Monday, December 31, 2007

Year in review...

I think it's time to reflect on what I consider to be some of the finer points of the last year. You may notice that a few items with release dates in 2006 slip into the mix. Sometimes I'm slow catching on, so gimme a break.

Movies Worth Watching...
Reign Over Me
Wild Hogs
Meet the Robinsons
Live Free or Die Hard
Ratatouille
Transformers
Mr. Bean's Holiday
Enchanted

Music Worth a Listen...
The Cobalt Season "Unified Theory"
Dave Matthews & Time Reynolds "Live at Radio City"
David Crowder Band "Remedy"
Jon Foreman "Fall"
Raine Maida "The Hunters Lullaby"
"Once" Soundtrack

Concert I Attended That Was Worth Every Penny (and then some)...
Eric Clapton live in Seattle.

Books I Didn't Feel Like throwing Out...
Dan Kimball "They Like Jesus But Not The Church"
Christpher Moore "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal"
Sarah Cunningham "Dear Church: Letters From a Disillusioned Generation"
Andy Stanley "Communicating For A Change"

Blogs Additions...
Matthew Good
ASBO Jesus
Worship Guitarist
Dan Kimball

TV Shows That Must Return...(and return quickly please!)
24
The Office
Rules of Engagement
Chuck

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boxing Day deals...

The best discovery yesterday was to find Manchester United top of the EPL table thanks to Chelsea's 4-4 debacle with Aston Villa and Arsenal's failure to produce at Portsmouth.

As for the rest of the last few days, it's been great. Great times with family. Great laughs. Great food. Great gifts. Ah yes...the list goes on.

Yesterday Aidan played in his first official soccer tournament at BC Place. His team lost their first game on a goal scored by a kid who was definitely not onside (but hey, they are only 6 years old). Then they won their second game and making his semi-unprofessional debut as a keeper, Aidan recorded his first career clean sheet! I'm biased, but he was stellar!

Today there is snow on the ground and we need to head back for game 3 & 4 of the tournament before grabbing a bite to eat with the rest of the family.

Until then I will probably play with Lego, race cars and maybe my guitar...if I'm lucky!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The kids are excited...

My wife is too. Me? I'd like to go back to bed. How lazy am I?

And just in case you really want to have some fun with your kids, you may want to keep track of Santa's progress by visiting Norad's Santa Tracker. Apparently Santa just left Baghdad.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas! May you enjoy time this season with friends and family!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas...

I'm still itching to find my way to the IMAX to watch "I Am Legend" for the primary reason that I would get to see a 6-8 minute clip of the Joker from the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight". But in case you've missed what's happening, here's trailer that apparently appeared along with it.

A better quality version can be found here.




And I'd be curious to hear what you think about the look of the new joker. I thought Nicholson did a good job but sometimes came across almost too goofy. I nearly choked when I heard they got Ledger, but what I've seen so far looks good.

Thoughts?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Online TV...

As you are well aware, most TV networks stream their shows online. And I think that's part of the problem that contributes to the writer's strike. (I don't attempt to understand all the issues so I won't even begin to write about it. But at this stage I'm all for writer's getting paid more. Anything, as long as it brings back Jack Bauer!)

Anyways, as I was doing some reading about the strike I learned about a site called Hulu. It turns out that, with the aid of an invitation, you can watch a pile of shows and movies from a few different networks like FOX, NBC and SCI-FI, to name a few.

Apparently the only catch was that the content was only viewable in the US. So, what did I do? Signed up anyway. I was pleasantly surprised. So if you happen to like your TV watching, why don't you give it a try and see what happens.

Go here to check it out.

If that doesn't work, you can always access a public site at OpenHulu. Someone figure out how to embed the videos from Hulu on their own site so everyone can play. But it's only a matter of time before they likely get shut down.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I have sinned...

You can't tell my wife about this next part. I broke a huge rule/law/commandment that exists in our house around Christmas time. The rule says something like "thous shalt not ever buyeth stuff for yourself under any circumstance in the time that cometh before Christmas". But I bought myself some music yesterday on iTunes.

I had seen this new album "Fall" by Jon Foreman (lead guy of Switchfoot) floating around on the web. I like Switchfoot but wasn't in a big hurry to buy this EP, as I'm not a huge fan of EP's. I tend to think I'm getting ripped off when theres anything less than 12 songs on a CD. I guess I'm a consumerist...

Then I started seeing the album mentioned in a few more places and then it showed up in a few emails. And then Kerry went and put it in his Best Albums of 2007. So I caved and bought it. And I am glad I did. It's a gooder.

And Erin, if you are reading this...it's Kerry's fault!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday...

It's a blah day. It could have something to do with the fact that I'm recovering from some bug that kept me on the couch all of yesterday. It could be because of the rain, which doesn't apparently ever stop. It could be that I have no "official" youth ministry responsibilities this week...which could also mean that I am bored.

So, here's a few random things:
  • I'm two chapters into "An Emergent Manifesto of Hope" and immensely enjoying it. I'm considering doing some posts in the New Year about what I'm reading in it. If any of you have a copy and would be interested in conversing about it, let me know. Maybe we could cover a chapter a week or something.
  • My greatest movie watching enjoyment lately has come from two G-rated movies: Mr. Bean's Holiday and Enchanted.
  • I believe that my Christmas shopping was officially complete as of last Friday when I spent many hours in a car with nothing but my thoughts and a jazillion Christmas songs (none of which were N'Sync Brad!).
  • This week is becoming busier than I originally imagined or intended. I believe that tonight was my only night completely free and that disappeared due to an email I received earlier this morning.
  • I need to carve out an evening where I can wrap some gifts and watch one of my favorite Christmas movies ever. (Come on Bryce, you know you love this one too!)
  • I think the current list of blogs on my Google Reader is going to go under the knife before the New Year. If you'd like to stay on my list, please do something memorable in the next couple of weeks! But, no pressure. ;)
  • I'm feeling challenged lately to be more relational. I'm an introvert. People can drain me. My default is to stay home at night and watch TV. Jesus didn't call me to live like that, so I'm trying to think about what I'm going to do about this.
Ok, that's all for this Tuesday afternoon. I may see you around sometime this week. If not, then have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The one function of the church...

So I was strolling by Pagitt's blog and was directed towards this interview on Crosswalk.com between Paul Edwards and John MacArthur. It was the following quote by Monsieur (that's for my French friends) MacArthur that really struck me:

MacArthur: "I’m going to seem anachronistic if not an outright dinosaur at this point. I believe the church has one function, and that is to guard the truth, to proclaim the truth and to live the truth. So you take the Word of God, you teach it, you proclaim it, you protect it, you defend it, and you live it, and that’s a church. The Word of God rightly divided, rightly understood."

Teaching and proclaiming the Word? Yes.

Living it (or attempting to...hey, after all we're not perfect)? Yes.

But protecting it and defending it? It almost makes me seem like I'm some sort of gatekeeper that swings a sword to keep the evil forces of the world at bay.


Does God need me to defend Him? Does He need me to protect His Word? Am I charged with guarding the truth? Am I really the last line of defense? Am I really any line of defense?

It seems like there is a growing number of people who somehow believe that all of church history and every part of the Christian faith will get flushed down the toilet if they don't declare themselves the only true defenders of Truth and stomp out anyone voices that, by their own accord, are contrary.

Is it really the place of the church to protect and defend the Word of God?

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's worth it if...

I would imagine that most of you have heard this comment at one time or another about various church "outreach" events.

"Well, it will all be worth it if one person gives their life to Jesus"

Is that statement even accurate? Or is it just something people tell themselves so they can sleep better at night? Is it worth anything that we would or could do? Or is there sometimes a higher price (which is no doubt unseen by most) that gets paid out in the name of "numerical evangelism"?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Writer's strike...

I'm still hopeful for an end to this strike which will bring back my TV. Rules of Engagement, 24 and The Office...life just isn't the same without them.

It seems like the "in" thing to do is for the writer's to occasionally bombard YouTube with their current material. I'll admit that I'm getting a kick out of some of them. Anyways, here's one. Be warned that it's probably a PG-13 rating.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You gotta be kidding me...

I've been having nothing but problems on my home PC lately. It started with Mozilla Firefox which put me through endless headaches of uninstalls and reinstalls before I finally figured it out. Then a few weeks ago I had problems with iTunes. Now I'm having problems with Firefox again. But this time instead of not opening, it's only refusing to access certain sites, like my Google Reader. And to top it all off it won't play certain media files, which means I need to listen to my hockey games via Internet Explorer.

#@#&#!

I can say that here right?

Seriously, I like a great deal of stuff about Firefox, like it's ability to correct my spelling as I type and it's AdBlock feature. But this is becoming ridiculous.

I've tried some online help forums but i haven't found anything that helps. Any ideas? Is it time for me to head back to IE?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Official arrival of Christmas...

It's here. (Is it ok to decorate now Brad?)

The tree arrived last night. The snow arrived this morning. The annual purchase of some Christmas music on iTunes has begun...or maybe it has ended. Erin bought some music but I didn't get any. I'm not bitter. But I am playing one of her most favorite Christmas albums ever.

So, just what do you get a Wookie for Christmas when he already has a comb?

And what's your album(s) of choice for the Christmas season?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Looking for toys...

I apologize for the shameless advertising that will follow, but I've been nominated with the family task of finding new homes for some of the kids' toys. Apparently we need to make room for the new arrivals that will show up in our house next month.

Or maybe it has more to do with the fact that the kids just don't play with these anymore.

These things will likely end up on Craigslist or eBay later today but I thought I'd post it here first. If you're interested, or want some more info, let me know.





Read that blog...

Ok, so what makes you read a blog?
Do you appreciate random tidbits of a person's life?
Are you drawn to well articulated posts about the bigger issues in life?
What's your favorite topic to read about?
Do you prefer long posts or short posts?
Do you like pictures?
How many of you use an RSS feed to keep up to date?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

That's a funny looking cat...

For months we've been under the impression that our neighbor's cat has been into our garbage. Tonight while watching TV we hear the garbage bin get knocked over. Upon looking out the window on the door what do I discover? That my neighbor has one of the funniest looking cats ever. And it's apparently hungry, and not entirely camera shy.

So, will an airsoft gun take care of this or will I have to upgrade my firearm of choice?

Nerd alert...

Ok, is this not one of the coolest things out there?

I believe I have fully nerdified myself.


Monday, November 26, 2007

What's that stuff on the ground...

I'm told it's called "snow". It's kind of cool looking. But it put the satellite out of commission, so now I'm watching a CNN special called "God's (Christian) Warriors" which has me swearing at the TV. I don't think that's healthy, so I may have to work on my student ministries retreat video. At least until the power goes out.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Go Blue...

The time is here! Go Bombers!



Thursday, November 22, 2007

How about a guitarism...

It's been a while since I added some guitar stuff, so check this guy out. It's just plain cool.



And if you want to see some crazy capo usage, check this one out.


Soundtrack of my life...

I got tagged by Kerry so I shall comply. I shall also retroactively tag Ben as he already did this. And I shall tag Bryce and Brad. I'm staying with the letter "B" today.

Here it is, The soundtrack of my life. * As decided by my iTunes. * The Rules:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

*Editor's Note: Because I just added a bazillion Christmas songs this week and I share the iTunes with my wife, I decided that I may opt out of any Christmas tunes and anything that obviously "belongs" to my lovely wife.

Opening Credits
Kim Carnes "Bette Davis Eyes" (Too funny. I love this song but it makes me feel like my life story is going to be based in the 80's.)

Waking Up
Goo Goo Dolls "Slide" ("I wanna wake up where you are")

First Day of School
Riley Armstrong "A Lot Can Happen in a Year" (No kidding!)

Falling in Love
U2 "Walk On"("And love is not the easy thing")

Fight Song
Gin Blossoms "California Sun" (If the fight was with a girl, this might work)

Breaking Up
Toby Mac "Ignition" (This one was a swing and a miss.)

Prom
Red Jump Suit Apparatus "Cat and Mouse" (Fitting if I consider the "cat and mouse" I played with my date at my grad. She spent the whole evening with my best friend.)

Life
Toby Mac "Suddenly" ("And suddenly all of it's behind you/ And I'm here to remind you/
That yesterday is gone so say goodbye")

Mental Breakdown
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam "Lost in Emotion" (Yup...I'm having a mental breakdown as we speak)

Driving
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds "Lie in Our Graves" (I'll admit that there are better Dave songs out there for driving, but I'll take it)

Flashback
Skillet "Your Love (Keeps Me Alive)" (With those creepy, whispery vocals, I could envision a flashback to college days when this song came out)

Getting Back Together
Mat Kearney "Walking Away" (I was thinking it was another miss until I pondered the chorus and the phrase of "walking away from yesterday". It could fit.)

Wedding
Sarah McLachlan "Building a Mystery" (Ummm...she can sing at my wedding, but not this song!)

Birth of Child
U2 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (If we're talking about peace and quiet, then yes.)

Final Battle
Audio Adrenaline "Clap Your Hands" (Repetitive. It's got some kick.)

Death Scene:
Matt Costa "Wash Away" ("
Sun sinks out of view/ Stars they shine changing hue")

Funeral Song
Spirit of the West "Home for a Rest" (Hilarious! Please play this at my funeral!)

End Credits
Dashboard Confessional "These Bones" (Hmmm...I'll take Dashboard for a closing song. Not my first choice of songs, but it's workable.)

The pains of students...

The death of a high school senior this week in a car accident has really hit the students hard. Some of my students knew him as he used to attend our church. Others would have graduated with him this year. Others were friends with him.

We had to throw away all our original plans for the evening. Instead we sat together. We read John 11. We wept together. Many tears were shed and many hugs were given and received. It was tough. But it was real.

How do you look a group of students in the eye and tell them it will be ok? You can't. Even with the hope of being in the presence of Jesus one day, it still sucks to say goodbye. It doesn't make the pain any less real for these kids.

I drove by the accident scene this morning and saw a group of students huddled over flowers while others embraced and my heart sank. This isn't the way things should be.

These last few days and weeks have hit me square in the face with some of the monumental life issues that students these days are dealing with. It's at times overwhelming. My only hope is that God will reach into their lives in these darkened moments and overwhelm them with His love, grace and mercy.

If you have a moment, could you pray for the students of our community?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Life's little reminders...

As a parent sat and shared their family life with me I was reminded this afternoon of why I work with students.

In the midst of all my other frustrations, God is at work.

Surfacing...

Why is it that everything seems to come to the surface around the same time?

This week a student in the community (not currently from our church, but has connections in the past to our church) was killed in a car accident. We have a number of students who attended the same school, so we're trying to figure out how they're doing with all of this.

Wednesday night is our typical ministry night, but I don't know if we should change things up because of the latest events. I would imagine that 60-70% of our students would have no clue about what happened and would have no idea who the student was.

My wife and I are also meeting with some parents today to talk about their teenager. They're looking for ideas as to what to do. I'm unsure what to tell them.

Our student worship team has been missing band members lately and it's kind of a crucial time as we've got some upcoming ministry events that we have to lead at.

I am currently at day #9 without a day off. With a funeral, baptisms and leading worship this Sunday for the kid's ministry the long awaited day or should I say "days" off are not coming anytime soon.

Now we'll top this all off with a healthy dose of disillusionment and frustration.

I know, I know...I'm singing the same old tune. But how do you stop when everything keeps piling up? Is this just me being oversensitive and uncooperative? Is this my pessimistic tendencies sneaking through? Or am I being real and authentic?

Should I change? Do I need to change? How would I even change?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday hangovers...

Maybe that was a poor title choice. Not "hangover" in the typical sense, but "hangover" in the sense of I just spent close to 45 hours trapped in close quarters with a group of teenagers and student ministry leaders.

Driving time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Sleep time: 11 hours
Silence: 35 minutes
Time spent in frigid lake water: 15 seconds
Amount of video: 2 hours
Board Game time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Swinging socks full of flour: 45 minutes

I wrestle with how to answer the question "How was the weekend?"

It was fun. It was tiring. It was frustrating. I was disappointed. I was moved. I was taught. It was long. It was short. It was exciting. It was burdensome. It was random. It was flexible.

I dunno. It just WAS.

My current point of mental processing had me weighing the long term spiritual merits of these weekends away. I don't think there's anything bad to say, but I wonder if we could do things better.

I really tried to design a weekend around the concept of "retreat". Withdraw from the usual routine. Take time for solitude and silence.

We tried not to over schedule with a billion things to do. We were flexible and had to change stuff on the fly. Our teaching times consisted of reading the Bible and listening to each other. We tried to carve out time to just play together and have fun. We unplugged the instruments and let our voices sing about who God is and what He means to us.

But...the questions still haunts me. Did every student have an opportunity to connect with their Creator this weekend? Did every student have a chance to hear that they are loved and valued? Did every student have time to not just hear about God, but to experience Him? What work did God do "behind the scenes" that we may never know about?

I probably shouldn't be in the office or working today. I'm hitting the wall and running on fumes...use whatever metaphor you would like. I just now that this current pace is not sustainable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Extinction...

I think that's where I'm headed.

I've been shuffling some stuff around in life lately. Some of it has been an active choice on my part and some of it has been reactive and due to everything that's coming down the pipe.

I tend to get like this every once in a while. When you combine budget time with our upcoming student retreat and then mix in all the regular daily details, you will start to see my head spinning.

So, my open letter to you is that you have not been forgotten. Who do I mean by "you". You can decide!

Friday, November 09, 2007

My world is crumbling...

And there is not a thing I can do about it.

Apparently season 7 of 24 has been put on hold indefinitely due to the writers strike. And no, it's not just FOX, it seems to be everyone and everything except for reality TV shows. As if we needed any more of those.

With great sadness in my soul (hey, I'm a shallow person) and in memory of this horrible news I post this following video. It contains
spoilers. And if you don't have any idea about what season 7 has in store and who the bad guy is...brace yourself...this will blow your mind.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's alive...

It's November 7th and this is my first post of the month?!?! Yikes! I'm becoming a hermit.

Thanks to all your music suggestions from last week. When I finally find some time to listen I'll let you know about my likes and dislikes. If I end up buying any of the CD's that you suggested I will award you with 10,000 points. I will also send you an invoice for $9.99 from iTunes.

In random news this past week:
  • Our PROXIMITY Retreat is coming up and our t-shirts arrived last week. I was able to convince most of our worship team (no, not the youth team) to wear a shirt for last Sunday's worship service.
  • Halloween did not provide an adequate supply of Tootsie Rolls
  • My soccer team lost. Big surprise there, eh?
  • People need to lighten up. This applies at so many levels that I can't even start to explain.
  • I enjoyed an evening of driving, burritos and Mars Hill with my small group this past Sunday. It never ceases to amaze me how surprised the border agents look when they ask you where you are going and you say "church".
  • Our new teaching series called "My Life" has us camped out in Psalms. Tonight we're talking about how God matters in our loneliness.
  • I am excited for some of my friends. New jobs, more kids, first kids...and other exciting news that I'm not allowed to speak of yet.
  • The Millennium Falcon is currently under construction at our house.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Suggestions needed...

I haven't been satisfied with music releases lately. Part of my Tuesday morning ritual is always to swing over to the music store on iTunes and fin out what has just been released. Apparently Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys just released new albums this week. Huh?!?! Did I just flashback to the 90's and someone forgot to tell me? Who lets these people make music?

I could use some help. I need some new tunes. It doesn't have to necessarily be current. It could be obscure. I just need something good. And I know that's such a subjective thing, but I promise I will try to give all suggestions a legitimate listen.

Your suggestions?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mondays are for...

This is what this Monday exists for:
  • drinking french vanilla coffee (and wondering why I have a "children's pastors conference" mug)
  • catching up on a weekend's worth of email (yes, I occasionally ignore work emails some weekends...I'm told that it's good for me)
  • discovering that there's too much to read and too little time to read it in
  • thinking "I should clean my desk" (I've had this thought every Monday for the better part of 6-8 months)
  • trying to figure out if my body aches and pains are due to my soccer game on Saturday or due to old age which officially arrived yesterday
  • contemplating what our next teaching series will be (I'm officially open to suggestions!)
  • being a good youth pastor and voting for the only youth ministry question over at "Ask Anything" (my ten votes for the day have now been used up)
  • approving a t-shirt design for our upcoming retreat (I'm of mixed opinions of how it will turn out...I'll keep you posted)
  • music practice
  • soccer practice
  • eating lunch with Ryan, our student ministry intern (we always solve the world's problems on Monday's, so if you'd like us to solve yours please feel free to send it to me)
Anyways, that's probably going to be my day in a nutshell. I'm sure it'll look different by 2:00pm because my coffee is already getting cold.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Without a title...

I can't come up with something smart. Lately I feel like every post is just more of the same and I'm tempted to reuse old titles.

Today I am ponder the abnormalities of a Wednesday night youth event. Everything was squirrelly. Students were off the wall for the second straight week. Leaders were having a tough time. We were missing leaders. I forgot lyrics to songs. The speaker seemed out to lunch. (oh...and I should probably mention that I was the speaker)

It was one of those nights where you get in the door, plop down on the couch and wonder what the heck just happened.

But then I thumbed through some cards that we asked our students to fill out and guess what? One of our high school girls gave her life to Jesus! Woohoo!

I just sent an email to my leaders with a reminder of these words found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. It's the comments that transpire after Paul asks God to remove the thorn from his flesh.

But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Ain't that the truth.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The sun actually shines...

The sun actually came out. Oh, how I've missed it. I feel like a vampire most days...not that I really know what a vampire feels like.

I'm currently still trying to recover from the weekend. My team came out with a 2-2 draw on Saturday, in which I was finally able to get on the scoresheet. There was even a red card and some high tensions as the player who was sent off stuck around to "see" the ref after the game. I guess cooler heads prevailed and there was no need for me to step in and use any of the moves I've been learning from watch UFC.

But somehow I also managed to wreck my back. I spent all of Saturday night in some level of discomfort or agony. Sunday consisted of a major "faux pas" on my part from the stage (I won't say much about this except that I announced someone as being dead who wasn't even dead...it's a long story) before heading home to fade in and out of sleep all afternoon on the couch.

Monday I slept in and tried to recover. I was feeling better and even made it through worship practice with some of my students. I thought I was getting better, but as of noon today I'm still sore. And sitting at this desk isn't helping much.

I guess this is what it feels like to turn 30, eh?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ask Anything...

Mark Driscoll's taking a page out of the "How To Be A Youth Pastor" manual and is letting the general public dictate what an upcoming sermon series will be about. (I think I poll my own students about what would be relevant to them a couple times each year.)

It's rather simple. Go here and ask your question. Then vote for your favorite questions. Then listen to Mark preach in January about the nine most popular questions (and likely their answers). Then he'll write a book about it. Neat idea. I hope he credits youth workers everywhere for this idea.

Here's a clip:


Procrastination...

I'm currently avoiding doing a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test.

Mike Yaconelli once said something funny about Myers-Briggs that made me laugh. It's in this clip. Start at the 2:34 mark if you can't afford to watch the whole thing.

I like this video. But it makes me miss Mike.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bueller...Bueller...Bueller...

You remember that clip from Ferris Bueller's Day Off right?

Don't ask me how my message is coming along for tonight's student ministry event. Instead, allow me to indulge in a little late morning activity in which you can also be involved.

I'd like to do a little roll call. If you're here, could you let the rest of the class know. Just hit the "comment" link and say a little something. Come on now...don't be shy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blessings on ya...

Be blessed.
Bless you.
Have a blessed day.
Blessings.

I'm officially no longer sure what a "blessing" actually is. What does it mean to have someone wish you a blessed day? What does it mean when someone thinks that a free magazine they get for signing up for a mailing list is a blessing? What does it mean when we hope that people will be blessed?

I think the word is overused and losing all meaning. Your thoughts?

Great cartoon from ASBO Jesus:


Random recaps are fun...

Sorry. I have a blog post about "online relationships" that I still need to get around to, but I'm just not feeling it these days. So I'm opting for something way more mind-numbing and highlight a few things. There is no specific reason for any of this except that it is worthy of a Monday morning mention.
  • Radiohead is giving their new album away for whatever price you want to pay.
  • Visit "The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus" for some thought provoking cartoons.
  • Lots of free images and graphics at this site (although we could probably engage in a discussion on how exactly a photo can be "Christian").
  • Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize and my wife is....well...she's....(insert your word here)
  • I read "Three" by Ted Dekker and I'm ticked off that I spent the time reading it. I'd ask for my money back on this book, except I got it as a freebie at some outlet book store.
  • We had someone candidate for a pastoral position here this past weekend. And he's a Manchester United fan!
  • You can now be an "emerging parent" (h/t to EV)
  • I've taken to watching the NFL. I wondered why they had a green dot on the back of the QB's helmet, and now I know thanks to Scot McKnight's ability to ask the question on his blog.
  • My coffee is now finished and I have 15 things to do today...I should get on it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday...

Looking back, this was a day of ups and downs.
  • Up: I noticed I was alive when the alarm clock went off
  • Down: The alarm clock brings my sleep to an end
  • Up: Watching Aidan play soccer
  • Down: I played soccer and my team blew a 2-0 first half lead to lose 3-2
  • Up: Catching a nap while watching the Leafs lose
  • Down: My Habs lost
  • Up: Discovering that we now get RDS HD on the satellite which means I can watch my Habs play
  • Down: Finding nothing good on TV
  • Up: Eating hot wings
  • Down: You should see what my wife is watching on TV right now...
Ok, that's enough pointlessness for one evening.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Giving up...

We've been walking our students through Jonah over the last few weeks and we've been trying to challenge them with some important questions each week.

The first week we had them think about what God was asking them to do that they were running away from (you can probably see how that fits with Jonah 1).

Then last week we had them reflect on a dark or lonely place they may be in and how they may be able to see God in the midst of that (similar to Jonah's cry out to God from the darkness of the belly of a fish).

Last night we had the students ask themselves "what is God asking you to give up or turn away from?" We looked at the city of Ninevah and their response to Jonah's warning that they would be overthrown in 40 days if they didn't turn from their evil ways. They completely gave up their way (those Assyrians really were psycho, weren't they?) to call out to God.

Well, we decided to give the students something tangible to do. So my wife took the time to cut some strips of cloth (we were going for a "sackcloth" kind of feel) about an inch wide and a foot long. Then the students were asked to write one each piece of cloth what it was that they felt God was asking them to turn away from or give up.

They were then supposed to take the cloth and tie it to the cross as a way of saying to God, "I'm giving this up to You." Then they took a smaller piece of the same cloth an tucked it in their pocket. They were to keep this smaller piece nearby to remind them throughout the rest of the week of what they were giving up to God, and to also serve as a reminder that God would help them with it. (I wouldn't dare think that any of us has the strength in and of ourselves to give up some of the things we wrestle with.)

I'm not doing justice to this through a blog post, but it gives you the overview. Anyway it was quite something to watch as our students took these little pieces of cloth and tied them to the cross. Here's photo of what it looked like when we were done.

Last night my wife and I sat down to read what the students wrote and all I can say is that it makes my heart heavy to see the things that these students are wrestling with. My prayer is that Jesus will provide comfort for many of them this week; that He will give them the strength they need to leave this parts of their "old lives" behind so they can continue to live their "new life" in Him.

If you wouldn't mind, could you pray for our students?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

We won...

We finally had a game where we scored more combined goals than the opposing team. 4-2 was the final against a team that hadn't scored a goal in the league so far. I think some of our guys expected an easy run, especially after we scored 2 quick goals. But they gave us a run for our money. Apparently we're weak in the air and poor defenders. Both of their goals were scrappy and I believe they came from inside the 6 yard box.

I'm really sore today after being run down by their keeper while on a breakaway in the first half. I know he didn't have much of a choice, but I'm thinking that he could have been sent off. Intent to injure (he had no intent on playing the ball), the last man back (I was well clear of the entire defense), and he prevented a clear scoring opportunity. Instead he received a yellow and we got a free kick from outside the area, which produced nothing.

I was also dragged down in the area later in the game which led to a shot from the spot. Lacking any confidence on my ability to put a ball in the net I opted for one of the other guys to take it which he proceeded to put in the back of the net. I was have visions of my falling on my rear or launching it over the net.

There was a day when I regularly got clobbered and tackled from behind. I never had phenomenal ball control (like a "crazy legs" Coutts) or a powerful shot. I wasn't a solid defender or a quality tackler. But I could run. And I had a tendency to draw some crazy tackles which from time to time led to cards and penalty shots.

I'm not as young as I once was. I'm not as fit. I'm not completely healthy. So this latest venture into the wonderful world of rec football is somewhat disheartening at times. I'm having to come to grips that my abilities have changed and therefore my style of play needs to change.

I imagine that I'll be constantly playing with sore or strained muscles. I likely won't see the back of the net as often. I'll probably spend more time on my side of half. But maybe I can develop a new skill, like shooting from outside the 18 yard box. That'd be nice.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Randomness...

I did squat all today besides biking up a mountain. Which, if I'm truthful, should really be described as "walking up a mountain" and "sliding down trails in between wiping out". And now, here's a summary of all things important (or not so important) to me:
  • Go welcome Brad to the blogging world...and wish him a happy birthday
  • My blog poll showed that 3 out of 9 of you want me to post about online relationships
  • I'm currently working on previously mentioned blog post
  • Turkey dinner is tomorrow
  • I dropped my iPod and now it's slow
  • I'm on the hunt for soft ground football boots...which do you recommend? (maybe a poll is necessary)
  • My Habs are on a winning streak
  • The Red Devils play tomorrow
  • Watched my Bombers get beat by BC...blah

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma...

I'll admit that I had no clue what was going on. Then Derek did some posting. Then some other posts started turning up (here, here and here, amongst others). Then I read this and paid a visit to Wikipedia to read a bit more. You can swing by and catch up here. Or you can stop by FreeBurma.org.

With all that being said...

Free Burma!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Your choice...

Today I feel like doing a poll. There's a number of things I could post about, so I'd like you to choose. Lame, eh? Yeah...but it is my blog.

Topics you may choose from:
  • Global Warming
  • Mark Driscoll's Ranting
  • Soccer/football
  • Music
  • Online Relationships
  • TV
You may now vote by looking over here in the margins --------->

I'll tally the results sometime this week and respond accordingly.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pessimism...

I'm somewhat pessimistic by nature. Or maybe just by choice. Either way, it means that I tend to rant more than I dream and I tend to question more that I encourage. It also means I tend to look for flaws rather than looking for opportunities.

I'm trying to work on being more hopeful and visionary. I'm not saying that I'm going to try and become an optimist. But I do recognize the need for me to change my outlook about certain things.

Why this confession? There's been too many rants and complaints lately in my writing. That means this blog is becoming too "one sided" and not as random as I would like it to be. Therefore an apology is in order and an overhaul is needed, just like it was in my real life.

Thanks for reading. We shall now get back to trying to find normal in the randomness of life.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Again..

Today we lost 6-0.

One comment at half-time was "I'm not seeing much bad stuff guys. Keep it up.". I think I must have been attending a different game or something. I watched from the sidelines as the other team scored 3 goals in 10 minutes. I don't think that's good soccer.

Stop me if you've heard this before...but this is beyond frustrating!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Do not disturb...

It's my day off. I got to sleep in. It's raining. And now I just might eat Timbits for lunch and sit down in front of the TV this afternoon to watch my $0.88 rental while the 3 other members of the family are at the school.

To top that all off I may be on the verge of a rather monumental blog post. If you disturb me, it may be ruined.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday randomness...

I lack anything super profound as it seems to be a day/week/month full of a hundred different things. So here's a sample:

  • I'm listening to Mark Driscoll's podcast from the Convergent Conference. He lays into guys like Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren and Rob Bell and some of their teachings. Sure, I think some of them have some goofy (how's that for an accurate theological explanation?) beliefs, but I wonder if it needs to be Mark's job to constantly refute everything they say. I've enjoyed Mark's books and his teaching. I've even visited his church. But I'm not sure where I'm going to settle down on some of his more recent rants.
  • Am I over-reacting when I see my son's struggles with school and friends?
  • I think my wife is more beautiful at 30 than she was at 29.
  • Fall TV has returned. I am breathing a sigh of relief.
  • My recent admission to watching UFC has raised eyebrows.
  • My team beat the team in blue 2-0.
  • My other team probably won't win this weekend.
  • What's the one main thing we can take away from Jonah 1?
  • The new CD Remedy by the David Crowder Band was released today. Buy it.
  • My soccer cleats don't fit properly. Anyone want to by a pair of slightly used size 9.5 Nike Zoom's? They're a couple years old but hardly used due to all the knee injuries.
  • I'm struck by the memory of my kids as we've currently taken to reading through the book of Daniel.
  • I'm struck by the memory of my students as we pick up our study of the book of Mark in our Sunday morning LifeStage class. They remembered a lot from last year.
  • We are now once again a one car family. If you would like to contribute to the "Knott Family Sanity Fund" which will facilitate the purchase of another set of wheels, let me know.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How's my speaking...

My buddy Brad told me that it was a great book, so I went with his advice. And you know what? Brad's a pretty smart guy. I have absolutely soaked up this book that was written by Andy Stanley.

I wasn't too keen on the first half of the book which takes place in story mode (which so many leadership books tend to be doing lately), but I do know that some people can resonate better with seeing something fleshed out in that form. So, if you just want the goods, skip right to page 91.

As I've been reading this book and jotting notes in my journal I've also been able to see the effect on my own message preparation. It has me asking more questions about what I'm saying, what I'm not saying, and how I say it or, in some cases, not saying it. It has me rethinking how I prepare outlines and how I engage my students. It's pushing me to me more specific with what I'm trying to communicate.

The whole point? I'm not communicating just for the sake of getting information from 'Point A' to 'Point B'. I'm not communicating to show how smart I am. I'm communicating to see life change in each and every one of my students.

My advice: this book is $25ish that is well spent.

From Vegas to the Pews...

I'm sorry. I tried to go for a witty title.

I just finished reading Mark Driscoll's blog post about his recent trip to Las Vegas where he got to watch UFC 74 and even got to meet Randy Couture. I don't care who you are, that's just plain cool.

But what struck me about his post was one on the last things he did on his time in Vegas. He and Mars Hill's worship pastor made the rounds of some of the hotel clubs on the strip to see how they set up their lights, sound and video because they are currently doing some renovating at one of their own buildings (the Ballard campus).

Then I start to ponder. Most churches I've been in look like churches, not clubs. Many churches have bad color, horrible seating, bad lighting, questionable acoustics and lackluster video. I'm not saying that we need to go for some "wow factor" or some dazzling pyrotechnics but could we at least make the room aesthetically pleasing? Isn't it ok to make people feel comfortable and relaxed in a room?

Look around the room this week in which you worship. How many people just look uptight? And how many of them could be set at ease if we were more proactive about the way that we set up our buildings?

Sure, comfort isn't our number one priority. But if we want to engage people for extended periods of time, shouldn't we do everything to remove physical distractions?

So, what do you think? Is it a good idea to be getting some ideas about our church decor and layout from clubs?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

When Saturday Comes...

...it'll likely be another loss.

We're now 0-3. Today we were on the receiving end of 6 goals. And I think it would have been higher if the other team hadn't taken their foot off the pedal. We got 2...but they weren't good goals. Sure, one came from almost 30 yards out, but it wasn't a Beckham-esque (see here). There was no reading the keeper. It was more of a "I'll fire this toward the net because I have no clue what else to do".

I'm more than a little frustrated. There's no rhythm for passing the ball. There's no movement off the ball...or on the ball. There's no creativity in the plays. Every forward rush consists of "dump-and-chase" or the other classic "I'll run straight at the goal with this ball without looking for a passing option". I'm not a fan of either.

To top it all off, I had to send my wife and kids home early because the language on the sidelines was getting ridiculous. It's like a bunch of middle school boys who just learned some new words and don't have a clue what they're saying. Yeah...maybe if you just say more of them in a sentence you'll make more sense. (Please insert a very sarcastic tone in that last sentence.)

Now I'm just ranting. I understand that heated words and colorful language happens from time to time. I just don't appreciate it when some other "adults" can't be responsible enough and considerate enough to notice that there are little ears all over the sidelines as well.

Am I out of line?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

No Way Jose...

Chelsea got rid of their manager, Jose Mourinho. Sure, it took me until today to find out because of teh chaos that was yesterday, but this almost made me do a little dance when I found out. And while he was arrogant to level unattainable by most, he did provide some laughs during his stay at Stamford Bridge. His departure couldn't come at a better time since they meet United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Just for kicks, this video made me chuckle. (ht to Derek)


The morning after...

Night one is officially under our belts...whatever that means. Our students and leaders came out last night with a level of enthusiasm that made for a very enjoyable evening. I think all our plans, prayers, discussions have paid off. We still have some minor details to work on as well as having some question marks about some parts of the evening, but all in all I think it's good because it will help us evaluate things more regularly.

Highlights of the night:
  • the middle school demolished the high school at the Wii challenge
  • one ice cream cake, puffed wheat squares, two trays of cookies and a thermos of juice were consumed in almost record breaking time
  • having the entire group singing "Happy Birthday" to Erin
  • seeing video of middle school students running into each other while wearing fridge boxes
  • seeing students out that have not previously been to any of our student ministry events even though they call this their home church
  • seeing the enthusiasm of one high school guy at the mention of hosting a UFC (watching, not fighting) night
In other news...United beating Sporting Lisbon 1-0 in the beginning game of the Champion's League. It was nice to see a spring in their step and a little more creativity than they have shown in their previous league games. But it's probably helpful that both Rooney and Ronaldo were back in the line up.

As for my own team, we lost our opening game. I still ache. I'm frustrated. But at least I'm playing again. This week we play another of the top teams. I don't expect much from it. Although I'm itching to put one in the back of the net...if I still can.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

30...
















Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife. She turns 30...ummm...I mean 29.

These are 30 things that we (Yes, the kids spoke into this as well. You can try to figure out who said each one.) love/appreciate/enjoy/admire about this amazing woman:

1. I love her 'cuz she loves me so much!
2. She wears nice clothes and shoes.
3. Her tickles (and her ability to receive tickles)
4. Sunflowers!
5. Her snack making.
6. She gets me pizza.
7. She willingly chauffeurs us everywhere.
8. She helps us (all three of us) with schoolwork.
9. Her hugs and kisses.
10. She always has the best ideas for what to do on our days off.
11. Her patience with 3 of the most stubborn people on the planet.
12. I love playing soccer with her.
13. Her socks!
14. Her ability to dress all three of us!
15. She lets us cuddle into bed with her.
16. She takes us to the beach.
17. I love her because she plays with me.
18. Her addiction to all things numerical (Sudoku, accounting, math tutoring, banking...)
20. Because she reads books to us.
21. She makes us good supper and bakes well.
22. Her crazy Nintendo skills.
23. She colors pictures with us.
24. She builds Lego with me.
25. She takes pictures of us.
26. She puts up with the "Truck Got Stuck" song.
27. I love her so much because she tucks me into bed.
28. Her taste in food...mmmm....Azteca...
29. Her creativity and scrapbooking abilities.
30. She's a hottie at 30! (ok, that was from me, not the kids)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Laughing...

I haven't laughed hard in a while. But the humor is starting to come back. How can you not laugh a little bit when your students (and leaders) start chucking snow balls that they made from a snow cone machine at the church fall kick off?

In other news, I remembered that I wanted to post this picture because it makes me laugh. My wife posted it first, so forgive me for stealing it. But this note was actually posted on the doors leading into the apartment building where my brother-in-law and his wife live. I can't believe someone put a note like this up.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Change is upon us...

I spent the better part of the 2006-2007 ministry year trying to evaluate our student ministry. The result was what looks like a major overhaul to the way we do things. Tonight we're hosting an Info Night for parents and students who want to hear more about the changes. So far the responses that I have heard have been encouraging and unless I completely have my head in the sand, everyone seems very excited about what we're going to do.

I am a little nervous though. I'm sure there will be speed bumps. I'm sure we'll have to adapt things on the fly. And I wish I had more leaders. But it's definitely the perfect time for this change. So I'll wait and see what happens tonight and then we'll wait for the official launching/kick-off that happens next Wednesday.

Oh, and lest you think we've only given parents a one week heads up, we've already been promoting this for weeks. Tonight just gives everyone a chance to get the finer details of what a Wednesday night will typically look like from this point in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remedy is coming...

I don't know about you, but I'm super excited about this:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Long weekend find...

I haven't posted about food in a while...or ever.

I'm not one to try out new foods or restaurants. I have allergies and I use that as my excuse a fair bit of the time. But I also know that I just tend to get stuck in a rut eating the same things over and over again.

But on our family trip to Seattle over the long weekend, at Erin's suggestion, we decided to try a new restaurant that was literally in the same parking lot of our hotel. So we walked over to the Azteca, thumbed through the menu, munched on tortilla chips and salsa, and then proceeded to stuff our faces with what I would say was one of the best burritos I have ever eaten.

Our next trip will no doubt include swinging by for a burrito.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cussed out...

Here's an interesting fact...I think I've almost been cussed out more as a pastor than I have been in all my soccer playing years. And keep in mind that I used to have a reputation on the pitch of being an instigator, so to speak. Ask my wife...she'll explain.

But recently I had another one of those rare opportunities that found a homeless man looking for some food. The short story is that after he heard my response to his request for a gift card he "laughed" while giving me mocking applause and cussing me out. Why? Because I didn't give him that free gift card for the grocery store and instead asked him if he would be able to come back in later so I could find him some food.

Never once did I tell this man that I didn't care. Not once did I tell him "sorry I can't help." Not once did I ask him to leave, even when he became belligerent and started using non-creative language with me. Instead, I sat down beside him and asked questions and tried to engage in conversation.

But even little questions like "how long have you been on the street?" were met with harsh words and an attitude like I was stupid for inquiring. Like somehow I should have known his life story.

May I be so bold to say that I know why some people choose not to interact with the homeless. I can see why someone who has experienced a situation like that would choose not to get into a similar predicament. It's not fun or easy.

I know I'm called to look after the poor, the homeless, the fatherless, the widows, the orphans, and the list goes on. But can I be honest with you? It's hard sometimes. When my phone rings on a Wednesday to tell me there's another person at the front asking for a handout, my first response is not always pretty. Nor is it always Christ-like. And for that I am ashamed.

I'll keep trying though. And I'll keep asking God to help me love each person who walks through that door. But I doubt this will ever get any easier, will it?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Open letter...

This next post shall be extremely personal and maybe even a bit revealing of who I am and how I act. It's not pretty. You have been warned. You might be asking "why is this is public?" and let me assure you that there is a good reason. I acted like a jackass in public and therefore owe my wife a public apology.

Erin, I commend you on the fact that you didn't murder me while slept. I am grateful for another day in which I can utter those three simple words, "I am sorry".

I am sorry that I am a selfish and stubborn man who often times gets more caught up in his own world that he completely fails to see the impact that his decisions make on the lives of those he loves. I am sorry that I throw 2 year old hissy fits when I don't get my way. I am sorry that I am a bad example to our children (and to other random people walking through a crowded mall) of what it means act with dignity and respect.

I am sorry that I am lazy and thoughtless. I am sorry that I fail to see the big picture more often. I am sorry that you must continually put up with my apologies and my faults and my constant failures. I am sorry that my marital communication skills have not been an area that I have been willing to work on. I am sorry that I have taken you for granted time and time again.

You are the glue that holds are family together and I am grateful for that. However, that is not an excuse for me not to do my part. I am sorry that I don't pitch in more. I am sorry for assuming that you'll do things when I don't feel like doing them. I'm sorry for not noticing things that I could do to help out just because I've been too lazy to look for opportunities.

I'm sorry that I haven't had a more humble spirit and a more gracious demeanor with you. I'm sorry for the words that have come from my mouth. I'm also sorry that the right words have failed to come from my mouth.

I ask you now for your forgiveness, but I also commit myself to working on my attitude.

I will work on learning the basic math skills necessary to participate in balancing the books. I will pitch in more regularly around the house. I will find jobs that I can undertake without prompting. I will get involved. I will engage. I will communicate. And I will do so with compassion, love, patience and humility.

I bring this to you in front of others so I can remain accountable. I ask anyone who reads this to kick me in the tukas (that means "rear" in our home) when I'm not holding up my end of the bargain. I ask that you please be friends that can challenge me to be the husband that I am called to be. Send me a copy of this post via email from time to time. Phone me and tell me that I'm an idiot and should treat my wife better. Whatever it may take, please help me.

Erin, I'm sorry. You are a woman who deserves far more than I have to offer. I feel badly that you're stuck with me. I love you. I'm just sorry that my words and actions don't always prove it. I am willing to work on it. I will work on it.

Pardon the proof texting here:

"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all" - Proverbs 31:29


I love you Erin.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fell off the planet...

While it may have seemed like did, I assure you I am here. I believe I caught a case of the non-blogging-itis. I hear it's going around.

This was a tough week as the footballing world was shaken to its core by the confirmation of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's retirement. Apparently those knee injuries finally caught up to him.

The "baby face assassin" who was also known as Manchester United's "supersub" is probably best known for scoring the winning goal in the May 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

While I'm the first to admit that I'm still a relatively new United fan I will say that Solskjaer became one of my personal favorites on the team. In fact, my wife surprised me last year with this little gem, which will always be worn with great pride.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friends...

I have some great friends. And today I would like to acknowledge one of those friends. After a recent video of me surfaced on his blog I became aware of just how much his friendship means to me. And so I would just like to ask all my regular readers to pay tribute to my friend, Bryce.

Not only have I had the privilege to work alongside this man, but I have also had the pleasure to play in a band with him, watch movies with him, and even sleep in his yard. He has given me many wise words of advice over the year and I have enjoyed our conversations. I also believe him to be one of the more creative people I know.

So, I'd like to introduce you to my friend. This was the only photo I had:



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

myTunes...

I've been having trouble with my blog template lately and it doesn't seem to want to update my reading/listening lists properly, so I've instead opted for a post dedicated entirely to what's been playing on the car stereo lately.

The Cobalt Season
"In Search of a Unified Theory"
I've loved the honest lyrics but I'll admit that at times the songs are a bit depressing. It's kind of a folksy-acoustic-guitar-with-some-piano type of sound that definitely puts me in a pondering type of mood. Depressing yet peaceful...does that even go together?
Notable: Unified Theory, Begin Again

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
"Live at Radio City"
You probably know of my unashamed love for all things Dave Matthews, but this collaboration with Tim Reynolds is a great follow up to their last release "Live at Luther College". Two acoustics and some very experimental Reynolds-ish sounds combined with Dave's typical style gives you some very cool guitar moments. The only bummer is that Dave talks a bit too much and he's not the most eloquent speaker. But if you love acoustic guitar, you'll enjoy listening to this one.
Notable: Save Me, #41

Dustin Kensrue
"Please Come Home"
He's the lead singer of Thrice, but don't expect a rocking album. Lots of acoustic and great lyrics and some Johnny Cash-ish type moments. This album has definitely been the most played lately for me.
Notable: Please Come Home, Consider the Ravens, I Believe

Relient K
"Five Score and Seven Years Ago"
I wasn't a big fan of these guys until I saw them live last year. They are by far one of the most entertaining shows I've seen. Catchy tunes, deeper lyrics, and just plain old fun. Good driving tunes.
Notable: Up and Up, Devastation and Reborn, Come Right Out and Say It

Erik Mongrain
"Fates"
This guy is an absolutely amazing musician. There's no lyrics, so I find this is great background music when I'm in the office.
Notable: Air Tap!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In the Margins...

I picked up Jesus In the Margins after I had read Rick McKinley's second book This Beautiful Mess. This book identifies with me based on this phrase alone that is found on the cover:

"Welcome to the crowded margins of life. It's a place where normal people don't feel normal."

This book is for those who have felt like an outsider; for those who feel like they don't fit or won't fit; for those who don't connect or can't connect; for those who know they don't have it all together; for those who feel like they are the only one.

It's an easy read. It's not overly profound. If you've grown up "in the church" you've probably heard most of this before. But it's an encouraging reminder to meet Jesus as we are rather than hiding in the margins until we get our life together.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The official word...

As of 3:23 this afternoon my brain has crapped out on me.

I just thought you'd like to know.

Listening to the Beliefs...

Back in June I attended a mini-conference (or should we call it a "conversation"?) called Emergence that brought together 4 emerging leaders and gave them an opportunity to interact with one another (and with the audience in attendance). The basis for the conference/conversation was a book called"Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches". I got the book as a freebie for attending Emergence and I am proud to say that I finally got around to finishing it.

Isn't it a good day when you finish a book?

The book basically takes 5 different emerging leaders and gives them each an entire chapter to write about their theology. After an author has given their summarization, the other 4 authors each take an opportunity to respond to what has been presented.

This leads to lots of "I know this person" and "I like this person, but...". It's obvious that most of these people genuinely like each other but it's also quite apparent that they all have different opinions about different aspects of faith and theology.

My only advise is that you don't go into this expecting a handbook of "This is What the Emerging Church Believes". It's a good read to get a little bit more of the picture, but I don't believe it's the whole picture. It would probably not be "emerging" if it was the whole picture.