Maybe it’s weird, but I have a motto: A pulse doesn’t mean you’re alive.
What gets me up in the morning is a desire to help people live out their faith in practical ways today. Plus, my three kids want breakfast!
I’m a husband, dad, and the pastor at Westminster Church in Barrie, Canada.
I love Jesus and how he is making all things new, my ever-insightful wife and children, the Bible, writing a daily devotional called “Up!” (you can read current issues and/or sign up here), writing songs (hear some here) and ketchup chips. I also cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 2021 is the year!
I’ve been learning more about the modern evil called human trafficking and have been getting more involved. It’s the nightmare that isn’t a dream.
I was born and raised in Bracebridge, Muskoka. If you meet me at Tim Horton’s I’ll be the one with the coffee and trying to resist the honey cruller. My pet peeves are TVs in restaurants, wet socks and mosquitoes.
Oh, and one day I hope to own a rowboat. Just because it seems awesome.
In 2018 I released my first book published by Ticket Books: “Up! – 313 Devotionals To Help You Start Your Day in a Biblical, Relevant Way.” You can learn more about it here. 100% of the profits from the book are being given to Fight4Freedom, an organization devoted to fighting human trafficking in the sex trade.
In June 2020 my second book was published, also by Thicket Books: Turbulence: Devotionals To Steady You Through The Storms of Life. Assembled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this book brings together 150 daily devotionals meant to steady you through the storms of this short flight called life. You can learn more about it here.
Over the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many different people — either through formal presentations/workshops or informal conversations — and what I love most is when people, especially young people, start to light up when they realize that what the Bible teaches about Jesus, truth and love are actually true.
That changes everything.
I like to write. And in addition to my blog and daily devotionals, in the past few years I’ve had a variety of articles published by Faith Today Magazine, The Gospel Coalition Canada, The Toronto Star, These Days Magazine, The Hamilton Spectator, The Presbyterian Record, The Stream, and The Christian Courier.
I should also say that on my days off I like to wear track pants, play road hockey, and make pancakes. Sometimes they have chocolate chips. But only when I’m feeling crazy.
I’m a sinner. Did I mention that? Seriously, I am. Without God I am nothing, literally. Left to my own devices my life is characterized by selfishness. It’s just so tempting and appealing to do the easy thing instead of the right thing.
I’d list a bunch of the things I struggle with, and the various ways I’ve messed up, but I just don’t feel like this is the place to get into all that. Let’s just say I’m a work in progress. Fortunately, God’s amazing grace through Jesus has rescued me. Forever.
When I was young it was all about hockey. By high school it became all about music… and girls. During that time I’m pretty sure I invented the “spaghetti sandwich,” but I never took the time to patent it.
I’ve worked as a rock musician and released a CD in 2002 with the band Meraudio. I also worked as a political aide at Queen’s Park, Ontario’s provincial legislature. I hold a B.A. (York U, 1999, summa cum laude) and a Master of Divinity (U of T, Knox College, 2008, Gold Medal).
Here’s a few random factoids that may be randomly interesting to a few random people:
- I appeared as an extra in a Nicolas Cage movie when I was about ten (picture below)
- Hold a hockey record for 5 goals in a single game while playing for the Jr ‘C’ Hunstville Huskies
- Appeared as the guitar player in Deric Ruttan’s hit video “When You Come Around” (he’s my big bro!)
- Performed at the Canadian Music Week festival and two Mariposa Folk Festivals
- Did a 3-song publishing deal with Sony / ATV Tree Music Publishing
- Was awarded “best blog” by the Canadian Church Press in 2015
- And last year Blake Shelton replied to one of my tweets! (Yes, I realize that by saying this I’m a total nerd. Why do I think that is interesting to include in this bio?)
- In the winter my skin gets really dry, and I try to work out three times a week — but you should know that I almost never want to.
And then there’s this:
- I believe in prayer and that humans do have wings–they’re called knees;
- that human trafficking is one of the biggest, most urgent problems in our world;
- that the castle of your character is built one brick at a time;
- and that if you have a life-changing faith your faith should be changing your life.
Why not follow along with The Up Devotional? I have fun writing it, and I think you’ll be encouraged reading it.
My heroes are Jesus (from Nazareth), my wife (from my life), and all the people whose faith makes a difference in the world each and every day. There was a time when I would have included hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky and delta bluesman Son House on this list.
My favourite Bible passage is Revelation 19:13.
If you want to contact me feel free to:
- Comment on one of these posts
- Email me at matthew [at] matthewruttan [dot] com
- Follow me on Twitter: @MatthewRuttan
- Search for me on Facebook or Instagram
Matthew Ruttan, VDM