Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Meaningless, Everything is Meaningless

I was reading through my devotions this morning, through Jeremiah 2:1-19. And as I read through In Quietness and Confidence by David Roper, it just became more and more clear to me. Roper in and of himself expands upon the whole subject quite nicely. Talking about how no matter how well you build your cistern, it's always going to leak. No matter how many hours you put, how much money, or how much planning you put in, it will always leak.

We live in a world that is desperate for more... and more... and more! Yet God clearly says throughout the Bible, it'll never be enough. No matter how much you'll gain, no matter what heights you may attain, it'll never be what you are truly looking for. We must come to the living stream. The one thing that can truly fulfill us.

That's what Jesus meant when he told the Samaritan woman that she would never thirst again. I can make you happy, I can fill that void that is within your soul. The one that everyone around you feels, that you are all so actively seeking out, I am that answer. It's a scary thought, because it means turning our backs on everything that we've held so dear. Instead, we do an about face and run straight for God, and run away from this world.

He may lead us into riches, He may lead us into power, but more often than not, we aren't called to that kind of a life. We are called into being His hands and feet to everyone. To do the small acts that build up over time to cause a revolution. That's challenging.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Good Day

Today was a good day (as if that wasn't already obvious), It's chilly outside, but I didn't spend most of my day outside! I was busy for the whole day, with staff meeting this morning, praying with Kevin in the early afternoon, and working on Religious Education all afternoon! It kept me busy, and I was quite happy to be that way.

Tomorrow, I teach the grade 5 class again, and this time I have to get them through the story of Joseph, through the ten plagues, and across the Red Sea! Run Israelites Run! I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to get through all that material in one class, but I'll give it my best shot, and gosh darnit, I'm going to enjoy doing it!

All the students are Prairie are stressed out of their minds as they finish up their semester, so it's kinda nice to be apart from that. I took Bethany out to lunch because she is getting sick and hasn't been getting her sleep (hm... connected somehow?). It was good times! (this whole paragraph was for you Lorelei :D)

Tonight... Dinner, Board Meeting, Futsal! Go go gadget Stephen!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Six Years, and Many More Lessons

Today has been six years since my mom passed away. I never quite know how I feel on a day like this, I just sort of have to take it as it comes. Perhaps it should be a bigger deal than it is, perhaps it should be less. It's not something I can ever really know.
I've learned so much in the past six years, and I often wish that I could just talk with my mom about what is going on in my life. Get her opinion on things that are in my head, as I prepare for ministry, who I am... all of those things. What is it that she would say as I'm not on my internship? What would be the most important part of what I am doing? Would she be happy with who I am? Inadequacies and all.
It's not often that a decision comes up where I don't wonder what my mom would say, what kind of advice she would give. A sort of check and balance of sorts, but one that I can't say I'm terribly informed on. It's funny to think how young I was when she passed away, only 15 years old. Yet that single event forced me to have to grow up so quickly. Suddenly I needed to make a lot of my own choices, ask for money when I needed to go get clothes, and consider who my friends really were. Dad was there to watch over me, but in a lot of ways, that's how my mom was involved in my life. Dad took (and takes!) care of my physical needs, but mom was the one who really watched over my emotional ones.
Because of that, perhaps I'm grown up more in some ways than I should be. But perhaps it's nothing more than calusses that have formed, covering up the immaturity that is underneath. God has slowly been peeling them off, sometimes one at a time, sometimes a few at a time, and showing me what's underneath. Holds me when I can't do it myself, and applauds me while he watches me get up and run. He picks me up and comforts me when I fall, and pushes me forward to keep me going.
Perhaps because of all of this, adulthood is not really adulthood, it's merely a different stage of childhood, where you realize that while you now make all of your own choices, and can express things in much bigger words, your still just as dependant on your Father as you were to begin with. Faith like a child. Puts a different perspective on it for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Here are the pictures... :D Like I said... fairy tales... Bethel Youth Group, and camera's = fun times.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm not suddenly busy... honest!

Alright, two sermons, three devotionals, a sunday school lesson, a small group session, games time, 24 or so parents to phone, 2 1/2 minute video to make. Yup, I've got a few things to do over the next little while. This is on top of Karate, Soccer, and James. Life is awesome, it just keeps me busy! Time to start utilitizing the daytime hours!

Challenges, in the personal sense

So I was reading through My Utmost for His Highest this morning, and this is the article for the day:

Shallow and Profound

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person—God became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all—the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher …” (Matthew 10:24).

We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

Funny how it's the small things that challenge you the most. Take no one seriously, don't be afraid to be shallow. How counter-culture is that today? We are challenged by the world to lie to everyone around us, be something more than what we are, and put on a good face. The strongest, and the deepest survive. You would never want to admit that at any particular moment you are shallow.

God forbid that you just want to enjoy a day with some friends without some depth to that. An interesting observation. More on that later, it's time for lunch.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Lots to write about

Wow... what a weekend. Where to start. Right, the beginning. Let's start at the beginning.

Friday was sort of a hodge-podge of a day. In the morning I didn't have much to do, and wasn't expecting much to do in the afternoon, but as we looked at DISH (Digital Image Scavenger Hunt) that night, it seemed like we were going to need a camera, and I needed to run into Red Deer to exchange a fender part for my Jetta. So rather than asking Bethany to head in with me Saturday morning (which I found out she wouldn't be able to go) we went in Friday afternoon.

After dinner, we booted it back to Three Hills, and I dropped her off pretty much RIGHT at 7. When I pulled up to the church, Kevin was on the phone... calling... ME! We had a great night at DISH. Nothing like fairy tales, camera's and a bunch of youth running around town to excite things! Pictures early this week when I get them!

Saturday consisted of me slacking off. It was good times. About noonish, I got ahold of Jon, and we drove into Calgary to go see a movie, eat, and go to the volleyball games. We ended up doing all of them, just not in that order! We got lost, so we stopped and ate, then went to the volleyball games, we went to a movie with myself, Jon and Becky. It was pretty good, and thought provoking.

Today was just busy. Sunday school this morning was pretty adlib, because I finished the material last week, and forgot that I'd done that, so I had to pull a quick one and form a lesson on the spot. We ended up talking about Luke 14, where Jesus is at a Pharisee's house, and ultimately about putting yourself last. Worked out pretty well.

Afternoon involved Open Dorms, so I went up to Bethany's room to take a look at some pictures, play UFO (or XCOM as she calls it), and throw a ball at each other. It was good times. And then Fusion tonight!

Things that I've learned? Girls are fun and confusing at the same time. Lord of War is a thought provoking movie, but I don't think I'd want to see it again. Always plan your lessons ahead of time. And phoning is very important in youth ministry! Gotta have that contact. Guess what I'm doing this next week? If you guessed phoning, go eat some skittles!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


How well does this describe me, anyways? haha

Wolf - Independant, strong-willed and often misunderstood. Few people truly understand you. Your extremely attached to the significant few you love and respect. You often find yourself as a loner, but you eagerly seek the comfort of your packmates.

What Is Your Animal Personality?
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Joy Williams - We

She's independent and beautiful
Wish I could be like her
She's got the girls and the boys
So wrapped around her finger
Rumor is, she's some kind of dream
Nobody knows she cries herself to sleep

We are not that different from each other
We just want somebody to discover
Who we really are when we drop our guard
That love has gotta start with you and me

He's on the top of the social scene
He's stylish, cool and clever
He's gotta cool attitude that screams
He's got it all together
You'd think he's addicted to himself
But he wishes he could be someone else

We are not that different from each other
We just want somebody to discover
Who we really are when we drop our guard
That love has gotta start with you and me

Gotta come together
You know you never ever have to be alone
You gotta hand to hold

We are not that different from each other
We just want somebody to discover
Who we really are when we drop our guard
That love has gotta start with you and me

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ah... Wednesdays

What a way to wake up! Yesterday, I was awoken by the phone ringing, and then realizing I was late... for staff meeting. Quickly jumping out of bed, having a record-setting shower, and rushing out the door were par for that morning. And I did make it to the meeting, just not on time!

That afternoon, Kevin, Lynn and I went into Calgary. Lynn is off to the east coast for some meetings, and Kevin and I were dropping him off, and then doing some planning. As it turned out, we spent all afternoon in Calgary, but got some good planning done for the youth retreat... now just to work on DISH for this Friday!

Last but not least... soccer last night was both great and brutual at the same time! Richard worked us hard, so much so that I could barely get up this morning! That's the good part, but we also were practicing till almost midnight. Not a biggy, but after such a hard workout, I was dead, and I'm preaching today again! Oh well, everything worked out fine in the end.

Today: Preaching in an hour... planning.

Monday, November 14, 2005

What a Weekend!

One of the things I've had to learn over the past few months is that a weekend is not necessarily a rest for a pastor. In fact, the weekends are by far the busiest time for me! If it's not youth on Friday, it's Sunday School preparation, or Fusion, or Small Groups... or a sermon!

This past weekend, I found out saturday morning (after the half-day of prayer) that my 5 minute devotional was now a 12-15 minute sermon! Not anyone's fault but my own, and not asking the right questions ahead of time. So I spent all day Saturday working on that sermon (Psalm 34:1-7) and getting it ready to go. Then I had to get my Sunday School lesson.

I put in a full day on Saturday! But have no fears, it all worked out quite well. I got all the research done, and a 4 page outline done, with illustrations. Sunday involved Sunday School, and then the main service, then I had to preach at 4ish, and went over to a family's house for dinner (VERY good), and finally to the Church for Fusion. Oh... and then to a pastor's meeting at Kevin and Teri's, but that was a lot more relaxing than it sounds.

It was a good weekend, and I slacked off today! This week: Planning for D.I.S.H (Digitial Image Scavenger Hunt), Planning for the youth retreat (Decemeber 2-4th), getting the new body piece on my car painted, and fixing what is left! It's going to be a good week.

Internet Service to Put Classic TV on Home Computer - New York Times

Internet Service to Put Classic TV on Home Computer - New York Times

Totally off topic... but this is where the world is heading. Free, less ad's, all of the content. Nice work WB... time to expand that into your current programming!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Not much on the home front

Didn't do a whole lot today. Made a powerpoint for the day of prayer tomorrow, screwed up fixing something in my car, and then Kevin fixed it.... Don't let his post fool you, he's good at fixing things! :)

Students are out tonight, so I'll have to hunt down something to do. Sometimes being in Three Hills really sucks! :D If you're bored, give me a call.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fix it up!

I'm back from Edmonton! I went up their last night, as Kevin said to drop off the old alternator and spend a night at my dad's! It was a lot of fun, and good to be home for a little bit. Spent most of the morning just running around Edmonton and picking some things up. I got new snowboard boots, since I couldn't find my old ones, and parts for my Jetta.

I'm at the place where I can finally start to fix some of the parts that were run down or broken when I got it. So I'll be working on my car this weekend, putting those parts in, and pulling out the old ones! It's good times.

Yesterday's class went well. Got through all the material that I wanted to, which was the big thing. But I had fun doing it as well! Just like at camp, you have to forget that you're an adult and have some fun with the kids. (EWWWWWW!!!!! Adam and Eve were naked! EWWWWWWW!!!!!) So life is just good right now. Maybe I'll go snowboarding tomorrow, but I don't know if that's the wisest choice if they are leaving tonight, I'll have to do some thinking about it!
Stephen (I call him Steve) is away for a part of the day. He taking his old dead VW alternator to his dad so that he can get a credit for it. We attempted to take the alternator off ourselves (I was sure we could manage...I saw my brother-in-law do it once and it didn't look too hard). We got the belt off alright, exercising teamwork like we're supposed to. But the next phase didn't go as smooth. While he looked for a specific wrench size I worked on the top mounting bolt. It was set in pretty good so I had to lean on it... We ended up towing the car to a local shop where they were able to cut out the broken piece of bolt I left behind. Steve demonstrated his typical, unflappable character. Forgave me graciously for busting the bolt and we moved along.
Sometimes life is like the bolt. Things that have been set and left for a long time become difficult to change, arduous to work with. One of the things I am learning from Steve is to think in new ways. He has a way of bringing out better thinking from my old set mind. Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." That's the way I think this internship process is working. I may have more experience, and I hope some of the stuff I've stumbled through in the past helps him out; I also am benefiting from our time together!

He did a really good job teaching yesterday, I was quite proud of him. It's hard to tell when he's nervous...Some people have a funny laugh when they get anxious, Steve's is funny all the time! Some people talk a lot when they get nervous, Steve...Well let's just say if that's a nervous reaction he should get help! I wasn't sure if he was nervous about teaching his first grade 4-5 lesson or not, but he was well prepared and the kids ate his lesson up. Wherever he ends up I think working with that age group should be something he's involved in regularly.

Our next tasks are planning the youth retreat in early December and around the corner is our scavenger hunt we do digitally. We need a great theme to capture the kids' interest...It'll be fun to collaborate on those items, and I'll let you know what we come up with... At least if I can actually figure out how to do this!

- Pastor Kevin

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Narrative Form? Check
Notes? Check
The Fall to the Tower of Babel? Check
Biblically correct? Check
Fill-in sheet so the kinetic learners can follow along? Check
Stephen? Check
Game at the end? Check
Breathing? .................................... Check!

Time to go teach the grade 5 class. Funny how teenagers are easy peasy, but the elementary age are mysterious to me. Oh well, time to forget I'm 21 and go have fun!

Stephen and Grade 5's!

Alright, so I've been preparing all morning for my Relgious Education class this afternoon. I'm taking about 60 some grade 5ers from The Fall through to the Tower of Babel. Just to recap, that is the pinnacle of human debauchery! God casts us out of the Garden of Eden, Cain kills Abel, and is cast out his land and profession. It continues with the entire world being corrupt except for Noah, and God completely wiping us out. But wait! We're not done yet, let's build a tower up to God! Oh... he destroyed that too. Hm....

It should be a fair bit of fun, actually, because despite God disciplining us on a regular basis, He is extraordinarily faithful to our kind, and preserving and redeeming us. It's amazing how many chances He gives us to repent our sins, and how many times we try to pretend like it never happened. Yet He knows.

I'll post later to let you know how it all went!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Learning about Youth Ministry

I was going to post something especially for my sister. Naturally, she'd be rolling her eyes, and saying such wonderful things such as 'Oh Brother' and other such beautiful insights. And being the bright lady that she is... it would have been about girls! haha, but I thought a second time about it, and instead I'll talk a little bit about what I've seen over the past week.

It was last thursday that I posted about being in chapel. I still continue to be amazed by it, and am still reflecting about it. It was incredible to be a part of that and just watch teens worship, when they are lead by other teens. We got back Friday night, ready to have a good night in the Gym, and what's funny... no one showed up.

Part of doing ministry in Three Hills is having to make amends for being put under by something else going on in town. In this case: Volleyball Tournament. There will be nights when things will go awesome, and nights when you won't have anyone show up, and you just have to take it as it comes.

What's particularly odd about the whole thing is that come Sunday Night for Fusion, we had an incredible turnout, with kids that came to particpate. The same set that the kids did for Thursday, they did Sunday night, and it went over well again. It was a different environment than previous weeks, and I'm not quite sure what the difference was. Perhaps it was because it was just youth leading worship, perhaps it was the time that got put into preparing it. Perhaps it was the prayer before? Perhaps....

Just some thoughts about youth ministries, and the different ups and downs. Tonight I've got Karate, and then hanging out with friends tonight. Back to the office tomorrow with staff meeting, and then lunch with one of the kids. I'm looking forward to that.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


This one is for my impatient sister... who doesn't realize that I was at a conference all day friday and saturday, and that I work today! I've only go this time because we set up early!

I've been at the Volunteer Revolution conference over the past few days, and I've learned quite a bit. Yet it's funny how all of these revolutionary concepts all seemed to be a part of my youth group.

Most of the conference focussed on helping people find where they truly belong based on what they enjoy, and how God has gifted them. Sounds pretty simple, eh? Yet it apparently is a huge deal. Finding place where people can serve, and helping them discover their gifts is really the big pusher. How can we help people discover their gifts in a non-threatening way. It was really quite good. More on it as I digest what I read and look over the notes.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Resilience of Youth

I had the opportunity this morning to go to the PHS chapel and participate in that. We had some youth from our group leading worship, and who I know have been working extremely hard at preparing for it. One of the joys of working with youth, is that I get to go to a chapel, worship with a few hundred of them, and call it work. Life doesn't get much better than that.

They did a phenomenal job of leading the worship, and it truly showed through their attitudes. They didn't lead worship by trying to get everyone else to engage, but by doing it themselves. It amazes me that even without any real training or a wealth of experience, how right they get it. It was an awesome experience!

They also asked me to lead communion, which was a first for me, and it was a HUGE honour. It was neat to see their reactions as I had the chance to challenge them in their realization of what communion really is. The thought that went into all of it, and how honest and open they are. It's days like this that really just blow my mind. God rocks! :D

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Love My Father!

You know, there are times when someone just really blesses the socks off of you. It may be a card of encouragement, a good chat, or someone doing something for you. In this case, it was my Father, who went out of his way to help me. 3 hours out of his way, to be more exact. And I couldn't be more appreciative of it. Thanks Dad! :D

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Desk of an Intern

So... as promised, here is my desk! That huge monstrosity is the 27" monitor that will be going in the sanctuary, but that I am currently enjoying! Apparently it has an 8ms responce time, but if you watch TV on it, there's a bit of ghosting on sports shows, etc. Not bad for an LCD though.

I've been cleaning my desk today, and I'm teaching the grade 5 religious ed class tomorrow. Good old Noah's Ark! Time to get cracking on that. Posted by Picasa