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Monthly Archives: December 2007

i’ve been listening to a good bit of dylan lately. here’s a great track, ‘what can i do for you?’ from the ‘saved’ LP.

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two parts that really resonate with me are:

Pulled me out of bondage and You made me renewed inside,
Filled up a hunger that had always been denied,
Opened up a door no man can shut and You opened it up so wide
And You’ve chosen me to be among the few.
What can I do for You?

and,

You have given all there is to give.
What can I do for You?
You have given me life to live.
How can I live for You?

Jesus says in the gospels, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy i have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 

this theme of “having life”, IS, in my opinion, the gospel. we are living, yes, but in order to experience REAL life we must come to Christ and be liberated from all that is holding us back from living as God intended. from being fully human. we are told that the theif “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” the theif comes to destroy life. to respond to Jesus, and allow him to bring you home (so to speak), is to escape from destruction and LIVE. it IS to be fully human. if one cannot find it in themselves to follow Christ (be it for fear or pride or whatever else), then they cannot experience life to the full. they cannot know what it is like to actually LIVE as they were intended to live.

the gospel is about reconciliation. it is about redemption. it is about being lost and then being found. it is about being far off in a distant land and being brought home.

i met with a friend recently who is struggling with his faith (not that any of us at any point are above this!). he has questions about God and evil (naturally, as we all do) and he has problems with the church. now none of these are new problems. for heavens sake, people have been wrestling with these kinds of questions for millenia! however, he said one thing that struck me, he said something along the lines of, “i don’t know if i’m ready to give 100% of myself to God. there are things that i still want to experience.” this naturally lead into a discussion about Christ calling us to die before we can live. a discussion about denying oneself to experience life. and he explained to me that he didn’t know if he wanted to do that just yet.

this i think is the problem. not the fact that he has questions (because honestly, who doesn’t?), but the fact that he doesn’t want to die. and i can see this in his life. i can see the grips of a worldview that is not of Christ.

so we talked briefly about the gospel being about reconciliation and life. pray that this young man’s hesitation leads him straight to Christ. may he bring his questions and frustrations to the Lord, and may God give him the courage to die, so that he can live to the full.

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i found jose calderon’s blog and it is quite funny. he addresses everything from what the practices are like to what it’s like to have jessica alba in the ACC and not have her come visit (although the actor who plays mini-me came for a visit).

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there has been a drastic turn of events in the war on christmas. steven colbert should like this one.

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continuing on with the topic of celebrity blogs, i have found mahmoud ahmadinejad’s (the president of iran) blog. he wishes everyone a merry christmas.

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here’s an interesting article from the star that talks about how the shootings in colorado this past weekend “highlights church security.” what struck me as strange was the attitude of the security guard from new life church. Jeanne Assam had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and it sounds as if she was ex-military.

Some of the U.S.’s estimated 1,200 megachurches – places where more than 2,000 worshippers gather each week – have been quietly beefing up security in recent years, even using armed guards to protect the faithful.

Beefed up security to “protect the faithful”?!

The security plan at New Life Church may seem extraordinary. The church’s volunteer security force is stocked with people with military or law enforcement experience, they carry radios and weapons, and there are evacuation plans for hustling worshippers into “secure zones” in an emergency.

Why are they carrying weapons that can kill? who do they need protection from? how does this fit in with what Paul says: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing…Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened’,” (1 Pet. 3:9, 13-14). 

How about what Jesus says: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell,” (Mt. 10:28).

This story is really kind of confusing to me. Some of the details, along with things that Assam was quoted as saying, don’t sit quite well. here are a few.

Assam, the security guard, had attended the church’s early service at 9 a.m., then stood watch in the rotunda of the busy church lobby as the second service was getting out. There, she confronted the gunman, who managed to slay two sisters and wound three others before she shot him to death.

was it necessary to shoot him to death? how does this type of action fit in with the teachings of Christ in the gospels?

At a news conference yesterday, Assam said that she prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide her, and that her hands never shook. “It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God,” Assam said.

this really worries me. she prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide her hands as she shot a young, confused man to death? is this the business that the Holy Spirit is into? is she kidding herself? what the heck are people being taught in churches these days? how does this vibe with Jesus telling us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek? what about that scripture that Paul wrote about not having fear and repaying evil with blessing? is a bullet a blessing?

this was such a tragic day in colorado. but this young man was not evil beyond redemption. i’m just left wondering if he had to lose his life and if this was a good response from the church?

thoughts?

today i went to a luncheon at our lady of grace parish here in aurora. it was really neat. i got to have a delicious lunch (and i mean delicious! we have a some kind of beef loin that was stuffed with goodness, with these great potatoes, brocolli, gravy and this dessert that looked way too good to even eat!) with a number of local pastors from a variety of theological backgrounds. there was myself from the pentecostal church, 2 pastors from the host catholic church, and 1 pastor each from the anglican, baptist and united churches. it was really neat to gather together with nothing on our agenda but to get to know one another better and chat. i’m glad i went because i found out about a number of things that are happening in the community for poor. i’m really hoping that we can get involved in that.

that kind of leads me into a bit of a sidenote. in my experience, one of the weaknesses with the PAOC is the hesitancy of the pastors to get involved with other churches and things that are already going on in the community. in my experience, PAOC pastors seem to think that they are theologically superior to pastors from other denominations. in addtion, rather than getting involved in a soup kitchen that is being run by the united and anglican church, a PAOC pastor would tend to want to start up their own soup kitchen.

again, i realize that i am generalizing here but this just seems to be much of what i’ve experienced in the PAOC.

my thinking is that the PAOC are not the only truthbearers in the community. rather, where there is Jesus, there is Truth (captial ‘T’), because Jesus IS Truth (Truth as person rather than right understanding of concepts). and it would seem to me, that if there are hungry people being fed, then Jesus is probably present, so why not get involved in that? light is light. right?

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last night i went to see the raptors take on the suns with jon gordon. first of all, any evening with jon gordon is a treat because his sense of humor and honesty really turns my crank. secondly, it was the highest scoring game i’ve ever attended with a final score of 136-123 in favour of the visitors. the raptors certainly didn’t have any problem scoring (despite the fact that they were without both bosh and bargnani). however, their defense (or lack thereof) was horrendous. jon and myself were repulsed at the number of open shots the raps gave the suns. it bordered on rediculous. barbosa must have had at least 5 wide open 3’s for the suns (all of which he made). all in all, a fun night.

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this past summer we at momentum did a week long mission trip to toronto where we served alongside urbanpromise toronto. yesterday i met with matt janes from STM network to chat about more STM (short-term missions) trips we could do in the summer of 2008 and again in 2009. so lots of exciting stuff there.

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the jetta is giving christina and i trouble. not good. but we’re thankful we have a car.

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christina and i leave for HERE in like a week (dec. 16). it will be amazing to get away for a week and relax. we’re obviously both PSYCHED for this trip!

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i feel like i’m learning more about God as time goes on. yet i still feel like i’m no where near ACTUALLY knowing him. but i feel like i’m home. i feel like for a long time i was away, lost, and now he’s led me home. what a nice feeling.