Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bring on the candy...

I spent some time carving pumpkins with the kids last night in preparation for the annual candy haul.

Tonight we're planning on heading out in the rain to collect some more junk food that isn't needed but will most likely be enjoyed.

You taking the kids out? Or do you stay home and give candy out?

Snooze alarm...

I got a new alarm clock as a birthday gift (amongst some other stuff I don't deserve but am grateful to have received) on Tuesday.

I set it up and guess what happened Wednesday morning? It didn't go off.

I read the instruction manual (go figure) last night and tried again.

This morning it went off. I proceed to hit snooze. This is an important fact because I am a HUGE supporter of the snooze button. Much to the general annoyance of the woman I share a bed with.

So I close my eyes and head back for what I can only assume will be a great 9 minutes of near bliss.

But there's one problem. It's a fairly significant problem too. Apparently Sony has arbitrarily decided to make my snooze only 5 minutes long!


That's not a snooze. That's a long blink. That doesn't count. And now I've been robbed of future snoozing.

I'm curious, are you a proponent of a 9 minute "proper snooze" or the 5 minute "long blink snooze"?

Monday, October 27, 2008


I turn 31 tomorrow.

Hold you applause.

First sign of old age? I'm looking to buy a new bag. Yeah, a bag.

You know, one that goes over your shoulder and holds your crap.

My last NYWC bag (they give you a freebie every year at the convention) is almost ready to disintegrate and since I'm not a huge fan of the one they gave out this year I'm on the hunt.

Yeah. Meaningless. Trivial. And somewhat embarrassing.

But it is what it is.

Any recommendations?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Excuse the lack of any interesting words to describe this.

But I was reading Jonathan Heron's (a pastor in Kent, Ohio) blog today and read this story. Which I just found cool.

Crazy - The Kent Stage is TRASHED from last night's Halloween downtown bash. Our volunteers have been cleaning and setting up since 7am.

So a party-goer is walking down Main St this morning, hears our band doing run-through, and comes in looking for an "After-Party." We explain we're a church and - long story short - he's inside right now helping clean floors!!

How does your church (and by "your" I actually mean "God's", but you know what I'm getting at) meet people in the community?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Should have seen it coming...

Last Wednesday was a great night with my students.

So, what happens tonight?


Only half the students that signed up for worship team show up.

The computer swallows iTunes.

The illustration video had it's dubbing completely off.

The sound system had a major glitch and wouldn't play any sound from the laptop, so we had to run cables and rig up something that would work.

There was a lack of focus from the students.

The leaders were grouping together.

The teacher took FOREVER to get going.

(That was me, by the way.)


There's always next week.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All things Batman...

This got a chuckle out of me.


It took a little while, but we have a winner.

Phil's post gets him a free copy of Matthew Paul Turner's Churched. He just needs to email me his address. Congrats Phil! Here's his story.
How about a story from camp when I was 6 or 7?

I'll tell the story anyways.

I went to bible camp when I was 6 or 7 and one of the nights they played the old scare 'em into heaven movie: "Thief in the Night". Don't ask me why they thought that was a good idea but it sure freaked me out. For weeks/months afterwards I had nightmares of being left behind. In the dream I was standing at the top of a huge hydro electric dam and I have to jump to escape the government that is trying to capture me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy turkey day...

We're a week late, but it'll have to do. It's officially Thanksgiving for us today.

The turkey is upstairs in the oven. Erin is making pie. The kids are cleaning (huh?). And me? I've found a way to play some mini-hockey with Aidan, play guitar while watching some John Mayer concert on the TV, and now I'm catch up on some blog reading.

Yes, I'm the lazy one in the family.

In other news, my youngest child decided that it would be a great idea to stand on my guitar case and jump onto the chair. Really?!?! How is that EVER a good idea?

If I could ground her, you wouldn't see her until her 20th birthday.

In other news, our church participated in a subsistence diet this last week. The idea was for everyone (who was willing) to eat only rice and beans for a portion of the week. Then we were supposed to take all the money we would have spent on our own food and buy groceries that we could donate to the local Food Bank.

(By the way, I got my butt kicked and barely made it through one day. I'm such a wimp.)

This morning everyone was encouraged to bring the food forward as an offering and we piled the stage with boxes and bags. I'll admit that I struggle with the whole "look what we did" part of this (even though we specifically said this was not the point). But I'll also say that we probably made a baby step forward.

But I'm worried that it might end there. I'm worried that it might only fill a crack that exists (a lack of food) but that it won't push us to come up with any longterm solutions to combating poverty in our community. I'm worried this will only be a one time thing.

So, how do you push people to take it further?

Friday, October 17, 2008

I should not have done this on a day off...

I picked up Marko's new book "Youth Ministry 3.0" in Sacramento and decided that since Erin's partying it up elsewhere tonight that I would see how far through it I could get.

I finished it. Mind you, it's not a long book, so don't give me too much credit!

Anyways, Marko introduced us to many of the thoughts in this book when he led the last General Session at NYWC, so I felt that this book filled in many of the gaps that I was left with after his talk. In some ways I felt like the talk was a teaser for the book.

The book describes many of the major shifts that have occurred in youth ministry over the years and how he believes that we're making another shift now into what he would call Youth Ministry 3.0. A new approach to how we "do" it.

I'm just going to say a big I DON'T KNOW.

I am absolutely in agreement with some of what he says.

At the same time I find myself wrestling with other parts of it.

I've heard the arguments from many other youth pastors that the way we're doing it (youth ministry) isn't working. I've said it myself after watching countless students that have participated in leadership retreats and missions trips totally walk away from their faith.

It is frustrating and confusing.

Maybe I've done it wrong in the past. Maybe I'm doing it wrong now.

But then again, maybe that's life? Maybe that's what our journey with Jesus is supposed to look like? Maybe it is supposed to contain more living it out and less trying to figure it out?

I'm always trying to figure stuff out. How to teach better. How to understand teenagers better. How to reach parents. How to have quiet time. How to.

I wonder if maybe we're missing the "here and now" aspect. Maybe we need to stop trying to figure out the next great thing and do "here and now" what works.

I'm not even sure what that looks like. How do we ever know if it works? Are we supposed to?

Good stuff to think about though. But since I think so much about praxis, all this general thinking is causing my head to swirl at an unreasonably high rate. And that is just not allowed on a day off.

I'm going to have to find something mindless to do until Erin gets home.

Thoughts? (Not on what to do now. Thoughts on what I've rambled about?)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh hell no...

I was having an interesting conversation with a couple of people today about the fact that it is Pastor Appreciation month.

What?!?! You didn't know?!?!

Anyway, I thought this sign that we saw this past weekend in Sacramento was entirely too funny.

Wednesday reviewed...

I was stumbling around Facebook today and ran across this note that one of our students (who has very limited connections with church except through our student ministry) wrote on her page. It was just another simple reminder of why I do this.
my youth is so much fun and i always have a blast its on wednesday nights from 7-9 and sometimes they will have snacks at the end its so cool and i kno its at a church but u dont have to be christian to go to it tho.its at SOA Church its neary extra foods and ask me if u want to kno more anyone and the youth leaders are so nice too and they will Always accept u no matter who or maybe even what u are(lol)
Oh yeah, and we didn't even feed these kids last night!

Last night was something we're calling Sacred Space. Yes, a completely ripped off name, but it works for us. It's a night where we don't have a band, there is no speaker, no games, no graphics or videos, no food. It's just a way for students to connect, listen, talk and be with God in a different way (or I should probably say ways).

They paint, they pray, they write, they rest, they confess, they encourage, they read.

It was one of those nights where you can step back and see God doing His thing. It was one of those nights where nobody is in a hurry to leave. It was one of those nights that will ripple into next week and the week after that and the week after that.

Ever had one of those nights?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Churched review...

Ever wonder what it would have been like to grow up in a fundamentalist church? Well, now you can...without all the baggage. But I'm grateful Matthew Paul Turner has agreed to carry that baggage around for the rest of us.

OK, maybe he hasn't agreed, but at least he's willing to entertain the rest of us with his baggage. (Thanks, by the way!)

I didn't grow up in a fundamentalist church but I still found myself reading some of the stories in the book and flashing back to my school days when we would hear the horror stories about that "other" Christian school who would enforce the "6 inch rule" and made sure the guys never had hair that touched their collars or their ears.

And what Sunday School kid hasn't participated in some contest to bring the most unsaved friends to a church event?

Churched is Turner's comical (yet often uncomfortable) look into his upbringing. It's funny and sad all at the same time. Funny because you almost can't make this stuff up. Sad because many of us who have grown up in the church have seen one or more of these stories lived out in the flesh.

It's a quick read that I blazed through this weekend while at the NYWC in Sacramento. I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it. If not, then you can blame me if it makes you feel better. If you didn't get you copy yet, head over here and pick yourself up a copy.

Are you too cheap and want a free copy?

Then try this:

  1. Post a comment to this review.
  2. Include your favorite "church story" that happened to you in middle school or high school. (Hey, I'm a youth pastor! What did you expect?)
  3. Leave some way that I can contact you.
  4. The deadline is this Friday (October 17th). I'll choose and post the winner (and their story) sometime on the weekend and mail you a book next week.
Sound like a plan?

Comment now.

Can you hear me...

I'm concerned for you.
I haven't heard from you in a while.
Did you stop reading?
Consider this roll call.
Who's here?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Scarymento (day 3)...

All I would like to say is that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and instead of turkey I'll be eating In N' Out. And then I'll be driving. We should arrive home just in time for me to shower and go to work on Tuesday morning. Anyone feel like flying me back instead?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Scarymento (day 2)...

Lots of great stuff today with a little bit of "huh?" to top it all off. I think it's impossible to do a weekend conference like this and not experience something that makes you shake your head.

I don't want to take the time to walk you through it all because it's not really that exciting.

What I will tell you is that I have convinced a certain someone here with us in California to participate in NYWC speed dating tomorrow night. And all I had to offer was a free meal. I hope to have more details later.

So, what are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Scarymento (day 1)...

Well, it's not 27 degrees. It's actually windy and a little chilly. But at least I can see the sun.

We were on the road at 10:30pm last night and we pulled up to the hotel just before 2:30pm.

The only major meal consisted of a chicken burrito at Carl's Jr. Mmmmm!

We just finished adding the the American economy by shopping at the big Thursday night sale, and now we're going to try and find some food before Swarley the intern dies of hunger. He's a weak man.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Matthew Paul Turner's newest book "Churched" released today.

It's on my reading list for the weekend and I hope to have my review up next week.

In the meantime, if you would like to buy a copy, you can always go here.

I should probably pack...

Tomorrow after youth I head off to Sacramento. Can you say "sunshine"?

Would you like regular updates over the weekend or will you survive without me?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I am Canadian...

Have you voted for your "Hockey Night in Canada" theme song yet?

I'm currently waiting on my confirmation email so I can vote.

Yup, now this is politics that I can throw myself into.

For my American friends, all you need to know can be found here and here or here.

Or just watch this. And know that CBC lost the song to CTV. Not good for CBC.

Anyways, I think all of the 5 current song semifinalists are lackluster and will never come close to matching the emotions that one has experienced after being raised on the original. And I think that a couple of them may have been inspired by some B-grade from the 1980's. But, I guess everything has to change sooner or later, right?

So, which anthem are you voting for?

Friday, October 03, 2008


I think it's a myth.

It's something designed by smart people so they can sell books to the rest of us who are gullible to believe that it is actually attainable.

With that said, I am learning how to manage my time, so would I technically be able to say that I am becoming "balanced"? If I am, should I write it down, publish it and try to sell it?

So, it's the infamous "day off" for me, so I'll share some randomness with you.

All things music...
Go listen to Charlie Hall's new CD called "The Bright Sadness". AWESOME! I'm attending the Passion World Tour on Monday in Vancouver and part of me would be more excited to hear Hall instead of Chris Tomlin. But the tickets are free, so who am I to complain?

All things film...
We watched "What Happens in Vegas" and "Son of Rambow". I preferred the latter. I'd recommend it. Tonight we're watching "The Love Guru".

All things written...
I've been a little slow with my reading lately due to my time management. Maybe I can get caught up this weekend. I also just received my two free hardcover copies of Matthew Paul Turner's "Churched" in the mail today. Yeah, two copies! And did I mention they were free? Does this mean I should start a blog contest? Or do I just give one away at youth on Wednesday?

Getting ready for...
We're headed to Sacramento next Thursday for NYWC. It's been two years since we've been and I've missed it. There's four of us making the journey, and some of the greatest people in the world (you guys know who you are!) are watching our kids for us.

Free stuff for you...
Go here and get Phil Wickam's "Singalong" for free.

Did you know...
If you go to Google, type in "find chuck norris" and click "I'm Feeling Lucky", you'll probably chuckle. I did. Even though I know Jack Bauer would destroy Norris.

Speaking of Bauer, did you see this yet?