Friday, January 30, 2009

Ephesians 4

Over the last year (at least), I have increasingly realized my tendency toward gossip.

For many years now, I have liked to talk. I talk way too much. I've wanted to listen more, but for some reason, I struggle to do so. It's a lack of focus at times, a restlessness at others, and just plain old selfishness most of the time I'm sure. Lord, help me with this...

But the gossip, well that HAS to go. I get talking, start storytelling, and usually in an aim to spread some humour, the stuff just starts rolling off my tongue. I often realize it part way through, and only a couple times have I been able to stop it midstream. I need to submit to this.

The worst part of gossip is that it's almost always done to puff up yourself. I'm not usually trying to do this, but subconsciously my mind/tongue goes there. Clearly I feel the need to do this for some reason, and that shows me I am not finding my confidence in Christ. Two words, one phrase: Not Good!

So, what to do? Well, I've always enjoyed Ephesians (which my fingers keep automatically spelling Ephesiance for some reason!) chapter 4. Unity in the Body. Living as Jesus would have us. Good stuff. The first chunk is important to remember when you realize you're talking bad about others. But the last paragraph hits much harder. Look it up. It's elemental.

So I think a good place to start on this journey toward a cleaner tongue (well, I've started already, but each day is a new start and today I put a stake in the ground and mark out my trail once again) is to memorize this. Ephesians (did it again!) 4. The whole thing. Dang, why'd I type that. I've never been able to memorize a whole chapter except a couple Psalms like 150 which are short and repetitive. What have I done?!

Okay, well, in God's grace and for His glory and toward my cleaner tongue, I will push forward on this journey. Ephesians 4, one verse at a time (a day?), you are mine. By March 1st I should have you mastered. If only my gossip would leave me that quick.

Please pray for me...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Comparison

I happened across something today.

A rare opportunity to compare two things.

Two things that are so alike, but yet so different.

Two things that almost never end up side by side.

And it made me smile.

Here are the pics I took to 'record' the comparison.

These 'machines' are both 3 years old, making them potentially archaic based on their industry, but one still functions fantastically. The other has new versions, slightly smaller, but nothing like the other.

I hope you enjoy the comparison yourself.

The battle between the smallest desktops of their time: the Mac Mini vs. the Dell Mini.

See you for yourself, I hope you smile too...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Women in Leadership

A few days ago, a friend and co-labourer asked me my thoughts on women in eldership. He figured I was well-read and researched on the subject. I am not.

However, I have spent time chatting with friends and other pastors, and poured over Scripture as relating to this subject. Below, you will find my very rushed, unedited (read the 'About Me' to the left), and potentially calloused response to him. I'd love feedback and thoughts in order to move myself and the Church forward in this thinking.


In my mind, the whole of the Biblical text shows how holding to the truth of one specific word is not the intention of the Word. God doesn't necessarily change, but His will and desire for a people changes, especially as that people group goes through change. When Abraham came to Canaan, God wanted him to dwell alongside the people in tents. When the Israelites came back, He wanted them to rid the region of the Canaanites so as to not be ruined by their paganism. When Saul stretched the boundaries of the Kingdom, He wanted something of the same. When the Israelites failed in these things, He wanted them to live in captivity of another nation and still hold true to Him. When they returned, He wanted them to live in peace with their neighbours. When the Romans ruled, He wanted to begin a war of heart redemption, not of violence. etc....

The point being, God's will for us depends on the time, place, culture, people involved, and witness. He's always very concerned about what our lives and actions will say to our neighbours. When the rule of law was violence, He was willing to work within that framework.

I believe there were some New Testament communities for which Jesus' message and plan of no Gentile, no female, no slave, etc. was too hard to handle. Paul recommended these churches remain with what they could handle so as to remain in love and therefore give the best witness to the community. Some NT communities could handle it, so Paul celebrated with them and acknowledged the women who were in leadership of the community. It was also a cold hard fact that women did not have the time in the synagogue that men did, they didn't have the experience (or opportunity) to pour over the Scriptures, nor educate themselves in other ways. I can understand that they needed time before they could 'teach/lead' in order to get their wisdom/knowledge up to speed so to speak.

Today, not only are we 2000 years down the road of hearing Jesus' message, but lots of things have changed. Men were able to keep women out of leadership and education for a long time, but over the last 100 years, women in the West have received the same upbringing. The culture around us in North America now expects and practices equality (on almost all grounds). For us to not practice it, what kind of witness are we showing?

What would God's will be for us? To continue to subjugate women, and by doing so within this context/culture, disrespect and disenfranchise them? I can't imagine that He wants that. In our culture, we deem inequality a form of oppression, tyranny. But why do we stand up for "men being the head of the household and leadership of the church" in an oppressive way? Because it's men who have the power now, and it has to be their decision to see Scripture in a different light and give up that power. That can be hard to do for those who have thought the same way for 50+ years.

So ya, in my mind, men are the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the Church. We need to be an example worthy of following, and be willing to not only take the blame for our family but lay down our lives for them. It doesn't mean we have to or get to make all the decisions unilaterally.

In the church, I believe we should not only practice equality, but also humility. In humbleness, how about we submit to God, ask Him if women should/could be involved in leadership, step forward in faith, and see how He leads us. If He shows us that our moves are wrong (and not just by the strong, conservative men - and their families - leaving the church), and we need to believe that He can make that clear if He desires, then we step back. Move forward with that honest and authentic humbleness to God and each other, everyone knowing you're stepping out in faith. My experience of having women teach (allowed in our church) has been a tremendous blessing and value to our spiritual life. Would God work in this way if He was so against it? Can we move to allow women serve as Elders of the community too (which my church does not allow)?

I have experienced leadership groups with and without women. I personally have seen the tremendous value in having the varied opinions in the room. I believe that men and women's hearts and minds together better represent the heart and mind of God. But I don't have the time to get into that side of the argument...

Friday, January 16, 2009


I love to create. I do so with many things. But changing those creations can sometimes slip my mind. Do I hate change? I don't think so. I usually feel good about the change once I'm done, so I can't hate it. I think it just slips my mind that I need to change things.

And that is the intro to tell you that I have finally changed my 'About Me' to the left of this page. Just a little. To make it accurate.


Sexual Innuendos

You ever wonder why some people have a knack for finding the 'sexual' in everything you say?

I do.

Is it me? Do I just lay them out there too often, knowingly or not, and thus people expect me to say something that has a hidden innuendo behind it? It seems that many youth, youth leaders, and my friends seem to always find things in my words that can be misconstrued. Ya, it can be funny sometimes, but I wonder if I need to check up on something so that I filter the words coming out of my mouth to negate these colourful searchers.

Regardless, I still find nothing inherently wrong with New Direction Ministries and their new campaign for Bridging the Gap (more to follow on these).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Giving Cody Hodgson His Just Desserts

Just a small note to tell you all how I feel about the recent World Junior Tournament.

First off, Canada won. I'm not only proud, but very happy, and emotionally stable (I wouldn't be if they had lost). I can celebrate all of this.

However, there's one thing I can't celebrate. Canada's John Tavares was named the MVP of the tournament. Now, Tavares is a great player, and had some nice goals. However, after watching every game, I can honestly (and perhaps objectively?) say that Tavares was not the best, nor the most important (or valuable) player on the ice for Canada. In my mind, there were two players at least that topped him. Those that came close were Esposito, Cormier, Benn, and Subban. But those that clearly surpassed him in my mind were Jordan Eberle and Cody Hodgson.

Now Jordan Eberle scored some big goals, one HUGE goal (with 5.4 seconds left in the semis to tie the game against the Russians), and proved playmaking and spirited play the entire tournament. There was never a time when I was disappointed with his play.

The same cannot be said for Tavares. He missed numerous chances on the doorstep (which have been called unmissable by him), some of his goals took little skill, and one in particular he would have missed the net by 3 feet from only two feet away but it bounced off the goaltender and into the net. He did have one of the nicest goals I've EVER seen in the first game, and his shootout goal was also full of skill and confidence (Eberle had scored a nicer one just a minute prior), but overall I was slightly disappointed.

Someone that only disappointed me once, with a bad giveaway after 10 minutes of lacklustre play, was Cody Hodgdson. Other than that 10 minutes, he played a COMPLETE tournament. He controls the puck extremely well, wins faceoffs regularly, is Canada's top penalty killing forward, and provides a classy leadership that does all his teammates well. But more, he also led the tournament in points. Tavares scored more goals, but only a couple. Cody had more points total, and he was the one often setting up the finish of Tavares.

So, to conclude, I'd like to give Cody Hodgson my vote for the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 World Junior Tournament. No offence to Thomas Hickey, but he clearly was the better vote for team Captain as well, and I will be surprised if he doesn't become a point a game player and Captain in the NHL. Although the Canucks are not my favourite team, I'm very excited to see him come play in our neck of woods next year.

So raise your glasses and toast the true captain of Team Canada and just MVP of this year's tournie.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

13 In A Row

Need I say more? Our favourite local team has won 13 straight games. That's right. 13 straight. I mean, 13 stinking straight games! Just ridiculous.

The Victoria Salmon Kings lead the West Division, the National Conference, and the whole ECHL with 50 points, 24 wins, after just 35 games. To say I am pleased, is an understatement. Time the rest of you woke up and joined the run cause it's been a blast and should be a great time come June.

And in case you wondered, my Boston Bruins are leading the NHL as well and just concluded a 10 games winning streak. Hockey is fun for me right now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My New Years Resolutions

So it's (again) been awhile since I've visited this blog and pleasured you all (Matty and my wife) with some witty prose. Well, as I let you know some of my New Years Resolutions (which I'm not really in fact making...), you'll see that may start to change.

I've never been one for making too many promises. One reason being that I'm not as good as I want to be at following through. So, I won't be making official resolutions this year, but I do have some thoughts on where I want the next 12 months to go and how things could positively change in my life. Read on...

I hope to use my time more wisely. I have done fairly well since Leilani has entered the world, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. One of those areas of improvement is in spending less time watching TV. Admittedly, I spend 95% of my time in front of the tube watching sports, which are hard to give up. But they are not the most important thing to me and can often seem that way based on how I spend my time. I hope to change that.


I hope to keep my word. That's about it.

I like writing. Whether I'm good at it or not is besides the point. I enjoy getting stuff out of my head and onto the page. I need to do that more. Through means like this blog, my prayer journal, sermon prep, sports discourse, or whatever, I just want to write more.

Okay, the classic. But it's true. I'm in the worst shape of my life. Pretty simple to say that I want, and more importantly, NEED, to get back on the gravy train. There have been lots of excuses this year, as an ATV accident led to almost 4 months of inactivity with a torn meniscus and bummed up back. Last month I feel down the stairs with Leilani and saved her by giving up my ankle. That's still causing me to hobble badly and moan and wince every step. But still, I've been working out the last week, and it's feeling good. Hawaii is in 3 months and I don't want to be mistaken for the great white whale.

I desire to show more love. To my wife, my daughter, my family, my friends, and to everyone. Regardless of how I do with this, I always can show more.


I love my job. It's more a life than a job really. And I love my life. But sometimes, I get bogged down by the meaningless. Or by the negative. I want to enjoy my job/life, and excel at it for God's sake. I hop this year I can do that.

And for now, that's all I got. I'll let you know how things go :)