Friday, April 27, 2007


Recently I ordered DAVE'S LUCKY NUTS from Chilly Chiles. Dave is the maker of Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce which is pretty much the industry standard in extremely hot yet tasty hot sauces.

My intention was to share these with the boys at poker this weekend but they did not quite last that long. They taste amazing! They don't quite live up to their slogan though - I guess I just couldn't seem to find the tenth one. They're just not that hot - but seriously amazing flavor combinations. I will promise to reorder some for our next poker venture in two weeks and I hope that the boys at the bottom of the pack will do their part to keep me in the upper ranks of the standings.

This weekend (in a few hours), I will be taking the senior highs to Calgary for an inner citty service project/experience. I am always a little leary that these sorts of things focus more on changing the participants than meeting real needs but...

Phil Reimer is a good guy and we are really trying to focus on doing real ministry. He is committed to not starting something new but partnering with organizations that are already established to provide volunteers and resources. Phil is youth guy who partnered with the bunch of us to launch some youth ministry retreats back in the day over at Camp Evergreen. So there you go.

i think this guy gets it right

ht: ysmarko

I'm coaching soccer again

We lost our first game but our team looks strong - we won't lose many...
my aim is to teach them this

Thursday, April 26, 2007

this is pretty sweet

watch out for the bird at the end - especially since the last post!

up to three months for kissing...

Richard Richard
Most of us probably laughed off this seemingly innocuous little scene. But there are a few angles that sorta catch me on this:
-Gere is obviously well 'lubricated'. Should we dismiss improper conduct for so reasons of voilitional inhibition?
-How do we honor/tolerate the cultural sensibilities of other cultures?
-What is the role of the media in 'spreading' the sensational transgressions of our (or other) cultures? (I mean have you noticed the prominence of 'entertainment news' shows)
But the most intriguing to me is...
-Should we be bothered at the acceptance of a more publically vulgar society?

rock and buck

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Solve this...

here's a word find for you to solve...Instructions:
Find all the words listed in the first comment of this post. Circle the whole word instead of each letter.
Submit your completed puzzle via email by taking a pic of it. Or you can ask me for snail mail option... (see email on facebook section of this blog)
Two weeks from now I will pick a winner from the correct ones and send you a batch of Kenya AA Coffee just for playing along.
This should be a breeze for all those Falmes fans who are outta work these days...

Monday, April 23, 2007


the Flames Jamie McLennan should check this out

God's Economy

I know I am wading into water that has a huge drop off point a very few feet from shore but here goes…
If you think of God in terms of a financial system you might start at talking about what equals what.
In our current economy $1.50 equals (medium slurpee, souvenir key chains, 6 bell pepper bedding-out plants, a referee whistle, etc)
In God’s economy sin equals (sour consequences, exclusion, brokenness (gross word), and ultimately death (spiritual and physical)). In other words if someone wanted to pay God for sin they would have to give God life. And obviously that life could not have any sin itself otherwise that life would owe God another life – follow? So alone comes Jesus and offers his life as the payment for sin. Great! But wait? How does that really work? What did Jesus actually do?
You see in our current economy $1.50 can buy one medium slurpee not two. It also can’t buy a slurpee and a key chain.
And in God’s economy Jesus’ perfect life can pay for death but can it pay for the consequences and all the other stuff? Well it seems clear that it doesn’t. (ex. Jesus can pay for the sin of premarital sex for instance but his death on the cross has not yet reversed the processes of pregnancy.)
But is this spiritual economy actually fair? I mean let’s take someone hideous like Robert Pickton. Here’s a dude that kills people but let’s just say that Bobby over here encounters Jesus and makes a request to God to have his sins atoned for through Jesus. What’s God gonna do? Forgive him? Is that just? I mean to put it in a real crass way does Mr. Pickton over here get to play the ‘get out of jail free’ card on his last turn and then everything is wiped off?
The short answer we have to take is yes.
God’s mercy and grace are huge and so his righteousness and justice. So God exercises mercy and grace in forgiveness of the things that his justice and righteousness demand payment for. So then the smart kid at the back of the classroom puts up his hand and asks, “Okay so basically our sinful behaviour does really matter. As long as we can put up with the consequences and brokenness we’ve at least got our lives back – and look how much more beautiful Jesus’ sacrifice is if we just sin even a little more.”
Shoot I’m stumped. Is there actually such a thing as justice if God just openly forgives (counts as uncommitted) the sin we or anyone does? Do we have the right to demand justice for evil perpetrated against us or others? We could never begin to pay the debt for our own sin but what role do our actions play in the whole redemption scheme?
One of the things that I am sure of is: I really underestimate the price of redemption. What an incredible price God paid. Maybe I don’t value redemption because I am actually not redemptive enough myself…
Interested in reading more on this topic? Here are some of the things I read recently to get me thinking.
Scot McKnight
Phil Johnson

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

this is rich

thanks to my new found blog pal Dave over at the naked pastor I got jolted onto this site.
And oh baby I could not be happier Me and my 'first lady' are really eager to check out the Sampsons Health and Fitness Center. The only thing I am wondering about is whether the deep massage includes getting your eyes gouged out as a part of the registration fee. But hey I'm thinking free haircuts.... Right????!

guess who's dead now

37 die
Who killed them
Some crazed son of a mother with a bomb strapped to his back
We can discount it close our eyes
It’s Iraq
We can forget
33 die – two days later
Who killed them
Some crazed son of a mother with hand gun in his backpack
We can’t discount it, we’ll exhaust our wringing hands
It’s Virginia
It’s a school
It’s college students cut down in their glorious prime
It’s a school
For God’s sake
We will forget
Till the photos and headlines are reduced
To the margins

Alarm yourself
Arm yourself
Go away and hide
Like a mother cat hides her litter
Tell me you believe your religion holds the answer
As you run away and hide
Run to your chapels and vigils
Wallow in front of your TV
Until the next big story
Outstrips your outrage
It’s a good thing everything always happens ‘over there’
Or we might have to exercise our

Monday, April 16, 2007

convergance: atheism

There is an interesting discussion happening here and here. Both of these posts reference the growing acclaim that atheistic positions are achieving in our culture. What is clear from much of the material that is referenced in both of these places is that it is really easy for atheist to take unfettered pot shots at Christian fundamentalists – especially those who espouse a literal interpretation of the Bible. Of course it is frustrating that there seem to be some many over generalizations here that lump the various different Christian positions together into one singular vein of thought (But then it shouldn’t be surprising that that sort of generalization exists when we Christians may well have taught the rest of the world how to do it). Both Gil and Dave make some excellent points in their posts. As many of you will have already read Gil’s let me highlight a quote from Dave:
but first the prayer of Serenity as written by Neibuhr
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and (the) wisdom to know the difference.
"This is why Niebuhr wrote this as a prayer. He believed he was unable to achieve serenity, courage and wisdom by his own power. He knew and saw the ultimate moral weakness and unrestrained evil of, not religion, but all humans and society. His isn’t a pessimistic view of the human race, but one which demanded the exacting exercises of contrition and love."


ht: Dan King

illustration perhaps

ht: the kiwi

so what could we use this clip as an illustration of?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Really Hot Site

Most of you know that my 'other' passion is hot sauces. And this is great Canadian site for all things hot.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

At least it's not singing 'off the wall'

Speaking of Nicaragua

Former youth group member - Deanne Petker got a chance to go to my homeland Nicaragua.

Ain't that pretty...

Deanne works for Samaritian's Purse. Where she tells me that she coordinates all these trips to far away places. Lucky!

Reading the Bible with the Damned

I just started reading Reading the Bible with the Damned by Bob Ekblad. I have found it especially refreshing. He reminds us of the reason we ‘read’ the Bible is, “to speak to the heart of today’s “tax collectors and sinners”. In some circles it has become fashionable to mistake the ‘mind transformation (Romans 12:1, 2)’ of redemption. Of course this debate between the social gospel and the decision based evangelism is incredibly myopic. Anyways Ekblad suggests that if the Bible is to be ‘read’ for the benefit of those who are in need of redemption it should be read with them. He suggests that instead of just reading (and by reading he seems to mean: interpreting, understanding, and prescribing) the Bible with ‘insiders’ (scholars, successful religious types) we should read the Bible with the outsiders, the strangers, and the damned. He suggests that when we do that we will get a new vision for what God wants us to see in Scripture. This is still different than suggesting that the ‘damned’ should define our theology. Instead, he gives some examples of a participatory approach to reading the Bible influenced by Carlos Mesters, Ernesto Cardenal Martinez, and Paulo Freire who developed and used lectura popular de la biblia. Ekblad suggests that having monologuing educators deposit information into people’s lives that is alien to them makes them dependant on the authorities and passive to critical evaluation of what they are reading. Instead lectura popular encourages that the voice of the people on the margins be given legitimacy in giving the scripture context.
Ekblad cites three problems that restrict the reading of scripture:
1. The problem of the Bible becoming too culturally familiar. He suggests that we absorb ideas about the Bible by virtue of the culture we live in. These cultural assumptions can often dictate how we interpret the Bible. This is not that that different than the idea I mentioned here.
2. The problem of seeing the Bible as a prescription for what we should do (how we should behave). This is unfortunately all too prevalent in almost every Christian stream. Whether its limiting the stuff we can do (drink and smoke or go with girls that do) or reduce the gospel to a set of tasks that we have to complete to merit redemption. We lose sight of the undeserving grace of God.
3. The problem of using Bible characters as heros. When we elevate Biblical characters to hero status we miss/avoid those things about them that were so much less than heroic and in the process put them precisely out of reach. (To be honest this one I’m not so clear on)
Of course, this opens up some pretty big questions in my mind. Like for instance: who do we turn to for authority on Scripture? How do we develop a theology that we can trust isn’t just self serving?
On the other hand…
Some of the most important places of learning and spiritual inspiration for me have been when I have ‘read’ the Bible with the marginalized. In my field youth are those people. And when I read the scriptures with them I am reminded that the Bible speaks youth-en-ese. I can see when I read it with them how hopefully and reassuringly the Bible talks about relationships. When for instance I read Exodus 21 to my senior highs it was awesome to hear them interact with what on the surface seemed like some outlandish laws that God was laying down. They got it. They said yeah we can see how God is trying to set up some boundaries for this new society that was forming out there in the desert. It speaks to them.
Well, I do think that Ekblad will have a few more interesting turns to throw at me. NEXT: Chapter 2.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Deal or No Deal

Deal or No Deal Game

I have used this game at youth a couple times now. Once you load the page it will run off line as well. Kids seem to love it...

Junior High Worship Night

Tonight we spent some time on the crucifixion of Christ. Sometimes we move too quickly, I feel, to the empty tomb that assures us of the victory over death and sin. We need to pause at times and feel the depth of Christ’s passion.
As I read the passage from Mark 14:43-15:20 something struck me more this year than in other times when I have read this passage: rejection. Judas, insults him in an act of betrayal; Peter denies Jesus; the religious establishment fabricates charges that refuse to deal with his legitimate claims on truth; the soldiers taunt him; Pilate refuses to exercise the weight of legal justice on his behalf; and then they nail a slur over his head. One of the disciples cuts off someone’s ear in garden which totally dishonours and rejects the principles that Jesus taught. That’s what I got…
Anyways after reading this passage I asked the students to watch a video depicting the crucifixion of Christ. Then I asked them to write their own label for the cross as a way of making their own declaration of commitment and thank to Jesus for his sacrifice. And in their own way they honoured Jesus and then nailed those statements to the cross.
It was a pretty neat thing to see kids eager to come to the cross and then afterward to hear their heartfelt thanks as we entered a time of prayer. It holds no end of wonder that God often chooses to speak the loudest through the younger ones. Here are a few samples of what they wrote…

the way of the master...

when you open up the website here you will come across this statement...

“It’s the powerful principle of bypassing the intellect, the place of argument, and speaking directly to the conscience, the place of the knowledge of right and wrong, – its makes the gospel make sense to the unsaved.”

what do you think?

Panama brews world`s biggest cup of coffee

"Panama City, April 02: Panama's top coffee producer said it believes it has set a new record for the world's biggest cup of coffee, after brewing 750 gallons (2,840 liters) in a giant mug on Sunday."

Now that will wake you up!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Will you tolerate this post?

So I posted here about tolerance. This was the topic of a series of Ideas programs on CBC.

So let me throw something out here to see how you chew on this. I know Naomi has read a lot about the holocaust but essentially she would not be the only one that would agree that the Nazi slaughter of the Jews is a horrible scar on history.

Let me state clearly that my position is that this genocide is abominable.

So then how are we to judge those German citizens, soldiers, and even executioners? They acted under the conviction that they were doing the right thing. Yet we would say they are/were wrong. On what basis should we be given authority to classify their actions as wrong? What do we do with the ignorance that their convictions led them to remain in? Why are/were their convictions less valid than my own?

And you can stop right here thinking that I’m a Nazi-lover or a Jew-hater.


He is oblivious of his father’s fears lurking just behind the trust given. It is only seven blocks between here and home – 8000 steps, 5 back alleys, a school yard, a park, and a grassy hill. 8 minutes and 26 seconds. That is if he goes straight. But he won’t go straight. The father knows it. Knows that the boy he is walking with will be walked home first and although the other boy’s home is near his own – it’s any but a straight way home. This makes it harder to predict which route the boys will take. Add to that the fact they are boys.

Who knows what makes a 14 year-old stop, turn, or take a ‘short cut’. Will the dog in old man Janzen’s back yard need a little teasing? Will they see their pal Jeffery taking out the trash and go in and check out his new game system? Will they notice the half a cigarette on the playground and try to find a way to relight the thing? Will they run into Danielle and Sarah? Will they decide in their infinite wisdom to use up the last three dollars in their pockets on a slurpee at the convenience store? That would certainly not be straight home. All of the potential vices these boys could explore on their way home circle around the father's mind like a taunting carousel.

If the father will allow himself the pleasure he could quickly point out the teaming potential danger to the boy and curtail his plans. The pleasure? Yes, if the father would allow his need for control, his protective instinct, and his brash arrogance to gain the upper hand – yes that would be pleasure. The father could ensure the boys would take the straight way home. The father’s personal experience would be vindicated. The father, in this brief fleeting moment, recalls the way diversion has often led to distraction which has led to divergence - - on his own path from the corner store back to his house as a boy. And this knowledge coupled with the distinct awareness that all these ‘divergences’ have only grown in their accessibility, makes the father jump ever so close to saying, “no”.

“Dad, Brad and I are just gonna walk home.” It’s not a question really at least not in the boys mind. It is the boy exercising his will and imposing on the trust of the father. It’s still a question in the father’s mind. It is a profound act of faith – even in its seeming triviality. Some day soon the boy will ask to use the car. It won’t stop there. The number of blocks between the boy and his home will only grow. The path will only twist more. Diversion, distraction and divergence will double. And what will prevent this boy from disillusionment?

He will always know that his father has faith in him. A faith that starts in the seeds of a little walk home.

Quote from an interview with Michael Ungar in Macleans who wrote the book Too Safe for Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive:

So what are they doing instead?
They're being asked to study harder, or simply being excused of any responsibilities. They're shuttled from one structured activity to another. They're not developing a sense of personal responsibility. They're doing a lot of screen time -- we know that from study after study. Quite simply, they're not being given opportunities to develop the work ethics or the common sense that I think we would hope that young people would develop.

What age does this start at?
Very young. It starts in a pattern of being hesitant to let our children climb the monkey bars in the playground. You see little kids, a dog barks at them and the parents whisk them away rather than say, "Well, that's a dog, and dogs bark -- you've got to deal with it." And then, of course, we're taking away what we perceive as dangerous toys and we're driving them, we're not letting them walk or learn to navigate the streets on their bicycles or their skateboards.

After reading this article you may want to check this fun little diversion out…