Thursday, December 14, 2006


No, I didn't fall off the face of the planet. All though some days I wish it was possible to just drift away into the galaxy...but that's another thought for another day.

As I have noted before not everything was finished in the house before we moved in. And while that didn't seem like the end of the world at the time, it has now become a major form of aggravation and frustration. Sure, the phone line has been fixed and the security system has been installed, but we still have wires hanging out all over the place. After 5 phone calls and almost a week of waiting we find out the guy won't show up until Tuesday to do work that his boss should have done the first time he was at our place.

And then there's the internet access, of which we currently only have dial-up. I know, I know...we're spoiled. But I just don't have the patience for dial-up, especially when I'm wondering if I'll miss a phone call from someone who is actually planning to come and finish up something in the house. This would therefore explain my lack of presence on the web.

Ok, that's enough of my ranting. I should be in a good mood. We have a 3 week break from our crazy student ministry schedule, I'm helping making gingerbread houses in Aidan's class tomorrow, I see my surgeon on Monday about my knee, my Red Devils are 5 points clear at the top of the table, and The Office is an hour long tonight.

And now it's back to work for me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Too much junk...

I'm beginning to wonder why I didn't get rid of more stuff before we moved out here last year. Now that all our earthly possessions have been crammed in our basement, we are beginning to realize we may not have enough space for everything. I think eBay may be calling...

And while I'm loving the fact that we actually have our own space now, it's a little frustrating to see how much stuff is yet unfinished. The vacuum isn't working, speaker outlets aren't connected, phone jacks aren't even on the walls, coat hooks are missing. And don't get me started on the 60 plus minutes I spent trying to hook up our washer and dryer. (I still think that's the appliance guys job.)

But, it's our home. And by tomorrow most things should be connected or installed. Now we can get our family back to normal. Whatever that looks like!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I dunno...

Maybe there's something wrong with me. Or maybe it's just another one of God-given characteristics that prepares me for working with middle schoolers. Either way, I found this funny. To be honest, I found it way too funny. (Thanks to Marko)

I'm sorry if you just lost all respect for me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Snow day...

Snow. Lots of it. Well, lots of it if you're living in BC. If you call Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta home, then this really isn't that much snow. But hey, who am I to argue with taking a day off?

I actually drove to work and found a sign on the door saying "office closed". School's have been canceled. People are stuck in their driveways. You cannot see me, but I'm shaking my head in disbelief right now.

Oh, and to all the wonderful "BC drivers"...if you're tires are spinning and you're not making progress through the intersection DO NOT HIT THE GAS HARDER!'d think that something like this would go without saying.

And lastly, now playing on iTunes is "Christmas Convoy" by Paul Brandt. My wife is loving it!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Clapton tickets...

I tried. But it was finally too late...unless I wanted to pay $125 (plus service charges) to sit behind the stage. can see why I've opted not to go for it.
However, the Clapton ticket saga continues as I found out he'll be in Seattle the night before he's supposed to play in Vancouver. The good news? Tickets don't go on sale until next Saturday! So, there's still a chance this could work.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Woke up to the arrival of some friends from our old stomping grounds. It was nice to catch up and share a few laughs and some memories. And it was great to watch our kids. You would never know that it had been almost a year since they had seen each other last.

Anyways, I took off for a little time on my own this afternoon and watched "Deja Vu". Not phenomenal, but certainly not the worst movie I've ever seen. either way, it was nice to just sit and let my brain focus on something else for a while.

In house news...the cleaning people are supposed to be finished today. Then there's still a pile of little things to be done before Thursday. Electrical odds & ends, appliances, shower doors, a bookshelf and a back splash to name a few. But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that we might be able to move in a bit earlier.

And I know you're all waiting for an update on Clapton tickets. Ummm...I'm a little sad to say that they do not least not yet. But they still could turn up in the very near future. Quick, someone head over to Erin's blog and tell her that she should buy me some tickets!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On sale Friday...

I'm surfing around tonight after the kids pack it in for the night and I find out that Eric Clapton is going to be in concert next March. I missed out on seeing him back in 1998 when he made a stop in Edmonton and I always hoped he'd make it back north of the border. And at long last that day has arrived.

Tickets go on sale at 10am Friday. Now I just need to convince my wife that this is a good investment for the future. "Yes, I really did see Eric Clapton live."
Please feel free to send your cheques or money orders to me at the following address...

NYWC '07...

I started to post and then I realized that I would say too much and try to be too profound an insightful. Then I stopped and thought to myself, "when have I ever been profound and insightful in my blog?"

So, here it is...the simplified version of what I experienced in Anaheim. It can be summed up by one word that is written in red marker on the back of an American one dollar bill. LOVE.

Everywhere I turned I was being reminded to love.
  • The crazy sign people reminded me to love the people that believe differently than I do.
  • Efrem Smith reminded me that "God wants to love the hell out of you."
  • Matthew Barnett reminded me to stop seeking after success and start seeking after the welfare of the people. Again with the love thing.
  • Mike Pilavachi reminded me "go after the one" and to "love with Jesus' heart". Whole lotta love.
  • Shane Claiborne (who left me with the dollar) reminded me "don't do great things; do little things with great love!"
  • Marko reminded me that I'm also arrogant and I think that's because I'm usually more in love with myself than with other people.
  • I was reminded that I need to love my family more.
  • I was reminded that I need to love difficult students more.
At one point we were asked to select one word that we felt God was placing on our heart. Then we were asked to write that word on a mirror with a sharpie and then look at our reflection behind that word. What was it that God was trying to reveal in us and through us. The one word for me? LOVE.

I'm still trying to work this out practically. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with my dollar (go here to read a way better explanation by Kerry). I'm still trying to figure out how to love difficult people. I need to greatly improve how I love my family. I've got to just get better at loving people overall.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

4 on a couch...

It's been crazy weather here today. Lots of wind and rain. Ok, so the rain isn't that unusual, but the wind has been sending tress crashing to the ground and blowing small animals into the ocean.

I kind of wondered if any high schoolers would show up. Well, they did. But the mood was a little...umm...I'm not even sure how to describe it. So, instead of our usual routine we opted for playing four on the couch. What is it about this game? This seems to be the one game that every single student will willingly participate in. Go's the simple things about youth ministry that make this the greatest job on earth!

We also had the power go out with 15 minutes left in the evening, so instead of a mini-lesson we went for a group prayer time. All in all, it's great to have a night like this every once in a while where you can change things up at the last minute and just go with the flow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Of death & bluegrass...

I started reading David Crowder's book "Everybody Wants to go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die (or The Eschatology of Bluegrass)" last week. Then on Friday my wife and I headed over to the AMC in Downtown Disney to watch Stranger Than Fiction (which wasn't a bad flick, by the way).

Suffice to say that I'm more than a little overwhelmed by the subject of death in the past 6 days. That could explain why I wasn't particularly enthused to be on a plane in a rainstorm on Saturday night.

I should point out that I don't have some fascination with death and mortality. I just sort of fell into this. I spent a good deal of Crowder's book wondering just how things were going to come together in the end. He talks at great length about the soul and how it has been viewed throughout history. He also talks a great deal about the origins of bluegrass music. Then he weaves in some of his personal story, some emails, some IMs with a bandmate and even an interesting (yet sometimes confusing) story about three people whose lives intersect due to loss and suffering.
I's a little confusing. Which is why it's good to stick it out to the end. And while the end result is not really anything new, it does serve as an excellent reminder that there is more to life than the here and the now. There is more that just today's suffering. We have hope. With that said, hope doesn't eliminate all the hurt we can feel when we lose someone.
Crowder's wit, humour, honesty and unique outlook on life provide a fresh outlook on a subject that's not often discussed by many. And now I can officially say that I have more of an understanding for (and an appreciation of) bluegrass music.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dork factor...

It could take me a little while to deconstruct and process everything from NYWC. In this post I shall do neither. Instead I shall try to explain how much of a dork I have become. (And I know what you're thinking, "That shouldn't be too hard.")

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with my high schoolers about journalling and I decided to bring out my journal so I could be a shining example of how a person can commune with God. (Doesn't that sound noble?)
Instead I realized that my "dork factor" increased. Oh well, you've got to embrace it sometime right? So I decided to stop trying to run from it this past weekend and come to grips with who God created me to be...a DORK.
While I want to spare you all the gory details, I fear that you may not completely understand the events that transpired and then make unnecessary and unfounded judgements about me. Please don't. Just try to picture yourself the day you finally begin to embrace your dorkiness. turned out that Disney was taping their annual Christmas Special which meant a special parade and guest appearances by select "artists" (I use that term loosely because of the first act we witnessed). The overall goal was to watch Daniel Powter perform live in front of the castle and maybe (just maybe) make it onto TV.

And since this post is already too long (and not very profound) I'll just state for the record that neither Erin or myself wanted to witness 2 teens named Aly & AJ lipsynch a song 3 times. Nor did we want to be surrounded by 13 year-old girls swooning over Ryan Seacrest. We wanted to see a Powter concert. Instead we ended up seeing him sing to a background track (yes, 3 times) before being introduced by Seacrest after the songs were completed. Uh...yeah...apparently that's how they do things in Hollywood. Film the intro at the end of the segment.
But I willingly participated in this and so therefore I am now, and forevermore, a dork. You can look for this dork in the crowd on the Christmas Day showing of the Disneyland Parade on ABC (check your local listings).
This can't be normal...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

From the south...

The sunshine is certainly better that any rain we were getting back at home and it's also not so bad hanging out with piles of other people who have the same strange desire in life to tell teenagers about Jesus. But occasionally there are strange things...
  • people with signs saying that YS leads to hell...(only in America, eh?)
  • a band that has a guy dance around the stage all night with absolutely no purpose...except for an occasional tambourine
  • a guy that wears an orange jumpsuit and plays horns
Maybe we'll get some pics up when I'm back. As for now I think I'm over my 10 minute limit.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

5 hours...

I need to be up in five hours to head for the airport. I should really be in bed but I need to wait for some clothes to get out of the dryer. But by 7:55am tomorrow morning we'll be on our way to Anaheim. I'm looking forward to NYWC and a few days in the shadows of Mickey.

My intern has been left in charge. He's great and I'm sure he'll do an awesome job. But I'm always nervous when I have to pass the reigns off to someone else. I'll probably spend most of tomorrow's flight trying to think of what I forgot to tell him.

Anyways...the packing and sleeping beckons me. We'll try to keep you posted from the sunny south!

Oh yeah...and what's the deal with high schoolers and their crazy desire to light fireworks in the Church parking lot? That's not normal is it?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Soccer, Middle School & Yac...

My son's soccer wrapped up today. Strangest event ever. They lined up and marched out of the room so they could march back into the room and then through the room. Then some woman made them dance, which looked more like a 500 foot line of kids trying not to fall over by holding on to each others waists. Then they got a trophy a water bottle and a soccer ball. Just a proud dad moment.

Then it was back to my middle school group for the evening. It always amazes me how simply hitting each other with a pool noodle or chucking a hacky-sack at each other can be so entertaining.

And 2 days until we leave for NYWC. Woohoo! (That's in memory of Mike Yaconelli)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dealing with loss...

I watched the Brandon Wheat Kings lose on Friday to the Chilliwack Bruins (yes, I have decided to attend Bruins games again...but at least this time there was no porn). Then I took a group of high school students to watch my Bombers get beat up by the Lions last night. least Wayne Rooney & Co. were able to thrash Bolton 4-0.

Ok, this next part has nothing to do with loss...

I had a leader meeting today. It went fairly well. I've got lots of youth ministry rookies on my current team, but they all have great attitudes. It would be nice if we could add a few more bodies to the team though before we break for Christmas.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Ok, so I'm getting very unoriginal and boring with my titles. It's been a long couple of weeks with youth stuff, so I'll blame it on that. My in-laws are heading out on vacation, my parents are coming out tomorrow, it's my b-day tomorrow, we have a youth event tomorrow, a youth leaders meeting on Sunday and I'm hosting the service this week.

I'm seeing red because I just got a call today from an "independent adjuster" who wants to meet with me next week to talk over the facts of the collision I was involved in back in July. Apparently the other driver that hit me isn't too happy about being at fault and they're challenging ICBC. Good I have to go through the process again.

And here's why I'll be wearing red...With all the craziness going on I got to open a few presents last night. And while my Dwight Schrute bobblehead ranks right up there as one of the best gifts, my favorite is probably my jersey. Yup, another Manchester United jersey, but it's my first one with official patches and even the name and number of the great Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. So cool!

Friday, October 20, 2006

On the ipod...

Thought this might be interesting...If you read this and you have Itunes, give it a try.


First is 'Til the Day I Die by Third Day
Last is Zombie Zoo by Tom Petty

Longest is 38:52 with #41 by Dave Matthews Band (from a live concert in Ottawa in 2002)
Shortest is 8 seconds with Too Much by Dave Matthews Band (actually it's a fake intro they once played in concert)

First is Back to the Future Soundtrack by Various Artists
Last is Youth by Matisyahu

1. Wholly Yours by David Crowder Band (56 times)
2. Foreverandever Etc by David Crowder Band (53 times)
3. Here Is Our King by David Crowder Band (47 times)

1. Second Place Victory by This Day & Age
2. Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall
3. Girl America by Mat Kearney

1. Eclipse by Cary Judd
2. In Your Eyes by Jeffrey Gaines
3. The Great Escape by the BBC Orchestra

1. No Safe Bet by Pete Schmidt

"Can't" 37 songs

"Find" 8 songs
"Normal" 12 songs
"Dave Matthews" 383 songs
"Mike" 18 songs
"Erin" 25 songs
"Disney" 48 songs
"Unplugged" 66 songs

"Live" 339 songs

1. Acoustic Tuesdays

This is an instrument...

Richard gets the credit for this post. He pointed out that one of the sounds in the last video I posted was made by an instrument called the Theremin. I'll admit that I had never heard of this so I decided to check it out a little further. And this video is probably the best explanation of the instrument with the best demonstration of the song, all by a guy wearing the best pants ever.

Prepare to be amazed...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Random video...

This year at our youth events I started something I like to call the "Random Video of the Week". Sure, it's not very profound or original, but it is occasionally funny. I think the funniest is watching how the students will react to the videos. Some of them are still trying to figure out the point to many of the videos.

So, I thought I'd share the randomness with this little gem...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Soccer Saturday...

I woke up at 5ish this morning so I could hit the record button on the VCR so I could watch United play at a half-decent time. Unfortunately I missed the first 25 minutes of the game and I was shocked to see a 1-0 scoreline in favor of Wigan. Anyways...I headed back to catch a few zz's and then watched the rest of the game a little later.

I know, this isn't super profound, but it is Saturday. And soccer and Saturday go together so perfectly. Anyways, United battled back to win 3-1. And Solskjaer scored the final goal. It's so good to see a guy putting the ball in the net after being out with a multitude of knee injuries for almost 2 complete seasons. It gives a me some hope that I can actually come back from my knee injuries.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Porn and hockey (part 2)...

I left it alone for a week and I thought that maybe it would stop bugging me, but it didn't. And today I finally reached the breaking point. After some "outside" advice (thanks to the many people who provided their 2 cents), I decided that I had to respond to previous email I received. Here's what I fired off today...
Darryl,I'd like to start off by thanking you for your quick reply.
I've taken some time to process what you had to say and I believe that I need to
respond accordingly. I'm glad to see your emphasis is on families and on
kids. After all, that's one of the reasons I attended the game with my
son. It's great to see organizations that make family entertainment a

I guess this is what confuses me most about the ad. With so much
focus on families and kids, it seems ill-placed for an ad of that nature.
I would think that "family-focused" would mean going the extra mile to ensure
that all families and kids are in a safe environment. I'm assuming that
you have a large no-drinking section in order to ensure that families have a
safe & comfortable time together when they attend a game. It seems
like a simple step you take that improves the family environment (especially for
those with little children) while still allowing other people in attendance to
enjoy a beer and a game. It makes perfect sense to me.

The problem about the ad is that it isn't confined to a set area, it's open
for everyone (including children) to see. I understand your statement
about "a tanning salon is going to promote itself by showing a tan", but let's
be honest, the only thing you can decipher from 25-30 feet is that it's a naked
woman on the picture. The last thing anyone can see is the quality of the

I'm sorry to hear you say that this is a morality issue. If not
wanting to expose my children to soft-core porn makes me a "moral" person, then
so be it. It's hard enough being a parent today without the extra
pressures of having to explain to a 5 year old why there's a naked woman on a
blimp at a hockey game. Take this for what it's worth. But if you're
trying to reach families, it probably wouldn't hurt to actually help create an
all-round family environment.

The thoughts of a concerned parent.

I kind of figured the conversation would end there. But I checked my inbox tonight and discovered this...
We have done one thing once I saw the flyer- I thought you were talking about
something else. They can no longer use those unless they are in a closed
envelope. If you see it up close- it looks way better than what it looks like
from 30 feet.

If I could only hear what was going on behind the scenes. I really wonder if they had to deal with other complaints. Either way, it's good to hear that I can head back to a hockey game. The bad news for the Bruins would be that I already booked a trip for my middle school students to attend a Giants game. Oh well...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Porn and hockey...

That got your attention didn't it? Well here's the backstory...

Last Friday I got some cheap tickets for a Chilliwack Bruins hockey game from a friend in our care group. I took my son along thinking it would be a fun evening for us to hang out with some of the other guys in our care group.

All in all it wasn't that bad. Popcorn, pop, and bad hockey made for $27.50 well spent.

My problem was with a remote controlled blimp they have floating around during the intermissions of the game. As it floated overhead you could clearly make out a picture attached to the bottom of the blimp of woman with her arm carefully positioned across her bare chest. To be honest, I thought it was some practical joke and that someone in the crowd had managed to hijack the blimp and stick the picture to it. Then it was up again during the 2nd intermission. My idea of it being a joke was ruled out.

Well, I'm not usually the letter-writing type (except for one occasion of a Dave Matthews concert back in 2002...but I can post about that another time), but I paid a visit to their website and fired off this email:

I attended the game on Friday night vs Swift Current and brought my five year
old son with me. I would just like to inquire about the Tropicana blimp
that floats around the arena during the intermission and why a semi-nude picture
of a woman was attached to the bottom of the blimp. I'm a little confused
as to why this would be deemed acceptable at an event where young children are

I've contemplated bringing a larger group of students, and I
can honestly say that I am questioning whether or not I will attend future
games. But I would be interested in hearing from someone so I can make an
informed decision. Thanks for your time.

Here's the response I got back yesterday:
Hi Mike. This is Darryl Porter, President of the bruins.

First off I appreciate your support in coming to the
game last week and I want to stress to you that we are a family
entertainment business. Yes, we have alcohol sales and some promotions
adult oriented but our primary theme is families. We have Family Pack
ticketing, After Game skates, a 50 ticket section of donated kids tickets
from our ownership with Tim Hortons, a large emphasis on our mascot, a large
no drinking area of the rink, an average ticket price of $10.00, many in
game contests that are focused on kids, a7th Man promo for a young hockey
player, a primary relationship with the Chilliwack School Board and Minor Hockey, etc.

My position is not to judge others morality. A tanning salon is going
to promote itself by showing a tan. It was my call that their ad did not
go too far and I find it fine for what they are promoting. We would not
allow anything more, have rejected sponsorships for products such as Viagra and
Adult Novelties in the rink for this reason. I hope you do come back to
enjoy Bruins hockey. Darryl

Is it too much to ask that when I take my kids to a family-friendly event that we don't have to see porn? Sure, I get's a tanning salon and the girl is mostly covered. But, if you try so hard to be family-friendly, wouldn't it make sense to stick with that theme in everything?

You might as well make your slogan "Families are our primary theme, but porn is our secondary theme because it pays the bills".

Now I have to decide whether or not I will ever attend another game. It would have made for a fun and affordable youth event, but can you imagine a group of junior high boys every time the blimp came around? I wonder how much tickets are for the Vancouver Giants...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More productive...

You would think that I should have something more productive to do on a Thursday night than stare at a computer screen. It's my "Friday night" (because I have Fridays off) and I've already watched "The Office" and "My Name Is Earl". And now I'm killing time trying to find new tunes to listen to.

I need a life...but until I find one on Ebay here's some random stuff:
  • I've noticed from my statcounter that I've got a case of "lurkers"
  • Oilers beat the Flames...why do I care? I'm a Habs fan
  • I'm part of a fantasy hockey league and I still have no clue how it works
  • I bought another book
  • Great story of a pornographer that gave his life to Christ
  • Need to shop for house stuff tomorrow
  • Going to a hockey game

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This is why...

I got to baptize one of our high school students today and this reminds me why I do what I do. Not that I needed a reminder...but it's always nice to jog the memory. It's fascinating to watch how God and teenagers intersect and it's exciting to watch students as they respond to Him.

I've been part of a few different conversations lately where people ask how I can work with teens. These individuals seem to have a hard time engaging students in conversation. More than that, it seems most people have a difficult time understanding teenagers.

Ok, now I don't profess to be an all-knowing youth ministry expert. I'll likely never write a youth ministry book or teach a seminar at
NYWC. I won't begin a youth ministry consulting firm where I tell everyone what's wrong with their ministry and how they can reach students better. I won't ever make a fortune doing this. I'll never be famous. But I love what I do.

I don't have a profound answer for why I can work with students. I just can. I guess the "spiritual" answer would be that God gifted me for this. Others would say I'm "cursed". Others call me crazy and wonder when I'll grow up and start hanging around people my own age.

Want to know a secret? I have a difficult time with adults. I usually find myself searching for what to say and how to say it. I fidget during the awkward silence at a dinner table. I get nervous when I think about big groups of people that aren't under the age of 18. I'm strange that way.

I'm working on it though. I'm trying to engage in "adult conversation" (it sounds funny to refer to it that way). I'm making progress in terms of talking to parents and board members and other church folks who don't get a huge kick out of hitting others with a pool noodle.

But then again, doesn't everyone love to swat someone else with a pool noodle?

Ok, this post got away from me. I'm just glad I do what I do.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Diggin' it...

Saw this via Marko's blog and I was impressed by this guy's (Matt Weddle) creativity and quality.

Fall is here...

I officially know that fall has arrived when the calendar has more pen marks on it than my high school math tests. Incidentally, I wasn't very good at math.

I'll spare the gory details...
  • Fall kick off came and amazes me how good some students are at DDR
  • Supertour came and was loud and I've never seen a bigger mess in a sanctuary
  • Ministry Plan deadline came and went...I got mine done and need to present it at the board meeting next week
  • Baptism 101 came and student ready for next week!
  • Saturday soccer came and went...a draw with Reading? Good grief!
  • Sunday morning kick off came and went...absolute blast

In other news, I was awakened today with the news that a vehicle we had borrowed from friends had been stolen. It appeared as though someone tried to steal my in-laws vehicle (there were scissors in the ignition) but since they had no progress had decided to steal our borrowed truck.

We called the police and I went to work. I was at work when the police arrived to get my wife to fill out a police report. Then I got the phone call.

"Mike, didn't you drive the truck to church yesterday?"

Umm...yeah. I drove to church early in the truck and parked in the mall parking lot across the street. Erin and the kids came later, parked in a different spot and we all stayed around for our kick off BBQ after the service. When all was said and done we packed up and headed home. In the same vehicle! Being the master genius that I am, I completely forgot the truck in the mall parking lot.

When I stood up in my office and looked at the mall parking lot, I could see the truck that had prematurely been reported stolen. I'm feeling like the biggest idiot ever today! Enjoy a laugh or two at my expense. Everyone else is!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I decided to go for it and change my blog layout by trying a new version that Blogger has out right now. So now I'm slowly in the process of updating my links and maybe adding a few new things. I liked the old design, but I like some of the newer features like labels and customizing my templates. This should make for hours of fun.

Whatcha think?

Friday, September 22, 2006

What's in a song...

I started off watching MuchMoreMusic's "Back in...1995" and somehow I ended up in front of the computer with my guitar playing along with some of my favorite 90's tunes. But it got me to thinking about all the memories that I have wrapped up in songs. It doesn't matter where I hear some of these songs, but I'm always taken back to a specific moment.

The strange thing is that it happens mostly with stuff from the 90's. Is that normal?

Here's a sample of what found it's way onto my Itunes playlist tonight...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Special day...

My wife not only celebrates a b-day today but she just...get ready for this...started her own blog! Ok, so she hasn't blogged as of yet, but I think she will fairly soon. So, be nice!

It's been a crazy week...and it will only get crazier...but I'll be back here one of these days. But now I've got a hot date watching "

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cane free...

Yesterday I returned my cane. Now, for the first time in over a month, I can hold myself up as I walk with my own two legs. But while it's great to have the freedom, it's also easy for me to forget that I'm still injured which sometimes means that I can do stupid things. Little things like getting out of the car wrong or doing the stairs too fast can put me back on the couch very quickly.

My physiotherapist tells me I'm a week ahead of schedule. Again, that would be a good thing except that I tend to think I'm in better condition than I really am. I'm still months away from even being able to run. But while that's still a tough spill to swallow, it's what's driving me. It's been so long since I could run on a soccer pitch and put a ball in the back of the net. I hope I can get there again.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Miracles do happen...

We actually got our car (a 2007 Nissan Versa) yesterday. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have to find something else, but we finally got the phone call.

I called and talked to a manager on Thursday morning and he apologized and said he would look into things for me. While I was hoping for some "financial considerations" after the hassle we've been through I was unable to get any sort of deal. That's apparently what happens when the car you want is in high demand and low supply.

Oh least we can get on with life now.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Searching for a butt kicking...

I just finished "Searching For God Knows What" by Donald Miller. He's one of the few authors that can evoke almost every possible emotion. There were times that I completely disagreed with him or was just annoyed by what he was talking about and I was tempted to put the book back on the shelf.

But I stuck it out. And I think it was worth it. Miller does a great job in reminding us that our faith is not based on formulas, but rather it is based on relationships. I felt like I got my butt kicked because I often times read the Bible looking for some sort of working formula that I can apply to my life for a quick fix. But, what I need to do is read it as part of a larger story of how God works in and through relationships.

I may not explain this very well. I can never seem to write good book reviews/reports. But I was left thinking, and that is a good thing.

What sticks with me the most is his "lifeboat" analogy. He tells of a teacher who once asked his class what they would do if they were stranded in a lifeboat with a group of different people and then they had to get rid of somebody. Miller talks at length about how we constantly seem to be comparing ourselves to everyone and trying to somehow prove that we are better than others. We try to convince ourselves that we have more of a right to be in the lifeboat than somebody else, when in reality God is not looking at any of us as more important than another.

It was just a really good reminder that I need to be aware of what I'm thinking about others.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gone but not forgotten...

It's a sad day as the world says goodbye to Steve Irwin, the infamous "Crocodile Hunter". See here for the press release of the Australia Zoo.

I remembered the first time I saw Steve on TV, I was hooked. His antics were a little unusual at times, and maybe even a little crazy, but his way with animals was absolutely amazing to watch.

Sure, he probably shouldn't have made the movie "Collision Course", but hs other videos were (amd are) always a blast to watch.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The great car debacle (part 2)...

Obviously we were in need of another car, unless we want to use a bicycle as our main form of transportation. So we started looking the weekend they told us that the Optra was a "total loss". We've tried everything...and literally driven almost everything. We even had a guy from church who owns a dealership trying to help us out.

The problem is that either we're too picky or we're just too indecisive. Ok, it might actually be a bit of both.

We finally decided that we would try to buy something new and we then narrowed it down further to 2 different models, a Dodge Caliber and a Nissan Versa. Well, it just so happens that both vehicles are extremely difficult to find with manual transmission...go figure. But at long last we were told by one dealership that they had a Versa coming in. They assured us it would be in that week or early the next. We put a $500 deposit. Yeah...that was 3 weeks ago.

I've talked to the salesman about 6 or 7 times since then and he always has the same story. Apparently the car is at the dock and they can't seem to get them to release it. The dealership has said they've been told "you'll have the car in 24 hours", which is what they then tell us. But then there's still no call.

The latest call said we'd have it by yesterday. The manager of the dealership said that if they weren't able to get it for us they would rent us a car (as we our currently borrowing a vehicle from friends at church). But, do you think I got a call yesterday? Nope.

This is getting ridiculous. I'd take my money elsewhere, except that my wife really, really likes the car and we won't be able to find one anywhere else. So we're kind of stuck.

This can't be normal, can it?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The great car debacle (part 1)...

Ok, so I was in an accident last month that saw my car completely written off. I was in a south-bound lane waiting in the intersection to make a left hand turn. The light turned yellow and the two other cars that were traveling towards me in the north bound lane appeared to be slowing down to stop, so I looked left and proceeded to make my turn. The next thing I know there's a red car in front of me, followed by the airbag exploding and then by my horn going off.

I was helped out of the car by some kind strangers and then waited for the police, fire, ambulance and tow trucks to arrive. I was pretty shaken up and everyone was concerned that I had hit my head. In reality I was just shaken up.

To make a long story a little bit shorter, I received a letter from my insurance company stating that I was 100% at fault (apparently the person making a left turn is always at fault). They couldn't find the witness to verify my story. So, that means I lose my $500 deductible and my insurance goes up.

Fast forward to August 15th. I had just arrived home from my knee surgery and we received a phone call from our claims adjuster. Apparently she wasn't feeling right about the way things turned out, so she decided to phone the police and double check some info. The officer then provided my adjuster with a new phone number for the witness (who had been in the process of moving), so she called to get the facts. The witness stated that the other car ran a red light!

My wife and I were stunned. Just like that I was innocent! And just like that I got $500 back and was able to tear up the letter saying that I was at fault. Suffice to say that we will no longer have to fork over an extra $2000 during my next 7 years of driving. Everything stays the same.

Ah yes...but this is only part 1 of the great car debacle. Please stay tuned for part 2.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Short of words, so here it is...

1. Woke up with very little pain...this is very good!
2. Had my first physio appointment today. $10 later I have a little more mobility and a little more pain.
3. We finally got a call saying our car is in...I'll post more on this debacle later.
4. Found out that Soul Asylum & the Gin Blossoms both released new cds I have to spend more money...shhh, don't tell my wife.
5. The house is getting drywall put up this week!
6. After a recent bath, my daughter dumped a whole bottle of liquid hand soap on her head and then tried to brush it out...apparently she was trying to be like mom and Auntie Jo and "do her hair".
7. Kids are about to turn 4 & 5 within the next week.
8. The football season is well underway and Manchester United are top of the table...this will be the year!

Ok, that's all for now. Time to watch Poseidon.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Coherent again...

Well, the surgery went well according to Dr M. It was an ACL revision that saw them remove part of my right hamstring and use it as the ACL in the left knee. They also had to clean things up a bit and trim the meniscus.

With my Dr telling me that this procedure was more invasive than a "reconstruction", I'm amazed that I can apply weight to both legs, and I'm actually encouraged to move them as much as possible. My last ACL reconstruction had me on crutches for almost a month, then using a cane for a week. At this rate I should be without crutches within a week or two. The only reason I have them now is in case one of the legs (particularly my thighs) decide to give out.

Pain is more tolerable now. I can sleep most of the night. The swelling is down. The "sexy stockings" are off...these stockings look like white nylons that go from toe to thigh on each leg that help reduce swelling and prevent clotting...they're nasty. Most of the major bandages are also now off.

All that being said, I'm more than happy with the progress and I'm actually beginning to believe that I may get to kick a football again someday in the near future.

Anyway, I thought about putting a pic or two up, but I'm not sure anyone wants to see a swollen knee! But if you'd like me to...I would be happy to appease my 3 readers!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Happy 8th...

It's our 8th anniversary tomorrow. We spent our 7th anniversary in Mexico with 30 youth. This year we chose to celebrate it with me undergoing knee surgery. Talk about memories, eh? Maybe one day we'll celebrate our anniversary as just the 2 of us.

Update on the car: we found one we like, but we're currently waiting for it to show up at the dealership so we can give it a view and a drive. Think that'll happen before 7:30am tomorrow? neither.

Update on the knee: apparently they are calling it an "ACL revision" because I previously had an ACL reconstruction and now he's not sure what may be left (or not left) in my knee. But I'm thinking that I'll have a new ACL by this time tomorrow. They also made me (ok, they "highly recommended") spend $200 on an item that looks like nothing more than a water cooler with tubes running into a knee brace. But apparently it's supposed to work wonders for keeping the swelling down. I'll let you know if it was worth it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

All things leadership...

I had the opportunity this week to attend Willow Creek's Leadership Summit with most of our pastoral staff and it surpassed my expectations. I've had a tendency to look for events where I can enhance my youth ministry skills, but I've never really done anything specifically related to leadership development in a larger sense. For some reason I have a hard time sometimes seeing myself as a leader outside of the youth ministry.

This conference was an eye-opening experience for me. It reminded me that I'm not on the youth ministry island within our church. I'm also part of the bigger picture. I have a voice that I need to use. I have passion...some of which still needs to be focused. I have skills that need to be developed. I have a role within the entire church, not just with the youth or the youth leaders.

Thanks to an interview with Bono, I've also had my eyes and heart opened to the AIDS crisis within the world, and all I need to say is "What rock have I (and the rest of North American churches) been living under?!?!" I'm not sure where this will lead, but I know we've got to do something.

And while I could go on for pages about what challenged me and inspired me, I was also awakened to how close I came to burning out once upon a time. That could be an entire post on it's own, so I'll spare the details. I was just reminded this week of the fact that I need to work harder on filling my tank, so I don't run dry.

If you haven't had a chance to take this conference in, try to make room for it next year. It'll be good for you!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Words on a page...

I'm feeling proud of myself. I just knocked another book of my list. I was able to finish reading Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" and I should say that I was impressed. He's got a very simple writing style that I found refreshing and captivating. He just simply talks about his life. It kind of reminded me of episodes of "The Wonder Years".

The entire book seemed so genuine to me, as Miller focused in on the many different aspects of life. He is open about his struggles, honest about his discoveries and candid about his beliefs.

I wish I could write more about what read, but I always have trouble summing up what I've read. I guess I figure that there's no way I could possibly do justice to it. In fact, I'd probably just deter people from reading it. With that said, go buy the book and read it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Toy of the day...

I'm always on the lookout for a new addition to my office shelves. Please keep in mind that I am aware that most shelves contain books and other literature, but as I have previously mentioned I have an annoying habit of buying more books than I can possibly read in a year.

With that being said, I have managed to accumulate some nifty-neato toys...I mean, collectibles...for my office.

I'm thinking this should be the next addition. Yes, a Dwight Schrute bobblehead!

The 15th is looming...

I've still got about a week left before surgery. I may have mentioned this before, but I'm not looking forward to it. You see, it's painful...and I'm a wimp. That's a bad combination. I already know that I'll be lying on the OR table shaking like a leaf as they lay out all their instruments on my chest. Then I'll awake and begin yet another terrible 6-8 month recovery.

And sometime before then I need to get all my August/September events planned up, attend a leadership conference, buy a new car, pick out cabinets for the house, and recruit a couple more youth leaders.

Not only am I behind on my reading...although I am currently just one chapter away from finishing my latest project...but I'm also behind on my movie watching. I still haven't seen Pirates or Superman. I'm thoroughly disappointed in myself.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The hunt continues...

Since the car was a write off that means we're looking for a new vehicle. I hate this part. I thought it was supposed to be fun and adventure. Instead it seems to be frustrating, annoying and just an all around pain in the butt.

I must have test drove 2 dozen vehicles (new and used) in the past week and a half, and do you think we're any closer? Nope. The only thing we know is that a scooter will likely be in the mix after I heal from the knee surgery. Other than that...I guess we'll wait and see.

Oh, and here's a pic of the house from a few weeks ago.

This picture was taken from the master bedroom in the basement and you can see our living room window (on the right), our patio door and our kitchen window on the far side of the room.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Give me a break...

Here's the aftermath of yet another lunch hour experience for me. I'm considering staying at work for lunch from now on. Just a few bruises, but otherwise still intact. The other driver was ok too, but I think I took the worst of it. I'll spare you the details though as it's too long and I don't feel like typing that much. Very frustrated right now...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happiest place on earth...

My kids are at that age where a trip to Disneyland was certainly an interesting adventure. It was great to see their innocence as my daughter's eyes lit up at seeing Belle or Ariel or Jasmine. It was exciting to see my son take risks by riding Space Mountain.

And I wonder how much counseling I'll have to pay for after taking both my kids on Splash mountain (they truly had no idea what they were getting into...does that make me a bad parent?).

My daughter had her moments of meltdowns as she cried all the way through the line for Peter Pan (see pic) and proceeded to tell us she didn't want to go on any rides unless it was the Carousel.

But then there were the moments that her face lit up when she helped Alice hunt for the White Rabbit, or she walked hand-in-hand with Jasmine or when she met Belle. And let's not forget her dancing at the Block Party!

As for my son, he gave a grumpy face for a number of pictures, but he still found lots of time to enjoy himself by dressing up like a pirate one night or meeting Buzz or taking mom and dad on Space Mountain.

We tried to break each day up by starting early and taking an afternoon nap before heading back for the evening. They even made it through the fireworks twice and Fantasmic once.

Was it worth it? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Sure...but not for another year or two. But I will be looking forward to a trip back in November with my wife (sans kids). We really do find this to be the Happiest Place on Earth.

Next time though, I'd love to fly there instead of driving. However, I'll post a few pictures later of our drive back home. Just getting out of Southern California was an adventure!

Monday, July 17, 2006

If I never drive again...

We crossed 4 provinces, 9 states, ate more fast food than I would normally eat in 6 months (mmmm...can you say "Del Taco"?) and took 785 pictures (just gotta love technology!). But we arrived safe and sound back home yesterday at 3:20pm and now it's time to get some clean clothes and finally sleep in my own bed. Here's some pics from week #1 of the vacation...

First, my wife and I bought a new toy for our trip.

Yeah right! Actually, after the rehearsal, my wife and I stole...I mean, borrowed the wedding vehicle.

Here we are at my sister's wedding. You should note that my son has the "cheezy grin" down to an art form.

Fairly self-explanatory...bride & groom, bride's parents (which are incidently mine too), along with the officiating pastor (yours truly), my beautiful wife and the 2 munchkins (who did really well considering they had about 100,000 pictures taken of them that day).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

There's always vacation...

Stupid soccer results today, so at least I can rejoice in the fact that as of noonish tomorrow (depending on what time church lets out), we'll be on vacation. You can expect that I'll do very little blogging during that time since I'm still one of those guys who is living in the dark know, the guy with no laptop!

Anyway, the countdown is on. This week we'll travel across 4 provinces so I can perform the ceremony at my sister's wedding. Then we make our longest family trip ever as we head off to... (insert drumroll here)....DISNEYLAND!!!

It should be an adventure. We're all very excited about this trip too (go figure!). My wife and I have loved the place and can't wait to see the look on our kids faces when they experience the magic of the happiest place on earth for their very first time.
See you in a few weeks!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

So diligent...

Yes, it has actually happened! I finished a book the same month that I started reading least I think I started reading it this month. Just the same, I'm going to take credit for it because it just made my "stack-of-books-to-read" little bit shorter!

It was a simple, practical read and a book that every youth pastor should give to their volunteers. It gives lots of straight forward advice for how to deal with students who may be hurting in wide variety of ways. And let's face it, not only are kids hurting, but lots of adults (including those that volunteer in our youth ministries) don't have the next clue what to do or say to a student who is struggling with cutting, or suicide or an eating disorder.

Frankly, I'm not sure that I have the next clue what to do or say in some of these situations and I've been working with students in some capacity for almost a decade. This book will probably come in handy more than once in the months and years to come.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oh deer...

First of all, I will apologize for the terrible pun. With that said, here's the details...

I was on my way home from church at lunch today when suddenly there was a giant thud against the drivers side of my car. I had my window down and felt a little spray on my neck and I wondered what the heck just happened. I looked back to see a deer stumbling around the road. Yes, you read that right, a deer hit me.

And since I had no clue what a person is supposed to do when they hit a deer in the middle of noon hour traffic in the middle of the city, I drove up a block so I could turn around. By the time I got back, the deer had made its way to a field where 4 other strangers were attending to it and a police officer had arrived at the scene.

I'll spare you all the boring details because the whole event took almost 90 minutes before the city police were finally able to shoot the deer. Poor guy...I just wish he hadn't done this to my car 5 days before I leave for vacation.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Vacation countdown...

It's my last week of work until vacation... Woohoo!

In about 144 hours we'll be on the road. Where to? Well, our first stop will be Manitoba where I have the privilage of performing the wedding ceremony of my little sister. From there we head south. Way south. Way, way south...and kind of west. You know...that place with the stuff and the things...yeah, the fun place...

This will be our first major vacation with our kids. And I may be a litle crazy, but I'm totally excited about it!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just so you know...

I'm not usually the one to break the latest news event, but there's always a first for eveything....

I actually took this photo last summer with the intent of passing it along but apparently I didn't take it seriously enough back then.

Well I stumbled upon it again and figured that I didn't want to hold precious information like this back from the rest of you.

So, consider yourself warned.

P.S. - visit the website listed on the sign!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

House work...

Here's a few of the latest pictures from the house developments. The first picture was taken on June 9th while the second picture was taken this past Friday (June 16). I think they start framing this week.

Friday, June 16, 2006

World Cup's stupidest hair...

Look closely at the Swedish player, Christian Wilhelmsson (#21 in yellow). Forget the mullet, apparently the "rattail" is making a comeback.

Quick, who else wants to join me in jumping on the bandwagon?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

One down, lots to go...

So I'm hard at work on my pile of books and since it's been a busy couple of weeks, I thought today would be a great day to try and catch up on some of my reading. I decided that "Simplicity" would be my first project.

I've actually been reading it for almost 2 months now and the book itself reads like an autobiography. Mark Salomon gives an honest and simple outlook on what his life is like and how being a Christian musician has affected his life. For those of you who don't know about Mark, he was the lead singer of a band called The Crucified and is now the lead singer of a band called Stavesacre.

Reading Mark's story gave me new insight into the world of "Christian fame" and to what sometimes goes on behind the scenes of a Christian artist. I honestly thought the book was going to be a rant against the entire Contemporary Christian Music industry, but instead I found myself reading someone's personal testimony.

Mark takes time to explain some of the dark and empty moments of his life, his struggles and his failures without going into nitty gritty details. But he also takes time to show what God has taught him through those experience and how they have shaped him into who he is now as a child of God.

I have never cared for his music. And to be honest with you, I don't know why I even bought the book. But I'm glad I did. And now I feel like I should go out and buy one of their CDs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Play of the day...

Ok, so this actually happened yesterday...but I'm a little slow. It may not be a goal, but I think this sums up why I love this game so much.

Mexico keeper Oswaldo Sanchez had his father suddenly pass away last Wednesday and he flew back home for the funeral before making his way back to Germany to actually play in the game on Sunday against Iran. And while that alone is worthy of a mention, I was just as impressed by the spirit of the Iranians. While the teams shook hands before the game, one of the players presented Sanchez with a bouquet of flowers to show their respect.

That is another reason why this is the world's game and it is beautiful!

Now, if only I could find a picture of it...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Goal of the day...

Philipp Lahm
Putting Germany ahead 1-0 over Costa Rica
Final Score: Germany 4 Costa Rica 2

If I had a lawn...

And if I had any time, this would be a great idea...

The beautiful game...

The moment the world has been waiting for...

Oh, and if you need to get ahold of me during the next month, I'll be in front of my TV.
Let's play football!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It only gets better...

At least I hope it does...

It has come to my attention that my daughter was kind enough to share her cold with the rest of the family. First it was my wife that got hit with it, and now it's my turn. I woke up to a killer sore throat and runny nose.

To top his all off I decided to stop at Starbucks for a hot chocolate. I didn't have cash so I decided to use the debit card only to have it turned down three times (I'm not sure if it was my fault or the machines, but it doesn't really matter since I'm the one standing there like a dweeb). I don't know of a more humiliating feeling than standing at the front of a line that is getting longer by the second and knowing that I am the cause of that lineup.

Well, then the guy behind me makes the comment, "Well today's you're lucky day. I'll buy his drink." I thanked him in a very sheepish yet grateful kind of way and slunk off to get my drink. I met him at the door again and thanked him again, and he said "Your day can only get better, right?" And I was on my way.

I don't think I can show my face in that Starbucks again.

And I wonder if the day will actually get any better.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Progress is made...

Since the Oilers didn't make much progress, I'll post some of the latest pictures of the house. This first picture was taken last Friday afternoon. We took a slurpee run with the kids and decided we better see how things were coming along.

This next picture was taken yesterday afternoon. And as you can see, progress is being made.

Monday, June 05, 2006

New book day...

It's always great to get a package in the mail. It's even better when it's your most recent order from Amazon and you open it to discover that they actually got the entire order correct! But as I sit looking at the four most recent additions to my library, I wonder what I'm doing.

It seems that I have more books on my shelf that I haven't read than books that I have read. Apparently the idea of buying books and then forgetting (or neglecting) to read them goes hand in hand for me. I have a rather large stack of books that I have purchased since September that I still haven't cracked open. The grand total is 17, with 2 more that I've been trying to read for the last 2 months.

What's the deal with this? Where do I even start?