Thursday, June 29, 2006

I just came back from Miller's Grad. The first thing I want to say is congrats to all the grads. You guys have done a great job. I wish all the best in the future.
Of all the addresses that were made I would have to say that Don Wiebe's was the best by far. (This is of course excluding the valedictorian. Richelle did a good job). Don talked about being citizens and making the world a better place. One thing that he said really stood out to me. He said to be a good citizen in the 21 century we need to be curious. Don never explained this statement at all. But it made me think what is it about curiosity that makes us better citizens.
It helps us be innovative. We need new ideas and ways of doing things if our world is going to become a better place. For the past several hundred years we have been destroying our planet. It only within the last few years that we are admitting to what we are doing. Though most seem reluctant to change. We cannot keep on doing the same things that we used to be doing and expect our world to become better.
curiosity also leads to discovery. Some discoveries can be used for evil. In fact all of them. But some can be used for great good. Discovery of the world that God has created has the potential to make us better people.
curiosity can keep us alert and alive. It is through being curious that we experience the world, God and others. If we are never curious then we never learn anything new, nothing new about God, others or our world. When we stop learning I truly believe we stop living. To live is to discover and experience.
So I totally agree with Don. curiosity will make us better citizens.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I have often wondered about the role of the church in helping protect the environment. In the Genesis passage we humans were given the responsibility to manage the world. I would have to say that we have done a pretty dismal job at it. We are destroying the world. Our actions seem to be throwing everything out of balance. I just read an article which states that the rise in hurricanes could be from global warming. global-warming
Now as a church we have been slow to respond to this. Many feel that the environment is not a spiritual issue and therefore the church should not get involved. However I believe that every issue is a spiritual issue. The Bible does not separate things into a spiritual category and real world category. They are held together. To follow Jesus means to follow him in this world seeking to live out his kingdom. Now I do not believe that we are going to be able to establish the Kingdom of Jesus Christ fully here on earth. We are to long for heaven - where the Kingdom is established. As we get more obessed with heaven we will begin to live it out here on earth. I believe that this is the call of the church.
Which brings me to ask: How should the church respond to the environmental issue? Destroying the world is not living out heaven here on earth.
I found an interesting site that measures how much of an impact on earth a person makes.
footprint on earth

Friday, June 16, 2006

On Tuesday evening I was initaited into being an adult. It is offical I am no longer a youth. Tuesday was not my birthday. What happened was that I was playing soccer with a bunch of people. Outside of myself and another man everyone who was playing was under 20 - well for the most part my wife and another women played for a few minutes. This other man received the nick name Grandpa. I did not think it was that terrible. He does have kids who are in university so technically he could be a Grandpa. However I got the nick name Old Man. I was shocked. Old Man!!!! I am not that old. At least I did not think that I was that old. This was my initiation. The young people no longer view me as one of them. I am now offically in "old" category.

Monday, June 12, 2006

How to Read a Book

I have started to read a book called How to Read a Book. One of my friends recommended it to me. He said it was one of the best books that he had ever read. It is actually really interesting. I had my doubts with that kind of title.
The book states that there are different levels of reading. The one that we most often do is elementary level reading. As I read the book I realized that this was totally the way that I read most of my books. It goes on to give rules for how to read books in such a way that you get lots out of them. It also teaches how to skim a book. Since it says that lots of books are not worth reading in depth.
A great book highly recommend people to read it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Goat Killing

A couple of my friends in town love goat meat. So last night we went out to a goat farm and butchered three goats. This was actually the first time I had ever seen an animal get butchered. And it wasn't that gross. My kids came and watched as well. They told me this morning that it was a lot of fun to see the goats get killed.
I was amazed at how much of the animal that my friends took. They only left a couple of the intestines - but cleaned and took must of them - and the skin. They even took the heads.
At one point just there was a skinned goat leg on a table. The girls were watching it. They told me that it was moving. I told them that it was their imagination or they were bumping the table. But they insisted that it was moving so I took a look. And there on the table this leg was twisting. It was really weird.
This whole experience was something that was out of my comfortzone. But I would do it again.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Yesterday I asked what is my Dream? What is the vocation or calling that is on my life? I want to say it is to extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Yet this seems so broad and vague. Extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ could mean a lot of things - anything from working in politics to being a doctor to working with kids. There was one qoute that our teacher gave that really makes me think. She said that our vocation was "The place where the heart's deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger".
What is my "heart's deep gladness"? Well, one thing my heart gets very excited about is teaching and discussing things. And how does this relate to the "world's deep hunger"? I believe our world is hungering for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It is looking for signifance. We want to know that we are making a difference within this world. I believe it may be my vocation to teach people about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. To let them know that they can live for something greater than themselves.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Dream

Last week I took a course called Mentoring Young Adults. It was a very good course. The teacher Sharon Daloz Parks was excellent. One of the things that we talked about was a "Dream".
A "Dream" is the vision which drives our lives. That thing which guides every decision that we make. It is our calling or vocation. That which gives meaning to everything that we do.
Sharon believes that every person's life is motivated by a "Dream", either intentional or by default. If we are not intentional about our "Dream" then most likely we will buy into the one that our culture gives to us.
One of the things that we did in class was talk about what "Dream" our Canadian culture gives to people. There was a book written called Sex in the Snow which stated that the ultimate goal (Dream) for Canadians was to be happy. And how does our society tell us to be happy: get a house in the suburbs, be in love with someone, have a couple of kids, have a cottage at the lake, take vacations in Mexico (or somewhere warm), be busy, entertain yourself, gratify every pleasure that your have. I summarized it like this - make enough money to buy enough toys to entertain yourself and your family.
This has an appeal to me. But I want my life to matter. Also looking around in our world achieving this cultural Dream (having all the toys) does not really seem to bring happiness.
So the question becomes what have I intentionally committed my life to? What is my Dream?

Monday, June 05, 2006


This year at convention we are going to be asked about ordination. A proposal will be presented which states that every pastor will need to be ordained. Now I have some concerns about ordination and its relevance to our Anabaptist churches. One of the reasons why at this point I am not ordained. In expressing my concerns about ordination my goal is to initiate conversation.

Anabaptists have a strong sense of the priesthood of all believers (one of our very core beliefs). We believe that every believer is a minister and there is no need for a class of priests. I wonder if ordination works against this principal. Ordination seems to imply that in order to be a minister one has to receive a special blessing. This leads to the concept that only a few people are ministers. When discussing with people why a person should get ordained most people respond so that a person can marry, bury, baptize and administer communion. These are the things that priests do. However since we do not believe in a class of priests any believer can administer these things – a person does not need to be ordained.

In 1998 our conference adopted a statement which says "The laying on of hands evokes God's blessing upon the minister..." This sounds like a sacrament to me. The Roman Catholic Definition of ordination is “The Sacrament of Order [ordination] is the sacrament by which grace and spiritual power for the discharge of ecclesiastical offices are conferred." What they are saying is that in the very act ordination God's grace and power is given to a pastor. Our definition really states the same thing - we have just substituted grace and power for blessing. But it is clear that this definition states that in the act of ordination - specifically the laying on of hands - God's power is transferred. Therefore ordination has now become something more than a symbol and has become a sacrament. So it appears that as Anabaptists we are practicing a sacrament.

Ordination has also been used in church history as a way of keeping control and power. A person could only be ordained by some who was already ordained. This is apostolic succession. In other words a person only has the power to be a pastor if someone else with power has ordained him. And church has often been viewed as not being able to function without this power. This is opposed to the Anabaptist belief. Anabaptists believed that the church existed where the people worshipped God. Yet this has been lost through the fact that our church held on to ordination. Church began to be defined on whether or not there was someone with power to be a pastor. This fact was demonstrated within our history. The Saskatchewan churches were not regarded as churches until the bishop could find the time to travel and ordain some leaders.

These are some reasons why I believe that ordination is not in line with Anabaptist beliefs. And why I am struggling with being ordained.