Thursday, December 06, 2012

Spoke too soon...

Remember that whole Golden Boot race? Not that it was much of a race to begin with, but it just got a lot more difficult thanks to noon hour drop in soccer on Tuesday.

It wasn't a completely dirty challenge or anything, although the guy playing goal did not necessarily have to slide at me during a drop in game. But I understand his determination to prevent what I had accomplished just minutes earlier by finding the back of the net. Had he stayed on his feet I would have been able to avoid the whole situation.

But, on this occasion, he went to ground and I hit the brakes in order to pull the ball back to my right foot so I could lift it over to my winger who was wide open to slot it home. However, my attempt at a simple quick stop was thwarted once again by the blasted turf that years ago claimed my ACL. The excruciating pain and crunching feeling in my ankle was reminiscent of a play that happened back in July that ended my outdoor season and left me with some ligament damage. (You can check out the wonderful colorful array from that experience in the photo.)

I'm off the crutches now, but my foot is turning all sorts of interesting colors. The doctor figured is was more ligament damage. That means more time off. This makes it hard to score goals. This race may officially be over.

I'll also admit that the thought of retirement has once again entered my mind, but I'm not sure I can give up so easily on a game I love so much. Even though it appears to show absolutely no regard for my personal well being.

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Golden Boot Race...

Anyone who watches soccer will know that most leagues have a Golden Boot award. The winner is the person who has scored the most goals by the end of the season. I thought a little friendly challenge would be healthy for family life, so I mentioned the idea to Aidan. He was in. And here's what has been happening:

Aidan game #1: 12-1 win; no goals
Aidan game #2: 4-0 win; scores 2
Aidan game #3: 12-1 win; scores 2
Aidan game #4: 17-1 win; scores 4
Aidan game #5: 6-3; scores 2
Aidan game #6: 10-0 win; scores 5

Mike game #1: 6-6 draw, 2 goals
Mike game #2: 15-4 win; 2 goals
Mike game #3: 3-3 draw; 2 goals (Aidan was kind enough to let me count this drop in game since it was high intensity with two very good teams and my goals were stellar. Insert back pat.)

Basic math tells me he is up 15-6.
Common sense tells me I'm in over my head.

I should also point out that Aidan is finding the back of the net with complete ease. He's not the fastest kid. He doesn't have the best footwork. But he is consistently in the right place at the right time. His goals have come from his left, right, and even his head.

After his 5th game I inadvertently mentioned how to force the other team to make mistakes that would lead to goals. Then he responds with a 5 goal game and one of the best efforts I've seen him put in.

Proud poppa here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What Seminary is Teaching Me...

It's been almost 7 months since I brought my full-time ministry to a close and began on my MDiv studies. I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was about to get myself into, although I am probably better off that way. It ensures I don't chicken out.

I'm currently in the last leg of three courses that I've been working on over the summer. With all the packing, moving, and unpacking it's been sheer and utter chaos, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. This week I have to finish up one last paper, read 150 pages, and write a few short 100 word reflections. In the meantime I thought I'd take a little break to dust off the blog and let you in on what I've been learning these last 7 months.
  1. Books multiply. I have likely thumbed my way through more books since February than I did in all my college years combined.
  2. Informing people you are working on an MDiv leads either to interesting conversations or blank stares. There is no middle ground.
  3. America will sell me textbooks for WAY cheaper than I can buy them here in Canada. Unfortunately I am now a 5 hour drive from the border instead of a 5 minute drive.
  4. I am not an academic, but this is good process for me. I'm learning lots and it's pushing me into areas I would have otherwise not ventured into.
  5. I really should have focused more in college. I found my old GPA when trying to apply for a scholarship. Apparently age will make you a more diligent student.
  6. I actually know so little. I've occasionally been guilty of "knowing it all", so this learning process has been a good reminder to keep a proper perspective.
  7. I miss the world of full time ministry. I miss the ins and outs of weekly ministry life. I miss the people. I just miss church life.
  8. I could not do this without my wife.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


One week ago we made our way from Abbotsford to Calgary with most of our worldly possessions crammed into a moving truck and a rental SUV (long story on that one...). I'll admit that it's a little humbling sleeping in a rest stop parking lot to begin with. But when all your stuff is in tow, it's hard to get any decent amount of sleep. (I've heard that serial killers frequent these places.)

Since our arrival it's been a blur unpacking boxes, painting rooms, and just trying to get acclimated to life in a new place that isn't our home. I'm sure it will be...eventually. But for now everything feels upside down.

This is going to be one of the biggest adventures our family has embarked upon. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Long time no see...

With the countless hours spent reading theology and writing papers for school I haven't really felt like blogging was much of a priority...or even an enjoyment. But let's get you caught up with what happened since the last episode of "Can't Find Normal".

We sold our house.
Erin graduated.
Erin got a job. (In Calgary!)
Summer finally showed up.

That pretty much sums it up.

It's starting to dawn on me that this departure will be unlike any that we have experienced in our married life. This place has a lot of memories. (And it certainly helps that so many of those memories are good ones!) We are leaving WAY too many friends behind. (Although you are all welcome to join us.) And at some point in November I will be complaining about the snow and cold like a true-blooded BCer.

Five things I'm going to miss about Abbotsford:
  1. People (I will refrain from picking favorites, but if you read this just assume it's you!)
  2. Football (coaching and playing the soccer variety!)
  3. The view from our backyard
  4. Quick trips to the USA
  5. Summer
Five things I'm looking forward to in Calgary:
  1. Friends I haven't seen in a long while
  2. Family I haven't lived close to in years
  3. Skating without having to pay
  4. Affordable (hopefully) hockey games
  5. Shorter drives to Caronport for class
Yeah...I had to dig deep for a couple of those. I'm sure Calgary will grow on us. But it's sad to say goodbye.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The love-hate relationship with football...

As Manchester United missed out on the title yesterday I am reminded of a few things:
  1. I love this sport. It came down to the final 5 minutes on the last game of the season to determine the champion for this year. I don't care what you say, that is entertaining. I had both games on split screen on the laptop.
  2. I hate this sport. Watching QPR fight so hard for 2-1 only to allow 2 goals in the final 5 minutes, and knowing that Joey Barton's epic freak out and subsequent sending off could have made all the difference in helping hand the title to United, leaves me gutted.
  3. I love this sport. We're going to do this all again next year. A year has not gone by since I started following United that I was not excited for the next season.
  4. I hate this sport. I have to wait until fall for this to start again. (And no US tour for United this year.)
  5. I love this sport. Euros, Olympics, MLS, and summer rec leagues for my son and I will carry us through.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Glowing in the Dark...

Took my lovely wife to Coldplay on Friday. The tickets were her Christmas present, and in true Knott fashion our seats were phenomenal. And by "phenomenal" I mean last row in the nosebleeds.

It reminded me of a Jets/Habs game I went to in the old Winnipeg Arena where my dad and I sat behind the net and at the top with brick wall behind us.

Regardless, this was a great show as soon as they got past the opening acts.

If you haven't seen all the hoopla over Coldplay's recent shows, you need to know that they give you a wristband that almost looks like a digital watch. You put it on your wrist and then wait for something interesting to happen.

  Quite a spectacular gimmick if you ask me.

And it was fairly effective for getting the crowd into the show. It was the same effect that happens when the crowd immediately recognizes the guitar intro of a song and they let out that collective cheer.


One thing I know, is that any time I go to a good concert I am left wanting to go to another.

So, Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge in September...anyone in?

Friday, April 13, 2012

What's Playing...

Here are a few tunes that I've been enjoying lately.

What are you listening to these days?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Randomness...

Lacking any ability to provide you with depth or thoughtful provocation, here are my random musings from the Easter weekend thus far:
  • With the sunshine comes more house showings...yet we still lack an offer.
  • For a good Friday service, playing "Nothing But the Blood" to the tune of Dave Matthews Band's "Crash Into Me" should not be considered creative. Nor should it ever be done publicly. (And this is from a DMB fan.)
  • My sunglasses have wandered away. I've searched everything twice. I will likely find them sometime after I purchase a new pair or after the sun disappears.
  • What is the deal with Easter hats?
  • Is it "paska" or "pascha"?
  • Anyone want to watch "Close Encounters of a Third Kind"?
  • I gain great joy from watching Man City implode as they chase United for the title. We are now 8 points clear with 6 games remaining. At one point we were 8 points behind them I believe.
  • I must write 5+ pages tomorrow.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Convenience trumps theology...

I cannot remember the context of the conversation, but one little off-the-cuff remark during a class has been constantly replaying in my head.

"Today, convenience tends to trump theology."

It makes me start to wonder about what parts of my faith are driven more by what's convenient to me rather than my theology. Maybe it's due to under developed theology. Maybe it's my upbringing. Maybe Hollywood did it. Maybe it's a little bit of everything.
  • We want a church service time that works best for us.
  • We want an environment that makes us comfortable.
  • We want small group on nights that work around our other events.
  • We read our Bibles when we have extra time.
  • We eat crackers and drink a thimble of grape juice for Communion.
Can you add to the list?

The obvious question I'm left with is whether it is even possible for many of us who have been become convenience addicts to become more theologically minded when it comes to faith and life?

I'm not convinced that following Jesus was meant to be convenient. (Even though I must admit that I would like it to be.)

But I have a strong suspicion that a convenient faith actually does serious damage to the ability to have faith. 

Maybe convenience has done more harm to the church than we thought it would?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Goodbye CD...

While driving the other day it dawned on me that I can hardly recall the last CD I actually purchased in its entirety. I know I received a couple live Dave Matthews Band CD's at Christmas, but I don't remember when I bought one on my own.

Does anyone, besides my brother-in-law, still buy CD's anymore?

What was the last full CD you bought?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I like TV...

I dislike commercials. They eat up too much time. When you consider the fact that a 30 minute time slot only contains 22 minutes of show time and a 60 minute time slot will contain only 42 minutes, it's obvious that be removing the commercials one could actually watch more TV and thus be more productive.

And by "more productive", I really should add the phrase "at watching more episodes of select TV shows."

As such I rarely watch live TV unless it is for sports or just having some background noise. For the most part TV viewing in our house comes in 3 forms:
  • Internet - There are countless websites that will provide TV for free via downloads or online viewing. Some provide better quality than others, but for the most part if you know which rocks to look under, you can find most shows on the web.
  • DVR - Record it and watch it later. I have even been known to record my favorite sports teams in action so that I can actually get a few more hours of sleep on a weekend. (Some will question whether I am a true fan, but I state I'm a better fan when I'm not grouchy because I've lost precious sleep.)
  • Library - So much stuff for free! The major drawback to this system is that most shows have a waiting list that puts you under a time constraint for actually viewing the whole season. With some proper time management (otherwise known as procrastinating things that you should actually be getting done) you can overcome this complication.
I'll highlight just a few of the shows that have received my viewing attention as of late. I'll make the obvious disclaimer that not all of the shows on this list are, um, family friendly. Don't judge me too harshly.
  • Justified - This is hands down my favorite show of the past couple of years. A US marshal returns to his hometown in Kentucky to battle the redneck criminals. (This is a gross simplification of a fairly elaborate and draw out storyline.) If I had to recommend one hour long show for you to watch, it would be this one.
  • Community - Funniest. Show. On. TV. Witty, original and always good for some classic pop culture references.
  • The Walking Dead - Zombie survival story. How can you go wrong?
  • Miranda - A little British comedy of a woman awkwardly looking for love.
  • The Killing - A remake of a Danish show, this dark crime drama based in Seattle is an attempt to uncover the complex back story of a recent murder. Season 2 starts next month.
  • Whitechapel - A 3 episode British show about the hunt for a Jack the Ripper copycat killer. I just realized this was only season 1 of 3. Back to the library...
  • How I Met Your Mother - This show has been a staple for us but I admit I'm growing restless with their inability to actually progress with the overall storyline. I think they are past due to introduce the actual "mother".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Youth Pastor Hypocrite...

One of the questions I'm in the process of asking myself is whether my next ministry position will be with students. I've been a professional youth pastor for almost 12 years and I have immensely enjoyed it. It has brought me great joy. It has challenged me. It has helped me develop as a leader. There never seems to be a dull moment. There is so much to love about what I have been able to do.

But I now find myself asking if it is time for a change.

Aside from a brief dream of working behind the camera in the film industry, I have not imagined doing anything aside from student ministry. A few years ago I was approached by a church who wanted to bring me on staff in a role focused on worship and arts. I was promptly made aware that I was not being released from student ministry. I didn't feel like I was "done".

I was the guy who said he was a lifer. I gave my buddies a hard time when they moved on from working with students and started taking on different church leadership roles. I cringed every time one more youth pastor jumped ships to the higher paying, more respectable roles of "anything but youth" pastor.

And now I feel like a hypocrite.

I have friends encouraging me to stick it out. They say that I have much to still offer the student ministry world.

I have other friends encouraging me to try a new role because of what they see in me. They think I'm capable of something different.

Now that I find myself in a perpetual state of limbo (oh the joys of being a student) I thought I would spend some time trying to figure out which direction I would go. I have yet to figure out the answer yet. In fact, it's very hard for me to contemplate life outside of student ministry. But at least I'm asking questions like this:
  • Where will I grow the most?
  • Am I doing what's easy and comfortable?
  • What have I been hardwired for?
  • What's the best fit for my family?
 Anything else you think I should be asking myself?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Numbers...

Summing up life by the numbers:
35 days of unemployment
2,548 pages read.
12,210 words typed.
3 papers aced. (Pause to pat myself on the back because I have NEVER done that before!)
2 classes.
15 days away from home.
3 Provinces traveled.
2 for 9 on Roll up The Rim.
3 movies watched.
1 TV series completed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Day at a New School...

School was never difficult for me.

Actually, the social part of school was never too difficult for me. The grades took a little work, especially since I suffer from an almost fatal case of procrastination.

Either way I've been on campus for the first class in my MDiv studies for a grand total of 2 days and here are a few observations I have made.
  1. Coming in halfway through a semester, even though it's a modular format) is a relational disadvantage. So many people already know each other. I feel like I'm trying to play catch up with learning names and who does what and has worked where and has how many kids.
  2. Being away from family is not fun. I love my family and I love having them around. I would joke about how loud it could get around the house when the kids would have friends over while I was trying to study, but I'd give up my WiFi access for it right now.
  3. Speaking of WiFi, I had to sell my soul for a week of access to use it here. And the house I'm staying at can't even get high speed, so they are still on dial up. And the Starbucks in Moose Jaw doesn't have it. What's up with that Saskatchewan?!?!
  4. The library frightens me. Seriously, I'm always afraid I will walk through the doors and get looked at funny or get lost in the stacks.
  5. College students are still college students. I'm sitting in the cafe right now and I've been privy to some very humorous interactions. And I am trying not to eavesdrop on a pretty important student council conversation right now.
Almost time to change the scenery and head for the silent basement suite.