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!