Archive for 2007

And the Word became flesh…

December 23rd, 2007 5 comments

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

Merry Christmas to everyone! I am going to be unoriginal and point to some of my previous posts for your Christmas reading pleasure!:

  • “I Celebrate The Day” by Relient K:
    And I, I celebrate the day
    That You were born to die
    So I could one day pray for You to save my life

  • Dickens speaks Truth: Wise words from Charles Dickens.
  • Get the X out of X-mas!: A look at why Christians shouldn’t be offended by “XMas.”
  • Always Winter but never Christmas: On living in the “Now, but not yet.”
  • Happy Festivus!: Today is Festivus, come celebrate!
  • No Christmas For You!: On why church should be open when Christmas falls on a Sunday.
  • Christmas a pagan holiday?: A look at the pagan roots of Christmas and why Christians shouldn’t have a problem with it.
  • God bless and have a wonderful celebration of our savior’s birth!

    Categories: Daily Life, Religion, Theology

    A Rocha - The Rock

    December 10th, 2007 4 comments

    Jesus called Peter the rock on which he will build his church. Well I am pretty sure that Jesus would have been on board with this rock as well: A Rocha (which means “the rock” in Portuguese).

    The first A Rocha project began in Portugal in 1983. A field study centre and bird observatory was established near the Alvor estuary and it has now been visited by thousands of people from many parts of the world.

    All over the world Christians are realising that important habitats and their wildlife urgently need protection and so, since 1994, new A Rocha projects have started in other parts of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The international cross-cultural strength of the Christian community has been making a unique contribution, not least as communities struggle to reconcile the need to protect biodiversity with their hopes for sustainable development.

    A Rocha projects have a community emphasis, bringing together people from widely differing backgrounds to work towards common goals.

    Two of my favorite people are back living in Canada: Andy is back at Regent preparing to join the Anglican ranks and Katie is working for A Rocha Canada.

    Based in British Columbia’s lower mainland, A Rocha Canada is a national conservation organization working to show God’s love for all of creation. We work out our commitment to environmental action through community-based conservation projects, with a focus on science and research, practical conservation, and environmental education.

    Andy has been very impressed by how A Rocha is trying to make a real impact in God’s creation. Not only that, but they are trying to find a realistic balance between living green and being aware of economic concerns. Katie is looking to raise support for this year and if any of you out there think A Rocha is a worthy cause (and it is), I invite you over to find out more about Katie’s role at A Rocha and ask her about supporting her. Christians need to be making an impact in the World that God has given us and this is a great, practical way that this can happen. Check it out! And here is a brief video introducing A Rocha:

    “I Celebrate The Day” by Relient K

    December 4th, 2007 5 comments

    I should be grading/writing/reading/sleeping/etc. right now, but I thought I would post this quick because I think it is an amazing song and a great addition to the season of Advent (and I haven’t posted in a while… as per usual).

    For a group of guys who wrote some crazy and bizarre songs, they sure know how to write some amazing theology that can make me cry. They are very similar to Five Iron Frenzy in this way I think, especially as compared to the song On Distant Shores, one of my personal favorites. Ponder these words as you enjoy your season of Advent. (Emphasis mine.)

    I Celebrate The Day by Relient K

    And with this Christmas wish is missed
    The point I could convey
    If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You’ve touched my life
    Because here is where You’re finding me, in the exact same place as New Year’s eve
    And from a lack of my persistency
    We’re less than half as close as I want to be

    And the first time
    That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
    And the first breath that left Your lips
    Did You know that it would change this world forever

    And so this Christmas I’ll compare the things I felt in prior years
    To what this midnight made so clear
    That You have come to meet me here

    To look back and think that
    This baby would one day save me
    In the hope that what You did
    That you were born so I might live
    To look back and think that
    This baby would one day save me

    And I, I celebrate the day
    That You were born to die
    So I could one day pray for You to save my life

    Categories: Meaningful Song

    Sex! Sex! Sex!

    November 11th, 2007 13 comments

    Do I have your attention? No, that wasn’t just some cheap ploy to get you to read my post, I actually have something to say about this racy subject.

    All Saints just finished up a series on Love and Relationships. It was a great series that made some great points about marriage in particular and relationships in general. My take-away? I really wish I was in a relationship! Haha. Ok, I am being a bit flippant. It is true, I would like to be in a relationship (but I am also quite happy without it), but there was much more that was said that should be meditated on to grow closer to Christ and used to build strong relationships with others.

    I commented on one of the sermons (“Two Nonnegotiables“) that dealt with seeking that “perfect” relationship. Bill went on to cover a wide variety of “love and marriage” issues (check out the audio downloads page at All Saints to hear them all) concluding with “Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire” (Sex!) and “Keeping it Hot! Staying in Love Forever.”

    Sex is always an awkward topic to discuss in Christian circles. But to truly live holistically as a Christian, we must recognize that God created sex for our pleasure and enjoyment. To deny that is to ignore the benefits of something that God has given us. See a passage like Proverbs 5:18-19 and try to ignore God’s desire for us when it comes to sex. Heck, read the book Song of Solomon (often called the Song of Songs [which really means "the best song"]), you won’t be able to deny God’s intentions towards sex. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 notes:

    The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    This is both a freeing and scary statement. A husband and wife shouldn’t deprive each other. I think that modern culture understand that. But the “no authority over his/her own body” thing people have problems with. But to be perfectly blunt, if they are not comfortable with that, they should not get married.

    The Bible is also pretty explicit about the appropriate time for having sex: after entering into marriage. I won’t dwell on this too much because I think it is a point that has been argued about ad nauseam. I will say this: it is exceedingly difficult for Christians to defend any arguments they have for having sex before marriage. The world may not understand why we wait; they don’t seen to get that sex is a profound spiritual, emotional, and physical act that carries complications and implications in all those areas. Waiting just means we recognize that God has a better idea about how sex is to be used that we do. I am quite unashamed in saying that I am 28 and a virgin. That doesn’t mean it is easy to wait, especially in seeing how God has created sex for us, but it is crucial to be able to fully experience all that comes along with this gift.

    The series was concluded today with a sermon on keeping the passion alive; how do we stay in love with the same person forever? Bill offered four ways to help keep your relationships strong (specifically romantic relationships, but relationships in general will also benefit from these suggestions). Step toward growth in Christ (Philippians 2:4-5). Step toward servanthood (Matthew 20:26-28). Step toward honor (Romans 12:10). Step toward enjoyment of each other (John 10:10). Simple principles, but epic in importance. The hard part is actually living these things out. They don’t have to be huge things, little daily things are just as important as the big, grand gestures. Daily practice of these suggestions will help foster love for each other and build a strong foundation.

    Small topics, eh? I know all these things could be explored in much more detail, but I will leave it at that for now. Now I just need to get a date so as to apply some of the principles talked about in the series! ;)

    Categories: Religion, Theology

    A quick update…

    November 10th, 2007 No comments

    Good golly this is getting pathetic. I keep meaning to post lots of things and then never have the energy. Just sad!

    This past week at had two 13.5+ hour days at school (we had parent conferences), another day with school AND classes, and then I took over my second class. Oh, and it is the end of the quarter and I have TONS to grade.

    Fortunately, it is a four day weekend! Yesterday I actually got to do some curriculum work AND get paid for it! Huzzah! Hopefully I can get the rest of the stuff done by Tuesday.

    Categories: Daily Life

    The Solution to Global Warming and Peak Oil? Math

    October 13th, 2007 5 comments

    The so called “energy crisis” may in fact be solved by simple math; specifically the math of money. The idealist in me would rather people live environmentally sound lives and be good stewards of the Earth because it’s the right thing to do. I am sure there are a number of people who wish I was “greener” (and I am sure I could be); I haven’t placed too much importance in some of the doomsday theories, but that doesn’t mean I don’ think we should do what we can to take care of our planet. That being said, it seems the reality of the global warming “problem” and the peak oil “crisis” is going to work itself out, not because of nutty environmentalists, but because it makes economic sense.

    The world keeps spinning because of money it seems. I don’t have a problem with businesses, even big businesses; I think they are needed and necessary. I don’t even have a problem with them using the Earth’s resources (both space and energies). It makes sense that they will be influenced by the almighty dollar. Bottom line is crucial: they need to pay their employees, stock holders, decrease costs, etc. What is surprising is that this model of business will actually help the environment… if they let it.

    Popular Mechanics recently came out with their 2007 Breakthrough Awards (all of which are extremely interesting). The reason for this post is one of the winners: Amory Lovins: The Prophet of Efficiency. Lovins and his “Think and do tank” Rocky Mountain Institute have been helping businesses move to soft energy technologies.

    He is a pragmatic, pliers-in-hand visionary with a penchant for physics who spends his time engineering a future in which Americans stop burning fossil fuels, yet improve their standard of living. Getting there, he’s certain, is mainly a matter of tapping a nearly limitless resource—corporate pressure to cut costs and improve the bottom line.

    The Daily Green has a good article on Lovins and the Breakthrough Award that you should also read: Why Global Warming and Peak Oil are Irrelevant: A Quick Look Inside the Very Full Brain of Amory Lovins (H/t to Sal).

    Lovins and the team at the Rocky Mountain Institute have applied radical efficiency to help redesign more than $30 billion worth of facilities in 29 sectors.

    If oil runs out next year, or in the next decade, that will matter less than the rise of competitive sources of energy in the marketplace. Petroleum will go the way of whale oil, which in 1850 was the world’s fifth largest industry, Lovins said. That powerful industry lasted precisely until coal-based oils provided a cheaper alternative to the common lighting fuel. You don’t hear much about whale oil anymore.

    “Whalers were astounded,” Lovins said, “when they ran out of customers before they ran out of whales.”

    Read the whole thing. And also check out Lovins’ PM Breakthrough Award article and video, PM’s guide to sustainability, and PM’s 3 Big Ideas for Efficient Big Business from Amory Lovins. Interesting stuff. I guess it just show you can be green in a variety of ways.

    Oh, and also be sure to check out this brilliant idea: Shawn Frayne: The Nonturbine Wind Alternative: Windbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World. This is genius. How has someone not come up with this yet? Simply amazing. And I like that his idea came from watching the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse.

    The Pale Pacific Records a Live CD!

    October 12th, 2007 No comments

    Gabe and Justin

    Erin and I at the showBack on August 11th, Erin and I went to another awesome show at The Crocodile Cafe. The Pale Pacific put on two shows because they are going to put out a live CD! How awesome is that? The set list was great; the CD should sound amazing. Cam, Gabe, Greg, and Justin gave a performance quite worthy of being recorded and now Cam just has to find the time to mix all the tapes down. I just hope it comes out soon! We’ll see I guess. I will be sure to keep you updated when it becomes available.

    Here’s the scoop, as per usual, I took some pics and some video clips. For your visual enjoyment, check out my Flickr set: The Pale Pacific @ The Crocodile Cafe. Some are posted below as well and will take you to those pictures, but you should check out the full set (and larger versions). AND for your visual and audio enjoyment, I have posted some clips up at YouTube. You should check them out, I am pretty sure you will enjoy them. (You can also check out my Pale Pacific YouTube playlist.

  • Wake Up Call
  • Sucker Punch
  • Stop/Start
  • Reasons to Try
  • In The Sun Pt. 1
  • Gravity Gets Things Done
  • 11
  • CamCam's PedalsCamGregGabeCam
    The Pale Pacific Rocks!

    Categories: Meaningful Song, Photoblog

    Two Nonnegotiables

    October 10th, 2007 7 comments

    9 days since my last post? Lame.

    Last Sunday at All Saints Church Bill gave the first sermon in a series about relationships titles “Finding the Love of Your Life” - provocative, eh? The foundation of the sermon was Proverbs 3.6: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Seems like a good foundation. I am actually not going to talk about the bulk of the sermon (but feel free to listen to it, it was quite good), but I wanted to take a brief look at one of his points. He noted that going into marriage there need to be two nonnegotiables (and one strong recommendation) in finding “the one” (which is a load of crap by the way, if you disagree about that, feel free to argue!).

    Nonnegotiable #1: Spiritual Compatibility. Where are we in our walk with God? If we are in vastly different places, that could cause problems. The extreme of this is being in a relationship with a non-believer; this is a touch subject and is bound to piss people off, but it really is crucial. If you are going to be devout in your faith, how would being married to an unbeliever work? These are problems that would never go away. Being able to walk with God together is a foundational aspect of a healthy relationship.

    Nonnegotiable #2: Life Purpose Compatibility. Where are our lives heading? Amos 3.3 says “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” Or in the the paraphrase of The Message: “Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?”  How could two people walk together if they were not going in the same direction? This is not to say that the couple cannot or should not have separate interests, but it does mean that two people heading for marriage should actually sit down and discuss where they want to go in life and see if those visions are compatible. If it is pushed away to be dealt with inside the marriage, it will just cause problems. If you can’t agree now, you probably won’t then.

    Strong Recommendation: Personal Compatibility. This isn’t a nonnegotiable, but it is still pretty important. How did you grow up? What is your family like? What is their background? These are important questions that really do need to be asked. Of course a person’s history does not completely determine who they are and how they act, but it can still play a big role. Understanding a person’s context will help to understand them. Are the ways that you relate compatible or are there always misunderstandings? Personal compatibility is a big issue that should most definitely be explored.

    The reality is that our choices, and they are our choices (“decisions determine destiny”), should be made within appropriate boundaries. There are a number of ways that God guides/teaches/communicates with us in a number of way (which Bill expounds on in the sermon). It is up to us to use those resources to make the best choices we can; when we do that, God will bless our decisions. That doesn’t mean thing will always be easy, in fact things will always get difficult at times (obviously), but it means that there can always be forward progress (Gary Thomas’ book Sacred Marriage is a great read on this topic as well). There is freedom in the choices we make within the boundaries God has provided for us. And he truly has provided them; without boundaries things would be chaos and problems within the relationship would abound. Enjoy the freedom! Now if only I could get a date…

    Categories: Theology
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