Monday, April 30, 2007

On The Silver Screen

Has anyone seen any good movies lately? I'm completely out of touch but I think it's about time I endulge in some of Hollywood's finest.

Any recommendations? Theatre or DVD would be good.
...the Christian stands not under the dictatorship of a legalistic 'You ought,' but in the magnetic field of Christian freedom, under the empowering of the 'You may.'

Helmut Thielicke
in Dallas Willard's The Great Omission, pg. 12

While we might not always live this way, THIS is what the Christian life is about!

Current Read

Congratulations to our Graduates!

Congratulations to all those honored during ABC's 75th Commencement Weekend (April 27-29).

Venture Teams International

Last week I had the privilege of spending my days out at the VTI training center for their focus week. VTI is a missions organization that sends teams of young adults to do evangelism work all around the world. Their focus week is held in their second week home from their overseas time (for some as long as 7 months). It is a privilege to spend this week with them. Their experiences are fresh in their minds and they are incredibly aware of the work that God is capable of doing - they have seen it first hand...and in that, there is life.

In addition to the inspiration and joy the students themselves are - and that would be enough, really, since they're absolutely inspiring - the week itself is a blessing.

First, the training center is far enough off "the beaten path" that it seems as if it is a retreat. There is very little internet, scarce cell phone reception, little radio and no tv. What there is is plenty of silence, conversation, fresh air and rest...and in that, there is life.

I was able to speak with other college reps and hear how God is moving in their His institutions. It was refreshing, exciting and encouraging to hear of the changes that are being worked in institutions around the country...and in that, there is life.

Through the stories of the teams, my fellow reps, and the words of the speaker for the week, I truly believe that God spoke to me about the power of prayer. Sometimes the truth hurts. I was convicted of the fact that I don't spend enough time in prayer. I don't truly turn things over to God the way I desire least not often enough. Even as the truth sunk in, however, I had the time and the place to begin putting it all into practice. I spent time in prayer, both on my own and with my brothers and sisters that were there. I journalled. I read Scripture. I shared stories of what God is doing in my world with honesty and authenticity...and in that, there is life.

There is life. Coming home, that's how I feel. A little more alive. A little more refreshed. I know that there will be lots to do in the next little while and I know there is much that could distract me but I know that God's promise for me is life, should I chose to live it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Snuffing Out the Flames

Okay, so anyone that knows me even a little bit knows that I am NOT a fan of the Calgary Flames. In fact, today, someone asked me if I was one of those who was a fan of anyone who played Calgary. No, that's not true. This Calgary-Detroit playoff series was tough on me. I don't really care for either team. That said, I was pulling for Detroit, if only slightly and only because someone had to go on. The Calgary fans I'm surrounded by would be incorrigible so, therefore, a girl does the smart thing and pulls for the Wings.

Now that that's out of the way, I do have something to say about the Flames. Actually, one Flame. Kipper. The guy is outstanding. I've watched a lot of hockey. Enough to know that that is one incredible goalie. Tonight's game was the second game of this series that he faced over 50 shots (while his team shot under 20!). Amazing.

So, truth be told, I'm sad for Kipper. Sad that he can't go on. Sad that he won't be winning a Stanley Cup. And, truthfully, sad he plays for the Flames.

That's right. I said it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

And It Was Good!

This is an email I received from John Wilson, ABC professor and friend, yesterday:

Some very good news. I saw my oncologist yesterday and my system is clean and clear of myeloma! The new drug and protocol worked amazingly well and quickly (maybe immediately). she had a big grin on her face when she told me. What a great answer to prayer.

I'm not out of the woods yet: my body has to heal from this train wreck, but the main thing is the myeloma is in remission.

Thank you for your prayers & support.


God is good!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Question of the Day

Okay, for all of you who travelled with me on the CCUFairs and put up with my questions of the day, this post is for you.

Remember when I asked the question "if you were an animal, what would you be?"

Remember how much I argued the fact that so many of you suggested/agreed that I would be a flamingo (it better not have anything to do with their small brains!!)?

Well, today I had a couple of students in my office and we were looking at one of those Hallmark books for if you're blue (aka sad). It had a different animal picture on every page with a phrase underneath. It started with all the reasons you could be blue. Lonely. Exhausted. Left out. Blah, blah, blah.

We were picking which animals we were. I picked out the hippo. Not because it was a hippo but because of the word underneath. I don't even remember what it was. It doesn't matter. They didn't agree with me and went in to all of the reasons i couldn't be a hippo. I tried to tell them they missed the point but they weren't following. Anyway, then we flipped the page and there was a lion and it said "exhausted and can't feel like you can go on?" I was like, "oh hey, that's me!" One of the girls rolled her eyes, looked at me and said, very matter o' factly: "no, I think you're more of a flamingo."

There you go.

I was wrong.

Yup, I can say it.

Sumo Squirrels!!??

Sometimes I wish I didn't have such a vivid imagination. Someone will say something absurd and I'll picture it and laugh to myself (or outloud!) forever! Then, I'll be sitting by myself later and think about it, see it, and laugh all over again! So imagine the fun when I saw this cartoon. Sumo squirrels! Seriously, so fun! Picture it for a minute. Sumo squirrels! Man, life is entertaining when you can see what goes on in my head!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Loving the Story

There's a new book out today by Tolkien, Children of Hurin, the first to be released in 30 years. Yes, I know that he has passed away. It's been released in pieces before as a part of the Simarilion and the Incomplete Tales but now has been completed and edited. I can't wait to read it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Makin' Memories of Us

This came from Katie's blog: Leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! Don't send a message, leave a comment on here. Next, re-post this in your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses.

P.S. Can anyone name the song I've titled this post after?

Have you tried this?

So totally should really try it!

Thoughts on Church

A while back I read "Breaking the Missional Code" by Ed Stetzer & David Putman. While I didn't agree with everything, there were some great thoughts. I've been meaning to post a few of them but keep forgetting to have the book at the same place as the computer. I finally got my act together so here goes:

You cannot grow a biblically faithful church without loving peple and preaching the gospel. But loving people means understanding and communicating with them. Preaching the gospel means to proclaim a gospel about the Word becoming fles - and proclaiming that the body of Christ needs to become incarnate in every cultural expression.

pg 15

If a church does not regularly examine its culture, it ends up as a culture unto itself. Soon the church is filled with people who pray in King James Englishm call the pastor "brother" to show respect and forbid women from wearing pants to church They arestill relating to cultural issues that were relevant one hundred years before. However, that culture and those issues have long since disappeared - everywhere, that is except within the church. Instead the church needs to regularily ask, "Are we faithfull proclaiming the faith in the place in which we find ourselves today?" A church will be completely faithful only when it is faithful to its God, its Scripture, and its mission to the world.

pg 28

Someone once asked Wayne Gretsky why he was a good hockey player. He answered that most players skate to where the puck is, but he skated to where the puck was going to be. The Bible refers to people like that: "Men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do" (1 Chron. 12:32).

pg 60

The good news is Jesus transcends all cultures. Jesus is not modern. Jesus is not postmodern. And his body, the church, is neither modern nor postmodern, though it lives within both cultural paradigms. Ultimately, Christ's commuity is a way of life that incarnates into and challenges any and every culture, in every time, in every place. Mission is an intrinsically translational task. Throughout history, God has shown himself relating to people within their cultural frame of reference. The life and work of Jesus Christ set a pattern for the church's mission. In the incarnation, God become more than words. The Word himself entered culture ina specific time and space.

Jonathan Campbell
pg 73
God is at work in the lives of thsoe outside the church and invites us to join him. It is encouraging to understand that God is more interested in the eternal well-being of people than we are. He has created people with an incredible appetite for him, and he is actively at work in their lives drawing them to himself. His invitation for us is to join him in his activity in people's lives. The key to this is becoming sensitive to what God is doing in the lives of those all around us

pg 125

There is a rising feeling among emerging church leaders and followers of Jesus, tht in many modern contemporary churches, something has subtly gone astray in what we call "church" and what we call "Christianity." Through time, church has become a place that you go to have your needs met, instead of being a called local community of God on a mission together. Through time, much of contemporary Christianity subtly has become more about inviting others into the subcultures of Christian music, language and church programs than about passionately inviting others unto a radically alternative community and way of life as disciples of Jesus and Kingdom living.

Dan Kimball & Josh Fox
pg 202
So there you have it. There's more but those are some of the highlights. What is the Church? What is our mission? How do we interact with the world around us? How do we equip and engage leaders? They're huge questions that, while we might not have answers to, we need to be thinking about.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A blast from the past...

...or maybe it's more of a bounce! My cousin, Penny, was able to get me a copy of the first season of Disney's Gummi bears on DVD so that's what I'm watching right now. I remember many Saturday afternoons watching the little guys, singing the theme song and quoting some of the more memorable lines. Oh yes, I'm a child of the 80's.
Now to find some of the others...Ewoks, Tailspin, Ghostbusters, Transformers, Care Bears, Rescue Rangers, Smurfs...oh man! I love it!

Limiting Beliefs

I've been thinking a lot about moving forward, about growth and about perseverance. What does that mean for me? What does that mean for those that I journey with? What does that look like? There are times that I see visions of what the future could be so clearly and yet I feel so rooted, so trapped, in the imperfect presence. What is it that keeps us from moving forward? What are the barriers? Steve wrote a post a while back about limiting beliefs which I've pondered for quite a while. I know much of those plague me as I think of becoming more of the woman that God intends me to be.

I encourage you to check out his post and the article he links it to...and pray. Pray for those around you who need to overcome the lies. Pray for the Church: that we can move beyond the perceptions of the world and the tainted marks of our history and become (or continue to be) the unstoppable kingdom instrument that God intends us to be. And pray with thanksgiving. God has a plan for each one of us, plans for us to prosper and be a part of His good purposes. He chooses to use us and include us in His work of redeeming humanity and reclaiming them to himself. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by that but I'm thankful.

"I can do all things through him who gives me strength." That's the verse that scrolls across my screen when my screensaver is activated.

It's easy to believe the limiting beliefs but today I choose to believe in truth, to believe in Him.

I can...through Him.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Current Read

How Great Is This!!??

My friend Dayna found this on her latest cross boarder vacation. How sweet is this!? Just look at it. By name alone, I was destined to be surrounded by and addicted to good books. Now I just have to pray that my poor roommate and my bank account agree!
*If you can't tell, it's a bookstore named "Stacey's" and it's spelled my way! I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this one today, ok!?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Missing Much Music

Question: What are your favorite songs of the past 10 years?

Here's why I ask: I recently had my hard drive from my computer, well, reworked, redone, and basically salvaged from my old computer. Fortunately, we were able to save both the hard drive and most of the files. One file I was sad to lose, though, was my music file which I'd been building since 1998. If you know me and my music, you know that this is a big deal. Anyway, I don't remember everything that was in there so I thought I'd put a shout out for a little bit of teamwork. Even if your favorite song isn't my favorite song, odds are pretty good that it will start my brainstorming functions and still be helpful!

Perhaps I should just ask, what are your all time favorite songs?

Make the lists as long as you want! I'm ready to hear what you have to say!

And the Results Are In

The regular season is over and for some it means that it's time for the big time. For others, it means that it's time to warm up the golf clubs. Unfortunatly, my Oilers fall into the latter category...although they can't seem to catch a break if they tried. Get this, not only have they had a season to forget, by winning their last game, they brought themselves out of the bottom five in the league and will now miss out on the lottery for the first draft pick. I've heard the draft isn't all that much to look forward to but still...

Anyway, here's the players in the first round:

Buffalo vs the Islanders (happy now, Smytty?)
New Jersey vs Tampa Bay
Atlanta vs the Rangers
Ottawa vs Pittsburg
Detroit vs Calgary
Anaheim vs Minnesota
Vancouver vs Dallas
Nashville vs San Jose

Let the games begin!

Past Reads

Normally I would be posting current reads but I've been neglectful in my blogging duties so here you have it!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

To Friends of John Wilson

This came through today - more specifics about the plan to spoil John Wilson as we celebrate his immesurable service to the college:

To make a long story short, we would like to raise $5000 in order to send John and Becky on a trip, including some spending money, and we would like to do it by April 15th if at all possible. For tax purposes this special fund-raising project needs to stay outside official A.B.C. accounting (as friends of John we can give him a gift, but if the College gives John a gift it is viewed by Revenue Canada as a taxable benefit and he would get stuck with a tax bill at the end of the year) which means that a charitable receipt cannot be issued for your donation. Donations should be sent to either myself at the college address or to Sandra Osborne, also at the college address. Please make sure you designate the money for John’s gift so that Sandra and I know it’s not for us to spend on whatever we want.

Thank you for considering being a part of this, any contribution you can make will be helpful and appreciated.

Gary Lepine

Just want to make sure that everyone has ample warning to participate!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Two Guys from Edmonton

A fellow hockey fan sent this to me. I think they were trying to rile me up a little. Little did they know that right now I can completely see the humor of this. Has anyone checked the NHL stats lately!? Geesh.

Two guys from Edmonton

Two guys from Edmonton die and wake up in hell. The next day the devil stops in to check on them and sees them dressed in parkas,mittens, and toques warming themselves around the fire.The devil asks them, "What are you doing? Isn't it hot enough for you?"

The two guys reply, "Well, you know, we're from Canada, the land of snow and ice and cold. We're just happy for a chance to warm up a little bit, eh."The devil decides that these two aren't miserable enough and turns up the heat. The next morning he stops in again and there they are, still dressed in parkas, toques and mittens. The devil asks them again, "It's awfully hot down here, can't you guys feel it?"

Again the two guys reply, "Well, like we told ya yesterday, we're from Canada, the land of snow and ice and cold. We're just happy for a chance to warm up a little bit, eh."

This gets the devil a little steamed up and he decides to fix these two guys. He cranks the heat up as high as it will go. The people are wailing and screaming everywhere.

He stops by the room with the two guys from Canada and finds them in light jackets and bucket hats, grilling sausage and drinking beer.

The devil is astonished, "Everyone down here is in abject misery, and you two seem to be enjoying yourselves."

The two Canadians reply, "Well, ya know, we don't get too much warm weather up there in Edmonton so we've just got to have a cook-out when the weather's THIS nice."The devil is absolutely furious, he can hardly see straight. Finally he comes up with the answer. The two guys love the heat because they have been cold all their lives. The devil decides to turn all the heat off in hell.The next morning, the temperature is below zero, icicles are hanging everywhere; people are shivering so bad that they are unable to do anything but wail, moan, and gnash their teeth. The devil smiles and heads for theroom with the two Canadians. He gets there and finds them back in their parkas, toques, and mittens. NOW they are jumping up and down, cheering,yelling, and screaming like mad men!!!The devil is dumbfounded, "I don't understand, when I turn up the heat you're happy. Now it's freezing cold and you're still happy. What is wrong with you two???"

The Edmontonians look at the devil in surprise, "Well, don't you know?

If hell freezes over, it must mean the Oilers have won the Stanley Cup!!!"

Enough about that. I still love my boys but sure am sad about how this season's finishing! My theory is that when kevin Lowe said he had a "strategy" upon trading Ryan Smyth for, as my brother put it, pucks and hockey tape, what he really meant was that they were planning to throw the end of the season in hopes of some good draft picks. No one can have a slump this big by accident, can they? My sister went to a game a couple weeks back and said that there's lots of new talent. Hopefully that means good things for down the road. All I know is that there's only a couple of games to go before playoffs and I have nothing to boast about here in Calgary. Soon, all I'll be doing is cringing as news of the Red Mile shenanigans hits the news and my coworkers and students are feverishly following their teams.

Perhaps the sun will shine and I'll forget that there's actually hockey being played...hmmm...