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.