? Maybe that's you? Keep reading to find out what's coming your way.

Craig's Minute - July 20

Mark’s on vacation. Can we make it 2 weeks without burning the place down? Well, Talitha is on vacation too so if it does burn down, it’ll be my fault. But wait, who’s preaching this Sunday? And about what? Will there be props? Who's getting called on stage this time?

Mark's Minute - July 6

When I was a kid, I loved to watch Transformers. You might know their tagline: “More than meets the eye.” It’s funny how that same line applies in other areas of life as well. This week I found one such area. Here’s what I learned.


Mark's Minute - July 06

One of the theological convictions to which I hold is the idea of total depravity. But believing that it’s true and experiencing its effects first-hand are two completely different things.

Mark's Minute June 29

I’m proud to be a Canadian. I think Canada is the best country in the world. And in light of Canada’s upcoming birthday, I want to take a moment to reflect on this great country of ours.

Mark's Minute - June 22

Have you heard of the sunk cost fallacy? We’ve been talking about one manifestation of it this week in the office, and it got me thinking about the ways we fall victim to it in our spiritual lives.

Mark's Minute - June 15

For a while now, I’ve been talking about the need for us to do some upgrades to Parkland’s building and grounds. Today, I want to tell you about the plans we’re making and invite you to be involved.

Mark's Minute - June 8

I love my job, but I know that I occasionally need to get away from it to keep myself sane. I did that this week, and it helped me see things a bit differently, and I’d like to share that with you.

Mark's Minute - June 1

One of the best parts of launching our new service format last week was learning what your dreams are for Parkland’s future. Today I want to reflect on what you said and what it means for our church.

Mark's Minute - May 26

We’ve been talking about the changes we’re making to our Sunday morning services for a while now, and I’m so excited to finally get started. Let’s talk about what you can expect this week.

Mark's Minute - May 18

Let’s do a thought experiment. Think for a minute about a time when you were the outsider. It’s not a pleasant feeling. Hopefully reading the rest of this article won’t make you feel the same way.

Mark's Minute - May 11

I’ve never met a Christian who is completely satisfied with the strength of their prayer life, myself included. But why is that? And what should we do about it? Let’s think about those questions.

Mark's Minute - May 4

I know you’ve been eagerly anticipating the continuation of the “Sundays are Changing” blog series. Well, wait no more, friends! Part three is here…

Mark's Minute - Apr 27

Last week I started a series of posts about the upcoming changes to our Sunday service format. Today is part two in that series.

Mark's Minute - Apr 20

In its history, Parkland has never been the church that feels like it has to do what all the other churches do just because they’re doing it. And we’re about to break open the box again. Here’s how.

Mark's Minute - Apr 13

In an episode of The Crown (on Netflix, if you’re unaware), a character explains the protocol for seating at state dinners. Turns out where you sit matters. And not just at Buckingham Palace either.


Mark's Minute - Apr 06

Every year, millions of Christians prepare for Easter by observing Lent. I’m not one of those people. And it may not be for the reason you think.


Mark's Minute - Mar 30

I love preaching through books of the Bible, mostly because I know exactly what I’m preaching on week to week. But sometimes this approach presents interesting challenges, and I found one this week. 

Mark's Minute - Mar 23

A while back, I talked about word combinations that produced emotional reactions. Here’s one that makes me want to crawl into a hole: spring cleaning. Where am I going with this? Click through to see.

Mark's Minute - Mar 16

When you were a kid, how comfortable were you interacting with adults? If you were comfortable doing that, it turns out that you’re in good company because so was Jesus. Click through to read more…

Mark's Minute - Mar 9

What can a trip to Disneyland teach you about the church? More than you might think. And the lesson came from none other than my five-year-old daughter. Click through to find out more.


Membership Orientation - Mar 2

What is membership? Why should I do it? Is it Biblical? What food will you be serving? These are all great questions! Let's answer some of them.

Mark's Minute - Feb 23

Every so often, you have to pull your head out of the weeds long enough to remind yourself of the big picture. I’ve had the chance to do that this week, and I’d like to share some reflections today. Read on...

Mark's minute - Feb 16

There are certain two-word combinations that make me really excited. Here are some examples: free food; Star Wars; wedding anniversary. Want to know where I’m going with this? Click through to find out.

Mark's minute - Feb 9

“When is this going to stop?” I asked myself that question several times this last week. The truth is it’s hard to see the end of something when you’re in the middle of it. Click through to read more...