Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hello all!  Sorry I have been neglecting this blog for the past while.  Almost a month since my last post!  With all the busyness that surrounds this time of year and the busyness that surrounds my line of work during the Christmas season, finding time to write hasn’t been easy.  This blog post won’t be long or overly thought provoking, but just something to let you know I am alive and have not given up on my blog.
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.  Myself, along with Crystal-Lynn and Benjamin spent our Christmas traveling so that we could see as much of our family as possible.  I personally believe family, after Jesus of course, are the most important parts of Christmas!  So, we spent time with my in-laws on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day before packing up and driving to St. John’s to see my brother and his family, my mom and dad, and Crystal-Lynn’s brother and family.  It was great to be able to spend time with them all!  Unfortunately today is the day all that must end.  
I am excited to head in to a new year in our Youth ministry.  There is something fresh and exciting about starting out at the beginning of a new year.  Somewhat like a clean slate I guess.  I pray that this will be a year of vision in the area of outreach.  We have an amazing community with many great young people.  I’m not usually one for New Years’s resolutions but I really want outreach, which has already been a passion for me, to become that much more of a passion!  After all, if you remember one of my first posts, reaching out to those who don’t have a relationship with God is (or should be) why we do what we do.
Personally and from family perspective, this was a big year!  Crystal-Lynn and I were blessed with our first child!  A happy, healthy baby boy who we named Benjamin!  He has been an awesome and welcomed addition to our family.  There is nothing more amazing that watching him grow and learn new things.  It’s fun to experience that with him.  Also, we started in a new church this past year.  That has been a great experience as well.  I love to learn and working in my current church has allowed me that opportunity. 
Well, that’s all for now.  I wish all of you a Happy New Year and I pray that it will bring many blessings.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Nerdy Hobbie... Yes, I'm a Nerd!

So, seeing as today was a little bit of a slow one, which are few and far between, I decided to try some new web design ideas. 

Disclaimer:  I understand some of the following may look "apple-esq,"  which I will not deny as I love the design of thier site.  I like to play around with those kinds of things to see if I can re-create the ideas and then manipulate them. 

So, obiously I start with a blank document. (Enjoying my free trial of Adobe Photoshop CS4... too bad it would cost an arm and a leg to own!)

Next, I work on what will be a header for my website.  I try to keep my layers organized, which I often lack on... but you know how that can be if you use Photoshop.

Then I begin work on the buttons (navigation) of my site.  I am sure you are seeing that "apple-esqness" about now!  I am a little ocd and want to make sure all the buttons are the same width which sometimes means adjustments to other parts of the design.  If I did my planning in advance I would say this wouldn't be an issue!

Ok, buttons done, for now.  May tweek them later

Now I move on to creating content boxes... (Also realized the title of my site was dumb.  So I changed it.)

Then I half forgot to take screen shots and half got lazy.  So, here is the finished layout. (The black side bars will not be part of the site.

Anyway, I am hoping to complete this at some point.  If you actually took the time to read this, thanks! :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Help In Strange Places

It's crazy how sometimes when you are trying to help others, they end up helping you in some way.

I will never forget. It was my first year of Bible college at what was then Northwest Bible College (now Vanguard College) in Edmonton, Alberta. It was also my first time ever being anywhere except Newfoundland. As part of our studies, we were each put in something called mentoring groups. A professor would lead the group and we would get together once a week to chat, pray, or like we did quite often, eat. I enjoyed mentoring group and enjoyed the people I got to hang out with each week.

Another yearly event that took place at our college was Service Day. Mentoring groups would get together and go to homes, churches, businesses and in my case in this first year, a homeless shelter called “Hope Mission”. Needless to say, this would be a day I wouldn’t soon forget.

After cleaning the common room, which at one point I am sure had white walls yet were a dingy, light yellow shade from the tons of tobacco that clung to them, to scrubbing mats and serving lunch, the thing that has been burned into my memory about this day was a simple conversation.

A man approached me to talk. He was clean cut and looked healthy. Once we got to talking I asked him if he was a worker there only to be told that he lived there and was working on getting back on his feet. This man had a wife and a great career. But due to some bad choices, he found himself left with nothing. He didn’t choose the path that he went down, but he ended up there anyway. This conversation was just what I personally needed to realize just how blessed I am and how much I need to consider those around me who are less fortunate or are who I sometimes call the forgotten.

Forgotten by society, government and sadly, most of the time, the church. From the perspective of a youth pastor I look at an event like YC. YC does so much for the less fortunate. It is a great even that I support and love. But I have been led to think about how much time, energy and money gets put into this event by youth groups and churches. This isn’t a knock on YC, in fact, this really has nothing to do with the event.  I am just using this as one example.

We focus so much of our resources on going to this event that really is all about us. I wonder if we would be as efficient if the work we did gave nothing in return? I am troubled by the attitude that always asks “what am I going to get out of this?” What if all we got in return was a sore back from lifting boxes of food at our local food bank? What if all you heard from this was the simple thank you from the single mom you delivered groceries to? Shouldn’t that be enough? Why must we always have to be rewarded for acts of service?

My prayer is that I would be more than satisfied with “thank you.” That I will always thank God for the amazing things he has blessed me with and continues to bless me with each day and realize that receiving shouldn’t be what drives me to do good. Giving is what must drive us to fulfill God’s initiative.

What this man gave me was a sense of reality. A sense that when we serve people and see them turn their lives around we are doing what Christ has asked of us. I am thankful for this experience and although I don’t know what happened to this man from that point on, I am grateful for the lesson he taught me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Something to Think About Today...

Just read this article on Neue and thought I would share it with you.


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