Thursday, February 23, 2006


I spent most of today just reading through the history of the EMCC. Not actually a bad read, and I'm barely into the 300+ page book. Lots of Mennonite ties, and lots of good history, going all the way back to Germany. I'm interested to see how the history will tie into the beliefs today, as I know I can agree with those. If there's anything of note, I'll be sure to make mention.

Other than that, Kevin is on his way back from the West coast today, and will be getting in late tonight. We'll be planning the Jr. High event tomorrow, and then running it. Anyone have any good ideas on games with Banana's? That's our theme!

Saturday will be a relaxation day, which I'm looking forward to. I've got a futsal party that night... Brazilian BBQ. If you've never had a Brazilian BBQ, imagine the best meat you've tasted, salted to just a little over perfection, and you're starting to get the idea. Sheesh, I'm salivating just thinking about it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Things Start to Fall into Place

I woke up this morning to a beautiful snowing Three Hills. Nice, big, wet snowflakes covered the whole town for most of the morning! We must have gotten over a foot in just a few short hours. It finally feels like winter is here! I love this weather.

Today, I finished up some loose paperwork, getting my internship review finished, and the DE assignment that they wanted to finish Revelation and Scripture. So both of those are now done, and I took out my remaining DE course. That will leave me with three.

From there, I went and talked to Dr. Punter, the Dean at Prairie. We had a great chat, and it's been encouraging to feel listened to in the whole course debacle. While there is nothing we can do course wise, he's going to see what can be done re: financial assistance. It's been a good process all in all.

Afterwards, Jordan and I spent some time sliding around the roads of Three Hills... in a completely legal way (*cough*). The roads were definetely good for it! :D

Hockey and Andrew's tonight!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sunday's Service

As many of you already know, I spent this past week preparing for the weekend. That meant getting things ready for Sunday Morning's service, as well as making sure that I was prepared myself. I spent a good part of the week going over my sermon, and refining it, with the goal of making it the best that I could.

You know what I've learned? No matter how much work you put into a sermon, how good it is has nothing to do with you. I had my notes with me the whole time, and they were helpful for a few parts, but mostly, I just went on what I remembered, and let God do the rest.

I decided, because it was a youth service, that I would do a narrative sermon. Something very different from what Bethel traditionally sees in a regular morning service. I cleaned my car (literally) with an old t-shirt and a pair of jeans, getting them good and gross. They were covered in old car oil and grime. That's what I wore to preach.

Using the perspective of an orphan boy, I walked through different events in Jesus' life, telling them from my point of view. It was an interesting study for myself, as I really wanted to know what it would have been like to have been there and watched it. Sort of recapturing that innocence when you first hear the story of Jesus turning water into wine. It's not just Jesus' first miracle... but it's impossible!

I had to overcome my own fears and desires. Forget that I'm 21 years old, and that I'm standing in front of 400 people, and instead play the part. God is faithful.

As the service progressed, God really worked through the youth to make a huge difference in people's lives. It was an experience that really is indescribable to be a part of. He still works!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sermon Written

I'm finished my sermon for Sunday. I spent all day today writing it, and now it's finished, and the memorizing and fine-tuning can start!

In other notes, it's -23 outside. My car sounds like it has a cold. It's awesome.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Prayer of an Unbeliever

William James - "The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."

I've had the pleasure over the past few weeks to be meeting with an old friend of mine on Wednesdays. And if there is one thing that I've learned over those weeks it's that talking is not always such a good idea. Sometimes you need to just let a person talk it out, even if it takes them 5 minutes to do so.

Today, he prayed. It was, moving. I guess that's really the best way to put it. Someone who hasn't prayed in at least 2 years, finally talking to God again. Now that is a prayer I wish we all had every day.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


So... what's going on in my life right now. Isn't that a good question, let me stop the world from spinning and then we'll take a look. Okay, there we go. I'm in the process of the final stages of planning the Pancake breakfast that will be happening on Saturday. We've got a good amount of teens that are helping out with the serving and doing dishes. If you're in Three Hills Saturday morning... it starts at 9 and goes till 11:30. I'll see you there!

Last night I was given very generously tickets to the Calgary Flames game. So what better to do than take a girl to the game? Nothing! I picked Jordan up around 4:30 and we went into Calgary for dinner and then to the game. It was a blast, we had a lot of fun. Oh yeah, and the Flames won 3-1. That was fun too. ;)

However something as a bit of a damper on all of this. My educational woes just don't seem to be going away. As it's looking right now, no matter how I swing the bat, I'll be in the hole for 4 courses, which means that I won't be receiving my degree until December. Grr, words just don't convey the frustration of that. I wish I had Jake to be growling at everybody. Gr.

What does that mean for me? It means I'll be in Three Hills for another year. That's not so bad, but when you think that I've been looking forward to graduating and getting out into ministry, it's a real dissapointment. I've spent most of this morning asking why and crying. Why on earth does this happen? Why do I not find out until it's too late to really do anything about it?

It's kind of ironic, actually. Last night, my devotions dealt with the Israelites and the Cloud over the Tabernacle. Here's the passage:
Numbers 9:15-23 15 On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 At the LORD's command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD's order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD's command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the LORD's command they encamped, and at the LORD's command they set out. They obeyed the LORD's order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
Waiting. Waiting for God to move. Sometimes days, sometimes weeks, sometimes years. I guess this is my waiting on God, and Him telling me to just wait and be patient with where I'm at and wait for him. Well God, I guess I've got no choice but to wait, and trust that You've got everything undercontrol. It was never my life to command anyways, right?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Times and Life of Stephen

Woowee! What an exciting weekend. I'm telling you, this one has been a real killer. It might just change your life... FOREVER. Just to set the tone, let me start you off with a song that has been a real staple in my life over the past... 6 years! :)

Melanie Doane

I've been sleeping
under the beanstalk
and I've been dreaming
of something big
I don't know how
but I could swear
I'm on my way somewhere
Awake the giant
awake, awake

Hey Goliath
oh you're no bigger
You're no bigger than me

I know I've got something
inside of me
Just like I know you've got
something inside of you
It might be hard
but if we dare
we're on our way somewhere
Awake the giant
awake, awake

Hey Goliath
oh you're no bigger
You're no bigger than me

Say the words you have swallowed
See the visions
in you're mind's eye
Do what you feel in your heart
Awake the giant in you

I've been waiting
for a signal
for something to tell me
everything's all right
But now I see
it's up to me
No one else can fight this fight

Yup... that about sums it up. This past Friday, I was awaiting a final checklist, which was going to tell me which two distance education courses I needed to take in order to be finished. When I finally got ahold of the checklist, it turns out that I have seven... read that, seven courses to finish. Now... I was planning on appleing (experiential learning for credits) one of them, so that still leaves me with six. Four more than I had been expecting!

Needless to say, Stephen was more than a little stressed out. I've been working this over the whole weekend and it's had no real benefit, other than God saying... "Wait Stephen. I've got it all planned out, so just wait and trust me." So I'm trusting. I'm hating every moment of it, but I'm trusting that God is working out His perfect, infallible, omniscient, all-powerful will in my life.

I have faith that this will all work itself out, and when push comes to shove, I'll walk out of it in just the way that God intended. For all of you out there... you can hold me to that! Because I can almost guarantee I won't remember.

I'm gone tomorrow and Tuesday out to River's Edge camp to take the second half of the coaching seminar. I'll be back Tuesday night... but feel free to call me if you'd like to talk.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Different View

After 4 months with Marilyn and Bruce, I moved out of their house last night. It was a splendid time filled with good laughs, and lots of different learning experiences. It's always neat to get a snapshot of different people and see what their marriage, life, and view on the church truly is. I know that I've made friends that I'll want to keep for the rest of my life, and they offer some really great insights that I might personally never have thought of.

Last night I moved in with a new family. Already, it's been more than worth it. The place has a homey feel to it, and I've more or less got the basement all to myself. I know I slept well last night, so that's always a good sign if I wasn't familiar with the place. And I've had some great conversations with Marina, so I'm looking forward to it!

I trust you're all doing well!