Weekly Reflections…

The Weekend that was: It was a BUSY weekend. We went down to YC in Winnipeg MB, with our youth group and had a BLAST!!! Great speakers, music and hang out time! Usually when I take a group to events that require a lot of supervision and responsibility I can’t wait for the weekend to end… I sit in my office today (WEDS) and wish we were still at YC!

Where I am at the moment: I am in my office listening to music!

On my to-do list this week: I have to prepare messages for friday and Sunday! And also, do some follow up with the youth who came to YC!

Procrastinating about: Preparing messages for this week! I have ideas though!

Book I’m in the midst of: Still reading the same books as last week! I can’t wait for my copy of ‘Flickering Pixels’ to arrive in the mail late this week or early next!

Music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: A Lot! I purchased quite a bit of music on the weekend! I bought the new Jars of Clay album, which is a great listen! I was recommended this new worship outfit known as ‘The Michael Gungor Band’ by the guy working the booth at YC. And man are they good. Talk about a hidden secret in the worship music scene. Check them out for sure! My first ‘Christian’ purchases in a long while! I’m also really enjoying the new Future of Forestry ep and Pilot Speed albums.

How I’m feeling about this week: Wanting to have a good week and want it to pass lol! Vacation in like 12 days!!!!

Weekly Reflections…

The Weekend that was: I had a decent weekend! Watched some hockey, prepared a message and shared it on Sunday morning! The weekend was actually quite un-eventful! I was hoping to watch ‘Yes Man’ on Saturday, but once again sports won the day!

Where I am at the moment: At my kitchen table, drinking some tea!

On my to-do list this week: It’s a very busy week. We have YC coming up this weekend and we have to travel 8 hours to get there. So I’m hoping to get everything planned and in order for the trip. I want to hit the gym a few times, i’ve been on a roll lately. And I definitely want to take some time and read! Did I mention drinking coffee?

Procrastinating about: I guess YC stuff a little and definitely youth camp planning!

Book I’m in the midst of: Well I’m still reading ‘The Divine Conspiracy’ by Dallas Willard and ‘The Unlikely Disciple’ by Kevin Roose. I have come to accept the fact that I will be reading Willard’s book for a while, possibly a month or two. It is loaded with great teaching, it’s tough slugging at times, yet very rewarding. It’s the kind of book that I don’t want to rush and so I won’t! Roose’ s book is great. It’s become my before bed read. I’ve also began reading Frank Viola’s new book ‘From Eternity to Here.’ I’ve only read great reviews and so I’m hoping to go through this one on the bus ride this weekend!

Music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: I’ve still been listening to a lot of Metric and Billy talent. I picked up the new album by Pilot Speed (formerly known as Pilate) the other day. I’ve enjoyed it thus far, although it is very different. Almost too different. I think i’d like it more if it wasn’t by Pilate (or should I say Pilot speed).

How I’m feeling about this week: Im feeling good and looking forward to it. I know come Sunday i’ll be in need of a vacation but it’s all worth it. Pray for our youth as they attend YC this year!

Weekly Reflections…

I’ve seen this regular monday update on other blog’s (Jordon and Marko) and figured this would be a great way to do regular weekly updates… so I will steal it without shame… here goes:

The Weekend that was: It was a good weekend! Friday night’s youth service was great. We had roughly 30 people out and seen a lot of new faces. I spent most of Saturday watching hockey. Finished up my message for Sunday morning’s service. It’s interesting, I felt as though I didn’t prepare well and yet many thanked me for the encouragment. All to say, I think when there’s less of me and my ‘good preparation’ and more of God, the message will minister that much better… What a crazy thought! I spent the rest of Sunday napping and hanging out with friends. All in all a good weekend!

Where I am at the moment: Sitting in my office, stressing out a little about our upcoming Youth Convention that we attend 7 hours away from Thompson.

On my to do list this week: Prepare a sermon for Sunday morning and make sure I get everything set up for the YC Trip. Most of all, I have to chase kids down for their registration forms and money, oh the joys of youth ministry!

Procrastinating about: YC stuff and sermon prep…

Book I’m in the midst of: Reading two at the moment! I’m reading a memoir, “The Unlikely Disciple” by Kevin Roose… So far so good, but wish I had more time to read at the moment… And also, “The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard… I’ve always known this was a good book, but it’s thick 400 pages, has always scared me off from reading it… I’ve read 2 chapters and love what he’s saying… Any minister would do well to read ANYTHING that Willard writes!

Music that caught my attention this past week: It’s been hardcore nostalgia this past week. I’ve mainly been listening to old Billy Talent and Metric albums. It’s amazing how Billy Talent’s first disc still stands up very well 6 years later… I think the concerts made that much of a good impression, that i like the music even more… Metric’s new album Fantasies is a great listen and their first album ‘Grow up and blow away’ which was only released last year, is totally blowing me away! A hidden secret for sure! Make sure to check them both out!  Also the New HIP disc is really good!

How I’m feeling about this week: A little stressed and yet happy that spring is here (and hockey playoffs!) Go Rangers, Go Flames!!!

U2- No Line on the Horizon

u2nolineonthehorizon_1235216448_crop_500x449It’s been over a week since U2 released their new album and reviews/opinions seem to be mixed all across the board! Rolling stone seems to think it’s an instant classic as where Time magazine and Pitchfork, weren’t so quick to go there!Personally, I’m begining to learn that I have a tendency to hype up new releases to the point that my expectations can never be met, due to them being somewhat unrealistic! I like to read other’s opinions on music and as I was reading through the reviews of NLOTH, I had to continually ask myself, are people reviewing and rating this disc based on how it stands up in today’s music market, or is U2 in such a class of their own that the only thing you can compare this disc to, is the rest of the U2 catalogue? I think, the latter is true!

I’m not even going to write a review of sorts about this disc because I probably don’t understand music well enough, nor do I have the “music reviewer langauage” down pat, to write such a review! But I will state a few of my opinions regarding the new album!

1. I loved ‘All that you can’t leave behind’ and ‘How to dismantle an automic bomb’. They were great albums, full of great anthems that you knew would be sung throughout the audience of every show and maybe the songs were even a little more shamefully pop! I was blown away by how much U2 chose to mix things up on this album… Although I feel we have heard them sound like this before (think Auchtung baby), I still felt a little alienated by the album, in comparison to the last two!

2. For the first five days after buying the album, I felt that this was a BIG letdown, the songs didn’t stay in my head like previous efforts, and the Letterman performances didn’t blow me away like past performances I’ve seen!

3. I am now starting to appreciate NLOTH, for what it is! It’s a great rock album and you can tell that U2 felt the need to keep things fresh, rather than safe by releasing another ATYCLB or HTDAAB! I still feel, like i said above, that we’ve somewhat heard this album before, but it is a departure from the previous two releases!

4. My favorite tracks, as of now, are: Breathe, Stand up, Magnificent and Unknown Caller!

5. I think with time this album will really grow on me! I’ve heard many say it’s definately a ‘grower’ and not so much a ‘shower’. I don’t want to write the album off a week into it’s release… some of my favorite albums have taken me months or years to truly appreciate!

Have you heard the album? What do you think?

happy-holidays

Elections, Music and Christmas

I have to admit, I am looking forward to November 4th in America… I know as a Canadian the American election is not my business, but it does have an effect on me whether that is right or not, and it is getting quite annoying always hearing about it on my television… I think this is where Canada nailed it right… our election lasted all of 6 weeks… perfect… 6 weeks, 300 million dollars later (sick)… and not much changed, except that the Conservative got more seats, the Liberals got smoked, the Green Party attended the debates but couldn’t win a seat (you figure that out), The Bloc is still pissin everyone off and The New Democrats have grown a little and I have to admit that their leader makes the most ammusing comments about the oppositions leaders’ sweater! Don’t get me wrong i love politics, but i think everyone has their limits! I look forward to getting a Time or Mclean’s Mag in the mail that is free of election talk… i know i’ll keep dreaming, but you can always hope!

I’ve found myself listening to a lot of music lately… this isn’t unusual, but what is… is that I find myself digging back into my high school and Elementary school days for my musical tastes as of late… Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, The Tragically hip, Incubus, Candlebox, REM, Oasis, Radiohead etc… it’s never sounded so good… I think this is the litmus test for what good music is… Whether or not you can throw it in 10 years later and still enjoy it as much or more than you did before… I’ve been enlightened to see that LimpBizkit, LFO, Savage Garden, Eifffel 65 and the like didn’t past the test… I wonder what that says of some the present day music of our day… Will people really rock out to Daughtry or Jordin Sparks in 10 years… time will tell…

And finally, I cannot believe that Christmas is approaching so quickly… With the economy in turmoil, I wonder how this will effect Christmas spending? And as a guy trying to follow the ways of Jesus, I wonder if this can be a real positive thing? … Christmas stresses a lot of people out and I think this is the opposite of what Christmas is supposed to be about… I’m all for giving each other gifts and don’t want to quit that, because I think it’s a good thing… Spending money on each other is not what i’m warring against… But I think it can been taken to an unhealthy level… It shouldn’t stress us out to the point of illness… I know I have to get my shoppping going soon… I’m always the last 2 weeks before Christmas shopper… i need to avoid that this year, for the sake of sanity and favour with my wife… I look forward to the snow, hopefully in November (us Canadians must sound crazy) and upcoming season… These are my morning thoughts!

Sluggish evangelism!

I’ve been reading through Dan Kimball’s latest book and he said something that got me thinking… “Love is more than passing out a tract or holding up a sign and feeling that our job is done because we’ve let others know about Jesus.”

I spent sometime a year ago working at a Christian bookstore and music dept. I remember many of the ridiculous products that either came in the store or were presented to us hoping that we would market these products that make “great witnessing tools.” Take this shirt for instance… We all know the post delviery guys who love deliviring stuff to the office andf pushing the big red button on the secretaries desk that shouts back, “That was easy!”… Working in the bookstore I came to see how Christians, especially in the marketplace, have a tough time coming up with original ideas and so here we have this shirt that tells us how easy life with Jesus is! Kimball’s words made me think about how we want everything made easy… we invent shirts and tracts and other products so that we can tell people about Jesus with little effort… Yet I wonder what people on the outside of Christianity, actually think about these shirts… I’ve always had a minor beef with salvation tracts… Although i believe God can and probably has used them to draw people to Him, I wonder what the intent behind the tract is… I know some people who love tracts… They feel that handing them out to people fulfill’s their duty to witness to the world… but does it really? I wonder if Jesus would’ve handed people papers about Himself? I don’t think so… I think He knew they needed to experience Him!

I fear that as Christians it’s easy to become lazy and create things that make us feel good about ourselves and our work in the great commision…. When what this world really needs and wants is to see Jesus and how REAL He is… Through His church, through His people and not just on our shirts or hats… Are these “helpful” Christian products really good?… or do they just take us further away from what it means to really be and live like Jesus? Because when it comes to me showing unconditional love… I don’t get a “That was easy!”… In fact, I find that it’s beyond my ability… and that’s why I need Jesus… that’s why the world needs Jesus… and in some strange way… we are to be Him!

ps… and it’s not always Easy!