Archive for October, 2003

Why I didn’t go to church tonight

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

I had such an incredible conversation with my brother Steve today. He’s 7 years older than me (making him 26), and is he ever a cool guy. I have always looked up to him a lot. Of all my siblings, he is the closest to me in age (I’m the youngest) and so he’s the one that has been around the most in my life. However, that does not mean that I know him really well. We’ve never been really close, and over the past couple years I have had a really big desire to become better friends with him. I remember the last time we had a really intense talk: that was over a year and a half ago. Today marks another time.

If I had to sum Steve up in two words, they’d probably be: passionate, and fearless. When he believes in something, he believes in it 110%. He gets so pumped about stuff, and once he gets started, there’s no stopping him. And he will try anything. Nothing phases him. The more intense and extreme and just “out there” something is, the better.

I (and I’m sure everyone else in my family) see so much potential in this dude. I’ve known for a long time that once Steve gets really serious about God, there’ll be no stopping him. Once his passion kicks into God-gear, look out world!

Well we started off today talking about relationships (as in: the dating kind). We shared a lot of our struggles with each other (and strangely enough, they paralleled like every single time…) and then we got onto talking about God. Man, God is stirring things up in him. There is movement in his soul. Man, God is doing mighty things in Steve’s life. We talked about church (what it is and what it needs to be), what the church considers ministry (and what ministry needs to be!), and man, I am SO pumped to see God work here! If I could ask one thing of everyone reading this post, please please keep Steve in your prayers. The Holy Spirit is hard at work in Steve’s life, and Satan does not want to see that happen. Satan hates the awakening that is erupting in Steve’s heart and will go to great lengths to stifle it. Please pray that this is not a passing phase. Next week he’s planning on coming to the house church with me. I’m so pumped! Please keep that in your prayers as well: that nothing “comes up” to keep him from coming and experiencing church next Thursday.

Inner Battles

Sunday, October 26th, 2003

Again, unconsciously, I have been trying to push one of the people closest to me away. I go on these stupid self-pity trips of mine and I convince myself that I am not a person worth loving. That I am completely worthless. And I try to convince others of this. But the strong are not convinced.

Hmm…it’s like…ok, I become positive that I am an unlovely person and that no one will ever really love me. Sooner or later they will figure out just how big of a waste of time I am and they will drop me and never look back. That is a huge fear for me. So I try to brace myself for that inevitability, so that it will hurt less. I don’t want to get close to people because I am sure they will abandon me. Yet I want more than anything to be close to people. I wear my heart on my sleeve more often than not, because I want so badly to be accepted and loved. I have struggled with this for over two years now. When I was on SoD I thought I had finally gotten past it. But it appears I most certainly have not. I still lose my identity. I still believe I don’t matter. I know that is not me, but when I am stuck in that self-pity mode, neither I nor anyone else can convince me of anything different. I am worthless and that is all there is to it. Until I smarten up and realize how irrational I am being.

Who are these people who love me and refuse to let me go? And what the heck is wrong with them?

One more thing

Thursday, October 23rd, 2003

I also have to say that things are going better than when I posted on Tuesday. I had a great time with Cam and Matt: the pipe did calm me down :) It was great to sit outside with them and mellow out and have some good conversation on the stoop with our pipes and beers (well, me without a beer because I can’t stand the taste). Being with them was just what I needed. So thanks God, and thank you guys (even though I know Cam will never read this because he has some unexplained vendetta against blogging…).

Yesterday I was out for pretty much the whole day because I woke up with a migraine and it took 6 hours for the feeling of knives being stabbed into my eyes to pass. Not too fun, but I survived :)

And today I spent 4 hours with my girl Deanna (one of my best friends from SoD). It was so great to see her and have some quality one on one time with such a great friend that I haven’t seen in so long.

And I also must say that long distance relationships really do suck quite a lot…. :P It’s so hard not being able to be there for Clay when he’s going through hard times. Alex, you were a genius with the whole telephone thing, but where’s my warp speed flying machine? It sure would come in handy a lot….

I miss you Saskatchewan (Yep, still on that thread : )

Thursday, October 23rd, 2003

I was riding the skytrain to the waterfront today here in Vancouver and it’s just incredible to me how much people stick to themselves these days. “I better not do anything that would offend people around me. Don’t want them to think I’m weird…” No one says hello, no one smiles, no one even makes eye contact. You live your life, I will live mine. It feels so different here compared to Saskatoon (well duh, but still….).

There was a man riding the train who had some sort of a mental disability. He was talking to himself, singing, and laughing, completely oblivious to the fact that he was making people uncomfortable. Oblivious to the fact he was the only one saying anything, the only one laughing. He was just being himself. He was free to say what came to his mind, free to laugh at whatever he found funny. Free to be himself without worry of what others thought of him.

During this whole time, no one even looked up. No one acknowledged his presence. They sat there, and stared a head with their blank eyes, willing him to get off at the next stop so he would cease to make them uncomfortable.

Why do we find it so difficult to shed our worry of what others think of us? Why are we so consumed with our image? “What will people think of me? Heaven forbid people get the impression that I find joy in the little things in life!”

I love encountering people like this man. People who see the world through innocent eyes. I pray that God would use their unharnessed zest for life to infect the lives of this stale world we live in.

Unsure

Tuesday, October 21st, 2003

Warning: This won’t make much sense. My brain’s all over the place.
I’m in Vancouver right now. I took off from home for 9 days to spend some time with my sister Jude, and to see a bunch of my friends from SoD that I haven’t seen for a while. It’s been good and yet…it’s been strange. I wake up without much of a purpose for the day, and it’s a really empty feeling. Like I don’t have a clue what I am supposed to do. I hate not having a purpose. It’s all fine and good to get up and email people and read blogs and post (though the latter doesn’t happen all too often… :) but I lack motivation to do much. I came out here to see people, yet at the same time, seeing people seems a chore.

On Sunday I went down to Bellingham, WA to have supper with Deanna, Tyler, Jordon, Tiff, Joe, and Jeph. It was great to be back with these people who I was with all last year on SoD. Most of the time I felt like I totally belonged and that things were super. And then there were times where I was like, “Oh man, I don’t know these people at all….they don’t know me at all.” And things would feel totally off. And then things would be great, then off. And I’m sitting there wondering, “why am I even here? This is awfully awkward…”

Then on the way back to my sister’s place, Jordon dropped me off at a skytrain station in New West and I took the train back to Vancouver to my sister’s place….and the whole time I was really uneasy about riding the train at night by myself. I’ve never been freaked out to do anything like that. In past visits I have been totally up for testing my independance and experiencing the city by myself. But that evening I was freaked out to be there by myself. Freaked out to get off the train and have to walk two blocks back to my sister’s condo. It was creepy.

I’m feeling disconnected. And I don’t like it.

Tonight’s cool though because I’m chilling with Cameron and Matt…gonna get in on some good pipe smoking action. Maybe I’ll feel better once I smoke a bowl. Then again, maybe not.

I went to church on Saturday evening at the biggest church in the greater Vancouver area….arg.
Let me just say that I’m bummed out that I won’t be able to make to the house church on Thursday.

I miss you Saskatchewan.

A still, calming voice

Thursday, October 16th, 2003

Yesterday I finally recognized God’s voice again. I’ve been avoiding his input because I have been so caught up in planning things the way I want them. I was driving home from Saskatoon last night, when the northern lights started pulsing across the sky. First green, then red and orange. And I sat there in my car, and I realized that God was speaking to me. Psalm 19:1-4 says:
The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;
yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to all the world. (NLT)

So I shut up and listened to the silent voice that was speaking to me. I drove to the field at the end of my road and got out of the car, stood outside in the cold, and listened.

I am amazed at how I think I know what is best for me; I’m amazed how I think I know exactly what I want. And then it all comes crashing down and I realize that my plans are all just bare threads that don’t weave together to form anything constructive or useful. I take my life into my own hands and try to fit the pieces together, but nothing fits. It all comes crashing down.

And I realize that the only thing I’m sure of, is that I’m not sure of anything.

God’s plans take the form of millions of threads, and he weaves them together until they become this work of art that demands we look in awe at what he is able to do. God tells us he has plans for us, and he knows what they are (Jer.29:11) *All* we need to do is trust him; trust that his plans are better than ours are.

So what I’m sure of is that I don’t have a clue what I want. I really don’t. I want God’s will for my life, and I don’t know what that entails. I promised my life to God, no one else, and I have to stay true to that.

phanksgiving

Monday, October 13th, 2003

Now’s the time for my cheesiness to shine. Here’s what I’m thankful for (though not a completely comprehensive list):
~family. though i didn’t get to spend thanksgiving with them, i have much to be thankful for here. first of all i’m thankful for my family themselves, and secondly i’m thankful that in spite of there being fourteen of us when everyone is together, i no longer go insane :)

~clay. dirt is good.
oh, i mean…..right, Clay my boy(friend). he was out from Edmonton for the weekend so i got to spend a lot of time with him and his family. super time :)

~church. the house church with no name is getting underway. we had our first meeting last thursday and it was such a great time: i am so excited to see where this goes. we had supper together, complete with the best chocolate cake ever (compliments of me), “orange salad” from ScottyD, and Linsay brought Samosas (LT:”What are those??” haha) i was so pumped on my drive home from church because it hit me that i had been at church for nearly four hours and hadn’t anxiously looked at the clock once. God is good :)

~my new printer. that’s right, my new printer. Thank you Clay’s mom :) ….(Clay, should I call her Mrs. Bitner, or Laura? Or should I just jump in and call her Ma right away? :P haha)

~warm feet. this doesn’t happen often.

~new bloggers!!! Two dear girls from my youth group are now blogging. How rad is that? Check out Carrie and Jessica’s blog here.

Happy thanksgiving everyone :)

d:/tails

Saturday, October 4th, 2003

A little while back I mentioned that I am going to be leading a junior high girls bible study for youth group on Wednesday evenings. Well we had our first “official” time together this past week, and I must say a few things.

1) I am really really excited about this.
First the word was that the group would be comprised of grade 8 and 9 girls, and now it appears I’ve got a few grade 10 girls as well. Super! These girls are all amazing. Most of them I know from having been in senior high when they were littler (is that a word?), and there are a few new girls too, which is super. They’re loud and have short attention spans and like to talk about boys. A LOT :)
We spent our time together compiling a list of things they want to discuss this year. The list includes
:Ways to get closer to God:
:World religions:
:End times:
:Spiritual gifts:
:Ways God speaks to us:

2)I am really really scared about this.
I’m little. I grew up having a limited amount of self esteem. I guess part of that is because I’m short and when you’re the shortest in your class for 13 of your 13 years of going to school, people bug you. And tease you. And make jokes. Yeah, funny for them. Because in their minds, they were bigger, therefore, they were better. More competent. So now part of me wants to buy into the fact that I’m not a competent person for this challenge. But really, who is? I have to rely on God to help me through this, because he surely knows that I’m no experienced teacher. My prayer is that I can help and not hinder these girls’ walks with Christ.

3)What’s the ideal for youth ministry?
This I have not found an answer to. All I know is that for the most part, the way youth ministry is being approached is all wrong. I mean, for all my junior high years I never even went to youth because I felt too much like an outsider. Then when I did go, I didn’t feel like anyone understood me. I would go to small group at youth and we’d go through a lesson that was photocopied out of a book and fill in the blanks and we’d say, “yeah, i’ll put this in my bible and look back at it as a reference,” when really I never did. How does a xeroxed lesson know what’s going on in my heart and my life? They never did. What I have determined so far is that kids do not want to be preached at, they want to be related to. I want to be a leader who facilitates discussion. I want to be able to help them discover answers to the questions inside them instead of preaching to them.

This is going to be a stretching time. Next week we’re discussing how to help your friends when they’re having problems, “especially problems with their Christian walk”. Talk about a loaded issue. These girls want to dig, they’re not satisfied with surface stuff. I’m excited. And scared. Please pray. And if you’ve got any insight to lend, please do so.

Where have I been?

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

It’s been a week since I last blogged. Some may wonder if I have fallen off the face of the earth. The answer to that is: …almost. Or maybe not.

I was in Edmonton last weekend visiting my boy (boyfriend, though I loathe the word, so from now on I will refer to him as my boy. Does he have a name you ask? Well no actually. His name is boy). Had an awesome time with him. Crazy tough, as ever, to say “see ya later” when I had to come home. Oh now I remember! His name is Clay :)

I worked my last shift ever at Burger King yesterday. Praise the Lord.
So I am only working two jobs at the moment: the photolab and the special care home. And even with only two jobs now I am still working 7 of the next 9 days. Crazy. I should be starting Starbucks stuff late next week. I hope. Then maybe I’ll quit the photolab. I’m tired of working at so many different places. It’s good because it keeps me from getting bored…but it also wears on me because of trying to co-ordinate so many different schedules.

Last night stereotrap had their cd release concert, and wow was it ever a super show! I must say I am very proud to know those boys. Go buy the cd, it’s $20 and you can pick it up at Scott’s Parables. And please, do your best not to be distracted by the shameless capitalist Christian marketplace around you.
I saw LT, ScottyD, and Linsay Martens there (super guys from the house church). And of course, Jer Olson was there. I also finally was able to meet put a face to the name with Markio, and Kirk Trew.
Bloggers unite!