Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Three posts in one day? I'm on some sort of mission. Or maybe it has to so with the fact that my wife believes my first two posts today were actually her property even though she never actually posted them.

Anyways...I don't think I'm emergent. I don't think I even know entirely what it means. Maybe that, in and of itself, makes me emergent. Either way I've never had an overwhelming desire to delve into the whole emergent movement thing. But somewhere along the line I picked up some books and started reading them. Then I started pondering. What resulted was and interesting little journey that has me more intrigued/curious about church in general.

I finished "The Radical Reformission" by Mark Driscoll and I will say that I enjoyed his straight-forward, sarcastic, edgy commentary on how we as a church need to rethink the way we are currently trying to reach people with the Gospel. He's got some good thoughts to ponder.
I'll have to pull this one down off the shelf again and go through the questions at the end of each chapter a bit more thoroughly. But until then, I can finally cross another book of my "must-read-before-I-buy-anymore-books" pile.

Trade deadline...

Today was the NHL trade deadline and I'm one of those guys that is constantly checking the web throughout the day to see who got traded. I was really hoping that Gainey would pull off something significant to strengthen up heading into the playoffs. But when the dust settled the most startling news was to hear that the Oilers had traded Ryan Smyth to the Islanders.

This is indeed a sad say for every Oiler fan. That guy was the heart and soul of the organization. Should be interesting to see if they will have what it takes to make the playoffs. A team that relies on grit needs Smyth in the lineup. I don't think they have a chance this year.

In the words of Riley...

"Sleep, no I never get enough
Always waking up tired"
-"Sleep" by Riley Armstrong
I spent the weekend with 18 of my students and 4 leaders at a retreat. I think it goes without saying that sleep did not come often enough during our time away. In fact the only time that sleep tried to make an appearance was while I was behind the wheel on the return trip. And since I feel an obligation to return students in the shape that I receive them, sleep was not allowed to overtake my activities.

It was a great weekend though. The highlight for me being listening to Shane Claiborne. I've heard him before and I have a great level of respect for him. His heart for Jesus and his heart for people shines through in everything he says and he is just as genuine to those who he meets in person.

I watched a group of my students & leaders stand around after the final session and just talk with Shane. It was obvious that they were processing what he said. What isn't as obvious is what they are going to do with what they heard. I know they were challenged. I just wonder how it will all flesh itself out. I'm grateful for a guy like Shane who takes the time to talk students through some of this stuff.

My prayer is that they will not just forget the challenge, but that they will be moved to action. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


What Would Jack Bauer Play?

How about everything Gibson! I personally prefer the sound of an acoustic, but I'd be tempted to buy one of these. It's Gibson's Kiefer KS-336. I was impressed by "Jack's" knowledge of music, and especially of Gibson guitars. He knows his stuff!

It turns out he's quite the musician and has amassed a sweet collection of guitars over the years. Which is sad in a way because I could definitely put one of those guitars on his shelf to use.

Who am I kidding? I don't even have time to play the guitars that I've got.

Anyways, it's not normal to own this many guitars is it?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Today I saw students with broken hearts. Kids who are very obviously aching and hurting and in pain. Suffering with life issues, parent issues, friend issues and a host of other issues that most people never see or take the time to ask about.

Tonight I was very much aware of how much our students need to be loved. Loved by me. Loved by my wife. Loved by others. Loved by our church. Loved by Jesus.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dwight highlight...

I love The Office. No, I haven't seen the original British version and yes, I do have a Dwight bobblehead on my desk.

Jim's practical jokes on Dwight are by far the highlight for me, so I thought I'd share the joy with one of my favorite moments from the show. Enjoy...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Grammy's highlight...

I finally got around to watching the Grammy's the other night (just like everything I tend to be a little bit behind the times). I'll be honest, I mostly flipped through to watch the musical performances. And while most people seemed to be talking so much about The Police reuniting for the evening, I was absolutely enthralled by the 3 song performance by John Mayer, Corrine Bailey Rae and John Legend. In order to share the experience, here it is...


I've never really fit. I'm not sure if that's just because I primarily work with students, but I have always felt like somewhat of an outsider when it comes to relating to adults. In fact, this past year was the first time since college that I have been in a small group of peers where some of the members are many years older than me and I've felt connected to a group of adults.

Last night my wife and I attended an appreciation dinner that was put on for our pastoral staff by our elders board. I'm grateful for a group like this who is doing what they can to show their support and appreciation of the pastoral staff.

My only addendum is that I was the youngest one there by 5-6 years, and I'm sure that the overall average age was likely around 50. Most of the people in the room could have probably been my parents. Yikes!

Let's face it...I'm young. I just wish that I didn't always feel like an outsider of sorts. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a hurry to age, nor do I want to change positions with anyone. It's just moments like last night that remind me of how different I am from most of the world...and how different I am from many in our church.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

YM frustrations...

I love my job. I know I'm doing what God has called me to do, but I'll be honest and say that there are just some things I don't like about youth ministry anymore. Ok, so it's just one thing: arranging outside events. You know, those ones where students and parents have to sign their lives away so you can cram them into minivans for a weekend.

I'm currently in a pickle trying to re-arrange (yes, in the sense that it was at one point already "arranged") transportation for a youth conference we are going to be attending. Yeah...this part of the job irks me. I'd rather be teaching or thinking big picture or studying or hanging with the students, not phoning and begging and pleading and pulling what little hair I have left from my head.

I hate trying to arrange transportation. I hate the insurance details and the fine print. I know it's there for a reason, but it sure makes life a nightmare for me. If I had my way I would never plan an outside event again.

(*editor's note - this may have been written in the heat of the moment)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Doggin it...

I'm blitzed. It probably doesn't help that it sounds like a smoker is living in my bedroom these past few nights (love ya Erin!), but I'm halfway to blitzville today. It's 4pm and I'm looking at a hundred things I could do (and probably SHOULD do) and I'm trying to come up with 200 hundred ways to avoid doing them.

In other news...I'm having a music crisis lately. Maybe you've noticed the dichotomy in my "tunesworthy" section lately. Matt Redman, Switchfoot and Ben Folds?!?! I've also found a way to find some time this week for Amanda Marshall, Kenny Chesney, Diamond Rio and Matthew Good. Yeah...it's enough change and variation to make your head spin.

Is this normal?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

In the news...

I'm not a big fan on posting about the news, unless it involves Manchester United or the Montreal Canadiens, but this has been building for a while. In fact, I think I've reworded this post about 4 or 5 times. Here it goes...

I am officially sick of hearing about this whole Ted Haggard saga. The final straw was hearing on Jon Stewart the other night (or maybe it was Colbert...either way, it's also been in major news as well, lest I appear like one who relies on Stewart & Colbert for my world news reports) that Haggard is now "completely heterosexual" after 3 weeks in counselling.

Here's a few issues I have...
  1. James Dobson wouldn't agree to help counsel Haggard when this whole thing blew up. the smart-alec in me wants to say, "What?!?! It's too much for you to give 3 weeks to a friend in need?" Come on.

  2. Is it really possible to become "ungay" in 3 weeks? To me this seems to rank up there with every other celebrities attempt at a quick fix (Miss USA, Lindsey Lohan and the guy from "Grey's Anatomy").

  3. All this talk about restoration makes me wonder what restoration really means? Is it just removing someone from leadership, forcing them into counselling and then letting them walk away on their own? Apparently the oversight board recommended that Haggard go into "secular work". Is this restoration?

I don't profess to know all the details of this. Some of these reactions may be of the knee-jerk type, but I can't help but want to shake my head. Is this normal?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oops I did it again...

I apologize for the Brittney Spears reference, but it's all my tiny brain can come up with after a weekend stuffed in our Versa with my wife and kids while we made our way to and from Calgary for my brother-in-law's wedding.

Yes, the wedding was great. All went well. But my Spears-esque reference has more to do with a trip to Christian Publications that my wife and made on Monday morning. You see, they offer pastors a 20% discount. Add to that the fact that Alberta has no sales tax and you can figure out what happened next.

I bought books. Do you think I'm any closer to finishing the last stack of books I bought back in June? Or the ones I bought in November at NYWC? Ummm...not really. Actually, I'm nowhere close.

But how could I pass up this deal?
So now I've got these to read...
  • No Perfect People Allowed by John Burke
  • The Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll
  • Dear Church... by Sarah Cunningham
  • This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley
  • Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel
When will I ever learn?