Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Current Read

I Once Was Lost, Don Everts & Doug Schaupp

"Now the great thing is, Jesus is very intriguing. No need to try to spice him up. He's as spicy as they come. When folks these days see Jesus himself (rather than cliches or stereotypes about him), they tend to sit up and take notice. People are intrigued by how counter cultural Jesus was, how he embraced the poor and marginalized, how he eviscerated religious hypocrites, and how natural and open he was to those who didn't fit in: the homeless, the prostitutes, the ostracized. They are intrigued by how little he beat around the bush and how often he got to the heart of a person.

People are intrigued by his kingdom, by how focused it is on bringing light into the world, defending the defenseless, embracing the poor and hurting..." (pg. 62).

That's the Jesus that I see in the Bible and the Jesus that intrigues me. That's the Jesus that I want to exemplify and the Kingdom I want to see come to earth. That's the Jesus I want the people around me to know and the Jesus I pray the church will teach about. That's the Jesus who is and I hope is the Jesus the people around me see.

Current Read

The Last Templar, Raymond Khoury

Zero 7 - In the Waiting Line

I readily admit that I have a pretty eclectic musical palate (speaking of taste!). I regularly get asked where on earth I find some of the stuff I listen to. Here's one of my secret sources...or perhaps we should call this a confession. Lately I've been enjoying TV show soundtracks. Lots of great stuff has come from Grey's Anatomy, Privileged and House. There you have it. Guilty pleasure or musical research?
Taste is subjective. Taste is democratic. Taste is powerful. Taste – the combination of texture, aroma, temperature, aesthetic and environment – is also a window into someone else’s life or culture. Be confident in your taste, but remain curious and expose yourself to new tastes. Allow your taste to constantly evolve and grow – while keeping and cherishing the memories that taste creates.
-- Marcus Samuelsson
Chef, co-owner of Restaurant Aquavit and author of The Soul of a New Cuisine

...I've decided this isn't just taste in regards to food even though it is from the mouth of a chef. Think about music, hobbies, activities, TV shows, wardrobe. It is true that curiosity certainly is the spice of life!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I used to think that going to the jungle made my life an adventure. However, after years of unusual work in exotic places, I realize that it is not how far off I go, or how deep into the forest I walk that gives my life meaning. I see that living life fully is what makes life – anyone’s life, no matter where they do or do not go – an adventure.

-- Maria Fadiman
Geographer, ethnobotanist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

EDMONTON - Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani each recorded a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers won their fourth in a row to start the season, coming back with three second period goals to defeat the Calgary Flames 3-2 for the second times in as many nights on Saturday.

Andrew Cogliano also scored for Edmonton, off to its best start since going 5-0 in 1985-86."

Yesterday was good. Today's victory is sweet. If I'm not careful, I'm going to get beat up...being and Edmonton fan in Calgary after all.

It's what Mastercard would call 'priceless.'

Just for curiosity sake, I figured it would be fun to find out what else happened in th '85-86 season, back when there were still teams like the Winnipeg Jets, the Hartford Whalers and the Quebec Nordiques and divisions were named things like Smythe and Adam...and don't forget Norris.

Here's a quick run down from Wikipedia (Sidenote: I love Wikipedia. Such a quick easy reference for when my curiosity once again gets the best of me):

The Edmonton Oilers once again regained control of top spot in the NHL and last year's best team, the Philadelphia Flyers slipped to second. The Flyers continued their dominance of the Wales Conference despite the tragic death of their Vezina-winning goaltender, Pelle Lindbergh, in a car accident on November 11. Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky continued his dominance of the NHL by winning his seventh straight Hart Trophy and his sixth straight Art Ross Trophy. This season saw Gretzky score "only" 52 goals, but he set impossible records of 163 assists and 215 points. This was the fourth time in five years that Gretzky reached the 200 point plateau. Gretzky would never again reach the 200 point mark, but neither would any other player. Mario Lemieux, however, came close with 199 points in 1988–89. Edmonton's defenceman Paul Coffey broke legendary Bobby Orr's record for most goals in a season by a defenceman by scoring 48 times.

Ah the '80's. I try to forget a lot else that happened in the '80's - like neon, slouch socks and big hair - but '80's NHL is why I'm an Edmonton Oiler fan, no, a hockey fan today!

Friday, October 17, 2008


All I can say is that this is a headline that any Edmonton fan can be proud of. I know there's a lot of season left to go. For now, I'm taking joy in one game at a time, especially like this! It's a home and home though so we'll see what happens tomorrow night in Edmonton.

All that said, I can't help but be a little bit please for Bertuzzi. Two goals again tonight to make 4 on the season so far. I hope he keeps it up!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My good friend, Katie, posted these reflections on her blog and I am surprised - although I probably shouldn't be - by just how closely they reflect my own thoughts lately:

I have had a lot of good conversations today, but a lot of hard ones too. Some of them debating issues, others walking people through conflict and struggles. All of these conversations left me with the question of what does it mean to really come alongside other people? How do you really show people the love of Christ. It is such a monumental task, and yet simple at the same time. Monumental in the impact that it has, and in the issues that people are dealing with (that all of us are dealing with in one way or another). Simple in our role of loving, of being present, of just "doing life" together. If it IS simple, why is it so difficult? Why do we have such a hard time being present? Why is it so easy to come to conclusions, to try and "fix" whatever problems there are instead of guiding people, of walking with them?

The other part of this question for me is how do I come alongside someone when I myself am so stained? I am shoulder deep in the mire, barely able to keep my head above it! I am so thankful that the Lord uses uses us in the midst of it, that His grace covers it all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sad news...

I've been wondering whether I should write about this for days and finally decided that I need to. It seems like death has been lurking in every corner lately. Unexpected or expected, the result for those of us left behind is the same...sadness. Sadness at all the memories left unmade. Sadness for moments not shared. Sadness for words that should have been spoken. Sadness for what won't be. There is solace when we know that our loved one has gone to be with Jesus. It's a happy time of reunion, of homecoming, of rest for them. It's for those of us left behind that we grieve. I don't even know that sadness is a deep enough word. Sorrow. Something deeper...lingering...

The most recent loss is my friend Steve Rehn. Steve was pursuing a dream, cycling in Africa (you can experience a bit of Africa through his eyes on his blog), when he was hit by a car and killed instantly. Dave, Steve's brother, gives details here. It seems sureal. Like the plot of a movie but not real life.

But it's true.

Steve is with Jesus.

He was met, of this I am sure, with "well done, good and faithful servant" for that is what he was. It is those he leaves that I grieve for. For his wife, whose partner, encourager and friend will not be returning home. For Dave and Ali and their spouses whose brother and brother - in-law will not be around for more crazy adventures or zany antics. For little Cai who will only get to know his Uncle through stories...of which their are many. For his mom and dad who never imagined they would be outliving their son. For those he served in Africa who will no longer feel the love and compassion of their Savior through the life of this man, who will no longer see Jesus through His life or benefit from the skills he was blessed with. For friends around the globe who will always be touched by the memories of Steve's passion for life, huge smile, hospitible nature, unconditional love and grace, crazy sense of humor, faith that seemed like it could move mountains and servant heart that changed every part of the world he entered and who will wait with expectation for the chance to hang out with him again. I'm proud to be one of those friends.

A memorial will be held for Steve this Saturday. I bet the place will be packed. Steve was that kind of guy. People will be there for him...because he was there for us.

He will be missed.

He is missed.
While I expected a conservative minority government to be the result of today's election, I didn't expect the tories to come out as strong as they did. That said, my goal is not to recap the results (if you want that, read CBC's coverage here) but to give a few reflections...

1. It's a little sad to me that all during the election race - far too strong a term for what we saw happen, I think - we still heard more about the American election, candidates and platforms than we did our own. But, then again, it has just as much, if not more, influence on our country than today's election. Sad, really.

2. I was disappointed at how much of the Canadian candidates' campaigns consisted of mudslinging and finger pointing. It wasn't until the week prior to the election that Harper released the conservative platform and the other candidates, while releasing official party platforms earlier, weren't much better. Commercials, debates and interviews all featured party leaders, the apparent educated elite of our country, resorting to insulting, finger pointing and other such playground tactics. Grow up and stand for something. Please. Our country depends on it.

3. Democracy. It seems like an inappropriate word to call what we have in Canada. We don't really pick a leader. We pick a part who has chosen a leader and, if we're lucky enough to live west of Ontario, we don't even really do that. I felt slightly vindicated to be voting in Stephen Harper's riding but it's an unfortunate reality that a large number of voters chose to vote for a party they don't believe will win (but perhaps do stand behind the party's platform) - the Green party, for example - or for an independent candidate they don't believe stands a chance because they are boycotting the process, not believing their vote really counts...and in many cases seem to be right! What is the true essence of democracy? What do we really have here? How can we find some place of consensus in the middle where the people feel like they have a say in what happens and are not merely pawns in a game played by white, upper class, educated males on a power trip? How do we ensure that the best interests of the average Canadian are truly at the heart of the decision making process? While I love this country, I dare say that today's process is not the way.

4. Voter options are slim. It seems that there are no good candidates, only better than the other guy. I don't know that I agreed with any candidate on all, or even most, of their proposed future plans for our country. I do know, however, that there are candidates that seemed better than others. It's hard to be a black and white thinker in a land of lesser evils.

My brother seemed to have a handle on it a few nights ago. "Why vote in this election. I'll vote in the next one six months from now." It seems true and fair. With a minority government, a market in flux, environmental questions to answer and troops deployed, it seems unlikely that much will get done without party lines being drawn. I hope he's wrong. I hope that we see things moving and changing for the good of our country. I wish I could be hopeful.

We'll see.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"As Christians, we believe that we bear the image and likeness of God inside of us and that this is our deepest reality. We are made in God's image. However we tend to picture this in a naive, romantic, and pious way. We imagine that somewhere inside us there is a beautiful icon of God stamped into our souls. That may well be, but God, as scripture assures us, is more than an icon. God is fire - wild, infinite, ineffable, non-containable."

Ron Rolheiser

Brayden Scott Forest
September 26, 2008
8 lbs 4 oz, 21 inches

This is my cousin Crystal's little guy. He's the first of a new generation on that side of the family, the first great-grandbaby for my Grandma and Grandpa. Very exciting!