Friday, November 19, 2010

Next Blog

I'm transitioning over to a new blog. Come check it out! Still needs work though...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

It's Time...

It's time for me to put this blog to rest. I do love it dearly and I am really proud of many of the posts that I've written. However, I just lost all desire to keep it going.

But lately I am finding new inspiration. I do want to write again, but I'm afraid that motivation will dry up too quickly. Well, we'll see how it goes. I think the new blog will be filled with more serious discussion. I think a lot of what I write will be thoughts on life and Jesus. I have many views that would not be considered "sound doctrine" and I've been timid to share those publicly, especially because I am a Pastor. But I don't want to deny this thought process anymore. I want to have open and honest discussions with people regarding what I believe.

I also want to continue writing silly things, random thoughts, unusual stories, and things I find intriguing. What would you like me to write about? For all those faithful followers (all 5 of you), what aspects of my blog attract you the most? What about any new ideas or things you hope I write about?

So tentatively I'll say this, NOVEMBER 19th will be the launch date of my new blog on a new site! Come here for the details then.

Oh, and also, I'm having troubles deciding on the url for the site. I could go with something simple like or

Or keeping the title of this blog I could go with

I don't know. Any creative titles for my new blog???

Monday, June 21, 2010

Top Ten Lists

I love top ten type lists. I've written a few on my blog so far. These are my current lists:

Top 20 Undateable Qualities

Top 11 Summer Movies of 2008

Top Ten Hitchcock Films

Albums for All Times 1 & 2

I am currently working on a few more lists. They are...

Zelda Games

I still need to beat 4 more games before I can put them in order of my favorite.

Disney Movies

I am ranking all Disney theatrical animated features (excluding completely cg films). There are still 12 films I haven't seen yet, and some I need to watch again to determine where they fit in the ranking.

Top Ten Twilight Zone Episodes

The Twilight Zone is such an incredible TV show. Many of the episodes are completely mind-blowing and it's time I tell the world which ones!

Top Ten Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes

Another great TV show, haha! The world needs to know my favorite episodes!!!

So stay tuned...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How I Am Not A Catholic - Part Four

Okay, finally I'm back to this series! Let's continue:

So now I'm curious to learn more about Catholicism and my sister starts dating a Catholic. This was good timing. In the Fall of 2004 Jackie began going to RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation before becoming a Catholic). I had seriously considered going along with her just to learn more about Catholicism. It didn't really work with my school and work schedule so that fell through.

But now Jackie was learning a lot and reading from the Catechism and I began asking questions of her and Conor. These questions just kept snowballing and I learned more and more, wiping away many misconceptions I had. Also at CBC I had been learning more about Catholicism from a fresh perspective.

These are the main questions I wrestled with and a summary of the answers I received.


What exactly is purgatory? How can you believe people have the option to leave hell?

I always thought purgatory was a ticket out of hell. If you prayed for the dead or did penance or whatever, you could get yourself or your relatives out of hell. Turns out I was wrong. Purgatory is not a part of hell. It is actually for Christians. It is the next stage before entrance into heaven. Catholics believe you cannot enter into heaven until you have been fully purged of your sinful acts. It's not a place where you "earn" your way into heaven. It's the process you go through to be cleansed.

It's funny that Protestants are so against purgatory, because (whether they know it or not) they believe in an instantaneous purgatory. All Protestants believe we are cleansed before entering heaven. Catholics just believe it takes a little longer.

Praying to the Saints

How do you justify praying to the saints? The Bible says we shouldn't communicate with the dead.

I asked Conor this one and he gave me two answers that were really helpful.

1. Do you ask your friends to pray for you? Yes. Then why not ask the saints to pray for you? Ohhhhh.

2. Why do you think the saints are dead? Oh yeah, I guess they are "alive" in the afterlife.


Why pray to Mary? Do Catholics worship her?

This one I'm still a little fuzzy on, but there's a difference between worship and veneration. Only God should be worshiped. Mary and the saints are venerated. They are held in high regard and devotion is paid to them. But they are not equal to or greater than God.

Regarding prayers to Mary, once again you ask your friends to pray for you, so why not ask Mary, the mother of Jesus, to pray on your behalf? She's also considered the mother of the Catholic Church so yeah, a lot of honour and respect is passed her way.


If my doctrine is not lined up with Catholics, would they say I'm going to hell?

"Of course not!" says Conor, "You are my brother in Christ." I'm not sure I totally understand the theology but I think it has to do with God showing fairness and grace. We are, after all, following after the same God.


Why confess your sins to a Priest for forgiveness when you could go straight to Jesus?

Priests don't actually forgive your sins. Christ forgives your sins. Priests speak the words of forgiveness on Christ's behalf. Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit onto his disciples in John 20:23 and said to them, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Confession also provides a great opportunity for healing. I think there is something powerful in hearing someone say "I forgive you". Protestants don't get that. A priest can also offer you advice and comfort. Protestants typically keep their sins private and only confess only to God. This is not healthy. James 5:16 says "Confess your sins, one to another, and you will be healed."

The Pope

How can the Pope be infallible? He's just a man like everyone else.

I once thought everything the Pope did was without sin according to this doctrine. Not true. The doctrine teaches that the Pope is protected from error by the Holy Spirit when he is solemnly declaring a dogmatic teaching on faith and morals. These dogmas are never spoken at random. They are products of various councils and there are rules and conditions to confirm their infallibility.

Well, those are just a few big ones that stood out to me. I don't have all the answers and don't fully understand all Catholic dogma, but I'm satisfied they are not heretics and that, in fact, we have a lot to learn from their teachings and tradition (and we have a lot to be thankful for because of them). But why am I still not a Catholic????

This Concludes Part Four.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

My Lot in Life

While I was in Italy I read the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. I would say the main thesis of the book is summed up by this excerpt, "the biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work." This one idea has taken root within me and has altered my perspective on life.

Our culture praises the work of the individual and gives awards and honours to specific people for extraordinary achievements. Even people's names are attached to breakthroughs, achievements, and high schools. But why do we attribute so much to individuals?

The only reason an individual can achieve or accomplish anything is because of everything and everyone that happened before them. Their success is largely a result of their lot in life. As Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants."

I'm not saying our individual efforts are insignificant. They are pretty darn cool! But rather, the circumstances in our life, the good and bad experiences, the genetic makeup of our bodies and brains, the culture and era that we live in, the people that surround us and instruct us and guide us, all play integral roles in us achieving our "individual" achievements.

Actually before Italy, this idea had first been planted in my brain when I was in Atlanta last November. While there I went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and learned a lot about his life. The thing that struck me the most is the circumstances before him that caused him to be raised up as the leader for the civil rights movement. He really happened to be at the right place at the right time with the right upbringing and right skills.

One of the major events that propelled MLK Jr. to the forefront was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956. If you don't know the story, go research it. I'm sure you've heard of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus for white people. Well, this was the leverage used to challenge the segregation laws in the US. It should be noted that MLK Jr. didn't start the boycott, he was just a young minister at the time! It was E.D. Nixon who rallied the black people together, and he personally choose King to be the new leader. As a result of this year-long boycott, MLK Jr. became the face of the civil rights movement in the States. This gave King the power and the opportunity to became the great leader his father had been preparing him to become.

His father was a Reverend and a major player in the civil rights movement, yet he doesn't receive the same recognition as his son. Was it because his son was greater than he was? His son was a better achiever? I don't know for sure, but I would say no! I can imagine his work was just as significant as his son's. Yet he doesn't have a holiday or his face on any stamps. Why not? Because he wasn't born at the right time and the right place to effect the amount of change that his son did. I think Martin Luther King Jr. was a great individual, but his lot in life took him on a path leading to higher recognition and achievement.

Okay, so where am I going with all this?!?! For myself I can no longer look at any ONE person and think, "Wow, look how great they are!" or "Look at that loser!" because I now recognize that we are all simply products. Everyone has a different lot in life and that lot will determine whether you have the opportunity to succeed or whether you'll be severely limited in life. And the lot that we're given should in no way reflect our personal value or worth.

I have many more thoughts connected with this, but I'll stop here for now. This could go into topics like how we treat the planet, are all humans equal, God's role in assigning our portions, or how we've misunderstood the power of names. Where does this idea take you?

Before we're done here, though, I want to make a point of saying this is no excuse for wasting life. We are accountable for what we do with our portions and the choices that we make. I believe that we all have the opportunity to choose the right path, no matter our lot in life.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lost Again

We are nearing the end of the final season of Lost and I have to admit, this season sucks.

I absolutely loved the previous five seasons and would go so far as to say they're the best TV I've ever seen. And I knew I couldn't get my hopes up about this ending because so many great stories have been tarnished by their endings. Some examples:

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

This movie should have ended when David was trapped underwater with the Blue Fairy. The whole aliens in the future thing was a waste.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

13 books in all. The first 12 were amazing, especially because they were dark, unconventional, and mysterious. A number of the mysteries were resolved in the 12th book so I was looking forward to the finale of the series with the 13th book. Little did I realize the 12th book was essentially the denouement and could have ended the series right there. The 13th book revealed nothing new and was just an extremely long epilogue.


Seinfeld changed American humor and television forever. The finale was one of the most anticipated in history and was absolutely disappointing. I'm happy Larry David redeemed the series by creating a faux reunion on the latest series of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Heroes (Season 1)

When Heroes broke it was a huge success and that was for good reason. Great character development and a compelling story. It all pointed to the finale, and we all wondered what would happen with the prophesied explosion that would destroy New York. Well turns out all those great characters and plot points were a waste. The ending of the first season was unsatisfying to say the least.


I love the movies of M. Night Shyamalan, but I have to admit Signs train-wrecked at the end. All the suspense built up throughout the movie was so well done, but the final reveal left us all wondering, "Was that really it?!?" The aliens are allergic to water? Water???? 71% of the freaking planet is covered by water!!! It rains all over the place on this planet. Everything has water in it. How could the aliens not have figured that out before they invaded?

So before I say all the things that annoy me about this season I would like to say once again, I absolutely love Lost! Even if this season ends miserably I can't deny how amazing the first 5 seasons were, and there have been some highlights from this season that I also thoroughly enjoy.

And now that I've said that, what are the elements of Lost this season that really make it suck?

Bringing back old characters

It's nice every once in awhile to see old characters, but when each episode is filled with random characters from throughout the series, you've gone too far. This is so kitschy! I don't care about so many minor characters and personally I don't want to see dead characters again, unless they really are integral to the plot. It just feels like they're doing this for no reason other than to try and impress fans.

Alternate universes

This is connected with the previous element. TV shows and sequels have this idea that people want to see their characters acting completely opposite to how they normally would act. So now we've got Ben Linus as a timid high school teacher and Hurley as a successful entrepreneur that everyone respects. Seriously, this insults me. All these characters have been developed over 5 seasons and now it's like that is all thrown out the window and we're expected to care or be interested in what happens to them in this alternate reality. They might someone justify all this in upcoming episodes but it's going to have to be really good.

Completely altering characters

The change that has happened in some of the characters on the island has been too dramatic. Claire is back but it's not Claire anymore. It's some implausibly crazy girl that no one cares about anymore. Same with Sayid. Now he's emotionless and does whatever "Locke" says. They should have just killed these characters off, because their actions are so ridiculous now.

Mysteries revealed

I know we've all wanted these mysteries revealed since they began, but people forget the main reason why magicians don't reveal their secrets. It's because questioning and debating the mystery is much more interesting than learning the truth behind it. Some mystery reveals are cool, such as what we've learned about the smoke monster so far, but other mysteries I think should be left secret unless the reveal is mind-blowing. Finding out what the whispers are wasn't mind-blowing. It was meh. I hope the remainder of this season won't be as meh.

Strained romances

Up until this season, the love stories have connected with people. They were touching and well done. This season, however, has felt so forced. No one cares anymore about Jack and Kate and Sawyer. Hurley and Libby was a waste of an episode. Richard and his girl was unnecessary. No one cares. I do still like Desmond and Penny but that's it.

And I guess I'll wrap this up now. This season seems to me like it's taking on more than it can chew. At this point people just want it to end so there's no reason to drag things out and introduce new characters. They should have just kept it simpler. It's hard to care about Jacob and the Man in Black when we've only just met them. Maybe the remaining episodes will blow my mind and justify all I've just said. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

...Therefore I Am

As human beings, we are complex. There are different sides to who we are. We are emotional beings. We are sexual. We are intellectual. We are spiritual. We are physical.

But something confuses me, and perhaps you can help me find clarity. Even though we are complex and multi-faceted, there are really only two verbs (that I can think of) that we use to express our deepest parts.

"I think..."


"I feel..."

The first is intellectual, the second is emotional. What about the sexual, the spiritual, and the physical (not to mention the other sides I couldn't think of)?

This bothered me growing up Pentecostal, because whenever we talked about spiritual things we would talk about our feelings. "I could feel the Spirit of God in this place." And then later in more conservative Christian circles we talked more about our thoughts. "I think God wants me to take this job."

Why do we only think and feel? Is there no other way to express those other sides of our humanity? Or are those two the only ways we truly experience life and everything filters through them?

What are you thoughts? Or feelings?

Monday, April 12, 2010

How I Am Not A Catholic - Part Three

So going into Columbia Bible College I basically believed Catholicism was heretical, yet many Catholics were Christians and by God's grace were still going to heaven.

That started to shift almost right away at CBC. I could tell the attitude of students and profs was more accepting of Catholicism than I was. I had heard a couple years ago that Catholics don't use birth control and that always intrigued me. It actually made no sense to me at all. Why would they be opposed to birth control?!? I never heard of anyone being opposed to it before.

So it began to nag at me. And around that time I realized something I hadn't really thought about. Before the Reformation, the Catholic Church was THE Church. If people wanted to learn about Jesus they would have to do it through the Catholic Church (okay, I know I'm not counting the Eastern Orthodox Church, disregard for now). That's at least 1300 years!

So then I began wondering (out loud sometimes), "If the Catholic Church has been THE Church for so long, how can we so easily pass off all their teachings as heretical?" Especially regarding birth control, I wondered why without any effort or discussion we simply say, "Oh, that's a stupid belief!"

Enter Conor.

Between my first and second year at CBC my sister started dating Conor. He's Catholic. This should be interesting...

End of Part Three.

I'm Getting Crafty

If you recall last Christmas, I was ranting something about presents. So one of my conclusions was that I would start making gifts for people rather than buying things for them. So I had Conor's name for our family gift exchange so I decided I would make him something, but what???

Well, Conor used to make twig furniture all the time, so I thought, "Why not make him a piece of furniture?" But instead of twigs I decided to use pennies. And that was because he had just moved home from Australia, where they have no pennies. And I despise pennies. So what better way to get rid of my pennies than to make a chair for Conor? Well here it is:

You'll notice it's not quite big enough for a human to sit on, but many of Conor's furniture pieces were miniature also. This chair I made happens to be just perfect for Spongebob Squarepants!

Upon opening his present, Conor wasn't too thrilled with it, and then it proceeded to break. The smell from the metal glue I used on it was REALLY strong and Conor hastily threw it behind the couch so the fumes wouldn't poison his newborn son. I guess I can see why he wasn't too thrilled.

Well after that experience, I realized penny furniture really wasn't a highly anticipated present. It was then that I discovered something much better. 8-bit Perler Bead Art!!! So far these are my creations:

I make them with Perler beads and then fuse them together with an iron. Then I put a magnet on them and voila, video game fridge magnets!!!

Unfortunately today I discovered the magnets I bought are crap and can't even hold up a piece of paper on the fridge. Oh well...trial and error I guess.

So, what video game characters do you like?? The best ones for me to make are old school NES. Anything else makes for much bigger designs. But whatever, it's your present!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How Much Longer?

This blog is dying. I don't know how much longer is has to live. I want it to keep going, but the motivation just isn't there like it used to be. It's like msn. I never use that thing anymore. 2 years ago I was on it all the time.

So I don't see me writing on here much longer. Maybe it will go longer than I think, I don't know...

But I still have to write all those posts I promised but didn't get to while in Italy. And of course I'll write all about my trip to Italy (a post for every single day!).

Oh yeah, I'm back from Italy!!!! Got home yesterday afternoon. It sure is nice to be back for many reasons. But yeah, you'll hear all about it very soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In a few hours I will be on a plane to Italy. I am both excited and nervous! I've been to other countries on my own before, but this is the first time I'll be alone in a non-English speaking country. Yay!!!

I'll try to keep my blog updated. Please be patient with me though if I'm a little late with some of the posts...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Olympic Spirit

Normally going into the Olympics I'm never excited about them. I could care less who wins what. It's much like any sport for me. The last Olympics happened while I was up at Rough Acres Bible Camp with our youth group. Everyone there was watching it every chance they got. I don't think I watched more than a minute.

When the Olympics came here I wasn't excited. I've known some of the behind the scenes things that aren't very favourable. The treatment of people living on the street, the bills getting larger and larger while essential services are being cut elsewhere in BC, the sex industry, etc, etc. The Olympics are not what they should be. Even as the torch came through Ladner I chose to not bother and go see it pass by.

So I was surprised when the Olympics began and I was instantly addicted. I watched more Olympics this year than my whole life combined. I couldn't get enough of it! I regret not getting downtown more and not getting tickets to any of the events. How did this happen? Where did this come from?

I blame it on the Olympic spirit. I think at its heart, the Olympics are excellent. The world joining together to play together! Where else do you see this happening? As a community and as a nation, we gathered together and had fun. I love the unifying aspect of the games and the buzz it created here in the city. It was absolutely electric!

So what do we do with all the negatives of the game? That's where I'm left worried. So much happened as a result of the Games that was unjust and selfish. It wasn't right. As I was reading the history of the Olympics I could see the passion the originators had for it. They wanted what I experienced, an event that draws the world together centered around sport. The difference is, they didn't want anyone making money off it. And that's where things got dicey.

Without any money involved, what's the incentive for the games? It's purely to represent your country and bring countries together. Now that the Olympics have become commercialized, along with the torch passing by we also get bombarded with Coca-Cola and RBC ads. Because people need to make money, there's more pressure for things to happen that are contrary to the Olympic spirit.

So the solution is to remove commercialization from the Olympics. Do that and it returns to its roots. However, that is no longer possible. The one big hitch is television. Without commercialization the games would not be televised. People around the world would not be able to follow their countries. The other hitches are of course things like modern excellent facilities, breakthroughs in technology for judging equpiment and sports equipment, training for the athletes, and so on. A lot of money is needed to run the Games today.

Well, where do we go from here? Do we continue to support this monster even though it leaves a trail of filth in its wake? I don't know the answer.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

How I Am Not A Catholic - Part Two

As a kid, somewhere along the way, I caught the belief that Catholics were not true Christians. They weren't really part of a cult, but their church had gone off the rails hundreds of years ago. I didn't think Catholics were "saved" and I thought they would end up in hell.

After all, they believed in purgatory. I thought purgatory meant that if a person worked hard enough they could get out of hell and join the Christians in heaven. However, this is not the actual definition of purgatory, but my misunderstood one.

They also worshiped Mary, saw the Pope as perfect and sinless, and needed a priest to forgive their sins (whereas I only needed to confess to God).

Somewhere in high school my beliefs lightened a little. I came to believe that some Catholics actually were "saved". They were just ignorant to the fact that their church was an abomination, but thankfully God would show them grace as they did not know what they were doing.

Poor stupid Catholics! Only a handful were saved, but most were still going straight to hell. The one issue that mattered most to me at this time was - Do they have a relationship with Jesus? I came to believe most Catholics had a relationship with the church, but not with Jesus personally.

I'm not sure where I got these ideas from. Obviously they were held by at least some people in my church. We were never taught these things, but passing comments and jokes stuck in my brain. It wasn't until Bible school that things started to change drastically.

End of Part Two.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Cut the Living Child in Two

Two prostitutes claim a baby as their own. One of them is lying. King Solomon is the judge and he declares, "Cut the living child in two." The one woman cries out, "No! Give the baby to her. Don't kill him!" The second woman replies, "Neither of us will have him. Cut him in two." Solomon realizes the mother would not want to see harm come upon her baby, so he rightfully determines who the mother is and everyone marvels at Solomon's wisdom.

I always thought it was kind of a silly story. Would people really react this way? I think I can't fully understand it because I am not from that time period. But in talking with someone the other day, it made me think of an issue I've addressed previously.

Could this story apply to our current situation of child custody? Two separated parents want sole custody of their child. Instead, the child is shuffled back and forth between two homes. One week he is at his Dad's house. The next week he is at his Mom's. I wish we had a better system of determining who gets sole custody. This is no way to raise a child. So conflicting, so damaging, so irresponsible. It is as if the child is cut in two.

I wrestle with the solution. I'm not educated enough on this issue, but if we were to take the Solomon story as parallel, maybe the solution is there. Let's say Mom is the better parent and should raise the child, but Dad had some good lawyers and despite being a crappy parent he has 50% custody. If the obvious solution can't be determined (let the best parent raise the child) then what solutions are left. Cut the child in two (raise him in separate homes each week) or give the child to the worse parent (the toughest pill to swallow).

Of the two evils, separate homes or bad parent raising, which is the lesser? I don't know. I think the good parent isn't willing to give up their custody for a number of reasons (that are completely valid): they want their child to have some positive influence to counter the bad, they deserve to have the child and they'll take what they can get, if they give up the child there's a chance they'll never have a strong relationship with them, etc.

I could go on, but I'll stop there for now. What do you think?