in between bites & sips ...

thanks for stopping by! here's where i put various thought, quotes or stories. most will be brief, some may be extended - but all will be somehow connected to my world. enjoy your stay!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

That worked out well!

K - last Sunday I must have REALLY gone off notes! Actually, I know I went way off notes since I only had a scrap of paper with no more than 40 words on it, yet I still managed to preach for 40 minutes - and I definitely didn't say 1 word per minute.

So, this means I must have gone heavy with the personal stories ... and I did. But boy did it ever pay off! I told the story of the previous posted blog 'That's my pastor' and suddenly, people start posting all over my facebook wall 'That's my pastor!'. It feels so great to be loved.

Then, I told a story of my son not sharing his chocolate bar with me. It worked as an illustration and made the point I wanted it to. What I didn't count on is the response ... I've been bombarded with gifts of KitKats & Hershey bars all week! It's been AWESOME!!!!! I don't even think I can eat it all - I may have to share!!!

Honest. I wasn't vying for compliments or candy when I told the stories I told in the sermon! But, if everyone's goal to show their appreciation for me - you've hit the mark.


That's my pastor

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of offering the benediction prayer for a Teen Challenge Banquet in Youngstown, Ohio. I was asked to do this because the Executive Director, Pastor Roy Barnett is a member of the church I pastor.

There's always a little extra stress when you are praying in that situation. I know I'm just talking to God (by just, I don't mean like it's no big deal, I mean that He is really my sole audience), but just being honest with you - it sometimes feels like you're being judged! Perhaps it's all in my head ... but, I don't think so.

Anyways, I just did what I do - ultimately trying to lead the audience in prayer and ignoring the pressure to try and impress - and partly, I was just relieved to be done and hopeful I met Pastor Barnett's expectations.

Then, he unknowingly gave me the greatest compliment anyone could ever give me as a pastor - I overheard him telling someone at his table 'That's my pastor'. Wow. That he would want the world (or at least his friend) to be identified with me told me he was pleased with my prayer, but wayyyyy more than that, he wanted others to know we are in relationship.

It's much the same way for all of us when it comes to talking about God. He does so much for us every single day, and all He wants is for us to acknowledge our relationship with Him, 'That's my God'!

In that one moment that Pastor Roy said what he did of me, I understood how great it must feel for God for us to acknowledge publicly our relationship with Him.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The 4th point of the sermon.

I preached on 'Nothing' this morning. As soon as its available online, I'll add the link so you can hear it if you like. But, as I was getting up to the 4th point of the sermon, I really felt like I was done, so I ended the sermon.

There still is a 4th point - and it's a good one - so, I thought I'd post it here.

1. do NOTHING our of selfish ambition - Phil 2:3
2. worry about NOTHING - Phil 4:6
3. there is NOTHING God can't do - Luke 1:37

and ...

4. halfhearted Christians accomplish NOTHING - Revelation 3:17

Revelation 3 deals with the message to the church in Laodicea. This church was famous for being 'lukewarm'. Another word for lukewarm is halfhearted. Basically, if you only 1/2 your heart into anything (especially related to God-things), then NOTHING is accomplished. In the referenced verse, the Laodiceans thought they had need of NOTHING, when in fact God tells them that in reality they are wretched, blind, etc, etc, etc - essentially, that they have NOTHING.

As Christians, we need to realize that God gave His ALL for us when He sent Jesus - so is it any surprise if we need to give Him our ALL? We can't be playing both sides - we need to choose to be on the Lord's side. Anything less is meaningless and worth nothing at the end of days.

Otherwise, we will be among those who say to God one day, "but I helped the sick & visited the lonely & cast out demons", and He will say "depart from Me, for I never knew you". We need to do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord (or - to keep with the theme - do NOTHING that we only put 1/2 our heart into!).

Today's sermon was fun, yet important. We need to embrace the absolutes God has given to us - there is NOTHING we should worry about, there is NOTHING that is too hard for God, there is NOTHING we should do for selfish reasons & there is NOTHING we should do halfheartedly for the Lord.

Click on the link to be directed to the audio of this sermon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sermons, Sermons & More Sermons!

I had the opportunity once again (3rd year running) of being a judge for the National Fine Arts competition - this time in Orlando, Florida.

Basically, for me this means sitting in a chair from 9 am until 6 pm for 3 days with only a 1 hour break for lunch at noon, listening to a little more than 50 5 minute sermons per day.

Now, you'd think after listening to over 150 sermons in 3 days, that I'd learn a little something, like perhaps how to preach a 5 minute sermon (keep praying ... but I don't think it's going to happen!) or even get a couple good outlines that I could use myself in the future. But no.

It's a frenzied few days that builds and builds with pressure as you end up being one of 3 judges to decide who was the best (or the best of the best) of what I believe was over 400 short sermon contestants!

Thing is - the competition (or festival, if you prefer) isn't really at all about the poor plight of a whiny judge. The competition is all about the students. It's so wonderful to listen to hundreds of kids 'preach the Word'. It's so encouraging to see so many do an incredible job of bringing life to the Scriptures.

I know that even a few days removed from Orlando, most of the names and faces are a blur in my memory, there are a few that remain. These few will represent all to me as I pray that God will continue to use and bless these students and that the Word of God they have hidden in their hearts will NOT return void, but rather bear fruit and be a blessing to them for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Rob & Tim Show - Episode 6

And so it ends. It was a wonderful week of ministry at the Bolivian Hope Center. We were able to finish painting 2 floors of the Hope Center (and a bit of the 3rd) as well as raise the front walls of the center up to a more secure level. Not only was it a great week of construction, but the opportunity to minister to the children through the feeding program and playing with them in the playground was a time that will never be forgotten, either by the children or by us!

I'm so thankful Mary, Meghan, Danielle, Dale & Tim were able to be a part of this great week - but I'm also thankful to the many of you who have either given financially or prayerfully to the Bolivian Hope Center or this missions trip.

There is so much work left to be done, so until God opens the door for us to go again to Bolivia, please continue to give financially and prayerfully to the Bolivian Hope Center. If you want more information about the Center, I have listed a link to their website for your convenience.

There are more stories to be told of our adventure, and more pictures and videos to be shown, so please continue to visit this blog! But, until then, we have for your viewing pleasure, the final episode of The Rob & Tim Show!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Rob & Tim Show - Comedy Classic Edition

The Rob & Tim Show - Episode 4

Wednesday Recap from the Bolivian Hope Center

Another great day has come to a close. This was a wet one - in fact, I think this is the first time I've had a full rainy day in my 3 trips to Bolivia!

People define success differently - but, I can't think of even one way that this trip to Bolivia has been anything but a success ...

We're getting the work done at a great pace with the 2nd floor of the Hope Center almost finished being painted and all the electrical work just about done. We also rebuild a wall at the front of the complex up to the needed 9 feet in order to keep robbers out.

We're having a lot of fun - more laughs that we will ever be able to recount for you.

We're receiving a sense of spiritual fulfillment as we work selflessly in an area of the world that not only needs it, but that responds so wonderfully to the love we show.

I'm sure there are a million things I'm forgetting that should be inserted next, but, finally and most importantly - we're blessing the children here. For so many reasons, these kids have no hope - but - if for only a few days we can give them hope that someone loves them and cares about them, then we've done the best thing we can do. For some kids, even in the US - if all we can do is bless them with a Christmas present while the rest of their life is a wreck - then it's a good thing we do that. In the same way, if all we can do is bless these kids for a week of the year, we've done a good thing. And, just like I have treasured memories from my childhood, we're giving these kids memories they will treasure forever. Maybe someday, when life takes a turn for the worse for them, they will remember the hug one of us gave them (or the candy, or the horsey ride, or the toy, or even just the smile) and they will choose to not give up on hope! Money is great, but sending money doesn't give them hope. Prayer is powerful, but sending ourselves is the answer to prayer they really need.

It's not about the work (because, really, anyone who lives here in Bolivia could do it) - it's about the personal contact. We bless the kids by touching them with our love, and they bless us by showing us what a treasure that love is that they not only receive, but reciprocate.

For those who are interested, I have posted here the sermon I preached at the Temple of Faith here in Cochabamba, Bolivia with missionary Rich Farthing interpreting into Spanish for me. The sermon is a little over 15 minutes long.

2 Things Common to All from Rob Morris on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Rob & Tim Show - BONUS FEATURE!

Here's a treat for you! Rob-Bob and Tim-Bob singing the southern classic ... "Where Have You Gone?"

The Rob & Tim Show - Episode 3

Today was an off-day for us. No sleeping in, but a fun day of sight-seeing in the morning and resting in the afternoon. Unfortunately we lost our internet connection in the afternoon as someone in the local area cut the fiber-optic cable. I am surprised it is fixed already!

We went to the JesuCristo de la Concordia that is in the center of the city. I've been there 3 times now, but it's always a sight to behold. Then we went shopping at a jewelry store. There are 'Bolivian Etaphs' there which are beautiful and expensive anywhere other than Bolivia.

Then we just rested in the afternoon. Tomorrow is a big day as we want to finish painting the 2nd floor and build a wall at the front of the Hope Center. I'm also planning on taking a lot of video of the children tomorrow so you can see exactly why supporting the work at the Bolivian Hope Center is so very important.

Now, here is Episode 3 of the Rob and Tim Show! enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Rob & Tim Show - Episode 2

We have our luggage!!! It came Sunday afternoon, and I'm so glad!

Things are going very well here. We had a good day of hard work. Rich (the missionary) had hoped we would finish painting the 1st floor by the end of the week - and we're already started on the 2nd floor! I'm thinking we can finish painting the entire 3 floors before Saturday - and with the electrical being finished this week as well, the Bolivian Hope Center (orphanage for children currently living in a local prison with their moms) should be ready for furniture!

On a personal note, when I first visited in January 08, I met a girl by the name of Anai. She became my friend for the day. The next day when I went to the prison, she was gone! I had heard that sometimes children are forced to leave the prison for various reasons. I was worried she was lost. Then, when I came back in May, I had hoped to see her - but did not. She is one child I had been praying for specifically since I first met her. Well, SHE WAS THERE TODAY! I was so happy to see her. She was surprised that I remembered her name. I had the missionary tell her that I had been praying for her and that I had a picture of her that I had kept. I told her I would continue to pray for her - but - just seeing her today has made my entire week!

Anai is the girl on the right from January 2008

Hey, here's Episode 2 of the Rob & Tim Show. The audio went out on 2 occasions for unknown reasons (maybe cuz I'm technically challenged!), but - I don't think there was any way we could re-create what we did, so, I'm posting it as is (don't worry - the audio you're missing doesn't leave out any pertinent information other than our 'good-bye's at the end).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Greetings from Bolivia!

With the requisite few predictable twists and turns of a missions trips, we've made it! We arrived in Cochabamba sans luggage, yet full of anticipation for the week that's ahead. The team expects to be doing a lot of painting, and a bit of wall building (hooray! we'll see if i remember all Jason taught me last year!). That being said, if my webcam can hold out for me, I hope to have daily vids and pics right here featuring Tim Chronister and me in the Rob & Tim Show!

Please remember to pray for us (and our luggage which we are HOPING to get official word of its whereabouts tomorrow morning).

Personally, i've been stretching my back, getting it ready for the endless series of pony rides i'll be giving the children at the Hope Center starting tomorrow.

Traveling to Bolivia

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lessons from a snowman

I learned a lot about teamwork as a bunch of young adults decided to grace the front of our church with a snowman last week.

First of all, everyone has to come together. Staying in a warm cozy home sending us 'moral support' - although nice sentiments, they really don't help get the job done.

Secondly, while it was fairly cold outside, those who were working on the task never gave a thought to the temperature. Only those on the sidelines felt the chill of the day.

Thirdly, if those working on the snowman had stopped the project to focus on warming up those on the sidelines - ultimately, they would also become cold AND the project would never be completed!

And finally, when we all worked together, the job was able to be completed, AND everyone had a blast getting it done!

Good job, guys! Can't wait until our next snowfall!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Something to think about ...

It seems the following thought from last Sunday's sermon has been lingering in the hearts and minds of many who heard it:

"As a church, it seems we spend all our time building an army that never goes into battle."

That's not exactly how I said it (you can hear the sermon at, but you get the idea. We keep preparing for a battle we never engage in! One these days, we shouldn't just talk about making a difference in this world - we should just go out and do it! We'll never feel fully prepared. We'll never feel like we know enough. We'll never feel primed for success. At some point, we just need to step into the batter's box and take that first swing!

It's my prayer that Liberty Assembly wouldn't just talk about becoming a great church, but that we would just simply BE a great church. If Jesus is our source and strength ... how can we fail?!

Let's live our lives sharing the love of Jesus every moment of the day, everywhere we go, to everyone we encounter. THAT, my friends, is what Jesus did. THAT, my friends, is our marching order!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reflections on a day to remember

Today, President Barack Obama took office as the 44th President of the United States of America. Certainly much has and will be written about the significance of President Obama being the first African-American President, and rightly so. But for me, as this being the first inauguration I've ever witnessed, I was most amazed by the significance of the transfer of power.

To think of it - millions voted for President Obama, but millions also voted against him - yet, on this day there really were no Republicans or Democrats or Independents - just Americans celebrating history: not history past, but history present. Not history simply because of President Obama's skin color, but history because of the ability for leadership to so drastically shift in an instant, without bloodshed but with a handshake!

In many countries, the ousted leader is lucky to leave with his or her life! Yet here we see former President Bush giving his congratulations and gracefully stepping aside with class and dignity to join other past-Presidents Clinton, Bush Sr., & Carter in the history of this great nation.

Now, before all my Canadian friends become concerned about my allegiances - allow me to clarify something ... I didn't love my daughter less when my son came along - it was easy and natural to love both. In the same way, I still love Canada. Much of who I am and the way I process life is connected to my heritage - a heritage I am proud of and thankful for. That being said, I also love America. One day, I hope to be a citizen of both great countries, who knows, maybe even in 2009!

That being said - there is something special about 1.5 million people gathering at the Washington Mall to participate in history. There is something special about a TV set up at my bank to soak in the images of a new President taking his oath of office. Businesses & schools and just about everywhere you looked stopped to see freedom in action. The people chose, and government responded as the keys to government were passed.

I wish I really were a writer. I wish I could express my emotions in words for you. All I can say is God HAS blessed America and I pray He will continue to do so forever until Jesus comes.

I also hope Americans realize their place in this world. Americans don't need to learn from the world to appease the world and be more palatable to the world, but Americans need to be leaders in the world to help raise the standard for freedom. So with that in mind - I pray President Obama is blessed with wisdom from God and a courage to choose rightly in every decision that crosses his desk.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My latest adventure

I'm an 8th grade teacher! How weird is that? I found out Youngstown Christian School (YCS) needed a Bible teacher, and I figured ... why not?

I really love teaching the Bible - but - unfortunately, I haven't figured out HOW yet. It's one thing to have information, it's another to communicate it - especially to an age group I don't typically deal with. What do they like? What works? What gets us through the curriculum?

Perhaps to some, it really wouldn't matter too much - just get through the material and give out grades. But, this is a Christian school and I have this crazy idea - that BIBLE should be a FAVORITE course, and not a drudgery. I figure if by the end of the year the students love the Bible more than when the year started, the year will have been a success!

So, the adventure begins - influence students to begin to love the Bible just as David loved it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Digging out!

You'd think I'd be talking about all the snow we've received lately and the need to 'dig out'. Nope. See, after growing up in Montreal, it's hard for me to be either excited or concerned about 6 inches of snow!

I'm talking about digging out of the mess that my office becomes! It seems that every time I file and re-organize all my things, I never quite finish the job. THEN, seeing as I'm not quite done, I leave the foundation on which future piles of papers can be laid. Looking around my office right now I see ...

- pictures that are remnants of the missions convention
- a salt bucket that is a remnant of a kids dance number (don't ask)
- popcorn bags that are remnants of someone tidying up their part of the church
- a cowboy hat that is a remnant of a western night
- a stein that is a remnant of winning a fantasy football league
- sheet music that is a remnant of a worship service
- a bike that is a remnant of when I had no other way to get to the office
- 4 4x3 post-it notes that are remnants of a leadership meeting
- video camera that is a remnant of capturing Christmas memories
- receipts that are remnants of spending too much money last month
- chocolate that are ... well ... they'll be gone soon, nevermind them!

and - this is only 1/2 my office!!!

Anyone have any helpful tips for me???

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bible Hero Resolutions

If you want to make a resolution for 2009 - here are some suggestions ... and they are biblical!

1. Jacob resolved to tithe (Genesis 28:22)
2. David resolved to read the Bible (Psalm 119:15-16)
3. Daniel resolved to live a holy life (Daniel 1:8)

What resolutions are you making for 2009?