Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Parting is such sweet sorrow

I have to confess, this parting has nothing to do with sweet but everything to do with sorrow. While rumoured, I don't think anyone in the NHL world thought this could possibly happen. Smytty, my dear Ryan Smyth, proud wearer of the blue and gold for 12 years, fan favorite and team leader, was traded today to the New York Islanders. Traded. To the Islanders.

Following today’s trade, Oilers General Manager, Kevin Lowe said, and I quote from an email straight from the team, “I want to be very clear that making this trade today is a hockey decision. It was not financial. The CBA we operate with in the NHL today means you need to have a sound hockey strategy and stick to it. Today we turned a page for sure – but this is not as much about the Oilers today, but what we continue to do as part of an overall plan. Our decision is about the direction we want to take and the opportunities we have today and tomorrow with the brilliant young players we have acquired and those we have in the organization. I want everyone to know that our decision was much more to do with a plan than a reaction. Ryan is taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our opportunity is to have a sound strategy for the future.I would also like to say that Ryan Smyth has contributed a great deal over 12 seasons here in Edmonton. He should be thanked for his contribution on the ice and in the community.”

Oilers President and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick LaForge added “While on the one hand some Oilers fans might be distressed that this trade was made today, I want those same fans to be assured that the Oilers will use these excellent young players and our own deep pool of young talent in a new plan for this team. We can afford to spend the money necessary to have the kind of elite players expected. This was about the Oilers staying true to a plan. I know our hockey strategy is sound.”

Can I point out that that's a fancy way of covering up the fact that they couldn't come to a deal and, remembering the fan outcry in situations like, say, Gretzky, Messier, and, more recently, Pronger, had to come up with some official way to hopefully smooth the ice (no pun intended) and make it sound like this was intentional move that will one day (somewhere in the far, far future) actually benefit the team?! Of course. Say it's "strategy."

If you haven't read that yet, I'm not happy about this. I'm sad to see Smytty go. What can I say!? Do I think that it was a move that shows that they've given up on this season? Likely. Do I think there's hope for the years to come? Maybe. I sure hope so. As they say, they're a young team with potential. To be fair, Smytty came to us as a young guy too.
All I know is that Kevin Lowe et al better be sleeping with one eye open for the next little while. I'm expecting fans in Edmonton to get a little nasty over the whole thing.
And, 9 points back from 8th spot, we better see some of those young guys step up quick. Hemsky? Pisani? Come on boys!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Wisdom from a Starbucks Cup

There are many times when dancing is the most unsupportable, ridiculous, unexpected and necessary action. Life should be spent finding those moments and tap dancing through them.
-- Christopher Hermelin

I believe that peace lies within the small and the magnificent. Born in blades of grass, living in golden sunlight, filtering through dusty shadows that whisper of tinkling piano keys. Growing in the quiet that can be found in a world that is never silent, and dying in the abandon that comes after the rain, only to be born again. Search and you will find beauty.
-- Sonya Kitchell

That's all. Might need another stop at St.Arbucks to find some more. Oh the sacrifices I make...

A Prayer

A coworker sent this to me this morning:

I pray for Thy Spirit to enter me and fill me completely.
I pray for Thy Kingdom to come in earth as it is in Heaven.
I pray for my will to become completely and utterly Thy will.
I pray for my actual needs to be met by the right supply, in the right way and at the right time.
I pray for the right persons to come into my life, at the right time and in the right way.
I pray for the right ideas to come to me in perfect sequence and in perfect order in the right time and in the right way.
I pray for my deepest soul’s sincere desire to be fulfilled in the right time and in the right way.

Marva Dawn, The Sense of the Call

“In a nutshell, the sense of our call is that God’s Kingdom reclaims us, revitalizes us, and renews us and thus reigns through us before others, on behalf of others, sometimes in spite of others, and always with others.”

Thursday, February 22, 2007


A decisive win for the boys. 4-0. A shut out for Rolli. Granted it was against Columbus but, at this point in the season, I'll take it!
Here's hoping that it's the start of something good and not just an anomaly!

It's coming....

Emerge, that is. It's ABC's open house. It's my baby, really. I've got a team of students I work with to put the thing together. The last two years have been fabulous (if I do say so myself) but I still find myself struggling with something near panic in the week prior...which is where I'm at. Inevitably, some ball has been bobbled a little. Not dropped, just bobbled. I'm pretty good at problem solving and working on the fly but I also feel the weight of outside expectations...and my own. I realize that I will never make everyone happy but sometimes it would be nice if those who aren't happy would just shut up. Really. That said, I am looking forward to it. Like I said, the last two years have been great both for connecting with students from outside and for community building here. It's just fun. It's not that far away.

This World is Not Enough

A quote from the great Huston Smith...my confession is that I stole it from John and Angie's blog because I loved it that much!

"There is within us - even in the blithest, most lighthearted among us - a fundamental dis-ease. This desire lies in the marrow of our bones and deep in the regions of our soul. All great literature, poetry, art, philosophy, psychology and religion tries to name and analyze this longing. We are seldom in direct touch with it, and indeed the modern world seems set on preventing us from getting in touch with it by covering it with entertainments, obsessions and distractions of every sort. But the longing is there, built into us like a jack-in-the-box that presses for release. Whether we realize it or not, simply to be human is to long for release from mundane existence with its confining walls o finitude and mortality. The Good news. . .is that longing can be fulfilled!

Monday, February 19, 2007

I think...

I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes.


Yancey on Faith

"Doubt is the skeleton in the closet of faith, and I know no better way to treat a skeleton than to bring it into the open and expose it for what it is: not something to hide or fear, but a hard structure on which living tissue may grow..."I don't know how the kind of faith required of a Christian living in the 20th century can be at all if it is not grounded on the experience of unbelief," wrote novelist Flannery O'Connor to a friend."Peter said, 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.' It is the most natural and most human and most agonizing prayer in the gospels, and I think it is the foundation prayer of faith" (pg. 41).*

"Truth that does not set free is not truth" (pg 45).

"Churches that leave room for mystery, that do not pretend to spell out what God himself has not spelled out, create an environment most conducive to worship...we lean on God out of need, not out of surplus" (pg. 47).

"Faith means striking out, with no clear end in sight and perhaps even no clear view of the next step...faith is reason gone courageous" (pg. 47).

"In magic, people try to get the gods to perform their will, while in religion people try to conform to the will of the gods. Christian faith means conforming to the will of God whatever it may mean" (pg 52).

"Faith offers the option of continuing to trust God even while accepting the limits of our humanity, which means accepting that we cannot answer the "Why?" questions" (pg 56).

"A faithful person sees life from the perspective of trust, not fear" (pg 65).

"Jean-Pierre de Caussade..."A living faith is nothing else than a steadfast pursuit of God through all that disguises, disfigures, demolishes and seeks, so to speak, to abolish him." De Caussade sought to accept each moment as a revelation of God believing that regardless of how things appear at a given time, all of history will ultimately serve to accomplish God's purpose on earth. He advised, "Love and accept the present moment as the best, with perfect trust in God's universal goodness...Everything without exception is an instrument and means of sanctification...God's purpose for us is always what will contribute most to our good."...perhaps that's what faith is: trusting God's goodness despite any apparent evidence against it" (pg. 69).

"Faith, I have found, is not something I can settle into, a skill I learn to master. It comes as a gift from God, and I need to pray for it every day, as I pray for daily bread" (pg. 81).

"Living faith involves me pleasing God, far more than God pleasing me" (pg 82).

...and there's more. For that, you'll have to read it!

*Reaching for the Invisible God, Philip Yancey

Current Read

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The birth of a new blog

Okay, so I know there are not many new blogs that I've made a big deal of. They sort of slide into my list of links with little fan fare. I apologize. Truth be told, I'm excited with each new one that I find.

This one gets special attention, though, because it is the blog of a dear friend who has been "lurking" for a long time. Reading many of our blogs, calling our game if we haven't posted for a while.

After much hinting, poking and prodding (okay, not really that much!), I'm pleased to introduce:
The Next Best Thing.

Check it out...good things are sure to follow!

A quote...

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again,because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Teddy R Roosevelt

...so I have this sneaking suspicion that this is going to be something important for me to keep in mind for some reason...I'm just not sure what the reason is yet.


So far, my life at ABC has been, well, interesting to say the least. I know that I probably won't see just how valuable my time there has been until I'm looking back on it, whenever that should be. That said, I was reminded today of two very valuable things, two incredible blessings that have come to me through my time there.

1. My students. I'm continually amazed at how much I can love them and believe in them. They mean the world to me!

2. My recruiter friends. Some of my closest friends in the world are those people that I travel with, do events with, share work stress with and yet, in many people's perspective, work in "competition" with. I'm at the Alberta Christians Schools International Teachers' Convention to finish off this week. It's not a very high intensity event and so I've had some time to catch up with some of them...and it feels like home. A bunch of us went for supper tonight and honestly it's the most relaxed and most at home I've felt with a group of people in a long time. I can be open and honest with them and I'm pleased that they can do the same. We joke and laugh. We pray together. We talk deep "God" stuff. We live life. Some of us email in between but even if we don't, it's fine. You know that kind of friend? They're good to have. I'm thankful for my recruiter friends and look forward to spending tomorrow with them too!

Thanks guys!!!! Love y'all...even the ones who aren't here...it's true!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And the weather man says...

-24 over night, +9 by Thursday.

Gotta love a good chinook. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the winter wonderland, digging out my car and crawling along the deerfoot with all the other folks on the road.

Oh the joys of living in Calgary.

Finding truth on the hardcourt

Either I've become keenly aware of the teachable moments in the everyday or have simply become overly introspective. Either way, I'm finding God has much to say when we're willing to listen.

I play volleyball on Tuesday nights on a competitive community league team. We're a pretty good team in fact tonight we walked into the gym holding first onto first place in the league.

We play two teams every week. Our first game tonight was pretty good. We played together. We picked up some junk. It was a pretty good match all the way around and, with a win, we snagged two more points.

It was the second game that brought my little lesson for the day. We were up against a team that we just can't seem to beat. Honestly, we've been playing them for years and everytime we play them, we lose. The thing is, I don't think that they're that much better than we are or that difficult to beat. We can see their weak points and, because of that, we should, in theory, know how to beat them. We can do what we need to to get it done. The thing is, we don't.

Tonight I paid a little bit more attention. That's what I do. I analyze things. I could tell that everyone knew that they were one of the teams we were up against. Some of our team came in differently, like they were beaten already. When our first game was over and we switched courts, I watched as the whole demeanor of our team changed. The talk was on the bench right away, "not these guys" and "I hate playing this team."

We let them get up on us right off the start. We didn't block. We tipped balls. We missed serves and passes. All the things we should do, we didn't. Some of our players started to grumble and get angry. Others tried to encourage and motivate in more positive ways but it didn't help. It seemed like we assumed other players were going to make mistakes before it even happened and we definitly didn't work together.

And we lost.

"I hate playing this team" was the comment on the bench following the game, as if that explained everything. My response, which I kept to myself, was "I hate the way we play against this team."

Call it self fulfilling prophecy. Call it negative self talk. Call it living under the influence of a lie. Whatever it is, it does not help. We were defeated before we even stepped on the court.

I'm realizing how much this is something I struggle with in my day to day life. All too often I stagger under the weight of the lies put on me.

And I lose.

It's funny, it's like I'm living in a cartoon with the angel on one shoulder and the little red devil "me" on the other. The good one is reminding me that I'm confident and competent and is frustrated by feeling limited by the context I've got myself into. That's the side the reminds me that I'm here to change the world. That I'm passionate and have a purpose. That pointed in the right direction, I can accomplish more than I've ever thought possible. That I'm faithful. That I can dream big and that, perhaps, God has put those dreams there. That I’m thankful for the freedom I'm finding each day when I believe the truth about myself as a beloved daughter of the King.

The other me is whispering all sorts of evil lies. I'm too young. I'm female. I'm single. I'm not educated enough. I'm just plain inadequate. I'm tired. I'm too emotional. I'm not trusted or respected. I just can't. It points out all my failures and shows me all the ways that I'm letting people down. I'm just a college recruiter. I only have a Bible college degree. I'm just a farm girl. I'm not articulate enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not in good enough shape. I'm not as talented as (fill in the blank with someone else's name). In my head I know these statements are false and yet far too often I let them get the best of me.

Its like my achillies heal. It's the struggle between those two "me's" that's slowing me down. It hinders me and keeps me from reaching my full potential. It keeps me from bringing the best of me to my community. Each day I choose to believe the lies is another day that I spin my wheels and am kept from moving forward.

And I lose.

Tonight I was able to see so many parallels between the way my volleyball team played against a team we feel we can't win and the way I live when I believe the lies.

In either case, no one wins.

Like a Child

Having friends with kids has been great in many ways. First, I can love them and play with them but give them back when they are up at night - an added bonus seeing as how I love to sleep but don't do very well with it myself - but more importantly, they teach me. I have two little two year old friends in my life who consistently teach me and remind me of valuable lessons. They consistently manage to make my day and warm my heart.

It was time for another lesson this past Sunday. Our music team was at church bright and early to warm up, set up and practice for the morning's service which means that I had my place at the front behind my keyboard. It's a fun place to be in the morning as I get to see the work that goes on by the community as we set up - the joy of portable church - and get to watch people arrive all morning. My friends Fred and Tasha arrived with their little ones. I saw them come in but then sort of "lost track" of them as they went about their morning stuff. Samantha, their two year old, and Fred came into the gym where we were shortly after. Samantha looked a little lost but still intent on finding someone. Apparently she was on a search for her friend Madalyn. Anyway, here's where the beauty part for me came in...still makes me smile...Samantha caught sight of me from across they gym, pointed at me, called out my name and came running all the way around until we met for a great big hug. Seriously, how great is that!?

Later that afternoon, as I was thinking about my little friend and how loved she made me feel, one thought struck me: "come unto me like a little child." I thought about how excited and trusting Samantha was, how she stopped what she was doing to come to me. I remembered how loved I felt and how I, too, had stopped what I was doing to scoop her up in my arms and love her too. I thought about my relationship with Jesus. He wants me to come to him like Samantha came to me and I can rest assured that he'll respond to me with more love and more care. I think about the times that I do come to him like that. Does he relish those moments the same way that I delighted in that Samantha hug? Is He thrilled when I call out His name?

We're walking through the Bible in this series we're doing at Journey. Sunday started a week of looking at Genesis. As promised, the Word of God is living and active and, though I've read it before, something struck me again, or perhaps for the first time. After Adam and Eve have eaten the fruit, realized they were naked and hid, God calls out to them, "Where are you?" You can't tell me that He didn't know where they were. Of course He knew. It's all part of God's great pursuit of man and the unfortunate thing about choice. They have the choice of coming back to Him, of answering His call, of coming out of hiding. They can choose to drop what they're doing, and approach them even though they know they are guilty and shameful.

They can choose to cry out His name and run towards Him with abandon.

So what am I waiting for?

What is it that gets in the way of me dropping what I'm doing and running into His waiting arms like Samantha did to me?

What 'hiding' is God calling me out of?

What part of my life needs to be surrendered in new ways?

What's keeping me from just dropping into his arms and being surrounded by His love?

Do I really trust Him with everything, enough to approach Him as I am and trust that He will meet me?

Samantha trusted me and I know myself. If she can trust me, is it not more likely that I can trust Him?

These are a few of my favorite things

Favorite book? This one is tricky. There's so many good books out there! I finished 'Shogun' not that long ago and it was great. 'Memoirs of a Geisha' gets right up there but my momma didn't like it and that almost never happens. 'The Allure of Hope' is one that has stuck with me for a long long time. Highly recommended. Oh, and anything John Elderidge or Eugene Peterson. Add Mark Buchanan to the list. Okay, so I like to read...I guess when it comes down to it, the Bible is the only book I read everyday and try to apply so does that make it the automatic favorite?

Favourite CD? Always changing. Right now, Continuum (John Mayer), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Soundtrack, How To Save a Life (The Fray), Back to Bedlam (James Blunt)

Favorite website? http://www.tsn.ca/ or does itunes count? I LOVE itunes!!!

Favourite hot drink? COFFEE (Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte, low fat, half sweet, extra hot to be exact) but I'm resigned to forever being a tea granny too. Love tea.

Favorite cold drink? high quality h2o...with a side of lime juice

Favorite supper food (main dish)? something bbq'd

Favorite vegetable? mushrooms? I don't know...can we talk about fruit instead? (coincidentally, Dayna, I have a theory on how chocolate IS a vegetable...cocoa BEANS...hello!)

Favourite lunch food? pizza...I could live on pizza!

Favorite breakfast food? leftover pizza from lunch (seriously) or eggs. I love eggs...done just about any way. That's my Saturday morning, I'm not in a hurry treat!

Favourite snack food (sweet)? we probably don't even have to ask...starts with "c" and ends with "hocolate." I'm a big fan of anything that brings chocolate and nuts together. Like dipping a spoon into peanut butter and adding chocolate chips...simple taste really...

Favorite snack food (salty)? popcorn or nachos and salsa (momma's homemade salsa is best)

Favorite ethnic food? It's a toss up between East Indian or Vietnamese...probably East Indian

Favourite sport (to play)? Volleyball

Favorite sport (to watch)? Hockey

Favourite season? Summer...oh those summer days...

Favorite toy as a child? hot wheels, the toy tractor my dad bought me and, if you talk to my momma, boxes or anything else I could turn into something useful! Like I said, simple taste...

Favourite vacation spot? Right now I'm thinking warm with beaches and blue water. Perhaps some palm trees and drinks with little umbrellas in them. Sun. Did I say warm? And enough time to read a couple of good books. Haven't been there yet but I sure plan to soon...

Favorite ice cream flavor? Rocky Road...or just something chocolate and nutty...has anyone else visited the Marble Slab? Sooo good!

Favorite smell? fresh cut grass/hay, dirt or, wait, the "just after the rain" smell outside...all those good fresh farm smells (I said "good" smells)

Favourite car? mine!

Favorite flower? Hibiscus

Favorite perfume? uh oh...no idea...

Favorite item of clothing? my ABC sweatpants and adidas running shoes!

Favourite "board" game? Settlers of Catan

Favorite quote? Perseverance builds character, character hope and hope does not disappoint...that's from that smarty pants Paul (Romans 5!)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What a Save!!!

Today felt like an "I have to post about hockey" sort of day. Last night, however, left me in a near state of mourning over my boys loss to the nucks. Not much worth writing home about there, that's for sure. I'm still expecting a playoff run but last night left a lot to be desired! Anyway, Raycroft did have an incredible save and, since it's worth the look, I've decided that I'll remember that when I think of last night's hockey...and nothing else.

Songs of the Day

Remember in the fall when I was doing the question of the day with my travelling buddies? Well, today I'm answering the song of the day question we did back then...if you had to pick a song to describe you (or your day/week/whatever). It seems they've all come together this week to give "voice" to different aspects of me. Here's my songs:

Waiting on the World to Change - John Mayer (hasn't changed since the road, folks!)
Learning to Need you - Justin McRoberts (such a good song!)
Numb - Linkin Park (yes, I listen to Linkin Park)
Breathing the Breath - Matt Redman

It's a pretty random assortment and I know it's more than one but I'm okay with that. My blog, my rules! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


"Jack, you deserve a better family then this." That's what his dad said last night. Understatement of the century! Describes the whole episode right there. Yikes. And that last scene? Are you kidding me? Oh dear, oh dear. How did Jack get all "save the country at all costs" with a family like that? And (spoiler alert) how's he going to react when he finds out his brother is dead? Okay, and Morris is the engineer? Somebody I was talking to recently said they wanted to see more Chloe action...well now she's personally involved, times 2: Jack and Morris. Oh the drama! Gah!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Generosity a la Gridblog

Hmmm...generosity. What to say about generosity?

So I've been thinking about this a lot actually but just can't seem to get started. Let's see what our trusty friend, Wikipedia, has to say about it. Hmmm....the habit of giving. Now there's a place to start! I like that: the habit of giving. I want to live that way...in the habit of giving.

I love giving little gifts, thoughtful gifts, that let the recipient know that I'm thinking of them. I enjoy sharing food and meals with people in need. I love the (rare) opportunity to share of my finances. I wish I could do more in that area. See, I used to think that generosity was about money and things but I'm realizing it's about a lot more than that. I used to, in the mindset that it's about material giving, feel like I didn't have anything to give.

But I do!

It's the habit of giving, not the stuff that I'm giving. It's about the mindset, the attitude, and the lifestyle that invades giving.

A listening ear.
My experience.
My home...hospitality.
Kind words.

There is so much more than "stuff" that I can give and I will to give. I'm blessed to have some great people around me that inspire me with their generosity. They give in a multitude of ways. They bless me by their goodness and by their generosity. They encourage me to live a life that is infused with the habit of giving. They help point me to our Savior, the giver of all good gifts, who lives the habit of giving.
Emerge 2007

It's coming soon...yay....