Friday, May 04, 2007

enf P

Still waiting

Can’t go yet

It won’t change, but…

How long can it be dragged on?

I am not ready yet.

Isn’t it supposed to be different?

Avoid this anxiety.


3:00 AM . Quiet

Forgot about that meeting.

Tylynol, A535

Caffeine, Nyquil, Caffeine, Nyquil, Caffeine, Nyquil.

How do others do this?

Are they better people?

What if…?


OH YEAH, I was supposed to…

Too late now.

Peace now, wishing now.

Happy regret.

How do you like your truth?

Is this for me or for you?

If I make it for you, will it really be me?

Do you want it raw or by recipe?

This rapes my heart

I want to bring beauty.

You only want porn.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Frailty and Strength

-same muscle, different decades

-same mind, different attitudes

-same material, different designs

It is all in “how” you use it, spend it, invest it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

dogs and glass ceilings

Assumptions can be our friends and other times they can be the dogs that chase us through the woods into an untimely and gruesome death. They help us attain levels of great performance, or they pin us to the wall with fear that we will never meet the expectations. Yet most times we are unaware of the assumptions that manipulate our lives. We just continue on chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow because we assume that 1) there is gold there, 2) we can reach the end of the rainbow, and 3) the gold will make me happy.

The assumptions that I am thinking about today are the assumptions that what I am now is all I can ever be. That nothing of any consequence can ever come from small town Saskatchewan. That good enough is good enough.

But imagine if Jesus came walking into our town today with his twelve disciples in tow. If he sat in front of the water tower and called us to a higher way of living, would it make a difference? I wonder if there would be any sort of change to the way that we do our lives. I wonder if he said to me, “drop your pen and follow me” would many of my assumption change.

What would really make a difference to me is if he said that he knows what I am capable of and he believes in my abilities. That would be a big one. It would rock my worldview.

If you knew what God thought about your abilities, would he be optimistic? I think he would. And that can change all your assumptions for the better.

You can be so much more than what the assumptions around you say. Yet you do not have to be guilty for missing the mark because there is forgiveness.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Dear Student
How are you doing? Are you busy? Are you tired?

There are two types of tired. One is slept away with one good night in the sheets. The other exhaustion is much deeper. This one feels worse in the morning.

It is like the difference between a sprinter and a marathon runner. The sprinter after 100 meters may be temporarily winded but ready to go again that same day. The marathon runner is inconsolably shattered and done competing for the rest of the week. College life is much like the marathon.

Let us be honest with ourselves. College can be a thankless black hole that you put life energy into. Yes, it is important valid work, but it requires self-induced balance. No one is going to give us a medal for burning out.

You might know the feeling. You have not “sprang” out of bed in months. Standing in front of the mirror at the start of the day you feel like it should be the end of the day. Nothing of great consequence is on the agenda, and yet there is a quiet nagging dread. Hiding somewhere in the layers of your psyche is a rogue emotion that just wants a good irrational crying session. I know because I have been there.

I should have known better. A new baby, a thesis deadline, and a waiting list of serious student issues required twenty all-nighters on semester. When my eye started twitching, it should have been a warning sign. But there was so much “good” stuff that needed doing. It is a long familiar story, but two years later I am still trying to bring recovery to the frazzled neurons in my brain.

Sports Psychology reveals that high level performance can only be maintained temporarily. To continue to perform optimally, we must rest optimally. I wish someone would have told the twitchy-eyed-all-nighter-idiot two years ago. If we want to do well we must rest. So that begs this question; How are you going to spend your Christmas Vacation?

Here are three pointers learned from the recovery side of burn out.

1) Be a good animal: Sleep lots, eat well, exercise, breath deeply and make love to your spouse (if appropriate). Do not believe that the mind and body are separate. What is good for the heart is good for the brain.

2) Swing left or right: Most of our daily activities polarized into either right or left brain thinking. When you take a break to rest, do something from the other hemisphere. If you read technical books, read poetry in your break. If you concentrate for hours in meetings, loose yourself for hours hiking with the dog. Paint a picture, read an adventure novel or do a puzzle. Getting caught up on your office work will not get you caught you up on rest.

3) Meditate: Learn the skill of relaxing and focusing. This not only brings the health benefits of the relaxation response, but it also re-programs your instinctual behaviours because the process is very similar to hypnosis. Truth within scripture will only set you free if it is internalized and owned.

May you have a rest filled holiday.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

To my RA's and SRC

A whisper comes out of the breeze
Deity camouflaged in air

“Mighty Warrior”

The coward turns, “Who said that?”

Who said that?

Someone whispered in your ear last spring
But knowing God is sovereign
There was more than one voice
“Will you lead the students next year?”

Who said that?

There are others who are more qualified.
Others who are smarter, more committed
and better suited.
But they are not here.

Moses my servant is dead – now, cross this river and take the land.
The other RA has graduated – now, take us where we have never been.

You are the one sovereignty picked to lead this year. You have a commission from God.
You may be scared, you may be unsure. But, hear the words to the coward in the wine press.

“Be strong and courageous.”

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Ancient, Silent and Horrible
She never comes up-so no body knows
But I know she’s there cause I seen her.
There’s a sea monster in Last Mountain lake.

It’s not very deep, but it is long
Only two paddle strokes to cross,
It disappears into the horizon
Once flowing from perpetual winter it sits and brews

That is why she stays

There are other lakes, other haunts
But none so ripe as this
The august surface lives
Blankets each cove, shore painted green

Summer slime is fine wine
This vintage is her secret
The others don’t know
For she likes to drink to drink alone

I named her pigtails
Hoping the gentle thought would ease the terror
Don’t worry, she is peace as melting snow
Yet only in sobriety

When the white caps
church the water clear,
her wits keep shy
often mistaken for rock or log

When green and brown float
On hot breathless days
Formless Lilly pads hide the shape
Of the monster beneath

Drunk on fermenting juice
She might forget herself
And venture too close to those who
Would discover her addiction

When tail brushes legs
They climb out of the soup
Hoping to wash away the itch
Ignorant they were touched by leviathan

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Where is the Poster Child

July is the month of rest for me. Although I am around, I will not be around cyber-space. Posting will resume in August. Have a great summer.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Imaginary hunters with real bullets

We are all wise enough to know that with every good freedom also come dangerous trappings. The Internet is like a beautiful wide-open pasture of information to graze on. Yet under all that brain food and entertainment are landmines.

I heard about a crazy notion back in the 90s. There were two serious problems that needed resolving.

1. In the former Yugoslavia there were thousands of unexploded land mines buried in the countryside. They were responsible for killing completely innocent civilians and children long after the civil war was over.

2. In England there was an outbreak of BSE in the cattle there, requiring that complete herds be slaughtered to stop the spread of the disease.

You can probably put two and two together of what the crazy idea was.

Sometimes I worry about encouraging people to start blogging. Am I inadvertently sending the innocent one into the field to defuse landmines?

Blogging is wonderful for the freedom of communication that it offers. We do not have to get our articles cleared by a publisher. We can reveal information to a society that needs to know about governmental inconsistencies, and cover-ups. We can express ourselves any way we want.

Yet therein lies the problem. The tongue is the hardest body part to control. If it has free reign of our blogs, who knows what trouble will land on us or other people. The blog is like Pandora’s box. Once you publish, it is out there, and even deleted, it might still haunt you. Text Sticks. It is as easy as Control-A, Control-C, Alt-Tab, Control-V.

What I am saying is, (singing) be careful little hands what you type. General rule of thumb…assume that your friends, lovers, enemies, and bosses are reading your blog. Imagine your girlfriend’s father and your Student Dean reading it every night. Otherwise, we might find ourselves on the business end of a pink slip.

We can also forget that there are predators out there. Like a gopher blissfully enjoying the sunny day, we might squeak out some delightful personal information, unknowingly compromising our safety. Then, like a hawk coming out of the sun, an identity thief, hacker, or sex offender shocks us with the reality that cyberspace is not a game. Pseudonyms and alternate personas are like camouflage. Both hunters and the hunted use it. Carnivores are hunters with no mercy, which means they are searching for hours to find some innocent blogger who says too much.

Beware the feedback of someone that is suspicious. Anybody can post anonymously, or sign someone else’s name. Don’t take feedback to heart unless you are certain of the author.

Last thought, how many of you have read someone else’s blog and said, “Ooh, I didn’t need to know that.” Remember that the blog is not the place to unburden your soul, tell your secrets, or confess your sins. That is what best friends, diaries, and confessional booths are for. This is not insincere; it is just wise and tasteful.

I would like to grow this post into a larger article. If you have any other trapping that you can think of, leave a comment.

Safe blogging my friends.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Promo Time

This is your chance to be in pictures. If you are going to be a student at FGBC this next year, we are going to be taking promotional pictures for our material on June 27th, 2006. If you have ever wanted to be in the Catalogue, Life publication, posters or anything else, this is your chance.

The recruitment team will be in Eston on the 27th, so if you have the day off and live close enough to Eston to make the trip, then come on down...or up...or over. Bring a few changes of clothes, preferably casual, classy/elegant, and profesional.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Our gift to the world

Who gives this woman to be married?

I am not ready for that question yet. Of course, my daughter is not even two, but when that day comes I don’t know what I am going to say. “Her mother and I” is the right answer, but I might just say… “I changed my mind” or “When you get a better job” or maybe “Work for me for seven years and then you can marry her.”

Sending kids off can be an anxious season for parents. Every year we see it here when Mom helps her baby(strikethrough- sorry Ryan, I couldn’t figure out how to do strikethrough so I just italicised it. Can you do that?) young man move into the dorms. Will he be OK? Will he be able to sleep here? Will the college realize how great this guy really is?

After investing for 18 years, there is a lot of love, sweat, and fears going into this student.

We feel something like that at graduation. When the students who have been with us for four years cross the floor, there is so much pride and joy. There is also a bit of dread. Will they make it? Will they be accepted? Will their potential be realized?

This year I especially felt that with this graduating class. They are brimming with talent and potential. They have great attitudes, and sincere hearts. They are experienced enough to be helpful, but wise enough to go into life as learners.

After thriving at FGBC for four years they develop the habits of a high performance Christian community. They have become dear friends and they will desire that Body of Christ experience for the remainder of their lives. This group has the potential to bring that ethos into the environments that they are going into. They will be change agents.

So I am both excited and nervous. I feel like we, the staff and faculty, are sending this group to the world as our present. Here is our gift. We are so proud of them, and we will be their biggest fans. Of course, we cannot take full credit. We can barely take partial credit behind God and parents. But we cannot help feeling that they are ours.

Please treat them well. Please give them opportunities. Please welcome, protect, and love them. You will discover that they are smart, loving, energetic, with a lot to offer.

“Who gives these students…?”

Friday, May 26, 2006


What is the future going to look like? What is God going to do in the future? Are we going to have flying cars and moving sidewalks? Is the church going to be an afterthought of history like the belief in a flat earth? Will the United States loose it’s economic momentum and it’s status as the world’s super-power?

The future finally arrived on the farm this year. My dad installed a machine on his tractor that uses GPS to steer. He still has to sit on the tractor and make the corners, but now he can read a book or watch movies while seeding. One of our neighbours knits, and I heard a rumour that another one likes to take his pellet gun along to shoot “critters” while driving. (If cutting edge GPS technology enhances your “varmit huntin”- you might be a redneck.)

It has changed the way they farm. They can seed at night with little difficulty, and there is much less mental fatigue throughout the day. It is wonderful.

I dreamed about this technology for years. Strange how I dreamt about it, but never really anticipated it. When the technology arrived, I was surprised. It is almost like I was caught off guard.

What else do we dream about and not anticipate? Marriage? Graduation? Children? Opportunities? The second coming of Christ?

The word we choose to describe the coming event helps forge an attitude. If you are single, how do you describe marriage; “Eventual,” “Doubtful”, “Imminent?” The attitude you adopt will affect your behaviour. If someone pouts all the time because marriage is “doubtful,” they will be less attractive or will miss opportunities that are staring them in the face. Someone who thinks “eventual” will have a better attitude, but might still miss opportunities. Someone who thinks “imminent” will be watching and waiting, primping, and most likely flirting more…and we all know that flirting eventually leads to dancing…Oh NO!!! (yes- I know that some people become extremist in their quest for a spouse. This websight does not condone the notion that “If I don’t have a husband by 21 then I’m an old maid who might as well open a halfway house for stray cats.)

Don’t miss the point here. The question is, how do you think about the second coming?

The Pope was asked what he would say to the world if he knew Christ was returning today. He said “Quick, everybody, look busy!”

Is his coming eventual, doubtful, or imminent? The bible counsels us to be watchful so that we are ready. Whether he comes in our lifetime or not, let us have an attitude of heart that is ready. Live like he is coming today. (But plan like he is coming 100 years from now.)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Muddy Issues


It is sure nice to be home. No more assignments. No more in-dorm time. No more 8:20 Community Group. My favourite thing about going home was re-connecting with friends and family. It still is.


Yet there was always something I hated about going home. It seemed that within a few days of my return, I would find myself embroiled in the same old habits I had worked hard to stop all year. It was like the mediocrity and naughtiness were waiting there under my bed to pounce as soon as I slept there.

When you come home from Bible School, your family expects that you have changed. Yet, they might also assume that you have not changed. They expect more but treat you the same. However, it is not their fault that your habits are back. You cannot blame them.

Your pastor hopes for great changes and welcomes you back, yet you might find church less than you remember and far from the high performance community that you soaked in for eight months. It is not his fault that your habits are back. You cannot blame your pastor.

Your friends, like you, will want to have fun the way you did in grade twelve. Yet, they have moved on, and they will be disillusioned that you have changed also. Reliving old times is called nostalgia. Only let yourself indulge in nostalgia for a couple hours. Otherwise you will encounter “immature old-age” because you are living in the “good-old-days.” It is not your friends fault that your habits are back. You cannot blame them.

You will find a familiar comfort from your old life. But you will have no doubt gone home with some new-years-resolutions for change. The first day home those resolutions are tested, and most often they are forgotten. Then we despair that we failed, and we wonder if there was any changes in our lives at Bible School.

So what is the problem?

It is simply that you are in a rut.

For you city folk that have tried to repress the memories of Eston mud, I will remind you of the properties of a rut. Ruts are deep impressions where a tire has gone before during a rain storm. When they dry, they are hard and crusty. The hardest thing is to drive on a road with a rut because if you fall into the rut, you can be stuck in it for miles.

Your old habits are actually old ruts. Even though you have been at school for eight months, the ruts have not changed because you have not ploughed over them. In the absence of new habits, the old habits come back with attitude.

So what can you do? Here are some brief thoughts.

1) Decide what you want to accomplish or be like this summer. What is the final product or lifestyle that you want? Putting a vision in front of you will help with the next step, and it will give you inspiration to get off the couch.
2) Decide what new habits will help you accomplish your goals and live the lifestyle you want. Probably your new lifestyle involves intimacy with God. Then the obvious habit is a regular time of prayer. Be specific, and decide where, when and how this prayer time will look, and what to do if you miss.
3) Grade over the old ruts. The old grooves are there because they have not been filled in yet. You need to make changes that will shake up your old routine. If your old habit was too much television, then make a change that will cut this out like joining an evening softball team. Or jogging and praying at the same time. You can defuse the most tempting moment by making yourself busy with something productive.

The first week home is critical. Many people mess up, get depressed, and give up. If you have fallen into the ruts, do not get down on yourself. Stop. Get real. Get out. And get going.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blogging makes you rich

I am proud of the blogging community here. This is why.

There are two types of writers out there. Those who publish, influencing the world, and the rest of us who wish we did.

What makes the difference? It is not for lack of education and practice. Just think how long we have been learning to write. If you have a Bachelors degree, you have been practicing writing for 16 years.

There must be something more. There must be an attitude or style that differentiates the published from the mute. What is the next step in our development?

Most people plateau in their writing development. They reach a point where they can type, email, and pass an English class. Since there is no need to improve, they cease to grow. We must overcome the atrophy.

The blog is the tipping point.

Consider the difference between the blog and the book report.

Voluntary vs. Required: When you are obligated to write a report, completion is good enough. You do not care to go any further. The blog is voluntary; it is something that you want to grow.

Creative vs. Formatted: The book report has very strict building codes, where the blog gives unfettered room for creativity.

Prolific vs. Scarce: Any blogger worth their HTML will update weekly. This develops a habit of writing that is absent in the typical technophobe. It also increases their odds of success. The more articles we write, the more chance we will win the Pulitzer.

Public vs. Private: Writing to a teacher, friend, or diary has only one reader in mind. A blog is intended for a global unknown audience. This is a critical change in attitude on the road to becoming auteur.

But there is a problem, there are too many terrible writers. Some have dismissed the blog because it is often the diary of 13 year olds. Your page must stand out against this backdrop.

Perhaps there is one more attitude to choose. We will write with excellence.

Reading and listening makes one broad minded, verbose, and wise. Speaking and more so writing makes one sharp minded, articulate, and influential.

Keep writing through the summer. Make us all proud.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

DUN done

The thesis has been slain!!! I recieved my grade in the mail today. Thank you all for praying and helping.

Of course, I still need to get it approved by the librarian and then published, but that is a summer project.

Now, for this blog I asked Steve Atkins to post a question. It is not as easy to answer as you may think. And don't just take the agnostic road saying that it can't be done.

Click here for a video question. It will take a minut to load up.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thesis Defense

Please think of me on Monday. I will be defending my thesis. 170 pages that can be summed up in 30 seconds. But I am not worried, because I know something they don't....I am not left handed.


The voters have spoken in a very close race. 6-5 in favor of the right one. There was one destroyed ballot with "anonymous" voting. (Never listen to anonymous unless they put their name in the text)
Thank you for all your voting.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I ain't never seen an elephant fly

Hey, Check out what Brian Tysdal and I did when we were down in Orlando. If you are ever down visiting our Orlandonians, make sure to go to SkyVenture.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Short MP3

I have recorded a short mp3 Idea that you can put in the mix of songs on your Ipod. Just a simple idea that hopefully makes us think.

Click here to listen or right click and save target

Also, don't forget to vote for which Tommi-Lyn to kick off the island.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Some have asked why there are two pictures of Tomm-Lyn on this sight. No, she does not have two different sites. Actually, I made a face button of her, and then she sent me her own picture, so now niether one of us can decide which one to delete. It is like voting on which one gets voted off the island. Well, that is what it has come down to. I will remove one picture on friday depending on your votes in the comments. So which Tommi will it be.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Face Buttons

Friends and students. You may notice that there are many faces along the right side of this blog. These are face buttons. They are links to others blog sites. If your name has no face button, then I need to get a picture of you. If you have a favorite, then send it to and I will set it up for you. Note, the picture for Renee and Tommi-Lyn was from Renee's flikr account. You need to see her photos if you haven't gone there yet. Renee- I hope it was OK to nab those pictures.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Why can't we all just get along?

This spider waited in her web at my doorframe for two weeks last summer. I called her Charlotte.

In an ideal world, everybody would look out for each other’s interests. We would never prey on another’s weakness. We would live happily ever after and there would be free pastries on Tuesdays.

In reality, death, pain and torture have always been, are now and forever will be. As long as there are parasites and Carnivores, there will always be thieves and terrorists.

Within our society, regrettably, there are careers built on entrapment. Salespersons entice us to purchase beyond our means. Recruitment officers promise that the army is fun. There is even an entire cottage industry that makes and sells Chinese finger puzzles. (You know, those woven tubular things that you put your fingers into and then cant get them out of.)

More sinister are the traps that are baited with the three lures irresistible to humans, namely; money, sex and power. To think we are immune to falling only sets us up for trouble. The only place where these tempters can't touch us is six feet under. We must be innocent as doves and wise as serpents. Ignorance is never an excuse to be let off the hook.

Said the spider to the fly, “Oh dear, you did not know that there was a web here? You did not know that getting trapped would mean the loss of freedom, stinging paralysis, and eventual life sucking torture while you are still conscious? Oh? Well, please forgive the inconvenience, just sign this form and then you are free to go.”

You are going out for reading break. Have a great time. You deserve a rest. Yet beware of the potential snares set for students on spring break; Pornography, sexual...stuff, shameful media, drunkenness, recklessness, distraction, and the love of status.

Like a fly stuck in a bottle that finally finds the opening, a student can go ripping out of the college greenhouse with all the joys of freedom, straight into charlotte's web. You cannot see snares and webs, but you know where they might be. Just stay away. If you are caught, squirm, wiggle, and fight until you get loose.

My dear students, Be innocent as doves, and wise as serpents.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Strike Hard

I have only to let myself go! So I have said to myself all my life - so I said to myself in the far-off days of my fermenting and passionate youth. Yet I have never fully done it. The sense of it - of the need of it - rolls over me at times with commanding force: it seems the formula of my salvation, of what remains to me of a future. I am in full possession of accumulated resources - I have only to use them, to insist, to persist, to do something more - to do much more than I have done. The way to do it - to affirm one's self "sur la fin" - is to strike as many notes, deep, full and rapid, as one can. All life is - at my age, with all one's artistic soul the record of it - in one's pocket, as it were.
Go on, my boy, and strike hard... Try everything, do everything, render everything - be an artist, be distinguished to the last.

- Henry James (novelist) -Discovered in his journal, written in his later years, before he wrote his best works.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Creature Franchising

Franchising couples is one of my favourite jobs. Yet sometimes you wonder how on earth the couple ever got together. In this case I wonder about the potential of a herbivore and a carnivore. This was the first time that anybody ever go dressed up for their Franchising. Their choice of attire leads me to suspect that there really is kryptonite in the Eston water supply. Let this be a lesson to you ladies. Beware of rabbits on train tracks.
For the benefit of non-FGBC folk, franchising is the name that the students gave to the meeting that a new couple has with the dean of students as they become "official." It usually includes some suggestions on dating etiquette, recommendations for restaurants in town, and general inspiration for romance. We like to consider Eston the "Paris of the North."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Patron of Retreats

There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (St Ignatius)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Twisted Galaxy

Photoshop Brings you, From a Galaxy Far Far Away
Gordon Hamilton, Leif Peterson, Brad Quist, Kelsey Quist, Jeremy Cooper and introducing Estelle Richards as Yoda.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Anti-bloggers against freedom of speech

This just in...

Anti-bloggers from around the world poured on to the streets of Eston. Organizers of the rally said that it was intended to be a peacefull protest, but the mob was wipped into a "grim" amped up frenzie. Protesters carried placards with sayings like, "Blogging is lame" and "Internet is from Satan" and "Renee + Derek."

World leaders were quick to quick to condemn the protests. Connedapieceof Rice was quoted as saying that the subversive protest leaders were leveraging the angst already felt by a country with two straight losses in Men's Olympic Hockey as a way to further their own political agenda to allow fire-escape skelleton racing in the next world champianships. Rice- "The freedom of expression is most expressed in the wonderful communittee of blogtopia. Anybody who is against blogging endangers the foundations of our free, democratic, Judeo-Christian based society."

Through a security leak, "Beameeup Scotty" has aquired documents outlining the "Roadmap for Deblogging" as well as a list of all individuals comprising the sleeper cell which calls themselves "al-kinda." This list, showing above, has been passed on to the proper authroities and will most likely lead to a major crackdown in blog related violence in Eston.

(Aside- This posting is not to be taken seriously)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lauren, I love these guys!

This is a tough season for FGBC students. This is when we have to put our nose to the grindstone and just “get it done.” Whatever that “it” is for you, be it homework or Senior High preparations, there can be a numbing affect on your passions, and this can be alarming. It feels like we are just “going through the motions.”

However, the absence of emotional zeal should not be understood as an absence of purpose, or value. There are many things that are unexciting, or less-than-inspiring which yield invaluable fruit.

Exercise, homework, oil changes, early to bed, prayer most times. You might even be surprised to know that the exciting opportunity to change diapers can become tedious. But the tedium is many times an element of the call of God…and that call is passion. “If there be any way that this cup might be taken from me…never the less, your will be done LORD.”

That is why I was just telling Lauren Miller how happy I am with the student body these days. The culture of the month seems to be a resolve to simply “get it done.” There are no excessively grumpy attitudes but just simple obedience to Christ in the midst of crushing pressures.

The pressures of life will increase after graduation. There will be more deadlines, stresses and crisis to encounter. This college season is emotional weight training for your future. Learning to carry it now with a spirit of submission and worship will set you up for a lifetime of peace in the storm. I am so happy with what is being developed in you. This season is part of holistic living.

So continue ploughing, and push on. Turn up the unbroken, dried ground of laziness, and sow to reap the Fruit of the Spirit. If you look around to see what has already been accomplished, you will be amazed. But then leave that behind and continue to obediently, and thankfully, GET IT DONE.

Friday, February 17, 2006


When we fail to dream, we no longer have the urge to strive towards greatness, and our existence becomes the fate of routine.

He was the but of the joke in the last post. Now I bear the brunt of his words. Nigel's post on dreams was most encouraging and well worth a second "slow reading."
As a chronic dreamer, I have learned that there is a canyon dividing dreams from reality. Most often the dream dies for lack of trying. Because the dreams are so fantastical, we are ignorant of the work it takes to get there.
Yet just because it will be hard work requiring sacrifice does not mean it is a worthless pursuit. On the contrary, if it is too easy to get, you will not apprietiate the having.
Thanks Nigel, I am once again resolved to pursue the dream that is put in my way.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Nigel's day

Sean, Cory and I are sitting beside Nigel in our small group "Blogging" session. We've decided to call this Nigel Day because it is fun to watch him squirm as he is forced, once again, to blog for the sake of community. I will now give you a running commentary of his pain.
(Sorry to those who do not know Nigel. To picture the man, just think of Daniel Boone with a Bible)

Nigel- "You know what my problem is Scott... With all the homework, going to class, and hanging out with friends...There is a stew of work here, and people don't make time to dream."
Cory says.."Write that."
Nigel (Incredulously) "I'm not gonna write that!!!"

(Long pause)
(Nigel staring into the keyboard)
(Cory, Scott and Sean furiously typing)

Cory- I'm surprised Greg Moore isn't here
Sean- He was up since 5:00 (Watching the Olympic hockey game)
Cory- I don't think he went to bed all night.

(Both still typing fast)

Nigel (2 minutes later) - The problem is I just can't get started.

Long Silence

Scott- have you got something yet Nigel?

Nigel- I'm working on it, I feel stupid though...This is definitely a girly style of writing.
Scott- What's so girlish about it?
Nigel - Well I've started off talking about feelings, which is totally wrong. I should be wearing my pink shirt.

Cory (To Scott)- Are you writing down what he says?
Nigel- What?!? You're not gonna publish that are you?

Nigel- *&#@*!

Nigel- The problem is I've wasted so much time staring at this monitor that I only have half an hour left.

(still later)
Nigel- The grimmist thing about this is that I feel like a psychologist. I'm analyzing myself.

Nigel- Hey Scott, read me what you've written down
(Scott reads what has been typed up until this point.)
Nigel- Well, If I haven't lost face on my own blog, I certainly have with yours.
(long silence)

Waiting for him to say something, I notice that he only uses two fingers to type.

Nigel-I think I got something good here Scott, I just need time to polish it up. I got a good introduction. What to hear it?"
Scott- No, I want to read it.
Nigel (Sadly)- Awww, I was so excited to share it.
(Leans back, then dives into typing again)

Nigel- Scott, you know when people come and say they came to school to find God, How do they say it?
Scott- Um, Like how they say the phrase.
Nigel-Like to...Um...Discover God...Maybe...(mumbling to self)..Yah, that works.

I notice that he has started up Microsoft word and is using the thesaurus for something.

Now he looks nervously over at me to see my curiosity.

Nigel- I replaced zealously with eagerly because I already used zeal in the first part of the sentence. I got a paragraph and a half now.

Nigel- It's supposed to be like minus 20 or some dumb thing all week. Were getting Alberta weather. So how do I save this without publishing it?
Cory- save it as a draft

Nigel- This is darn feminine...I'm not gona lie...I should discuss the new 360 steel chainsaw in the middle to redeem the conversation.

Nigel- How would you write "compelling to perform?" What word would imagerize that?
(looking at me while I type)
Scott- (distracted) I just want to make sure I get this..."imagerize" bit down
Nigel- (straight faced) You're such a jerk Scott.

Scott- "Obsession?"
Nigel- Ya, that's a good one.

Keri Dakken Enters with her wonderful smile
Keri- Hi Nigel, How are you doing?
Nigel-I'm good, but Scott over here is torturing me. He is forcing me to blog and then he's writing about it at the same time. But this blog is really feminine.
Keri- Nigel, did you get any responses to your"Wife wanted ad?"
Nigel- I have never gotten a response in the years that I have done it. Actually I had one response from a girl, but she said "Nigel, you make me want to vomit."

Nigel- (Saving it and getting up to leave) Well, that one will get some interesting comments. (Noticing Karla Cardash snuck in and is sitting at her usual spot in the library)Have you been in here the whole time?
Karla- Ya
Nigel- Well then you have heard my pain. You are very sneaky!
Karla- that's what they teach you in Grenfell.
(Nigel Exits stage left)

So now you have been privy to the torture. Watch for his post to be finished and published soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Summer 2005 storm just north of Eston

We hit a mile stone recently. One that needs some serious celebration. I finished the first draft of my thesis.
(insert rapturous fanfare)

It took a lot more work than I figured and more pages to explain (170). Partly because I never anticipated the learning curve and partly because I procrastinate by blogging too much. And it's not over yet, there are still at least two more major revisions to do, but I like editing.
The most surprising part of the endeavor was how it has changed me. A big project is no longer intimidating. It's just big. Intense academics is no longer "over-my-head". It just takes concentration. And doing this one, I know that I can do others. Just knowing that I could if I wanted to is worth something.
So you might be thinking, "I could never do that!" Well join the club. I thought that up until the moment I emailed it off. But most of you could do it. I know it.
So, my dear students, if you are thinking that God might be calling you to more study, and a potential thesis. I say...DO IT! You won't believe how it changes you for the better.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Salvador Dali (1904-1989): “Christ of St. John of the Cross”

Nothing moves me like the thought of the gospel
the story of the passion
the freedom won
the cost

The notion of the passion is foreign to those who do not understand it.
Yet to those who are being saved...

I dream of proclaiming it for all posterity
If there were some way to engrave it on the Rocky Mountains
A mount rushmore type of memorial
for milleniums to come

I dream of living it for a lifetime
If there were some way of engraving it into every moment
A perfect life, in his image
for only a few to remember

I dream of eternity
The answer of the worlds problems today
A world where people are good
for eternity
Just wait, it's coming

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hope of Glory

My Daughter, Laurissa, And mommys ankles

I had a dream last night that my daughter had died
When I woke up there was so much relief that it was just a dream

I hate dreams that are so painful. You can barely breath. But then there is joy in waking up to the truth. (Note * I've had dreams that are reversed. I spend time with someone in my dream and wake up to remember they have passed away.)

Remember this, we can be encouraged with the hope of glory. There is a day coming, on the other side of life, when we will all wake up. And every tear will be wiped away.

You have to believe in this. Without hope, there is no purpose. With hope, there is meaning to everything we do.

I wonder if there are water parks in heaven.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Band of Brothers

(Myself, Doug, Tony, Kieth, Rodger, Dad, and Kent) (Missing for a few years: Brian)

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Shakespear's - Henry 5th Act 4 Scene 3

In the interrest of self expression I present my moose hunting part.
For one week we share a cabin and a forest.
For the rest of the year we share a memory and a passion.
And we dream of next year.

"Black Donkey down!"

Friday, January 27, 2006

Perfect life

Life has meaning, yet so often it seems to not make sense. Two roads diverge, and often we cannot control which way we go. Life has pains, and life has pleasures. It can feel like we are stuck on a sailboat when there is absolutely no wind, or it can feel like a roller coaster without the safety bar.

There is so much we cannot command.

However, we can select our attitude. We can embrace the paradoxes and live here now, or we can dream about never-never land and never really live. We can get disillusioned about how things are not what they should be, or inspired by what things possibly could be.

Part of the problem is that we are looking for the perfect system, or the perfect organization. This carries an implicit assumption that “If we make the system really good, then the people don’t have to be good.” In reality you need both in balance; ”Good system-good people.”
SO this is our charge, “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, hold on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr. Inbetween.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Blog of the Day

Here is another blow-me-away blog that I was delighted to find. Kyle Lomenda never told us about his poetic side.

Kyle, keep posting.
PS- hope you didn't mind the touchups I made to your band picture.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Post pounder

This Blog is leaving me blank... I have stared at the computer for about five minuts with nothing to say. And then it comes. From bordom come brilliance.
There is so much potential in a blank piece of paper or a new blog. From this souce comes new ideas, or new ways of looking at the world and making sense of it all. The other blogger gives you perspective.
There is also so much waste. Too many blogs are useless ramblings; an excuse to type.
But we should not give up reading and writing, even though so many are dumb. Because maybe one will be revolutionary. Maybe one will change someones mind, or pick them up a few notches from their melancholy stupor. Or simply enrich their day with a reflection, giving purpose to the onslaught of menial tasks.
Then there is the thing that I never expected. Something I mocked once. The blog is a window into the soul of the other person you rub shoulders with every day. For Example: Derek Wilson has a new side to him that was eclipsed by his "Comedy Central" persona. My understanding of the man has grown. There is a new layer to the onion.
That is why I like reading all of your blogs. Most of you scaliwags in the community are doing some deep writing with your regular columns. (Nigel does not want te be part of the internet culture, so the only way we could get him to start posting was to call it a column rather than a blog.) Keep it up. Post. Post pound. Let your thoughts out. Release them to the wilds of cyberdom, and watch them roar.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Raey at the river.
The water is just above freezing.
Next years RA/SRC rookies can look forward to their own aquatic initiation.

For the last few months my office door looked uninviting. Unfortunately there are six weeks of self-imposed solitude left. Some of you have wondered where I am. Wondered whether I still love you? Well, I'm in there...killing a giant. A Masters thesis is not supposed to be your life's work, but it sure seems to take up your entire life.

Honesty time... I'm scared. You know how busy the next month is at college. I have to defend my thesis mid march, and I am still working on chapter four. That means two chapters to finish and then a mountain of editing and formatting.


There are some nights when
sleep plays coy,
aloof and disdainful.
And all the wiles
that I employ to win
its service to my side
are useless as wounded pride,
and much more painful.

Maya Angelou

Please, Pray for me when you walk by my closed office door.

And, if you want to give me a shot of encouragement, call out with the words that will keep me going..."Francis...It's all worth it... It will help other people...and after you can go fishing!"

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Quest for Fire

That last post has inspired me to throw this question out there. Give us a quest. Name some challenge to complete. Define your idea of a hero's action today. Make it an attainable goal. In otherwords, don't make it something like "finalize a treaty insuring lasting peace in the middle east." But what could we accomplish today, or over the course of the weak, or the semester that would leave the world better than it is?

Who will inspire us with a need. Who do you see that needs a hero? What have we been identifying for years with the phrase, "someone should do something about that."

So please, leave your suggestions here, and I will see what we can do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Insecure or Inspired

What would it be like to chum with heroes. Imagine living with Olympic athletes, prolific writers, deep thinkers, profound lovers, entrepreneurs, community activists, or future martyrs. Would you feel insecure, or inspired?
Would you want to join them in their pursuits, or minimize their contributions. Would you be for or against them?
This question may unlock the inner attitude that keeps us from courage. "If I feel awkward around greatness, then others will to, so it is best for me to remain mediocre." This is human nature, but there is also the responsibility placed on all our shoulders. Leave every place you go...Better than you found it.
Gordon Hamilton says it well..."I might be unnerved by that circumstance, but I just choose to be courageous. I put it on like a long coat, or like a good actor. Then, soon, I discover that what I am pretending has become reality."
What great deed is there for you to do? What feat is calling out for a champion? If a burning bush has chosen you...and turned your staff into a snake to prove it...Do you have the courage to pick up that snake and accept the job? Neither did Moses...but he did it anyways...and the world has never been the same.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Icefishing with Keats

I spent Saturday icefishing with John Keats.
Here is what he said...

"She dwells with Beauty-Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veiled Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine:
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
-John Keats- 3rd stanza of "ODE ON MELANCHOLY"

The image of a trophy room full of people hanging on the wall was not lost to this hunter. I am resolved to make melancholy breathless in the chase, and ultimately leave her skunked.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Banquet

Here are some of the photographs I took at the last Christmas Banquet.

Friday, November 18, 2005


There really is no point in tearing something down if you are not going to build something up in it's place. To be entirely deconstructional is a temptation for the PoMo generations. Any fool can pull lego blocs apart. Putting them together calls for optomism; you have to be constructive. Yet there is no enlightenment in building without any understanding of potential follies. We see this in the over-optomist. Aristotle would point out that there is a balance, or "Golden Mean" between the extreems of pessimist and over-optomist. Randy has the best idea for this.
Randy Webb referencing Chestertons says "We must dislike things enough to change them, and love them enough to make them worth changing." This is what I want people to think about me. I do not want to be part of society's problem, I want to be part of the solutions.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Our deepest fear in not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?"
Actually, who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
You playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconscioulsy give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence outomatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson (as quoted by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech, 1994)

16 inches

OUr rhetoric shapes our assumption that thoughts are coming either from head or heart. But the human heart is only a muscle and not the true seat of emotions. Emotions, ideas, perceptions, deductions and conclusions all happen in the same grey organ.
So we make the mistake of assuming that a "truth" has to move from our head to our heart. What we really mean is that we want this idea to take hold in more than just one region of the brain. We want to get emotional about something that is presently only rational. I am much more encouraged to personal change when realizing that it doesn't have to move the 16 inches from head to heart. It doesn't have to go anywhere. I only need to think on it and get excited about it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

First time for everything

This is the first time that I have ever blogged my own blog.

New technology changes the indiviual who uses it, so this will change me. The new technology has changed our perceptions of eachother. Now we have two windows into the soul, the eye, and the blog.
The most alarming notion to others is a public diary. But honestly it is not that. The blog is not who we are, but what we want others to see us as. We are revealing ourselves, or expressing ourselves. And since self expression is the formula for self actuallization, the blog may soon become an essential therapy. Does it really matter if anybody else is reading it?