Be The Best.

The Commencement – Part 1

This weekend is hugely significant.

It’s Easter, but that’s just part of the story.

This weekend will conclude the active writings in this blog with three posts, today, tomorrow and Sunday.

Why will things ‘end’ on Easter Sunday?  One of the most read posts of the hundreds now on this blog is the very first one…Easter Sunday and so it begins.  It seems only fitting that two years later on Easter Sunday 2012 we would mark the next chapters in our lives and this blog.

But is it really an end or a Commencement?  Many Universities call their graduation ceremonies Commencements.

Look at the definition of the word:


  1. an act or instance of commencing;  beginning;
  2. the ceremony of conferring degrees or granting diplomas at the end of the academic year.
  3. the day on which this ceremony takes place.

What strikes me about this word is that commencing means the beginning, even though Graduation is really considered a conclusion of studies by many.  When we think of graduation, we often think of ‘the end’ in terms of the end of studying, exams and being finally able to cross the stage and be acknowledged for the work that has been done.

When you really think about it however, Commencement is the perfect word.  Yes, as a graduate you are celebrating the conclusion of studies, but in the big picture, you are just beginning.

For us, (and I know many of you), this two-year mark is not without notice.  We will never ever forget Chris.  He and Be The Best have become a core in our lives.  You could say the last two years have educated us how to live with the Be The Best thinking, how to fail, how to dust ourselves off, how to make another decision, how to push forward and how to win.

We are then indeed ready for a Commencement of sorts.

This is truly the beginning.  The beginning of a new chapter.  New goals, new decisions, new challenges…all with the increased knowledge we’ve gained during the past two years.

Now, I can’t move past today without acknowledging Good Friday.  It struck me these past few months about the documented accounts of the crucifixion story.  Regardless of religious background, bear with me for a moment.  Jesus was identified as God’s Son and in the moment of utter darkness on a cross and losing his earthly life, he did not say, ‘Hey, this is great God, I like this plan.’

He in fact is quoted as saying, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Wikipedia references).

For anyone reading who has gone through loss or experiencing these things right now, it’s perfectly ok to question why.  It’s ok to be angry, confused, dazed etc etc.  However, the story doesn’t end with the cross…it begins there.

The story of loss doesn’t end with grief and loss in fact.  It also, in many ways, began there and now a new beginning is peeking out from the clouds.

Friday’s only part of Easter.

Sunday’s coming.

Be The Best.

Leaves fall up.

We understand that leaves fall down.

We understand that human lives end.

What we have limited understanding about is what happens to the life or spirit or soul or however you want to describe it, that goes so much beyond the human existence.

One of the things that I’ve learned from time and time again is seeing things from a different perspective is exceptionally valuable.  It pushes me to challenge what I thought was clearly obvious.  Sometimes going up to 10,000 feet…and other times going down to 3 feet.

For no particular reason, I shot some video of leaves falling on a clear cold day this weekend.

I thought it might be fun to reverse the video.

What would it look like if leaves fell up?

It was just one of those little perspective moments of thinking about things in a different way and knowing how much I don’t know about life after life.

This is either super deep, or maybe just off the deep end!  In any event, here’s a little vid.

Leaves falling up.

Be The Best.

It’s Friday

Tony Campolo: Author and speaker on political ...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s Friday.

But Sunday’s coming.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Dr. Tony Campolo speak.  An amazing orator, social activist and sometimes preacher.

If you’ve got 6 minutes, watch this video and listen to him go.

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

Even before we lost Chris I always wondered about Good Friday.

What’s good about the cross and the suffering surrounding that event?

Not much.

The ‘good’ in Friday is the knowledge that Sunday is coming.

For Christians this is the core of the faith.  There is resurrection.  There is hope.  Sunday is coming.

For us as we long to see Chris again, we also recognize that it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

You can call Friday good, but nothing really good happened on that day, but in context, Sunday was coming and things got really good.

So today we’ll say, “It’s Friday….but SUNDAY’S COMING!!”

Be The Best.

On my mind

AC, my sister Cathy, aka Auntie Cathy to Chris and many others wrote a very cool post on her blog today.

She has experienced the loss of a young teen-aged nephew on both sides of her family.  You can read the full post, but here’s an excerpt.

The question has come to me – how will you then live?  How will we all live?
There is a quote by St. Irenaeus that has come to reside deep within me –

‘The glory of God is a human being fully alive’

To be fully alive is perhaps the best answer I can give….to choose to be present, to choose life, to choose gratefulness, to choose to take risks in following dreams and passions…to fully live….is how I can say to these two boys I love…….Trevor & Chris… are on my mind

I love that concept of being fully alive.

People ask us how we carry on.  How can you deal with this kind of tragedy?

I tell them that first you choose to live and live with purpose.

We’ve said that Chris’ passion will fuel us.

I’m still discovering what that means, but living with purpose and being fully alive is certainly part of that equation.

I can’t believe it’s 11 months.

I simply can’t tell you what an aching heart feels like, but I know many of you also have known the pain of loss.

The thought that is continually in our minds and hearts is the knowledge that a pain so deep only exists because of a love so deep.  And because of that love, we will live our lives with purpose using Chris’ passion and others to fuel our journeys.

Have a Be The Best weekend…oh and Go Canucks Go against Boston tomorrow.

I’m allowed to say that right?  Oh yah, it’s my blog.

Be The Best.

Rev. Jake on Comfort

The latest installment by Rev Jake (aka my Dad and Chris’ Grandpa).

Without further ado.


The COMFORT word:

Harking back to December and Christmas themes, I was impressed with several applications of the COMFORT word.

In the carol, ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’ the chorus keeps repeating, ‘Tidings of COMFORT and joy’

The opening statement of Handel’s Messiah is ‘COMFORT ye my people, says your God’

There is the Advent story of an old man Simeon (Luke 2) who it is said was ‘waiting for the CONSOLATION of Israel’

On this side of heaven, because of human transgression and its consequences, invariably there are elements of sadness and sorrow in all of our lives, for which we need comfort.

The fragility of life may show up in health concerns, issues of aging; or people can become victims of violence, abuse, and even wars.

We might experience the loss of relationships, and the loss of loved ones.

The little child is covered with a Comforter blanket, which may provide a measure of security.

God Himself is our eventual Comforter, providing the final answer to all of our physical and relational needs, and preparing a new body for His children when the present edition wears out. God the Comforter also provides the only reliable revelation about a meeting time for loved ones who have been separated down here.

I take comfort in the message of COMFORT from the divine Comforter; He knows how much we are in need of His ministrations!

Be The Best.

Guest blog – Rev Jake..aka Grandpa

I’ve asked my Dad if he wanted to jot a few thoughts down for the blog from time to time.  I think it’s a beautiful tribute to his grandson and Faith in general.  Keep rockin it Dad!  Heavy…and good.  Thanks.


Unspeakable! This word occurs only three times in the New Testament, and could also be rendered as indescribable (NKJ), or inexpressible.

I was thinking of this word as I thought of Chris.

All of the words spoken or sung or written since that dark day of March 25, 2010 cannot adequately express what is in our hearts: there is something inexpressible here.

The raw emotions, the feelings, the conflicting thoughts cry out for resolution, but there is no resolution.

The thoughts of our hearts end with questions rather than periods; they are questions that have no answers.

The trauma of all that happened has left us dangling in space.

We are on the wrong side of the door of a mystery, of something inexpressible.

A human life is inexpressible.

Chris’s life was and is inexpressible.

The Christ-gift that came at Christmas is declared to be God’s unspeakable gift.

(2 Corinthians 9: 15)

This Christ, the ultimate Creator of life, declares all of our lives invaluable.

The Christ presides over Chris’ life even now, in a divine continuum, even while we mourn Chris’ departure from us.

The indescribable Christ weeps with us now in our pain, and desires to lead us through the valley of the shadow until we too shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Be The Best.

God is dead?

Get ready. This one’s heavy!

Where is God in tragedy? Now there is a question never asked before…(cough). Regardless of your belief system, when you lose a child, I guarantee that you will question everything you believe. Here’s a few thoughts from our journey. Was it ‘God’s will’ that Chris died? Some sort of master plan…everything happens for a reason you know. Really?? Don’t get me going on that one. You know where my mind went? Was it God’s will that 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust?

Don’t think so.

I don’t really know why, but I then thought about the difference between humans and animals.  Generally speaking, animals will operate more by instinct and humans have a unique ability to make choices that go beyond instinctual needs.  Ever seen the Dog Whisperer show with Cesar Millan?  That guy is amazing as he teaches people how to work with their ‘out-of-control’ dogs. You’ll hear a constant theme..don’t treat your dog with human emotions…they are dogs.  Watch the show a couple of times and you’ll see some great illustrations of how we as humans are different from dogs (I realize this may sound silly, but most of Cesar’s ‘interventions’ stem from people applying human logic and decision making with their pets).

So if you would allow me, I’ll suggest the following.  I believe our ability to make choices…some would call this ‘free will’, is so sacred, it’s part of our spiritual DNA….and this is hard to type…even when those choices end up with dire and unintended outcomes. I believe this ability to choose is protected to the point that surpasses human understanding.

Now here’s the wild part.  You know what has been the most EMPOWERING, HEALING, and SPIRITUAL part of our journey without Chris so far?  It has been our ability to CHOOSE.  It has been our ability to make DECISIONS.  It has been our ability to celebrate the one million good choices Chris made.  It’s been our CHOICES that have kept us going. In that ability to CHOOSE we have found strength and a greater understanding of our very human and spiritual DNA.

Is God dead? Your choice, but I think not…I think God lives in every decision we are empowered to make.