Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feeling loved...

I try to remind my students each week that they are loved.  It seems to be sinking in because they are returning the message.  This note was floating around yesterday in the mailboxes of the rest of the pastoral staff...


 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Student Ministry Christmas...

At Christmas we hit the brakes with our student ministry. We give everyone three solid weeks off. No midweek Bible studies, no big events, no New Year's lock-in, no small groups. Nothing.

Personally, I have never been a fan of cramming more events into the Christmas season for our students and their families. It is already busy enough. Christmas concerts, work parties, traveling, family shindigs, exams, longer work schedules, shopping trips...do I need to go on?

I also believe that the break is healthy for us, and here are the main reasons:
It allows our leaders to rest.
Our leadership team works their collective butts off week in and week out. They show up early, they stay late. They lead small groups. They go for coffee. And this is all in the midst of their own lives of classes, homework, jobs and relationships. One way I can say I'm thankful for them is to give them some time off.
It builds excitement for the new year.
Isn't there a saying that "absence makes the heart grow fonder?"
It's a lot like summer vacation when you were in school. You were always happy to have a break, but usually at some point you actually looked forward to getting back to school so you could be around all your friends again. Our break gives us all that more excitement when the New Year finally lands. Instead of being in a rut from routine, we are looking forward to being together again.

It gives me more time.
Believe it or not, I gain from this too. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. I get a few more office hours to get ahead on planning for the upcoming year. I have space to grab coffee and lunch with people. And I get a few extra nights at home with my family. It's not like I'm overworked with my hours. My church has been great about that. But it's still a nice change of pace to be able to be home for a Monday or Wednesday evening.

I always imagined that a decision like this would be met with concerns from parents and students.  But I have never received much in the way of push back the decision we have made, which leads me to believe that this might be healthy for everyone.

(I imagine I'll get an email about it this year now that I've written this...)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Cello...

Just watch.  And stick around for the part where Darth Vader plays the accordion.  Seriously.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Questions About Resignation...

Here are a few of the FAQ's that have been asked since my resignation was made public:

How long have you known?
This is not a decision made overnight and it's been in the works for some time.  But I can say that we committed to it on October 29th. My lead and exec pastors were informed after a staff meeting on November 1st. The rest of the pastoral team found out 2 days later. And then it was all a matter of timing about when the news went public on a bigger scale.


Why February 15th?
There's a few reasons for this. First, it will mark 6 years for me here at Sevenoaks.Second, who wants to be saying a bunch of goodbyes during the Christmas season? Nobody. It will give us lots of time once the Christmas season is over to say goodbye and to make sure we have everything in place for our students & leaders before we leave.

Will you reconsider or change your mind?
I'm amazed how many people wonder if we will change our mind. I'll take it as a compliment. But no, we're not looking at changing our mind on this one. Six figures might get us to consider it though. Just kidding! (Or am I?)

(I hope it's not too soon to joke a little about this...)

What will you do next?
I'm not 100% sure, which is a little frightening. I have a packet full of MDiv details to wade through this week.  Maybe that. Or maybe start looking for a new ministry position. I did hear of an opening in Hawaii...

Will you still be a youth pastor?
I don't know. This is one of the questions I have about my own ministry fit.  I've been working full time with students for almost 11 years. I have not just enjoyed it, I have loved it. I could probably do it again. But I'm not convinced that God isn't going to lead me to do something else. Why?  Youth ministry is safe for me. I know how to "do the job" and I have been led to believe that I can do a good job at it. But I also feel God may want me to take on something else so that He can continue to shape me and so that I can increase my ability to trust Him and rely on Him. This is something where I feel I need to at least ask some of the big questions before I jump straight into a new youth ministry position. That said, if God says to keep working with students, I will.

Are you moving?
Most likely.  We're just not sure when. Our house is up for sale, but believe it or not that is currently unrelated to our resignation. For now, even if the house sells, our plan is to remain in Abbotsford for the remainder of the school year as Erin and the kids need to finish out the school year. Where we end up after that is a complete unknown.

Will you still attend church here?
As of Feb 15 we will be taking some time off. I feel it is important, as much for me as for everyone else, to create some space. We don't expect to be strangers though. Our hope is to be able to visit in the future!  And the loving and affirming responses we are receiving from everyone lead us to believe this won't e a problem.


Will the church hire a replacement?
That will be a decision that is up to the board of elders. I would guess that they would probably try to hire someone at some point. But your guess is as good as mine as to when or how that will happen. 




If you have another question, fire away and I will try to answer it if I can.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Resignation...

I'll try not to be cliche with this.

It's been a crazy couple weeks...

I don't know how to put into words...

There are so many emotions...

(I think cliches may actually fit.)

I'll get to the point.  I have officially resigned as Pastor of Student Ministries at Sevenoaks.

The last few years have been particularly difficult and I find myself weary and worn out.  I also find myself having questions about my own ministry fit here.  I could probably write separate posts about each of those facts (and maybe I should), but let it suffice to say that it has become clear that this is a chapter of life and ministry that needs to come to a close.

We will be on staff until February 15 which will give us plenty of time to enjoy Christmas without having to say too many goodbyes.  It will also give us plenty of time in the New Year to get things in order for the student ministry  to transition as smoothly as possible after our departure.

This shouldn't be too difficult since our volunteer youth leaders are solid gold.  They are very good at what they do and I think they have everything they need in order to continue on long after I step away.

What's next?  At this stage we are still trying to figure that out.  I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head.  I'm asking some questions.  I'm looking for answers.  And I'm just trying to listen carefully.  I'll probably be a bit more proactive about this in the weeks to come as the news starts to settle down a bit.

I don't feel as though God has not released me from my calling to full time ministry.  I don't feel like He is asking me to start cutting lawns (at least not yet).  But I do feel like He might have something different for me.  I won't lie.  I'm a little nervous.  But I'm confident that this is the step that needs to be made.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Reviewing The Voice...

I've had a copy of The Voice sitting on my shelf for long enough that I had almost forgotten about it.  As a Pastor to students I am often on the lookout for Bible translations that will help engage students in the Word of God.  I'm not keen on the gimmicky nature of many of these "translations" that in reality do nothing more than just try to make the Bible look like it belongs on the shelf of the local 7-11.

The Voice at first glance doesn't seem quite as gimmicky.  They pride themselves on bringing together voices of scholars, artists, pastors and writers to provide a fresh translation. They attempt to set up the New Testament to read a little more like a drama script while adding boxes of subtext to further explain the content in a particular passage of Scripture.

 For the most part it reads as a hipper, less gimmicky translation for artists.  I didn't find much by way of content (it seems a little strange writing that about the Bible, but I'm actually talking about the extra-Biblical content here) that had me struggling with what they were doing.  I'm sure that some people would read it and love it and engage with it.  But I have yet to find myself in a position where I was suggesting that one of my students pick a copy up.



*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive or negative review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and may not be all that good.  Take it for what it's worth...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

One hour & counting...

Wednesday usually ends up being my longest day of the week. Erin takes Becca to soccer during the supper hour and Aidan then heads off to his practice, so I just camp out at the office all day.

I eat at my desk and finish any prep work that needs to be done. (Which reminds me that I need to run to the photocopier.)

I've got just under an hour until the crew starts to show up.

Leaders will be pounding down the door.

Students will wonder in, bypassing the sign-in sheet and heading straight for the box of leftover candy.

Stories will be shared.
There will be laughs.
And high fives.
And hugs. (But not from me because I'm not much of a hugger.)
We'll play a couple of silly games that can't compete with anything in the entertainment world.
We'll give away a few prizes that won't compete with anything most of these kids will get for Christmas.
We'll tell them about our special events.
We'll take a few phones away.
We'll pray for some of our crew that are away on missions trips.
We'll read some Bible.
We'll talk & write notes.
I'll tell them they are loved.
We'll all go home.

That's a typical Wednesday. No bells and whistles. Just some simple things that allow us to be present with one another.

I'm not sure why they come sometimes. We don't have thee coolest youth group. We don't have the coolest building. We aren't oozing forth with students from all over the city. We don't have some sweet band that rocks it out every week. We don't throw live animals from the balcony. And I'm not thr most captivating teacher in the world.

We have a Wii in the corner that hasn't been turned on in months.

We have a rickety old sound system with speakers that make iPod tunes sound like it's played in a tin can.

We do have some beat up furniture to sit on.

And we have some leaders that love to be around the students.

I'm 36 minutes away from it all and praying like crazy that something tonight will sink down into the hearts and souls of our students.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Comment of the month...

One of the great joys of working with middle school students is the things they will say.

A few weeks ago we were studying Luke 7:36-50 and there is mention of "a certain immoral woman".

"We all know what that means, right?"

But I was met with blank stares. (Uh oh...I should stop making assumptions about the base of knowledge that a 12-13 year will have. You'd think I'd know this after 11 years.)

"You know what a woman of the night is, right?"

One grade 7 boy shoots his hand up before answering, "Nocturnal?"

Dust it off...

Time to dust off the old blog.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Flip side of the coin...

I arrived in the office this morning to find a phone message awaiting me.

I dial in my intricate 4 digit password and discover one of our elders has left a message.

"Uh oh. What did I do?", is the first thing to run through my mind. (I should probably be less paranoid.)

It's about my sermon from Sunday. He was just calling to say that it was good. In fact, he stayed for both services. And then he shared how someone else he talked with had made the decision to "stay in the boat".

I don't do this to pat myself on the back. But I do it to remind myself that after the rough comment I heard a month or so ago, it's not always like that.

But I can't get too cocky because I have to do it again this upcoming Sunday. But I don't think I can recycle last week's sermon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

At what point...

I'll usually be the first in line to tell you when something has run its course and it's time for it to be laid to rest. I think it's similar to Andy Stanley's (at least I think I heard it from him) concept that every once in a while you need to throw out the couch that has been lying around.

Nobody uses it.

It's out of date.

It smells funny.

It's a mess.

Does that apply to a blog?

At what point is it time to close the book?

At what point is it time for something new?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Google or Facebook...

I jumped on the Google Wave bandwagon pretty early.

That wagon crashed.

But that didn't change my desire to try out the new Google+. I'm skeptical that they will overtake Facebook any time in the near future, but I'm really liking some of what I'm seeing so far.

Basically it's fairly similar to Facebook but it appears to come with more control over which posts/photos/videos are seen or not seen. It almost seems like a more organized version of Facebook.

The trick will be whether enough people will catch on to actually make it worth using regularly.

In the meantime, I'm just going to jump back and forth between the two.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Meltdown...

My brain isn't sure what is going on.

It's summer. The sky is blue. The sun is shinning. And I'm stuck in the office?

Normally I take my vacation during the summer months. But since we went off gallivanting in Maui back in May, it means that most of the summer will find me with regular office hours.

Right now I'm trying to do some prep work on my sermons that I'll be preaching at the end of the month.

Oh...and I'm anticipating a playoff game for my soccer team tonight. We're currently in 3rd and we play the 2nd place team. Have I mentioned that I haven't played in weeks? And that my bathroom scale called me fat?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Kawkawa Escape...

I love Camp Kawkawa.

I've spent some time in silent retreat in one of their lake front cottages.

I've spoken for their high school camp twice.

I've take my own students out for an all-nighter and a weekend retreat.

And this is all in spite of the fact that I never even grew up at the camp. I have no childhood memories attached to it. (Although my own kids now kind of do.)

I just wish that sometimes I had a little opportunity to be involved in what they are doing. Not only is the camp slowly getting a much needed facelift, but Wayne Stewart's leadership development strategy for his workers and volunteers is well thought through. I think it's a step that will be great not only for the camp, but also for any church who sends people out to volunteer.

Last month I got to talking with Wayne about our student ministry taking over the camp for a Saturday in August. Since Saturday is typically their turnaround day while they wait for the next group of campers to arrive, he obliged.

And as we started planning the Kawkawa Escape, we started to see that there might be some potential for a church wide event. So the rest of the staff got brought into the loop. They loved the idea. So now we're running this as an event for the whole church.

If you're around that day, why don't you drive out and join us for part of it? It'll be fun. I guarantee it.

Kawkawa Escape
Saturday, August 6
10:00am to 10:00pm
Cost: $8/person (includes hod dog supper with pop & chips)
Swim, kayak, hike, play, canoe, rest, relax.
End it all with a campfire.

I just hope it's nice out.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Make more music...

These guys should make more music. No?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

School's Out...

We wrapped up our student ministry school year with a movie bash last night. Now, I should mention I'm not the biggest fan of movie events. (That's a post for another day.) But seeing as though most of our crew spent the last week and a bit writing exams, it figured like a good way to end things off.

It was great to hear the laughter (thanks to Megamind and part of Rocketman). It was great to see so many bodies crammed into our stuffy little youth room. And it was great that we didn't end up with a popcorn apocalypse on the floor at the end of the night.

But seriously...who ate all my cream puffs?!?!

We are now officially into our summer schedule. We intentionally take our foot of the gas for the summer so that everyone can catch their breath. I've decided that I'm not a big fan of fighting against the summer schedule, so we scale it down. We have even removed our annual "big camping trip".

We expect to see a fewer number of students. We expect that leaders will be away on vacation. We expect that there will be jobs and camping trips for everyone. So we plan things that work better for smaller groups.

Next Saturday we're hiking Teapot Hill.

Monday mornings in July we'll have breakfast and some Bible study.

In August we'll got to Camp Kawkawa for the day with a a pile of others from our church.

At the end of August we'll take a day trip out to White Rock.

Inexpensive, yet highly relational. Should be fun. Even if the sun doesn't show up!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Preaching in the Crosshairs...

I am a preacher.

At least I try to be.

That puts me in the crosshairs of anyone who may think differently than myself. It comes with the job. And, if I'm being honest, sometimes it sucks.

I hate the awkward emails that will consume an entire morning (or days) of my thoughts. I hate the insecurities that rise up within me. I hate drafting and redrafting my "formal" response. And I hate the anticipation of that next random encounter with the individual who fired off the email.

"Hate" is such a strong word....but I use it deliberately.

I've been criticized for many things over my ministry career. Wearing the wrong clothes. Praying incorrectly. Speaking too long. Missing a passage of scripture. Not having enough depth. Not being encouraging enough. Playing guitar poorly. Picking bad songs. Wearing sandals. The list goes on.

So in an attempt to enlighten you, here are a few things I'd like you to know about me before you hear me speak next:

You will not like everything I say.
I don't do this so that I can be liked. Yes, I'd love to be known as a great preacher. But hopefully that is due to my ability to communicate the truth clearly, not because everything I said made you feel good.

I will miss things.
I only have an allotted time to speak within. (One which I already regularly go over.) Please know that this is not my attempt to bring you a step further to enlightenment. You should leave with more questions and a desire to dig a little deeper on your own.

You will be able to live this out.
This needs to engage your life...not just your brain. I'd rather you and I were both able to live this stuff out than just tuck it away and pat ourselves on the back for just knowing more information.

I am intentional in how I prepare & present.
I study. I read. I pray. I angst. I doubt. I ask questions. I write. And rewrite. And then I repeat. This does not happen in 30 minutes on Saturday night. You should also know that I prepare in such a way that my students can understand what I'm saying. My favorite compliment (if there is such a thing) is when I find out my middle schoolers got it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Welcome Back Jets...

You know that I've been watching the news like a hawk looking for any hint of what the new NHL team in Winnipeg would be called. My dad and I had a conversation last week on the way to a Whitecaps game about our own feelings.

He was in the camp that felt a new start with a new name and a provincial wide inclusion would be the best bet. But I think years of watching the Manitoba Moose play actually brain washed him.

I was in the camp that has absolutely no ties to the Moose or the idea of the team being referred to as Manitoba. For me, I've been hoping for a return of the Jets.

So, when the owner Mark Chipman took to the platform and introduced Cheveldayoff with “to make our first pick on behalf of… the Winnipeg Jets", I had let out a little cheer and the smile crept in as I waited to see if they would unveil a new jersey, or at the very least bring out a retro one.

No such luck. But at least I know who I'll be cheering on when my Habs aren't playing.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bring on the sun...

Perpetual clouds have covered the land and sucked any hope out of pretty much all of us in the Lower Mainland. This has, without a doubt, been the worst year for weather since we traded the Edmonton blue skies for this nonsense in late 2005.

Don't get me wrong. I love that the summers usually end up beautiful. I love the mountains. I love that I can play outdoor soccer year round.

But the clouds can just die for all I care.

I'm sure that would wreck something though.

So thankful for the arrival of sunshine and warmth yesterday. It is actually starting to feel like summer.
Although my mind is telling me I should be on a beach...

Here's what I'm looking forward to this summer:
  • Manchester United in Seattle in July. I get giddy just thinking of it.
  • Date night with my beautiful wife to see Owl City and Mat Kearney.
  • Friends & family visiting. I'm not even sure when they are all coming, but the pool and the BBQ will be ready at all times.
  • Going to Toronto for my friend (and former intern) Ryan's wedding in August.
  • Slowing down...fewer nights out. More time at home.
Why do I have the feeling this will all be over way too quickly?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tune-age Tuesday...

What are you listening to these days?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ban them. Ban them all...

My son stared speechless at the screen as chaos unfolded.

"What are they doing Dad?"

"What's that Dad?"

"What does that policeman use that stick for?"

"Why is this happening?"

And then he went to play in the park with some of our high school students who had no interest in watching the resulting carnage.

Can I say I'm shocked by what happened? Not really. I mean, you hope for the best, but 1994 kind of set the precedent. Add in too much alcohol to our Facebook/YouTube culture that fuels stupidity, and I find it highly unlikely that anyone really can sit back and honestly say "There is no way we saw that coming."

So here's a little thought for the NHL.

Why not take a page out of European football who has dealt with this problem for years? They are by no means perfect, but they have gotten way more aggressive to combat hooliganism. And ultimately that's what we're talking about here, right? Hooligans.

So...
  • What if each riot resulted in a certain number of home games being played behind closed doors next season?
  • What if they had to play their next playoff series entirely on the road?
  • What if each person found guilty of rioting got a lifetime ban from the arena/stadium?
Now...discuss.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Cello is cool...

Two cellos and Welcome to the Jungle? It works...

Friday, June 03, 2011

Video Friday...

You need a little break from the routine right?

Enjoy! (Thanks YouTube Trends)



And this one is for the Schutte's and for anyone who works with middle school students.
(Thanks Ryan!)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Eventful Coffee Break...

I missed them in 2004, when I would have had to make the drive from Devon, AB.

Being so much closer to Seattle this time, I was determined not to repeat the situation.

I've been scouring the interwebs trying to find tickets. June 1 was the day they officially went on sale to the general public, but there are always ways around that. Buy a package of 3 games. Be an official member of Manchester United's Supporters Club. Buy from a season ticket holder. So I started clicking, sending emails and making phone calls.

The 3 game option was a little too pricey. Sure, you get 3 games at a good price, but when you add in the travel it just didn't seem wise.

I joined the official supporters club and then called the Sounders Office. I was somewhat disappointed to find out that the tickets they give you are in the nosebleeds and closer to the endzone in Qwest Field.

Craigslist would get me some sweet seats, but I might have to sell 3 kidneys...and I think I only came with 2. And finding anyone with
4 tickets (yes, the kids are coming to this too) is impossible.

So I took the gamble. I waited like the rest of the general public.

My coffee break this morning consisted of running two computers and 4 Firefox tabs trying to find (and ensure I held on to) decent seats.

The fir
st selection was somewhere near the endzone. Fail. The second, third and fourth attempts netted similar results. I'm resigning myself to the fact that it might be endzone seats.

But then it happened. That magical refresh button brought a smile to my face. 4 seats in the middle of the field. (Maybe a little higher up than I would have liked, but then again I'd prefer to sit directly behind the bench. At this point I can't boo too choosey, right?)

I scrambled to fill in the required information. I tried password after password. Rejected. What?!?! Why is it you can never remember login passwords when you need them?!?! Work brain...work!

Then it finally came and the purchase was CONFIRMED!!!

I am now the owner of 4 tickets to see Manchester United, current Premier League & Carling Cup Champions, play in Seattle on Wednesday, July 20th.

Can you say excited?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Go Jets...

Thank you Atlanta for being unable to support an NHL team.

Being a Manitoba boy, I grew up attending Winnipeg Jets games with my dad. I remember going early for the pregame warmups and chasing down pucks that flew into the stands. (This is back in the day when you could get hit in the head with a puck and feel like you were the luckiest person in the stands.)

I remember watching the Jets take on Gretzky after he had been traded to the LA Kings. (I'm sure the rest of the Kings were there too, but who really cares.) I remember some of the awe I felt when I saw him skating around with that jersey tucked into his right side.

I remember when I had officially become a fan of Patrick Roy & the Montreal Canadiens, my dad would take me to the matchup at the Winnipeg Arena. I remember the letdown each year that I saw Patrick sitting on the bench instead of starting the game between the pipes. I still have the ticket stubs.

I remember heading down into the darkest corners of the arena hoping to catch an autograph or two from the visiting Habs only to find disappointingly that very few of them would interact with the fans. But I also distinctly remember my dad pointing out one player, decked out in his suit, lurking in the shadows away from the crowd. The one and only...Andre "Red Light" Racicot. (Two mention in one week. That must be a record!)

I remember parking blocks away from Winnipeg Arena on some side street so we could avoid the parking chaos. I remember making that hike countless times.

I remember loading up the hockey cards and heading to the arena with my dad for the Jets Wives Carnival. We'd wonder around getting autographs from any of the players we could. Teemu Selanne. Thomas Steen. Randy Carlyle. Bob Essensa.

I remember when they left. Although my Habs shirts and jerseys were worn with pride, I still felt bad. It didn't seem right that Winnipeg would be without the Jets.

I'll admit that every rumor of a return to Winnipeg has sucked me in. I've watched. I've waited. I've hoped this day would come. I yelled semi-inappropriate things at Gary Bettman on TV when they announced that Phoenix was going to keep the Coyotes around for another year. (Because we all know that it's all Bettman's fault!)

But at long last it has ended.

The Jets are returning.

And they better be called the Jets.

(But my Habs still come first.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Middle School Mondays...

One of the things that I enjoy about what I do is that I can never be sure of what is going to happen next on one of our youth nights. Rarely a week goes by without some sort of event or conversation that I would never have expected heading into the evening.

Tonight's moments consisted of:
  • Our middle school guys discovered a spinal backboard in a stairwell, so they promptly Velcroed one of the guys to the board
  • Impromptu game of Pylon Soccer in the field (with a pool noodle for added excitement)
  • A discussion with some of our 8th grade guys about dating and what 1st, 2nd, 3rd and home base mean today. (Is it just me or did 8th grade get way too knowledgeable way too quickly?)
There is something to be said about how you can do all the prep in the world for a particular event or lesson only to find out later that you weren't prepped at all.

There's no such thing as normal student ministry.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ordained...

Got to saw my friend and coworker get ordained today. (For some reason the wording of that just doesn't seem right. Did I just watch? Or was I part of it? Either way, I was there today for this momentous occasion.)

The best comment of the day happened at a celebration BBQ where one of my youth leaders casually asked "Does this mean that he is your superior or something now?" (Natalie...I still don't know if you were serious or not.)

This led to some group joking about how Youth Pastors couldn't possibly be ordained.

I responded with the fact that I've been ordained since 2003 so that actually makes him my minion.

Funny stuff!

Guess I have to get Jamie his coffee from now on.

Maui Day #2-5...

What do you do with endless hours of free time and sunshine? Jump in the Jeep, throw the top down and explore.

Pull over when the sign says "Scenic Overlook" and take some family pics. (It's time like these that I wish I had better photography skills.)

Whenever you need a break from that you head to the beach whenever you can convince the kids to get out of the pool.

Seriously, I still can't understand why my kids can have an entire ocean and endless beaches at their disposal, but they would rather jump in a swimming pool that is barely within eyesight of the ocean. They could chase crabs on the beach, follow fish through the coral, but we had to twist their arms to get them out of the chlorine. How does that work?!?!

Here's the view we had from our room. A nice deck with patio windows that would completely open up so you could have an unhindered view of the ocean. It was also a great place for having our dinner each night and for playing the occasional game of Ticket to Ride.


Found a little craft fair in Kihei on the side of the road where we could wander around and act like tourists and the kids could spend a few dollars on miscellaneous items, a few of which are already broken.




LinkHighlight: Kids trying to eat a bowl of shaved ice that was almost as big as their head.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Surgery Update...

My wife's been having abominable pain for the last couple of years. Sometimes the pain will come and go quickly. At other times it will leave her in agony as she lies on the couch and tries to grit her teeth and hope that it passes.

After some bad medical diagnosis she was able to find a doctor that knew what he was doing. This resulted in tests, and more tests, and the some exploratory surgery where they were finally able to diagnosis the problem. The doctors words about what he found was, "You're a mess."

The wait for surgery then began. She was a trooper through the school year as she plugged away at her studies and her practicum. Long after any normal person would have called it quits, she was still bringing her A game and doing it all while keeping family life organized around here.

We w
ere able to get 2 weeks of family vacation (pics to come shortly, I promise) in Maui where she was relatively pain free. And then we arrived back home so she could officially head under the knife Monday afternoon.

The surgery was successful. She had her left ovary removed, which was starting to grow down into her abdomen and was overall just creating a mess. The doctor figures he got everything cleaned up and now we just await the pathology reports. (Praying that there's nothing abnormal in there.)

The recovery process has been way more difficult than probably anyone would have expected. It took them over four hours to get her out of the recovery room when they usually only want patients in there for one.

I believe we lost count of the combinations of drugs they have tried to use to help get her pain under control. But it has to be in the double digits.

Did I mention the hospital food? (The garlic bread was orange!!!)

Or then there was the student nurse that took out her IV. I probably could have done a better job. And I am terrible with all things medical.

And then there was the nurse who wouldn't call the surgeon to change a prescription before we left and told us to take her to the walk-in clinic if it got worse. Walk-in? You do realize they just sliced open her abdomen right?

So Erin called the surgeon herself. Problem solved.

Until we got to the pharmacy and they mixed up the prescription.

Needless to say, it's been a long week. But at long last she is at home where she belongs. She's still hurting, but the prognosis looks good. She's been told that when she is better that she will be completely pain free. I think that is hard for us to believe right now.

Prayers are appreciated.

Believe...

So stoked for the game today.

Also a little nervous. (Hey, it is Barca after all.)

I'm hoping it's good football and not a repeat of 2009.


I'm pulling for a goal by Chicharito and some stellar setups by never-aging Ryan Giggs.


I'll also accept a Van de Sar clean sheet for his last United game.

Oh...and if it's not too much, another long range boomer from Scholes would be nice.

Believe.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stanley Cup...

Part of me would like to say I don't care. But it just wouldn't be true. I'm still Canadian. I still have hockey in my blood. Sure, I'm still bitter about my Habs getting put out by the Bruins. But I'll bounce back by fall of this year and it will start all over again.

I remember parts of my Habs winning the cup in 1993. I remember the overtimes. I remember St. Patrick winning the Conn Smythe. (Can you hear the Superman theme?) I remember "Red Light" Racicot (who I had grabbed a couple of autographs from after a Jets/Habs game once). I remember the McSorley stick incident.

Carbonneau. Damphousse. Muller. Keane. Savard. JJ. Bellows. LeClair.

And now here I am in 2011. My own son absorbed in hockey, yet rejecting my favorite team, instead choosing to follow the crowd and cheer for the "hometown" Canucks. While I shouldn't be surprised I will admit that I do have some disappointment that we couldn't share the Canadiens. (Although I have always told my kids that they can pick their own favorite team., except when it comes to football. It's Manchester United only in this house.)

We've traded more smack talk this year than ever before. We even came close to attending a game together, but sadly those last ditch attempts just weren't affordable. But I finally came to embrace (at least from a distance) his Canuckism and rewarded him with his very first non-Canadiens jersey before their school's annual Hockey Day.

Now we ready ourselves for the Stanley Cup finals, Boston vs Vancouver, and I'm unsure who I am supposed to cheer for.

I can't stand the Bruins. They put my team out. Chara is still forever going to be labeled a goon from that Pacioretty hit. And it's the Bruins for crying out loud! Despite being Original 6, I just can't do it.

I can't stand the Canucks. Correction. I can't stand most of the hoopla from the bandwagon jumping fans out here on the coast. Honestly, they are so fickle and uninformed it makes me want their team to lose.

But then I remember what it was like to watch my team hoist the cup. I want my son to have that. I want him to experience the joy of jumping up and down yelling until he is hoarse. I want him to wear his jersey for days on end. I want him to have memories of this that he can share one day with his kids.

I want to be able to take him out on South Fraser to celebrate with the rest of the province. I want to be able to sneak him out of school to watch a parade through the streets. I want him to have what I had (minus the parade & South Fraser).

And for that reason I have made my choice:

I'll cheer for my son.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's The End of the World As We Know It...

I hear that the world is supposed to end today.

In that case, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

But so far I feel fine.

Almost Ending...

The vacation end is nearer than ever.

But I don't wanna go home...

(Yes, I am whining.)


Oh...and in keeping with Knott tradition we found a little restaurant tonight that we wish we would have found much earlier in our vacation.

Oh...and it's Mexican.

Oh...and I had a burrito there that blew my mind.

Oh...and I'm trying to mastermind a plan for getting us to eat there tomorrow despite the fact that there is leftover spaghetti in the fridge.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Staying...

Today we spent 5 hours on the beach building sandcastles, hunting crabs, snorkeling, swimming and reading.

I also rescued a fly away umbrella for some family who decided to abandon their stuff during the lunch hour. I think I should be on the news.

I'm getting used to this life outside the office.

I joked with our pastoral staff before I left that they might want to start looking for a new youth pastor because I was seriously considering not coming back from vacation.

I'm not joking anymore.

I'm staying.

Seriously.

And you cannot change my mind.

But you can support me. Email me and I'll let you know how to contribute to my new life.


I've got to go swim in the pool now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good shopping...

I shop like a man. I know what I want. I get in. I get out. If I need to try something on I take the minimal amount of time possible. I hate shopping. Unless it's a guitar shop. But let's be honest, that's not really shopping as much as it is bringing Heaven to earth.

But one sign will always catch my eye: Going Out of Business!

So on one of our island excursions we saw that enticing sign on the window of a local Borders book shop. The signs are hollering "Everything Must Go" and "All Books $2.99 or Less". I'll admit that at this stage there is always some sort of reluctance. Will I be able to find anything? Or will this be a waste?

But the curiosity almost always wins out.

I step foot into the store and it does not look promising. There appear to be more shelving units for sale than actual books. And the shelves are getting sparser by the minute as others like myself try to find themselves a sweet deal.

It starts slow. I find a book about Bacardi Rum. Hey, it's only $2.99. It can't be that bad.

Most of the shelves contain self-help books that were likely popular 7-8 years ago. So, I head over to the music section.

In amongst the Hawaiian artists I find Swell Season, The Rescues and O.A.R.

The religion section is next. A couple more finds and I'm starting to feel like I've conquered.

Combine that with Erin's find and the last minute impulse buy of season one of The Middle, and we walked away with 4 books, 3 CDs and a season of TV for $33.

I win.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Neat....

No reason for this. Just thought it was kind of neat.

And wondering why we don't call more things "neat", because that would be neat. No?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Beaching...

I've spent the last few months counting down to this vacation and awaiting the arrival of sunshine, so I'll be honest and say that I was a little disappointed to find on our first day here that a current weather system has blocked out most of the blue sky.

But if there's one place I'll accept some cloud cover, it's here. We still managed to turn bright red despite our best efforts to use the sunscreen. It would appear that our skin does not know how to respond to sunshine after months and months of living in some sort of post-Apocalyptic vampire world.

I digress...

Yesterday we broke out the snorkeling gear.

We took a stroll through Lahaina.

Climbed the Banyan tree.

We also enjoyed a steak dinner on our deck.

Now we're waiting for one sleepy head to awake before today's adventure begins.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Parkour...

It's also called FreeRunning. But is it just me or doesn't it just look like a cooler version gymnastics?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mom's Day...

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's!

i love my mum from Si on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mustache...

It's a little lengthy but I assure you it's worth it for your weekend viewing pleasure.

Is it summer yet...

Seriously, this whole rain thing is getting ridiculous. I know it's supposed to be wet out here, but I can't remember the last time we had 2 days in a row with blue skies and sunshine. I can hardly remember a day that it didn't rain. And this is the forecast that is looming:







It's the beginning of MAY!!

That's it. It's time for a vacation.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Grace...

Every once in a while my capacity to extend grace wears out. (Ah...who am I kidding...it happens quite often. I'd like to think I'm more loving than I probably am. I should probably work on that...)

But for some individuals I find that I dig a little deeper. I stick it out. I put up with more. I give 2nd chances and 3rd tries. I hope a little more.

Sometimes I wonder what drives that.

But what happens when stupidity reaches an all time high? What happens when the grace tank is dry? What happens when "what next" has turned into "I give up"?


I hope others don't give up on me as easily as I may give up on them.


(Rant complete.)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Old Guys, Young Punks & Football...

Last Thursday night I headed out to the football pitch (aka the school yard soccer field covered in dirt & sand) to play my first game of our new Spring season. I arrived to find a squad of U21 guys that was nearly 20 members deep ready to play against our 11 member "aged" squad who was mostly interested in the Canucks game.

We've pretty much resigned ourselves to a night of being run into the ground but our team is in good spirits and just wanting to play some football.

10 minutes in I send a ball between their defenders where our winger (who has spent the last 2 season nursing a host of injuries) runs onto it like Ryan Giggs, sidesteps the remaining defender and slots it home. Advantage: old guys.

Their tackles get harder. They start mouthing off a little more. It's obvious that they weren't used to being on the receiving end.

They start lighting up shots. Our keeper, despite his Liverpool tattoo (which has me always questioning his ability to play the game!) , is able to make some of the most amazing saves I've seen in a rec game.

The half ends with us up 1-0 and knowing that the second half would be much harder than the first. With another 45 minutes looming I would imagine that most of us would have been happy to escape with a draw.

The second half gets underway their testosterone-driven aggressive play is taken to a new level. More tackles. More mouthing off. Cards are being handed out. Our guys hold on and tackle back, letting them know that we're not going to be pushed around by some young punks.

They score to tie it up. Advantage (unfortunately): young punks. Discouraged, but not without some faith in our own skills, we keep on plugging away.

They mistime clearing a ball out of the box and one of our midfielders runs onto it to slip it past the keeper. Advantage (once again): old guys.

This is where things go from insane to stupid. They start making more comments about us and how we play. As we start to cramp up (remember, we're old) they complain about time wasting and tell us to carry guys off the field, as if we have some sort of medical staff and stretcher.

Then one of their players makes a racial comment towards one of our defenders.

Unreal. I haven't heard such garbage on the soccer pitch.

I credit our team with not enforcing martial law right there on the spot.

It's time to end it. With the game finally resuming, a ball gets pushed through the back and the race is on. I'm not as quick as I once was but I manage to keep free of the defender and get into the box.

The keeper is rushing out as ready to tuck it to his left.

A shoulder comes crashing into me from behind.

I stay on my feet to watch the ball bounce off the keeper, then off the defender and out the back of the field. Opportunity squandered!

But then I hear the whistle.

I look back and see the official pointing to the penalty spot.

It would appear that we just got the benefit of the doubt after a game filled with nonsense. I'm not convinced I was fouled. I wasn't even looking for one. But we'll take it.

I pass off the potential scoring opportunity to another teammate due to my inconsistency and lack of confidence about scoring from the spot. (Give me the ball 20 yards out and I'll gladly have a go. Let me line up on the spot and I find a way to overthink it and miss.)

Next thing we know the ball is in the back of the net with a shot hard enough that it would have knocked the keeper over if he had been anywhere close to it.

Advantage: old guys.

In an anticlimactic moment, with less than 3 minutes on the clock, the field lights went off (thanks to the late starting & late ending coed game played before us!) and left us up 3-1. We were forced to abandon the match. And in what can only be a moment of both great timing and bad luck, we were unable to shake hands.

We were able to escape without more verbal abuse.

But we were also unable to shake their hands with that grin on our face as we remind them that a bunch of old guys can still let the football do the talking.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Post Sermon Reflections...

On Sunday we started a new series at church called Practical Atheist. Yes, we're completely unoriginal and stole the idea from a book/other church. But I'm still stoked about the series and think it will be great for our church family. (Also a little disappointed that I'll miss 3 parts...but somehow I think a beach in the middle of the ocean will comfort me.)

I started us off with "I believe in God but still worry all the time." Long sermon made short is this: I say I follow Jesus, but by worrying all the time I am ultimately saying I don't trust Him. Therefore, my actions contradict what I say. Change is needed.

A couple of observations:
  • I likely should not mock the Canucks losing during a service where we have placed rocks in everyone's hands. In the past when I made silly remarks about BC sporting teams I usually had my mic shut off. Today someone tossed a rock at the stage.
  • It is hard to see the massive clock at the back of the room. I had no idea about times, so we're lucky we got out of there before supper. We should probably look into the clock thing.
  • I actually read all the right passages and remembered all my main points for once. We seem to be making memory progress now.
  • Hearing a compliment about the sermon is confusing for me as a preacher. Dozens of thoughts drift through my head with any kind word someone says. (Another pastor said it was one of my best, but somehow I'm left questioning how bad my other ones were...silly little brain of mine!)
  • Trying to remember how the service is supposed to end when you've preached a little long and still need to lead Communion is mind-boggling. I missed announcing a community care offering, so I trust God is big enough to help us out with the poor over the next month in spite of my mistake.
  • If the stars somehow align themselves so that the annual Men's Retreat happens to fall on the 2nd official day of sunshine in the lower Mainland, you can expect low numbers. (Or we blame the fact that someone let it slip that I was preaching and people stayed home.)
Hope your Monday is good.

I'd say get out there and vote for me in the polls, but most of you aren't in the country, and technically I'm not sure that I'm supposed to campaign on election day.

Post #1000...

No kidding. This crazy journey began on December 15, 2004. I was working elsewhere. My kids were lots littler. My face had no chin fur.

Thanks for being here. I know that many of you plan your week around this blog, so I want to do something memorable in honor of you for post #1000.

Watch this...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Game 7...

Must. Make. It.

I'm having trouble watching. Spotting Boston 2 goals to begin the game wasn't helping matters. Now we're only down 1.

Is this what Canucks fans felt like yesterday? (Minus the being down by a goal part.)

And I'll likely miss the last few minutes because I have to be at youth tonight. So, it would be helpful Montreal if you scored 5 in this period. I'd also accept 4 as long as you keep everything else out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Big night...

As much as I would love to see an all Canadian Stanley Cup final between the Canadiens and the Canucks, I will admit that I am slightly curious as to just how Canucks "fans" would react if they were to lose tonight's game.

And by "fan" I am not directing this at the lifers. An "actual fan" would know who Kirk McLean is. They know why the white towel gets waved. They also know that Trevor Linden spent time in a Habs jersey. And they know there is more than one Bure. I do not wish to see the legitimate pain you would feel. I do wish to see what happens to the bandwagon "fans" though.

I won't cheer too hard though because I know they are likely to reciprocate with negativity towards my team of choice (or towards my office).

Should be an interesting hockey night nonetheless.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh Monday...

I'm fighting with all my might to avoid taking a nap in the office.

I. Am. Beat.

Every part of me craves caffeine. I'd love to crack open a Coke. Or head on over to Tim Horton's and grab a large French Vanilla cappuccino. I'm even tempted to grab a Pepsi out of the mini fridge. (Yes, that's how low I would sink right now.)

But, I'm currently at day #34 of caffeine sobriety. I'm trying to hang in there until vacation in May when I will celebrate by have an ice cold Coke (or Cokes) on the beach. (Yes, I fully intend to leap off the wagon.)

In the meantime I am proving that caffeine is not my master, but a friend that I miss greatly.

I am instead settling for a hot Iced Tea. I'm kicking the window open. And I'm going to try and finish up details for middle school youth tonight.


Drop a comment. Say hello.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dating Advice...

We're in a month long teaching series called "Flirt" (totally stole the title from Brian Berry, so props to him & his crew!) for our students about sex, sexuality, dating & relationships. I had some fun with our high schoolers last night as we talked about dating.

I came up with a fun (yet practical) list of 10 Rules For Saving Your Dating Life that set the stage for our actual healthy dating advice.

I did not expect the major push back on the McDonald's and rollerskating date. I added it because I once had a date at McD's who refused to eat. And then on another night I went rollerskating with our youth group and she wouldn't skate with me during couples skate. I figured it was a bad date idea. Maybe it was just me?

What we actually settled down on for healthy dating advice was this:
  • Be INTENTIONAL instead of RECREATIONAL - Who am I dating? What are they about? What do they believe? Why are we dating? What are we doing on the date?
  • Be RELATIONAL instead of PHYSICAL - Recognizing that it's easier to be physical than relational, what boundaries do I have? Where will I be tempted?
  • Be CHRIST focused instead of SELF focused - What if I was willing to pray about my date and for my date?
I'll admit that this series is pushing my creativity. The easy thing is to just tell them what not to do. But they've mostly heard it all before and I don't think that really helps them. I'm trying to encourage them to use their brains and think about what they are doing. I'm trying to get them to ask themselves lots of questions.

If you had some advice about dating for high schoolers, what would it be?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What's New...

It's been a while. Here's what's new here:
  • I have become a lazy reader. Every book I pick up is kicking my butt.
  • I have become a lazy athlete. Played 3 hours of soccer for the first time in almost a month on Sunday...and my body hates me for it.
  • After escaping the responsibility of coaching soccer for so many years, I've finally been volunteered to co-coach the summer league that Aidan & Becca play on.
  • Got to lead worship on Sunday with 3 other talented musicians. Safe to say that it was the most fun I have ever had with a band since my Youth Conference days.
  • Teaching our month long dating, relationship & sex series for our middle school and high school students. Hectic, but fascinating to see the questions being asked. Particularly by middle schoolers.
  • Counting down 24 days to some much anticipated vacationing in the sun.
  • Started conversations about a missions trip for our students. It's been 5+ years on the list of things to do, but it looks like this time it might just stick. Need to rally the parents & students together for a meeting now.
  • Erin's almost done exams but then gears up for her practicum. That'll take life to whole new level of crazy for a few weeks.
  • Got to do some prep work now for my May 1 sermon.
So...what's new with you?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Did you know...

April is sex month.

Actually, I have no idea if that's true. I'm also smart enough not to Google it. So let's just say this is unofficial for the time being.

Tonight we begin our month long series on dating, relationships and sex with our students. It's been two years since we last taught on these subjects and gauging on the questions that showed up in our "Question Box" last month, I can only guess that this series is overdue and will likely be full of surprises.

I also expect that our attendance will increase over the month. It almost always has anytime we start talking about sex.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Fooled Again...

On Friday morning I get a message from one of our elders that reads like this:
"Just curious, do you really love Justin Bieber? Cause I according to your office window you are proclaiming your love for him to the world"
I'm well aware that it's April Fools Day, so I figure he must be messing with me. And then I arrive at the church this morning and see this sign from the parking lot.

I will make it known that this sign does not hang in my office, but rather in the window of the youth room that is next to my office. This is an important fact.

I walk into the youth room to meet my students for Tangents (our Sunday morning youth class), and find that all the furniture has been piled up in the corner and the whiteboards have been scribbled on. Oh, and they set up the mini Christmas tree.

Then I unlock my office door and find this. Most of the cups have an inch or two of water in them.









It took a minute for me to notice something was askew with the books on the shelves.









Plastic wrap, defaced wall hangings, misplaced degrees, a missing mini fridge, a shrink-wrapped guitar case, a random stuffed Disney character, beach balls...this will take some time to clean up tomorrow.




And then a note led me to the church kitchen where I found my Michael Scott Office mug. I should express my personal displeasure at this since I just only recently found this mug in the staff room after months of it being MIA.

Now the culprits are currently at large.

And staying with the cowardly act, "they" have refused to accept responsibility while swearing others to secrecy.

Also, I can't help but wonder why I have keys for the lock on my office when apparently anyone who wants access can gain access.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Friday on Saturday...

Best. Version. Ever.

Thank you Stephen Colbert.


I beg your pardon...

When did playing soccer become so ruddy expensive?!?!

Aidan officially enters the U11 program next year which takes youth soccer to another level. Today was his first "try out" where they get the boys together and see where there skill level is at. Ultimately the idea is that they pick 24-36 boys to form the Select teams. The remaining players, or the players that don't choose Select got into house league, which is basically just "rec" soccer.

Aidan's already signed up for fall, which means he'll at least play rec, so this is just to determine whether he wants to, or has the skills, to play Select level. (I may be biased, but I have no doubt that he has the skills. He's got a knack for putting the ball in the net and he's got a great set of wheels on him. He doesn't have the load of tricks in his pocket that some of the hardcore kids seem to have, but he doesn't seem to need them.)

Today we show up in the pouring rain to the first of three tryouts and discover that should he make the team it's going to cost an extra $400 for the program! $400? Yes, that's on top of what we already dished out to register him!

Uh...what the what?!?! We're talking youth soccer right?

On the plus side, after the tryout today they told all the kids that they had "made the team" (it was a small group, so I'm not entirely surprised). I'm proud of him, but I just joked that he might need to start working part time to pay for it!

Apparently if he gets selected by the Whitecaps residency program in the next few years they will start covering those costs.

The things we'll do...or pay...for something we love.


In our house it's soccer. What's it in your house?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Post Youth Conference...

In our staff meeting yesterday I was highlighting our recent trip with some of our high school students to Calgary to be a part of Legacy Youth Conference put on by Ambrose University College.

I was commenting on how I could easily place this as one of the top trips I've had the pleasure of being a part of during my student ministry career. The group of students and leaders was perfect. The drive was a blast. The memories we created were priceless. There was lots of laughter. There was significant conversation. Great worship. Quality teaching. The list goes on.

After our meeting I headed downstairs and find a little card in my mailbox. I open it up and find $250 of gift cards for Best Buy. Apparently we won "Youth to the Booth"! I don't even know what that is. But I do know there is no complaining here.

After fighting the temptation to stuff the cards in my pocket (hey...I'm just being honest!) and say it was my reward for yet again giving up an entire weekend of my life to be stuck in small spaces with students , I started wondering what on earth we would spend it on.

I'm stumped. Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yes Please...



They...are...coming...to...Seattle...oh...my....goodness...

I will likely sound like a 13 year old Bieber fan, but I don't care. Manchester United are coming to Seattle on Wednesday, July 20th!

I missed out when United was here in 2004 because I didn't like the tickets I was given during my first phone call to Ticketmaster. And then the game sold out before I could even find a second batch of tickets.

You better believe that this date is marked on the calendar!

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Friday...

Please tell me you've seen this video. I doubt you've made it all the way through. I know I haven't.



There's some pretty funny remakes kicking around that you need to check out.



This one is my personal favorite:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Going Mobile...

Just changed some settings around so my blog can now go mobile.  Practical?  Probably not.  But it's cool, and I'm all for that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recovering from a youth trip...

I spent the weekend in Calgary with 7 students and 2 of my leaders at Legacy Youth Conference. All in all it was a great weekend. Good speaker. Good music. decent food. Great memories. Lots of laughs. And now I get a couple of days off to try and recover. How do I do that?

I watch stuff like this...


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Growing...

Speaking as someone who has always been skeptical of the whole "coaching phenomenon", I think this is a great idea! (Probably because it's striking a chord in my world.)

I'm glad to see people like Marko investing more into youth workers than just "How to make your games grosser and bigger".

Wish I could be a part of it.
..

I'm curious...what do YOU do to grow?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Jets Meter...

Saw this on the TSN site.

I'd love to see the NHL back in Winnipeg...but only if they call the team The Jets.

Prayer (and why I quit coffee)...

I'm terrible at praying. I pray too little. I pray too weak.

I'm self-conscious when I pray. My brain slows down. My words jumble together.

Two weeks ago I made an agreement with someone that we would pray for each other (and our families) for the following week. I knew I'd have a terrible time remembering to keep at it every day. Yet, I knew I needed to do it.

So I quit coffee.

Every time I was tempted to head to the staff room to fill up the cup or to grab a Coke from the fridge I remembered to pray.

Then on the 11th day I caved and enjoyed a French Vanilla from Tim Horton's.

My prayer life...much like the rest of me... is a work in progress.