Friday, December 29, 2006

Family Tradition

So this last week Niki and I have painted my office. I have to say it's pretty sweet. I'll post some pics later.
But as we were painting I thought it would be cool to paint my McCorkindale Family Crest on one of the walls. Which took me on a little search of the history of my name. And all I have to say is, SWEET! I have a pretty sweet last name... not that I want to rub it in, but being of a Scottish persuasion kicks butt!!!

Anyway this is my family Crest! The root is from the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McCorkindale is the Gaelic word Mac-Thorcaill which was created from the Old Norse personal name Thorketill, meaning "Thor's cauldron."
Spelling variations of this family name include: MacCorquodale, MacCorquindale, MacCorkindale, MacCorkill and many more.
First found in Argyllshire where they were seated from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Archibald McCorkadale, who arrived in Jamaica in 1685; Duncan McCorquadale, who came to Jamaica in 1758; Christian McCorquodale, who arrived in Virginia in 1792.
The McCorkindale Motto is Vivat Rex which is Translated: Long live the king.

Now all crests have their own meaning, and this is the meaning to this one is this
First is The Stag. It stands for Skillful, Politic, lover of harmony. In Ireland the Stag was one of the most ancient of charges and was regarded as the most handsome. The Stag represents the very ancestors of the Celtic race.

Next is the layout of the shield. This particular layout signifies the Military Belt and represents Honour.

Then comes the colors.
The Yellow stands for Generosity
The Red means Warrior, Martyr, Military Strength

Finally as far as I can tell the wavy lines mean ground, land, earth.

I thought this was pretty sweet. So cool to come from an awesome background with so much depth and history.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Tshirt Contest and videos

So here it is, I really don't think there is any need for more designs, we have a winner right here!!! These were submitted by the One and Only Maggie Bergen... truly these are works of art!!!

I think My fav is the 2nd one!

Some other cool stuff, If you search for Rob Bell and Nooma on youtube you can watch a number of his videos. So if you have ten minutes and are looking for some inspiration, check that out. Also here is a video of Shane Claiborne speaking. A lot of what he said is what I heard in Charlotte. If you have an hour to burn it is totally worth the time.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Pogo Stick

Skateboarding eat your heart out, here is a totally awesome new extreme sport... oh... you might want to turn off the volume, and just listen to your own tunes, the song in the background drops a lot of f-bombs.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Calling All Artists

So here's the deal, I'm looking for a sweet t-shirt design for our youth group. SO if you are interested in winning $30 than pull out your sketch pads, or open paint on your computer and begin drawing. I have a few ideas that I would like to see worked into the design, so take these poor artistic renderings and make them look sweet. You can email me your finished product at

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Back Home

So here I am, back in the office. Our drive back was very uneventful. There werea few miles around 3 Am that we were worried. There was a terrible metal on metal sound coming from one of our back wheels. But whatever it was stopped after about a half hour of fervant prayer. We even made it across the border without any problems. It took us a total of four minutes. They didn't even pull us over to search or anything. So my record stands!! If I'm driving I don't get pulled over and searched!
It is good to be back, but there is a ton of stuff to do so... off I go.

Monday, December 04, 2006

NYWC Charlotte Day 3

So today we have now finished day three of NYWC, and I have to say the highlight of today was hearing Phil Vischer talk about how he failed, and how Big Ideas eventually went bankrupt. He had some many incredible things to say about vision (and how we shouldn't be planning 5 years ahead) and instead we must rest in God, and wait on Him. It was incredible. Also this morning I saw Shane Claiborne, as he shared about the Scandal of Grace. He is the next Tony Campolo for sure... I guess it makes sense since he was mentored by him. Anyway that also was super cool. His enthusiasm and passion are infectious.

This evening we went and caught an NBA game. That was pretty cool! So all in all this has been a great experience, but we are all tired and very ready to get home to our wives. We are planning on leaving around noon tomorrow and then hopefully the weather will be good. You can all pray for us, looking at the weather network it looks like we are going to be driving into a lot of storms. So yeah pray for a safe trip. Thanks

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cool Fact

So Charlotte is a pretty cool city, besides being pretty cool one thing we learnt is that Charlotte is:

1) The home of the first Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop

2) The birth Place of Pepsi

3) The place where the national food is anything fried.

Yup basically this is the healthiest city in the world...maybe... ok probably not... but it is a great place to go and eat out!!!

NYWC Charlotte Day 2

Alright here we are with day two done. And what a great day it was. This morning I caught Dan Kimball's session on pluralism and world religions. It was a great class and I was really stretched by what he had to say. I think that the things that he was talking about were especially relevant in Altona with the increase of refugee families who come from a totally different background than we are used to. Then we had a main session with Philip Yancey. He's so amazing. I have enjoyed some of his books in the past, but to see him in person was incredible. He is a very gifted story teller.

For lunch we took off to the Pita Pit and then went and bought tickets for the Charlotte Bobcats game. We are going to head over tomorrow and see some NBA. Not that it will be that good, but we figured for 15 bucks how can we go wrong...

So here's a funny story. As we were walking out of the main session this morning I found 13 bucks on the ground. I was pretty pumped since now I didn't have to pay for the game on Sunday. But this was just the beginning of the Canadian's cleaning up. This evening Dan and I went down to some of the draws we had entered. Dan started off with winning an Apple Shuffle, and a $7,000 youth ministry makeover. It is pretty sweet! Anyway I was feeling a little ticked since I was right there next to him the whole time and hadn't won anything. So I decided that I would just wander around and see what was up. I ended up by the Youth Walk booth and they did a draw and I WON!!! I have never won a draw in my life! But I won about $400 worth of stuff. A nooma video and some books, and 30 subscriptions to a daily devo book for a year. So that was pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow :D

Tonight we decided to hang out and just relax so that we have energy for tomorrows sessions. So now we're just chilling and watching School of Rock.

Friday, December 01, 2006

NYWC Charlotte Day 1

What to say…. Well NYWC is rad!! So far it has been a super refreshing time of growing in Christ, and hanging out with some great new friends. This morning Dan and I headed over for the second half of our Critical Concerns Course, with Yaconelli, but since we had missed the first part of it yesterday we felt like we were missing a lot, so we skipped out and walked around collecting bags and bags of free stuff. It was great to see what is there, relax, and hey!! Did I mention free stuff? We even met a girl working at one of the booths who used to work at MCI and was born and raised in Morden… what a small world. So we talked about all the people we know and have in common, it seems you can’t go far enough away to escape the Mennonite game.

We also just had the first general session. It was incredible. Starfield is here… it seems weird to drive 30 hours and still see a band from Manitoba. Anyway, they led us in an awesome time of worship. It sent chills down my body to feel the presence of God, and to know that he is moving in the lives of everyone here. That no matter our denomination or context of ministry, we all have a passion for youth, and Jesus, and we are hear to learn so that we can know him more. Praise God!!! I am already starting to think how we can manipulate our coming youth budgets so we can come here again, but this time with some of our youth leaders.

Anyway so far the one thing that has REALLY stuck out to me was from that hour we spent at Mark’s course. He said that we have all the creativity, and knowledge and resources that we will ever need ALREADY in Jesus. And that if we don’t focus on that and realize that we will always come to these awesome conventions but never really get what we need. It was such a great word for us as we look around and are overwhelmed by all the options. We can go to these workshops and buy hundreds of dollars of stuff (which I’ve done) but at the end of the day, if I don’t have it together with me and Jesus, nothing is going to work.

Well anyway now it’s time to learn about why theology is important in YM. I’m looking forward to seeing what Dan Kimball has to say…….

…. Ok so now I’m back in the hotel. Another amazing time in Sessions and shops. I can’t say that I’ve learnt a whole lot of new stuff. But Both Kimball and Tony Campolo had amazing thing to say, and I found it very affirming, that I have been on the right track in our youth ministry. It has been encouraging to think about why we do stuff and how we can better incorporate what our youth is doing.

Watched Jared Hall late tonight, he is a great illusionist and it was a blast to sit on the floor right by his feet and watch him blow my mind. It was nice to take a break and laugh for a while.

Well time to get some sleep before it all starts again.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

NYWC Charlotte

So anyway now we have made it to Charlotte!!! Last night in Knoxville we went to Appleby’s for supper at 11:30 at night. We sat down and we started to think about ordering and the waiter asked us if we are in a band. To which we said ,”yes, yes we are!” So anyway this made me think, I should introduce you to my traveling companions.

So in no particular order we have:

Dan “the break down” Doerksen, Dan is the man who got me in on this sweet trip. His title “the break down” because he was the man behind the wheel when our break down happened.

Jeff “The Shredder” Peters, Jeff and I actually have some history. We were both camp workers at WBC before we were reunited on this trip. “The Shredder” is not some odd reference to the villain from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. “The Shredder” instead refers to his passionate love for 80’s music. Those wailing guitar solos, and screaming vocals, nothing says road trip like some classic 80’s Christian rock.

Finally there is Kevin “The Arab” Hildebrand. “The Arab” refers to our border crossing on the way into the states. I mean seriously, take a look at this dark hair and beard. When the van broke down it was Kevin who was climbing under the van to find out what is wrong, I think it is safe to say that we were all very thankful for his expertise last night.

Just for your information the waiter placed Kevin as the Drummer, Dan as bass, and Jeff and I as guitars and vocals. So now all we need to do is learn to play our instruments, find a name and decide what style we are going to play. Well these were my traveling companions on the way down.

We are also meeting Karl Enns down there and he is traveling back up with him. I guess we’ll have to see what sort of great nick name that I will arbitrarily hand out on the way back.

Update from Knoxville

What is a vacuum pump??? Well now we know! It's the part that creates compression in a diesel engine, because a diesl engine doesn't do it on it's own. The things you learn when they break! The good news is the mechanic was suprised at how fast things were going and we should be on the road by 12!! About and hour earlier than we were planning. Thanks for praying and we'll keep you updated.

Knoxville TN

So here we are on the way to NYWC Charlotte. We had been driving 26 hours straight, with only a short stop in Chicago because DAN felt like "touring." So we were just a few minutes away from Knoxville Tennessee when we hear a loud noise, our battery power drops, our warning lights on the dash start screaming at us, our power steering goes and our breaks... well their not so hot either. We pull in to a gas station thankful that at least we made it into a big city, and we're not sitting on the interstate or is some small hick town.

Something that is very evident to all of us here is the presence and provision of God. We have been praying continually since this happened, and truly God is caring for us. We were able to get a very cheap hotel, and a great tow-truck driver. And at least as far as we know, we haven't totally destroyed the engine.

We are hoping that by one this afternoon everything will be fixed (So far the impression is that it is our water pump) and we can drive the last four hours to Charlotte. Unfortunately it sounds like we are missing our critical concerns course today, but hopefully we'll be there for the evening and we'll be able to catch everything else tomorrow morning.

So feel free in joining us in worshiping God for providing, and asking Him for a cheap, quick fix, so we can make it to Charlotte NYWC.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A few thoughts before leaving

So here is a great game to test your typing skills. It starts sort of slow, but pretty soon I was all tense doubled over my keyboard, so check out Spell fast or Die.

So I'm leaving for a week today, off to Charlotte NC, of course today we have the worst weather of the year so far. But we'll go slow, and eventually we'll get away from all the snow. I have some mixed feelings about going. One minute I am bouncing off the walls I am so excited, and then the next I feel very guilty for leaving my wife alone for a week. I really hate leaving Niki. My times with her are the best part about life... and I'm not just being stupidly romantic or anything, I actually believe it.

So I took this video the other day, and I thought I would show you what Lennox does every morning when I come home from work. This dog gets so excited to see me!!! This is why people have dogs, it makes them feel so great about themselves.

Monday, November 27, 2006


So I know I've already posted twice, but this was just WAY too good to pass up the following is from Infuze Magazine

"Sylvester Stallone is a Christian. So he says himself, and his new movie Rocky Balboa promotes positive values like perseverance, brotherhood, and even prayer, according to, an official outreach website sponsored by the film for persons of faith. It's quite an extensive site, and well worth checking out. Also be sure to take a look at our gallery of official images from the film. And while we're on the subect of Stallone's faith... Infuze has also heard that his upcoming revisiting of the Rambo franchise will find the character -- get this -- setting out to rescue a group of persecuted Christians."

Man!! I just can't wait to see the washed up Rambo with his old man muscles bashing in heads to save a bunch of peace loving Christians...


So last night was baptism in our church. It was so great!! I love baptisms. I think one of the things I love most about them is the God-stories. I think it makes the Christian faith more real, when we can hear about people who have been rescued from pride, anger, lust, drunkenness, loneliness, etc. There is something powerful in hearing about how God is moving and changing lives. That is one of my favorite things about church. It is made up of real people who are being changed into the likeness of Christ, they are not the same people they were before. So yeah, I love baptisms!!
Interestingly enough Colossians talks LOTS about baptism, and becoming a member of the family of God. After checking into it a bit, I think I see a whole new reason for why baptism and membership should go together. Anyway I'm not really interested in getting into that here, but if you have questions or disagree maybe we can talk about that some other time. For today, let's just say that having taught the class on Colossians I now have an even greater appreciation for baptism and what it means.

Anyway, here is my favorite clip from Nacho Libre, which happens to fit really well with the whole baptism theme.

Teaching Colossians Days 3 and 4

So thanks for all your prayers! The rest of the Colossians class went really well. We even managed to finish the book... still not sure how we did it, but we did. It was really a great time, and I really enjoyed it. Now whenever I'm talking with people I'll say, "you know Colossians says something about this...." Yup, I'm such a nerd. Anyway it all went off really well so thanks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Teaching Colossians Days 1 and 2

So for those of you who regularly read my blog, you will know that over the last few months I have been preparing to teach the book of Colossians at Winkler Bible Camp for their Cross Current program. Well I have now completed my 2nd class, and having spent a total of 6 hours teaching we are all the way to Colossians 2. Yup, I might have over prepared just a little. By this point I was planning on being well into the 2nd chapter. I'm starting to think that we might not get it all done. Now all of this said, I have been really enjoying it. It is a wonderful experience to take what I have been learning and immersing myself in for the last two months or so, and pass it on. I have also discovered a new appreciation for my College profs. It is tough work getting people too; first of all care about what you are saying, and secondly keep them interested in what you are saying. I think that I can say that as of right now I am not a great Bible teacher. Hopefully one day that will come (I know that I have already learnt so much, and I know I would do things differently next time) but right now... there is still a ways to go. But there are these moments in class when I know I have them, I know that what I am saying is getting home, it makes sense, and they are interested. These are great moments, that I wish I could hold on too. But usually they last for a few minutes and then they slump back into that morning glaze that I remember so well from my time sitting at the desk. But in those moments I am encouraged to keep going, that hopefully in some of the excitement that I can bring about what Paul has to teach us about the person of Christ Jesus their lives will be changed. So keep praying for me as we dig into the word, it really means a lot. Thanks.

Monday, November 20, 2006

B.C WON!!!!

Going to the GREY CUP!

Who wouldn't want to go to a football game with this guy!!

The Army was out in force! So before the game we went to check out their displays. Dwight and I thought about enlisting, but that rockey launcher was pretty heavy and we didn't really want to have to carry that around for miles and miles.

Pyro and fireworks, what's not to like about this!? Also the fighter plans that flew by so low that we could make out the writting on the bottom of them.... oh man!! That was so awesome!

The opening drive, so nice to see B.C. come out strong.

Here is the back of the stage for the Nelly Furtado half time show. Yup, sure couldn't see anything. Pretty dumb set up if you ask me.

Keeping warm during the game.

Yup, here is one of the two touchdowns of the game.

This picture doesn't even begin to describe how good our seats were!!! It was So incredible!!

A little taste of victory

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Precious!!!!


So this morning didn't start out so well. I woke up and took lennox for a walk at ten to seven this morning. When I got home I was feeling pretty sick to the stomach, and I was worried maybe I was catching the flue that is going around. But around 8:30 I realized that I was feeling much better and that I should get my butt into the office, so I showered, shaved, and got all set for the morning, and then started walking over to the office. As I was coming down the side walk I saw Dwight sitting at the stop sign in his Canadian Lumber truck waiting for me. I was like, "Oh yeah he probably wants those poinsettia forms I told him I have!" So I got up to him and he says, "I told Dolores I would give you a ride to work this morning (two things. 1) I live less than a block from the church 2) Yes! I was late for work... again). So we go to the office and I get him the forms and he's like "So do you have plans for Sunday?" I say, "No, not really" Dwight says, "Do you want to go somewhere and watch it with me?" Now I'm thinking to myself, his father in-law just bought a 50 inch TV so he's inviting me over to sit there and watch while we stuff our faces with all that food... sounds good! so I say, "yeah, that sounds really good." And THEN Dwight says, "How about we ACCTUALLY GO TO THE GAME!!!" and now I lose it!!! Jumping screaming, crying... well not that part, but I am still shaking as I type this because I am so pumped. Last night one of my other youth leaders told me he got free tickets through work and I was sort of disappointed because I was sort of wishing I could be there. Well I am no longer disappointed!!! We have seats on the 21 yard line row 19 or something like that. So anyway, for a day that didn't start too well, it sure has improved. We've decided that we are going to dress up in hockey gear for the game, helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, and jerseys... look for me on tv on Sunday :D By the way I just want to say thanks to Dwight (who will never read this because he hates computers) and Canadian Lumber for being the best place ever!!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


So as I mentioned earlier I'm driving down to Charlotte N.C. in a few weeks for NYWC. But I need some help. I started looking at the seminars that are being offered and I need some help in deciding which ones to go to, so I'll give you the options and then you need to leave a comment and let me know what to do.

On Thursday I'm taking the Critical Concerns Course called Becoming the Beloved healing Our Identity in God - Mark Yaconelli (this is already decided)

Then on Friday morning I need to decide between
1) Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry - Jim Burns
2) Becoming a Red Letter Christian - Tony Campolo
3) The Importance of Theology in Youth Ministry - Dan Kimball
4) The Place of Literature in Ministry - Lauren F. Winner
5) Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus - Mark Yaconelli

Saturday morning it is between
1) Developing Spiritual Depth in Young People - Tony Campolo or
2) How to talk to youth about World Religions and Pluralism - Dan Kimball

Saturday afternoon
1) Freaks, Geeks, and squirrels: Understanding 11-14 year olds - Kurt Johnston
2) What is the Emerging Church and what does it mean for me? - Tony Jones
3) Developing Student Leaders - Tiger McLuen
4) Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture - Walt Mueller
5) Creative Bible Teaching - Duffy Robbins

Sunday Morning
1) Postmodernism 101: Almost Everything you need to Know - Tony Jones
2) More than Noise: How Today's music and media impacts your students - Walt Mueller

Sunday Afternoon
Well actually this is easy, I'm going to Resurrecting the Church: Re0imagining the Early Jesus Revolution by Shane Claiborne, but this sort of sucks because I would also like to go to Jesus the Rabbi with Ray Vander Laan

Finally Monday morning
1) Angus, Thongs, and full-Frontal Snogging: Literacy and teens reading the Bible - Blair Bertrand
2) The Scandal of Grace - Shane Claiborne
3) Living in Narnia: Teaching truth through myth - Mark Heisel

So this isn't nearly all the options, but it is most of the ones that I would really like to catch. So let me know what your top 6 choices would be, one from each time, and I'll take them into consideration.

Monday, November 13, 2006

In Response

So I was going to be done with the music thing for a while, but then I got these two comments in my email from anonymous people. For some reason they haven't showed up on the blog so here is what they said in response to my Killswitch Engage post.

"I am interested in a further dialogue concerning the incredible music of Killswitch engage. I feel as if I am willing to consider the merits of diverse artforms, especially those that are as of yet unfamiliar to me. After all if I am missing out on a great piece of art, it is my loss. I think i need a little bit of guidance though, as far as how to appreciate killswitch engage on a purely musical level."

I would say that on this point, it really comes down to a matter of taste. If you don't like Metal, then you'll always struggle to see it. For me from a purely musical point of view. There is some incredible guitar work, a blend of that old 80's metal solo stuff (sometimes I find it even a little reminiscent of Stryper) and then with that heavy grunge, chunky guitar of the late 90's. I think that it is something that is still fairly original and sounds beautiful. The other thing that really stands out to me is the drums. They have a great drummer who uses the double kick like it is some part of his body. And then they blend this so well together. All in all it is a great blend of different styles, crafted into great metal (in my opinion)

The other comment I got was this;
"I too am extremely curious about this band. Upon listening to them and reading their lyrics I was almost certain it was garbage. Yet you seem so certain that they are good. Please explain some more of their awesome atributes."

I wasn't really sure how to respond to this anymore than I did before. So here's my response to your comment. I was actually turned on to this band by plugged in magazine when they did an article called Metal in the Mainstream. This is what they said about Killswitch Engage...

"Not every band with positive things to say can be classified Christian, of course. One that rejects despair and fatalism goes by the ominous name Killswitch Engage. Given such a moniker, I thought this influential metalcore quintet from Westfield, Mass., would be morbidly focused on death. On the contrary, Killswitch's latest offering, The End of the Heartache, is saturated with obvious spiritual allusions.

For example, "A Bid Farewell" exhorts, "Turn from deceit, the love of self is death." Similarly, "Take This Oath" instructs listeners to let go of self-destructive ways and try for transcendence: "Let us forsake ... all the things that lead to our demise/Open your eyes, see the divine." And in a genre so short on hope, the song "Hope Is ..." offers a rallying cry to hold on: "Hope is not lost/Weep no more, we will prevail/Grieve no more, we will prevail/This is our moment/Will you stand with me?"

This album simply was not what I was expecting. A bit more research revealed that three of the five band members grew up in Christian homes—thus the Scripture-influenced themes on this album are no accident. Guitarist Joel Stroetzel said in a 2004 interview, "I myself, Adam and Howard were brought up Christian but [were] never really heavily religious or anything like that. I mean, [we] definitely don't try to be blatantly like a Christian band or spread that kind of message. But I think it's pretty obvious if you read into the lyrics that there's some of that stuff going on [and] coming from that kind of background." (if you are interested I can email you the whole article)

So I realize that plugged in is hardly the be all and end all, but it only takes a few minutes to read their reviews of music too see that they are VERY hard on everything that isn't "Christian" (Perhaps a topic for another post). As I have listened to Killswitch I would agree with the this article. It seems like their lyrics are heavily spiritual, and infused with hope. So I would have to disagree with the comment that their lyrics are garbage. But that’s just my two cents.

So While I'm on the music thing here is a very interesting article with Pete Stewart. Pete was the lead singer of Christian Grunge band Grammatrain for years while I was growing up. He also produced albums for such bands as Bleach, KJ-52, Tait. He played guitar for a while with DC Talk etc. Anyway if you were wondering what happened to this CCM powerhouse. He and former P.O.D. guitar player Marcos have a band that is called The Accident Experiment. Having looked into them a little I would have to say that they have seemingly walked away from the faith. But here is an interesting interview with Pete (Click Here) He has an interesting insiders take on the whole CCM world, here is a bit of what he says in the interview.

"I was going to ask about that, especially in light of you having spent a number of years in the Christian music scene. Has recording an album that's not steeped in Christian themes and the Christian arena produced more satisfying or honest results in your mind?
Well for me, yes. Because that's not really where I am anymore. The reason I quit doing records in that world and started producing is I felt like it wasn't really me. I had to go through a lot of soul searching and try to get to the core of what I was and what I wasn't. Because in that industry there's a tremendous amount of pressure to put off a certain image. An image of a Christian that matches the images of a Christian in people's minds who buy Christian records. That kind of pressure really messed with my head. "Am I saying this because it's what I feel or because I want someone to buy my t-shirt at the end of the night?" That's the kind of question you don't want to be constantly asking yourself if you're trying to be honest. Especially if you're afraid of the answer.
I grew up in such a hardcore, sheltered Christian environment and went right into the ccm world pretty much. I hadn't really gone through the soul searching and process of figuring out who I was that you need to if you're going to be an artist... or an individual for that matter."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Objective Truth??

Found this in Colossians Remixed, just thought I'd pass it on.

"Too often appeals to the objective truth of the gospel have served as a means for the church to evade its responsibility to live faithfully before the world. In short, Christians insisted that the gospel was objectively true regardless of how we lived. The paradigm I am advocating frankly admits that all truth claims require for their widespread acceptance the testimony of trusted and thereby authorized witnesses... What our world is waiting for, and what the church seems reluctant to offer, is not more incessant talk about objective truth, but an embodied witness that clearly demonstrates why anyone should care about any of this in the first place."

Oh, the (lack of) Humanity

I found this article on Wired News, the article is called "Oh, the (Lack of) Humanity." I thought that it was pretty interesting. It is about how we too often we see the bums on the street as blots on our pretty city streets, but in reality they actually are people with real life problems.

"Slipped a homeless guy a buck the other day. After he mumbled off down the street, my companion sniffed her disapproval: "It only encourages them, you know. And he'll just use it for drugs or alcohol." I had looked him squarely in his gimlet eye. I could smell his breath. Safe to say she was right. "Who the hell cares what he uses it for?" I said. "If it kills the pain for a few hours, I'm happy to help (read the rest Here)."

As I was reading this I was thinking about a conversation I had the other day with someone, about World Vision and child sponsorship. There are some people who say that sponsoring children only makes them into beggars for the rest of their life, they become dependent on the goodwill and generosity of the West. But I've been thinking lately, who cares!? Maybe we will cause some problems, but hey the kids not DEAD! We want to make sure we are doing things the "right" way, that we are not just "enabling" people, but we as humanity are interconnected in a way that we probably will never understand. Unless you my neighbor (in the sense that Jesus means this word) are living in peace I will never be able to live in peace.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Music Part???? Well actually I forget...

So once again I turn to the subject of music and what is good, what is bad. What is christian, and what is secular. Today I have an interesting example from what is quickly growing to be one of my favorite bands to listen to while walking Lennox. The Band is Killswitch Engage and the Album is The End Of Heartache. Now I know what you're thinking, a band called Killswitch Engage how good can this be? Well the answer to that is pretty amazing actually. Musically.... Well let's just say incredible. If you are so inclined you can check it out at their myspace. As for their lyrics? Well here is just a taste.

Track 1 A Bid Farewell
"I will bid farewell, sever the ties
This is all I am, this is all that's left
Turn from deceit, the love of self is death
Deliverance is given to you
I will bid farewell,
Sever the ties..."

Track 2 Take This oath
Abandon the safety of mindless following,
Abandon what holds us captive to suffering
Pierce the blinders, behold

The path that leads before you
Let us forsake - forsake all the things
That lead us to our demise
Open your eyes,
See the divine
Open your eyes,
See the...
Destruction of innocence
Watch it breathe it's last..."

There is much more as well, you can check out the rest of the lyrics for yourself here. While on some songs there seems to be this darkness there is so much there. There is a condemnation of greed and of injustice, a sense that we and the world will be destroyed unless we embrace love, take a stand. And reading the lyrics from a Christian perspective even seems to indicate that we need to hold on to God. Too me there are a lot of lyrics on this album that are just incredible. Once again we see the line between what is "Christian" and what isn't blurred.

*Note: This does not mean that I would recommend this to everyone; as well the lifestyle of these guys is probably not something we all want to be copying. If you are out there wondering if you should listen to it or not, I leave you with the sarcastic line from Derek Webb on his song A New Law "Don't teach me about truth and beauty, just label my music" You will need to engage in the world and decide for yourself if it is for you or not.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Back too work

So today I came back to work, and what did I find? Everything in my office covered in Shrink wrap. My chair, the wheels of my chair, every one of my pictures, and perhaps most impressively of all each and every pen was individually wrapped. yup! It's good to be back!! Right now I'm just getting back into the swing of things, trying to catch up on all the emails and stuff like that. Holidays were good, I spent most of my days and late evenings working on my Colossians class. I think I am starting to get a good handle on the overall theme and message of the book. It is actually incredible and I am loving it. But I do wish I had way more time. And I'm also really worried that I won't have enough material to fill up the class time (gulp)... or that I have WAY to much and we won't even get through it (like in an Alan Friesen class at Bethany). So we'll see what happens, but I am really looking forward to it. Anyway now that I'm back I just thought I'd let y'all know, now I should get back to those things I've been neglecting. Oh! And Betty we didn’t go anywhere for holidays, we just stayed at home, but if you would like to make a substantial financial donation to send Niki and I somewhere warm later this winter we’d love to accept that :D

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Hey all, I'm out of the office this week. Taking some holiday time...although I've put more hours into work this week than normal. I'm working on my Colossians class for later this month so if you'd pray for me, that'd be great! See y'all next week!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Some more thoughts on Christian Music

So I was reading the July/August issue of Relevant yesterday. Specifically the interview with Dustin Kensrue of the band Thrice. In the interview they ask him what his thoughts are on "contemporary Christian music." And like most bands who have made it a point to stay out of the "Christian" scene he goes on to bash all that the Christian music industry is. Now this got me thinking. A few days ago I wrote about how I was upset with some site that put bad comparisons of "Christian" bands to bands that were "bad." When in fact a lot of bands that are not Christians put out lots of very good music. Now I listen to lots of music, in fact now that I have my ipod I am rarely NOT listening to something. But Kensrue’s comments got me thinking, and my conclusion today, is that we are being too hard on the Christian market. There is a lot of really good stuff coming out there. And Bands like Me Without You are a prime example of a band on a Christian label (tooth and nail) who are original, thought provoking, and pretty well amazing. There is also something to be said about what we allow our minds to dwell on. Yes there is truth in the music that bands put out, but there is also a lot of crap in their lyrics, that frankly isn't healthy.... that said there are some pretty nasty cliché’s in some Christian music that doesn't do much for us either. I like what Derek Webb sings in his song A New Law "don’t teach me about truth and beauty just label my music" I believe this is true and we need to look at all music that is labeled. But to say that just because an album is labeled "Christian" it is somehow less good, less beautiful, less true, seems not only wrong, but also pretty stupid.

Along the lines of labeling stuff there is some bad news for us Narnia Fans, apparently Disney has postponed the release of Prince Caspian until December of 2008.... yup even longer to wait until we can enjoy another installment of Narnia. At least I have the books :D Speaking of movies with Christian themes there is a great article on the Relevant website about how Christian and family friendly are not the same thing. Check out the article here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Hey I know that this is making it's way around the internet right now, so I thought I would do my part. I was really impressed by the decisions they have made if YQ this year so here it is

"Greetings from Youth Quake!

You may have noticed the absence of big-name acts on our YQ poster and website. I want to offer a word of explanation about that so you can catch a glimpse of how God has been working in our lives, preparing us for YQ ’07.

We went through a long process this year of trying to locate bands for the Friday night concert at YQ. We started making formal booking requests in August, before most agents wanted to talk with us. None of our requests were accepted, right up to our poster deadline. As time wore on and our deadlines loomed larger, a sense of urgency (desperation?) started to work itself into our decisions. We started making offers to bands that we either didn’t know or didn’t necessarily like. By the beginning of October, our desperation had “paid off”—we had two bands confirmed for our concert slot. Given the process we had gone through, it was actually a surprisingly strong lineup.

Here’s where things turn interesting.

As soon as I booked our “big band,” I was uneasy. In the days leading up to their confirmation, God had convicted me of a practical idolatry that we were exercising in terms of the bands. We look to bands to save YQ, to bring kids to our event. The “need” for a band had skewed our priorities and we were offering increasingly costly sacrifices to appease our gods and win their favour. God called me on this and called me back to him.

Isaiah 30:1-3, 15

"Woe to the obstinate children,"
declares the LORD,
"to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
heaping sin upon sin;
who go down to Egypt
without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh's protection,
to Egypt's shade for refuge.
But Pharaoh's protection will be to your shame,
Egypt's shade will bring you disgrace.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength . . .

After much prayer and discussion, I felt led to break the agreements we had with the two bands we had signed for the Friday concert. We booked them out of a sense of desperation, not direction. We’ve been convicted of this and so we’ve cleared the field as a costly sacrifice of praise to our one TRUE God. We’re listening to him now, asking what he wants to do at Youth Quake on Friday night. My sense is that it might not look like a standard concert at all, but whatever it will be, it will be the thing that God leads us into. We have thousands of dollars we had budgeted for bands—how does God want to spend that money? That’s an exciting question to be asking together! My sense is that his plans might not look like a standard concert at all, but whatever it will be, it will be the thing that God leads us into. We will keep you updated through our website as details develop.

When I was in the thick of the struggle, I sensed God asking me if I wanted everything that he has planned for YQ. I do. The implication, though, is that it means giving up what we had planned and waiting on him. This is our freefall! This is costly (we may still need to honor the financial contracts into which we entered with the bands), but there is a powerful promise that is motivating us and moving us forward. God has plans for YQ and I don’t want to stand in the way of those.

We thought it was important to let you know why we’re doing what we’re doing at YQ ‘07. We want to invite you to pray with us and join us on the journey toward all that God has for us. Our hope is that people will want to be a part of an event where the leadership is willing to prepare the ground for Jesus at any cost. There’s powerful opportunity in all of this and we want to make the most of it!

With anticipation,
Kevin Fawcett"
Director of Youth Quake

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just A Sucker For Hate Mail

Found this pic on some site, and loved it. Now I realize that as a Flames fan the timing might not be the best, but I guess I just can't resist this one!
Life here is going well, working on a presentation for Friday on the Culture of Youth. So far I think it is looking pretty good, but if anyone has some ideas that I could use, or good websites that talk about this sort of thing that would be really appreciated.
Also I'm looking forward to taking next week off... or sort of off. I'm still going to be at youth and doing those things, and I have a TON of prep for my class on Colossians, but I won't be in the office which will be a nice sort of change.
Well that's all from my life for now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hollywood Fashion

It seems like the big Hollywood fashion accessory this year is the African child. Angelina Jolie started this a while ago with her adoption of... well who knows what the kids name is. Anyway then after she got together with Brad they adopted another one. Now Madonna is making waves because she adopted a child from a country that doesn't really adopt out children. Today I heard that she is talking about adopting another little girl from the same village. Now here is the kicker, today I heard that Brittany Spears is considering having a third child, but since she doesn't want to get fat again she is going to adopt a child from.... AFRICA!! Yup, I hate to be a cynic (well actually I don't) but it seems to me that this is just a trend to get some attention and seem like you're a nice person. I'm reading Shake Hands with the Devil by Romeo Dallaire and in the beginning of the book he talks about when he was in Rwanda he and the government agreed that they wouldn't adopt out the children. The reason? Because the money it costs to adopt a child could be put to better use building orphanages and keeping the children in their home country. I think I sort of understand what Madonna and Angelina are trying to do, but is it really the best for the children? Couldn't they do other things? And it's not like them adopting Children is going to make all sorts of Americans sit up and go, "Oh I should do that and help those kids." Because a lot of Americans don't have the kind of money it takes to fly to Africa and adopt a kid. One other thing that really got me was that, on TV, they said that the Nanny was the one carrying this new child into the house. Who is going to be raising these children anyway? Until now I've never seen Madonna with any of her other kids? Nope it seems to me that while mommy and daddy are busy touring the world the kids get left behind with the Nanny... and the kids? They become nothing more than a Hollywood Fashion Fad.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Christmas isn't that far away...

Since Christmas will be upon us in 68 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, and 26 seconds (less even as I write this post) I thought I would start to post my Christmas list. Check out this beauty!!!

This is made by Toshiba. They say that it, "enables the wearer to experience a full 360-degree view on a 40 centimeter dome-shaped screen." Don't believe me? Check it out Here.

In other news.... I was watching Good Morning America today, and they were all excited because the 300,000,000th person was born today (Story Here). There was all this excitement about it, they even had a reporter in a hospital hoping that the baby would be born there. Now they are saying the it is possible that the population will reach 400 Million in as little as 35 years!? Here's the thing, isn't 300 Million people like a small town in
China? I don't know, I'm just not impressed.

Some Motivation for Evangelism

Thanks to Dale

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nothing Today

So I don't really have much to write today, so instead what I'm going to do is link you over to Dan King's Blog for some thoughts that he wrote today. I thought it was an awesome post so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you. so click (here) and check it out!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

All Good Things...

So my ipod came yesterday!!! WHOHOO it's pretty sweet, I'm pretty pumped to walk around with Lennox while listening to music. I also have a whole bunch of sermons by Rob Bell that I haven't had time to listen too yet, so I'm hoping to be able to catch up a bit. So far I've just heard his one sermon on Yom Kippur and I thought it was so amazing. I was going to write yesterday about how it had snowed and the only two good things I could see about this coming winter are that Lennox really loves snow, and he is really funny to watch as he runs along trying to eat all the snow. And the other good thing is our neighbor’s yard is going to get covered in snow and we won't have to look at his grass any more (which he hasn't cut since August). It doesn't actually bother me, I just find it interesting. On the positive side he actually inspires me to do yard work, so that's s good thing.

So I started reading An Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus yesterday. So far It looks like it is going to be an amazing read. He has a really good way with words. So I'm looking forward to that. I also finally paid my registration so I can go to NYWC. That was a bit of an experience in itself. First I lost my MasterCard and then it showed up in the parking lot of the Credit Union (which I hadn't been too in months) and then it was all maxed out (I did that not someone else) so I had to pay some of it off so I could max it out again.... sigh.... Anyway now it's all paid for and I'm going and I can't wait!!!

Guess that's all for now.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Great Day

So yesterday was such an awesome day!!! Especially since it started with my cleaning up tons of dog crap all over the breeze way (another story). I had breakfast with Jayson and Mark (always a highlight of my month). It is great to hang out with other youth pastors and talk about what is going on. To make a already great tradition even better Mark announced his engagement and bought us breakfast! So I came into the office very happy.

A few hours later Marv came in and told me that the Church board has given me the ok to go to the National Youth Workers Convention in Charlotte NC at the end of November!!! I'm going down with a bunch of people from Winkler. I am so excited to be surrounded by so many awesome leaders!! I'm going to be catching some workshops with Doug Fields, Kurt Johnston, Mark Oestreicher, Philip Yancey, and SO many more. Originally I had thought that Donald Miller was going to be there too, but now I see he is only there for a few of the other NYWC's. Now I should say that this is really good news, and sad news. The good side is... well it's five days with thousands of youth leaders from all over!! The sad part is that it is five days away from the person I love most in the world.

And speaking of Niki, yesterday she also gave me the permission I have been waiting for!!! My ipod mini is now in the mail!!! It's a 4 GB from the Apple Canada store. $119 with all taxes and shipping!!! I am so excited for it to get here!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What I've been thinking about lately

So here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. I can’t say that it all started with this, but it certainly got me really thinking. We as a staff spent the last two weeks at our staff meeting discussing the Chapter The Seven Jesuses I Have Known by Brian McLaren in his book Generous Orthodoxy. For background he sets out that he has met 7 different views of Jesus they are the:
1) Conservative Protestant Jesus
2) The Pentecostal/Charismatic Jesus
3) The Roman Catholic Jesus
4) The Eastern Orthodox Jesus
5) Liberal Protestant Jesus
6) The Anabaptist Jesus
7) The Jesus of the Oppressed (Liberation Theology)

Now here’s the thing, each one of these theologies (ways of thinking about God) have validity, they are true and there are things to learn from each one. Which brings up the question, How big is my God? Is God big enough that we can all be right, and all be wrong? My thinking right now goes something like this.

If I can fit God into my Mennonite Anabaptist theology, than that cannot be God! It is not big enough, not awe-inspiring enough, it is just a god, that I have made up, like a golden calf. However, if God is so big that Roman Catholics Liberal Protestants, and Right Wing Conservatives can all be right, then I think we are starting to find a true image of who God is. Pastor Gary shared this quote from a Texan pastor on Sunday said something to the effect that. “The thing that brings unity is not a common purpose or vision, but rather that we are all involved in a common argument.” So what if, the thing that unites us as Catholic, Orthodox, Anabaptist, Liberal is that we are all involved in a common argument/discussion on the best way to live out the gospel. We are united in that we all want to live out the life of Jesus, as we understand it. In this context theology, and thesis’ and books on theology all of significance and value. Because we are coming together and asking why do we believe this? What are they doing right? The Anabaptist comes and lays out their beliefs for why we are not part of the kingdoms of this world, and why we should not give allegiance to our countries, why war is wrong and how to live in this third way. The Liberal Protestant teaches us that we must live out the meaning of the miracles of Christ, building hospitals to heal those with aids, building schools so that people who are intellectually blind can see, the Charismatic Christian teaches us the power that the Holy Spirit still has and how He is still actually healing people. Can two separate sides of the women in ministry We do this because we are interested in understanding the best way to live out Jesus to the world. We don’t all agree, but we are open and understand that Jesus is bigger than my walls, my ideas, my theology.

I wonder if we viewed God like this if it would be possible for a homosexual Liberal Protestant Christian to sit with greedy Conservative Protestant Christian and for them to actually discus together the best way to live Jesus. It is not about trying to win the argument, but about discerning how best to live Jesus. Now I guess I have qualify that last statement. I’m not condoning sin, but both those who hoard wealth and those who live in sexual sin, are not living the best they can for Jesus, but perhaps they can find common ground in trying to find out what that best way is. Hopefully through this dialogue both sides would see that they are wrong. But it is not about picketing places and yelling and screaming, instead it is about discovery, trying to learn the best way to live.

I guess it comes down to, how big is my God? And, how big is my theology? Can I have a generous Orthodoxy? Or must I stay within the walls of my specific theology? So now I will practice my Anabaptist tradition. What do you think? As my community, what are the things I’m missing? Does this ring true? Or am I doomed?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

V For Vendetta

Last night was Pizza and a Movie night at our house. I think that Niki and I will have to institute that as a more common occurrence in our house. It was a lot of fun to eat some great greasy pizza and watch a movie.

The movie we watched was V for Vendetta. Now I realize that I am WAY behind in my movie watching, and that most people in the world have already given their two cents about what they thought. But this isn't everyone else's blog, it's mine, so I can do what I want. Now I'm not sure that I can recommend it (due to some graphic violence) but I thought it was a fantastic movie. It also leaves you in no doubt about how the Wachowski brothers (Makers of the Matrix) feel about the Bush government. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie the basic premise is that the world is full of terrorists and horrible dieses, and so the people give up their freedom for protection. The government then becomes a government of the sort you read about in Orwell’s 1984. Now the interesting thing is that in this movie the government is clearly supposed to be Right Wing Conservatives. Their motto is "Strength through Unity, Unity through Faith." They even have a "religious" commentator who is the "Voice of England" who supports the government (Pat Robertson perhaps??). But the Warchowski brothers don't leave it there. They also draw some pretty clear lines connecting this Right Wing government to the Nazi's. Taking homosexuals and others and running inhuman tests on them, breaking into houses and night to take people away, the Chancellor standing holding up his arm as an army marches past. And through all of it I sat there and thought to myself, you know their not that far off. It doesn't take that big of a jump for a government to go from good to bad. As soon as we start to allow fear to rule, and we ask people to take over for us we will always end up in trouble. This quote stuck in my mind after the movie,

"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both." -Benjamin Franklin

With all the recent school shootings, wars around the world, mad cow, aids, etc. it is very easy for us to run to our government begging for safety, but it seems like the writer of V for Vendetta had a few thoughts about where that will get us.
So, what do you think? Have you seen the movie? What were your thoughts about it?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gloria in Profundis

There has fallen on earth for a token A god too great for the sky. He has burst out of all things and broken The bounds of eternity: Into time and the terminal land He has strayed like a thief or a lover, For the wine of the world brims over, Its splendour is spilt on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all—
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
the spout of the stars in spate—
Where the thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for a sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star that has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

This is my favorite poem ever! It was written by G.K Chesterton in 1927

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kutless, Jazz, and the Opera

So I have to say that the last few weeks have been great for concerts and such. First there was the Underoath show (which was incredible) and then on Friday we took the youth to see Kutless... well we took the youth to see Kutless, but I went to see Stereotrap (which I missed because we were late). And then on Sunday night Niki and I went with the churches college and career to see Blue Like Jazz Live! The Kutless concert was... ok, after seeing Underoath and Moneen... well let's just say that Kutless isn't quite on the same level. But it was fun Dwight and I took the role of old guys in the pit! It was fun to jump and scream my head around like I was cool or something.... I decided that if I was in a band then I could actually be cool. So my goal for the rest of my life... Find some people to be in a band with me... so we can act like idiots for the rest of our lives.

But the show I was REALLY looking forward to was Blue Like Jazz Live. It is a one man show that acts out Donald Miller's Book Blue Like Jazz (obviously). Anyway it was AWESOME! We had front row seats so we could catch everything. It was funny, deep, and thought provoking (everything that Miller's book is) I have to say if you ever have the chance you need to see this show, go with some friends and then go for a drink of your choice and talk about it. And if you never get the chance to see it... I bought the DVD and while it is not AS good, it is pretty sweet!

Now as if this weren't enough there is more. On Saturday Niki and I are going to see the Phantom of the Opera. In Niki's post Skittles, Alf, and Ecclesiastes she talks about "dates in the city that cost a lot but are sponsored by a third party" Well that is this date (Thanks Steve and Diane). I really can't wait for it. I have loved the music from this score for YEARS, and I have always wanted to see it, and now I will!!!

So on a completely different note. I had been planning this SWEET surprise for Niki. I was going to fly her best friend out from Saskatchewan pick her up at the airport and then bring her into the house and Niki was going to be shocked and so happy! Well Marsha and I had been emailing and Niki sometimes checks my email at work so I told her she couldn't look at it. When she asked why I replied with the classic "Don't worry about it." Instead of leaving it and not worrying about it like I asked her she starts to think about it which makes her all suspicious and upset... did I mention she was upset? Well I accidentally let her see that Marsha and I had emailed (rookie mistake... gosh!! I'm better than that!) anyway she spent all of Sunday night just ticked at me because she thought I was... I don't know... cheating on her!?? Eventually she cornered me and I had no choice, but to let her know... *sigh* It took me two years to think of something this good. Now I have to go back to the drawing board. If any of you guys have some tips on how to lie to your wife I'm more than willing to take some advice at this point, because it just doesn't seem like anything works. I just hope Marsha will still come out.