Friday, July 28, 2006


This past week has been a long one. Not because of any one thing in particular, but instead because of a whole lot of things put together. It wasn't a bad week, nor a hard one, but it has definetely been long. Thankfully, the conclusion to the whole week was met together with God, and His constant reminder that He is with me.

I've been learning lots about other people, about myself, my future, my past, my relationships with friends as well as with Jordan. I've been learning about being a pastor, about leading in many different facets, and being reminded once again that it's not about whether I am ready, but whether I am willing.

I am humbled once again to realize that I am not perfect, and I never will be. I deal with sin just as much as the next person, and I don't know everything. I am on a journey, and that is what I am truly about... walking. My job is not to stand at the mountain top and call people to join me, but to look up from the base and ask people to climb it at my side. That means leading with a very humble heart, and being consistent. It means that I am very quickly identifying with Paul when he said in Romans 7:14-25 "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-- this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

Discovery... an ever ongoing process. I wonder what else God is doing in the world.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mankind Toons

Here's a little something that might make you laugh.

Learning, Always Learning

It's been a good week. Not particularly hard in any single aspect, but frustrating in quite a few. I've been working on my Distance Education, and I think it's pretty clear what that brings -- a serious lack of motivation. It's hard to step back into the student mode when I'm immersed in an environment that is very different. It's hard to have your head in the clouds when your spirit is on the plains.

What can you do? Just keep plugging away and take advantage of those few moments when you actually ARE motivated to do the work!

God has been teaching me through the Psalms that He is definitely a just God. It's intriguing to see David's interactions with God in all of the various situations, and the trust that he puts in God. There is no doubt that God will rescue him and deliver him from his oppressors. Why? Because he is following in God's path. In those times when David has strayed from the path, he repents with a bent knee and head. It's a very intriguing look into faith. Complete trust, complete faith. God can, and will deliver David, because God is righteous, and He brings judgment to all who aren't.

What does that do to our thoughts on salvation?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sometimes You Just Need a Break

The past two weeks have been crazy, I'm not sure if anyone could really argue with that. From the funeral, to Dave's wedding, to preaching, and then leading right into the soccer camp... I had about enough of people! But then I went to Edmonton for Friday night and Saturday.

Friday night I went to Laura's birthday party. It'd been about a year since I'd seen her, and longer before that, so it was a priority for me to make it up to Edmonton to get to her party. Sometimes keeping in touch with people from a long time ago is really worth it, and this is one of those situations. It was a lot of fun to see the different kind of people that she had befriended over the years, and get to talk with a lot of them. A very diverse group! I was there for about 5 hours, and by the time I left, I was done! So naturally, I had an hour or two long conversation with Jordan when I got home (am I nuts?).

Saturday was about as crazy, if with less unfamiliar people. Josh and I met at 11 in WEM, and went for lunch and then to go see Pirates. It was good to talk to him again, because we are so busy when I'm not around that it's hard to actually have a good conversation, especially when we're not looking each other in the face. Good friends are hard to come by.

That evening, I went out with Josh's fiance and future (waaaay off in the future) sister-in-law for ice cream. And the cone I had was nuts. We went to the marble something or other for ice cream, and I had a HUGE scor cone with smarties and cookie-dough. I barely finished it, but I had a good chat with the girls... once again, good friends are hard to come by!

Sunday wasn't really all that stressing, it was more that my introvert side needed a serious break. I did the announcements in the morning, and that afternoon, we had a church picnic out at Pine lake. I was out there for about 4 hours, and by the end of it, I was SUPER tired. I came back to Three Hills and could barely carry on a conversation, so I just spent some time to myself, playing some games and whatever. Refreshing!

Some things I'm learning about being a Pastor -- there is never really a break. You cherish the times you can have off and to yourselves very dearly, because they don't come very often. Party hard! I'm also learning that there is always an abundance of work to do, when you are dealing with people, you are never in the clear, so use your time wisely.

Saturday also marked 3 months for Jordan, a small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. I wonder what the next 3 will bring!

God is good :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Learning Where Strength Comes From

Welcome to Tuesday! Day two of the soccer camp, and generally normally just a sucky day, because it feels like you are no closer to Friday than Monday! Today, however, was quite wonderful. I slept in a little later than normal, because of my work with the camp, and had some great time with God.

Then I proceeded to more or less play Futsal/Soccer all day. I worked a lot with the kids, just in being a goalie and offering some pointers on defence, etc. They made some really awesome progress throughout the day, and by the end were playing more and more like a team. It was neat to see that kind of progression, and I got a great workout at the same time!

I took my car in to the shop today, to find out how serious some of the mechanical issues are. Turns out I'll be looking for a new car here very shortly! I'll trade this one in, and look for a newer model and go from there. I'm not so thrilled on spending the large amounts of money on a new car, but it's something I'll be praying about and looking into the future for. But I know it's all in a plan, and so I'm just going to trust that, and move forward from here.

My evening chapel sessions with the kids have been going really well. I think some of them are really paying attention to what is being said and starting to struggle with more than just their soccer skills. That's very encouraging to see! We'll be looking a little deeper into the faith tomorrow, and ending off with a salvation message on Thursday.

Now it's time for bed... God is faithful, and the source of all our strength. Spending time with Him makes all the difference in the world.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Out of the Weekend

I wasn't sure how this past weekend was going to look. I know that after Friday night, I was exhausted, not so much physically, but very much emotionally and spiritually. That's not a good thing when I'm looking at a wedding on Saturday, and preaching on Sunday, but I once again just clung to the rock for everything I was worth.

Dave's wedding went off without a hitch (other than him getting hitched, haha), the weather was incredible! I don't think you could ask for better. We all had sunburns by the end of the ceremony, and the skies were blue and perfect. The reception went really well, but by the time the dance rolled around, I was just emotionally worn out. So sadly, I didn't actually get up and dance, but I have a long life to live! Next wedding!

Sunday morning went really well. I was tired when I got up, so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but the more I preach, the more I come to realize that the worse shape I'm in, the more God takes over. Perhaps I should just start always being worn out when I preach. (joke!) He took my words and shaped them exactly as He saw fit, and I hope that it really sunk into people's lives. I've gotten a few comments already, so that is definetely encouraging.

Now I'm looking ahead into the soccer camp this week. I'm excited about the potential to speak into these kids lives, and I'm also really excited about the exercise I'm going to be getting! It'll be a good week, and I'm already feeling much better than I did over the weekend.

God is faithful!

Friday, July 07, 2006


The funeral today went off without a hitch. *deep breathe* That is more of a blessing that I can really put into words, but after a bit of time spent working on the camera this morning, everything went smoothly, and we had over 800 people here in Bethel. The sanctuary was crammed completely full, and the gym was also filled. It was good that we had the cabling run to simulcast the service into the Gym, otherwise we wouldn't have had nearly enough room.

I also finished the sermon last night, by the grace of God! So it looks as though I might make it through this weekend yet!

I've been unsure about the Jetta in recent days, as it looks like there may be some fairly major work that needs to be done on it. But after talking to the Mechanic and Paul, it's become clear that I'll have to wait till Tuesday to find out what is really going on and what we can do from there. It could be that it really is a major job, and I'll be looking to trade her in for a newer model, or maybe it's just something small that can be fixed. I've been praying hard about it, and I know that God's got it in control one way or another. I'll hold firm to that, and we'll see where He takes me!

He's faithful.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Take a deep breathe

I just finished the rough draft of the sermon for Sunday. Thankfully, it was one that I had been thinking and research about long before I sat down to write it, and God is SO faithful in giving me the words that I need at just the right time. It came fairly easily, after a 4 AM session yesterday, and a few hours spent working on it today, it's ready for some feedback.

Everything is getting ready for the funeral tomorrow. I'll come in at a normal time, and get the video simulcast working, so that there won't be too many hiccups to worry about last minute. God willing (and I think He is!), everything will go smoothly.

Saturday is Dave's wedding. Sunday is preaching. Monday-Thursday is speaking at the Soccer Camp. It's going to be a long, long week from today, but I had a good chat with God about it today. I told Him I can't do this. He told me He knew it was coming and to hang on tight.

Good thing it's not my strength, eh? He's faithful. Hey, He got my dad's computer back from a full on non-boot situations this afternoon with only about 15 minutes on the phone, so I know He's got an eye on me!

The life lesson here: You're not in control, don't try to be. Hold dearly to God, and let Him carry you through the rapids. He knew they were coming all along.

Till tomorrow (which will be longer than 20 minutes from now! :D)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jumping in the Deep End

There's nothing quite like coming back from Vacation. You know that God must have had his hand in the whole thing. I had two perfect weeks where my responsibilities were lowered and I was free to go wherever my heart took me, and it was a great time of refreshing, at just the time when I needed it. Now I'm back, and I'm getting the quick plunge into the deep end.

On Monday, I was here at the church relaxing, because it is my day off, when I got a phone call. It turned out that one of the church elders had been killed in a freak farming accident. It shook me pretty deep. Something that was just so sudden. I went out to the farm later that evening to be with the family and the friends that had gathered there. I've only experienced that kind of environment once before, when my mother passed away.

As I described to Jordan, it's like the house doesn't want to breathe, in case it might disturb anyone. The whole place is just off-kilter. The family is naturally in shock, and people are crying, and people are laughing, and it seems to come and go in waves. I talked to different people from our congregation and just got them talking about their memories, to help the whole process along. I didn't know the family well enough to really get in knee-deep with them, but others were doing that.

While I was in the house, I was fine. My emotions didn't do anything funky, and I felt strangely ok with everything that was going. It was familiar, but it wasn't uncomfortable. When I left, however, things quickly changed. I was driving out of the farmyard when it just all broke loose. The worship song 'Meet With Me' was on my stereo and it just echoed my heart at that moment. I really need to meet with God on a regular basis, and I can't survive without Him. Needless to say, I spent some time crying on my drive back.

So now we're all in the process of preparing for the funeral on Friday afternoon, while life carries on like normal. All the same responsibilites are there, meeting with all the same people, etc etc. I spent more than half my day meeting with people, and I spent the rest of the day getting the simulcasting stuff ready for the funeral so that we can put people in the Gym when the sanctuary fills up. Thanks to our sound guy, everything is ready to go, and it only took us 3 hours.

Pastor Dave is leading the service, and he was set to preach on Sunday as well. But I could tell that it was a little too much for him, so I offered to take the sermon for him. So now I'm preaching on Sunday! Good times. That's what I'll be getting ready for until late in the morning today. Holy Spirit... I could really use your help here!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Skinny

So, I said yesterday that I would get my vacation all laid out for those few of you who might be curious! I left early early on Thursday (June 15th) morning, and drove through the day to get to Peachland that evening. I met Jordan in downtown Peachland, and after she tried (keyword: TRIED) to trip me, and then DID put me up to my knees in the lake, we went up to the falls. There is a great trail around Peachland that takes you to a waterfall back in the woods, so we went back there and climbed up around the falls and sat down beside them. Very, very cool view from up there.

Then we went back to her house for dinner, which is where it all went downhill. I immediately started to feel very gross, and as it turns out I must have had the 24 hour flu or something similar. I spent the rest of the night throwing up, and generally feeling really nasty. She said it was hilarious because I was just saying whatever because my cognitive processes weren't really up to speed.

Thankfully once I got to sleep and got up the next morning, I was feeling MUCH better. I was still a little weak and I didn't want to push myself too hard, but I was well enough that I could go camping that night. Jordan and I spent the day around the house packing and getting ready for the evening, as well as running down to the grocery store to pick up any missing supplies. That night, myself and the Walker family (minus Josh) went up to Hedley and camped the night with an INCREDIBLE view. My camera didn't really do it justice, because it was too dark, but picture standing on a mountain top looking down on a valley deep below you with a meandering river through it and another mountain on the other side. All of it was green! It was gorgeous.

Bo, Jordan's younger brother, and myself spent much of the evening hunting the rabid cows that lived in the pasture we'd invaded. At one point, a bull just about ran us over. It was good times. Bo had brought some fireworks with him, so we set them off later that night and put the cows on a stampede! Oops!

The next morning, we got up and went on a little 4x4ing adventure down the road to find some of the mining camps. We found an old cabin, and then a little way down the road a bonified log cabin who's roof was nearly caved in. Naturally, we explored! From there on, Jordan and I rode on the back of the Jeep (the bumper!) and her dad tried to throw us off in any way possible. No one died, whcih was almost a dissapointment.

Then, a group of us young people went into the Hedley Mines to explore through them. Jordan, Myself, Tara (Jordan's Friend), Bo, Josh (the older brother) and two other friend all went into the mines together. It was dark, dangerous and had lots of crazy holes and random paths. I had a lot of fun, and knowing me, I spent a lot of time observing the different people and the way they interacted under stress. Some just pushed ahead, some ignored the others, some took on a huge weight of responsiblity, some got stressed out, and some avoided the problems all together. It was very interesting!

That night, we got back safely, and everyone was super tired. Jordan and I went out and spent the evening looking at all the stars that were coming out. Peachland doesn't have a lot of lights, and so you get a really clear view of the heavens. It was so gorgeous!

The next morning, Sunday, I got a chance to go to church and not have a single responsibility! It was wonderful. Jordan hadn't been able to go to church because of her work, so we both just enjoyed the chance to be there. The people were very friendly, and I got a more than a few threats about treating Jordan well! I guess that means I'll actually have to do it, eh? *sarcastic* ;)

The rest of the week was pretty relaxing, and we didn't do too many crazy and wild things. We climbed a tree, went 4x4ing ourselves, and nearly got lost, saw X-Men 3, and met a few of her good friends. It was a blast, and I really enjoyed my times there.

From there, I went to Vancouver, and spent some time with Lorelei, Orlando, Paul and Carys! My little niece was of course as charming and wonderful as ever. I don't get how that little girl is so cute. I spent the first few days sleeping (seriously!), and just relaxing. We watched some movies, but for the most part just lounged around.

I spent some time with Lorelei's Sister-in-law out at their place and her four children. It was actually a lot of fun, because the kids were pinned up inside for being bad, and they were more than happy to see a new body. One, however, was quite scared of me. She cried, hid, and did everything... until later that day. Then I got the tour of the bedroom and was welcomed with open arms!

I saw a few movies with Paul and Orlando, Nacho Libre I can't suggest, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (once you get through the serious lack of clothing), is super good. Much better than I was expecting, that's for sure. And Paul and I had some good chats. It was a relaxing time, and exactly what I needed after Jordan wore me out!

On Wednesday night, I drove back to Peachland, so break up the trip. We went and saw Superman that evening (which is really good despite some of the reviews I'm reading, classic superman!). There was a large group of us, some of whom I'd met before, and a new person or two.

The next morning, I just lounged around the house, and about noonish, Jordan and I ate and then went down to the beach again. We rollerbladed... well, she rollerbladed and I managed to stay off my butt and then went swimming, which is much recommended on a 35+ day. Sadly, that ended my vacation and I left for Three Hills about 3:30. It took me 9 hours to get back home, and I pulled in around 12:30 at night.

It was an awesome vacation, and I feel much better! It was good to see Jordan and family again and just get away from the stresses of Three Hills for a few weeks. Now it's time to learn how to be a Children's Pastor!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Back from Vacation

Howdy all!

Well, I made it back safely this past Thursday Night (technically Friday morning) and I had a blast. I'll post a little more about it in the next few days (seriously!) but I wanted to say that I just got into the Picasa Beta, so that means that I now have a web album. So I have a few photo's on there, such as from my birthday party, of my niece, grad, etc. So if you want to check it out, it's at