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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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...