Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Been Long Enough

Well, to say sorry just wouldn't suffice. I haven't posted here since, well, let's just say forever. I beg your blog-world forgiveness.

So, to appease you all, I am back, with pictures. Here's some to let you know what I've been up to lately.

Our little Leilani moments after birth:

Sleeping with mommy:

Another cute sleeping pic:

And what happens when she wakes up:

One of the best pics ever:

And a pic of my other new baby. Her name (currently) is Ebony:

Here she is chilling with her friends:

And that's all you get for now!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Psalm 128:1

So here's the follow-up I promised to my little artwork a few posts down. I'm still not going to answer all the questions this stuff may bring up... or just not yet. Anton would be upset if I did.

So the designs were spurred on by my sermon on Psalm 128. My imagination was peaked by the first verse: "Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in His ways." What does this verse say to us? What are we to learn of God through it?

I think this verse tells us of our appropriate relationship and response to God. I spent a good amount of time unpacking what it means to "fear the Lord" in my sermon, so I won't bore you with all that now (if you're interested, you can read it here, or listen to the mp3). But I suggest this fear is not a state of being scared, but rather a proper relationship with God where we respect Him as He is. That means that we have to let God be God.

I think we have a general tendency to only allow God to be who we want Him to be. We only accept or believe or submit to the aspects and characteristics of Him that we can handle. Essentially, we put God inside a box that we create, one with boundaries we can handle. Sadly, this means we are basically serving a God that is made in our image, made by us, instead of the other way around. And if this is the case, we are serving an untrue God.

So, to fear God, is really to accept that God is bigger than we can handle or understand. That is our right relationship with Him. In doing this, we let Him out of our box. It's quite simple to see where my graphic goes. I know, I'm simplistic. But I meditated over this passage and let my imagination take over, so I'm still thankful for what I was able to create (and it's a whole lot better than most of what I did).

Let us look back at the verse: "Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in His ways." I'm not going to get into what kind of 'blessing' I think God desires and provides for those who hold a right relationship with Him (again, listen to the sermon if you desire), but I will say that the 'walk in His ways" is a picture of our appropriate response. The psalmist is using walk God's path as a metaphor of responding to a right relationship with God. You can see my own picture of this.

I think when we contain God within our boundaries, we put ourselves ahead of Him. We say that we're more important. We become bigger than God. When we let God be God, we remove our box and serve the whole and true God, and our only response is surrender and humility toward Him. He is bigger, and much more important than us.

And that's that.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Since You Don't Want to Play...

Well it seems that only 2 people read this blog. I guess I overestimated with 4.

Since I've received no feedback comments (thanks to Sarah Pee and DLC for their comments) of people attempting their thoughts of my creations, I guess I'll just leave that one and move on to a new subject.

And I do realize that I recently (months ago) put up a post that many asked me to respond to with my own thoughts. I will do that. Sometime.

However, tomorrow (or Sunday :D ) I will put up some thoughts I've been having regarding my own personal and ministry focus on Jesus. It centres around the question of how well I actually know Jesus and how I could possibly bring Him to youth if I don't.

For today, I'm gonna leave it (and this horribly random post) to a congrats going out to our good friends Laura and Curtis Thiessen. Happy Baby-Making!!! Laura and Curt are the proud new parents of little cutie Ryan Matthew Thiessen (ya that's right, named after good ol' Uncle Matty). The baby boy was brought into the world yesterday at about 2:00 PM and weighed an astounding 9lbs 5ounces!! JL and I are so excited for our friends and for our own adventure to come in 4 weeks. And let me just say, we're gonna beat that 9 pound mark too!!

We're praying for you friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gone So Long

I know, I know.

No one's reading this thing anymore cause no one's writing. Sorry to you all (well, the 4 of you). I have in fact been doing some writing lately, but it's been in the form of sermons instead. I had two back-to-back and it was a bit of a challenge, but it all worked out well in the end.

For one of them, I involved one of my youth in a little 'meditative imagination creation challenge' in which both of us would take two weeks and allow our imaginations to create whatever they wanted as we meditated on the passage I was speaking on (Psalm 128). I was not proud of much that I produced, but the ones I turned out in the middle of the second week made me happy.

I'm not going to write my thoughts on them now. But next week, I will. I'll give you all (well, again, the 4 of you) the chance to have your say and tell me what you think. What was I getting at? Read the Psalm yourself and tell me what you think. Next week I'll respond to some of the comments and tell you a little of what and why I created.

Looking forward to hearing from you. And don't forget to click on the images to get a larger view.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Enjoyed the Chat - Thanks

Well I just got off the 'phone' (Skype) with two of my favourite people who I miss dearly. JL and I were able to video chat with James and Hil out in the land of the London. They've had some interesting stories already which we got to hear and are settling in nicely in the Kingsley household. Thanks for the chat friends and I can't wait till next time.

One story they told us was about their recent adventure with Malcolm at Canada's Wonderland. I can't wait to go. But here's some video of the ride they went on. I hope you enjoy it. Usually I don't endorse video with bad language but this is both understandable and worth it. Wait for the 1:17 mark. Hilarious. You can also get actual good video of this 'Behemoth' once the video is done and there's similar videos listed.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Some Good Thoughts

I recently read an article in Relevant magazine that addresses two key things I think about lots. The issue of youth ministry and it's long-term impact on individuals, as well as the idea of Church being something we can 'do' differently as we have attempted at The Place here at Lambrick.

It's a bit long and will take about 5 minutes, but I think it's worth the read.

Read "Faith No More" by Jesse Carey

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Funniest Thing I've Read in a Long Time...

Okay, so part of the youth ministry here at LPC is a leadership development program called Mission:Unlimited. This year, the group is going on a service trip to Ecuador. In order to raise funds for this trip, we are doing a Gala Dinner in a few weeks (if you're interested in coming, contact me for tickets).

So at this dinner, each youth has a table that is designated as theirs. They'll have their picture on it and a 1-page write-up telling the guests a little about themselves.

This is what Nigel Barry gave us for his write-up. This is his best attempt at selling himself to a group of Christians who will be potentially be sponsoring him to go on this trip. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

"Hello, my name is Nigel "The Rifle Rack" Barry. I am 18 years old and am graduating from St. Andrews this year (unless I fail, then I guess I'll be doing it again! lol). Anyways, in my spare time, I like destroying things like ant-hills with illegal explosives imported from eastern Romania. I also enjoy catching fish, then eating them shortly after as it makes me feel like a dinosaur or a cave-man. When I am tired, I simply fall asleep wherever it is that I am. I don't care what people think about me. When I was three years old, I ate a worm.

I'm also quite intrigued by way, but I don't really agree with the whole idea of killing people, so I play video games instead. Imagine if in war, they weren't allowed to use guns, or other shooting projectiles/gasses, and could only throw eggs, baby carrots, and rabbit droppings... Hitler would not be famous.

I have amazing dreams both in colour and in sound where I accomplish great feats, but forget them as soon as I wake up. I once skied my way down from the top of Mount Everest with an injured fellow strapped to my back. I can drive with my eyes closed, I can't stand the sound of people chewing, and I once wrestled an armadillo. I am the reason for the rising price of oil. Once in a while, when I'm feeling frisky, I'll go for a walk in the park wearing nothing but a jock-strap. Light sabers don't faze me. I taught Tiger Woods how to swing a golf club, and Chuck Norris is my daddy. I designed and engineered the Eiffel Tower and the Sistine Chapel in 21 hours before selling the plans to Michelangelo, Maurice Koechlin, & Emile Nouguier for their souls.

I am going to Ecuador to grow as a person and gain self experiences by helping others. I hope this trip will change the whole vision of my future life."

As you can see, I have an amazing pleasure in being able to hang out with some extremely gifted youth.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Ironman Challenge

A new challenge. Music to my ears.

Friends of mine work for Young Life, and recently I asked how I could support them in their upcoming fundraising effort. It's the Ironman Invitational Golf Tournament on June 23rd. And even with late notice, they said the best thing I could do was to... well, GOLF! (and no, it's not miniature despite the picture)

They say it's not easy. 100 holes in one day. They say your body will ache. 5.45 rounds in 12 hours. They say it's a challenge to not take lightly.

I say... BRING IT ON!

I am so excited to be able to help support Young Life by being a part of this amazing fundraising opportunity.

However, you might be asking yourself why I, a church Youth Pastor and eager Camp Imadene supporter, would be fundraising for Young Life... Well, there's lots of reasons. So since this is my blog, and I can say whatever I want, and since many of you have been begging for action for awhile, I'm gonna tell you. If you don't care, just skip to the last paragraph.

Reasons why I, Andy, am a strong supporter (and now fundraiser) of Young Life:
1) Young Life is a great ministry. No questions asked. They have a heart to reach teens for Christ, to seek them out in their world, and to lead them to new life. What's not to support?!

2) I have a many good friends who volunteer and work with Young Life. In particular, Rob Priestly and Jon Blaney, both work full time and count on other's support for their entire paycheque and ministry costs. So I want to support them as friends.

3) My church, Lambrick Park, supports Young Life with funds. More than that, we are partners with them in the Lord's ministry. Even more than that, most Young Life Victoria staff and volunteers go to Lambrick Park (the Place) and therefore their work with YL is in many ways a ministry of our church.

4) Taking the previous thought further, I see Young Life as in integral part of my model of youth ministry. I focus most of my energy on churched youth, those who have already realized the reality of what God has done for them. My hope is to walk alongside them as they seek to allow Christ to be the Lord of their lives, as well as walking alongside their parents in supporting and bringing up their children to love and serve God the best they know how.
However, Young Life works in a different way. They aren't looking for church kids. They are seeking out those who do not know God. They go to where the students are (mostly their schools), meet with them, and through the kids friendships start building a relationship that will one day prayerfuly see those individuals change their lives for the sake of Christ.
Young Life and Lambrick work in a partnership of Youth Ministry. Sometimes we send those (young) adults who are interested in outreach-focused ministry to Young Life to serve as leaders. When kids become Christians, they start coming with their friends and leaders to the Place to enter into a community of believers and some start coming to our youth groups or Bible studies or leadership development programs. Basically, it's a wonderful relationship where we can support and help each other and work alongsode each to see God's Kingdom furthered. Who can argue with that!

So that's basically why I'm doing it. Plus, it'll be a great time to hang with some wonderful Young Life staff, leaders, and kids, as well as a time for me to hang with some of my own kids (my caddies).

If you can, I'd love to have you partner with me as I take this 100 hole golf challenge. The point is to raise funds. My friends who work for Young Life have to earn every penny through support that they run their ministry on and get paid by. So every dollar counts and will help me reach my goal of $1500. Please sponsor whatever you can.

You can go to this page to make online donations by credit card. Otherwise you can email me or just drop a toonie in my pocket. Donations over $20 will be receipted for tax purposes.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm So Proud

Well, I'm in Maui right now and not really able to be on the internet much right now (I've recieved 117 emails and 1352 junk emails in the lat week so I'm not even checking those!), but I just wanted to write a quick note...

The Victoria Salmon Kings, who are our local pro hockey team, are currently in the first round of the playoffs. Not only am I stoked that they are in the playoffs, but even moreso that they are the West Division Champs this year. Sweet work boys!

So, if you were unaware, in minor pro sports, it can be hard to attract a good crowd to a playoff game (especially the early rounds). The league's make the team's pay a certain amount for every ticket sold, so there's no value in padding the attendance stats. Plus, there's no more season tickets and very few deals.

Therefore, I am very stoked to see that we attracted 6500 fans to tonight's game! Including Thursday night's game, we are now averaging 5728 fans over the first two games. That is 1000 more fans than the next place team in the league (just so you know, we averaged almost 4800 fans a game in the regular season, good for 10th in the league). There are two teams that are averaging less than 1000 fans per game.

So, in conclusion, I just wanted to say that I am extremely proud of my city for getting out and supporting our team. Oh, and by the way, Victoria's own Ryan Wade had a hat-trick tonight as we won 4-3!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Wonderful New Life

After hiding it from the world for a painful two months, we are now allowed to tell everyone...

That Jennie-Lynne and I are pregnant!!!

We are so excited for this new life adventure. We have no idea what challenges and excitement it will bring, but we are so thankful that we get to walk down this road together. It's going to be so fun!

Already, only 14 weeks in, you can feel life changing. I immediately became a new man, or at least a changed one. I started giving away books and releasing long-collected items in order to make room for the new baby and the mountain of baby stuff we'll collect. I look at the world differently now, knowing that I'll have a baby to protect from it. (confession warning) I am feeling desires to buy and do a number of things before my life completely changes and my freedom and bankbook are inhibited.

But what's most cool is the new emotions and feelings that start stirring inside of you. The pride you feel in your baby-growing wife. The joy of being able to be part of a miracle. The new attraction to a changing pregnant Jennie-Lynne. The parts of your heart awakening for the first time (JL's words) when we heard the heartbeat of our child.

We just can't wait. It is truly an amazing journey that we are on and we want to prematurely thank all those that will be cojourners with us and support us through all the joy and pain of parenthood.

I'm gonna be a daddy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Response

Well, I'm sorry to say that I have not written in awhile. It's hard work keeping a blog going! But to quell this spell, I will make it easy on myself and write an unoriginal but still hopefully funny response to my good friend's recent post on his personal Ten Commandments. You can find Matty's original post here.


Thou shalt learn how to drive a standard transmission properly, which means no clutch riding, clutch jamming, or gear grinding. Proper standard driving is very important to me--my father is the master of clutch saving as he racked up close to 400,000 kms on his '88 Tercel wagon, all on the original clutch. He has passed this passion to me, his oldest and his only son.
Response: I myself have heard Matty brag of his dad's deeds many times before. And for good reason. I personally was taught how to drive by a race-car driver (thanks Bill O'Kell) and therefore do not have the same passion for conserving clutches, but rahter I choose to wear them out as aggresively as possible. Not because I am a poor standard driver, but rather because I like to jump the gun everytime off the line, pass people whenever an opportunity arises, and generally drive like I'm in the Indy 500 regardless of where I am or how much time I have to get somewhere.

2. Thou shalt not cheer for the Ottawa Senators hockey club. Unless they are the last Canadian team in the playoffs.

Sub-commandment a): thou shalt avoid cheering for American hockey teams if at all possible.

Sub-commandment b): thou shalt not like Daniel Alfredsson because he is a wiener.
Response: "Wiener" Hilarious. I personally cheer for the Bruins first, the Avs (or the Quebec franchise as I like to refer to them) second, the Nucks third, and then any and all Canadian teams to follow. I hate Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal whehn they face my B's, but otherwise I am cool with them. However, I will NEVER cheer for the Rangers or Flyers, two of the most hated teams in history.

3. Thou shalt not support any other computer company but Apple because PC's are clearly inferior and don't look as cool.

Qualifying clause a): use of PC's at work is permitted and probably unavoidable, but try not to bring them into the home for personal use.
Response: Amen! I taught Matty the ways of the Apple. To illustrate, I will include a comic. If you cannot read it, then click on it and see a bigger version. Anyone who continues to claim Windows-based PCs are better are simply keeping their head in the sand. Pull it out people.

4. Thou shalt make flossing a daily part of thy oral hygiene regimen. Flossing decreases the risk of gum disease and leads to healthier teeth and gums, as well as improving your breath.
I do not floss. I hate flossing. It hurts. My teeth are too tight together. I once had a dental hygenist put her leg up on me in the chair in order to get better leverage while trying to get the floss in between my teeth. It worked. And it hurt. I beld for 2 days. And it did not turn me on.

5. Thou shalt avoid agreeing with thy best friend, Andrew J. Renton, on as many things as possible.

Sub-commandment a): thou shalt do thy best to provoke Andrew J. Renton as much as possible including the following: making fun of the Victoria Salmon Kings, mocking his taste in movies and music, and refusing to hang out with him when it's really late and you would rather sleep (a sure-fire way to get him calling you hilarious names such as "baby" and "pansy").

Sub-commandment b): thou shalt not feel like you must love Andrew J. Renton's cat, Lily, because you seem be the only to realize that she is not adorable and sweet, but unpredictable, destructive, and psychotic. Thou shalt not be pressured into thinking the cat is awesome.

Subcommandment c): though shalt not equate cats with people because no matter what you are told, cats are cats and people are people. How one treats their cat when they misbehave is not how they will treat their child.
I can attest to this commandment of Matty's. It is obviously my favourite of his commandments. I could pretend he is cruel and that it only goes one way, but then I would be lying to you all. We both hold this commandment for our lives. I too desire to disagree with Matty on all possible occasions and to try and agitate him to no end. It often works. As Jess the Londoner and I have often quipped, Matty's agitation just brings us so much joy. It's like a drug. And I can never have enough.
Subcommandment Response:
Lily is amazing. She is a freak, but that's why I like her. I taught her to scratch Matt's balls, so that's why she does it. He just doesn't realize it yet. She is amazingly intelligent and is trained exactly how I want her.

6. Thou shalt not listen to bad music, including almost everything that is played in the Top 40, bands that try and fail to sound like Pearl Jam, boy bands, girl bands, Britney Spears, and all those other no-talent pretty boys/girls who wouldn't know a musical instrument if they were hit over the head with one. This is one of the most sacred of the commandments.
I personally like to listen to all music, to get a good eclectic view. Matty refuses to listen to some, and therefore his judgement on music cannot be trusted. It is overly biased and ill-informed. Even the movie critics have to watch the junk in order to better understand the good and to sometimes have their eyes opened anew. Matty just wants to continue in his ways, never changing, and ranting about his personal opinions of music which have little to no merit.
(please see Commandment 5)

7. Thou shalt not watch reality television shows because they are bogus crap with no inherent value whatsoever.

Sub-commandment a): Thou shalt not watch anything at all involving Howie Mandell because he is a cue-ball headed idiot.
I too cannot stand most reality TV Shows. I used to watch a couple because I found them to be an interesting study in human psychology and sociology. However, they just annoy me now. Most of the shows involve Americans. Most Americans on TV are stupid, greedy, and selfish. I can't stand that. Although I have little problem with the cue-ball headed idiot, his show "Deal or Stupid Person's Decision" is my most-hated show. However, when considering reality TV Shows, I wonder where pro sports falls into the occasion (please see Michelle's great post on sports here.)

8. Thou shalt not have heavy objects above thy bed in case there is an earthquake--this commandment is especially relevant to those of us here in BC who live on a huge-ass faultline.
I have realized that Matty is generally an overly safe pansy who takes few chances in life. Especially concerning personal danger. I myself love to live dangerously and therefore have shelfs and books and glasses and pictures all above my bed. I dream of waking up during an earthquake just in time to catch each and everyone of the falling objects aimed for my head.

9. Thou shalt make sure that your children are readers and outdoor players rather than television/video game zombies who can't spell or write and have no social skills--this is the case with so many children these days, in my opinion.
Again... Amen! My kids will play outside. They will play sports. They will play music and sing. They will read and draw and create. They will do all these things whether they like it or not, because I said so.

10. Thou shalt attempt to develop or further the cause of cool nicknames for thy friends and family. For example, I call my father Billzebub, the Dark Prince of Port Alberni. I also have friends named Jimmy the K (not my original), O-Town, the Deet (again, not mine, but I have furthered the cause), Lynnester the Spinster (she is married to the Deet), CMac, koldenbu, the F-Bomb, and T-Bone. Does this make me idiotic? Probably? Do I care? Absolutely not.
Just so you know, I am the Deet. I hate that name. I hate that Matty calls me that for the sake of bugging me. But I've learned to accept it. I wish he'd call me AJ instead but he laughs at me whe I suggest that. So do other people. That hurts. Even more than flossing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A True Saint

This man is one of my mom's favourite's. It is a long video, but it has many bits of wisdom (and some humour too) that I thought valuable to share. Thank you Randy for sharing it with me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

An Intentional Love

As St. Valentine's holiday invades our lives, I think it reasonable to write about the seeming centre of this day: LOVE.

Prior to this day, I asked myself, "what love language does my wife appreciate the most?" It's been a constant source of conversation in our household as we continually think we have her pegged, but it's never as certain as we want it to be. Because of this, it has allowed me to venture into a thought that I want to share with you all:

The best expression of love, is the intention you put behind it.

As I ponder what makes my wife feel the most loved, it's always been the thought that I put behind something. It's the love and care and time behind the act of service or gift that she most appreciates. It must be evident in the act itself, but pre-thought and consideration will almost always prove your love more than the act.

I'm sure the authors of "The Five Love Languages" and every other relationship book explain this better than myself, but I feel as though this is valuable for us all to hear: it's not what you do for your spouse, it's how you go about doing it. An act of love is only as loving as the intention that goes into it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Letter to the Editor

Because of my recent 35 Under 35 all-Star status (penned by some close friends - goofballs!), I have had the benefit of receiving a complimentary annual subscription to ChristianWeek Magazine. As one of the sponsors for the Canada's 35 Under 35 campaign, I do not wish to slag this magazine and I'm actually quite impressed with some of the writing and pieces that they do. I've also had the opportunity to grow a friendship with Doug Koop, their Editorial Director, whom I admire and promote as a man who embodies God's love and Christ's grace. He's also someone who is always wanting to grow and reach out beyond the current status quo.

That is the reason I want to bring this aritcle to my readers. I won't say more here, but I am preparing a Letter the Editor to question and guard the magazine against such an article. It speaks about the word 'missional' and specifically targets 'missional churches'. As a magazine that wants to build bridges and encourage Christians across Canada, I suggest this article does more to polarize this magazine from many of the forward thinking Christian youth of Canada.

Please take a read for yourself and let me know if I'm off my rocker. I'd love to hear your thoughts, as I may include them in my Letter to the Editor. Or, maybe you can write one yourself.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Daniel Bromley

Years ago I used to work at Camp Imadene as the Workcrew Supervisor. During that time, I had the chance to meet some amazing youth from around the island. Many astounded me with their maturity, Godly passion, and hard work ethics. One of these was Daniel Bromley (centre in picture).

Both Daniel and his sister Sabina are people I was deeply encouraged by. They had a passion for God that is rare and a maturity that balanced it well. Daniel has recently gone on to do schooling in Sweden, and a few missions trips in Eastern Europe (top picture is his team who traveled to Bosnia in 2007). He is only 19 but whenever I spend time with him or receive an email update from him I am not only encouraged, but also drawn more into the presence of God.

For this relationship, I am eternally thankful to God.

Currently, Daniel is leading up a team of young people in heading to Russia to visit churches and encourage local Christians (team is pictured on left, click for larger image. Daniel is far left). They need some prayer regarding their entry visas, so I invite you to join me in praying for them.

If you want to take 5 minutes to get to know Daniel a bit more, then this video he made should do the trick. It is absolute nonsense but captures Daniel without words.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mutual Submission

It's a dirty word among many circles.

Submission has gotten a bad wrap. Two thousand years ago, two men, a famous denier and a zealout, told wives to submit to their husbands and the Church became a marked target for the feminist movement of the 20th century.

But what's so wrong with the idea of submission? Is it that bad? I contend it is not bad at all, but rather one of the key attitudes and habits that should characterize ALL Christians.

To submit means to simply yield. To voluntarily let another's position or path take precedence. It is the act of choosing relationship over opinion. Many choose to think that submission is the act of backing down, surrendering, or caving in. But it doesn't have to be this way.

The desire to not back down or let another get their way is an issue of pride. If we are full of pride, we will always think we are right, and if that's the case then what value would it be to submit to others. We'd be choosing the wrong path. But the right path is the path of mutuality. Of true community. Of submitting to one another out of respect for Christ. The right decisions are not as paramount to God as the way we treat one another.

I believe the heart of true submission is love and humility. As Jesus shared in John 13, we are to love one another, that all people might know we are His by our love. This is the love that compels us to willingly and graciously choose the other person's betterment, preference, or decision over our own. We humbly accept that we may be wrong, or rather that our preference doesn't even matter, and that mutuality should be our priority.

I truly believe that submission is the way of Christ, and I want to follow.

But here's a confession: I can sometimes struggle to submit to others who constantly enforce their seeming authority over others. I love to submit, but when others are not mutual, it hardens me.

So what do you all think of this? And particularly, how can I (and all of us) continue to be submissive (and therefore teachable) to those who do not reflect our habit?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ash Goldie Goes Platinum

For those who don't know, I am huge sports fan. It's a key part of my family's life. And, I'm also a huge local advocate.

So, when you put those two things together, you get a rather large proponent of local sports. One such venue for this energy is our local professional hockey team, the Victoria Salmon Kings. Now, without getting too far into it, I just wanted to share something we can all be excited about (in my mind).

The ECHL All-Star break was this week. Going into the break, the Salmon Kings are tied for 1st in our conference. That's awesome enough in my mind. But we also had 3 representatives at the All-Star game. One of those reps was our leading scorer and star right-winger Ash Goldie (on right with brother Wes who also plays for the Kings).

On Tuesday night, during the annual skills competition, he was involved in the accuracy shooting contest. They have to take a pass from a teammate, and shoot at a target about 20 feet away. There are four targets to hit. How many shots did it take Ash Goldie to knock em down? That's right: FOUR! He is the first person in the ECHL to ever hit 4 in 4 shots. Great work Ash! This does not happen all that often in the NHL allstar games (one of my favs Ray Bourque used to be a pro at it).

But, our man was not done. In last night's All-Star game, he came away with 3 assists. Always a good showing to get three points. But wait, he also got.... 3 goals!!! That's 6 points, making him the new record holder of most points in an ECHL all-star game. He rightly so took home the MVP of the game. He also got records for fastest two goals scored by teammates (16 seconds apart with Peter Ferraro), and the fastest goal at the start of a period (22 seconds into the third). That's 4 records he now holds in the ECHL books, in only 2 nights of work.

So that's why I am lifting my hat to our shinging Platinum Star, Ash Goldie, of the Victoria Salmon Kings.

Cindy Davis - Musical Extraordinaire

I have been enjoying the friendship and musical genius of Cindy Davis for many years now. Recently she released her first actual album, to the fanfare of half the world. She has been written up in the Times Colonist, Vic & Saanich News, appeared on a plethora of radio broadcasts including CBC Radio, and has graced our TV screens through Shaw Daily.

I am very excited for this rising star, but when it comes to musical reviews, I have to leave that to my gifted friend, Matt Bingham. So without further adieu, here is his writeup:
The Bing Dynasty: Cindy Davis live @ Metro Studio Theatre--Jan. 20, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not Deep, But Still Important to Me

Okay, so I haven't written in awhile. It turns out December was not as busy as January has been and I don't have time.

So, although many will not care, I want to share something. Somewhat in the vein of my good friend Matty B I will be allowing you to share in my world and realize that a big part of me revolves around sports. So here goes:

Although they are still doing very well and have a great record (30-12), the Phoenix Suns (of the NBA) have dominated most teams the last few seasons and still struggled to go far in the playoffs. This year has been up and down and they have lost to some very poor teams. What will happen come playoff time this year?

Case in point tonight...
The Suns, first in the conference, were facing the Timberwolves, last in the league. Final score... 117-107. For the Wolves!!!!

Minnesota shot 50% from the field, 30% from behind the arc, and an amazing 64% from the free throw line. How did they win?!?! Well, in the battle of the big guys my friends. The Timberwolves managed to pull down 48 rebounds, compared to the Suns measly 26. The offensive boards were even more lopsided: 22 to 3! 3 offensive rebounds? What?! How is that possible?!?

Well, everyone is allowed a bad game, and the Suns are still leading the conference, but I am struggling to see how these types of performances will keep you there. Please boys, prove me wrong and bring us that long awaited for championship (I've been a Suns fan since the KJ days of my early teens).

Thanks for reading. For those who have gotten this far, I promise more tomorrow. Maybe even two posts ;)

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Can't Do More!

It was screaming through my head.

As our church entered into the conversation of what to do after the resignation (fairly positive) of our Lead Pastor and my good friend Don Crawford, I could not ignore it.

We are being asked to see how we can fill the holes left by this vacancy. The impossibility of this I will not get into.

"I can't do more!"

It just got louder and louder.

I eventually had to write it down on paper. After I did, my pen kept moving. I knew I brought a pen and pad of paper into that meeting for a reason. All of the things I currently do (or at least the things that came out in a 5 minute spew) were scribbled down. Regularly scheduled, infrequently gotten to, often forgotten, always urgent, really important... everything I could think of.

As I reached the capacity of the paper, I realized it was more than just "I can't do more."

I realized I can't do what I'm doing. Or rather, I shouldn't.

Looking over the vast list I realized how many of the things I am doing poorly. Most. If not all.

Can I admit this to myself? Should I admit it to others? Will I write it down? Will I say it out loud?

I flipped over the page. Began a new one.

I admitted to myself what has been circling in my head for so long. I am doing too much, and often doing the wrong things, and am doing it all poorly. I wrote it down. Over the next couple days I admitted it to others. Now I'm taking it to the international network. What am I doing?

This is not to say I am ready to stop. This is not to say I need to quit or be fired. This is not to say I am having an early-career crisis.

But it is to say something is wrong. I have been spending time listening to others and listening to God and feel sure that things need to change. I need to change.

Part of that change is to admit to myself:

I am failing in my spiritual life and ministry vocation.

What does that mean? I'm not sure.

But I said it.