Archive for July, 2004

Vacation day 5: Get sick

Vacation day 5: Get sick


In a strange twist of events I was overcome with drowsiness just around 1pm.  I lie down and my temperature goes way up and I get chills.  I sleep for most of the afternoon feeling terribly cold  and weak.  I wake up and manage to put some food in me.  I take some ibuprofen.  Eat some more food.  Some strength returns.  I rent a movie because I was too disoriented to read or think.  I start peeling off clothes because suddenly I’m too hot and start sweating bullets.  By the time the movie is done I’m fine.  Weird.  I thank God for his grace and ibuprofen. 

 

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Vacation Day 4: Arrive at the Lake

Vacation Day 4: Arrive at the Lake


It’s a gorgeous summer evening here on the deck.  For tonight and tomorrow I’ll be preparing some stuff for my friends when they start arriving on Wednesday.  I’ve been praying for each one.  During the “Emerging Church Camping Trip” last summer we had very little structure.  Jer led us in some contemplative worship times and the rest was free wheeling conversation.  This year I hope that we can bear some burdens, even if they are just minor ones.  I hope and pray we will have time of healing as well as rest. 

I really like it up here.  I also like that I’m not doing any more homework. :)

On the way up I was thinking about a project I could work on.  Someone did some doctoral work on church leavers which was really good.  I wonder if someone has done something similar for pastors who leave the ministry.  If someone has done such work I’d really like to read it as I’ve been thinking about this issue for some time.  If the church is going to recover in Canada, its leaders have to survive the first 3 years. 

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Vacation Day 3: I go to church

Vacation Day 3: I go to church


Since the election I haven’t been attending any church services.  I’m kind of in a holding pattern as a friend of mine is in the initial stages of church plant I want to help out with.  It will be awhile before that gets started so I decided to go to my girlfriend’s church.  During the service I ran in to someone who didn’t appreciate my arrival.  This person doesn’t seem to approve of my girlfriend’s relationship with me.

The whole situation has prompted to me think about men in general and how so many of them really don’t know how to be a man in a relationship.  I was really in love with a girl years ago.  She decided that she would marry some other guy.  Someone I didn’t think much of at the time (I could have been biased hehe) but I accepted her decision.  Women, like all people, have the right to make decisions about who they are going to spend the rest of their life with, and those of us pushed to the sidelines really need to suck it up and move on.  The world doesn’t revolve around me. Despite the fact that this woman’s decision hurt terribly she wasn’t responsible for my feelings.  I had to respect what she wanted for her life regardless of how it impacted me. 

Why is it so hard for some men to respect women as real people who can make their own decisions?  Why can’t we do our part to empower and encourage women to become the person they want to be? 

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Had a great walk and talk with Jer Olson

Had a great walk and talk with Jer Olson


I feel like my camping trip has already begun.  I spent 3 hours with Jer.  We went for lunch and a long walk along the river and through my neighbourhood.  Jer has changed, and in some very good ways he hasn’t changed.  Jer has gone through a spiritual transformation.  He has been healed from some stuff and freed from some other stuff.  It was a little bit weird hearing him talk using “charismatic” lingo. 

My profile on this site does say that I reflect charismatic influences.  I know Christ in a deep experiential way, and I believe that this experience is not for the few but for all.  Those that don’t know God in a emotional, spiritual, life transforming way should seek after God because they are missing something.  Scripture screams this point.  Paul talks incessantly about God’s great power working in our lives. 

At times I’ve been very put off by some elements of the whole charismatic movement.  The cult of personalities, the ignorance of addressing tangible needs while focusing completely on intercession, and most of all I hate the flaky people, bad theology and oppressive self involved leaders.  Despite all this the church has a lot to learn from people who simply know and love Jesus for who He is and what he has done.  We need the Holy Spirit because it is the Holy Spirit that fuels the church.  Without the Spirit we have no gas.

A great trap we have fallen in to is ignorance.  We assume that all there is to Christianity is what we have experienced.  What we need to do is go to the word humbly to seek out the aspects of the Christian life that we are missing.  Some people and movements have done this and then they stop and think they have arrived, but they haven’t.  No one has.  The church had more influence on society than society did on it many times throughout history, and now is not one of those times.  The Wesleyans had something we don’t.  The Anabaptists had something we don’t.  The underground church in China had something we don’t.  They had leaders, and structures and churches and they all took various forms and they all worked.  The question is what did they have that we don’t?

When Jer left I told him that Jesus tells us no student is better than their master.  Today we are students of students of students of students and we are generations away from the master.  If we want to become what God has called us to become we have to return to the master. 

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6 months ago

6 months ago
This is what -40 looks like.  It’s hard to believe and kind of scary.

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The vacation has begun!

The vacation has begun!


Day 1: Big date with Carol.  She reads this website from time to time so I can’t reveal any details.  I have to make some arrangements this afternoon.  I need to go pick up something that will give her a taste of things to come. :)  I love conspiring good things for her.  She is very good to me and very good for me.   

(Yes, yes, I know, I’ve gone off the deep end.)

I just got a message telling me my former partner in heresy is back in town – Jer Olson!  Hopefully I will be able to connect with him on Day 2 or Day 3.

Day 4 I head up to the cabin.  I will have a couple of days to prepare for some visitors.

Becky
Jayson
Alberto
Randall
Dave
Michael
Linea

I’m so pumped about going up to the cabin.  So many great people!  Last time the days I was alone I spent most of my days working on my big paper.  Now I’m conspiring to write something different.

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Had a hard drive malfunction in the server

Had a hard drive malfunction in the server


All ColdFusion powered sites were down for most of the day.  Instead of fixing the old server I just launched the new one.  It took a long time, but I believe it was worth it.  I have a couple of days before I go north to fix any bugs.  We have a lot more disk space, redundant drives, redundant power supplies.  It’s a pretty sweet box.

Unfortunately the hard drive malfunction caused some strange things to happen to some of the images in the Fusion Publisher image galleries. 

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The rising waters on the church floodplain

The rising waters on the church floodplain


When talking about the decline of the church I often use an analogy of hills on a flood plain.  The rising waters are the general decline of the church.  As the waters rise they consume the small hills.  The small hills are unhealthy small Christian organizations or congregations.  As the flood consumes these the organizations the people flee to much larger or healthier organizations.  The bigger hills.  The disillusioned are the people on the lower parts of the hills.  They dissappear in the tide but the influx of people from the smaller hills replaces them.  While large ministries have noticed that there is a little more activity as people come and go they are ignorant of the fact that the flood waters are rising.  Without change the flood waters of our times will consume most of our institutions.  Most institutions don’t have the courage to change until they are already half dead without enough people or money to support the old infrastructure.

I see this phenomenon working among the rural bible colleges.  Lots of the smaller ones have disappeared in the last 10 years.  Most have seen a general decline in enrollment.  As one closes the other schools benefit but eventually it just isn’t enough to offset the decline. 

The storm is coming.  Ministries should stop thinking about how to build up and start thinking about how they can dig in.  We wil have to go back to the basics,  reconsider our assumptions,  study the theology, and put our lives back on the alter.  The discussion has to move beyond organizational change.  Our problems are much deeper than how we do church.

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Hiding in the basement

Hiding in the basement


It’s pretty warm today.  Most folks where I’m from don’t have air conditioning.  Most business have it, cars have it, but many residential homes don’t.  Most folks do have basements.  Because our homes are well insulated to keep out the 40 below temperatures in the winter out, they also do a very good job of keeping heat out for most of the day.  But on a warm day like today the heat penetrates through roofs, walls, windows and open doors.  The upstairs becomes very warm, while the basement remains cool.  Around 5 or 6 pm the upstairs is just as warm as it outside.  Then around 7 to 8 pm the insulation begins to function in its traditional role of keeping heat in.  Thus it is warmer inside than it is outside.  Therefore backyards and decks across the city are filled with people escaping the heat that has settled inside the house.  The strategy at this point is open all doors and windows, turn on as many fans as possible and bring cool air in from the outside.  If we are fortunate a thunderstorm will develop and some intense rain will cool things down further. 

There are places that get colder than the Canadian prairie.  There are places that get warmer than the Canadian prairie.  But there aren’t a lot of places that have our range.  The max in either direction is probably about 42 degrees: 42 above and 42 below.  It’s nice to be on the warmer side of that range right now.  I love our summer.  With all the rain that we’ve had this year everything is lush beautiful.  Saskatchewan is really green and the crops look great!  I am looking forward to “the lake” this year.  I had such a great time last year.  The cabin is going to be full of some really cool people! 

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Losing Weight

Losing weight


About a month ago I weighed myself.  270 pounds.  (Yes Canada went metric, but we still think in pounds for personal weight).  At 27 years old I saw 30 on the horizon.  I looked at 270 lbs and saw 300 on the horizon.  I am 6′ 6″ (still think in feet too) so 270 lbs is still fairly reasonable.  I can’t reverse the aging process, but I can reverse the weight gain process.  So I started.

Week 1: 270 lbs
Week 2: 268 lbs
Week 3: 266 lbs

Slow and steady I guess.  The goal is to lose about 1 pound a week until I hit 235.  Am I on Atkins? No.  I just removed some of the pop, french fries, and sweet snacks from my diet.  I do a lot more walking or cycling each week.  It’s working.  When I’m up at the lake I’ll be doing lots of hiking so that should help as well. 

Stunning fact: the highest calorie item at McDonalds is a Sausage and Egg McGriddle at 680 calories.  Mmmmmmmm…..McGriddle.

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