Monday, September 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again...

It's good to be back home and back in the swing of things in Cayman after a wonderful trip to the warm?? climes of Toronto, Canada. Toronto is regarded as one of the most diverse cities in the world--and with good reason! It's one of only a couple places I've visited where I've ever really felt any level of culture shock. The Lord has brought the nations to its door, giving gospel-believing Christians there a great missions opportunity. I'm impressed with the need to pray more fervently for this city and its churches.

In addition to ordering up some warm weather for me, the folks there were wonderfully hospitable and encouraging in the Lord.

It was a great privilege to "bunk" with Ellen and Anand, transplanted Trinidadians who opened their home and literally showered me with generosity. Despite Anand's crazy work schedule, he and Ellen were tremendous hosts, and I won't soon forget their kindness.
My official Canadian tour guide and historian was Pastor Ken Davis, pastor of Thistletown Baptist Church. Ken is about as close to walking laughter and Christian joy as you'll find. And I love his deep love for his people at Thistletown. Saying he has "a pastor's heart" is too much of a cliche. He loves the people of the church and the community. It was a privilege to preach at Thistletown Baptist, a very diverse congregation that loves God's word and each other. They know how to make a brother feel right at home.

Later that evening I also had opportunity to fellowship with Pastor Paul Martin and the saints at Grace Fellowship Church of Toronto. Paul blogs over at Kerux Noemata. It was great to have time with the saints during the evening service, where Paul did an outstanding job meditating on the prayer life of Jesus. Paul is a towering figure in the pulpit! :-) And later, Paul and his lovely family opened their home to me and Tim Challies for a fun pizza dinner and conversation.
If you're in the Toronto area and looking for places where the word will be preached, I can't recommend Thistletown Baptist and Grace community highly enough.
The Sola Scriptura conference was also a great time of fellowship in the Lord. I learned a great deal about Islam from James White and Michael Haykin who both gave excellent talks on apologetics and the history of Islam, respectively. Heinz and the team at Sola Scriptura are to be commended for organizing an outstanding conference and fellowship. May the Lord bear much fruit from it.
And after a great several days in Canada, sampling Tim Horton (I must say I'm still a Krispy Kreme kinda guy) and thoroughly enjoying the body of Christ, I'm tremendously blessed to come home to my family and the saints of FBC. It's good to be back in the saddle.


Paul said...

I don't recall you being so certain about your Krispy Kreme preference while you were here, brother! :-) (Did you try the infamous Tim Horton's Sourcream Glazed? Really. There is not a better donut!)

Thank you for blessing us with your fellowship while you were in "the Big Smoke," Thabiti. The Lord used you in many powerful and diverse ways during and after your visit. Not the least of which was much encouragement to this "fellow elder."

By the by... did you take the picture of Front St.? You managed to capture the one Starbucks in the entire city I visit every week on my way to TBS! I hate Tim Horton's... coffee.

Rileysowner said...

I am glad you enjoyed your time in Canada. I was hoping to get out to the Sola Scriptura conference, but other responsibilities in the church prevented it. I hope you will have opportunity to come up here again in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words. Anand and Ellen will be thrilled to know of your mention of them in your blog.

It was an immense privilege for me to be able to tap into your wisdom in our drives together to the conference. Thank you for genuine humility and willingness to be with us. We are the better for it.

Paul went to some little seminary in California and forgot his roots. Hating Tim Horton's coffee is treasonous. If we had an oath of allegiance, Tim Horton's coffee would be included in it.