Friday, March 31, 2006
Thanks Dave for the Comic.
And now for the results that you have been waiting for. Here are the offical results for the poll I had on the right.
Which Band would you like to perform a private show for you and your friends?
1) U2 38%
2) Jack Johnson 18%
3) Josh Groban 15%
4) Johnny Cansh 12%
5) Dave Matthews Band 9%
6) Other 6%
7) Sloan 3%
Tied for Last
Andy Hunter 0%
Check out the new poll, Would You Rather???? And remember Vote now, vote often!
And now (in honour of our winning band) A little video
Thursday, March 30, 2006
So I started reading A New Kind Of Christian again the other day. It is amazing how much I have learned since the first time I read that book, just... two? three years ago?? This time around I understand much more of what McLaren is saying and so much makes sense, and rings true with my experience and the experience of the people around me. But the other day I was reading the chapter where Brian and Neo are talking about Scripture and I have to say it makes me kinda uncomfortable.
I guess is that it has a lot to do with growing up as an Anabaptist, a people of the Word. And so when I start reading about people who don't see scripture in the same light as I have grown up being taught, it makes me a little uncomfortable. On the other hand if the scriptures aren't "God's rule book," if the scriptures aren't "A collection of facts" but are rather a love letter or some other form of invitation to know someone, then doesn't that actually make it an even greater book? I've been thinking about one of the texts we read in Contemporary Thought. It is called The Promise by Chaim Potok. It is about these Jewish Rabbi's and scholars as they try to make the Torah relevant to a modern society, to a scientific world view, and how they must struggle to find how it fits. Maybe that is the problem? Maybe the Bible isn't a "modern" book. Maybe, we have been reading it wrong all these years? What if we can't fit the Bible into a neat little category? What if the Bible isn't right about all the dates, times, and facts? Does that change the fact that it is still a book of infinite worth? I do believe that science and faith do mix. However, the bible and science don't always fit the way we might want. But that doesn't need to discount the Bible, because it's not a modern book..... ok so I'm rambling... Anyway, I guess I'm just thinking about how we need to hold the scriptures in a increasingly postmodern world. The Bible has been used to justify all sorts of horrible actions in our history, slavery, crusades, wars, treating women as inferior, racism, consumerism, destruction of ethnic culture, hate of homosexuality, just to state a few. And in every case people have held up a passage of scripture and said "This is what the Bible says!!!" There is something wrong with this. Is it our interpretation? Is it how we read the Bible? How can we avoid making the mistakes of the past?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Oh yes!!! Spring break is here.... not that I actually get any time off... but I've spent the last few days in the HUB (our youth facility) It has been nice to be out of the office and painting. What a wonderful time of listening to music, eating food from the HUT (best fries and burgers in town) and breathing in toxic fumes.... couldn't have asked for a better week.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
I would like to nominate myself (Nathan McCorkindale) for the "Best Story Of A Transformed Coffee Drinker" Like all good stories mine begins with a girl... well actually it starts before that. There was a time in my life when I worked in the Agriculture Industry and we worked many long hours. During the spring it wasn't uncommon to start working at 6 in the morning and then not get home until 11:30 at night. It was during this time that my dependency (I really don't like using that word... sounds too negative) for coffee developed. The problem was; I was still young and naive in the ways of coffee, and I would drink my Styrofoam cup with three sugars AND a few heaping spoonfuls of that disgusting white powdery stuff (I shudder to admit this) Well along came my third year at Bethany when into my life walked my “savior” (and the beautiful woman who is now my wife) who relentlessly MOCKED me for drinking my coffee like a girl. She said, "In MY family all the men drink their coffee black. Only the ladies put stuff in it." Well needless to say when I met her family I didn't want to be like a girl, so I began to drink it black… the way God meant for it to be. Of course, like overcoming any disgusting habit, there were times of relapse when I would go back to the old (or as I like to call it "sinful") ways of cream and sugar. But for love (and principle) I trained myself to drink black coffee. Today I am blessed to have such a great mentor in the art of drinking coffee, now at my monthly meetings with Jayson (Gil’s brother in law) he will sniff the coffee, take a taste, and pronounce, “This is a good brew!” and I (In awe like a child) will sniff mine and agree hoping that one day I too can ascend to the level of Coffee Guru like the D’Caffeinated Pickler and Jayson. Looking back at my coffee journey I shake my head in disgust at how I was so young and immature. All I can do is claim Hebrews 5:14 which says, "But black coffee is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:14 TNNIV*)" There are just one more things I must say. One other person who greatly inspires me in the world of coffee is Martin Hamata who would literally make you cry if you spilt a drop of his coffee. This incredible love and dedication to each drop is truly awe inspiring.Coffee is like faith. As we travel the path there are many people who influence us, and one day we stop and look back and are amazed at how much you have changed since the first taste.
*The New Nearly Inspired Version (my own personal translation)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Great news!! If you've turned on the TV today I'm sure you've heard that James Loney Harmeet Singh Sooden and Norman Kember were freed today after being held for four months as hostages by the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. It was interesting to hear about this story on CBC radio this morning. They were interviewing pastors and friends as well as Christian Peace Maker Teams (the organization that all three were with) Two interesting comments:
1) A man from a Catholic newspaper was saying how great this is, and how it shows us that prayer does work. After Tom Fox (the fourth man taken captive with them) was found executed there were a lot of questions whether or not prayer works, and today we have the answer that prayer Really does make a difference.
2) Al Jazeera television is broadcasting today that CPT is a friend of the Iraqi's and that they shouldn't be bothered because they are working for peace and for a better Iraq.
I think what CPT is doing is awesome. Being a voice of peace in love in war torn countries. Take a few minutes to pray for those who are being the presence of Jesus in these terrible places.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Yes I have a PC not a Mac, but I still use itunes, because I think it is the
superior music player... anyway a few itunes sorting questions (From Mike Oestreicher's site)…
HOW MANY SONGS? 2403
SORT BY SONG TITLE:
First = "40" - U2, War
Last = Zooropa - U2, Zooropa
SORT BY TIME:
Longest = Autumn Leaves - Keith Jarrett, At the Blue Note (26:45) (acctually the longest is a podcast from the guys at Relevant @ 1:00:31... but I didn't think that counted)
Shortest = Untitled - Ghoti Hook, Banana Man (0:02)
SORT BY ALBUM:
First = 12 Stones— (by none other than) 12 St0nes
Last = Zooropa - U2
TOP TWO MOST PLAYED SONGS:
1. The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage— Panic At The Disco
2. All Along the Watchtower — Dave Matthews Band, The Central Park Concert
FIRST TEN SONGS THAT COMES UP ON SHUFFLE:
1. Cortez, The Killer - Dave Matthews Band (album: The Central Park Concert)
2. Co-Dependent — Chantal Kreviazuk (album: Under These Rocks and Stones)
3. Psalm 145 — Shane and Shane (album: Psalms)
4. Curbside Prophet — Jason Mraz (album: Tonight Not Again)
5. My Confession — Josh Groban (album: Closer)
6. Six Foot Town — Big & Rich (album: Horse of a Different Color)
7. Tell Myself Goodbye— Dead Poetic (album: Four Wall Blackmail)
8. High Speed — Coldplay (album: Parachutes)
9. Situations — Jack Johnson (album: In Between Dreams)
10. Walls— Emery (album: The Weaks End)
RANDOM WORD SEARCHES
search for “jesus.” how many songs? – 9
search for “death.” how many songs? – 13 (all Death Cab for Cutie)
search for “love.” how many songs? – 91
search for “Hate” how many songs? - 10
In other news the Chinese government is imposing a 5% Chop stick Tax. Isn't that like telling Canadians there is going to be a 5% pond hockey tax? Well it's all in the name of saving the environment, but really CHOPSTICKS!!??
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
So last night Niki and I had the pleasure of having Dave Carey (pic on right)
over from Bethany... So we pulled out the good toilet paper... well not really, but it was a great time and we both really enjoyed having someone over from our time at Bethany. Dave had many encouraging things to share with us, it sounds like Dave and Cora Lynn (his wife) went through many of the same things as we have/are going through when they first started working in youth ministry. It is always good to hear that you aren't the only one adjusting to a life in the fishbowl we call ministry. Anyway, if any more of you Bethany folk are coming out this way make sure you stop by, we love the company. And for those of you still in school, take a word from the wise, enjoy the people you are with now, it is never so easy (as it is at bible school) to develop deep meaningful relationships that you will hold onto for life…. Now cheesy cliché’s aside, here is a great quote I pulled off Dave’s blog,
“How can we hunger and thirst after righteousness if we have ceased hungering and thirsting altogether? As C.S. Lewis says ‘We castrate the gelding and bid him be fruitful.”
- John Eldridge, Journey of Desire
Monday, March 20, 2006
"Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love."
- Turkish Proverb
"Decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister."
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." -The Women's Petition Against Coffee (1674)
"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at."
- Bruce Lee
"Real living is living for others."
"Showing off is the fool's idea of glory."
- Bruce Lee
"An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind."
- Mohandas Ghandhi
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not any man’s greed."
"The Rich must live more simply so that the Poor may simply live."
- Mohandas Ghandhi
"Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s rebellion "
"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are."
"I never saw a contradiction between the ideas that sustain me and the ideas of that symbol, of that extraordinary figure, Jesus Christ."
- Fidel Castro
"I'm not against God. I'm against the Misuse of God."
- Marilyn Mason
"I would not fear a pack of lions led by a sheep, but I would always fear a flock of sheep led by a lion."
- Alexander the Great
So there is an interesting movement in the United States. The House of Representatives in South Dakota passed a bill today that will criminalize all abortions except for when a mother is in danger of dying. Clearly the goal of this is that it will go all the way to the Supreme Court, where Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. I think that this will be interesting to watch in the coming months/years. With a conservative majority sitting on the Supreme Court, abortion could once again become a thing of the back alley.
The guys (and girl) on the Relevant Magazine Podcast were talking about this, and I will agree with their feelings on the issue. We believe that abortion is wrong and that we need to protect life, but then Christians need to step up adoption programs, single parent support, and any other thing you can think of to give love and support to those woman who need it. We can't just sit by with a smug smile on our faces that abortion is no longer legal... We need to become proactive, to show love and Christ to the people around us!
On a lighter note, the Utah Judge Walter Steed (See Picture on right) was kicked off the bench for being a polygamist (he had three wives).... if you don't get the humour... I'll tell you when you are older....
Thursday, March 16, 2006
1) Click Here to watch streaming video of NCAA March Madness... Yes people! This is the future of technology; we will be watching TV on our computers.
2) Click Here to wax David Hasselhoff chest hair
3) Click Here to redeem your mind, after waxing David Hasselhoff chest hair
"A writer I like named Ravi Zacharias says that the heart desires wonder and magic. He says technology is what man uses to supplant the desire for wonder. Ravi Zacharias says that what the heart is really longing to do is worship, to stand in awe of a God we don't understand and can't explain." Donald Miller Blue Like Jazz pg 192
Well I've never read anything by Ravi Zacharias, but I have heard him on Sermon Jams and I really liked it. But the thing I like about Donald Miller, or Don as I call him, is that I see a lot of myself in him... or at least I want too... Right before the quote at the top he gave this incredibly insightful comment into both himself and me. He said (and I agree with him 120%) "I like things with buttons." People! This is writing at it's PINICALE!!! Those five words summed up everything I like... well, if you added flashing lights, THEN it would be everything I like... but still... I gotta say I felt more than a little convicted when I learnt that my love for flashing lights, buttons, and technology is nothing more than me supplanting my God given desire to see The Most Wondrous One! Just one more nugget for me to chew on and learn to apply.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
or... well maybe not Blockbuster but somewhere where I could get free movies and watch them all the time, and then be this super smart movie critic guy. And then I would write books about how movies show God in culture... now there are only about three problems with this dream.
1) I can't support my wife and work at Altona Video at the same time
2) I'm not super smart and I have a hard time thinking critically... much less think critically while I'm watching a movie.
3) This blog is about as close as I'll ever get to writing a book.
Fight Club!? ... yes, it has LOTS of violence, swearing, and a bit of nudity (and I saw the TV version) but the deeper message is one that is powerful and it is fairly obvious (even to me) that there are things within that movie that Christians need to be fighting for, and against.
But maybe it is because of this love for movies that I really like the following quote:
"We need to start embracing films that might not be considered "Christian" a little bit more." Spencer Burke Practitioners pg. 88 This quote comes out of a conversation where Christian men are talking about how images (specifically movies) impact and influence us. Movies like,
Again in Practitioners Craig Detweiler says that Art isn't supposed to deliver a message, It is there, "To sort of set a table for the Holy Spirit to enter into." I think this is why both Craig and Spencer like and dislike
The Passion. They like it, because it doesn't give the message... For a person who doesn't know anything about Jesus, this movie doesn't say much except that he died. But it opens the door for the Holy Spirit to move, and it opens doors for people to share. What they are scared of is that now (Because of how well the Passion did) we will make propaganda movies that push Jesus as a product to be bought into. And art isn't propaganda.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
"I was a Fundamentalist Christian once. It lasted a summer. I was in that same phase of trying to discipline myself to "behave" as if I loved light and not "behave" as if I loved darkness. I used to get really ticked about preachers who talked too much about grace, because they tempted me to not be disciplined. I figured what people needed was a kickin the butt, and if I failed at godliness it was because those around me weren't trying hard enough. I believed if word got out about grace, the whle church was going to turn into a brothel. I was a jerk, I think... We Dream of Christ's love for His bride reading like
Romeo and Juliet; two equals enflamed in liberal love.
I think it is more like Lucentio's pursuit of Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew. That is, the groom endearing the belligerent bride with kindness, patience, and love. Our "behavior" will not be changed long with self-discipline, but fall in love and a human will accomplish what he never thought possible. The laziest of men will swim the English channel to win his woman...By accepting God's love for us, we fall in love with HIm, and only then do we have the fuel we need to obey. In exchange for our humility and willengness to accept the charity of God, we are given a kindgom. And a beggar's kingdom is better than a proud man's delusion."
Miller, Don. Blue Like Jazz Pg. 79 and 86
Monday, March 13, 2006
So last night I had the great pleasure of watching Batman Begins. Now I have to confess that I have always been a Batman fan, I even chuckle at the old Adam West Batman, and when Batman and Robin got trashed as being one of the worst movies EVER, I still thought it was pretty cool, why? Because Batman is a "real" person, there is no super power that allows him to fly (just some cool technology) and he can't see through walls, shoot lasers out of his eyes, have knives come flying out of his hands, he's just like me... with a couple billion dollars more and killer abs, but he is a human with a good heart. After watching Batman Begins I can't help but feel that this is how Batman movies are supposed to be, dark, scary, and VERY COOL! I thought it was interesting how the focused on Bruce and his humanity, and his struggle to over come his own issues. I think there is a good message for us there. Justice! It is vital to the health of any society, and when good people refuse to do anything, they become part of the problem. If you haven't seen it yet, I would recommend it. I think it is probably one of my favorite movies of the year... but then again I'm a bit of a batfan to begin with.
Friday, March 10, 2006
So the discovery for today is that, the life of a radio celebrity really isn't that spectacular. I went to CFAM yesterday to do my recording. After getting lost and driving around the block trying to figure out where I was supposed to go, I finally ended up on the second story of the Golden West Plaza. I must say it is a pretty pimped out place. So anyway, I hung around for a few minutes and then they took to me to a back room full of computers and mics and the sort. After cracking a bunch of jokes and trying out both my Arnold Schwarzenegger impression and my Scottish accent (and cracking up the sound guy pretty good) I decided I would stick to my normal voice... but I really think that they would have let me do anything, if it would spice up the Meditations From the Upper Room. Anyway it is really interesting when you start recording, because you have to be perfect, or else.... do it again... and again... and again... and again... and... well you get the idea. But it was a good time. I think I could handle working in the radio world (I definitely have the face for it), it looked like fun. But I'm still a little ticked that they didn't take me into a green room where there would be all sorts of great food and drinks for me, and then I could sit in a big leather chair and get a massage while I get ready to do my recording... I mean what does a guy have to do to get the rock star treatment? Oh well there is always the chance that they'll ask me to do it again... if they do, I'm holding out for a limo... or at least a ride to the station... and a Coke! If You are interested in what other stars demand when they are on tour check out The Smoking Gun and the backstage demands of bands from The Backstreet Boys to my personal fav u2.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Yes that is right!! It's time to get the Limo and snazzy sun glasses! I am officially a celebrity!! For the next 17 Days Yours truly will be the voice for the Moment of Meditation on CFAM Radio. So Make sure you tune in at 8:55 each morning from March 13th-24th. I'm going in this afternoon to record each of the thirty second spots.... ok so I'm no superstar radio host... yet... and probably the only people who will listen to me will be over the age of 65... BUT! at least now I'll be able to say that I was on the radio for a few days!! Move over Jian Ghomeshi!!
Oh and then one more thing this is probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen. So go and check out the commercial for the Ford Sportka... really people it is worth your time. I promise.... and if you don't laugh I'll give you the ten seconds of your life that you wasted watching this Ford Commercial.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I stepped outside after lunch prepared for the beautiful walk back to the office. I hadn't made it twenty feet before I was stopped by an unexpected obstacle. Instead of clearing a path around the garage like he normally does, snow blower man had left a patch three feet high and five feet long right in my path. Puzzled I stopped... do I jump in and risk getting my shoes full of snow, and soaking my pants to the knees... or do I go all the way back and around the long way... where there is a mini ocean in the middle of the sidewalk? Without any more thought I JUMP!!! and land square in the middle of the snow bank. Amazingly my feet don't feel wet and there is no snow on my pants! So I begin walking to church with a dignified stride. But it doesn't take long until I am navigating across the system of lakes and rivers that stretches all the way across town, with all the grace of a Sumo Wrestler, I manage to splash water everywhere! It is about this time that I realize that my snow bank jump didn't come completely free of causalities... The snow that had packed itself in-between the sides of my shoe and my socks begins to melt and I can feel it slowly sliding down to the bottom of my foot and soaking into my socks. The cold begins to bite, and I wonder if I wouldn't have been better to go the long way... and isn't sin just like this... At first there seems to be no consequences to what I am doing, but then later it begins to seep into everything and you are left with cold, hurting, wet feet. I cut across the parking lot of the Main Street Station and come to main street, and there is my final obstacle, a huge puddle that stretches across the road from one side to the other... as I wait pondering what I will do, a large Ford drives by parting the water for me like a modern day Moses... lightly I skip across, just one toe on the peak of dry land that I can see, and THERE I AM ACROSS!!! The rest of the walk is simple... and as I walk I ask myself, "Why am I not four years old with rubber boots so that I can just walk through everything and just laugh?" Just thought I'd share the adventure I was on today... now back to my new book. I just got it in the mail today. I'm reading Practitioners (on recommendation of Dan King... by the way the cheque is in the mail) and I already love it (two paragraphs in!) I'm sure I'll be sharing a few quotes in the days to come.
So last night I finished reading Animal Farm... or as Orwell originally called it Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. I love that book! It is so much fun to look for the different historical events that were happening as he wrote the book. Quite clearly he is mostly talking about the Russian Revolution and Stalin (He even changed some things about the Pig Napoleon right before it was published so that it better reflected Stalin). But perhaps more interesting is to see how the story fits in today's society. First, in the rise to power and then the corruption of Mao in China. And secondly in our own world, where, media could very easily convince most of us that something never happened. Donald Miller said in an interview with the Relevant Magazine team that, "We have become a culture of very very stupid people." We pride ourselves on our intelligence, but in reality we have bought into what media tells us with our heart, mind and soul. The words of Derek Webb’s A New Law reflect the common sentiment among many people in North America today:
"(vs. 1) don’t teach me about politics and government just tell me who to vote for don’t teach me about truth and beauty just label my musicdon’t teach me how to live like a free man just give me a new law(pre-chorus) i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy so just bring it down from the mountain to me."
Orwell said that the moment the pigs should have been overthrown is when they started to keep the milk and apples for themselves. And that the message of Animal Farm is that we will always end up trading one master of another, unless we keep a careful watch. I would say that too me (from this reading) the message seemed to be, we need to work on those critical thinking skills. To watch what we are learning, to study politics, and the music we listen to, and to learn to live like free people. We need to watch that we are not lulled to sleep by the confidence that we are free and in doing so lose that freedom we cherish so much.