Friday, December 17, 2010

An Update

Well everyone knows I am not the best blogger. Too much other stuff to do, and facebook provides a far easier way to spread the news. However, I think this blog is a great place for more extended updates, and I've got news to share, so here goes!

Leilani is now 2.25 years old! It has happened so fast, with lots of fun and challenges along the way. She is a darling little girl who surprises us daily with a new word, phrase, or action. My favourite over the last couple months was when she came out of the bathroom after a couple minutes alone, with mommy's makeup on either side of her mouth and dotted on her nose, saying "cat!" She had dressed up as a cat for Halloween, and a week later, decided she wanted to do it again. So cute!

Although it seems like boring news, this area of my life has changed quite a bit lately. In September, the insurance for my bike was up, and because of a lack of funds and a maxxing out of our credit, I had to park Ebony indefinitely. Without my motorbike, I had to switch to using my bicycle more often. I enjoyed that most days, though the rain can be annoying. However, both JL's and my bike got stolen a couple weeks ago :( So now I'm back to my main transportation option from 2003: my longboard! If you see me humming along, make sure to give me a honk!

I'm done!! Well, not completely, but kind of. I have completed all my classes and have only my thesis to finish. It seems like not long ago I was writing my pros and cons list for some education options up here on this blog, and now I'm just a few months from being done it all. Just 18 months after starting my Masters at UVic, I'm already at this stage. I really can't believe it. Jennie-Lynne has endured a lot to make this happen, and I'm so thankful for her support. I also want to thank all those friends and family members that have sacrificed Andy-time to help make this happen. It's been a huge blessing in my life, so thanks for your prayers as well!

So this is the really big news. I have decided that this is going to be my last year as the Youth Pastor at Lambrick Park Church. JL and I have thought about this for a long time, and we've decided that I will be resigning in June of 2011. We are really excited about the next season of our life, as our entire marriage has been wrapped up in life at Lambrick. It's been an amazing, 6.5 years, with so many blessings and challenges, but we feel it's a great time to make a change as the kids I started with who were in Grade 6 are now graduating. I am thankful for God's protection over the years, as many people leave ministry under worse conditions. We love Him, His Church, my coworkers, and the ministry. I will miss the youth and my youth leaders the most, but if we find a job in Victoria we'll remain a part of LPC. I do hope to find a job working with youth in some way, but just not in a church right now. Again, I want to thank all friends and family who have prayed for us over the years, and ask for more prayers as we seek God's direction for the future. We are confident He has led us to this decision for a reason, so now it's exciting to see where He'll lead now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prodigal Trilogy

This past Sunday night (July 11) I spoke at The Place on Luke 15. Instead of doing the classic 30 minute speech, I chose to let someone who I met 3 years ago do the talking. I shared the video done by Jason Hildebrand, called 'The Prodigal Trilogy.'

The point of Luke 15 is that Jesus came "to seek and save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10), and He told these stories to expound on that mission and to point out the need to celebrate people being found by God.

However, Jason brings out so many points with his writing and acting, that I felt it much more valuable to have him share and let others get what they wanted from it. I have heard from many that they were thankful for my different approach to the evening, and very encouraged if not provoked by Jason's storytelling. Many have asked how they can get a hold of his videos. Because Jason makes a living off of his creative work, they are only available on his website. I would suggest his 'Blue Like Jazz' which has been endorsed by Donald Miller as well (get the combo package for savings). I have a copy of 'The Prodigal Trilogy' people can borrow, and I may buy another to have on hand at the church as well.

People have also asked for the questions that I put up to inspire deeper thinking following each video. These were not meant to restrict, and didn't cover all of the emotions or ideas Jason touched on, but they were meant as a starting point for those struggling to engage his material on their own. Anyways, here they are:

The Younger Son
- How have I been a restless spirit?
- How does this monologue alter my view of others?
- Have I had similar inner struggles to this younger son?
- What embrace have I fought?

The Older Son
- What do I feel entitled to?
- Do I have a problem of pride, arrogance, or self-righteousness?
- What are my motives for staying and serving in the Father’s house?
- What do I have to release in order to be found?
- What am I trying to prove with my work?

The Father
- What does this character teach me about God?
- What does this character teach me about myself or about being a parent?
- Who or what do I need to release control of?
- How can I reach out to welcome the younger and older brothers to the celebration?

- Which role in the story do I relate to most?
- How does the story allow me to relate to others in a different way?
- What have I learned about God? Myself?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Thoughts

Good Stuff
- A friend passed on this post by Donald Miller, which not only struck me as wise insight but also relating to the recent talk I just gave at The Place. Check it out if you want advice on how to make positive changes in your life, character, or faith.

Bad Stuff
- I spent last week up island with my family, reading and writing a sermon. I didn't have internet. It was a connection that I missed, but was also thankful for the time away to not be distracted. In the weeks (months? year?) before, I had spent less time on Facebook, only going on to check messages and write back to people. Plus the odd status update that almost always related to work and inviting youth out to events. But this week, after a full week away, I for some reason have jumped back on full steam. I'm commenting on a lot of other people's status' and posts, and just wasting time. I need to stop. I think I'll take Donald Miller's advice above.

Undecided Stuff?
- One of the things I have been discussing on Facebook was the recent incident involving Victoria Police and potential excessive force used to quell a drunken downtown brawl. Police officers happened upon 8 men kicking and beating one unconscious man lying on the sidewalk. They immediately threw in the pepper spray to dislodge the group, and started rounding up the offenders. One cop in particular laid down some pretty big kicks and knees to force people into submission in order to be cuffed. I personally think that sometimes this technique is necessary. When there's a potential riot on their hands, police need to be able to use greater force to get the job done quickly. I do think that the one police officer went too far. But I think he barely over stepped what was necessary or reasonable. The kicks look too forceful. The knees a little too quickly administered after the warnings. But again, I do feel that this behaviour is not over the line in some circumstances. Whether he deserves some time away from the job and some anger management courses is no doubt. But some are calling for assault charges and are heavily angered by this use of force. I disagree.
Here's a link to a recent story talking about use of force and the fact that police officers are actually trained to kick and punch under some circumstances.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Last Sunday I spoke to about 300 people at The Place regarding Luke 18. I focused on the parable of the 2 praying men (pharisee & tax collector), the babies being brought to Jesus, and the rich young ruler. My main points were:
  1. Jesus calls us to let go of anything that hinders our ability to hold on to Jesus completely (can't grab hold with both hands if your hands are full of cash or toys or...).
  2. We can do nothing to earn our way into the Kingdom of God. Nothing. Jesus says babies are our best example, and I think that is because they can't try to do anything. They just receive care. They feed off of their mothers. They do nothing of their own accord except to cry for help. We too often TRY and prove our own merit and value to the Kingdom, and Jesus calls us to just bring our dirty nasty serves and cry for help. That is it. Our best efforts of proving our worth are just attempts anyways, as they'll never be good enough. Come to Jesus with yourself and He'll do what is impossible for us to do. Can we do it? Can I do it?
If you want to read or listen to the whole thing, then you can grab it here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Almost a Year!

Yup, that's right. It's almost been a year since I've been on here. Almost.

But I didn't let it get to that anniversary point, so I count that as a victory. I could just let this blog drift into the horizon like so many others, but maybe it's worth keeping going. Who knows. I guess you all (who are you anyways?) will know in a few years.

Regardless, here's a couple quick updates, alike to my friend's Sarah Pee's recent list:

Leilani: Still growing (almost 1.5 years). Whining often. Still very cute.
JL: Feeling the need to hobby and adventure. Sewing and Mexico fit the bill perhaps?
Calla Lily: Still biting. Sometimes cute.
House: No more renos! Well, not now for lack of money & time. Lawn needs mowing.

Youth: Still the best part of the job. Number are interested in Baptism. Pretty stoked.
Teaching: Spending a lot of time on Matt. 7:13-14 - encouraging youth to take that narrow path each day, and telling stories of those who have.
Leaders: Been a little disappointed with a few and lack of commitment. Others (like Keenan & Sarah) are awesome.
Church Leadership: Not really a part of that right now, but they're working hard.
Future: Not sure. Not eager to be planning multiple weekly events anymore. Never was. But still love being part of my kids lives.

School: Going great. Getting good grades and half done courses for degree. Have to get approval for research soon. Have to stop procrastinating on paper I'm currently writing.
Family: Mom's heading down to Arizona with the band. Dad's taking care of Nana. Chris is 2 months from marrying Amy. Greg & he just finished curling. And Jenny is back in Vic for in Vic for a short time as she makes some pretty big decisions. Love them all!
Camp: Right in the middle of huge step: purchasing Mesachie Mountain. Big changes ahead I feel. Much prayer needed.
Health: Still not exercising regularly. I suck.
Spiritual: Some up, some down. Reading Buchanan's "Things Unseen" - easy read but really valuable. Also reading Lewis' "The Great Divorce" with our group. Between the two, thinking lots about heaven and the spiritual realm we are so often blinded to.

Okay, that's all I got for now. Sure there's stuff I'm forgetting, but gotta get back to this paper. I'll add a pick of Leilani to bring some life to this update.