The Hoarder Next Door

The suite next to our condo is a small studio. The neighbors who lived there when we moved in fit the profile: young, professional, and private. That's why I was surprised when the new guy moved in. He was older. He didn't work. He was pleasant enough, but also awkward.

His place was a disaster.

When I left my suite, I'd sometimes see into his. Laundry baskets were stacked from floor to ceiling. A trail of debris began at his door and continued down the hallway. I'd sometimes find his cart and his backpack outside his door.

We've always wanted to hold a floor party. We didn't. We never invited our neighbor for a coffee. We'd make small talk in the hallway, but I never learned his name.

On Monday night, I found police officers in the hallway. More police arrived, and someone in a suit. Someone must have complained, I thought. The police must have called a social worker. But then I heard them talk about the coroner.

My neighbor died last weekend. They found his body on Monday. A police seal now secures his door.

My neighbor is gone. So is the man who was killed by a falling tree limb in a local park last Friday. So is the man who was hit by a train near me early on Monday morning. Death surrounds me this week, even in a young community like Liberty Village.

Nothing might have changed If I'd invited my neighbor for a coffee, but I would have known his name. I might have known his story. Now I'll only know him as the hoarder next door. And that's no way to know a neighbor.

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Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

Giveaway: Planting Missional Churches

I've already reviewed the new edition of Planting Missional Churches. I've also highlighted some of my favorite quotes. Now it's time to give away some copies.

Fill out the form below to enter the giveaway. The contest closes on Friday at midnight (EST). I'll randomly select five winners for a free hardcover copy of the book. The contest is open to residents of Canada and the U.S.

Below the entry form, you'll find some images with quotes from the book. Save them and share them.

Thanks to LifeWay, B&H, and Daniel Im for the books!

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Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Love the Church More than its Health

This is an implicit danger for all of us who have learned much from God-given books and conferences and ministries about “healthy churches.” We start loving the idea of a healthy church more than the church God has placed us in.

Links for your weekend reading:

Love the Church More than its Health

This is an implicit danger for all of us who have learned much from God-given books and conferences and ministries about “healthy churches.” We start loving the idea of a healthy church more than the church God has placed us in.

The Dangerous Divide Between Theology and Practicality

An unnecessary divide between theology and methodology is unwise.

Why Knowing Your Flock Is Critical for Meaningful Preaching

There are a host of reasons why it is important for pastors who want to preach meaningfully to know their flocks as well as they can, but here are three of the most important.

Watch 6,000 Years of Urbanization in 3 Minutes

Max Galka at Metrocosm has taken the most comprehensive dataset on cities and made it come alive in a new video.

Why Even Driving Through Suburbia Is Soul Crushing

It’s telling that we have no widespread cultural vernacular for why classical urban settlements, which draw on millennia of intellectual background and corpuses of architectural knowledge, are pleasant.

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Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

The Hardest Thing

The hardest thing probably isn't the hardest thing.

Life and ministry are full of pain. You will experience betrayal, setbacks, hardship, and disappointment. It's inevitable. We live in a fallen world.

I have a theory that these setbacks and difficulties aren't the hardest thing. The hardest thing is the thought that our suffering doesn't have a purpose.

Suffering becomes a lot easier when we know that the suffering has a purpose.

I've been thinking recently about the apostle Paul. If anyone knew about suffering, he did. In 2 Corinthians he outlines his sufferings in detail. But Paul knows something that makes all the difference: his suffering has purpose.

It's why Paul says, "We do not lose heart...So we are always of good courage." Paul doesn't run from the pain. Instead, he runs to the purpose.

We'll never be able to outrun the pain. As we run to God, though, we discover that he is accomplishing his purposes in our suffering. It doesn't take away the pain, but it sure makes a difference.

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Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

The Basics

The older I get, the more I try to remember the basics.

This is what I appreciate in the pastors I love. These are the qualities I want to see in my life.

A deepening love for the Lord — Nobody should be more amazed by the depth of God's grace than the pastor. The thing that people need most from a pastor isn't strategy or charisma. It's a heart that is alive to the triune God.

A genuine, loving marriage — I remember seeing Jill Briscoe laugh at Stu Briscoe's jokes. It told me more about him as a man and pastor than if I'd read every book he'd written. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

A ministry committed to the Word — I take 1 Peter 4:11 seriously. If you speak, speak God's Word. Don't give us your thoughts or musings, or repackage something you read or heard. Give us God's Word.

Gratitude and love for people — Pastoring is a privilege. The best pastors I know tell their people how grateful they are for the privilege of serving them. They create sinner-safe zones where there's no pretending, and people are given safety and time to hear the gospel. They love their people.

No secrets — The best pastors are far from perfect, but they've stopped hiding. There are people in their lives who know the worst about them. They are walking in the light, and create a culture of grace because they are experiencing God's grace in the present tense.

It's just the basics. Nothing fancy. It's what I pray will characterize your life and ministry. It's how I want to live and die.

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Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.