Friday, June 30, 2006


Ok so I was over at Brad's Blog and there was this SWEET picture of him!!! Man Brad you're looking good, kinda a Jesus/Rob Zombie look. Anyway for all ya Bethany people check out the Martyr in Training.

Just for some Bethany Nostalgia here’s a pic of when we won the Alumni Cup!
Me (Left and yes all the Sexy hair is real) Koehn (Center) and Kevin (Right).

Grad and World Cup!

Yesterday afternoon was Miller Grad. It was alright. It was really cool to see so many of our youth graduate. I was also really impressive how many of them received rewards and graduated with distinction. Pretty smart group of grads. But I had a few questions at the end of grad. Like, how can you receive a good grade in a roof framing course? Or mechanics, and construction? Why don't they just teach math, science, English, and then let those guys hit the work force after grade 9 or 10? Surely you would get a better education if we you could just get an apprenticeship at 15. Seems a little sketchy to me. But hey I'm no teacher.

Niki and I ok let me revise that I tried to play "Spot the flask" but it looked like Altona was a little more conservative than Hudson Bay. For those of you who aren't familiar with this great grad game. Every year at the Hudson Bay grad you can spot the flask of "spirit" being passed around. It is pretty amazing how much it moves! It is an entertaining way of passing the time when the speeches get a little long. Oh well, I guess it's a good thing that it doesn't happen here. I just wish grad was a little more.... entertaining. You know people falling down, saying the wrong names, really anything but the formal stuff. I guess it must just be I don't like formality.

It was a great grad, Richelle (On the Right) did a great job of the valedictorian address. And I'm glad we were able to go. If you want a deeper thought from grad go over to Ben’s blog. But the thing I brought away from grad was this great new quote (It was on the cover of the program and now is my description of my blog)

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

World Cup is progressing along nicely. I have to say I'm really hoping for and England Brazil semi final game. I’m also hoping to see Ukraine beat Italy. Ok I’ll put it out there… I’m not predicting anything, just saying what I would like. I’d love to see England and Ukraine in the final… but that’s just me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

To Go with the Last Post

Just in case you were wondering, Tide does NOT make your Whites clean again, but Jesus can clean your soul!!

This is me (Below). Man I don't think I have EVER been that dirty in my life, and I have a real gift for getting dirt all over my clothes.

Rough Draft... Done!

Hey there, it seems like ages since I've actually written anything, but now that I have the rough draft of my sermon done I think I have a few minutes to write. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so I'll throw some pictures up of what we've been doing lately.

Last Wednesday was our Mudfest Round II. It was our last youth event for the summer, and really I think it is every kids fantasy come true. A big pit of mud for you to run around in and throw at people. Man what an awesome idea!! I just wish that I could take the credit for thinking of it. Just for the record, mud in the eye really hurts, and it is super hard to get out of your ears.

(Before. oh so clean!!!)


Saturday was sweet Niki did a great job of surprising me for my birthday, and I loved my presents.

Dale you will appreciate these. My own coffee grinder and press. mmmmm super fresh coffee :D

Last night we had a grad party for all our grade twelve’s. A couple in our church has this beautiful backyard with a pool, so we went swimming and ate pizza (not always the best combination) but it was wonderful and the water was really nice and warm. I even did a flip off of the diving board... well sort of a flip... pretty is not a word you would use to describe it, but whatever.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Birthday and Vintage 21

Sorry It seems like I just don't have time to blog. Maybe it is because summer creates opportunities that are so much more worth while than blogging... like Golf!! Went twice in two days... what a great way to spend a few hours. So my Birthday was awesome. Niki did a great job of surprising me with a scavenger hunt in St. Vital Mall. Pictures of the loot... I mean presents to arrive soon. For more info on the day check out Niki's blog Unfortunately I just don't have time for a full update, so here are some funny if slightly sacrilegious videos. "In the Spring of 2003 Vintage21 had a four week series on Jesus Christ, taking a deep look at what he said and did. It was difficult at times to get past our preconceived notions that had been developed by staunch, starched Sunday School Classes of old. This is a satirical look at what some people think Jesus is like. Thank goodness He's Not."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trunk Monkey 1/6


Well I gotta say it.... YES!!!!!!! If only I could have watched the game last night, I would have
loved to rub it in.... But like all good things there is a downside. The thing that really ticks me off is this: Today on the radio the Edmonton fans are like, "Man this is the first time since 93 that we have come close to bringing the cup back to Canada." Do Edmonton fans even watch hockey!!?? Two years ago the Flames nearly beat the Lightning, and they were a whole lot closer to winning that Edmonton ever was.... oh well what can you do, I guess you can't expect too much from a Oilers fan. Well now we get a month and half off before it all starts again and we get to watch Calgary bring the cup back to Canada.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Oh the bane of my existence

Organization, I can't do it!! But you just can't live without it. Now you see the problem with being disorganized is that every once in a while (say 2ish months) everything catches up to you. All of a sudden you realize you preach in two weeks, you are leaving for conference/holidays in two weeks, and you still have a ton of other stuff to do first. Oops! The result is a day or two of stress, and hard work, and then, whew your free! … hopefully… All that said a few days ago I said I was going to make an effort to organize my day to day life better, so far that has been working pretty well, so maybe I'll learn to avoided this in the future. Well this has to be a short one, but I’ll get back into the blogging world in a few days.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Summer Shock Syndrome

I had a great evening last night. We went to the Rosenort EMC church for a praise and worship night led by Cody. I was really looking forward to some great music and a evening of worshiping God, and I wasn't disappointed. I thought that it was a wonderful evening of music and speaking. PLUS I got to hang out with Cody, B.T, Trevor, and Rebekah., and the newly married Stefan Krahn. So needless to say it was a Bethany Reunion. It was like taking a deep drink from a cold spring! It was just what I needed.

For this event we invited both our Jr. and Sr. Youth to come out for the evening. Over winter
we had a combined group of close to 85 regular attendees. So I booked the bus and spent the day worrying that we wouldn't all fit. I knew that there was no way we would have everyone, but I thought at least 40. Well time rolls around for us to leave and we are 24 including leaders... Now I don't want it to sound like I'm playing any numbers games. I'm just saying, WOW! things change in the summer! Baseball, swimming, hanging out with friends… and I’m left with Summer Shock Syndrome! I think I might understand why some youth programs close down for the summer. So uhhh... you other youth pastors who read this, anything else I should know going into the summer?

Anyway I should get going I have a few things to do, and then I'm taking one of the youth out golfing... if it doesn't rain. So if you read this before three you can pray that God will heal my slice and maybe allow me to connect with the ball a little.

And now for something completely different:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Still A Dreamer

So one of my youth (Erin Ginter) read my blog and passed on a lead to another great bike. This one is a 1991 KAWASAKI EX 500. Not only is the bike a $1000 cheaper. I could also save about $400 on licensing it. I can't wait until lunch when I can tell Niki all about it.... and then she rolls her eyes and says, "Oh Nathan"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bradley Hathaway

So when my sister was down she had a CD by the poet Bradley Hathaway. Lately I've been listening to it and really enjoying it. Sometimes he says things and I just laugh because I can't believe that he is so.... honest? yeah maybe that's the word. Anyway this is one of my favs. So if you have a few minutes and sit back and enjoy

MANLY MAN (If You Don't want to read it click here instead.)

I don’t want my long hair, pretty green eyes, with ( no! I do not have on mascara. ) eyelashes, skinny figure, undersized t-shirt, hip shake too much when I walk confuse anybody. I am a manly man. Within this sissy frame, obviously rib laden chest lies a heart that beats to the drum of a native American ritual dancing wildness. It pumps an ever cascading supply of untamedness that a herd of wild mustangs have yet to grasp. If danger lurks about, I will seek it out. If adventure abounds, there I will be found. If a damsel be in distress, I will show her who is best. I am a manly man. Because I don’t flush, and I leave the lid up. I drive a 1988 Ford Pick-up truck. Girls don’t break up with me, I break up with them first. ( Except the last time, it didn’t really work out like that… ) I don’t shave the hair on my face ( Because I still can’t grow facial hair yet… ) But when I can, I won’t, because beards are tough. I fart, burp, and spit when I want, not caring who’s nearby. Disrespect my momma, and I will punch you in the eye. I am a manly man. Or am I? I tell my guy friends that I love ‘em. And sometimes, sometimes I even hug ‘em. Not because I’m gay, but because I love ‘em. And when I watched Bambi, I cried. And when my Mema gets mad, I still run and hide. Like David, I wanna be a man after God’s own heart. And I’m not there yet, but I’m past the start. And when people talk, I try to listen. A spirit of compassion, that’s my vision. Surely I am a manly man. I want to be loved and have love and give love. And not just that romantic kind either. Although I am looking for that beauty. Not helpless, but wants to be rescued. The damsel in distress, man, woman, myth, true. I will fight for her, climb the highest tower for her, love her, share with her, delight in her, be her warrior, her protector. She will be my crown and I will be hers. My masculinity will be passed down and affirmed to my sons. And each of my daughters will know they are lovely, and deserving of authentic romance. Society tells me all day long that I’ve defined manhood completely wrong. But you ask any honest man, and he will agree. You ask any honest woman, and she too will see, that I am a manly man.


So the other day I had this dream. I was flying along the highway on this super sweet bike. It was just like I was flying. When I woke up, I realized that I need a motorbike. Now I'll admit that I've never been much of a bike guy. I had a nasty experience when I was younger involving a dirt bike, a bush, and ten feet of air. But during my second year at Bethany I got to go for a ride on our RD's (Rich Friesen) Bike. It was SO cold but one of the greatest things that I ever got to do. It was like flying! So anyway this really smart guy I know (Jon Hamm) once said (and I paraphrase) that it is ridiculous to just talk about learning something new you should just do it. Now granted he was talking about skateboarding (something I have tried and failed at) which is a little cheaper than a bike, but I think that the principle is the same. So I did some checking and I found this sweet 1991 KAWASAKI ZX6 NINJA (the one I found is black, but other than that looks like the pic) for $3,500 so if anyone feels like donating to the Make Nathan's Dreams Come True Trust Fund! Give me and shout and we can work out the details. Otherwise this might be one of those dreams that I have to keep holding on too... like getting a dog (I still haven't given up on that either).

On another note, I've decided to become more scheduled. My new plan is to lay out my days in a attempt to become A) More organized and B) More productive. I'll let you know how this plan goes...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Morning

So here are the results of my last poll. "Would you rather eat the same thing every day or lose an eye?" The answer is:
67% Would Eat the Same thing every Day
33% Would Lose an eye.

I heard this interesting story on CBC today about the Bilderberg group. You know that conspiracy theory about the small group of men who actually rule the world? Well this is the group. Kind of interesting. I love a good conspiracy theory. Anyway they just met in Canada and decided what to do about… well whatever people who rule the world decide.

Has anyone ever read The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts? I was checking out some stuff and found this book and it looked pretty interesting, but I was wondering if anyone has read it? And since I'm on a bit of a kick of putting movies on my blog here's another one. The guy is Matisyahu. He's a Hasidic Jew who has sort of a rap/reggae thing going on. It's pretty sweet so enjoy "King Without a Crown"

Friday, June 09, 2006

Left Behind: External Forces

So a few months ago I talked about the new Left Behind video game. Well there is a new article out about it called Jesus Loves A Machine Gun. I gotta say, I think this game has more than a few problems...

I'm Stoopid

It's Wednesday night, we are all hanging out playing games, and talking. The night is winding down and I go into the house for the last time to check the score of the hockey game. When I come out I see this whole group of guys staring at the ground right by the kiddie pool. I come close and they're like "Oh man! Did you see that huge spider!" So I look down and I actually see some of the grass move and I'm like "Oh I think it's over here!" Dwight (our beefy youth leader) says, "Nope it's more over HERE!!!" and he along with a bunch of other youth swarm me like ants at a picnic, and toss me into the pool. Now I brought one of them with me, and I got another one later... but that just doesn't ease the pain of making such a rookie mistake. Rule #1 NEVER turn your back on people when there is a pool near by! So here I am two days later licking my wounds, nursing my pride, and plotting my revenge (evil laugh now)

Last night was the Miller Spring Concert. I loved the jazz bands. I think I should have been alive in the 50’s. To be alive enjoying the big bands and swing music… oh that would be the life. Of all the songs that they played there was one that REALLY stuck out to me. (this is for you Dale)
The Java Jive

"I love java, sweet and hot Whoops mr. moto, I'm a coffee pot Shoot the pot and I'll pour me a shot A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup Oh slip me a slug from the wonderful mug And Ill cut a rug just snug in a jug" Read the whole song Here

Finally for today World Cup starts today so here is a video to celebrate
(thanks Paul)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Building A Theology Of Hell

Last night we had planned on doing a Heaven and Hell night at youth. For those of you who aren't familiar with the game this is how it goes…

Everyone gathers in a room and one of the leaders stands in front of them holding a candle. The leader then recites a Bible Verse (probably something from Romans) and then walks down into the youth and begins to teach the verse to someone. Once that youth has memorized this verse their candle is lit, and now there are two people teaching the verse to the rest of the youth who are sitting there with their candles unlit. As people are going around memorizing the verse there is a story being read through the speakers, and all of a sudden, two or three of the youth will hear that they died in a car crash, or something like that. So they walk up the stairs and into the "throne room" where (if they have their candle's lit) God will read their name in the book of life, and then angels will escort them up to "heaven" where they get to eat awesome food play some vids, and have a good time. But if you don't have your candle lit, the demons come and take you down another set of stairs to "hell" where you sit in a hot smelly room with a scary devil that watches you. The end of the game comes when everyone has died and had a chance to experience either of the "eternal" consequence. So this was the plan for last night, and now (as Paul Harvey says) For the rest of the story....

On Tuesday Pastor Ben came over and raised some concerns about the game. These concerns were first raised by Jack Heppner (Former EMMC Conference Pastor) back on September 13th when he posted a article called "Camping in Hell" on his website Well the plan was still to go on with the event, but then on Wednesday morning I got another email from Pastor Gary raising the same concerns, so after a lot of talking with those older and wiser than me we decided to not do it... at least not yet. I am convinced that to give our youth some experiential event that allows them the opportunity to sit and think about the consequences of their actions is valuable, and that we need to do that more than we do. However, how we do it is important, so here are the concerns we had with the Heaven and Hell game:

1) It creates an atmosphere of Fear "Psychological Terrorism" is what Jack Heppner called it. For those kids who go to hell, suddenly they are afraid of the consequences and the come to Jesus out of fear. As a L.I.T director at Redberry Bible camp we always stressed to them that as Counselors they were responsible NOT to use their position to "spiritually abuse" a child. I think that attempting to create a hell like atmosphere that is scary "evil" is wrong. It misuses the authority that God has given us. Now we're not talking about doing something like Hell House (that is clearly over the line) but still from the beginning I had a concern about this. A few interesting things I heard as we were talking about doing this game.

- Jesus never talked about hell to the unsaved. The only people that Jesus preached "fire and brimstone" to were the people who were sure that they were going to heaven (The Pharisees). So there is a risk in doing this game in a setting where we might have non-Christian kids.

- It's hard to imagine Jesus setting up a heaven and hell game and then asking the little children to come and sit on his lap. The children were DRAWN to him by LOVE!! I have a real problem with using fear to make kids come to Jesus. It's all about LOVE, and meeting the PERSON Jesus and knowing HIM!

2) A Medieval view of Hell Now fear was a pretty simple reason, unfortunately this 2nd reason isn't quite so simple, but I'll do my best. For hundreds of years now we have built up this idea of what hell is and who goes there. We all have seen the image of overlord Satan ruling hell and making people's lives miserable, while the demons run around doing their master's bidding. But Revelations 20:10 seems to indicate that Hell is just as much a punishment and torment for him as it is for those who end up there.

Next who goes to heaven? For years we have been taught that it is a simple matter of whether or not you said a prayer. But I have been troubled by some of the things that Jesus says in the gospels. One of the most obvious things that I see is that the Kingdom of God is not fair, and that often those who are most sure they are going to heaven are in the greatest risk of not making it. What about a man who consistently pursues truth and right living, but fails to understand that it is God who gives him the ability and desire to live that way, is this person really going to hell? Does God actually stand there with a book of the damned in one hand, and the book of life in the other and anyone who doesn't have their name written in the book of life just goes to hell? OR, does God continue to give us the free will that we have had all along, and for some who have wanted nothing to do with God their whole life, who have had no interest in loving and serving others, does God just give them what they want? And send them away. What about the person who has tried to live for god, but hasn't known Jesus, does God accept the good they have done as if it was done to Him (read Last Battle by C.S. Lewis for more on this)?

I don't want to sound like some Universalist that just says "oh every one makes it onto heaven" because I do believe there is a hell (although what it looks like could be up for discussion) and that there will be eternal consequences to our actions. But I think we need to hesitate on being judge and jury for other people, and let God do His job.

So the heaven and hell game has at least two major problems here. First it ingrained in the youth's heads that Satan will have power and authority over the lost forever, and second it didn't allow for the Grace of God.

3) Messed up view of Heaven
Finally (for today) I think the game doesn't display heaven well. For those who get to go to "hell" it can be a good time of reflecting on what the consequences of the actions they are making will be, as well it stresses the importance of telling other people about Jesus, so they won’t have to go to hell (my wife had a good experience doing this a few years ago). But in heaven you just eat food, play games and have a party. I have been influenced by both Pastor Ben, and Rob Bell who promote the idea that Heaven is not just for later, it is for RIGHT NOW! The Kingdom of God is not something that is yet to come, it is active and moving now, and we are supposed to be creating heaven on earth by the way that we work and act and that if we as Christians are living for Christ we can get a taste of heaven. Besides heaven will be so much better than anything we could possibly think of now.

So there it is, my three main concerns with the Heaven and Hell game, and the reasons why we didn't play it last night. But I think that this has sparked a whole new discussion that we need to enter into as post-modern Christians. What is our theology of hell? What does the Bible say, and if it is different than the concept of hell that most of us carry, how do we begin to change people's thinking? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments about what hell is to you, and how we can create a game that will allow youth the think about their lives, but without giving them a false doctrine of Hell.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Artistry of God

So I am currently reading Thomas Shmidt's book A Scandalous Beauty. It was a text book for some class of Niki's and I remember thinking it looked interesting, so this week I have really dived into it, and I have to say it is really quite good. I believe Shmidt's object is to make us fall in love with Christ all over again. And it has been happening to me. I love the beauty of the Cross. There is a beauty and depth in the cross that I had never realized before. It is like the beautiful weaving that I have in my office, from far away it is a beautiful piece of art, but when you get closer it becomes even more amazing that all those threads can intersect and create such beauty. It is also a short and easy read, so it won't take you away from all those deep theological books that you read so you feel smart :D

Just one quote that I really liked about how the cross can be a stumbling block to people,
"I believe that if we could go back in time and set up a formal debate between Jesus and a leading Pharisee of the day like Gamiliel or his student Saul, using the tools of interpretation that we would use today to interpret the relevant documents, the Pharisee would win. And that is precisely my point - and I think, I believe, I hope, the point of Jesus. Being right- having the best arguments, compiling the most evidence, even living in exemplary consistency with one's beliefs - does not always make a person right (Pg 51)."

The Football game was fine, thanks for asking

So here are some pics from the football game we were @ on Friday... I would have put them on yesterday... but dashboard was doing weird things.... anyway here they are

Yes this is THE Kendall Friesen!! Niki and I were walking around Polo Park Mall talking about how we missed running into Bethany people every where we go, and then THERE he was!! What a great time!

I'm sure you have all heard the phrase "Take a picture it lasts longer!" Well @ $3.50 a bottle we thought we had better take one! But it was so hot it was worth every cent... even if it was pepsi....I would have paid tens of dollars for a Coke

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sports, and Music

So today is looking very promising. It is super warm outside, not a cloud in the sky. And Niki and I got free tickets to go watch the Bombers and Alouettes!! And we're not sitting in the nose bleed section either. Nope not us, row 33, just a little ways above the rich people!! I'm very excited. I'm taking the afternoon off and then we're going to go and maybe look at a piano that is for sale, walk around Assiniboine Park, and then catch the football game! I was sitting in the Hub (our youth facility) waiting for a couch that was being delivered and I was just so thankful to God for all the blessings He pours out!

In other blessings Carolina beat Buffalo so it's looking like a really sweet Stanley Cup final. Technology is so cool! We were on the bus coming back from Winnipeg last night with our Jr. Youth, and I was talking with one of our youth leaders and I asked him if he knew who was playing Edmonton, and he was like, “Oh that’s tonight!” and he opened his phone and checked the scores. So amazing what we can do now!

World Cup starts in a few days and it looks like it will be pretty sweet. I'm hoping that Paraguay will make a strong showing (yeah I'm biased because my wife was born there)

Also I'd love to see the Netherlands do well. Of course there are the power houses England and Brazil.

In a bizarre news story Dark Man X (also known as DMX) is thinking about changing his name to "The Dog" for "Spiritual reasons." Read story here. And if you are wanting to test your U2 knowledge check out this QUIZ

Well that's all for now. Have a great day.