Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Guy

A couple weeks ago I arrived to church a few minutes late. I don't like being late. I also don't like being early but that's an unrelated thought at this time. Any way, my usual section was filled up. The only open seats were next to people I didn't know. (If you have been reading this blog for a while you probably know I am not a huge fan of meeting new people.) So I sat in an open space in a place I never sit, near people I didn't know. The service was about prayer. And to change things up a bit we were asked to form small groups with about five people or so in our vicinity.

Haha. Nice one, God. You got me again.

As a (slightly) shy, (kinda) introverted guy, my metaphorical idea of Hell is a pre-sermon church meet and greet time that never ends. Fortunately we only had to form a small group for the duration of the service so I guess I didn't really experience Hell this time.

So there I was, in a group of people I didn't know, being asked to share a bit of myself with them and pray for these strangers. As it turns out, one of the guys in my group was new. This was his first Sunday with us. He didn't know anyone, in our group, our section, or the church in general. I can't say we bonded but we had a similar point of reference we could relate to. I ended up praying for him. He had an interesting story which I won't share in this place, but I felt fortunate that I did end up praying for him. I didn't see him at church the following week (I was intentionally trying to find him) and I'm going to miss a few weeks because of work so I won't have a chance to connect with him for a while. I don't have any other way of finding him so I'm just continuing to pray for him and asking God to honour his decisions. Hopefully we'll meet again in the near future.

And that's my story for the day.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Girl

I met a girl recently. When I say girl, I mean a girl. She was in her mid teens. Her glasses where held together with tape. It wasn't a recent fix. They seemed to have been like that for a while and they will probably be like that for a while longer. Her hair was nothing fancy. Pulled back and hidden by her headscarf. We talked briefly about her family situation. It wasn't good. Two of her three siblings where involved in things that had caused trouble and brought separation to her family. All three had left school after grade 9 and she wanted to  do the same but her parents wouldn't let her. One of her brothers moved back in on the couch. One of her brothers was in jail. Other family members were staying with their family too, until they could get back on their feet. Their home was not that big. I ended up giving her a ride home that night. I know this city fairly well and I had no idea anyone still lived in the area she did. Most of the homes have been condemned and torn down. I didn't think any were still liveable. She told me she expects that the last remaining houses will be torn down soon. She's not sure where her family will end up. It was a sad situation.

But she knew Jesus. And she appeared to be so full of life. Almost too full of life for the circumstances that surrounded her. I found it very interesting.

Some people believe becoming a Christian includes God giving them everything they want and protecting them from every bad situation. I don't. I know a group of guys who knew Jesus personally and their lives did not end up all sunshine and rainbows. I don't recall God ever promising us to be our own person genie in a bottle. I do remember Jesus promising to be with us always if we do His will, regardless of circumstances. Even in the bad circumstances.

Occasionally, when I remember, I pray for her.

That's my story for the day.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Christian" Music

I have a love/hate relationship with music dubbed "Christian". I find a very large portion of it boring and uncreative. It's sad that those inspired by the Creator of the universe can "create" such a bland product only a few syllables removed from being a Beiber ballad. I know that taste in music can vary so I try not to be too hard on styles I'm not a huge fan of (country) because you may not like what I'm in to (hard rock). So, looking below the surface, what makes music "Christian"? The simple answer is absolutely nothing. Being a Christian is a choice influenced by belief and so only human beings may be "Christians". If I were a "Christian" farmer, would my "Christian" produce be any holier than that agnostic farmer down the grid road? Nope. It may even be worse. 

Obviously music, and lyrics in particular, come from life experiences and so there there will be songs that originate from a Christian perspective and songs that speak to my Christian perspective. That doesn't make any song particularly "Christian" though. Having said all that I think lyrics are what ultimately push a song under the "Christian" umbrella or not. Like I said earlier, I'm not a huge fan of "Christian" music because of it's blandness, both lyrical and musical, although I am a fan of many artists that are Christians. One guy I have found myself appreciating more and more is Matt Maher because of his lyrics. I've linked to some of his songs before, HERE and HERE and HERE. I guess this post is just an excuse to share a couple more songs of his I like.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Happy New Year!

Well, this is my first published post of the New Year. Not a lot to say. Usually I like to recap the year that was, but not this one. I did some stuff. The end.

What does 2013 hold for me? Well, there are a lot of possibilities. I may cruise around the Caribbean or travel around Europe for a bit. Or just snow board the last half of Winter. I haven't decided. I'm 80% sure I'll be doing the Canadian Ironman  this Fall. I'm swimming regularly now. I'm getting a better position at work with a better schedule which means I can be more involved with youth work than I have been the last few months. I may buy a new home. I may not. I may become a vegetarian. Actually, I'm pretty sure I won't. I may get my motorbike licence, and a motorbike. Yada, yada, yada. Rising up.

I'm definitely going to be remodelling a house I own. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to doing most of the work with my own two hands. I'm looking forward to the creative aspects of redesigning the floor plans, choosing colours, flooring, trim, etc. Although I'm referring to an actual house I think it could be a  foreshadowing of my life this year too.

Bring on the sledge hammer, both physical and metaphorical.