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).
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
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.
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
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
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
Thursday, June 15, 2006
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
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
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.
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
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
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
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 edgework.ca. 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
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)."
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
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.