Archive for November, 2006

We believe contractions have started

We believe contractions have started


Carol is incredibly calm. I’m full of nervous energy. I’m really excited too. Wow. This is SOOOOOOOOOOOO cool!

[Update]

Stilllllllllllllllllllll waiting. Contractions are happening, but they seem to be in a holding pattern.

Matthew’s reaction this morning : psssssssfttttt

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The service at Canadian Tire is brutal

The service at Canadian Tire is brutal


Saskatoon received a generous dumping of snow which caused some problems for me trying to get out to Hepburn. My frustration with our car’s ability to navigate in the ice and now prompted me to turn around and head straight to the Preston Crossing Canadian Tire. The customer service I received was brutal. The person helping me, who I believe was managing that section of the store, failed to explain any aspect of my several hundred dollar purchase of 4 winter tires and winter rims. He didn’t explain the pricing, the work, the associated fees, the time it would take, or my options. I went back outside to the check our license plate number for him, he didn’t wait and was off doing something else when I returned forcing me to wait for another couple of minutes. He didn’t even mention the free shuttle service they have. I had to ask about it. The guy driving the shuttle vehicle was really friendly and helpful. A stark contrast to the incompetence I received at the automotive desk.

When I came back to get my car I had to ask the person at the desk to explain all the charges. I found they added in some additional protection plan to the bill without my consent or even explaining what it was. When I caught them on it I don’t remember receiving an apology they just offered to refund my the money. So I spent another 10 minutes at the customer service desk. Meanwhile I got to listen to the customer service people complain about how they could have fixed this problem in automotive.

My experience has made me think twice about ever returning to Canadian Tire. The people are unprofessional, they don’t seem to care about their customers. Finding unexplained items on my bill is a real shocker from national company. This is what one would expect from some shady independent garage. From my perspective I don’t know whether this Canadian tire has poor ethical standards or what I experienced was an act of pure incompetence.

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Random thoughts on Haggard and Evangelicalism

Random thoughts on Haggard and Evangelicalism


It has been terribly difficult to process and articulate the random jumble of thoughts that seem to be coming at me. Here are a some words that describe some of my thoughts and feelings.

Disillusioned

I’m disillusioned with evangelicalism as a movement. The way in which we turn leaders in celebrities is deeply flawed. The way in which we have hidden our sin and yet speak so self-righteously. This is one of the greatest failings of the church today.

Shocked

To find myself in more agreement with the Reformed Blogosphere than my “emerging” brethren on this topic. Pray for me because I think I agreed with some parts of something written at Slice. Ted Haggard is one prominent symbol that illustrates something very wrong with evangelicalism.

Disappointed

Because we as Christians have a very muddled and muddied view of sin. I’m surprised that Tim Challies wrote “If we look to Ted Haggard as a representative of all that is wrong in Evangelicalism, I think we miss the most important lesson. The lesson we need to learn is that we are every bit as sinful and fallible and willful and depraved as Haggard; perhaps more so.”

I agree that I am depraved and just as depraved as Haggard or any other sinner. However there is a difference between those who give themselves over to their depravity and those who faithfully submit themselves to the work of the cross. Somewhere, somehow in our indulgence of cheap grace we have forgotten that we can become more like Christ, and less like our depraved nature. Christ’s death does more than change our “legal” status from hell to heaven. To use a few biblical metaphors we can become partakers of the divine nature, put off our old self, and live in the newness of the Spirit.

We really have redefined Christianity so we never really have to face our sin as something that needs to change.

Confused and dismayed

That some people are more upset that Driscoll thinks fat pastor’s wives contribute to infidelity than they are at the blatant deception and hypocrisy of one of America’s most prominent evangelicals. I’m no fan of Driscoll but he really is just a pastor that gets some attention.

Frustrated

Because there are some that seem to think that if Haggard believed more like them this wouldn’t happen. The critical mistake we make in our thinking at a global and local level is believing that our old answers still work. We keep coming back to flawed assumptions. There are lots of reformed churches that take theology very seriously and lots of fundamentalist churches that believe very strongly in obeying the word of God, there are lot of pentecostal/charismatic churches getting people filled with the Spirit, but collectively they make almost no net impact on the behavior of evangelicals as a whole.

Maybe it is time for us to humbly admit that we are missing something. My guess is we are missing Jesus. We equate Jesus with the values and morals of the Christian subculture, or vigorous theology, or spiritual experiences. Perhaps we can do all these things without knowing Jesus at all. Maybe we’ve been going through the motions for so long we don’t know what is real anymore. Maybe we don’t really want to know Jesus because the cost is too high.

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Christianity Today's Blog on Haggard and Evangelicalism

Christianity Today’s Blog on Haggard and Evangelicalism


Ever since the beginning of the Bush administration, I have worried over the tendency of certain Evangelical personalities to go public every time they visited the White House or had a phone conference with an administration official. I know it has wonderful fund-raising capabilities. And I know the temptation to ego-expansion when one feels that he has the ear of the President. But the result is that we are now part of an evangelical movement that is greatly compromised….identified in the eyes of the public as deep in the hip pockets of the Republican party and administration. My own belief? Our movement has been used. There are hints that the movement—once cobbled together by Billy Graham and Harold Ockenga—is beginning to fragment because it is more identified by a political agenda that seems to be failing and less identified by a commitment to Jesus and his kingdom. Like it or not, we are pictured as those who support war, torture, and a go-it-alone (bullying) posture in international relationships. Any of us who travel internationally have tasted the global hostility toward our government and the suspicion that our President’s policies reflect the real tenants of Evangelical faith. And I might add that there is considerable disillusionment on the part of many of our Christian brothers/sisters in other countries who are mystified as to where American evangelicals are in all of this. Our movement may have its Supreme Court appointments, but it may also have compromised its historic center of Biblical faith. Is it time to let the larger public know that some larger-than-life evangelical personalities with radio and TV shows do not speak for all of us?

Read the rest here.

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Tired of the lies

Tired of the lies


I’ve been mulling over my response over the whole Ted Haggard affair. I’ve been absorbing how different people have reacted, and even reacted to others that have reacted. I see Mr. Driscoll hit another homer with his complaint that pastor’s wives let themselves go. [I’m surprised at how much one pastor in the US receives so much scorn. Why does the EC have such a hate on for this guy?]

This event comes at the end of a week where I had a number of conversations with Christian leaders about the state of evangelicalism. I’ve yet to find someone to dispute the assertion that Evangelicals are ethically indistinct from general society in several areas.

Why then do we keep going through the motions when we know we really aren’t getting anywhere? If are ministries and our churches aren’t facilitating real change why haven’t we gone back to the drawing board? Why do we tolerate this huge facade? Why do we participate in it?

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I'm not sure the Americans should pull out of Iraq

I’m not sure the Americans should pull out of Iraq


The US midterm elections are coming up and I will be more than happy to see the Democrats take control of congress. I think GW Bush has been one disaster after another. However I don’t think the Democrats have a solid plan for Iraq. The rhetoric of the left doesn’t seem to care much about Iraqi people, or the situation that would be left behind.

I thinking going in to Iraq was a big mistake, but leaving too soon would make the situation worse. Check out this article on Iraq’s ambassador to Canada.

There are some that rightfully acknowledge that the current conflict Iraq is inspiring more terrorists. I’m not sure pulling out right now sends the right message either. To the rest of the world it will look like America’s little experiment in planting democracy failed. When it got too tough for them they ran away. Whatever good that could have possibly come out of the invasion will be squandered as the country descends in to civil war and would likely come under the influence of Iran. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Iran supports terrorists. The situation is very complicated and I’m really glad I don’t have to think up a way to resolve the situation. Staying seems like a crappy idea and so does leaving.

I’ve been watching the “left” and the “right” debate this on Digg and other places. I’m saddened because there is no grand vision for America. I see a public that is polarized, angry, fearful, and despondent. As much as I’m dismayed at the evangelical/fundamentalist political agenda and I’m just as disgusted with the left’s characterization of anyone who might oppose a 3rd term abortion as a scary, right wing nut job. What has emerged is a culture war between the fundamentalists and the anti-fundamentalists. In my view they are different sides of the same coin, each as bankrupt as the other.

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"Dad, I have something brewing for you"

“Dad, I have something brewing for you”


Day one at Caswell Hill Community School. It looks like the boys like their new school. They made some new friends and everything went well. It was big a relief for Carol and I as we were very concerned with how well David will adjust. We certainly aren’t out of the woods yet, but a strong first day is something to be thankful for.

I worked from home today and picked up the boys at school. While I was attempting to get some work done Matthew says “Dad, I have something brewing for you” and proceeds to back his butt up to me. I immediately realized what was brewing and used my arm length advantage to keep the would be assassin at a distance. Fortunately this action kept the assailant at a “minimum safe distance.”

On the way home the boys helped me count the alarm system/non-alarm system ratio. Of the the 44 houses we looked at 29 had security system stickers and 13 did not. Based on the condition of the houses I’d say the 29 that had the stickers/lawn signs were owner occupied and most of the 13 were not. Maybe I never noticed but I don’t remember seeing that many security system signs in River Heights.

I really like our new house and our location. We are 3 blocks from the edge of downtown. Unpacking has been happening steadily and each day a little more of the house is reclaimed. It feels pretty good.

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