Friday, April 28, 2006

Fun videos

We had a blast watching different fun videos and commercials that people had brought on their laptops. I went looking for one of them to download and found this fun website. Check it out...

Shout out to the Boys in Blue

...and I'm not talking about the police...or the smurfs. Nope, this shout out goes to my Edmonton Oilers. They may have lot to Detroit last night but they're still fighting through these playoffs and are sitting pretty with the series tied 2-2 as they head back to Detroit. I'm proud of the boys!

Venture teams...The return

I'm baaaaaaaaack...

I just got back from spending a week at the VTI training facility. What a week!! First off, we're out of cell phone range, there's no TV and the internet is pretty much non-existent. The internet part bugged me at first but I soon realized how peaceful this can be! We're in the foothills about an hour outside of Calgary and the weather is fantastic. There's fresh air and sunshine all around. Best of all, though, was the people. It's amazing to me how quickly it can become family when you're with a bunch of fellow Christians!

Here's some highlights:

Karyn who became pretty much like a sister to me. Love that girl!!
Spending time with Marilyn laughing, praying and loving our Edmonton Oilers!
Lots of time in worship and prayer.
One very ridiculous volleyball game. All I have to say is WOW!
Dustin...thanks for the chats!
Bonita. Need I say more?!
The food. They fed us like royalty...mmmm....
Sunset last night. God is so good!
Lindsay fall down the hill.
Falling up the hill.
Sleeping in.
More time for prayer and worship. What a good reminder to make that central!
Hearing the stories of the lives and ministries of the VTI folk. This is one special bunch of people. Each VTI team member, staff member or ministry rep contributed to a great week. Thanks!

So I'm glad I went and I am encouraged.

Here's one of the things that I was blessed by this week, a statement from Crystelle as we were discussing our futures and I pointed out that I long to be on the frontlines of ministry. She said, "Just recently, I was told by a man at one of our stops that unless I wanted to be on the frontlines myself, I could never be a good recruiter." Hmmm. I don't know how long I will be a recruiter for ABC but for as long as I am, I will use my passion for ministry to fuel my "recruiting gas tanks." Each student that I can advocate for and bring to the college, is another student who is being equipped to do kingdom work.

Monday, April 24, 2006

from Erma Bombeck

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me”.

from James Houston

When our lives are focused on God, awe and wonder lead us toworship God, filling our inner being with a fullness we wouldnever have thought possible. Awe prepares the way in us for thepower of God to transform us and this transformation of ourinner attitudes can only take place when awe leads us in turn towonder, admiration, reverence, surrender, and obedience towardGod.

Venture Teams International

That's where I'll be spending my week. I'm looking forward to hearing the stories of the teams that have been travelling and serving. Plus, my friend Mariyn from PRBI, a fellow Oiler fan, will be there. Maybe we'll be roomies!

Friday, April 21, 2006

On Worship

"Here is what I've started thinking; All the wonder of God happens right above our arithmetic and formula. The more I climb outside my pat answers, the more invigorating the view, the more my heart enters into worship." (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, pp.203)

Mighty Duckies

While I in no way endorse the lyrics of this song or in any way want to be connected with the Calgary Flames, this song is great! Listen to the Mighty Duckies!

Ready for Round 1

So the battle for playoff spots is done, the matchups are decided and games start tonight. Here's how it settled out:

Eastern Conference
Ottawa vs. Tampa Bay
Carolina vs. Montreal
New Jersey vs. New York Rangers
Buffalo vs. Philadelphia

Western Conference
Calgary vs. Aneheim
Dallas vs. Colorado
Nashville vs. San Jose
Edmonton vs. Detroit

Game 1 - Friday, April 21, 7pm et, Oilers @ Red Wings

Game 2 - Sunday, April 23, 1pm et, Oilers @ Red Wings

Game 3 - Tuesday, April 25, 10pm et, Red Wings @ Oilers

Game 4 - Thursday, April 27, 9:30 pm et, Red Wings @ Oilers

Game 5 - Saturday, April 29, 3pm et, Oilers @ Red Wings

Game 6 - Monday, May 1, TBD, Red Wings @ Oilers

Game 7 - Wednesday, May 3, 7pm et, Oilers @ Red Wings

Time for some hockey, boys! Wings for dinner!!

That explains it!

I tell you, if you are serious about wanting to be like Christ, He is going to put you in circumstances where your only true choice is to become like Him.
~Francis Frangipane~

A little bit of encouragement

This was sent to me in an email today. It's funny how sometimes people who don't know what's going on in life can still be such an encouragement!

2 Corinthians 9:8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The meaning of life

Here's another cartoon speaking on the meaning of life. I hope that advice was worth the climb. I still think we need to aim a little bit higher.

Live in Concert...

Amanda Falk is coming to town with, oh, I don't know, some guy...what's his name? Drew Brown. That's it. With his "fresh dose of alternative/acoutsit, guitar driven arrangements." I don't know what that means.

Anyway, I really like Amanda Falk. I've heard her live before. She writes all of her own stuff, is a great musician with a great passion for God. Did I mention that she's won a juno? Worth an evening out, that's for sure. Here's where you can find her:
  • april 23 - 10am - North Calgary Community Church
  • april 23 - 7pm - Dalhousie Community Church
  • april 24 - 7pm - First Assembly
  • april 26 - 7pm - First Lutheran Church of Calgary.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

This is no longer a question just for 5 year olds...or the college students I work with. This is legitimately my question lately. Let me tell you, it's a lot easier to figure this out for someone else!!

I told my sister this weekend (in a rather random moment) that I want to be a race car driver when I grow up. I do...kind of. The bigger question is what do I really want to be when I grow up?

Here's some of the things that have been making me ask this:
  1. Having a head on collision with the farm girl in me this weekend. Do I ever miss the wide open spaces, playing in the dirt, work hard for what you do, have pets in the backyard without worrying about what they shed in the carpet kind of life! What kind of job can I do that would bring me back to that?!
  2. Realizing that my 10 year high school reunion is just around the corner and wondering what I've done with those 10 years as compared to my classmates. I don't want to have wasted 10 years and I definitely don't want to set myself up for wasting another 10!!
  3. The knowledge that this job won't last me forever. Eventually I'm going to get old (yikes!) and there will come a time when high school students won't be drawn to me or want to take my advice and college students won't want to hang out with me. What do I do then!!??
  4. Finances...a girl can't live this close to broke forever!
  5. A sense of "holy discontent," as I call it, about where I'm currently at. I'm just feeling a general restlessness that leads me to believe that there is something more for me, that something needs to change. I feel like there's better ways for me to use more of my gifts. I believe that there are more things for me to serve in and more learning for me to do. I believe that change is good and godly (that's why it's holy discontent). That said, maybe it's not a change of outward position but of my heart's position.

So here's the thing. I'm ready for God to do something new in my life. I'm ready for change. If it means going back to school, I'm ready to go back to school. I'm ready to take another step toward being what I'm supposed to be when I grow up - an that's not just job stuff!! I want to figure out what it is that I enjoy and, even more, what I'm truly passionate about. I'm not sure what that looks like but I'm trusting that God will open my eyes to the next step on this path...and keep impatient me from getting too frustrated along the way!!


Congrats to my cousin, Crystal, and Em on their engagement! We should be hearing wedding bells in the summer of 2007.

Love ya both!

That Settles It!

I didn't realize how much I rely on being connected via the internet until I spent some time without it. Phew. How do you post on a blog, for example, when you're not on the internet!?

If I would have been able to post on Friday, here's what I would have said (among other things. I'll catch up eventually, I promise) :

Last night (remember, this is what I would have said on Friday), the Oilers - finally-clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 2-1 win over Anaheim and aided by a Vancouver loss to San Jose. I am a happy lady!

My condolences and gratitude goes to all Vancouver fans. I wish it could be different...really...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

For the Busy: Cooking Ahead

I love to cook. It's one of my favorite things to do. My Grandmas are both great cooks. My mom is a great cook. I grew up in the church and on the farm where potlucks are a staple of life and most of the women are good cooks. I'd like to say that I, too, am a good cook.

Here's where the "but" comes in though. I'm single - and it's no fun to cook for just me - and I'm busy with my job - obviously still working on how to make the best use of my time some days. I don't always have the desire or time to cook a good meal, a problem compounded by the fact that I'm not good at cooking for one and so I end up eating the same thing for weeks. I like to eat a good meal though. It's important to me to eat healthy. Apparently I'm not the only one who has this dilemma. I was reading an article today that talked about freezing quantities. It sounds like a good idea, in theory. I do it occasionally. The writer says to just look up "freezer cooking" for websites that give recipes and tips to make it work. Perhaps it's time to give it a try...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spring has sprung!

Know how I know? I've had my first slurpee of the year that didn't make my brain freeze or need mittens to hold AND I drove in my first major rainstorm (that's right, rainstorm, not blizzard!) of the year coming home the other night. Plus, I don't need a blanket in my office!! That's right!

Y'all probably thought I was going to say something brilliant or profound like the first tulip bulbs bursting with color in my yard or new life springing forth in the form of new baby calves or bunnies or something. Nope...slurpees, rain storms and blanket free days ahead!

Another One of My Favorite Folks

Me and my little buddy! Look how cute he is!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A change in the wind

"...I will love God because he first loved me. I will obey God because I love God. But if I cannot accept God's love, I cannot love Him in return, and I cannot obey Him. will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God's love will. The ability to accept God's unconditional grace and ferocious love is all the fuel we need to obey Him in return;. Accepting God's kindness and free love is something the devil does not want us to do. If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to cinvince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness, He changes our character with the passion of His love" (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, pg. 86).

A Few of My Favorite Folks

Just a few of us - Emerge 2006.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Chronicles of Narnia

We're going to view "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" with Journey and we're inviting friends.

Chronicles of Narnia official Disney site

Coming down to the wire

Okay, so about using time well, it's time for my boys (the Oilers, of course) to do the same thing! I'm not sure if they're aware of this but there's not a boat load of games left in the regular season and there's a little bit of a battle going on for the last playoff spots in the Western Conference...just a little battle.

Vancouver beat Calgary tonight to tie with San Jose for the final spot, both teams only two points behind Edmonton. It was another one of those games where I was torn - I almost wanted Calgary to win to keep Vancouver a little bit further back but it's so hard to hope for that!

Let's go for a win again St.Louis tomorrow night, boys. I'm still hoping for a playoff run!

To keep up with the boys, check out the NHL Standings on TSN

Time Marches On

I was told not that long ago that you can't make time, save time, preserve time or otherwise manage time. You can only use time. In fact, the whole concept of controlling time is a completely western idea. We seem to somehow think that we have some sense of mastery over time. In reality, we only have control over the choices that we make in how to use the 24 hours that we've got in any one day period.

We don't make time, we make priorities.


I struggle with this a lot and find myself wishing that I could have more hours in a day. The reality is that more hours would probably just make me more tired as I found more ways to "do" more things. How would that help, really?

What I've been working on lately, especially after reading Mark Buchanan's book on the Sabbath (a highly recommended read, by the way), is how to make wise priorities and use my time well. What are the things that are important to me? How to I want to use the time I have?

Here's how it goes. If I say that I really think that doing my laundry today is important and that I think that going to the gym is a priority but instead spend all day at work, come home exhausted and flop on the couch to watch TV, what does that say about where my priorities really are?

I'm trying to think of time as a resource. What's the term they used in social studies, probably in elementary school? An unreplenishable resource. Sort of like all the oil that Alberta is sitting on. We think we've got a ton of it - and right now it seems like we do - so we just keep using it up. Once we use it though, it's gone. It can never be replaced. Time's the same way.

So here's my plan. I want to call my momma more. Listen to good music. Spend time in good books and chatting with good people. I want to pray more, memorize and meditate on Scripture and journal more. I want to spend less time in my office, but work hard, and more time outside, to play hard. I want to smell the roses and enjoy. I want to fill my days in such a way that if someone were to watch me for a day, they would know exactly what things are important to me. I want to use my time well and make priorities that count.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Revolution of Love

Here's a thought provoking article I found (I thought I could just link to this but it was in an email so no dice.):

The following is an excerpt from The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World (RELEVANT Books), releasing April 4.

As I began to write an introduction for The Revolution, every cable news channel is on overdrive, fixated on one thing: the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina after the Category 4 storm slammed into America's Deep South. Hours and hours of footage air throughout the day, mobilizing viewers to help those affected by devastating flooding. Meanwhile, pundits pontificate about our government's willingness (or perceived lack thereof) to help the mostly poor, black population stranded in a watery wasteland. Floods of money pour into major charities' coffers from generous citizens. First responders and socially conscious journalists flock to the scene. And compassionate folks everywhere lament the tragedy.

Every season has its Katrina-like disasters—some natural, some man-made. From hurricanes and terrorist strikes to the quieter, perpetual disasters like hunger, AIDS and human trafficking, societal ills of all kinds are ever-present and great. But greater is the love that can overcome these ills. If God is love, and if we are made in His image and likeness, surely there is enough love in this world to wipe away every tear that falls from the eyes of those afflicted by pain, hunger, war or some other misery.

But how do we collectively tap into that love? What are the ways, both broad and specific, that we can address human strife, human need? And what barriers often stand in the way of us doing so?

In all the ruminating I've done, I've come to some basic conclusions about myself and, perhaps to a certain extent, my generation when it comes to charity:

We're quick to respond, but also quick to forget.
Our generation is moved by intense, dramatic displays of horror and injustice—and we may be willing to open up a vein and start giving until we're drained of all our blood ... for a few days, anyway. Then the memory fades as quickly as our favorite cable news network jumps to another set of news alerts, and for us, life soon moves on to more exciting things.

We're media-moved people.
A movie vividly depicts genocide, and we're immediately online as soon as the credits roll, making a donation to We see coverage of a terrorist attack unravel on cable TV, and we head to our blogs to post supportive banners. A poignant series on famine in a foreign country has us ready to board a plane with suitcases full of food. Individual crises that become media sensations compel us—but everyday, perennial tragedies like international hunger or poverty simmer quietly in our social subconscious.

We will give freely—as long as doesn't hurt.
We are heartened by outings to serve meals at homeless shelters—especially when we can enjoy a fine dinner at a posh restaurant afterward (if you think I'm making this up, I'm not—I've seen it happen). Like the law-abiding rich young man in Matthew 19 who wanted to do "good," we struggle to give up our own comfort to heed the call of Christ; we're constantly looking for easy and/or indulgent ways to give. But as Mother Teresa said, "I hope you are not giving only your surplus. You must give what costs you, make a sacrifice, go without something you like, that your gift may have some value before God. Then you will be truly brothers and sisters to the poor who are deprived of even the things they need."

We don't have time.
We're hyper-scheduled and overbooked, working 60, 70, even 80 hours a week to bring home the proverbial bacon. All this work leaves little time for band practice, book clubs, sporting events, church meetings and classes. Oh, and, of course, "me" time. To quote from the VeggieTales' "Good Samaritan" cartoon, "We're busy, busy, dreadfully busy. You've no idea what we have to do. Busy, busy, shockingly busy. Much, much too busy for you."

We've got baggage.
Our hearts and minds are burdened by internal conflict. We feel the guilt of living in varying degrees of comfort while our peers half a world away dress in rags and eat little more than dust. It's hard to reconcile our comfortable lives here in America to the lives of those we serve—uneducated people born and raised in poverty, who refuse to depart from what we see as self-destructive, ill-informed lifestyles and don't want to be "saved"; people who will gladly take a handout but don't make any effort to positively change their lives for the long haul.

We're conflicted idealists with cynical alter egos.
We center a lot of our beliefs about how Christians should treat others on the "social gospel" proclaimed by Christ in Matthew 25, yet we can't help but wonder what Christ meant when He said, "The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me" (Matt. 26:11, TNIV). And we can't quite reconcile that teaching with the goals of most international anti-poverty campaigns that would eradicate poverty—and actively plan to do so.

There is a revolution that must take place. It is a personal revolution, a communal revolution; above all, it is what Mother Teresa once called a "revolution of love." Instead of relying on anger, bitterness and even violence to spur action to bring about change, we—militants of this revolution of love—use heavenly, God-ordained weapons of charity, love, peace and willful self-sacrifice to serve others using the richness of our talents, knowing that even though only God can eradicate all the world's ills in His time, while we're here on this earth, we can each fulfill His ultimate command to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Heather Zydek is the editor of The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World (RELEVANT Books), featuring a foreword by Jim Wallis and 12 essays by leading social activists. She is also the editor of the The Revolution page at

Emerge 2006...Come Thirsty!

I keep forgetting to put this up here. Here's where there's pictures posted from the open house event at the college (aka baby):

Such sweet solace

So I've discovered the perfect evening to soothe the wounds of a lousy day at the office (and yesterday certainly was!!). Home by 7, cup of tea, the championship match of NCAA tournament (even though Florida won, and, Noah, their post, had a great-no fantastic- game, I think that he's a creepy looking goon! *shudder*), reading some more of "Memoirs of a Geisha," and finishing it all off with an episode of 24. Too bad the tournament only comes once a year!

Perhaps the NHL will provide the same joy for me!

The gators savor their win!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Final Four...

Go George Mason Go!!!

Who would have thought!?