Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Oilsands tainting watershed: U of A study New research estimates Suncor, Syncrude deposit an oil spill's worth of bitumen into surrounding area every year

Story here: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Oilsands+tainting+watershed+study/2314662/story.html

But then... I thought we already knew this? Is anyone really shocked? How did this make the front page? Maybe the title should be "We can no longer deny that we are killing people and rivers with the run off that we have said is safe knowing full well that it is not."

Why did the paper have to spin it like it was new news?

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's an angry and hurt world

The more I talk to people, and get into their brains... the more I see an angry and hurt world.

O come Emmanuel...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Conspiracy theory, or truth?

Here is a passionate person. Ironically willing to make money by not getting the H1N1 flu shot but then again, he's probably not making much. I don't think I could live in a world where I didn't more or less trust the health system... that would be way to much work... like all good sheeple, I had the shot... but I like what this guy did in the video.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

9:12 time suck with Weird Al

I think that Weird Al is part of the reason I'm such a happy person having steeped myself in his music and been a hard core fan since I can remember first getting the Dare to Be Stupid cassette tape back one summer while on vacation at Williams Lake.

So in a way, Al helped me trade any chance of being cool enough to date in high school for a life time of positive, happy sarcasm. Thanks Al... it was so worth it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Too many reminders... and still I miss things.

It's awesome.

Ical has reminders that pop up, and emails reminders.
Ical is linked to google calendar who sends email reminders.
My google cal and work cal are linked... and both send reminders.

You'd think I'd never forget anything having had pop ups and sometimes up to 6 email reminders...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How do you live without embracing your Hypocrisy?

I was at a Pastor's cluster meeting today and it was awesome. The trust level is developing and it was a great time of sharing both joys and heart aches (yes... Pastors have lots of heart aches...)

It made me think and feel and analyze lots of things and... in my life of hypocrisy I'm so glad that I belong to a religious system that doesn't rely on me getting it right in all ways... I love living with the grey areas and the paradox. Of course, embracing paradox might not be as catchy a title for a blog though...

But really... a blog that was all about embracing holistic truth would be really hard to maintain... constantly going back and rewording and deleting posts to get things just right... I don't know how much fun that would be.

So... Sin boldly... that is... do your best and then trust that the one who creates all things didn't expect you to get it right anyway... and trust that you are loved... and this love transforms all things.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's easier to read that blog...

There are those that blog and those that should read blogs... sometimes as I watch the months go between posts I think that I should be one who reads the blogs... but I'm too idealistic with what I might do with this blog.

I'm thinking of a series of "Phrases that need to be retired". I was inspired by this other blog that is doing the same thing and... I think that it will help me become a better person by getting rid of certain words and phrases....

will it happen?

Who knows....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too much money?

Why is it that a small mechanic in a small city in China can produce an electric car while the auto makers keep dragging their feet? I would guess that it has to do with money because the demand seems to be around... the technology is around... and it's just not difficult to do.

I guess I might be a conspiracy theorist...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

100th Post

Well.... can't put it off any longer. I've gotta put up a 100th post.

So... as a 100th post, I decided to throw up some pictures from one year ago. Cycling to the seminary, enjoying the fall weather in my former life as a student in Saskatoon.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Trying something new...

So... there is a horrible whine in the background from the macbook fan but.... I thought I would try the Vlogging thing a little.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Edson's gone crazy!

Well... that is what I told this weekend would be. It's the annual slo-pitch tourney and I think if you went out to the many baseball diamonds today or this weekend it would in fact be insane... but the craziness of the town itself is a little overblown... it's still Edson... the main highways are busy with through traffic... but there is still no wait for anything.

Which is nice.

I'm starting to get into the pace of the this place and slowly figure out why so many people say "Go rural!" for ministry. Great people, great town, laid back country life.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Mini vids of life in Edson June July 09

Here is a little video of some things we've been up too for those who don't get to see the kids as much... thought rather than perfecting a few videos.... I'd flood the net with these. :)


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dog Swimming in Air

I guess it's instinct... when you see the water coming... and you'd really rather not go in... you just start to swim and hope you don't hit the water.

In other news...

Went camping outside Hinton by flexing a meeting and a couple days off together for a fun family adventure.

I'm one step closer to a cell phone though... I havn't figured out how 'on call' I need to be for pastoral 'emergency.'... (whatever that might be)

Good times :)

And something a little more profound...

Do you want to know what is really neat about being a pastor? I get to visit and listen and hear all about good times and hard times. I get to sit with and stare into the heart of pain and suffering with all sorts of people. And then on Sunday, not matter what else is going on, I get to hand out the Eucharist, that is, no matter what else is said done or happening, there is bread of life and cup of salvation accompanied by the words 'for you.' All are welcome at the Lord's table.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Reunions

This last weekend I was at the family reunion of my wife's dad's brothers and sisters. All the things you would expect including food, and wine, and beer, and laughter, and quads for the young and the old. I got to watch my son crash a 50cc quad into a rock, and into a barb wire fence (no injuries), I got to watch my first daughter enjoy the sun and just embrace life running back and forth from place to place, and I got to watch my youngest daughter begin to engage the world in new ways by crawling and running around everywhere. It was awesome.

It's interesting to be an outsider looking in on a family reunion. I don't know all the stories or the history of the joys or the pains of this family, but I do know that it was a great weekend for relaxing, enjoying good company, and good food.

I'm starting to think that 30 something marks a turning point where you realize that you have become an adult... and you can look at other adults and see that for the most part, until you hit the really frail stage, we're all at the same level. And really... nobody is getting more mature that where they are at.

I'm thankful to be a part of a family that makes the effort to get together like this... it's a beautiful community that forms so briefly every two years.

I'm looking forward to the next one two years from now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A full measure of honesty

These people inspire me:


They seem to come at religion in a very honest way that seems to be authentic from what I can see. Of course, many of these emerging church movements also have some sort of underlying agenda. I'm not sure how these things get started without some agenda but... here it is.

Can it really be as open as it seems? There seems to be indicators that it's Lutheran by the 'nailing to the wall' comments, as well as the 'saint and sinner' thing. But I do wonder what this would look like in small town Canada? And whether you need a city of several million people to make it go, or if it goes because people need this sort of community.

Lots to think about in how to be the church.

The define the Need as:
Why do we need a House for All Sinners and Saints?

House is important because it is experimenting with new ways to do church which make sense to urban postmodern young people. It is a place where:

The Gospel matters, liturgy is recontextualized, and we are free to reclaim the word "Christian".
Scripture is honored enough to be faithfully questioned and struggled with
We no longer have to culturally commute or bracket out parts of ourselves to be in Christian community
We are co-creators of worship, rather than just passive participants; aesthetics and theology both matter
The community is both intellectually and spiritually stimulating
We provide a connection or a bridge to the mainline and to the traditions of the church

House is important because it takes community and relationships seriously. It is a place where:

People can land, they can call this house a home
The work of the spirit is witnessed to through relationships where there is vulnerability, challenge and growth
Our deepest longings can be expressed and heard
True community is offered, people belong to each other so that we share both joys and sorrows
We connect the margins and the mainstream

I'll follow with interest...
The part where they try not to bracket out parts of themselves to be Christian will be especially interesting. It's awesome in concept... but is any community ready for all it's members to let go with all honesty? It would be fun to say the least :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

July 1st, and too many Hotdogs

A successful event to say the least. The Lutherans gathered and sold hotdogs and hamburgers on Canada Day. This means that the night before we gather and clean like crazy to get the rental shed ready, set up a huge BBQ, and make sure that all the jobs are covered.

The people here are like a well oiled machine with years of practice it was amazing. Turned out to be a $1500 day. (Which, if you bread down the number of volunteer hours is not too much but... I think that part of the value is in the working together.)

So... that is my post... why is it short and lame? Because it is fueled by guilt that my father put on me for not blogging more.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Second thought.. I'll keep going

Ya know... if you're going to neglect one blog you might as well neglect 2.


It's Father's Day.
My son runs to his room, and returns with a big smile and sucker. He hands it to me.

"Is this for me?" I ask thinking that all the work on empathy might be paying off?

"No... can you open it for me... please?"


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Blog

Classic... using one blog to announce the existance of another blog.

Well, goodbye hypocrisy:


"Dry Bones Walkin'"

This blog is retired (for now)... the new blog will be... well... we'll see what it will be. I could tell you but it's sort of a work in progress... I think it's supposed to be something like a professional blog of my new carear as Lutheran Pastor... sortof like a public luther pastor journal... but I don't know what that will be like as I'm not a lutheran pastor yet so... it's a new expiriment...

Maybe follow both? Who knows what could happen...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

It ended with a fizzle...

Well, with the click of the send button the last exam was completed and handed in and officially I'm done all the course work that I'm going to do for seminary. In some ways it is the biggest day of the last 5 years, and in others it was just a cold May day in Saskatoon.

Walking out, holding a cliche box of office supplies and flanked by two classmates carrying the rest of my books, guitars, drums, and other random crap it felt... normal. It still feels normal and the reality of never returning to full time study again slowly settles in.

In some ways there is so much to look forward too with the new career and move across the country, but in other ways it is all loss. Loss of community, loss of lifestyle, loss of carefree existance.

So it's the biggest day, that ends in a fizzle as I wait for a few more weeks for anything else to really come together.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Graduation Party

Ahh... the end of a program. This year at the grad party not only did we roast the prof's, but they made the grads dance and sing and a good time was had by all.

The first of many events that mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another. Change...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Sermon

Sermon: “The Resurrection of our Lord”

Is. 25:6–9, 1 Cor. 15:1–11, Mark 16:1–8

Easter Day

Christ is Risen! (He’s Risen Indeed) x3
The great mystery of the faith. Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again.
Today is about expecting and deserving one thing, and then receiving something else... something completely unexpected and more wonderful than could have been hoped for.
Imagine yourself on that lonely walk up the hill with the women. A long, hopeless, lonely walk to the tomb of the much beloved one. Imagine that you had hoped that this friend would lead a revolution that would change everything and everything would now be as it was supposed to be. Jesus was supposed to start revolution - He was supposed to change the way people related to each other and God... it was supposed to be a promise that would have over thrown the oppressive system and banished an invading army from the land... It was supposed to be Emmanual coming - a new time of God with us. All of this was crushed on Friday. And now - a long and lonely walk...
All is fear... All is uncertainty.
The very Son of God had come to offer a new way to be, a new relationship to God, a new life. ... ...
And instead of embracing this new life, this new promise, this relationship, God in Jesus was rejected and sent on a long and lonely walk to the cross. The best and the brightest that humanity had to offer.... the religious elite, the educated, the government officials, the jeering crowds... all had rejected him... and now... he is dead. The collective weight of fear and self interest caused the best and brightest to turn all their hatred and hopelessness onto one person with catastrophic results. Christ is crucified.
Where there was trust, there is now fear. Where there was a sure hope, now there is severe uncertainty.
There is sever uncertainty in our world. It is so much easier to look to the uncertainty and point to the signs of death all around us. There is an old newspaper slogan - “If it bleeds it leads” - People like to slow down and watch a car wreck. People pay money to watch that kind of death and destruction painted vividly in News Reports. In so many ways, death makes for better news than life... at least that is what the ratings show.
Back in January, when we were all still digesting the last of the Christmas Feast... songs of Joy and Thanksgiving for the light coming into the world still ringing in our ears....
And this is the head-line on the CBC news web page “Jubilance, uncertainty as world rings in 2009.” and below that... “Israel gives Green Light for Gaza ground offensive.” Death, uncertainty, fear. It seems we almost like scaring ourselves. Or perhaps we like telling tales of death and uncertainty.
I gotta tell you a story about this little kid named Max... Max is a kid who just loves Legos!
It’s Christmas and he was visiting his Grandma’s house. (I realize that it’s Easter, but Easter begins at Christmas so stick with me...)
Max’s family had eaten the huge festive meal and it was getting late... This is good news for Max.
Late means all the dishes will be done soon.
Late means all the adults will be in the living room soon.
Adults in the living room means that it’s officially after Christmas Supper.
After supper on Christmas Eve means that it’s time to open up the presents! It was so exciting. And oh man Max had dreams... space lego was all that Max could think of.
Max had all the bases covered. He had written three messages to Santa. One by mail, one by email, and one by text message off his Dad’s phone. Max felt he was well covered in the Santa department. Santa should have gotten his messages.
He also wrote another letter to his Grandma... and he was sure that she was going to give him the legos... I mean... Max made it clear. He made a list. On the list was: Lego. It was the only thing on the list... and it would be hard to screw that up... it was all that he wanted.
There was one small hitch in the whole plan... Max and his Grandmother had had a terrible fight. Max didn’t know how it happened, it was just one of those things that happens when you are in relationship to another person. Max wasn’t sure if his Grandmother was going to give him a present this year. He wasn’t sure if he deserved one.
The family gathered and all sat down to open the presents, and he and his brother and his sister were handed gifts from grandma and he watched his brother open his present... and it was... Socks! The grey kind that itch with the red tops.... Ohhh no...
Oh noooo... socks... well, that’s just his brother... and he’s weird, and maybe that is what he wanted? Maybe he wasn’t good enough this year and this was some sort of punishment! Hope sprung up in Max’ heart.
So he watched his sister open up her present and it was... What do you think?... Socks!... oh no... what had gone wrong! Maybe his sister wanted itchy, hot, sticky feet... the kind that only grey wool socks with red tops can give...
Now all eyes turned to the little boy... it was his turn to open his present. He gave it a little shake... no sound.... legos make sound...
He gave it a little squeeze... oh no... it was soft... legos aren’t soft... legos are hard...
With fear and uncertainty in his heart and a fake smile on his face, Max opened the package and it was... he couldn't believe it was true. He kept smiling and said “Thank-you Grandma... they look... warm...” with as much energy as his crushed little heart could muster...
His Grandma said, “You’re welcome... I know that your feet are cold when you are out playing and you need to have these things to keep your feet warm... Could you do me a favor and get me some coffee from the cupboard?” There was a strange gleam in her eye... what was going on?
“Yes Grandma” Max said... he walked dejected to the cupboard... all that he had hoped would be this day was now gone... you can’t play with new socks... you can’t colour on them... and you can’t wear them inside... they are too hot to wear... you certainly can’t build them into a space lego set... and they itch.
He opened up the cupboard and there were three boxes. He picked one up... it had hard hard edges... and it sounded like pieces inside. It shook... it sounded like lots of pieces inside! It was legos!
“Merry Christmas” his Grandmother cried out!
Merry Christmas... can it be that just a few short months ago we were calling out Merry Christmas to one another... celebrating a light coming into the world - the birth of a new child. Hope of what could be in a new year infused everything.
All of us for a moment trusted that God that had not forgotten us - And in this Joy and celebration, we were moved to put up lights, to give gifts, to party and celebrate. The light had come into the world and for a brief moment we heard and saw signs of hope.
And then somehow all that celebration of the light has also left us with the world that we know. We all know how that many people died needlessly in the Gaza strip. We all know how hard the world is suffering from economic crisis. We all know about the many environmental warning bells that are going off around the oil sands - the back bone of our economy is having a greater cost then we first imagined. We all know how hollow the promise of new life can sound as we face our personal demons. We all know that God feels pushed aside, and God’s people and creation are ground under foot, cast aside and used up and forgotten.
The light of Christmas appears to be snuffed out by the reality of life, by the reality of the events of Good Friday. In this moment, all of history could have been lost.
Max’s Grandma didn’t need to give a present. But Grandmas keep giving presents not because kids are good... Grandmas give presents because they long for relationship - they long to do good things for those they love. Even when kids are a little thorny, Grandmas continue to come to them. To seek them out. To love them.
And here is the surprise ending. The long lonely walk to the tomb ended with better news than could possible have been hoped for.
So, We celebrate the ending of the long hopeless walk of the women who first came to the tomb and found it empty.
We celebrate with those who first heard the good news from the angel sitting in the the tomb. “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.”
Be Not Afraid says the angel... You can Trust God because God is trustworthy.
Be not afraid says the angel, God’s will to come to us has overcome even death. The light of Christmas is not snuffed out today, but it is added to by the light that shines brightly out of the empty tomb.
Be not afraid says the angel, Christ has looked deep into the human heart, the human selfishness, the human pain, the human death, and he did not turn away.
Be not afraid, the relationship to God is fixed, all was... is.... and will be reconciled to God.
The tomb is empty. There isn’t coffee in the cupboard... there is lego!
Joined to Christ, we will face a death like his, but we will also experience a new life, like his.
So Come, taste and see in the communion meal - the bread and the wine of new life and forgiveness, that we are about to share together, This is the meal of the goodness of God come down - nothing now separates us from God.
Come, taste and see that Christ who was killed is on a cross did not, would not, could not stay dead.
Come, taste and see a love that is bigger than death.
Christ is risen. (He is risen indeed)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stop Motion Lego

Wow... what fun!

My son and I discovered the joy of stop motion lego animation. This is the second attempt and it's lots of fun.... only took about 5 hours to put this together.

We worked on the story line and animation and photography together so we are calling it a joint project. Elijah is the head of 'eB Productions' and of course I'm the head of 'bouncin' boy Productions' so we both took credit in the end. He's pretty jazzed to do more so I think we're going to start learning about making a story board and writing more down ahead of time.

Anyway... without further delay, eB and bouncin' boy productions are proud to present:
The Great Dinosaur Escape!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The End is near.

It's Friday, and this Monday starts my last semester as a student. Forms are being signed, papers written, and soon... I will be done.

It's sort of strange to think of the past 5 years going by so slowly and yet so quickly. For example... when I started Seminary, Gray's Anatomy was just a pilot... and look how far they have come now! As I was starting seminary, Merideth and the crew were just starting residency to become surgeons. And now, just 5 years later, they will make more in an afternoon then I make in 6 months as a pastor! (Both as actors and surgeons!)

And the excitement is building in the midst of the tired. Half of me is dreading Monday and being back in classes for more information to be pounded into my head. And the other half of me is starting to dream. This is the half that is looking at the different camps that need resouce pastors. This is the half that is thinking of meeting my first confirmation class this fall... perhaps my first confirmation retreat. My first cluster meeting is coming. My first letter of call. My first time to preside at communion. It's a whole bunch of firsts.

In some ways I'm going to have to question the wisdom of the process as finishing seminary can be tiring and hitting the first parish while tired would not be a good thing. On the other hand, I'm ready. I've been told that everything you learn at seminary will get you through the first 5 years of ministry, and then you better be learning more as you go. And perhaps there is wisdom in this. Without this extended formational process, perhaps you don't have the tenacity to stick it out. Perhaps you need to be in a place like the seminary for this extended time to be ready to weather what is to come in the years ahead.

I'll be turning 33 this summer... which is about the same age that Jesus was when he started so I think I'm in good compandy. But as I start to make my plans, I think that I'll be looking to go for at least 30 years and this is best part. As I sit here with my child asleep on my chest, my eyes blood shot from lack of sleep and exhaustion, with a move to a new community coming and courses started on Monday... I'm leaning into the future. I can't wait to get started on the next phase. I'm going to miss this place terribly but it's time to go. In fact, it's overtime to go... I should be going... I want to be going but there are these last 5 months before I'm in the parish (at best... could be longer...)

So... perhaps it's time to assume the change now... shake of the tiredness of today and start living in the dream that is my vocation, career, calling, life... Or... maybe I just need some sleep.

Look out world, I'm a few classes, a colloquy and and interview away of becoming Pastor.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where were you last year

It's been great weather but last year, about this time... I was in Madagascar.

It's been a quick year, no?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Face Book in the great beyond

So... I was doing some facebook stalking today - looking around to see if anyone is up to anything intersting. I was also mourning for my friends Judith and Jason as I wondered around the net. I noticed somthing interseting. My friend Judith is still getting face book messages from friends... Judith died last year.

What a great outlet for people to articulate their own lament. It was her birthday the other day and she got messages from friends all over the place. I never got to know her as well as I would have liked to, and time and circumstance didn't allow us this relationship but... I mourn her passing, and the hole that is left in everyone that knew her.

I actually briefly thought about how they can call it heaven when they don't have facebook there but then... that isn't the promise is it? The promise is that one day all will be made right and for now... we live in hope of that day when all of creation is gathered up. When all that is wrong is right.

Seeing these messages helped me believe it... I believe that one day there will be this full gathering in. In this moment... I believe it. I do believe that one day Judith will answer these facebook messages... (and she won't even need facebook to do it... oh what a day that will be!)