Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Usual Suspects


First day of High school is here. I went to school and wandered the hall ways, talked to the usual suspects, tried to talk to others as well…It was great seeing them all again, reminded me again how much they all change and how different this year will be again. This year we are going to introduce our theme for youth and our church: The Kingdom. Becoming people of the kingdom of God, becoming people who are like Jesus, people that are growing each day in different directions but ultimately desiring to be like Jesus. I think the hardest part for people and youth specifically to accept about Christianity is often Christians, people are not opposed to Christ, people are opposed of becoming like one of the Christians…the challenge is to be an imitator of Christ, rather then one of the club members, who have same politics same lingo same ugly suits…. “He who follows Me, walks not in darkness, says the Lord. (John 8:12) By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His Life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort; therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ...Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.” -- Thomas a Kempis.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Shock and Awe

Well another busy season of Youth is about to erupt, and I feel like Ralph Kline at a Janet Jackson show…..Hanging out with certain youth this summer I had a great time getting to know them, growing with them and laughing with them. But I also miss the others, its been so long since I have seen so many of them, and summers change Youth so much, and you never really know if they will be “in to” things you are planning or hoping to teach, but there is always that one time when things click and you make a connection and you see a break through. Man I was one of those youth my self, that my youth pastor must have lost soooo much sleep over…but that persistence paid of…well at least I think it did…well anyways the shock and awe of it all begins Sep. 14th ohhh yeah....... :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Language

Recently I have been talking to my friends and family about language. Jessica had a really good Blog about language few days ago; I guess I am just echoing a lot of what she has said. But I find that so much of what we understand or choose to believe is wrapped around in how we understand certain words or phrases. It is no wonder that my friend who I will keep anonymous by calling him Gil D. no wait that’s to obvious lets say G. Dueck, find arguments about hockey or other trivial things but at the end of the day unearth that we are saying the same things, just with different words that mean different things to us.
I think part of my problem is adopting language and using it in insincere ways, I must admit that I am a product of ‘western’ culture when it comes to this, as we have this idea that we can say what we want when ever we want to and others have to listen to us, like its our right. I think the lesson that I am quickly learning is that patience, humbleness and LISTENING is much greater then my talking.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hope


I love my job, although I must admit I am not great at it. I love talking with youth, getting to know them, learning with them, and ultimately sharing Jesus. There are many hard times when it feels like I am not making any kind of impact or I am not good at what I am doing, or some one more qualified should do this. But ultimately I am thankful that I have the privilege to share Jesus with anyone, and that I am paid for that… I was thinking about that the other day, would I do this (my work) if I was not paid, would I sacrifice my time (often my family time) and do this ministry if I was in lay position? Would I reschedule my time for youth? Would I do what it takes? My answer is yes…although I thought about that for a VERY long time. I think this ministry and the joy I receive in it (yes I do have joy in doing it, although sometimes I seem fed up) is part of my gifting that I have, and ultimately I can use this gift to: “…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the HOPE that you have…” (I Pet. 3:15) And I do have hope, and often working with youth, Hope is the only word that can describe what keeps you going. But at the end of the day I see hope for the youth, I see the joy and the life that can invade their lives, and transform them, no matter the past…I have hope! It has been refreshing to think this morning about HOPE, I have forgotten to focus on Hope for a long time, and thoughts of death, purpose, loose ends have been in my thoughts, but today Hope has really invaded my space and I love it…what a wonderful word, hope.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Messy


“This may sound shocking to some, but spirituality is a home for those who don’t have life figured out, who don’t know the Bible as well as they could, and who don’t have their spiritual lives all together—the rest of us who thought there wasn’t a rest of us, Christians who are trying to follow Jesus the best we can.” Mike Yaconelli Messy Spirituality

It’s useful to know that I am not alone…

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Saga begins!!


Well so it begins, his first pair of skates and I am beaming with joy!! Yes I know he does have a basketball hoop and ball, and a football and for some reason even a baseball glove and ball…but there is nothing like his first skates, at least in my mind! I know he may not like hockey or sports for that matter, but for now he loves it, since he sees me in my skates and always wants them on, now he has his own pair he laughed and giggled, when we tried taking them off he said no and kept saying Sasha’s skates…its Awesome! For now this joy is ALL MINE!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Service...Obedience...

I have recently finished reading: The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. What a passionate view of God and heaven, what a wonderful comforting place for all to choose…Lewis also has a great way of illustrating how selfish and self absorbed we tend to be…He puts it very well that even with heaven in front of us, sinful and full of self-centered ideas we likely would reject it…as we often do everyday on earth. What would make it any different in the afterlife? The choices of many characters in this afterlife are also the product of their choices on earth, and they can no longer see heaven for what it is, and choose isolation, loneliness and ultimately hell.
It’s scary to see how easy it is for me to get caught up in arguments and proving that I am right, as if that matters….In the book there was a character that is confronted with the opportunity to go to heaven (all the characters are given this opportunity in the book), but he has all the right answers about “theology” about God about Heaven, that he can’t even see that he is in HELL…he argues with the heavenly creatures and ultimately chooses hell, because there he has a theology club, where they puff themselves up with their knowledge and their “right” ideas. He ultimately chose Hell, because heaven did not fit HIS understanding… It’s sad how I could see some of my own characteristics appear on the pages of C.S. Lewis’s book. The desire to have the right answers to know…rather then do…
It is no wonder obedience is our call, servant hood, mercy, compassion as Jeff preached this past Sunday. So much of my experience (it is a bit limited) with the church, that when problems arrive as they always do (as my parents church is experiencing) is often found in people arguing about trite ideas of who is right who has the right answer…I often hear (sadly even from my loved ones): “why can’t THEY just see it… or if they only understood ME….or if they only knew the Bible like I do, like its suppose to be understood” they are all such self-centered arguments….even if they are RIGHT…often my response is to think in my head how self-centered they are and if they only understood this as I do…WHAT! Wait a minute my own response is also self-centered self glorified, pumped up, self overvalued… ( I hear someone somewhere echoing me “I have a BA”….GIL…) …How much better would it be if I chose to serve the church instead of proving my self right to the church….