Friday, December 21, 2007

Sr. and Jr. Youth Banquets!

Both nights were basically Rock Star themed, and so we had a lot fun dressing up, eating, karaoke and much more here are few of the many photos of the night, more will be put in the flicker on the side column:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kitch...

This stuff makes me laugh at first, then makes me contemplate, then kind of makes me mad...I think this kitch ( you can see more of these ...things here) is incredibly stupid. But wait it gets worse, when you roll your mouse over the figurines it gives you a what Jesus is representing, so in this bull riding one it says "I am Strength". Well there is one of him with his robe open underneath which he is wearing fatigues and an M16 slung over his shoulder and in his hands holding a dove and the saying says "I am peace". Apparently killing those 'heathens' out there...enough to make you puke...Jesus with an M16...thats just great. This would be perfect for the SNL "really" skit that is done during the weekend update by Seth and Amy... "Really? this is good? This is good use of money, energy, thought? Really? Really Jesus with an M16 and camouflage saying I am peace...Really? No one in the the whole thought process and considering of these figurines raised an eyebrow at this, no one objected? Really? Jesus who came to save the world, having a weapon of mass destruction on his shoulder, Really. I love you and came so you can have life, but I might need to kill some of you...Really!?"
ht to: youthblog

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Simplicity, not that simple...


I have been talking lots about simplicity and Advent and Hope...but talk is cheap. Living in a consumer devouring culture that suggests that in every waking moment I should be buying something to better my life is exhausting, and because useless things and gadgets look so inviting, and I wont lie I like shiny things, its hard... But simplicity has become a sort of fad today, we talk about it lots and there is smoke and whistles and then we get comfortable, or maybe I should say I get comfortable...its complex and hard. No my car does not run on vegetable oil and yes I have shopped at WalMart...sigh... and now reading The Irresistible Revolution, living as an ordinary radical I come across this quote:

The old saying goes, Live simply that others may simply live. Simplicity is very popular nowadays. All the time, I get invited to speak at conferences on simple living, and I'm offered nice honorariums to do it! People write books on simplicity and make lots of money. It's weird thing. There are plenty of liberals who talk about poverty and injustice but rarely encounter poor, living detached lives of socially responsible but comfortable consumption. And there are plenty Christians who talk about how much God cares for the poor but don't know any poor folks. There is nothing more sickening than talking about poverty over a fancy dinner. Or how about this one: I once saw an advertisement for a dialogue on global starvation, and the sign boldly read, 'Refreshments will be served.'
So this advent is about discernment for me...reflecting on the Hope I have in the person of Jesus Christ. Who came as a fragile child, and lived with the lowly so that everything could be turned on its head, we are now called to be the body which lives out Hope for the lowly and the hurting, and the lonely we are called into this redemptive lifestyle of bringing heaven into situations of hell here on earth, by feeding the hungry and dressing the naked...hands and feet...a lifestyle of Hope...A hard lifestyle that is very counter cultural. A lifestyle of community, not independence but interdependence with my community...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Umm take it easy!

Wow...there is an article about less then equal advertisement campaigns from the past in this dailymail article... hmm in Soviet Union under socialism this would never have been permitted...good ol'west...

ht LT

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jr. Youth Night with music...

Well last week our Jr. Youth Boys and couple of girls put together a band and played couple of songs for Jr. Youth!!! It was awesome! they did a great job! I love watching youth use their gifts and abilities, and in end they just jammed some of their own tunes and it was great to bounce around and let them rock! Here are couple of videos and couple of pics, the video quality is awful sorry, but you get the idea:

video


video


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Recent readings and thoughts...

I have recently finished reading two books, RealLivePreacher written by Gordon Atkinson and In the Name of Jesus written by Henri J. M. Nouwen. They have both been so wonderfully forming books. Both are written by ministers who daily try to figure out what it means to follow faithfully. I have enjoyed reading both very much. I had connected with the stories of these two very different leaders. RealLivePreacher's book is a blog style archive of stories fictional and real. With poetic beauty he writes about struggles, joys and everything in between that comes into contact with his life and imagination. I found my self connecting with the stories. It is a fun ride and I love the deep thoughts and reflections that are found in this book. Because RLP's book is full of short stories there are many quotes and significant thoughts in it but one that stood out with me is a quote found in the story of a pastor writing an open letter to his congregation, I guess there are obvious reasons why I like it, because I am a pastor, because I am also a person (seriously!) and I struggle and I don't have all the answers and it just connects with how I feel sometimes:
" What do you want from me? Do you want me timid and wearing little spectacles, dronnig from a dusty prayer book while people not in the pews? Do you want a gentle eunuch, tamed and kept by the church gentry? Do you want to pull my chain and watch pretty Jesus words come out?

...What if I threw a Bible at you? Would you like that? What if I glared down at you from the pulpit and hurled a huge King James into a shrieking crowd...

...How about parlor tricks? A little sleight-of-hand and a candle behind the sheet. Is that what you're looking for? An empty wheelchair rolling down the aisle and a palm pressed against a forehand while I lean in close and whisper, 'lie down now, my child, for the cameras are rolling...

...What if my breath stank of grasshoppers and my chin dripped honey?...

...And what if I was all of these things and none of these things? What if I was deeply wounded and did not know why?....

...What if all I could do was limp after a Gentle Shepherd along a very narrow and dangerous way? Would you follow me down the path?"

Of Course to get the real flavor of the story and what I am picking out you have to read it, so these excerpts may mean nothing to you, and thats ok, they mean a lot to me.

The second book finished was In the Name of Jesus, which is Henri's reflections on being a priest, professor at Harvard and leaving it all behind to serve at L'Arche a community working with mentally challenged adults. These are his reflections on Christian leadership...This book is full of depth and wisdom, a call to servant living. Nouwen again and again brings to attention the importance of being willing to be led, to be a servant, to give up the desire to be powerful and embrace authority based on prayer and forgiveness... I must admit Nouwen's honesty with his struggles was refreshing and his honest look at what following Jesus looks like today is exceptional.

Here is a taste:

"What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life."


"The long painful history of the church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led. Those who resisted this temptation to the end and thereby give us hope are the true saints.

This book is packed with wisdom on leadership, that models that of Jesus, a leadership that is not about popularity, about drawing numbers or having the hottest latest pulpit trends, no it is about surrendering and being led and following in the footsteps of a Savior.

These two books have given me a lot to think about, have given and encouraged me to be ever so honest in my faith in my walk and in my ministry. How cool is that?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Awesome...


Jessica emailed me this great picture from Engrish.com, for the ipod contest this being the name for our Jr. Youth...and I have to say nothing has been truer then this...not sure if we will use it in fact we wont....but sooo TRUE!



Another one, not so true, but funny:caption: "Communist playgrounds suck..."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

IPOD Give away Contest...

Ok! FOR SR. AND JR. YOUTH, WE WANT TO COME UP WITH NAMES THAT DESCRIBE WHO WE ARE!

Ex.: Some groups have called themselves, BLAZE, IGNITE, etc.

We would like to come up with a name for each of our groups that represents us, in what we do, who we are and what we are about...So we will have a competition to help us decide what name!

So this is what you do: You need to come up with the name, you have to be in Sr. Youth to come up with the Sr. Youth name, and you have to be in Jr. Youth to come up with the Jr. Youth name (If your parents or others want to help you think of something thats fine, but it will be you who needs to post it and it will be you who wins the IPod)!

When you have the name you simply comment under THIS post, you will have till December Christmas Banquets to enter as many names as you like, one name per comment, but you can comment as many times as you like! The winning name will win
AN IPOD SHUFFLE 1G. One for Sr. Youth and One for Jr. Youth. You don’t have to be a blogger to post you can do it under other or anonymous just make sure to leave your name some where in the post so I know who guessed what name! Jeff, Ryan, Chris, Donna, Devin, and I will be deciding on the best names for each youth group Sr. and Jr.! The winners will be announced at Christmas Banquets, and will receive their IPOD'S!!! Good luck all~!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

If you say so...

Personality test, I guess I am this:





Also a quote for the day:

"I have done many things in my life that conflicted with the great aims I had set myself - and something has always set me on the true path again." - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What a night...

What a night, last night we had praise and worship night, and our own youth band led the music I spoke and the kids had time to sing, spend time in prayer, reflection and of course play ping-pong. There was something striking about our night. We did certain religious acts, but yet there was nothing overtly forced, there were moments of sacredness and moments of silliness, there were powerful and trivial moments. What it was, was real...we made no claims of saying the 'right' things, we were ourselves and we acknowledged something bigger then us working around us and with us. I love that there is no simply spiritual or simply secular I love that the lines are blurred and some times you can't tell which is which, and I love even more that one and the other are often the same...what a night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Twice in one day?

Today we are having Jr. Youth Small Groups, its a time when we separate our youth into much smaller groups and have them meet in a smaller setting getting to know each other. The purpose is to create an environment where trust and relationships can be developed easier.

For Jr. Youth I have some of my Sr. Youth be sponsors, they help me lead Jr. Youth night, they help me with crowd control (believe me in Jr. Youth you really need it) they help me run games, they help me teach Bible Studies and prepare snacks and clean up. It takes a certain type to be a servant as a gr. 11ener or 12ever, to give up another night a week and serve with a bunch of rowdy Jr. Highers, takes an exceptional youth to do it.

Well today something amazing dawned on me!!! Since this is my 6th year of doing this I have had youth go with me through Jr. High to Sr. High, and one of my ex-Jr.Highers is now a Jr. High sponsor, not that amazing, all of my Jr. High sponsors were my Jr. Highers at one point, what is amazing is the turn around in this girls life! I remember her telling me how she hated youth, and how she didn't want to be there, I remember being so worried for her, and thinking so long to say the 'right' things, and be there...What is amazing, is that today we went over our Bible study with my sponsors they have had it for a few days to be ready, we went over final details and as the Jr. Youth arrived and I did my intro and separated them, this girl now took a group of young girls to lead them! Amazing...Today she is a leader...today has truly been amazing...Today has been a gift, first with Brent as I wrote previously, and now this...what gift...

Holy Ground...

Today I had a lunch meeting with one of my graduated youth. It was our usual meeting, catching up, telling stories, laughing together, sharing and encouraging, it was awesome. He has brought a lot of joy in to my life, seeing him grow and mature.

We talked about faith we talked about life and ups and downs. And then I prayed as I normally do at the end of the meeting and then something amazing happened. See I often pray with my youth after we meet, always during whether out loud or not depends. But this time an amazing thing happened, at the end of the prayer he prayed for me; I have been prayed for before I have spent a lot of time in prayer times with people. But this was different, he prayed for me, his care and love poured out, and it warmed my heart so deeply. There have been a lot of significant markers in my faith journey and today was another, I am not sure how this prayer was different then other prayers that I have heard, or been part of, but I know that his love and concern came through very clearly and it gripped my heart. It was amazing being prayed for by one of your youth, I don't know even how to explain it, it was unexpected, it was real, and God was all the sudden there, present with us and his love poured out to me through Brent...and we found ourselves on Holy Ground...I am going to treasure that moment...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hauerwas on education...

Found this on Faith and Theology blog, I wonder what some of my Bible College professor friends think of this quote:

Hauerwas on education

“As a way to challenge such a [liberal] view of freedom, I start my classes by telling my students that I do not teach in a manner that is meant to help them make up their own minds. Instead, I tell them that I do not believe they have minds worth making up until they have been trained by me. I realize such a statement is deeply offensive to students since it exhibits a complete lack of pedagogic sensitivities. Yet I cannot imagine any teacher who is serious who would allow students to make up their own minds.”

—Stanley Hauerwas, “Christian Schooling or Making Students Dysfunctional,” in Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified (Nashville: Abingdon, 1998), p. 220.


ht to Faith and Theology

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend Update with Paul Morgun...

What a weekend, the boys Sr. Soccer team that I was coaching lost in the regionals, which is ok, they played well and over all it is a developing year. Sunday was great the church honored Jeff and I for the appreciate your pastor month and have given us some nice gifts to be able to go out and have fun so thats great.

This week our Sr. and Jr. Youth Small groups start and I am pumped about that. Small groups are one of my favorite youth nights, we get to hang out in a smaller setting, talk about life and dream together, it is always a blast! So I am looking forward to that.

I have recently been given and purchased whole bunch of books, so I am reading them right now and plugging my way through them, a highlight for sure is the RealLivePreacher.com book which has been just amazing read, I find my self on many of the pages similar struggles and different ones too, it has just been awesome to read. I have put all the new books now on my to read pile and as I work through them you can see them on the side column of the blog if you are interested in whats keeping me busy.

(picture is of the boys building a shelf during our amazing race kick off)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Some updates, and a tribute...

Well, we are back from Abbotsford which was a good conference, the 32 hour drive was a bit much, but the conversations that occurred in the van were amazing and I would not trade that.

Monday Night Jessica and I spent hanging out with Dennis and Karen Skoworodko, who were my youth pastors when I was in high school, and man what a time! We love this couple to pieces, the input and love that they poured into my life cannot be described. The patience and sheer acceptance they had for this renegade punk is indescribable. I know one thing for sure is that apart from my parents I had never seen Jesus more clearly then in the lives of these two. They were real, they were honest, they were never pretentious they were them, and they loved and that was more then enough! There was a lot of things that we did in youth, programs, trips, outings, cokes, conferences, quakes, all were good, but the simple love that I always felt from these two clearly outlined how a Christ follower aught to live, I went through many stages as a youth as we all do, I was disrespectful, I was rude, I was mean and yet these two simply loved me, I never felt conditions on this love, if I dress right, if I say the right things, there was just this love. So as we sat there and talked and ate and looked at pictures, I could not help but be a bit nostalgic of a SIGNIFICANT marker in my life, and be so thankful for this dear couple! Dennis and Karen thank you for your love, and how honestly you live out Jesus to all that come into contact with you!
(I could not resist adding this picture of Dennis!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Week away...

Well not really a week but Wednesday to Sunday, Jessica and I are off to Abbotsford for a Study Conference on Culture, Gospel and Church, 5 of us from church are traveling together in a van which should be really fun. We dropped the boys at my parents place. We both are looking forward to this, to go to one of these together and not be apart and Jessica's good friend lives in Abbotsford so should be a lot of fun there and on the way, looking forward to lots of good conversations.

Youth this week is Gym Night and Chris and Donna will head it up at the High school, and Jr. Youth is Sponsor surprise, also there is no Sr. Youth Sunday School this Sunday since we only get back sometime Sunday.




Sunday, October 07, 2007

Youth this past week...

This Sunday we had an awesome Sunday School, we decided to make sandwiches and buy some new socks and go on 2oth street in Saskatoon and hand these out. We had arrived in Saskatoon fairly early and so things began very slow, but in no time began to get busy as people were more then happy to receive a meal and some socks for the cold season. We had made lots of sandwiches and Katie made tons of cookies (over a hundred). It is amazing how really thankful people were. At the end we still had a lot of cookies left over, so we donated them to Salvation Army. It was a joy to be able to help in such a small way, with the weather turning cold so fast the socks were a huge hit. We prayerfully experienced the best Sunday School so far, giving and serving...

This past Wednesday we had also had a great time making parables videos. The Sr. Youth was divided into groups and each group had to make a video about a parable from the gospels. It was so much fun! I will upload the videos shortly and have them posted here and on facebook.

With Jr. Youth on Thursday we had photo-scavenger hunt, which was a blast here are some pics:

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hope and Love...


Hope has been on my mind a lot recently, we have been discussing our Christian hope in youth and in my personal study it has been something that has been taking a lot of my thinking space.
Hope is more the our desire for injustice to stop, hope is more then enjoying majestic beauty of nature, it is more then wanting something, it is more then simply instinct or a coping mechanism. No, hope is given to us, created in us, offered to us as a glimpse of love, a glimpse of a narrative, a story.
And this glimpse pushes us to action, to be part of the story to be part of the restoration and narrative that God invites us to join...this hope is full and rich, and we have the joy to change, to grow to be part of something revolutionary to be part of something and someone whose end goal is to restore love to be love... "Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." - Leo Tolstoy ... and so I hope.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Worship Hymnal, Meditations 782

Lord, You are our God.
We want to realize how much we depend upon You.
You have not only given us life,
You have made us able to think about its meaning
And to choose and work for what is good.
In the world much is confusing;
Many voices strive to be heard.
Yet we have Your word to guide us,
The life and teaching of Your Son,
The example of many faithful Christians.
We have known Your hand holding us fast,
Your steps marking out the way for us:
We long to know You still.
Your presence transforms even the darker times:
With You we need not be afraid.
Nothing can separate us from Your love
Draw out from us such an answering love
That in our time of testing we may not fall away.
Amen

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Hey!!!! I am on your team..."

Our youth had a tour of duty recently and it was a blast, literally...
(Curtis had a giant welt on his shoulder picture does not do it justice)

Monday, September 17, 2007

hope...


Youth is in full swing, we had our Amazing Race (pictures coming) and Junior Youth camp out to kick things off and everything went well. It is a new year, new groups, new youth stepping up and others stepping away its always so interesting and amazing what God is doing in and around our lives, and how we respond. Well another youth year, new journey of sorts...I guess as I fumble through I look forward and hope...and that is what our year is about; HOPE...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God's Wrath...

The anger of the Lord is instrumental, hypothetical, conditional, and subject to His will...Far from being an expression of "petulant vindictiveness," the message of anger includes a call to return and to be saved...It is not expression of irrational, sudden, and instinctive excitement, but a free and deliberate reaction of God's justice to what is wrong and evil. For all its intensity, it may be averted by prayer. There is no divine anger for anger's sake. Its meaning is...instrumental: to bring about repentance; its purpose and consummation is its own disappearance.
-Abraham J. Heschel


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Quotations...

Thanks to Marko I found this great blog, which misuses quotations, called the "blog" of unnecessary" quotation marks, it is Great check it out and have a laugh, great thing to do is imagine, some one using their two fingers to motion as they say the words...so funny! Here are some good examples:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

fa·nat·ic

Websters Dictionary describes fa·nat·ic as marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. This would be a good description of me and I, when it comes to my love for the Russian Hockey. Specifically Russian National Team. I have spouted stats, records, hearsay, in defense of this hockey decorated nation. I have diligently followed its play in Euro-tours, Canada cups, world juniors, world cups and Olympics , I have rejoiced in its many wins and defended losses and came up with excuses to make sense of a loss. I have lost sleep before and after games being to nervous or excited or too mad about them playing or about their play(I know thats sick, but its true). Now why am I saying all this?

Well this morning I was so embarrassed and ashamed to call my self a Fan of Russian hockey. Yes its just one tournament and probably one that not many people know about and yes Russia has won other games and tournaments that others don't know about like the U18 this spring and yes their loss was to Canada in which there shouldn't be much shame since Canada is its only rival....BUT....I have never seen a Russian team, that has had no desire to compete, play or DO ANYTHING...it was absolutely sad...usually Canada is very strong especially against Russia, they are usually strong on the boards, have lots of tempo, lots of emotion and hitting, combined with skill and scoring. Russians usually counter this with speed, great transition, and neutral zone plays that result in odd man attacks in their favor, but what I saw this morning was complete utter lack of anything! This is easily the worst Russian team I have ever seen. They were terribly coached lacking any kind of imagination or even idea of how to match lines, there was no imagination in attack unless you consider a shot from the blue line creative, there was no breakouts, no movement or speed it was literally like watching kids playing men. I was incredibly embarrassed. So there you have it, I have defended and stood strong with this national program in times that I shouldn't have but today I confess Canadians were simply better in EVERY area of the game then Russians, The Russian national team was simply outclassed!!!!!!

Specific points: Nemchinov the ex NHLer and Soviet National team Alumni, showed that he is not the man for the job of coaching the Russian team, he was weak, showed no character on the bench and did nothing to help spark the team that was miraculously still in the game at the end of the second period was down only 1-0 but was being out shot and outplayed in every category, he did nothing. Next is the play of Charipanov all the talk prior to the tournament was that this is the best thing outside of North America, the next great Russian Hockey player. He has been asked to lead this team, and has done nothing but embarrass the jersey and himself, it took serious CSI work to find him on the ice at either game, and the only time he was noticed was being absolutely ROCKED by Sutter, to which I cheered with complete joy, since he is the most useless player. I am not even expecting him to score, Canada was/is better period, so I don't expect him to put up numbers but something, some kind of effort, hit, skating emotion ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nope nothing, just disappeared and was not around, my move if I was coaching these plugs, would be to not even dress him for the next game, which happens to be his home town and the super league team he plays for Omsk. Just put him in the press box and let him watch there, since all he has done so far has been watching, they want to embarrass the jersey embarrass him!!!!

There are so many more things I want to say but I think thats enough, I am considering not going to this series game in Saskatoon, to which I bought tickets too on the day they were available since I am always pumped and have been a fan (fanatic), its not even the loss its how they lost, that is what makes me so embarrassed of this team! Shame! So today I brake the Websters Definition of, intense uncritical devotion, and criticize this embarrassment.

And to top it all of Canucks changed their jerseys to a nightmare that you can see here, my world is falling apart...I need a hug, anyone??

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Youth Lake Day 2007...

Lake day was a blast we had a lots of boats, lots of toys, not the best weather but a lot of fun, here are some pictures and video's of the day, special thanks to Stu, Neil and Ian for bringing boats and driving, Devin for helping out with rides and Bushman's and Bodlt's for the use of their vehicles for the trip, and my parents in law for their cabin it was a blast!
video
Ryan and Curtis trying to hang on...

David, Ryan, Sasha and CJ

Some of the youth on the beach waiting a turn and trying to be warm, and Neil in his space age life jacket.

Jesse and Logan about to go...

Austin and Caleb

Erin Chantel and KatieMichelle and Katie

It was a fun day, for more pictures you can check the youth pictures flickr on the side of this blog...