Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A deadly job...

I was first drawn to this show a few weeks ago when I heard the comment that it was the deadliest job in the world. I wondered how crab fishing, of all things, could possibly earn that reputation.

Well, one hour later (actually it only took about 10 minutes) I was hooked. What I thought was a one episode documentary is actually an entire season on Discovery!

In case you have no idea about it, basically it covers the crab fishing season in the Bering Sea. You watch a number of boats as they do their day to day job, catching crab. Add to that the dangers of the Bering Sea in the dead of winter, and you've got good tv.

While it may not sound like eventful television, just try watching an episode. I'm sure you'll be hooked.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I'm already a wreck...

My wife and son left for AB today. He's scheduled for surgery tomorrow that will see his tonsils removed (as well as any other throat problems that need to be fixed). The plan is that this will help him battle the colds & earaches that he gets every year.

They only left at noon, and I'm already missing them like crazy. (But don't tell my wife...she told me not to be a suck this time when she was away!)

I did get to spend some quality time with my daughter though, as we ate out alone for the first time (at McD's of course). And since she's missing her partner in crime, she seems to have mellowed out a bit. She was actually quiet tonight! I think she's missing them too.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A new adventure...

We have officially accepted the call to serve as Youth Pastor at SOA Church. It seems a little strange to be saying that. I've only been in one other full time position, so I'm a little unsure of what change will feel like.

But we're excited about the opportunities that are ahead of us. We're looking forward to getting back to what we love: working with students. We're looking forward to starting fresh. We know it won't be easy, but I think we're better off that way.

On top of all that, my wife and son head out for 10 days so he can have surgery on his tonsils, and then I'm off to class for a week. So our family will be spread out over 3 provinces. That is definitely not normal.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Job update...

Well, it's official. I have been offered the position at SOA Church. I'm waiting for a written copy of the offer, and I've asked them to look into one more thing for me. We've also come up with a few more important questions that we would like answers.

We're taking our time to process, talk and pray. And they're going to call us back early next week with some more details. So we'll see where it goes from here.

For sale...

The Penguins are officially for sale. The only catch is that they're trying to keep the team in Pittsburgh. Is it too much to hope that they can't get a casino lisence for their new arena and that they need to start taking offers from other cities?

While nothing will make me give up on my Habs (apart from a team named complately after me, that is), I would definitely wear my
Jets jersey with pride. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Candidating (part #4)...

So now we can breathe...sort of.

That weekend really was a blur, but that's not really a surprise. We've candidated once before so we kind of had an idea of what to expect, but I will say that this has also been very different from what we did in the past.

Anyways, last night we had our first quality time with the students. They typically have junior and senior high on separate nights, but they decided to combine them. So it was a little chaotic. I'm reminded how much I don't like mixing those age groups.

We played a game, answered some questions (incidentally, junior high boys can come up with the craziest questions ever), and then talked for a bit. I always find it hard teaching a mixed group. I would personally rather have just junior high or just senior high, but all in all, my wife told me that it went well (and I trust her opinion--she's not afraid to tell me when my talks have sucked!).

But it was fun to get to know some new faces...and try to learn some names. I felt like they warmed up to us very quickly. And some of the responses from the students seemed to be that they were actually wanting us to come.

I think if it was the students that were doing the hiring, they would have hired us last night. But now I guess we wait and see how everyone else felt.

They have an elders meeting on Thursday which the search committee will also be at, so I imagine that we will probably find out on Friday. Until then if you need to find me I'll be pacing back and forth in the living room.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Candidating (part #3)...

It keeps going and going and going...

This morning we had a great time hanging out in the Sunday School class with the senior high students. Although I would have loved to just sit and talk with them, we had to settle with brief introductions followed by a lesson by the teacher (who wasn't me...just thought I'd add that).

We were also introduced during the service and had a chance to meet a few people after church. It's definitely different being at a bigger church. That is something that would take some time adjusting to.

And then tonight we met with the parents (as well as a few elders and a handful of grandparents and some of the pastoral staff). We just told our story and talked about how we got involved in youth ministry before spending the rest of time answering questions and telling them what we're about.

They asked lots of good questions, and I think we're getting a genuine feel of where things are at. They've been without a full time youth pastor for almost 2 years. Lots of kids are hurting and they are just needing someone to come in and genuinely love them. And I think the parents need to be loved on too.

But hey, that's what we're about: we love students.

I can say that after today, I am still feeling good about everything. Sure there are still a few more important questions to be answered, but so far we like what we hear. I also feel like I've explained myself well. In fact, if I had to do everything over again, I don't feel like I would change a thing that I have said or change the way that I have said any of it.

And now onto day 4...with the students. We really have no idea what to expect tomorrow night. We do know that they have all the junior and senior highs together. We do know that I am giving the "devo". We do know there will be a Q&A time. Other than that, we're flying blind. It should be interesting, but I am definitely looking forward to having some more interaction with the students.

Wow, am I beat. And I missed 24...but I should be able to watch it tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Candidating (part #2)...

Our meeting last night with the search committe went very well. In total we spent almost 4 hours with them chatting, asking questions, answering questions and just getting to know them.

There's nothing too crazy to mention, but it sure is fun to see how different typres of people ask different types of questions. We were also well prepared for them with some of our own:
  • What are your expectations of me?
  • What would a succesful youth ministry look like 12 months from now?
  • What's a typical week look like?
  • How does the leadership structure currently look?
  • Give a little more history on the youth ministry.
  • What is ecpected in terms of numerical and spirtual growth?
  • What do typical youth events look like?
  • What will i be involved in outside of the youth ministry? What can I be involved in?

There were more, but with all the questions I've answered and asked in the 24 hours, I can't remember some of them. But all in all, it went very well. i left feeling that we had articulated ourselves well and that they had done a good job in presenting us with teh facts. They were open and honest and that is a good thing.

This morning we headed out to SOA Church to have lunch with the pastoral staff and the elder's board. What was supposed to be a 35 minute trip turned into 45-50 minutes due to the never ending lake that is falling from the skies out here. And let's not forget the firetruck holding up traffic in our lane.

So we arrived late...not a good start, but they seemed fairly forgiving.

As we ate we were able to talk with a few pastors. We only had about 30 minutes before they kicked all the staff out. Then the fun began. The elders had a good number of questions on our personal history and stories, how we came to work with students, why it is we left our last church, where our priorities are, how we would handle certain hypothetical situations, what we would start doing if we were hitred, where we would live...whew...and that's only part of them.

We were also given time to ask away and I think it showed them that we aren't just jumping into anything. We have questions and expectations too.
  • What are you expectations of me? Of my wife?
  • What would a succesful youth ministry look like in 12 months?
  • How would you define a healthy youth ministry?
  • What's the youth ministry budget?
  • How do you as elders protect, care for support your pastors?
  • Talk about salary, days off, holiday time.
  • How much time and money is there for professional development?
  • How much time and money is there for further education?
  • How do board meetings function?
  • Who do I report to?

And there were likely a few more. We went back and forth for a couple of hours and then it seemed time to call it a day. Again, I left feeling that I explained myself well and shared my heart. I believe they were able to see who we are and what we are about: loving god and loving students.

I don't think they were prepared for as many indepth questiosn from us. In fact, they are looking into a couple of things and have said that they will get back to me with the details.

So far we are very satisfied with the way things have been going, but we also relize that we're missing a few significant pieces of information before we can appropriately make a decision. But I imagine they still need to know a bit more about us.

That day was a blur...but that seems normal for candidating.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Candidating (part #1)...

Tonight I step into a potluck dinner to meet with the search committe of SOA Church. We've known about this since the middle of December so we've had lots of time to come up with a list of questions that we need to ask. And a big thanks to those of you who have helped us add to that ever-growing list!

I'm not sure exactly what to think. I'm not nervous...at least not yet anway. I'm not anxious. I'm not scared. If anything makes me nervous, it's actually the lack of nerves right now.

I wonder about what questions they may ask. I wonder if they'll give us a good insight of what the church is like. I wonder how we'll feel as we walk away tonight. Is this a place where we really feel like we would fit? Is this a place that is healthy for us? Are we right for them?

In many ways, this opportunity is very different than our last ministry position. It would be a big change for us to take this on. In fact, the only way I can see this coming about is if it's a God-thing.

But God's been in it so far. It's mindboggling how we even came to find out about this opening. And God's been teaching us a lot through the process. I can honestly say that even if we don't accept (or get offered) this position, that this process was not for nothing.

Well, now it's back to the waiting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm addicted...

I'm trying to kick the habit...really I am. My wife might say otherwise though. You see, a few weeks ago I decided to start wandering through the Ebay world. I've loitered there before but never bid on anything. But then I started to see some sweet deals. So I decided to start bidding.

And now I can't seem to stop. I always have an eye on my account. I'm always wondering if I'm going to be outbid. Will I ever have a chance to get a deal like this again? Will I ever find this item again? Will I be ripped off?

And then it's almost like Christmas as I wait for the parcel to come in the mail. Right now I'm waiting for a couple of soccer jerseys (Manchester United & England...who else?) for my kids. And it only set me back about $10! Sweetness indeed!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Oh Canada...

They weren't supposed to win gold, but they did. They beat the Russians 5-0 to repeat as World Junior Champs.

To be fair, the Russians actually scored what should have been a goal in the beginning minutes of the second. But play went on. A couple of minutes later when they went to review it, it was too late. I would imagine that a 2-1 game early in the second might have changed things a little bit, but alas, we netted 3 more. So maybe it didn't matter all that much...

Despite all my efforts I wasn't actually able to get to see one of the games in person. I could have made it to almost any of the games in the round-robin, but couldn't quite convince anyone else to go. I guess I'll wait and hope I can watch some Olympic hockey here in 2010.

A few highlights...
Canada beats the previous World Junior attendance record by almost 150,000 people.
Brent Sutter sets a record by going 12-0 as coach.
Justin Pogge is the first Canadian goalie to go 6-0 in the tournament, 3 of those are shut-outs.
Only one player (Cam Barker) returned from last year's gold winning team.
Only one player from Canada broke the top ten in tournament scoring.
USA doesn't even get a medal.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's on...

For the fifth straight year Canada will be playing for a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

I must admit that this is certainly not the best team that I've seen over the years. In fact, they were the underdogs coming into the tournament. With only one returning player from last year's squad, most people (myself included) were predicting that the team might have some troubles.

They have fought long and hard and deserve to be playing in the gold medal game. And, if you look at the fact that we beat Russia 8-1 (or was it 8-2?), you'd think things look good for a repeat performance of Canada's 6-1 thwacking of the Russians last year.

But, it was a pre-tournament "friendly with no Malkin in the lineup. The game tomorrow will likely be much closer. But if our guys fight hard, stay out of teh penalty box, and make the most of the power-play, I think they'll pull it off.

And while I'd rather watch our guys trounce all over the Americans, I'll settle for this.