Monday, September 24, 2007

Seems sort of wishy washy but...

ok... I know it seems a little bit like I keep changing my mind about what I'm doing, going private, not going private.... But I've decided to say good bye to blogging altogether. So the private blog is gone, and this one will just sit here as a reminder of all the fun things I've found and written. Thanks to all of you who have read, it has been a lot of fun the last two years.
To close it off I thought I would leave you all with a few of my favorite, and personally most meaningful posts.

Amazing Grace
Killer Squirrels
Why Grissom is like Jesus
Lennox
Grandma
Your Job
funniest video ever
My Fav Band

My Fav Book
In loving memory of Nate

So long blogging world!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lot's of reading to do

So I picked up my order from Amazon.. very exciting. Now I just need to curl up and read for a while. Here's the list of books I picked up!









Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This looks very cool

Well life here is going well. Things are in full swing, meeting or youth almost every night this week. Not a bad way to kick off the year. And of course.... I'm preaching this week. It always happens that I have to preach on the same week I'm doing a Sr. AND Jr. Youth Bible study. But so far I'm loving youth, and I had a great meeting with some of the parents last night. So work is busy, but I find so much of it incredibly filling and meaningful, so you can't ask for much more than that. Let's see.... what else is new?

The other day I took a sip of church coffee, and I came to the realization that my palate has improved, and church coffee is not good enough for me.... So I've brought my press over and grind my own beans in the church, and the works.... Yes, I am a coffee snob... but if you drink my coffee you'll see that it just doesn't compare to the third rate tar that we have in the church. I figure there have to be a few indulgences I'm allowed.

Also I now run a legitimate youth ministry! Last week Thursday after our Jr. Youth some of the kids were running around the back alley and the police got two phone calls complaining. It sort of makes me mad, because they weren't doing anything destructive or even rowdy, in fact they are all great kids who wouldn't do anything bad, they just had a lot of energy and they needed to run around a bit. So anyway a few of the kid had a chat with one of our constables and me, and I think we'll stay away from the back alley now... that... or we'll all go back there for a really loud game... I haven't made up my mind yet. But it was nice, when I was in Charlotte last Christmas having a police complaint against your youth ministries was a sign that you are doing well. So I'll take it as a positive for our Jr. Youth ministry... good times. oh! and if you are a parent of a kid who was at Jr. Youth and this is the first you've heard of it. Don't worry about anything, they honestly didn't do anything wrong.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hitting the Weights

Well life here seems to be getting back into a routine! Youth starts up this week, and I have to say that this (our 3rd youth year in Altona) is shaping up to be my favorite! Speaking of shaping up... it is also that time of year, when you realize that all your big work out plans for the summer fell through, and that if you want to be in shape for next year at the beach it would be best to start now. So now I'm on this healthy eating thing, fruits, veggies, Rye bread... and such, and I've also started working out... and I've actually done pretty well in the last three weeks. I'm pretty stoked about it, and depending on what time of day I weigh myself, and how much is in my pocket it looks like I've already lost around 5 pounds. Maybe the biggest difference though is this time I have set a goal for myself. I want to lose another 30 pounds and weigh 165... which I don't think I have actually weighed since I was.... 16 maybe... anyway, that's the goal. I'm sure there will be more posts about this as the year continues.

But all this thinking about shaping up and working out and stuff has made be very aware of eating habits and other people who are in shape. When I see someone who is totally ripped I ask myself, "I wonder what he does?" But there is one thing that I saw this weekend that sort of bothered me.

On the MTV VMA's on Sunday there was a lot of hype about the return of Britteny Spears, which was basically a disaster. She looked drunk on stage, did a horrible job of lip syncing, and basically the performance was a dud. But what bothers me most is how many pictures I have seen of her in her tiny little outfit with the caption "Out of shape Britteny Spears."

What bothers me most about the whole thing is not her tiny outfit and how she promotes a life style of sex and promiscuity that we just don't need in our society, and let me be clear, that does bother me. What bothers me most is how every commentator is calling her flabby and out of shape, when really in those pictures she looks to be a healthy weight. No she doesn't have rock hard abs, but neither do most people. The media is big on telling us that we put too much emphasis's on how we look. Tyra Banks has been positive spokeswoman for models that aren't a size zero, and has encouraged people to be healthy, but also to feel comfortable and beautiful as they are. And yet... here is the same media telling us that Britteny is "fat", "flabby", "dumpy", and out of shape, when she clearly is not.... she's just not a size zero. It bothers me the images that we feel we must live up to, and I can only imagine the anguish that a young girl must go through hearing these thing said about Britteny and realizing that she isn't even in as good shape as her. It is just plain wrong! And so that is my rant, I hate the way the media has dumped on Britteny, and the way that the media is two-faced, on one side saying that it's o.k. not to look like a size zero model, and on the other blasting anyone who doesn't meet their standard. I hope that today if you are reading this you realize that you are a beautiful/handsome person and you do not need to aspire to the false concept of beauty that the media feeds you.

Monday, September 10, 2007

How do you do this?

I love it... I wonder how you do this

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I LOVE WAKE BOARDING!!!!

After literally hundreds of tries... I am so happy to say that I officially wake board! Now all I say is "I love wake boarding!!!!" So much fun... not that I'm good or anything, but man I love to carve in the wake... goood times! Can't wait till next summer so I can go again!

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's started

On Saturday we started ripping the siding off our house... not too bad actually... we got all the wood siding off and insulation around about half, and then we called it a day. Niki and I now have enough fire wood for us to have a fire every night until it is too cold to be outside. It was actually a pretty fun day. Roger and I started in the morning and decided we had two options. 1) we could work off the boards and keep as many intact as we could or 2) we could just smash those boards and rip them off... we went with option 2 good times breaking stuff. video

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Church Office

I love the TV show The Office. It is weird, funny, and just plain odd. If you've seen it then you might enjoy these Simply Youth Ministry Videos called The Church Office. I really think that the youth pastor in them catches the Clueless(ness) of Mike.



Episode 1 (Here)It isn't as good as Episode 2

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pics from Holidays




We had a lot of fun at CanadInn in Grand Forks with the Neufeld family. Can't wait to go again and use those six free passes we got!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

LOOOOONG TIME!

yes! I am quite aware that it has been a long time.... but I have two good reasons! Reason 1: St. Laurent DVBS a week away from the internet. Reason 2: Holidays, a week of sleeping in staying up late, shopping, water park, and more... good times! So anyway now I'm back in the office trying to remember what it is to put in a 8 hour day, and catch up on everything I didn't think about for two weeks... good times. Anyway here are some pics from St. Laurent... it was so sweet!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In Loving Memory of Nate

Sometimes life doesn't make any sense to me. And the question why is brought to the forefront of my mind. On the weekend I heard that a friend from Bible School, Nate Toews, was killed in an accident. Nate and I shared a instant connection when we first met at Bethany. We were both P.K's, we were both Nate's, and our birthday's were even close together. But on my part I just wanted to be associated with Nate, there was an infectious quality about Nate. He was one of those people who you meet and will never forget, who leaves a permanent mark on your life and soul, who was the presence of Jesus to many many people. I loved Nate, I loved to be around him, life was never boring in the dorm with him around. I always felt inspired and loved after a time with him... oh and my sides usually hurt to from laughing, and soaking in the joy that radiated from him. After Bethany we sort of lost touch, but a two summers ago when we were at Redberry Bible camp he and his brothers came through and did the chapels at camp. And it was so good to pick up again and hear about the things he was up to and such. Once again I was struck by his passion and love for God, and his incredible Joy! But a tragic accident has robbed us far to soon from someone who brought so much joy, robbed us of a husband, friend, and disciple of Jesus.

My prayers are with Rosanna as she grieves the loss of her husband, and with the rest of his family. And my heart grieves with them. There are no words to explain how my heart reaches out. I want to say something... but I can't... I don't know where to begin.

And we are all left with a why? I cannot except simple answers, pat answers. "God had a plan", "It was time for him to go", these answers do not answer the pain that is left, and only cause me to doubt the goodness of God. How can a good God leave a young widow to mourn? How could a good God rob us of such a holy inspiring man? How could... And yet... I do believe that God is good, and I believe that his love and comfort know no boundaries, so while I cannot believe that God caused this tragedy, or even wanted it to happen, I do believe that God is good, and will work destruction into beauty, will work tragedy into celebration, and will work death to life. I don't understand the why and don't believe I ever will, but I put my trust in the good and loving hands of Jesus and trust that he will turn our mourning into dancing.

ht: thanks Trev for the great picture from our freshman year missions trip

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thanks

Hey I just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who prayed for me while I was speaking at camp. I think things went really well, it was fun, we had a good time, did lots of screaming and jumping around, and I believe God spoke to the kids. So thanks. Here are a few pics from Thursday night (thanks Erin)... if you look closely you can see the sweat pouring off my face... yuck!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mmmmm Goood!!!


You are looking at a 1983 Suzuki GS550.... oh so beautiful! Now I hear what you are all saying, "Nathan, you don't have your motor bike license." ... details, details. No, I haven't bought a bike, however right now I am in the process of begging Niki to "Please, please, PLEASE make the budget work to fit this little beauty into our garage!" Well here's some crossed fingers and hoping that one day I will fly free across the Manitoba countryside. In case you are wondering I caught the bike itch when I was in my second year at Bethany, and Rich Friesen took me on a ride from Circle and 8th Mall back to Bethany, ever since that oh so cold ride, I have longed for the freedom and joy of my own bike... and now it's there.... just within grasping distance. So once again I put out my plea to you my loyal readers, if you want to donate to the "Buy Nathan an uber sweet bike fund." Leave a comment and I'll send you my Mailing address. Thanks so much!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Off to WBC

I'm off to Winkler Bible Camp this week.... I'm working here in Altona during the days, but in the evenings I'll be driving out to speak at their chapels.

Mild mannered youth pastor by day,


and super camp speaker at night!
Well I'm looking forward to it, I'll hang out with some of my youth that are there, and I'm going to bring a few along from here when I'm speaking, so that will be cool. Anyway if you feel like praying for me during the week, that would be sweet. I always know when people are praying. Thanks a lot

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Think Gas is expensive???

Think a gallon of gas is expensive?

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 - $10.32 per gallon
Lipton Iced Tea 16 oz $1.19 - $9.52 per gallon
Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 - $10.17 per gallon
Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 - $10.00 per gallon
Brake Fluid 12 oz 3.15 - $33.60 per gallon
Vick’s Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 - $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 - $123.20 per gallon
Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 - $25.42 per gallon
Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 - $84.48 per gallon

And this is the real kicker…

Evian water 9 oz $1.49 - $21.19 per gallon! $21.19 for WATER and the buyers don’t even know the source. Evian spelled backwards is Naive.

Ever wonder why printers are so cheap? It’s because they have you hooked for the ink. Someone calculated the cost of printer ink at ( you won’t believe it, but it is true )
$5,200 a gallon.

So, the next time you’re at the pump,be glad your car doesn’t run on water, Scope, or Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or God forbid, Printer Ink!

Just a little humor to help ease the pain of your next trip to the pump.

ht: Dan

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

THE IMPORTANCE OF "TODAY"

I'm doing some sermon prep for Sunday, and I'm preaching on Luke 4:14-30 and I found this really interesting word study on the word Today as used in Luke. I really like it, but I'm not sure how much of it I can use, so I thought I'd post it here. For all the context and study check out here. Otherwise just enjoy this little article.

"Jesus' quote from Isaiah contains the same kind of good news and bad news for us. He is talking about social and economic justice for the poor and oppressed. The good news: You can start now. You can start today. The bad news: You'll never finish. A commitment to justice for all people -- in fact, for all of creation -- is a never-ending struggle.

Today is an important word for Luke. It occurs 12 times in Luke and only 9 times in the other three gospels combined. It occurs in such familiar passages as: "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you." "Today you will be with me in paradise." And twice in the Zacchaeus story: "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay in your house today." And, "Today, salvation has come to this house." And in our text: "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

For Luke today is a moment of radical change.

The shepherds come and see the savior born in Bethlehem. They return rejoicing and praising God. They had been changed.

After Jesus' visit with Zacchaeus, he is changed. He says: "Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

We can suppose that the eternal life of the thief on the cross was radically changed by Jesus' words. He is promised eternity in paradise.

In our Gospel Lesson, there is a change in the people who heard Jesus. At first they are proud of their hometown boy. They boast to one another about knowing his parents. But the more Jesus talked about God's grace -- even for non-Jews, another reaction came forth from the people. Luke tells us, "All the people in the synagogue were filled with rage." They try to kill Jesus by throwing him over a cliff.

Today is a time of change brought about through an encounter with Jesus. The change may involve attitude -- rejoicing and praising God; or, wanting to kill Jesus. The change may involve financial priorities -- giving rather than getting. The change may involve finding comfort and hope in the midst of despair and death.

However, we often avoid the changes of today. Some try to continue to live the past. "Remember the good, old days." They may remember all the good times way back when. They may remember and talk about all the things they used to do. What are they doing to make today just as glorious?

Or they may look back at the rotten past and blame all their troubles on their hated history. What are they doing today to change that past?

History is important. We constantly need to look back and learn from our mistakes and successes. But we can't live in the past. We live today. It has been suggested that the greatest threats to congregations today are past successes that no longer work well in the present. (We tend to drop past failures, but what worked for us back then, we may hold onto past their usefulness.

At the same time, I heard a speaker state that congregations that forget their past and traditions are like people with amnesia or Alzheimer -- they don't know who they are.

On the other hand, we can also avoid changes of today by dreaming of the ideal tomorrow. Someday the prisons will be empty. Someday the oppressed will be set free. Someday poverty will be ended. Someday all people will have heard the gospel. God will do all that someday -- so we don't have to do anything today to help the oppressed out of their plights.

Someday I'll loose weight. Someday I'll quit smoking. Someday I'll start exercising. Someday I'll take a college course. And we do nothing today to help make that future come true.

For Jesus' listeners, and for us, the word today is terrifying. On one hand, Jesus is not who they expected. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they ask. If today is the day of God's great salvation, what's this Jesus doing here telling it to us? If today is the great day, where are all the miracles? If today is such an extraordinary day, why don't I see some extraordinary things happening? Jesus, the boy raised in that town by Mary and Joseph, simply spoke to the people. No flashing lights. No voices from heaven. Jesus saying a few words in the synagogue. "Immanuel" -- God with us -- is Jesus coming in a few words.

Yesterday can look glorious. Tomorrow can look so glamorous. But today is so ordinary. So many of us get into a routine, a rut. Today is just another day. Was Jesus just another home-town boy? Were his words just another teacher's words? The great, saving event of God comes in common, ordinary ways. Sometimes we may even miss them. Today is an extraordinary day -- God is with you today.

Today is a terrifying word because it calls you to action now. "I don't know what to do?" You might complain. "I don't want to make a decision now," you rationalize. The call of today shakes you out of your complacency. Just as "the Spirit of the Lord" was upon Jesus, so that same Spirit is upon each of you. You will make some wrong decisions, God promises to forgive those -- and who knows how the Spirit will use your mistakes! You will make some right decisions and you know that the Spirit will use those. You will become a better person, a better believer, and this world will be a better place for some people.

We are to be radical community on earth. We are called and empowered to work for the release of people who are bound -- the rehabilitation of prisoners, the freeing of people wrapped in their shells of self-doubt and self-pity.

We are called and empowered to work on behalf of the poor and oppressed. How can we help the poor in our county? How can we help the elderly? How can we help single parents? What about the oppressed around the world? Those in Central America? Those in Namibia? Those in the new nations that used to be part of the Soviet Union?

"Those are idealistic and impossible dreams," you can say. I would agree with you. But that is why that word today becomes so frightening. Jesus is saying that the impossible is happening today. The good news is: You can start now. You can be part of those miracles today. The bad news is: You'll never finish. If you answer the call to start -- it is a lifetime commitment. There will be great, wonderful moments along the way, but there will always be more that needs to be done.


Brian Stoffregen
Faith Lutheran Church, 1000 D St., Marysville, CA 95901
e-mail: b.stoffregen@comcast.net

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Throwing stuff off the bridge

Just got this pic from my friend Brad (aka Potty) Yup, this about sums up the good times we have! ... and yes, we did throw all those pieces of wood off the bridge!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Convention

So here we are back in Saskatchewan.... I mean seriously, how much more are we going to be driving out here. Two oil changes in a month = too much driving. But I guess it's still nice to be hanging out at Bethany, seeing some old friends and cooling of in Jerry's office since it's very nice and air conditioned. So far convention is a convention. Lot's of meetings and lot's of people talking, some good stuff, some that is a little less interesting. Yesterday we had a class on Divorce and remarriage so that was pretty awesome, I liked the whole academic schooling type thing again. This morning I put Lennox outside at my mom and dads, and when I let him back in this morning his face was covered in golf ball sized bites. So we're thinking it is mosquitoes but if anyone knows different I'd love to hear from you. The bugs are unbelievably bad here.
Well that's all for now.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Canada Weekend

So after preaching on Sunday, Niki and I packed up and headed out to Pelican Lake to spend Sunday and Monday at our Friends Cabin, a beautiful two days of boating and relaxing in the sun. I continued my quest to conquer the wakeboard... but as you will see in the pictures, I still haven't made it happen. Niki on the other hand got up on her second try..... oh well, the quest continues, I haven't given up hope yet! It was a great weekend, but just so you can see how great here are some pictures.


This is as far as I ever got up.

















Jer clearly had a bit more luck
than I did.









Getting ready for a nice evening cruise













beautiful











what's Canada Day without fire works??

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mudfest Round III

I know these are super late... oops, but here are some sweet pics from Mudfest!




Thursday, June 28, 2007

Not much New

Haven't had much to say this week. Things have sort of slowed down since we got back from Saskatchewan. It's kind of nice to have a few free evenings in a row. I got a nice round of golf in with the youth pastors here in town. One of them (Mark) is done at the end of the month so we had to give him a good 'ole farewell. I even didn't do too bad.... I really have gotten better since the first time I went. Anyway that's all for now. Going to the Miller grad this afternoon so that should be pretty sweet.


Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ryan Leech

Biker Ryan Leech is coming to Altona on Friday. Not sure what time but I'll let you know. You'll want to catch this. Check out what he can do... the part where he rides the chain is INSANE!!!! The 2nd video is rather mind blowing as well.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Grad Party

Wake boarding, knee boarding, tubing, food, and sun. That is what our grad party was on Saturday. It was so sweet to get away with our grads and spend a day relaxing and hanging out. There were seriously moments as I was sitting in the boat ripping around the lake where I had to ask myself, "Am I really getting paid for THIS!" It was such a blast! And just so you can all be jealous of the great time we had, here are some pics (and for the record, no I never did actually get up on the Wake board... next time)