Friday, December 31, 2010

Answered Prayer

I am sometimes surprised when I see an answer to prayer.

I know that sounds strange.  Why even pray at all if you aren't expecting an answer?  Maybe it's just that I expect the answer to be, "No," or nothing at all.  That's starting to change though.

I wrote previously that I had a friend who's father wasn't expected to live past Christmas.  A week ago his family was planning his funeral.  Several days ago an issue was identified that was creating many other problems with his health.  When this issue was addressed the other problems decreased significantly.  The result is that my friend's dad is now healthier than he's been this entire year.   I would have to call that an answer to prayer.

And I have seen an answer to prayer in my own life.  I usually find it difficult to pray for myself.  My life is good.  I have a job I like.  I don't earn a lot of money but my bills are paid.  I have a roof over my head and a 15 year old car that gets me from A to B.  I am in good health.  I am so fortunate compared to much of the world I feel guilty  praying for the relatively insignificant needs/wants in my life.  However, I have been praying for a little thing.  It's a very little thing.  It's a thing I didn't think would happen and yet, this weekend, it kinda did.  And it was good.  Now I am being a little braver and asking for a slightly larger little thing.  We'll see how this goes.

It is interesting to me that the God who created the universe, and saves us from our sins, and heals a dying father, would take interest in a little tiny area of my little tiny life.

Look at the birds of the air.  They don't sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than them?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Christmas That Was

It was a really great Christmas this year.

It was a Christmas comprised of things I didn't expect.  Little blessings like meals with families and candle light services and Donkey Kong Country Returns.

On Friday, Christmas Eve, things transpired that allowed me to attend the candle light service at church I thought I had sacrificed to help out a co-worker.  That was such a great blessing to start the Holidays.  I enjoyed the service and I talked with some people afterwards as well.  Once it was over I drove around looking at Christmas lights for half an hour and then went to one more candle light service at my C&C church.  It was also good and once again I hung around and talked with some people.  I even met the sister of an old friend, who's blog I have been reading for years but have not had the opportunity to meet until then.

Christmas Day started off nice and quiet, the way I planned.  It was probably the first quiet Christmas morning I have ever had, ever.  It was my quiet time with God.  It was good.  In the afternoon my brother and I went to the home of a family from church.  It was really nice of them to invite us over and share their Christmas with us.  We ate, we visited, we jammed a little with their instruments, and played games.  It was a good night.

On Sunday I played guitar during worship again.  It is always special to me when I have the opportunity to do something like that.  In the afternoon I was invited over to another family's home.  We played some video games, a board game, ate Chinese food, visited a little and watched some tv.  It was really great as well.

And finally, on Monday I went out for brunch with someone from C&C.  It was also great.  The conversation flowed smoothly for 2 hours.  Hopefully this becomes a somewhat regular occurrence.

That was my Christmas weekend.  Not what I had planned at all.  Infinitely better.  Filled with little blessings that made those four days rather special to me.

Thank You.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Gift

I really wanted to go caroling last Sunday but I had to work.  I had a chance to make up for it this Christmas Eve.  Our church is putting on a candle light service.  There will be songs sung and people blessed and I really wanted to be a part of it.  It was my chance to gain a little of what I missed on Sunday and see some people I'd like to see before Christmas.

But tonight I gave a present to a co-worker.  She was scheduled to work tomorrow evening and I was scheduled to work in the morning.  By trading shifts she can now spend time with her family this Holiday because she won't be able to spend time with them on Christmas Day.  This gift didn't cost me anything, but it did require that I miss our church's service.  Nuts.  I really wanted to be there.  I had every right to decline her request.  She knew she was expected to work Christmas Eve.  I think that's what makes this a true Christmas gift.  It's a gift of grace.  Something was given that couldn't be earned and wasn't deserved.  It was received with joy.  And the giver had to make a decision to sacrifice something in order to give the gift.  That is what Christmas is really all about.  I hope this lesson isn't lost on me this weekend.

Slightly unrelated, my coworker's name is Bliss. defines bliss as utter joy.
That seems appropriate this time of year.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Remember the reason for the season =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Week

Dear Diary,

This has been/will be a good week.

On Saturday mom and dad came to visit.  We did Christmas a week early.  It was good.

On Sunday we all went to church together.  It has probably been more than a year since we've done that.  It felt good.  I had to work immediately after the service so we said our good-byes.  After work I wanted to catch up with a group of C&C Christmas carolers but was a little too late.  I was disappointed.  I wanted to join them and hang out a bit.  That's actually a positive thing.  The old me wouldn't have made the effort or been disappointed by missing out.  I guess that is a sign I am growing/changing.

On Friday, Christmas Eve, there is a candle light service at church I hope to attend.  If everything works out I will also head out to one more Christmas Eve service that night.

For Christmas I have been invited to celebrate with a family from church.  That was so nice.  I won't be spending Christmas by myself this year after all.  I will still have my alone time in the morning, which I am looking forward to, but it will be nice to hang out with this great family too.

On Sunday I will be helping with worship again.  I think I am looking forward to this most.  I started practicing today.  I love the songs.  The flow.  The worship.  I've set up some of my own arrangements, as instrumentals, just for my own use.  Music is great.  I am so grateful for it.

And that has been/will be my week.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't Read This

My life is mostly an open book.  I may not volunteer a lot of information but if you ask, I will share, except for one area of my life.  I guess it's an insecurity left over from long ago.  It's a post I'm still working on.  

I have been thinking about something for a long time now and I don't know what to do.  I want to share it with someone, but I don't know who.  I've talked about it with a friend who sees life completely different than I do and that has helped.  I like to think I can reason my way through most of life's ups and downs.  What frustrates me is that there is one thing that can't be studied and reasoned and researched.  And that is the thing I am stuck on right now.  It feels like I am bottling it up deep inside and what I'd really like to do is put it out "there" and see what happens.  So, here is a post I wrote Nov 23rd that I wasn't ready to share at the time.  I guess I'm still not quite ready to do anything with it but maybe this is a bit of a catharsis for me putting it out on the internet.  

An Amazing Person
I met an amazing person a little while ago.  I don't know much about this person.  That could be said of many people, but this person is so fascinating I'm finding myself wanting to know more.  It puts me in a place I haven't been in for some time.
This person is a woman.  I don't know if she even knows of my little corner on the internet but I want to be careful what I write, for my sake and hers.  She loves God like few people I have seen.  It is beautiful.  It is confusing.  I don't know what to do.
Relationships are my weakness, and romantic relationships are pretty much uncharted territory for me.  While I can usually socialize with new people with a little effort, every time I am around her my mind goes blank.  It frustrates me so much.
Why can't life be a romantic comedy?
I am left wondering, is this a God thing, or a me thing?  Probably a me thing.  And yet...
This is the thing I have turned over to God, cuz I have no idea how to proceed.  I am still learning how to be a friend.  I really don't think I am ready to be a boyfriend.  And yet...
So, I have decided to delight myself in the Lord.  To trust God.  To work towards becoming the person God wants me to be.  Hopefully life will fall into place.
Honestly, I don't know if I'll even publish this post, but I will keep it saved as a draft as I figure out how I feel about all this.

I think that felt good to put out there.  I definitely have more to write about this personal insecurity of mine but that can wait until the new year.  This is Christmas time and there are so many better things to think about right now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

This I Know

It is an interesting time of year.  Christmas approaches.  There are a lot of thoughts and feelings and memories associated with Christmas that are swirling about in my head.  What is interesting about Christmas this year, at least for me, is that it is the first time in 5 years I don't have to work.  Strangely enough, it is also the first time in 5 years my immediate family does.  So we did Christmas this weekend, a week early.  And now, as the rest of the world builds towards December 25th with travel plans and baking and family and programs and presents, I am in my dénouement.  It is interesting for me because all the externalities of Christmas are already in the past.  Don't get me wrong though.  Family, friends, vacation, food, programs and presents are all good, but when everything is stripped away Christmas is about Jesus.  While most people are building towards December 25th I am simplifying.  When Christmas rolls around it will just be me and Jesus (and maybe a little Macaulay Culkin).  I don't think it is a bad thing to have a Christmas like this at least once.
The great Swiss-German theologian Karl Barth delivered one of the closing lectures of his life at the University of Chicago Divinity School. At the end of the lecture, the president of the seminary told the audience that Dr. Barth was not well and was very tired, and though he thought Dr. Barth would like to open for questions, he probably could not handle the strain. Then he said, "Therefore, I'll ask just one question on behalf of all of us." He turned to Barth and asked, "Of all the theological insights you have ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?"
This was a remarkable question to ask a man who had written tens of thousands of pages of some of the most sophisticated theology ever put on paper. The students sat with pads and pencils ready. They wanted to jot down the premier insight of the greatest theologian of their time.
Karl Barth closed his eyes and thought for a while. Then he smiled, opened his eyes, and said to the young seminarians, "The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!"
~ From Let me Tell You a Story by Tony Campolo.

I think on Christmas I will sit and think about this for a while.  I will play my guitar, maybe at the church, in the sanctuary.  I will read my bible.  I will pray.  It will be a good Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Even The Rocks Will Cry Out

Luke 19:35-40

Sometimes I feel like this guy. I can't keep it inside or I'll burst.
Sometimes I don't feel like this guy. During those times I praise anyway.

Declare and Surrender - Christian School - Saskatoon - January 6th - 7:30pm

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great and Confusing

Ah life, you are great and confusing. I suppose the great and confusing parts are two sides of the same coin. You can't have one without the other, as much as I would like it that way sometimes.

The greatness is found in love and Love, and relationships and Relationship.
And now that I think of it, the confusion is found in love and relationships mostly as well.

What am I trying to say?  I guess life will always be great and confusing.  To remove the confusion would also remove the greatness.  So deal with it.

Going back to this idea of a great life, an abundant life, it is found in Jesus.  He is the Relationship and the Love I am talking about.  All other things in life are merely a copy of the original.  We seek out relationships and love with each other on this planet, but even the best of these are just a taste of the Real thing.  Sometimes people seek so desperately for these things because they are trying to fill the Love and Relationship gap with love and relationships.  It makes me sad.  There is a yearning for more in all of us.  A thirst that can only be quenched by living water.  Too often we drink a cheap substitute instead.  I know I have.

I am in an interesting place though.  I have grasped the truth of Love and Relationship.  I am growing closer to Jesus.  I am sipping this Living Water, slowly, cautiously.  Now the urge for relationship, and love I suppose, is bubbling to the surface.  I am yearning for deeper relationships.  I believe it is a God given desire.  We are created to relate.  I can't deny that.  I just don't know how to proceed.  C&C is great but it is big, and spending a couple minutes with many people once or even twice a week doesn't feel substantial enough to develop the type of relationship I am longing for.  I need more.  (I realize I am different than others and I do know people that thrive off constant relating to many different people.)  So, I am seeking again.  I am looking for a small group that meets regularly.  A place to know others and be known.  A place to experience more greatness and confusion I suppose.  I believe this is a God given desire and so I will look for ways to satisfy it.  Yesterday I took a step in that direction, and it was just a little bit scary.  I am stepping into the unknown for the second or third time in the last few months.  Each step before has lead to something good and so I trust God that this will too.

And yet, I still have that thought in the back of my head.  A grain of longing of which I don't know what to do.  A desire who's origins are a mystery to me.  Is it God?  Is it me?  I'm not sure.  So, as always, I will trust in the Lord, and delight myself in Him, and He will grant me the desires of my heart, whatever they may end up being.

Life feels a little more confusing right now than before.  I suppose that means life will soon feel a little greater too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Might Be An Introvert If...

This might make more sense if it was titled You Might Be An INTJ If...
My apologies to Jeff Foxworthy.

You might be an introvert if
  • Going to a huge party makes you uneasy but going to the library makes you excited.
  • You have more conversations via IM than in person.
  • Your previously rejected vacation request is now approved so you can go road tripping for 2 days with 30 other C&Cers to Montana to go snowboarding in the actual mountains, and the first thing you think of is... I wonder which books I should bring?
  • You can count all your friends on your fingers, and still have fingers left over.
  • You just may end up spending Christmas home alone, and don't really mind.
  • A beautiful woman gives you her phone number and you aren't sure why.
True Story.

    Friday, December 10, 2010


    I had an experience in CBC (Covenant Bible College) that I would describe as an encounter with God. I haven't really shared it with too many people, but now I figure why not share it with everyone. At CBC there was a tiny prayer room above one of the entrances to the gym. It was accessed by one narrow stairway that seemed out of place. The room was lined with curtains and an alter and somewhat moody lighting. It was how I imagined the Holy of Holies must have felt like in the Temple. One morning, after a lot of ups and downs, I was feeling frustrated. I didn't like how my life seemed to be progressing. I went to the prayer room to meet with God. It wasn't going to be a pleasant meeting either. I was mad at God. I had come to CBC because I really did feel God calling me and yet my experience was not what I thought it was going to be. I was lonely. I just didn't seem to be able to make the type of friends I had back in youth group. I felt different. I felt awkward. Everyone else seemed to have it all together and I was a mess. God seemed distant to me and I blamed Him. I guess I was going to the prayer room to have it out with God. But something happened that I didn't really expect. God met with me. It's always hard to describe something indescribable, but I will try. It's as though the room was filled with power. I felt weighed down. I felt like I had to lay on the floor, almost as though I didn't have the strength to stay standing. And I stayed there. There were some words and some tears.  I didn't notice how much time had passed. I missed breakfast, and worship, and all my morning classes, and lunch. Slowly the Presence faded and I literally stumbled back down the stairs sometime in the afternoon. I wasn't quite sure what happened.

    Across the hall from the stairs was KB's office. She is an amazing Godly woman. I crawled into her office and we talked. It was good. I still don't know what to make of that experience but I left the prayer room with a deep desire to search after God. The way I described it to KB was a hunger for God that I couldn't satisfy any other way but to consume God. Now I was exhausted and physically hungry by this time but it almost felt like God was using that as a metaphor for this spiritual hunger I felt. I remember never wanting to lose this spiritual hunger.

    However, after returning home from CBC and moving to Saskatoon to go to the UofS, I did lose it. It was my own fault. I did not maintain any semblance of my spiritual life when I started attending University. My focus was on school and grades and getting into medicine and I neglected God. But that feeling of hunger was always present in the background. That feeling has been returning these last few months.  I am more hungry now than I have been in quite a while.  I still have other concerns and desires.  Life isn't perfect but I have decided to seek God first, delight myself in the Lord and trust Him always.

    Hungry I come to You, for I know You satisfy. I am empty but I know Your Love does not run dry.

    This is the beginning of something new. Life is great and confusing.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Things I'm Discovering

    The last few months have been a time of self discovery for me.  That is partly because I've been growing closer to God and finding out who I really am.  Here are some things I've discovered  over the last 6 months or so.

    -I like hanging out with people (in small groups)
    -If I make time for my self I have more energy to be around people later
    -I like spending time with God
    -I like praying
    -I like worshiping
    -When I am moderately busy I seem to have more energy for other things than if I lounge around all day
    -I like snowboarding
    -I have no idea how to proceed with a romantic relationship
    -I like cooking
    -I need social interaction
    -There is a desire in me to grow closer to Jesus that gets stronger the more I do
    -Life is great and confusing to me.  I wish there was a manual with easy to follow instructions.
    -It is ok to have quiet time and alone time, as long as there is still time to make friends and have relationships
    -I am normal
    -Jesus loves me
    -People like me
    -Friendships are a little difficult for me to start but are very worthwhile in the long run
    -When I get nervous I talk fast and/or start telling weird jokes.  Bare with me, I'll work through it.
    -I'd rather talk with 1 person for an hour than 30 people for 2 minutes each
    -Some day I want a family of my own
    -I like working with youth
    -I try to analyze some things way too much.  Like Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
    -I like setting aside time just for me and God
    -I don't like being way too busy
    -I am still searching for a place I feel I "fit" but the more I get involved where I am, the more I feel I "fit"
    -I would like to find a small group bible study that meets regularly
    -I feel better when I get a good night's sleep
    -I must decrease so He may increase

    Monday, December 6, 2010


    I am a prayer.  You're probably thinking I said prayer when actually I said pray-er.  That's deep, either way.

    As I continue this relationship I find I talk to God more often, and try to listen more often too.  If prayer is communication with God I seem to do it a lot.  It's mostly me doing the talking.  Sometimes I'm making requests.  Sometimes I have questions.  Mostly it is me just chatting.  I suppose if you were to listen in it would sound like a phone conversation where you can't hear what is being said on the other end.

    "How's it going?"
    "I am doing ok.  Did you hear what happened to me today?"
    "I know, I know, I know."
    "I'm curious why this happened at ______ tonight.  Was it because of _____ or _____?"
    "Come on.  You can tell me."
    "OK.  I need to go to bed.  I'll call you in the morning."

    Pretty mundane.

    Other times it's much more traditional or even liturgical but it always seems to be a part of my day.  I was not always this way.  I used to find it difficult to pray.  Now it seems like that is all I do.  The last while I have been joining everything I can, going everywhere I am invited, and doing everything asked of me in an attempt to find a place where I "fit".  I think it's time for me to scale it back a little.  After this brief burst of exploration I have discovered I am a pray-er.  I like to pray.  Our Friday morning prayer time has become quite important to me.  It is one of the things I will keep as I scale back on other things.

    My mom is a pray-er.  She would describe herself as an intercessor, of the somewhat charismatic persuasion.  I am not.  But I finally have a glimpse of where she is coming from.  I remember her telling me years ago that prayer is to an intercessor what candy is to a child.  That's a cool thought.

    I will continue to pray.  I will talk and I will listen.  It's been said that prayer is an activity that changes the heart of the pray-er more than the heart of God.  I can't say if that's true or not, but I suspect the more time you spend with someone, the more you will become like that person.  I can live with that.

    Lord, let my life be a prayer to You.
    I'll call You in the morning.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010


    Dear Diary,

    Saturday was great.
    Here's why.

    I woke up early and went to church to help set up for C&C's Christmas Banquet.  It was good.  I am finding I am best in smaller groups and there were only 10 of us or so.  I met some people, people who I found it easy to be myself around.  Bonus.

    In the evening was the banquet.  I met a few more people at my table.  I chatted with some people.  It was also good.

    Then, in a really weird twist, I ended up in a "game".  Each table was to pick their most outgoing, energetic leader and send them to another room for instructions.  Somehow, I was picked.  That confuses me.  This is where the weird twist comes in.  The game was called Impromptu Dance Troupe Dance Off.  (I was thinking Job 3:25)  You may remember I was chatting with God a while ago about getting out of my rut, which included learning how to dance.  God has a sense of humour.  I was thinking I may work on dancing in private, or maybe even take some lessons if I could find the time.  Well, in the blink of an eye I was a part of an impromptu dance troupe that was going to perform in front of 75 other people in 10 minutes.  Oh crud!  We practiced, we performed, I survived, even my solo.  Thanks God, but let's go a little slower next time.

    The evening ended with a gift exchange, group photo, and some more visiting.  It was all good.  Even as I was preparing to leave I found myself coming back to chat with CI and AS and KS and D and K and C.  As I get to know more people I am finding it easier to be myself and visit.  So the night was good.  I'm sure many people stayed later and I heard there was an after party bowling game going on but I recognized that I was peopled-out and went home.  I left on my terms and that felt good.   Thursday has been redeemed.

    And totally unrelated, I held a new born baby this morning.  It was a good weekend.

    Friday, December 3, 2010


    I have noticed that every other post I put up here usually has some reference to me crying.  Well, I guess it's because lately I find myself crying all the time.  Now, I was never really an emotional guy.  I hardly ever cried at all.  Then, about 3 months ago, I began feeling an urge to seek God out. That's when things seemed to change.  Are these new found tears a part of being closer to God?  Maybe.

    I have shed tears of sadness in prayer.
    My uncle was burned in an accident.
    My friend's dad may not survive past Christmas.
    A 13 year old I've been praying for has a brain tumour that can't be treated any more.
    I've cried so much over these things.

    But I've cried so much more because I am happy.  That feels strange to say but it's true.
    I've cried happy tears when praying.
    I've cried happy tears when worshiping. A lot of tears when worshiping.
    I was grocery shopping and humming to myself.  I wasn't really even aware of the songs I was humming until I started crying, right in the bakery section.  I stopped myself and tried to figure out what was going on.  As it turned out I was humming How Deep The Father's Love and yep, I started crying.

    Maybe this is just an ad hoc fallacy but it seems that as I've grown closer to God these last few months I've become much more emotional.  Maybe I am experiencing a little more of God's heart for us.  Maybe I'm becoming more of the person God is creating me to be.  There's a lot of other maybes, but I think it is safe to conclude that this is a good thing.  It is a God thing.  That's really the only explanation I need.

    Free To Be Me

    I am already anticipating a long and winding post, but it will be good.

    I am excited about life. That's not the first thing I thought I would write about after having my little incident last night. I will be honest, it was a little embarrassing to admit I had a panic attack at C&C last night. I'm not sure but there may be people from C&C reading this. I don't know. What I realize now is that I was not me last night. The scared Clinton (scared of what, I don't know) was not who I am. Somehow that made me feel better. The fact is Perfect Love casts out all fear, and I am learning to receive that Perfect Love.

    The fact is I like me. The psalmist, or was it Switchfoot, asks, "This is your life. Are you who you want to be?" My answer is yes, I am, and yet I am growing daily. The person I am today is not the person I was yesterday, who is not the person I was the day before that. Is this paradoxical? Probably. However, each day, I am the person God made me, even if that is different every day.

    I am learning that I am free to be me. For much of my early life I was scared to be me. I would rather wear a mask to protect the me inside, than let myself out and face rejection. My thought was, it is easier to have someone reject the mask I'm wearing, than reject the person I am behind the mask. I am learning to take off my masks. This blog is part of that process. It has been a slow process the last few years but it has been greatly accelerated the last 4 months or so. God is good.

    I am free to be me. I am not 100% sure how that is going to play out, but I am excited to find out.

    I am free to be me when I worship. On Tuesday I went to Declare and Surrender at the Christian school. There was a lot of dancing, raised hands, yelling, flag waving, laying on the floor, crying, running and jumping. That is not really me (except for the crying I guess) but there was freedom to worship as myself even if that meant I mostly sat there with my head bowed quietly. I mean, I could do what everyone else was doing but my heart would not be in it. That is the great thing about freedom though, I can be me when I worship, even if it is completely different than everyone else. I have a confession to make. When I am alone, and I worship, I do something I don't do anywhere else. I move. Not dance. Not raised hands. Not jumping. I don't know if there's any way to describe it but when no one is around that is my default. I was really hoping there was another Declare and Surrender coming up soon so I could worship as myself with others. I guess the next one is in January.

    I am free to be me when I hang out with other people. That is also a difficult one for me but I'm working on it. I realize now that I won't necessarily connect with everyone and everyone won't necessarily connect with me but that's ok. I will connect with some, and when I do it will be genuine because I will be me. I've always struggled with being myself around people because I tend to be quiet and I tend to want to spend time alone. I always wondered if I could truly make friends when it took me forever to finally come out of my shell. An interesting thing happened on Saturday during our prayer/solitude retreat that helped answer this question. Two of the ladies there are quite outgoing and extroverted. Bubbly, some might say. I like them. When I am around them I don't feel drained, I feel energized and that is unusual for me. As we talked about some of our struggles I mentioned how I sometimes feel so isolated as an introvert and I wish I could be like everyone else. They immediately told me not to feel that way. I found out that both their husbands are extremely quiet and introverted and yet both women found strength and comfort in their husbands because their strengths complimented their wives weaknesses. They were grateful for their husbands and the strengths they possessed as introverts. It helped me see that maybe I am not totally messed up, just different, and maybe, someday, that difference will be the ying to someone else's yang. That gave me hope. I have sometimes wished I could be the outgoing, have a million friends, loud and boisterous kind of guy but now I am starting to realize that it would only create a struggle for me to try and be something different than God made me.

    And during my time of Spiritual Direction Wednesday morning everything seemed to be confirmed. I am free to be me. Free to be the me God made me. That is liberating. However, just like the posts, once I learned a new truth from God, an obstacle (my little anxiety attack at C&C) appeared to challenge it. Well, it's not going to work. I will continue to attend C&C. I will continue to meet people. I will make friends. I will be the person God created me to be.

    You make everything glorious and I am Yours. What does that make me?

    The Last Couple Days

    Dear Diary,

    The last week has been a blur.  I have been running from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.  Work, meetings, gatherings, etc... I am learning to be a healthy introvert, and one thing I now realize is that I need to make time for me.  During the weekend I was so exhausted I had no energy.  It wasn't from lack of sleep or food, but lack of alone time.  I started seeing everything I had scheduled as an inconvenience, which is unfortunate because many of those things were very God centered.  I went into our prayer/solitude morning on Saturday with that attitude, but it changed once I arrived.  I am glad God met me there and changed my perspective.  I now realize that taking time out just for me allows me to more fully involve myself in the things I do think are important.

    What I really do want to talk about though are the last couple days, starting on Tuesday.  Tuesday night I went to a time of praise and worship at the Christian school. I stumbled upon it through facebook.  I have said in early entries that sometimes I miss services like this.  Tuesday night I stumbled into one.  It was definitely more of a charismatic bent than I thought it would be.  It was good.  I have a lot more thoughts on it, but I am still organizing them.  I left with a lot of questions too.  I didn't really know who I could talk to about it but I had the urge to talk to someone.  Either way, I will attend the next one.

    Wednesday morning I had scheduled my very first Spiritual Direction meeting.  If you don't know what that is, I can't really explain it, so we'll just leave it at that, but it was good too.  And as it turned out, it was the perfect place to discuss the night before.  It helped me accept myself, my personality traits and my way of approaching God.  I tend to meet God in the "quiet place".  Tuesday was pretty much the opposite of that, but that's ok.  Not everyone is like me and I believe there are many honest and heartfelt ways to worship.  Maybe someday, I will be more like Tuesday night, but right now I am more like Wednesday morning.  My goal is just to be(come) the person God wants me to be.

    In the afternoon I went to PA and met up with some new friends from C&C in PA.  We went snowboarding. It was a lot of fun.  It was my first time snowboarding.  All I will say is that I did not hurt myself nearly as much as I expected.  That's a good thing, I guess.  We hung out at a restaurant from 10pm to midnight, and then I went back to my parents place for the night. Mom and I ended up talking until 2am about life, love and God.  It was all good.

    And then tonight was College and Career.  This is difficult for me to write but I promise to be honest with this blog in good times and bad.  I had a bit of an anxiety attack tonight.  It hasn't happened to me in a long time, but tonight, as I entered the building, I felt like the walls were closing in on me.  I fought it.  The old me would have just left.  I stayed through worship and the sermon and discussion afterwards.  I like C&C a lot and it really frustrated me that I was getting this anxious feeling, particularly here, with all these great people.  As people began visiting I felt like I was being suffocated.  I felt the need to get outside, to catch my breath.  I didn't fight it any longer, but I wish I did.  As I left I had opportunities to stay and talk with people.  I wish I did.  I feel like I missed out on something for not staying and visiting, but the urge to get outside was so strong.  I am frustrated that I didn't fight it harder.  I am frustrated that this even happened in the first place.  I had been doing good for so long.  Instead, I immediately put my jacket on and left.  So disappointed in myself.  There's only 2 more meetings this year and I vow not to do again what I did tonight.

    I am glad that God is a God who redeems.  I feel bad about not making more of tonight.  I feel bad for not getting to know the people a little better.  There are people there that I want to talk to and hang out with.  I feel like I didn't get the most out of this evening, but like I said, God redeems.  This Saturday is the C&C Christmas party.  I am a bit nervous because it is all about socializing (my weakness), but I feel like this Saturday is a chance to make up for tonight. Thank you, Lord.  Please continue to give me new chances to recover lost opportunities.  I promise I will do my best to seize every one of them.

    And here I write.  I'm still a little disappointed that I didn't visit with some people, especially since I had the opportunity, but I will continue to go back to God, trust Him, become the person He wants me to be, and all the rest can take care of itself.

    Thank you Lord,

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    A Revelation

    Over the last 5 days or so I have had a revelation.  No matter how much we want to be with God, He wants to be with us more.  When we go to God, He's already there waiting for us.

    Here is Third Day's Love Song.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010


    Dear Diary,

    Last night I turned off the house lights, plugged in the Christmas lights and began reading What's So Amazing About Grace?  It moved me, a lot.  There are few books that have had a major impact on me but this book seems to be one of them.  I guess time will tell.  I just finished reading it 30 minutes ago and it left me in tears.  I would recommend this book to anyone out there reading this entry.  It will change you.  If you don't have time, maybe just read the fourth chapter.  You will not regret it.

    Lord, please grant me the ability to live in Your grace and give grace to those who need it.  Amen.


    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Simply Amazing

    I am a big fan of the David Crowder Band. I was lucky enough to see them live in Saskatoon a couple months ago. Here is their music video for SMS (Shine). I think it is one of the best videos ever made. It is creative and artful. It is beautiful and moving. Simply amazing.  I like it a lot. It even made me a little misty eyed.


    My work has a demanding schedule.  I can work anywhere from 5am to 11pm on an average day, and up to 14 hours in a row.  I can work beyond those hours as well with advanced notice.  It is difficult to live a normal life outside of that type of schedule.  Having said that, I have noticed something amazing.  I have been to church for 8 consecutive weeks, maybe more, but I'm not really counting.  I have been to 4 consecutive weekly C&C nights, and I only started attending 4 weeks ago.  I have attended my church's monthly prayer/solitude retreats each month for the last 3 months, since they've began.  I have also attended the last 4 prayer meetings on Friday mornings at our church since I learned about them 4 weeks ago.  How is that even possible considering the schedule I keep?  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But it's definitely cool.  And this week I'll be able to attend C&C, the prayer meeting, C&C's Christmas banquet, a spiritual direction meeting and church again.  It is such a blessing to me.  I almost feel spoiled.  God, are you pulling some strings for me?  Thank you.

    Somewhat unrelated, here's a video I shot on my cell phone tonight at work.  This is why I love my job.

    Oh, I almost forgot, I have been thinking about reading the book What's So Amazing About Grace this last week.  I don't actually own it.  Today my brother just happened to check it out of the library, with no knowledge that I was intending to read it.  It's sitting here waiting for me.  How cool is that?

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    I Won't Let Go of You

    'Nuff said.

    Proverbs V

    The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

    Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of
    driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few

    One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames,with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

    Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

    It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

    forwarded to me by my mom

    My Rut

    I have been stuck in a rut for the last couple years.  It was a comfortable rut.  It molded itself to me and never asked that I change.  Perhaps, more accurately, it never let me change.  I am climbing out of this rut.

    I find a reoccurring theme of living an abundant life in scripture.  Although I am just learning what an abundant life really is, I am confident I know what it is not.  It is not the rut I was stuck in.

    On Sunday I spoke briefly at church about what God has been doing in my life.  The bulk of what I spoke about was how God has been creating dissatisfaction in me with how my life has been.  I realize it sounds strange crediting God with creating dissatisfaction but that's exactly what I needed.  My old life consisted mostly of work, tv, video games, sleep and  food.  I would squeeze church in when my schedule allowed, but I didn't try too hard.  It makes me sad to say that.  And then BAM, it became so unsastisfying.  The old things that filled my life didn't really fill me any more.  I had the urge to seek for something of substance.  I am still seeking, but I am also finding.  My new life consists mostly of work, sleep, food, church, C&C, prayer time, reading things of God, worship, and even people.  Can you see the difference?  I can feel it.  I feel my life is more abundant now than it has ever been.  That's not to say I have arrived.  I merely started on the journey.  There are still things of substance to incorporate into my life and there are desires I want, which I am learning to hand over to God.  I hope they are desires placed in me by God.  I can't say for sure, but that's why I feel I am on a journey.  There's discovery around every corner.  I'm sure I'll get lost a couple times along the way but I am learning to ask for directions from people who've gone before me and from the Map Maker Himself.

    And on a more superficial tangent, I am making myself try new things.  For too long I have lived an insular life.  I became quite boring.  Now I am looking for a little adventure in life.  For instance I am going to make myself learn to ski, even if it kills me (which previous experience tells me is a possibility).  I am going to my company's Christmas party.  (I skipped my previous company's past 5 Christmas parties.)  I am going to C&C's Christmas party (which I was considering skipping).  I am going to get more involved with Sunday School at church.  I am even going to travel/vacation just to have fun.

    Update:  I may as well learn how to dance while I'm at it.

    Take that, rut!


    More random thoughts ahead, although somewhat arranged this time...

    I have said previously I think a lot.  But what does that really mean?

    Well, I am constantly thinking of possibilities.  When someone says something is impossible that is all the motivation I need to think of ways to achieve the impossible.  And many times I do.
    I analyze a lot.  I take seemingly random things and form them into a cohesive idea or derive a narrative from seemingly unrelated facts.
    I am intuitive, in that I make judgments based on very little evidence, but still end up at a correct conclusion by filling in the blanks with my perceptions and analysis.
    And I imagine a lot.  My mind is always focussed on the what ifs.  I can run through scenarios that I may never experience but go through all my options and outcomes so I am ready if the opportunity ever comes up.

    I don't know if many people are like that.

    It is a blessing and a curse.

    The blessing is that I am never bored.  There's a world inside my head full of possibilities and new ideas.  It's a pretty cool place to visit sometimes.

    The curse is that there is a world outside my head too which I don't always interact with because I'm stuck inside my head.  Unfortunately for me that world doesn't behave the way I want it to all the time.

    But the great thing about being aware of how I work is that I can make changes if I don't think things are the way they should be, the way God wants them to be.  I've said it before, many times, but I am aware of my shortcomings so now I can change them.

    And that is what I have been doing the last 4 months.  I have been limiting life inside my head and going out to experience the real world.  I guess I am trying to be a better balanced introvert.  I am experiencing new things and people.  When I say new, I really do mean new, to me at least.  But now that I've experienced these new things I find myself running back inside my head analyzing it all and digesting it and trying to figure out what it all means.  Maybe I'm over thinking everything too much.  Scratch that.  I am definitely over thinking everything too much.

    There is one particular thing I have been thinking about for a while now and I don't know what to do with it.  I've written an entry about it but I have not published it (yet) because I just don't know where I want to take it.  Really, this whole post is just me trying to say I have been thinking about something, something I want to share, but don't know how.  I have discussed it with one friend, who is the exact opposite of me in almost every way, and it has given me hope and new insight, but I am still unsure how to proceed.

    When I run into these situations I tend to go back to God again.  To delight myself in the Lord, to trust Him always, to be the person He wants me to be, and hopefully the rest of the pieces will fall into place.

    This entry was really more for me than you.  I think it's helped.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    The Goal

    If this is my life, a little more each day, it will have been a life well spent.

    Star Fish

    by Loren Eiseley
    Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

    One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

    As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

    He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

    The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

    "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

    To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

    Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

    At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

    I used to be the "wise" man.  Hopefully I am becoming the young man.

    Stuck in Traffic

    I was stuck in traffic last night and it was great.

    I suppose it's nice to get home in 15 minutes instead of an hour, but I'm the type of guy who sees the silver lining to every cloud.

    Of all the places to be stuck in traffic, I found the perfect place.  I was stuck on Spadina East.  The snow was dusting every branch of every tree.  The ice crystals were sparkling.  The character homes along the street were decorated for Christmas.  It felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting.  So I sat back, listened to the radio, and smiled at the passers by.  It was my little oasis that evening.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Convicted, etc

    There's a lot going around in my head lately.  This is a no edit zone.  I'm going just start typing what ever by brain sends to my fingers.  Look out.  Where to begin?

    I want to start with conviction.  I have been confronted with God's word, and with wisdom from other people about a lot of things over the last week or two.  It's been good.  I have started to focus on the verse that says,
    delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  That is so powerful.  There are things in my life that I want.  Some of those things are self centered and some are very important, but the fact remains, I have been seeking them before I have been seeking to delight myself in the Lord.  This is where my thought process gets messy, or human.  I wanted to twist God's word around to say, if I seek God first, he will give me all those other things I want.  And I believe that is taking God's word out of context.  I am aware of Matthew 6:33, but within a larger context it is about God meeting our needs, not being a genie that grants us wishes.

    And here's where things start to get really messed up.  I want something.  Something that I am not sure how to get.  And basically because I don't know how to go about it, or it hasn't worked out the way I would like it, I started to think that maybe if I started to focus on God, He would give me the thing I want.  Then I started to think that maybe, if I focused on God, I wouldn't want that other thing as much, and because I didn't really want that thing as much God would give it to me.  Ya, that's just as bad as the first thought.  

    I finally decided I have no idea what I am doing, so I am going to focus on God.  Period.  I may never get what I want, but I already have God.  If that is all I have the rest of my life I will be content.  I will delight myself in the Lord.  As I do, I know the desires of my heart will change.  Who knows what I will really want by then anyway.  I suppose God, and he will be the one to grant me those things or not.  Somehow, I feel this is closer to the truth of the scripture.  And I have to be honest, I still want that thing, but I have turned it over to God now.  It is scary.  I may never get it.  That is hard for me to accept.  All I can be is who God wants me to be, and all I will seek is God.  You don't know how hard it is for me to say that.  Being myself is what I struggled with most of my life and seeking God first is the opposite of how I achieved a lot of things in my life.  This is all backwards to me.  

    What else have I been convicted about?  Let's see.  I have been convicted about how I care for the needy.  Jesus said whatever I do for the least of these I did for him.  And I can't say I've done a whole lot for Jesus in my life.  It frustrates me because I have the ability to do more than I have.  But I am starting.  I have recently started fostering a child through Compassion Canada.  You need to as well.  There's no reason any person reading this cannot do the same.  I mean it.  No reason whatsoever.  I said previously that sometimes I am scared to open up a little bit and care for the world because I feel like I would be overwhelmed by the pain in the world.  Sometime between then and now I feel like God has been telling me to man up.  I just may get washed away by the sorrow and pain, but I just may make a difference in someone's life too.  If I'm going to err, it is going to be on the side that allows Jesus to be reflected through me.  I feel convicted for not showing enough compassion to others.  I feel convicted for not showing enough grace.  I feel convicted for not sharing my faith with others.  That is so difficult for me.  Being the person I am, the last thing I feel comfortable with is talking with people I don't know very well about something that may cause me to be rejected.  Stupid SAD.  I have been feeling convicted as I read sections from What's So Amazing About Grace.  I'm going to have to read the whole thing now.  I have been feeling convicted about how little I read the bible.  That is changing now.  I am starting with the book of John.  I am getting re-introduced to my Savior.  

    As long as I'm typing like crazy what else can I confess?  I like ACDC.  I bought clothes to impress a girl.  I am so drastically different than 6 months ago.  Thank you Jesus.  I can't tie a full Windsor knot.  I wish I could be an extrovert.  Life would be so much easier.  I am going to make myself go skiing this year, to force myself out of this comfortable rut.  My happiest times right now are at C&C on Thursdays and the Prayer Meeting Friday mornings.  I struggle to be myself 100% around other people, but I'm getting better.  I want to be the person God wants me to be.  I really want a new car.  I love my job.  I want to be in love one day.  I still don't feel like I've found the place where I "fit" yet.  I get Christmas off for the first time in 5 years.

    I think my brain is on empty.  I'm done.  My next posts will be thought out and edited.  I promise.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010


    Dear Diary

    Some unexpected things have happened lately.  Good things.  Maybe even God things.

    First off, I have been getting hammered with conviction and scripture and other people's writings and thoughts, in a good way.  I will write more about that later.  It really is awesome how God is changing me.

    Secondly, I spent Friday night on the phone with a couple friends.  That is unexpected in and of itself because I am not a fan of chatting on the phone.  I don't really like conversations that start with, "Whatcha doing?" or, "I'm bored."  Anyway I talked with an old friend in Alberta for an hour.  Wow.  And then I talked with a new friend in PA for almost two hours.  Crazy.  Slowly it seems God is bringing me out of my shell.  And then weird enough, an old colleague I haven't seen in a year or so met up with me on facebook and suggested we go out for coffee some time.  And then an even older friend, who I met in grade 7, caught up with me and suggested we go see a movie tonight.  This all happened within a couple hours.  Good thing?  God thing?  I'm not sure but it feels good to be socializing with people.

    And finally, I was supposed to work today.  My job got postponed so I still made it to church, a couple minutes late.  I was originally scheduled to speak for five minutes but I didn't write anything down because I thought I would be at work.  I still spoke at the end of the service though, mostly off a few notes I scribbled on the bulletin.  It was good.  And it opened a few doors for me to speak with people after the service I've never spoken to like DS, S and RO, and B.  And I got a few hugs.  Was it because of the blog?  I can't say, but keep 'em coming.  It was all good.

    Now, hopefully the Riders win today...


    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Beautiful Day

    It's a beautiful day.  The sun is out after hiding behind the clouds for the last week.  Sure, we had to go through a snow storm before we could get to the light, but truth be told, I don't mind it too much.  As long as the sun is out I can take all the cold and snow.

    It has been/will be a good week.

    Saturday -I went to a 30+ church group.  I have decided I am not 30+.  I may have enough orbits around the sun to qualify, but mentally, I'm somewhere in my 20's.  (Stay tuned for a future post on that.)
    Sunday -Church.  I helped with worship again, this time in front of the piano.  Baby steps.  It felt good.  I had to rush off to work immediately after.  I didn't want to leave so quickly, I actually wanted to stay and chat with some people so that is a good sign regarding me getting out of my shell a little bit.
    Monday -Work
    Tuesday -Financial information meeting
    Wednesday -Sanctuary -Work related meeting -Bank meeting
    Thursday -C&C
    Friday -Prayer meeting
    Saturday -Financial planning meeting
    Sunday -I was scheduled to share a 5 minute blurb at church on what God has been doing in my life.  That is a big step for me, to actually speak in front of people again.  But as of an hour ago I have to work Sunday morning so I won't be able to share.  Still, I was ready, willing and able.  Instead I am going to be doing my last flight in a Navajo Chieftain (in the exact plane pictured below) from Stony Rapids to Saskatoon.  I suppose that is noteworthy.

    Maybe it's the fact that I went for a walk this morning, or C&C lifted my spirits last night, or I'm using some fancy-pants moisturizer but I'm feeling pretty good.  Happy Clint good.  And while that is great, I still want my attitude to be based on God's goodness and unchanging nature.  It may storm again, I may miss next week's C&C, and this moisturizer won't last forever, but God is unchanging.  In the good times and bad I want to say I will trust Him.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Hugs Hugs Hugs

    Ok, here we go.  There's something special about touch.  You know it's true.

    I've heard many anecdotal stories of babies in orphanages dying from lack of touch but those that were held grew strong and healthy.  I can't find any official documentation but I have also heard the similar things for the elderly living in retirement homes.  Physical touch improves health and decreases depression.  Now unfortunately I'm rather shy, and I don't socialize all that often so I am not really in contact with many people. When I started thinking about this I realized it is possible for me to go weeks without actually touching another human being.  That's kind of sad.  Then I started wondering what are the possible ramifications for my health and overall well being.  Probably not very good.  I have said previously I am excited about my life because I feel that I am at the beginning of a new adventure, a fresh start after years of being in a stagnant, introverted prison.  I am actively working to change those things in my life that need changing.  This is one of those things.  I am not a touchy feely person, but I am working to change that.

    So, I know that there are some people out there reading this.  I don't know who you all are but I have a homework assignment for you.  I would like you to hug me the next time you see me.  To motivate you, I promise there will be health benefits in it for yourself.

    I think this will be kinda fun.  Image going through your everyday life with random people hugging you.  Hey, I could get used to this.

    Anyway, thanks in advance to those who accept the challenge.

    Growing Up

    This is one of those entries that could become 50 000 words +.  I'll try to keep it brief.  There won't be a lot of direction in what I write.  I just want to share some of the things from my past so you can see where I've come from and maybe a little of why I am the way I am.

    Growing up, money was tight in our family.  I never went hungry.  I always had a place to live.  So, from my perspective things were pretty good.  I never really understood the stresses my parents were under to provide for us though.  We didn't have a lot new clothes.  I wore hand me downs from other families.  I remember dad taking me out one afternoon, when I was about 5 or 6 to go pick bottles up in the ditch along the highway to Shellbrook.  I had a good time.  I didn't realize we were actually doing it so we could have bread and milk that night.  There were times when my brother and I couldn't stay for lunch at school when they were doing the $2.50 for a hot dog, drink and rice crispie square fundraiser because my parents just couldn't afford it.  I remember when I was 12, a friend wanted to go to 7/11 to get a slurpee after school.  I was so embarrassed because I had no money.  He suggested I ask my dad for $1.  I was terrified to ask for money.  I knew we didn't have any.  But I did it.  I remember the look on dad's face.  I thought back then that he was mad at me for asking, but now that I think about it, I'm sure it was more of a look of pain.  Pain that he couldn't give me anything.  He went inside the house and 10 minutes later he came back with a handful of nickels and dimes.  I'm sure he scoured every corner of the house and looked under every couch cushion to put it together.

    Growing up, recreation and leisure were foreign concepts.  Dad worked to provide for us.  That was all he had time for.  We never went on a vacation.  The only time we traveled anywhere was to visit family, which wasn't bad, but it wasn't really a vacation either.  I'm sure finances played a role.  Mom and dad did manage to pay for 1 season of little league for my brother, and 4 months of kayaking lessons for myself but outside of that there was not much else.  My parents didn't really have a concept of extra-curricular activities.  We never went golfing.  We never went skiing.  We never enrolled in any organized sports.  No hockey.  No soccer.  No baseball for me.  No cadets.  No boy scouts.  We never went camping.  I grew up in Prince Albert and didn't even know PA National Park or Waskesiu existed until I was 16 and our youth group went there.  Sometimes, when I see pictures or hear stories of families going on vacation, or going on ski trips I am envious.  I had my bike.  When other families were in Mexico, or Disney, I was on my bike, all day, every day.

    Growing up I didn't have a lot of friends.  I never invited anyone over to our house to play.  My friends would actually comment on how they would invite me over to their place but I would never invite them to mine.  I guess that was the SAD thing again.  Birthdays were the only time I ever asked anyone over, and I did that mostly because I felt I had to.  I avoided youth group at church until I was about 15 or 16.  I felt very uncomfortable there for the first year or so.

    Growing up, I was all about school and reading.  I would read a novel every couple days.  I had a 99% average through most of elementary and Junior High.  That was my world.  I was a pretty tightly wound kid.  I remember crying because I couldn't figure out how to spell a word on a spelling test in grade 5.  I finished off our entire grade 6 math text book in a week and spent the rest of the year helping my teacher help the other students in class.  In grade 9 I didn't even take math, I read.  Our teacher would give us a pretest, and if we got over 95% we didn't have to take the particular unit.  It was like a spare all year long.  I'm also pretty sure I was a little OCD.  I remember walking to school and having rules about how many steps I could take on each pavement block.  I couldn't step on any cracks.  I was allowed only 1 step on pieces that were cracked.  I was only allowed 2 steps on on whole blocks.  I could bank up extra steps I didn't use on previous blocks for future blocks if I got into any trouble.  It was insane, but I would do that going to and coming from school every day.

    So, if that was me growing up, where does it leave me today?  Well, I tend to be cheap.  Even if I can afford something, rarely can I justify buying it.  I have only been on 2 vacations in my life, and the first one my friend had to basically drag me to California kicking and screaming.  I'm thankful for that though.  I'm still a bit of a nerd but I have greatly scaled back my reading and studying, although I still love to learn.  I think the OCD is gone.  As for recreation, I ride my bike, still.  I am working on actually picking up some new hobbies though. I see how excited and happy people are to go on ski trips or go to the lake for a weekend and I want to give it a shot myself.  It is a big decision for me to do things like that but I am going to force myself out of my rut.  Look out world, here I come.  And finally, relationships.  I'm still trying to figure that out.  I do have some friends and yet I am still trying to figure out how to be a friend.  I will write a lot more about that in an upcoming post.

    This is why I am excited about life.  I am aware of these limits so I can change them.  I can be the person I want to become.  I have been thinking about the verse, "delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart," lately. It's strange because I see it popping up all over the place. Right now my focus is really to delight myself in the Lord, and hopefully the other things in life will fall into place.

    Once again, thanks for letting me get this stuff off my chest.

    Just A Reminder

    I've been a bit of a funk the last 5 days or so, I'll get over it. I just thought it was interesting that my situation hasn't changed, the world hasn't changed, the people in my life haven't changed. The only thing that has is how I choose to perceive my situation. And the crazy thing is, my perception could be 100% wrong. As Hamlet says, "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." A week ago I was doing pretty good, and really, nothing has changed between last week and now except my perception.

    God hasn't changed. That is why I have decided that, "yet will I trust Him." Despite feelings and circumstance I pledge to always stay focussed on God. Today I just needed to remind myself that ain't it good to be alive.


    They say extroverts make up 75% of the world and introverts make up the remaining 25%.

    Extroverts tend to go through life surrounded by similar people, other extroverts.  Introverts tend to go through life like an alien on a foreign planet.  I suppose that is why I started to write this blog to begin with.  I just want to be understood by the majority of people in my life who are extroverts.

    So, for you extroverts out there, here are some introvert things I would like you to know about me.

    I don't mind being alone.
    I would prefer to spend my Friday nights reading a book by a fireplace than going to any party.
    If I turn down an invitation to hang out, it's nothing personal, I just really need some time to myself so that I will have the energy again to be with other people.
    I like to be prepared for any situation before engaging in it.
    I am loyal.
    If I am in a group of people for a long time, I will probably take brief "intermissions" just to recoup some energy.
    I do like people, I just like alone time as well.
    I prefer structure and guided purposeful conversations to "socializing".
    I relive social situations (both good and bad) over and over again in my head, thinking of different possibilities and outcomes if I had done something differently.
    If I seem quiet, it's not that I have nothing to say, it's that I'm deliberating, thinking, and editing what I want to say before I say it.

    Thank you for trying to understand me.  I appreciate it.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010


    I was still feeling a bit "empty" today.  I don't know how else to describe it.

    I went to church.  I layed down in the Sanctuary.

    I think we, me in particular, and Christians in general, spend a lot of time asking God for things.  Sometimes it's not very important.  Please help me pass this test, get that girl to like me, find a parking spot.  Sometimes it's much more serious.  Healing, deliverance, salvation.  But rarely is it just to be with God.

    So, there I was, laying down in the middle of the Sanctuary, being with God.  And it was good.

    I can't say that anything happened exactly but I made a decision.  Now, I have always said I want this blog to be the best reflection of me I can make it, so I will be totally honest here.  I don't like the book of Job, and yet I was thinking about it and thinking about me.  I was thinking about how great my life really is and yet I let such a tiny thing get me down.  Then I thought of Job, who lost everything, and his response was, "and yet will I trust Him."  I decided to trust God.  It doesn't sound like much but it really is monumental.  I can't say that I trust God as much as I should.  Right now I'm going through a minor low but I will trust in God.  I have decided that no matter what life has in store for me yet will I trust God.  When things are good I will trust God.   When things are bad I will trust God.  I will trust God.  This is life changing for me.

    When I got home I felt led to play this song.  And I immediately started bawling.  Why am I even sharing this?  I'm not sure, but it happened, and it felt like a God thing, so there you go.

    I want to spend more time in the Sanctuary.

    My Dad

    My Dad is
    a man's man
    a salt of the earth guy
    a blue collar guy
    a perfectionist
    a hunter
    a giver
    a very hard worker
    a fixer of anything mechanical
    an extrovert
    an electrician
    mostly moustached

    This will be one of the few entries I talk about someone else without keeping their identity secret.   My life has been greatly impacted by my dad, and so I can't talk about it without talking about him.

    Dad grew up in rural Saskatchewan on a farm.  He only spoke French until the age of 5 when he attended kindergarten and his surprised family discovered school was only in English. He was driving a truck by the age of 7 and a combine by 12.  By 16 he was helping raise his family, going to school, and holding down a full time job.  He never actually graduated from high school, just a couple credits short.  He did not let my brother or I know.  When I was 10 he received his GED after submitting his trade school accreditation for his missing credits.

    The book The Five Love Languages describes different ways people say, "I love you."  It's an interesting read.  My dad does not say it with words or with affection.  My dad says it through acts of service.  Growing up I have seen my dad give away 3 cars, 1 truck, hundreds of pounds of meat and tens of thousands of dollars to family and friends in need.  I have seen him give his services as an electrician and an all round handy man without asking for a dime.  It is a powerful witness to me, to see my dad do these things.  It is magnified by the fact that we did not have very much growing up.  That will be the subject of a different post.  However, just because our family sometimes struggled to make ends meet, it never kept my dad from giving to those he felt were worse off than us.  To this day dad still rotates my tires for me.  It's not that I can't.  It's how he says I love you.  It took me a long time to let dad do this for me, trying to figure out why he always wanted to help do these things.  Now I know.

    I said previously that I find it difficult to relate to guys/men and I felt that was partly because dad wasn't around much when I was growing up.  It left a hole in my life that I'm not sure has ever been filled.  It's not that he didn't want to be around.  Dad did what he had to do to provide for our family.  I respect his sacrifices greatly.  I never realized how much of a sacrifice it must have been for him until recently when I had to work away from home myself.  It was extremely difficult for me and I'm not married and I don't have kids.  It really hasn't been until recently, as an adult myself, that I have got to know my dad.  It's a very unique situation to be in.

    I respect my dad so much for what he has done for our family, and yet, I don't want to be the same type of dad to my future family as dad was to us.  Most of my developmental years dad had to work in other cities to pay the bills and keep us fed.  Even when he was home he would have to run around paying bills or fixing the car or other errands until he had to go away again to work.  It created a bit of a void in my life.  I never really had the opportunity to see how a man lived.  I never got to see how a husband treats a wife.  I didn't really get to experience how a father plays with his kids.  I never want to be away from my family.  I don't want to be a stranger to my kids.  In some ways I have had to think very intentionally about what kind of husband and father I want to be because I knew growing up I did not want to do what my dad had to.  I think that is a good thing.

    My dad is a good man.  One of the best.  If you know my dad, you would agree.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010


    For me worship is a hard thing to describe.  I'm sure most people think of music and singing when they think of worship.  That is usually what I think of as well, but my understanding is expanding.  I know people who worship through writing, through dance, through art.  I find it intriguing.  Whatever worship is, it includes an element of intimacy.  That is kinda what I want to focus on.  Intimacy with God.

    Coming from an academic background, much of my understanding of God growing up was academic.  I could give all the right or doctrinally sound answers about God until one day while I was still in high school someone asked me, "How's your relationship with God?"  I was stuck.  I didn't know how to answer that.  I didn't understand the question.  What does that mean?  Where can I find that answer?  What is the right answer?  It even upset me a bit.  I go to church.  I tithe.  I'm a nice person.  What do you mean how's my relationship with God?  I think deep down I was aware that something was missing and I just didn't understand what it was.  Most of my adolescence I didn't really have much of a relationship with anyone, and so I didn't really have a frame of reference for a relationship with God.  I could tell you that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind, but I couldn't honestly say that I did.  I couldn't even comprehend what that meant.  And being academically minded, it troubled me that I couldn't answer that stupid question.  I'm glad someone asked me though because it triggered something in my life.  It created the realization that my relationship with God was not what I thought it was.  It caused me to start searching.

    I now understand what it means to love and be loved, somewhat.  And I know what it means to love God with all my heart, soul and mind.  I can't say I do, but I strive to every day.  The fact that God loves me is sometimes so overwhelming, in a good way.  And now I feel a lump rising in my throat.  I wish I could say in words how I feel inside.  I wish I could let you know how great it is, and yet I can barely comprehend it myself.  How deep the Father's Love for us, how vast beyond all measure.  Sometimes I feel so unworthy.  My best is never good enough.  And that's the greatest thing about God's love.  It doesn't matter that I'm not worthy.  That's the whole point.  I long to love God like He loves me.  For me, I express that intimacy, my love, through music.  I am not a great singer, or guitarist, but that is my main outlet.  And God has made ways for me to use that outlet.

    About  two months ago I was feeling the urge to participate in worship in church.  I was struggling a bit with the idea that I, a normal sinful guy, could even come before God and worship, let alone help lead people to God in worship.  But the urge was there.  It's not that I have the right to come before God and worship, its that He allows me to, and desires that I do.  It's so amazing.  I haven't done anything like this in years, and unfortunately I haven't really been involved in my church until just recently either.  But the urge was still there.  And literally 2 days later, at a pizza get-together at church (an event the old shy Clinton would have normally avoided) someone approached me and asked if I played the guitar and if I wanted to help with worship next week.  I was shocked and declined.  It was all happening a little too fast.  I think God likes having fun with us.  I told God I needed a little more time to get ready for this, but thanks for bringing the opportunity.  Several weeks later I was at church again, alone, (which is also something the old shy Clinton wouldn't normally do) and instead of taking off after the service like I normally would have, I forced myself to stay and visit.  I will be honest, it was not easy for me to do.  Several minutes later, the same person came up to me and asked me if I wanted to help with worship.  This time I was so ready I think I said yes before she even finished the question.  The last two weeks in a row I have helped with worship and it has been great.  I have made mistakes and  I have tried to hide behind the piano but I am amazed that God has made a way to let me participate.  In an earlier post I said helping with worship has meant more to me than I think anyone really knows.  Well, now you know.

    I am thankful for those opportunities.  I am thankful that my understanding of worship is growing.  I am thankful for God's love.  I pray that this intimacy may increase for me and you.

    Monday, November 15, 2010


    In earlier posts I mentioned certain subjects and followed them up with, "I will probably write a post about that some time".  Well, here is the list of subjects I am incubating at the moment:

    My Dad
    Growing Up
    More Posts In My Life
    More Introvert/Extrovert Thoughts
    My Relationships with Males and Females
    I Love you
    My Arrested Development

    Stay Tuned.  I will probably start churning them out quite quickly over the next couple days.