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.

  • 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?

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!

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?