Thursday, August 31, 2006

Time Saving Technology and some Pics from S'toon

So I'm back in the office. There is something very wonderful about high-speed internet and life in the office. Saskatoon was a great experience, I loved it! I learnt so much and had a great time doing it! Besides learning tons about refugees, justice, and evangelism, I also discovered the newest in time saving technology SharpReader is this great little program that works kind of like Outlook. You "Subscribe" to different websites and blogs that you like, and then when they are updated it lets you know! No more checking back over and over again to see if I've updated! Now it just does it for you! Thanks to Dan and Dana now I just have to figure out why blogs aren't updated when I open them on Mozilla!? Well here are some of my fav pics from the Saskatoon trip. I'll try and update a little more often now that I'm back in the land of the connected.

Check out these bathrooms! Moxies was redone in Saskatoon! now it is super classy! I highly recommend a trip there just for the bathroom experience. Same low prices, now with LCD TVs in the bathroom. What you can't see is the 40in and fireplace to the right!

Traditional Ethiopian Coffee at Saba's!! It was so strong and black. Now I understand this old Turkish proverb "Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love."... oh it was an experience that no one should miss.

Somehow I ended up playing piano at the Spanish Church... ME!! who hasn't played in years... who hasn't ever played piano in a band.... but it was fun!

Yes, the children are beautiful!! It is amazing that even though they have been through so much, they are so full of trust and joy! What a blessing to meet them!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


So here it is day three of Chalo, It is super great!!! So much fun to sit with Dana and talk about the old times and who is doing what. I love the chance to reminisce and talk about the good ‘ole days.

Besides that there have been all sorts of learning experiences. One of the most significant things so far for me was watching Hotel Rwanda on the first night. There were a lot of overwhelming feelings that went along with it. I remembered doing a Refugee experience through MCC at Bethany a few years ago. We just went in to the cafeteria and were sitting down for lunch when a whistle blew and without knowing why, we were running. I spent the rest of the day without shoes, standing in the sun, walking for miles, not eating not understanding what was happening. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in the shoes of someone from Rwanda or one of the many other places in our world where these things are happening. To be fearing violence, torture, death, just because my hair is curly, or because I moved into Altona and wasn’t born there.

One of the lines that really stuck out to me was when the journalists had captured some graphic images of the genocide that was happening and the hero thought that for sure now the West would come and help. And the Journalist says something like, “Maybe they’ll come, but most likely people will say, ‘that sucks’ watch the commercials.” It reminded me of Contemporary Thought with Gil. What is the point in watching the news? If we don’t do anything about it, why does it matter? So I watch Hotel Rwanda and I feel helpless, how can we help? What is our response as Christians?

Perhaps the greatest thing we should be doing is praying for the Peace of Christ to reign. If Jesus is the Prince of Peace than we need to pray that He will dwell on earth, in the midst of conflict. I may be helpless, but my God is not! So with all of these thoughts in my mind, I begin to think about the conflict in Lebanon. I have decided that I am sick to death of anyone who says that Israel is God’s people, and that they (Israel) has the right to do whatever they want. Dana was telling me about a 7 year old boy living here in Appleby Drive. He had to move here from Lebanon because a bomb was thrown into their living room. These are not the actions of a child of the Prince of Peace. It is terrorism, it is wrong, it is sinful, and evil. Enough with the rhetoric of war, enough with the justifying the terrorism of Israel with end time prophecies. Instead love, instead let peace reign. We shouldn’t be waiting for the Kingdom of God to come down on some cloud, we should be creating the Kingdom of God NOW!! Forget one day turning our swords into plowshares, and start doing it now!!

So this has been the primary thought in my head. But I have also really been enjoying the Spanish people, going to their church, helping them learn English. It is so awesome, so fun!!! We as a team are having a BLAST! And we are looking forward to seeing what happens as the week continues to pick up! Hard to believe we are over half done!! Well it’s time to go and have our butts whooped by a bunch of Colombian soccer superstars.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Guilty Pleasure

So I have to say that for the last while I have been watching Rockstar Supernova online. And after much thinking I have to say I've chosen the guy I want to win. So here it is, Ryan Star I hope you win. If you guys want to know why I've chosen him click here and watch his performance of Losing my Religion by REM. Man this guy can sing!!

So here I am back in the office for one more day and then it is off to S'toon for a week with eight youth and my beautiful wife. Things I'm looking forward too?
Meeting Dan King and hanging out with Dana Barrand for a week. Yup! It's going be uber sweet!

So looking back on last week at St. Laurent... It was really good I had an awesome time, but I just don't have time or words to describe it, so here are some pictures, or a few thousand word essays if you will...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Some More thoughts on Lebanon

I was planning to write a few thoughts today about Donald Miller’s book Searching For God Knows What. But in the last two days I have found some interesting thoughts on the whole Lebanon/Israel war.
The first comes from the Relevant Magazine Podcast (7.28.06). In it a expert on the Middle East named David Brog, talks about how Israel is fighting against the Hezbollah and how they are supported by Iran. If I got him right he was basically saying we need to go into Iran and take them out before they nuke us…. I would recommend you take a listen to it, since I can’t summarize all he said so you can go to itunes or the Relevant site and download it and take a listen.

The other thing I just read was a great article by Penny Carothers (Those of you who have read any Donald Miller will know who she is). I think that what she has to say is really good and worth checking out (to read article click here)

Finally some interesting numbers to think about
2 kidnapped Israeli soldiers has resulted in:The deaths of:55 Israelis
8 Canadians
750 Lebanese
4 UN officialsNot to mention the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure.

Let us pray for peace and for our Christian brothers and sisters in Lebanon. In case you didn’t know Lebanon is 42% Christian (higher than both Canada and the USA). If there is one thing clear it is that nothing is clear.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Christian Kitsch

So here are some great (I use this word very sarcastically) products from the International Christian Retail Show. Man I hate it when Christians market rip off crap like this. Thanks to Duel Like Real Men for the pictures.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Postmodernity and Globalization

It's decided! I will be teaching the book of Colossians in November. So as part of my class prep I have started reading Colossians Remixed. Man! What an awesome first chapter. I think that the authors have done a great job of setting up the context that we live in today.
On the one hand we have postmodernity that is, "Permeated by a deep sense of betrayal. Someone has told them a story, spun them a line, about the good life, and it has proved to be a lie." Basically postmoderinity is about the rejection of the metanarritive (the larger story) that was give to us by the Modern movement starting with the enlightenment...

But on the other hand we have globalization. It doesn't matter where you go in the world there is Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and Levi's. Despite the celebration of diversity that postmodernism claims, we aren't that different. We listen to music put out by major record companies (and anyone who thinks the Sufjan Stevens or Death Cab For Cutie isn't part of this you're just kidding yourself) and watch the same images on TV.

When you think about it Globalization is essentially the repackaging of the modern mettanaritve of progress. Wired Magazine said this "We are watching the beginnings of a global economic boom on a scale never experienced before. We have entered a period of sustained growth that could eventually double the world's economy every twelve years and bring prosperity for - quite literally - billions of people on the planet. We are riding the early waves of a 25 year run of a greatly expanding economy that will do much to solve seemingly intractable problems like poverty and to ease tensions throughout the world. And we will do it without blowing the lid off the environment.*" So our "progress" in the economics is supposed bring world peace and eradicate poverty.... sound familiar??
I just found it fascinating how our culture has rejected the Modern story and then let it back in through the back door without noticing. Anyway just some thoughts for today....

*Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden, "The Long Boom," Wired, July 1997, p. 116.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Some Stats

While I was at the cottage this summer I read the MacLean’s July 1st 2006 article "How Canadian are you??" There are some very interesting stats that I thought I'd share with you today.

Approve of premarital sex? Age 18-35 80%
Approval of homosexuality? Men 61% Women 70%
Homosexual Marriage Men 39% Women 56%

49% of Canadian women favour banning the distribution of porn altogether (1/3 of men)

Canadians vs. USA
Homosexual relations Canada 60% USA 38%
Premarital sex 80% 64%
Legal abortions on demand 43% 27%
Immigration 78% 64%

What do we value?
Freedom 90%
Family Life 83% (6 out of 10 Canadians believe mom dad and kids is the ideal model)
Being Loved 82%
Being Canadian 62%
A Rewarding Career 51%
Community Involvement 15%

43% of Canadians have attended a religious service in the past six months not counting weddings funerals or holidays

How many protestants and Catholics go to church once a month or more
1975 41%
2000 30%
2005 34%

Believe in heaven 62%
Believe in Hell 48%

What brings us together?
Percentage of Canadians involved in:
Religious groups 30%
Sports or recreation 29%
School or community 17%
Political party or group 5%

Who do we feel uneasy around?
Sex offenders 96%
Alcoholics 71%
Former Mental Patients 63%
Born Again Christians 31%
Policemen 24%
Muslims 18%
Jews 5%

The Number of Canadians who believe:
Jesus is the Son of God 66%
Angels Exist 62%
I personally have experienced an event before it happened 52%
God cares about me personally 65%
We can have contact with the spirit world 46%

84% of Canadians identify with a religion or religious group. We attend services less often than Americans, but more frequently than Europeans.

57% of Canadians believe is ESP and 55% in Psychic powers. A third believe we can communicate with the dead.