Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Charity and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We have been so blessed this year, and pray for God's blessings in your lives also.
We hope that you spend time today with family and friends: eating turkey, taking a nap, playing games, laughing, crying etc...
There is so much to remember this year, but most importantly is that Christ our Saviour was born! There were tears shed this morning since this is our first Christmas without my Nana. Someone who I definitely miss. I'm tearing up again so I'm going to stop writing.
To all who read this...we love you. Merry Christmas!
-Ty & Charity
Monday, December 24, 2007
not that I don't enjoy church, but wow did tonight ever leave an impact on my heart. sure every church does their candle light & carols service...but tonight was really something special. maybe it was the fact that Charity played her flute while I was leading the worship team. maybe it was just the fact of seeing our church auditorium packed. maybe it was because my mom and dad came to church tonight. maybe it was just the fact that tonight people gathered because they wanted to...not because it's just what you do on sunday as a Christian to look good.
tonight people came to church because somehow, deep down inside of them there is this twinge that tells them a church is where they should be. some glimmer of hope in our culture that church is still relevant. that the importance of Christ is still there!
tonight was about hope. and wow was it a great night. our candle-lighting song tonight was the song "Go Light Your World" by Chris Rice. So as we sung this song my wife lit the first candle and then walked through the rest of the auditorium to light others' candles. what an awesome sight to see. Have a listen for yourself:
(the video has some random German words at the beginning and end...but since the song is really what I want you to hear...then it shouldn't be a problem!)
what a song! what a night. i pray that for any of you out there who went to a Christmas eve service tonight that you were equally blessed as I was. what an amazing God we serve that he humbled himself to come to earth as a baby! to be our saviour!
Friday, December 21, 2007
This is a Rant!
Last Friday I took our Sr. High students to Bright Nights in Stanley Park. This is where you can board their miniature train to be taken around approximately one million lights all displayed in the trees. This is always a holiday favourite with many families in the Vancouver area. I remember going on this train many times growing up...and even one of my great friends proposed to his now wife on the train. But something was really missing...
I'm sitting here in a coffee shop with pictures of reindeer's throwing snowballs at each other on the windows. There are snowpeople sitting on shelves, while there is a tree tightly put into the corner of the store. But something is really missing..
The malls are decorated with every thing possible to celebrate the holidays. Signs are everywhere wishing us Happy Holidays, teetering on the edge of trying to be culturally sensitive. But I hope to not step foot in another mall until well after the rush of shoppers are gone. Yet something is still missing...
And so I am reminded of a song...a song by a man who asked a very good questions over 30 years ago. "So this is Christmas?" John Lennon penned these words back in the 1971. And I find myself singing this song recently asking the same question. "So this is Christmas?" I haven't found myself all too festive or cheery in these days leading up to December 25th. I don't know why, but this year I've found myself to be far more introspective towards this topic. I've watched way too many news reports on schools no longer even saying the "C" word during the Holidays. They have "winter fest pageants" at their schools now.
And I'm left here wondering what has become of Christmas? Do we blame the media? No...our culture is simply a mirror of what we live out. We've all done this...and even us as Christians who are so afraid of saying the wrong thing. Even if someone finds the words Merry Christmas offensive, I'd hope they rather hear someone saying that then F**K. Get the point?
I think the hardest thing to hear is that people do fine Christmas offensive. What confuses me is that Christmas is about love and hope coming to the world through a little child. Can I ask where the offense is taken? Was it the love part? The hope part? The little child part? I really hope we as followers of Jesus...that child born in a manger 2000 years ago, realize the message we have is far from offensive. It is the greatest story to ever be told...a story that has the power to radically change lives. A story about love, hope, joy, peace; things that our world is so desperately longing for. Again I ask you...where is the offense in those things?
So someone please let me know where Christmas went? Maybe there is still some hope. Maybe under the dim light of candles as we gather on Christmas Eve...maybe somehow through that we'll see where Christmas went...and where we need to go to find it again?
So this is Christmas?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Here's a little write-up about what an ENFJ looks like:
"ENFJs are people-focused individuals. They live in the world of people possibilities. More so than any other type, they have excellent people skills. They understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others. ENFJ's main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. They are focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others. They make things happen for people, and get their best personal satisfaction from this."
It's crazy how accurate that statement is about me! So try this thing for yourself and see what it says about you!
(ht to Marko)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Case in Point:
Last Wednesday I was hanging out with 3 guys from our bible study. We were sitting outside under the umbrella's and propane heaters and I get this idea:
me: wouldn't it be great if we could roast marshmallow's under these things?
student: that would be kinda fun.
me: maybe even we could make s'mores if we went and got the stuff across the street at Shoppers since it's open 24/7.
student: we're going to go get the stuff.
student: yup...(at this point 2 students are running over to purchase the stuff)
5 minutes later they come back and we "cut down" some twigs from the leafless trees to use as roasting sticks and spend the next half-hour roasting our marshmallow's using Starbucks' propane heaters and made some really delicious s'mores!
And so from that point on we have coined the term "s'morebucking" and it has become our post-Wednesday Bible Study activity!
Thanks Corbin, Nate & Josh for the fun night!
These are the days when I seriously love being in Youth Ministry!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I went to the mall this morning to pick up some dollar-store wrapping paper. I ended up getting four of the same rolls for a dollar each. (this is one of those dollar stores where things actually only cost a dollar...not a dollar "or more".)
Anyways, while I was waiting in line there was this elderly lady standing no more than 4 1/2 feet tall at the counter buying bingo dabbers. Now normally this wouldn't be a cause to blog...but when I looked at the brand name of the bingo dabbers they were labeled "OH S**T". Of course without the asterisks.
Now, I'm not a fan of gambling to begin with so I'm not going to try to sound in support of bingo...but why in our culture do we have to take something as innocent as an inanimate object meant to put a circle of ink on a piece of paper and then write a profanity across the front. I don't know if this grand-ma knew what was written on the front or not (she might just have bought the first dabber she saw.) But none the less, there it was written on the dabber.
Now I'll be the first to say that I have used a profane word at some point in the recent past, and that I am in no way trying to be hypocritical...but why as a culture do we allow these things to be printed on labels etc...in plain sight of children! Is there any wonder why our culture seems to be in moral decay? Not simply because of bingo dabbers...but because of an exodus away from the teachings of the Bible.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by human beings, but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:5-9)So may we all be challenged by these words today. I know that I am not the only one out there who may need to swallow hard these words from Scripture! And please, if you're ever buying a bingo dabber...try to get one that is a little less profane!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
It was one of those days today where I just had to realize that my agenda is not as important as God's agenda. Twice today we had people walk through our church door in search of some help (shelter, food, etc...) with temperatures getting colder, and stomach's getting even more hungry we see many people walking through our church doors. and why not...aren't we as followers of Christ told to take care of the poor?
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (Prov. 14:31)
Even here in Walnut Grove (a very upper-middle class town) we see so many people broke, lost, hungry, and searching for help. It overwhelms my heart that God has called me to a place where I am not just a Youth Pastor but someone called to offer help and hope to these people.
It's hard when I hear stories of some people taking our gift cards and re-selling them outside the grocery store for half of their face value...but does that mean I stop giving them out? It's tough because I know many of the people I give them to do use them legitimately. I just have to trust God that what I am doing is right...and to not worry what they do with them.
So today, please pray for Randy and his son, and the two nameless ladies who dropped by today for some help. May they find more than help this Christmas...may they find hope. And we are those that God has entrusted to share the hope...the hope of Jesus.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
At around 10:45am a man named Barry walked through the front doors of our church and asked to speak with a Pastor. Seeing as I'm the only Pastor right now he walked into my office where we were just finishing our weekly staff meeting with our secretary and one of our elders.
Barry obviously has been hurt by people and the church in the past. He spoke about how Christians are the only group of people who would shoot their own wounded. How we don't honestly and authentically care for the poor, neglected, hurting, outcast etc... He mentioned that he hadn't stepped foot in a church in 10 years and likely won't step back into a church for another 10 years. But how amazing that God brought him into my church for 15 minutes. What guts that must have taken him to do that!
Barry continued to share for a few more minutes and then Tom (the elder from staff meeting) and I prayed for him. We gave him our business cards so that he'd have our phone numbers to call us back. He didn't want to give us any of his contact information...so we just said we really hope to meet again and grab a coffee together.
This may be wacky theology...but it's in those moments where I am reminded of "Emmanuel" God With Us. That sometimes these hurting, lonely people that walk through my church door open my eyes and heart to the very fact that God is in the hurting, lonely people...and that God is with us.
"Whatever you do for the least of these...you have done for me" Matt. 25:40
I hope I get to see Barry again soon. I hope that our conversation has warmed his heart to see that if anything he has found two new friends that care for him, love him, and who desire nothing more than for him to re-discover Jesus...Emmanuel...God With Us.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Tonight was great. More talk about rest. About honouring the Sabbath and keeping it holy. If we're still supposed to obey the 10 Commandments why is it that we so often forget the one about keep the Sabbath... It is so amazing to see how God has weaved that thread through so much of what has been shared today.
So you'll probably hear more from me about this idea of keeping the Sabbath. But for right now I'm going to finish this blog post and then head off to bed. First I'll have to walk 5 blocks in the cold & snow. Someone invent human teleportation for me!
Life is good.
Two great things so far from his morning.
1) It started snowing again!
2) I had a great coffee with Marv Penner.
Man is it great sometimes to just sit down with godly people and share openly where your life is at. It was only 30 minutes, but the depth of conversation was so life-impacting. Pray for Marv and his wife Lois. They could really use a fresh breath of God is their lives right now. And nothing beats having such a great guy speak wise words into your heart. Thanks buddy!
Another great thing that I found this morning was a Starbucks that serves breakfast sandwiches! No doubt for me where I'm grabbing breakfast tomorrow morning! WOO HOO.
Well I figure at some point I should go sit down in the general session and learn something.
Thanks for reading...