Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book #7...

The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as a Science Experiment
A.J. Jacobs

This is the same guy who read through the entire Encyclopedia and who also spent a year living Biblically. I haven't read the Biblical one yet, but this guy should crack you up. The sheer number of "experiments" he'll put himself through for an article is mind boggling. Spending a month outsourcing his day-to-day tasks, trying to live rationally (just why do we use that kind of toothpaste?), living by a code of radical honesty, or just doing everything his wife says, it's an entertaining read.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Am Canadian...

Slurpees in the rain in front of the CTV booth. That's my boy!

Becca was recovering from the early stages of hypothermia.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Downtown in the rain...

We've spent the last week and a half wondering out loud if we should head into downtown Vancouver to fight the crowds and experience the Olympic spirit up close and personal. So we finally decided to bite the bullet. We pulled the kids out of school and headed down to catch the Sky Train so we could do some exploring.

Highlights of the day:
  • Erin giving some friendly jibes at the Americans on the Sky Train. All good natured of course.
  • The 30 minute line up in the rain to see the Olympic Cauldron.
  • Kid meltdowns. Aidan at the Olympic cauldron. Becca at the Red Burrito. (But they trooped on through and I think they have some great memories from the early start to their Spring Break.)
  • Meeting up with friends in the rain outside the CTV booth. Then having Aidan go "exploring" while we had a brief heart attack.
  • The guy with the balloon animals. (He could make Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown!)
  • The 20 minute line up to get into the Olympic store.
  • Chatting with complete strangers about hockey.
  • Having close to a dozen comments about my Habs jersey. (Mostly good.)
  • Watching curling in a storefront window with close to 25 other true Canadians.
Sure we probably didn't see even 1/4 of what was downtown, but
I'm glad we can say "we were there."

And while it would have been nice to experience Olympic life on a day that didn't feel like winter, I'm pretty sure the
crowd was cut in half. And even with that it still felt like being in Disneyland at times.

Makes me wish I would have bought some tickets to go to an event. But I would have had to sell a kidney.

(Bonus Points: Can you name the song from which the title of this blog post comes?)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I was reading The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg these last few weeks and this quote has been stuck in my brain:

Anyone with a pulse can point out the ragamuffin qualities of a local assembly, but if you spend too much time focused on the stains, then you'll soon lose focus on our wildly infallible God. He is far more concerned with His church than you or I or a hundred pastors put together will ever be. He has a plan. He makes no mistakes. He will not fail.

I know that I can often lose focus by seeing all the stains. How about you?

What's something good that you're seeing happen in the church these days?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sermon Prepping...

After a morning breakfast meeting (that seems redundant upon typing it...don't all breakfast meetings take place in the morning?) that caught us completely off guard, (in a good way for once...but I'll likely share more on that one later.) I settled in for an afternoon of working on a sermon for this upcoming Sunday where I'll be wrapping up our most recent 4 week series by teaching on Titus 3:9-11.

Ever wonder what I need to make it through such a day? Well here's a view of today's essentials.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Catch a breath...

We seem to have found ourselves in one of those crazy seasons again. It tends to happen every once in a while. So today I'm opting for some quiet. A day where I can rest, maybe catch a nap, and watch some Olympic hockey.

This comes after leading worship this morning. This is completely unrelated, but we opted for a morning with 3 acoustics and 3 vocalists which is definitely a little different than normal. It was one of my favorite worship leading experiences and I hope we were able to show people that an acoustic morning does not have to be slow and mellow.

But now I'm off to my couch...which my wife has conveniently stolen while I was posting this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Adventures in Middle School...

Tuesday night is middle school night for me. It's a relatively new thing that we started in September sue to the fact that most of our grade 7&8 students were not connecting with what we were doing in the past few years.

It is often on Tuesday nights I learn some of the strangest things and just how funny those events can be. For example, one week the funny thing to do was toss shoes out the window into an empty parking lot after asking "Want to see a magic trick?"

Also, farting is always funny with middle school boys. Girls? Not so much.

Couch jumping is almost an Olympic sport.

Tonight I learned that if you take a foil gum wrapper, lick it, and then stick it to your forehead you will experience two things. First, it will start to burn/sting (although this fact will be disputed by some). Second, after removing the wrapper 5 minutes later you will have a red mark the exact size of the wrapper that remains on your forehead.


Book #6...

Playing With Fire
Theoren Fleury & Kristie McLellan Day

Being a smaller guy all my life has meant that I have always been interested in stories where the little guy makes it. So, I grew up with an appreciation of his hockey skills, mostly oblivious to his off ice antics. When Fleury's book came out I figured I'd pick it up and see what it was all about.

I'll admit that this book is a little scattered. While I do think it's better written than a lot of books that professional athletes pen, he jumps around so much that I kept going back in chapters to find out what year he was talking about and trying to get an idea of the timeline.

As for content, it's like reading about a train wreck. It almost makes it hard to believe that he accomplished anything on the ice, and yet somehow he pulled it off.

I hope he's able to keep his new life on the tracks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

4 years...

Four years ago today I walked into Sevenoaks to start work as a pastor to students. Today I hobbled in slowly...but wow, has time flown by!

I'm thankful for the last 4 years and I can honestly say that I love my students as much as when I started and working with them week in and week out is one of the highlights of my week. Even when the mush marshmallows into the carpet!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Soccer Saturday...

We were playing for second place today. A win would put us in sole position behind the league leaders. We go up 1-0 on a nice pass from the side to one of our guys waiting right in front of the net.

A little while later I get a perfect pass on the right side. Their goalies charges out and I get a shot of from the edge of the 18 yard box that makes its way to the bottom left corner. It almost didn't have enough gas, but it got there. 2-0 and it's looking good for us.

But then with 15 minutes left I go to take a shot at a 50/50 ball. Their midfielder had the same idea...and with more pounds behind his shot, he neraly took my right foot of. Flashbacks of breaking my left ankle years ago.

I'm carried to the sidelines where I sit and watch helplessly as the other team got one goal back. And then with 4 minutes left they tied it. The guys held on to keep it tied, but it wasn't really much of a consolation.

I had a couple of guys drive my car home then headed off for x-rays. The doctor said he didn't think anything was broken but he wanted the x-ray doc to take a look at it because there was one thing he was unsure about.

So, we had to cancel an evening out and I've been parked on the couch.

Days like this I think I might be getting too old for this.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book #5...

Thriller 2

No, not a Michael Jackson tribute. This is just a collection of short stories. I read the last collection a few summers ago and found a couple of new authors that I have read since then (and also stopped reading since then).

I was not nearly as lucky this go round. I might check out the library for one of the authors...if I remember.

I don't know why I keep coming back to reading thrillers. I guess I keep hoping I'll find that one story that will captivate me from beginning to end, that will keep me guessing what will happen next, that will catch me off guard, and will leave me wanting to read it again. But it doesn't seem to happen.

Is that too much to hope for?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book #4...

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands
Nancy Ortberg

It is important to point out the subtitle to this book is "Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership". Is it ever. The book is all over the map with random leadership advice, so it will be a good read for any ADD leaders.

Look, something shiny.

I will admit that I pulled a few worthy quotes from the book, but all in all it wasn't the most inspiring leadership book I've read.

I'll give it 3 out of 5 rubber bands.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


After watching the Grammy's the other night I realized that I haven't introduced any new music into my playlist lately, aside from one song that I found out about after watching a recent episode of Chuck.

Can you make a recommendation or two? I'm looking for something new. (And sorry Jon, but Joel Plaskett just doesn't do it for me.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Coastal regrets...

When I left home at 18 to head off to college in Regina I don't think I would have ever imagined living on the coast. In fact, it wasn't until I was in college that I got a look at a city bigger than Winnipeg. (Some say I was deprived, but I didn't lose any sleep over it.)

For a prairie boy like myself winters consisted of digging snow forts, shoveling snow, playing ice hockey, and making hour long drives into the big city to play indoor soccer.

Now I long for a snow day that lasts longer than 6 hours, play outdoor soccer year round and bemoan the fact that my kids do not get to experience pond hockey on a weekly basis.

What brings on this sudden nostalgia?

I got invited out to some midnight hockey a week and a bit ago and it just drove all this home. I hadn't played hockey on ice in over 5 years. The Devon ice rink was the last time I laced up the skates and threw on the equipment and I remember dropping the gloves at center ice with Chad as we attempted to show off our fighting prowess. One of many such "fights" that still elicits laughter from my wife and anyone else who may have witnessed our shenanigans.

Being on the ice recently again hurt my aging body so much (I'm old and out of shape.), but it brings back a lot of great memories of prairie life. And it reminds me that I should put the kids in skating lessons or something.

And lest I come across as an anti-west coaster, let me also say that I love it out here...especially when it's not raining! Check this out:

Monday, February 01, 2010


I ditched my Setanta subscription this year, so it's been a particularly painful football season where I have seen very few Manchester United games. But at long last we finally had a Sunday game that I was able to tape and then sit down to watch on Sunday afternoon.

I had some inner questions as to which United side would show up for this one, but I was pleasantly surprised and amused to see a team that if it stays in form, will no doubt give everyone an entertaining second half of the season. Ronaldo who?

Nani's goal was an impressive piece of skill to put them up 1-0, but the 2nd goal scored by Rooney was unbelievable! Just skip ahead to the 1:23 mark of the below video. A 70 yard sprint that ends with him pounding the ball into the back of the net. Who does that?!?!

Thank you Arsenal for another great memory of beating you.

Oh, and bring on the World Cup.

Book #3...

Youthwork: Let God Use Your Influence
Don Pearson & Paul Santhouse

This is a collection of 99 practical ideas (not games and activities) that most youth workers already know, and if they don't they probably should (Idea #39 - "Manage your time, don't let it manage you" or Idea #55 - "Put safety first"). Decent idea for a book and it should be thrown at beginning youth workers to get them thinking about what might be coming in the years ahead.

They did find a way to mention their annual sailing trips in at least half of their practical ideas. I don't know many youth ministries where annual multi-boat sailing trips with attendance in the hundreds is practical, but I guess the principles can still apply.

At the end of the day I'll say it's not a bad idea for a book, but it would have been better served to have a multitude of authors speak on the subject in one book.