Friday, March 31, 2006

who woulda thunk it?

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Emergent/Postmodern

75%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

71%

Roman Catholic

64%

Neo orthodox

61%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

46%

Classical Liberal

39%

Reformed Evangelical

36%

Modern Liberal

32%

Fundamentalist

21%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Actually I thought that the survey was not that good. (probably characteristic of my post-modern bent not to be labelled - cough) I do not, for instance, feel alienated from older forms of church. But whatever?!

I was a little curious how Roman Catholic scored as high on the scale as it did - even though i made sure to strongly disagree with the pope being the head of the church...

anywho might be fun to see where the rest of you score on this...

Hey dad this a survey you could do...

Never Ending White Lights


Act 1: Goodbye Friends Of The Heavenly Bodies

Of All The Things You've Done Wrong
Whatcha gonna tell my daughter when my body comes home
Whatcha gonna tell her mother, her father was full grown
He's been out slaughtering babies in someone else's daydream
If god is on my side
Then god is on your side
I murder you murder me matter of personal pride
If god is on your side
He must be mistaken
He must have forsaken thee
Cause he watches you suffer believe
He watches you grieve
He sends his assasins
They'll get you when your sleeping, weeping.

Char said I needed to add a comment on the author's intention to make a comment on the American agenda in the middle east. I thought it was interesting given our recent discussion on the cartoons and US foreign policy...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Hockey Church Saga

Recently my good friend Sterling invited me to help him with the provincial pee wee “C” tournament that he was organizing here in Coaldale. He asked me to do some announcing for the games – you know –
« Le premier √©toile se soir
Da furst e-starr
Steve Shutt”
(my first exposure to public address announcers was the one who announced at the Montreal Canadians hockey games – the first team I cheered for…)
So I was jacked to do it.
He asked me if it would be okay if I announced a 9:30 am game on Sunday morning. Well I said yes (in addition to half a dozen other games that weekend). I loved it. I got to put on my booming voiced and mispronounce a bunch of weird names. It was fun and it seemed like it was well received.
So I show up at the rink at 9 am to get ready for the game and I must run into about three or four people from church.
“Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere else this morning?” – they all ask with a widening grin.
“Nope! But shouldn’t I be asking that of you?” I said smiling back at them. Nudge Nudge Wink Wink…
I guess some of the people in community noticed that ‘the pastor’ was at the game as well. And apparently some good conversations were started as a result. Funny thing isn’t!
Of course as many of you know – there would be a strong negative reaction from the leadership in my church if I were to make hockey a regular part of my Sunday experience.
I think I kinda know what Jesus was talking about when he broke Sabbath conventions and social parameters by healing people and eating at ‘sinners’ homes. It’s the sick who need a doctor… the funny thing is that when I look at my friend Sterling I see anything but a ‘sick’ person. Here is a man who I think understands his own pastoral role better than many people…
So there you go. I hope more than just some media stunt maybe calling the goals and penalties this weekend helped a few people see legitimacy in their faith expression. And I hope they perhaps were challenged in a small way to ‘take it up a notch.”

identify...?

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away
Whoah and I know a man,
he came from my hometown
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said dolores, I live in fear
My love for you’s so overpowering,
I’m afraid that I will disappear
I know a woman, (who) became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain’t got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been
And I know a father who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he’d done
He came a long way just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and he headed home again
Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man
We’re workin’ our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway, when in fact we’re slip sliding away
-Paul Simon "Slip Slidin' Away"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the hats...


yes i did this

imarobot is well on the road to earning a clear mug for this posting

By the way- these awards are handed out at random but there will be blog ceremony some time before Easter where we will hand out the hardware so get you submissions in...


Dale

if autism is the berlin wall he just cracked it

here is a nice little story about a kid overcoming the odds... (MARCH MADNESS!)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Good thing the lines are so clearly defined...


James Loney
Christian, and especially Mennonites, have embraced this man in somewhat of an iconic representation of the peace position that so many Christians take. I wonder just how well recieved he will continue to be once the details of romantic interest are more publically accessible.
"I need some time to get reacquainted with my partner, Dan, my family, my community and freedom itself."
Of course this cryptic remark in his first statement on Canadian soil suggests that perhaps we might have endorsed, prayed for and advocated for what MIGHT be someone with at least some variety of homosexual leanings...
How do you say squirm in Low German...
Even more interesting is how grateful Loney was in identifying how providencial the military intervention was in his release from captivity (along with his co-hostages) Ironic given his earlier statements about not wanting military intervention were he to be captured...
"A great of hand of solidarity reached out for us; a hand that included the hands of Palestinian children holding pictures of us and the hands of the British soldier who cut our chains with a bolt cutter. That great hand was able to deliver the three of us from the shadow of death. I am grateful in a way that can never be adequately expressed in words."

and

Loney made it clear he was opposed to any military rescue if he was kidnapped, says Doug Pritchard, the organization's co-director. Is that why CPT has been slow to express gratitude for the rescue, indeed referred to it as a "release" in its early statements?
Good things always get tied up in these neat little packages...

Friday, March 24, 2006

YOUTH MINISTRY IS EVERYBODY'S JOB...


Here’s a quote and comment:
“Youth ministry, then, is not an appendage of the body, it is rather an expression of the whole body caring for specific group. Adolescents need adult community who will love them appropriately and with great care. This is the call of the church. Young adolescents need several second families, and middle adolescents need a safe place to explore peer relationships while knowing that there are many others in the wings committed and available to them. Older adolescents need to know that they matter to the other adults in the community. Youth ministry is everybody’s job.” – Chap Clark

Of course many of you know how passionate I remain in my desire to help adolescents through this turbulent time of their lives. And more than ever it seems that the expectations of this passion are left unmet. It is depressing really…
For as much as we have worked to establish an effective strategy in our youth ministry here – it often feels a little useless. I have to accept that likely I am to blame at least in part for the state of things. Ministry to youth has seemed to be so ‘diametrically opposed’ to the over all function of the rest of the church. So our youth ministry has squirreled away a spot to ‘do ministry’ beside and outside the rest of the church's function. I suspect this issue exists in many if not most churches. Basically it is like we have created two distinct independant spiritual bodies. And I know in some situations churches’ have carved youth out of the main meeting time. (a.k.a. YOUTH CHURCH) Auspiciously to give youth a version of church that is more in their context. Fine. But I suspect that we should not wring our hands in despair when most kids walk away from their faith after high school. Our system of fragmented ministry has ducked around the real issue. A sort of laziness and arrogance.
As a father I am increasingly aware of what I will leave for my children. So it disappoints me when people who have received spiritual nurture for years and years continue to greedily hoard the spiritual wealth. But far from asking every person in the church to become sponsors or volunteer staff, I just think we need to look past our collective noses and wake up to our responsibility to those who are growing up in this “Brand New World”.
The essence of the church is sacrifice. So to be clear I DO NOT think we need to Dumb Down the church to make it more youth friendly. I think that when adults accommodate youth they understand that it’s not just about meeting their perceived needs. It is good for youth to learn early the rhythms of sacrificial living. However, adults need to STOP the greedy spiritual engorgement that is so pervasive.
You know what I think?
The reason we create these ginormous events (YC / CREATION / Even to some extent Bible School “Retreats”) is because it is a relatively easy way to FEEL like we are ministering to kids. Gosh it is way more labour intensive to actually start a relationship with a kid. Nope instead we will gladly throw money and resources of all sorts at these events – which incidentally are not so subtle ways of teaching kids to perpetuate the greed cycle. Really when it comes down to it having a paid youth pastor is probably another great way of doing the same thing…

C.M.A. Self-Nomination

check out nathans contending story on his blog and vote there if you think he deserves the award...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Clear Mug Awards


In the middle to late 90’s a trend emerged in glassware which provided hot beverage drinkers the inexplicable joy of seeing their potion of choice three dimensionally. While Humpty’s restaurants insists on using said clear cups to this day in many of its restaurants, the use of these containers has fallen into unfashionable disuse in most of the rest of society. With gentle covert lobbying, coffee enthusiasts pared the production of these translucent mugs away from manufacturer’s factories. It was revealed that individuals who chose to adulterate their coffee with sweeteners, cream, and ‘flavourings’, where taking special delight in seeing their coffee merging with edible oil products. Obviously this reality could not go on.
So now that these cups are no longer a standard part of each kitchen cupboard, they have taken on iconic status. Of course it helps that Gil is quite verifiably aggravated when he is served a drink in this type of chalice. Really the cup is an enigma. As an icon it serves to highlight the triviality of corrupt practices. Ironically it acknowledges how self effacement can truly reveal inner beauty. And so it is that the cup has climbed atop the bronzed statuette we normally refer to as a trophy.
The award really is just as inscrutable as the cup itself. Really it may be awarded to almost anyone for almost any reason. Typically though it will be awarded with an overall sense of irony or sarcasm. To limit the award in this manner may still be far too confining so allow me to identify some of the catagories under which people may be nominated for the award:
Trend of the Year
Political Quote
Regular Quote
Best Story about a Transformed Coffee Drinker
Best Picture of a Taxi Cab
Most Ridiculous Invention

These are but a few of the categories. You are welcome to nominate someone for any of these categories and to suggest categories for our selection academy.
So now you know…

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Visit of Wilbert and Hilda Friesen

So we just sent my Mom and Dad back down the road to Winkler. Hopefully they arrive there in good shape tonight. We spent the weekend with them. It was a treat. We were introduced to the KNIFTY KNITTER. The boys ‘latched’ on to that quick – especially Jared. He finished two touques in the weekend Jesse did one and Levi did one. So mom and dad graciously left behind the tools so the boys could keep on knitting.
Aside: you know knitting could save the world. Except that Chuck Norris does not knit… He always lives with no strings attached. (See Chuck Norris Mind Games)
Of course because my folks have been in ministry all their lives we always talk a lot about church stuff. We were debating whether to go to church on Sunday or not but decided against it. Instead we planned our own ‘service’ at home. Although not legal sanctioned by the Conference of Bedside Baptists we figured that the presence of two paid pastors should make the service legit. (It’s a holiness quotient that it actually based on a complex spiritual formula of various algorithms and logistical prognoses: I’ll include it some time) Our kids came up with two skits. The first was done by Jared and Levi. It was called…




Jared called it a politically incorrect Bible story of David and Goliath. An army of Rescueheros were the Babylonians (of course in the original account they were Philistines) and little Levi had to use his rubberband gun to pick off the slashing and thrashing Jared who was wearing the Touque of Doom.
Jesse and Lukas meanwhile did a version of the Good Samaritan. With Lukas stepping out of his usually sunny disposition to play the beaten up traveller while Jesse ran back and forth changing clothes and playing every other role in the story. Eventually Jesse lifted Lukas onto his shoulders – a feat not lost on the fact that they are essentially the same size. (even though Lukas is younger by 2 years)
A sword drill, some memory work and some awesome testimonies later and we were ready for Ming’s House of Cat.
It was a good weekend. Mom started off by baking cinnamon buns – so Char spent the rest of her weekend trying to find a way to justify eating one while still honouring her lent. Unfortunately the perogies did not go over so well with our boys – but I had couple. Mom seemed to be quite taken with our mini schnauzer and it seemed like Deri was quite taken with her.

She even jumped up on their bed this morning to wake them up so I guess Dad has to start retracting his promise to not have an indoor dog… Mom and I had a good late night conversation focused around postmodernism and post-Foundationalism.
Dad and the boys and I went to the Hurricanes game against the Hitmen. It was the first time I had a chance to see Justin Pogge in action. Quite a treat. The Canes played well but had a 7 minute lapse in the third period to let Calgary back in the game which they eventually won in a shootout…
Dad and I did some repairs around the house and built a set of drying racks/closets for Char’s Hutterite Laundry Emporium.
We watched the Brier together on Sunday night and watched as the Quebecoise beat Ontario for the title.
Sunday we discovered Google fights and decided that it would be a great way to settle ecclesiological disputes in staff meetings or church council meetings…
And Dad by the way here’s a link to that book I was talking about by Katie Funk Wiebe.
It was a good weekend. A great chance to reconnect. I am truly blessed to have been raised by my parents. Thank-you for carrying on the legacy
If anyone would a Friesen original touque just say so the line are now open…
Anyways it’s back to the books for me

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Serendipity


Yes every so often things show up in my life completely unexpectedly. It’s funny saying that ‘cause I realize how much control I have exerted to keep from dealing too directly with unexpected circumstances. Anyways I’ll pull myself off the blogging analyst couch and get on with it…
I went to check on my mailbox at church to see if anything was there…
Jammed into the church mailbox was a small brown paper bag. I pulled it out and read this short note:

Hi Dale and Char,
We stayed & visited with Dr.
Weigelt, a coffee grower
in Hawaii. His harvest was done and we saw these
bags and bags of beans. He
offered to roast us some. We couldn’t help but
think of your love for coffee.
Here is 1/2lb. of 100% Kona Coffee. You be
the judge as to how you wish to blend
it, just enjoy it.
Bruno and
Helen

Well you can only imagine my delight. Some time ago after Tanya and Everett went to Cuba they brought back some Cubita. As in that case I was ecstatic. You can not imagine the pure joy that just filled me.
The coffee itself is fabulous.
To be honest I am not much of Kona Coffee fan. I have suspected that the issue was in the roast (usually over roasted). This coffee was the lightest roast I have seen on Kona. Now you need to understand that this coffee typically sells for about $30.00 per pound. The roast was so light that many of the beans are still noticeably ‘green’ on the inside.
Obviously I have done extensive work on the coffee
On its own it is very creamy. It is not sweet but has a deep mahogany color. Beautiful. Obviously with as light a roast as it is there isn’t even a hint of the typical bitterness that is so common in many North American roasts/blends. So unlike the Cubita it does not need to jump the dark roast hurdle. As a result there are wonderfully complex flavours throughout the cup. For those with the chocolate/mocha tones, they are not present here. Instead the brew fills your mouth with strong hoppy tones. It is a coffee to get lost in. Cubita is more like a party exploding in your mouth. This is more like a allowing your tastes buds to walk gently down a garden path slowly saturating with the wonders of sight and smell.
Come on over for a cup if you can make it – it won’t last long.
Thank-you Bruno and Helen
It really is wonderful…

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Round up


Looks like in my absence (from my abode) the world has continued spinning…
Under the category of:
…the more things change the more they stay the same… I understand that our collective litigiousness is not waning. Apparently a little girl find a cup has her friend roll up the rim and runs home to show her folks. Of course, the parents of the girl who so kindly helped the younger child want a piece of the pie but now so does the guy who originally flapped his lips across the paper cup and then discarded it – at his own folly…
Moral of the story: does it really pay to drink and drive?

...in a related story apparently there is some spurious new research that would claim to put coffee into the shadows of suspicion. It claims that your genetics might affect how receptive your heart might be to withstand the jolt of caffeine brought on by caffeine. Personally, I would suggest from my purely unscientific approach that the addition of cream and sugar may well account for any ‘problems’ coffee might have on the heart. It’s curious isn’t it that tea has well escaped the target of assault. Prissy tea drinkers guzzling gallons down their
EEZO FAGUSSES… (little mention of the fact that per volume most tea holds almost twice as much caffeine as coffee…)
I don’t care. To be honest I was a little uncomfortable with the notion that coffee might enjoy healthy status. It’s re-entry into the ‘vice’ category is both familiar and welcome for me.

and speaking of beverages…
apparently these types of 'miracles' still do happen…
according to this story perhaps beverages can still transmogrify despite current dispensational propositions – okay so maybe it was just stupid plumbing but hey. I gotta wonder what I woulda been thinking when the golden stuff came outta my taps.
Truth is, like this reporter suggests, I might like to get to know this plumber and introduce him to some of those people who might be convinces by the 'morphing in thier taps that the apocalypse was near…
Nasty by fun...



One more thing…
I just signed up my kids for soccer here in Coaldale. Here’s what happened. They made me write a check for June 30 (the end of the soccer season) in the amount of $20.00. Here’s how it was presented. I pay $20.00 to register for the opportunity to volunteer (as a coach). If in the end I do not volunteer the association will deposit my check and I can consider the money as an additional fee for the registration of my children. If however I do volunteer I get my money back. Now its only $20.00 so suck it up and pay the dough – Right?
Fine but…
What this does is turn me into a paid coach. How? No doubt there will be parents of children on the team I will coach who will have just paid the 20 and decided not to volunteer. I am sure that their expectations now will be higher (if only marginally) because they have paid for a service that they felt they did not have time to invest in. so what does this do to the dynamics of off-field parental antics? Make them better? Less antagonistically competitive? I doubt it! Essentially we have professionalized the volunteers in the program. Again maybe it’s insignificant but to me it is another reason to be critical of the hands off approach so many adults have to involvement with children and youth. So I’ll suck it up. And I will be proud to report in June that the parents of the children on my team will receive their money’s worth. Nothing less than a championship! Ole Ole Ole Ole!

Friday, March 10, 2006

::Rejoinder::

Just wanted to clarify a few comments:
Natasha called me on a contextual problem of problems that I made in my last post:
I really wasn’t talking about the nature of “Calling” as it pertains to giftedness, ability or perceived direction from God on life’s vocation or intention. Instead I was specifically referring to people who have walked away from youth ministry as a volunteer or whatever and have used the excuse that they were not “Called” to do this. It was a comment on how we tend to put a spiritual spin on our excuses so that we can get out of situations without a guilt complex. But you raise a few good points
First yes people are going offer different focal points for the activity of their lives but in a very real way whether you are going to be an environmentalist, a social justice person, whatever... I would hope that the reason we are going to get involved is to help future generations experience a better future. So in that way hopefully we are all working toward helping youth…
Unfortunately too many people are only living for their own benefit.
My intention was not to make you or anyone else for not rushing out an signing up for the closest youth program as a volunteer. I don’t want you to think that you are garbage for not being a youth worker. I was expressing my frustration about selfish people really don’t care about the future generation.
Pat – I don’t want you to be mad at me but I’m probably not going to back away from my comments too much. I know private schools are not perfect and need evangelizing. And that they themselves can be considered as a light into their own communities. But I have to say that the core reason behind sending your kids to private or home school is out of some sort of protectionism. Some of that protectionism may be warranted out of a desire to have the best for our kids. I can understand that motivation. I can also see that there is frustration with the academic standards of the public school system. But even there I guess that there is something interesting going on. It makes me ask the question about whether we as Christians are willing to lay down our “Rights” to have our kids in better education?
I’m sorry if my comments came across judgementally – I’m not trying to make myself look better than you or anyone else. I am just really tired of the escapism, and excusism that is so prevalent in Christian culture. You probably need to evaluate whether this is your rationale or not. That’s not my job. I assume you have thought about these things and know how your choices are not escapist and I would be interested in hearing them.
Sorry for the confusion and the perceived accusation

Thursday, March 9, 2006

thursday a turning point

This week has been one of those turning point times for me…
The class has been weighted toward the side of pathology (the deviant, often disturbing side of adolescent reality). Now please hear me – I AM NOT INTERESTED IN STICKING MY HEAD IN THE SAND… so when we talk about sexually deviant behaviour like hooking up (not for the easily frightened!) or the unbelievably high occurrence of sexual abuse. Stats like 70% of all youth leave high school – NOT as virgins. One kid (the college joined us seminary students) in the class said she has noticed that kids are not even using terms like “slut” or “whore” to describe promiscuous kids anymore – suggesting that sleeping around is becoming okay. On top of that add issues of violence, and co-dependence and you start getting the overwhelming picture that has started to be a recurring theme in the class. And you can start to see how my sceptical mind starts kicking in. I know how crucial it is that we intervene and I DO NOT DENY that this stuff exists. BUT… I know that it is always terrible to create solutions and ministry strategies out of the motivation of fear. Scared decisions are always the wrong ones.
But I know that this stuff needs to be brought up be cause so many of us get lulled into thinking that this stuff is barely real. It’s easy to ignore! Why because adults are basically selfish self centered brats who have relegated their kids to the outskirts of our lives. Abandoned kids are ones who are desperate for real love.
This week has reminded me why I am in this business (Youth Ministry). I love youth. I love their desperate lives of anxiety. I love their honesty and craving for authenticity. I love their passion. I love their spontaneity. But you know if it would stop there I should stop doing what I do. I love youth because they need/want love and I can love them. My heart breaks when over and over again (and it has seemed often lately) that I’ve heard of kids who have made some crappy choices with their lives and are obviously still searching for the unmet “CORE THIRST”. I have cried this week – for broken souls – reminders of kids who are using shallow empty wells to meet love needs that no one had permission to fill anymore.
Blame broken families, blame feminization of males (this is a bigger deal than I had realized at first), blame marketing, blame the sexualization of culture, blame access to sin, and we will miss the main point. We are ignoring our kids because we are more important than they are.
We can be alarmed – and maybe the nightmare so many families are living in should make us think of at least opening our eyes.
Alarm does little… You know what alarm has done so far. Well the church has thought that the answer to the alarm they feel have created programs…
Come on people they want our time
Our bloody time (sorry mom)
“Jesus, I don’t know if I have any business asking anything from you but… would you please give your little lambs people who would love them.”
I don’t know how many times Mark and I have driven back and forth from Lethbridge with tears over kids and their destructive behaviour. I don’t know how many times I have clenched my teeth over the over protective responses that so many Christians want to employ to keep their salt and light kids out of the public school system. It makes me angry how much we don’t really care about the ones who are starving for love out there…
Church crap can get the best of us beaten down. You tear your heart out for kids and then the church takes the rest and stops all over it with politics and stupid requests to change silly things like the amount we say God in our prayers. But this is not a pity party. It just boils my blood when I hear people say that they don’t feel called to youth ministry. It’s a load of crap. Just say I don’t care.
I’m rambling
Alright I should go back to bed
i got some good marks on my last course you know...

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Day Two

Okay this one might be a bit shorter…
Check out these websites that specialize in digital enhancement and then you can stop wondering why your wife/girlfriend spends so much time in front of the mirror…
And trust me it’s not for your benefit buddy…
o http://www.newfaces.com/shop/digital-photo-enhancement.php
o http://www.touchofglamour.com/Photo_Retouching.htm
Did you know that women’s internal organs are double in size during adolescence. And that they are substantially larger than men’s. No wonder they can hold those farts for so long – they’ve got the room!
We had a discussion on the factors that prevent adolescents from making the transition to adult thinking. There were a number of good factors presented in class including the role of the parent, and education. We spent a considerable amount of time talking about responsibility – primarily that youth don’t take any. Some one said that young people wanted all the frills without the work – the emergent church was destined to fail as a result. Hmmm! What I found on the contrary is that we as adults have not really challenged our youth to take on more responsibility. Like for instance – I tell my kids hey the chairs need to be stacked after the youth meeting. They do it! But of course if I just start stacking chairs and don’t inform them of their responsibility they don’t get it. So we have to tell them to do stuff when we expect that it should just come naturally. Well how should they know what to do if most of their life is handed to them – without the interaction of their own responsibility.
Another factor that I wanted to explore is how low SES, ethnicity, and nutrition might be causal factors in poor cognitive development. Marv seemed a little reluctant to go there – probably for a number of reasons including being perceived to place limitations on people affected by these factors so…
I think it is a shamefully unavoidable reality that we need to own. Our treatment of aboriginal Canadians is terrible. When you see the conditions that many of our brothers and sisters live with, it truly is a miracle when some of them achieve higher levels of cognitive skills. Let me be clear I’m not suggesting that they are less human or anything. I wish we would spend more time on this topic at some level cause I think we are responsible for this…
One other thing
Ron Taffel’s book “The Second Family” is deeply arresting – not for the faint of heart. I don’t know if I am going to let you read it Char. I feel guilty and messed up as a parent when I read that book.
I decided today that I want to live out a prayer every day – to connect my kids to my undivided attention everyday…
… now if you want to “give something up” for lent – great! This is what I am giving up. I am giving up be self centered just long enough each day to give my wife and family my undivided attention for as long as they need it each day. Wow! We’ll see what happens after lent…
Any way back to editing my paper.
out

correction notice

on the january 23 posting i misquoted Dale Dirksen
he did NOT say "orthodox kiss idols." he DID say, "orthodox kiss icons."
it seems a trivial thing to some of you I am sure but it does change the meaning alot. thanks to the blood hound who found it...

Monday, March 6, 2006

Briercrest Trip #3


So this time, I am staying at Sundbo Place (a residence/dormitory for mature men – ironically). It smells like old stinky cheese – I was in flash back mode for the first 30 minutes so…
I quickly ground up some coffee and made a pot and voila things are smelling better already…
Today’s class was an interesting one since the first part of the morning was a lot of review from the course I took in fall but there were a few interesting highlights along the way today.
Our Prof: Marv Penner outlined some presuppositions that he was going to use throughout the course. It was interesting what showed up because undoubtedly he has chosen these over and against some others that might have competed for his attention.
Human development continues throughout the lifespan
This one I would have thought was a no brainer. Obviously people continue to develop though out their lives.
Human development is cumulative. Again to say that our development builds off of itself seems a little redundant but he said there are other ways of seeing yourself. I suppose one could isolate certain developmental phases and consider them closed or no applicable to the rest of life. That seems so counter intuitive. What is interesting is that when you look at the type of redemption that Christianity has ‘sold’ over the last number of years, I can see how we have compartmentalized how it all works. We’ve said that our sin is wiped out after conversion. We say that Christ removes our sin when we confess, repent. Forgiven and forgotten. That would seem to be where we have dropped on the theology side of things. But is it really that way? Can we ever really transcend our past to the extent that it no longer affects us? If we can not humanly walk away from our past with all its complexities is teaching the kind of theology that we do merely a form of escapism. We never actually have to deal with our past. That’s why we can take kids to Mexico or wherever and a few years down the road they really are not that different – they don’t have to be.
Regarding Keeping up with culture. If you go to my brothers blog you will notice that he has given up trying to keep up with the changes in culture. (Who can blame him?) what Marv said was interesting. He said he was glad that people like Walt Mueller as willing to watch culture so that people like him didn’t have to. That’s all fine and good as far as it goes. The question that pops into my head how do you know who to trust? We all get our culture from different sources. Gil checks Alqueda and Ryan reads Theologist Weekly and Mark finds stuff out from the kids themselves and Paul… …well Paul has not quite found anything printed in Russian yet so… But do you know what I mean. In this agenda driven world who do you trust to get your source material from. And on top of that you put our natural tendency to just read the stuff that we agree with, NOW what are you left with. I think it’s pretty easy to just stick our heads in the sand thinking all the while that that is precisely what we are not doing. I got no answers here just makes me a lot more humble. Its like when I heard that somebody was reporting that students were going home at lunch time and having group sex all the time. The thing is that if that stuff was really happening kids would know about it and would be talking about it – somebody would be bragging about it. And either mark or I would have heard about it by now. But obviously some got some information somewhere to indicate that this was going on and because of their agenda of fear decided to basically spread lies. Stupid. Have ther ever been kids who go home at lunch to have group sex at Kate Andrews? Well it very well possibly could be. But to say that this is in any way typical or the growing trend among young people is just not true. Maybe some day it will be but for now…
And to me that just shows that we choose to believe whatever we want to about culture and are not very open to have our opinions changed.
Marv also talked about adult reaction to adolescents
In that discussion he said, “they are gonna rebel against something but you as a parent can decide what that something is gonna be! So let them rebel!”
He said when he sees some of the body modification e-zines it’s like a giant middle finger to adults
He said most parents are terrified of screwing up their kids with bad parenting. His advice get over it. You’re gonna screw up – you’re human. Fear is crappy motivator. So maybe we gotta get over our preoccupation with messing up our kids and realize that the most important thing is to have a good relationship with them.
We also spent some time talking about the way teens are perpetually abandoned. Given over to institutions to care for, fix, entertain, teach, and build faith. Expectations are high because parents who are detached from their kids need to be reassured that their ambivalence is not hurting their kid. So if their kid starts malfunctioning they come back to the institution to “get their money back.” I know that is what I have felt often in the church. And I am sure Bonny and Jessica and Gil find that in their work as teachers. It is unfair that parents have dropped their kids off and then expect us to pick up the pieces. It’s like they’ve forgotten that when you drop something it usually gets dented or broken.
That’s about it for day one.
Char might be interested to note that I ran Dale Dirksen and asked him if he would read past page 15. he said he would but that it would not help my mark any. Whatever? I guess I have some revising to do tonight back at Sundbo cheese shop.
Peace to all of you

Friday, March 3, 2006

In the Spirit of the Academy Awards...

I am sending out another CLEAR MUG to Paul Morgun. Paul has accepted Chuck Norris into his life as his personal martial arts guru. Paul doesn't remeber exactly when this all took place which has made his acceptance into the CHURCH OF CHUCK NORRIS a contentious issue for exissiting members. Paul made up for his lack of date and time by kissing this picture of CHUCK NORRIS.

For many years Paul wandered in darkness acknowledging only Chuck Girard. A hip Christian crooner of early eighties. But Paul has seen the light - no that's not it. the light has been magnitized by reality of CHUCK NORRIS in Paul's life. Sorry.

So way to go Paul - you get the cup.

Stay tuned more cups to be awarded soon...