Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No More Drama

This week isn't looking promising for dorm 3. There was already some drama and it isn't even Tuesday yet. Can't we go a week without drama of any kind. Okay, here is the story:

The one guy modified his Superman costume for Halloween and was wearing it the dorm. Seems harmless enough right? You would think so. But then another guy called a fag for wearing it and also called him a hypocrite. This one guy is a big homophobe. I mean sure it says in the Bible that homosexuality is wrong and all, but Christians are supposed to be tolerant of stuff like that.

It's like why make comments like that if it will end up in a fight? Be the mature person and don't say anything. Not only that, but you need to lighten up. It's all in good fun. The sooner that guy learns it the better. I am the sure guy wearing the Superman was doing it all in good fun. That was not an open invitation to trash the guy. Doesn't he have feelings.

The resident mentor for dorm 3 and the guy who was wearing the costume tried to confront the other guy about it, but apparently the guy walked out and slammed the door. Avoidence is not a good thing. Unresolved issue could lead to pent up anger and some even worse happening.

Halloween only comes once a year, so let them have their fun because in the end it's no skin off your ass.

That is my rant. I didn't mention any names just be safe.

For Halloween I am going to be a New Orleans pimp. My costume is so simple. It's basically me putting on my suit. It's going to be sweet. I will post some pics later.

Until next time... shalom,
Mr. C.C.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Worship Blitz = Frustration: Part Three

Here is my final installment of the worship blitz posts. The final church we went to on our worship blitz was First Assembly. This church is of the Pentecostal denomination. What was told was that this church speaks in tongues. So I was ready to hear some people speaking in tongues. That didn't happen which was a rip. Sure you shouldn't go there with any pre-concieved notions, but they said there was going to be some speaking in tongues.

Another thing I didn't like was how the pastor had a mohawk. I think mohawks are cool, but I feel this person only had a mowhawk because he was trying to be hip to the young people in the congregation. I should mention that Tehillah Monday is a worship gathering for teens and young adults.

The pastor called the offering bowls "gold bowls of love." I thought that is a bit odd it would be called that. Sure they were gold bowls. They should have called them offering bowls. That's essentitally what they people doing is giving and offering.

The pastor then did a sermon. He was really emotional, almost emo in his sermon. He even went as a to cry. I don't think that crying is a bad thing. I think he was being a bit fake about it. A few of the students were not trying to laugh when he started crying. I think a certain level of emotion is needed, but not so much that it becomes emo.

Another thing I hated about the sermon is how the pastor said he wasn't trying to minipulate a reaction. My friend Mark Jensen made a good point when he said that if someone went to that church for first time, then would probably be persuaded by what that pastor was talking about as truth.

The final thing about the sermon was that there was no scriputre. There should be at least one verse of scripture. A fellow student said you don't need scripture. You do need some scripture when you are doing a sermon or it is baseless.

The band was good musicians, but they were pop punk and I hate punk music in general. The bass drowned out the singers. The one singer was too punk for me because of the way he was dancing around. Don't get me wrong in that fact that he can't do that sort of thing. It's just that it didn't do nothing for me.

They have some pretty whack views of stuff in my opinion. Just look at their mission statement below.

Mission Statement: Tehillah Monday exists to destroy the works of the devil in individuals, cities and nations. (1 John 3:9)

Now tell me if it says anything about Jesus Christ. I bet you can't because it doesn't say anything at all. They are more focused on riding people of the devil. It's just so madening that they would use that as their mission statement.

Statement of Faith: We have confidence in Jesus who healed the sick, the blind, and the paralyzed. And even raised the dead. He cast out evil powers and confronted corrupt leaders. He cleansed the temple. He favored the poor. He turned water into wine, walked on water, calmed storms. He died for the sins of the world, rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father, sent the Holy Spirit. We have confidence in Jesus who taught in word and example, sign and wonder. He preached parables of the kingdom of God on hillsides, from boats, in the temple, in homes, at banquets and parties, along the road, on beaches, in towns, by day and by night. He taught the way of love for God and neighbor, for stranger and enemy, for outcast and alien.

We have confidence in Jesus, who called disciples, led them, gave them new names and new purpose and sent them out to preach good news. He washed their feet as a servant. He walked with them, ate with them, called them friends, rebuked them, encouraged them, promised to leave and then return, and promised to be with them always. He taught them to pray. He rose early to pray, stole away to desolate places, fasted and faced agonizing temptations, wept in a garden, and prayed, "Not my will but your will be done." He rejoiced, he sang, he feasted, he wept.

We have confidence in Jesus, so we follow him, learn his ways, seek to obey his teaching and live by his example. We walk with him, walk in him, abide in him, as a branch in a vine. We have not seen him, but we love him. His words are to us words of life eternal, and to know him is to know the true and living God. We do not see him now, but we have confidence in Jesus. Amen.

As you can see by their statement of faith that they are so concerned with ridding the word of evil. They don't use any scripture in their statement of faith and mission statement which is odd.

For that service was boring. I was bored. I wasn't engaged at all. I feel like I failed at worshipping God. That place seems more consumed by ridding the world of evil then they do with telling about scripture. They need more scripture. Scripture is the basis for a lot of stuff. Sure it can be taken out of context, but if the Bible isn't taken out of context then you can do a lot with the Bible.

So comes to the end of my posts on the worship blitz. Hopefully I can come to terms with what is bothering me because I let it all go on the Wednesday night service at school. I crawled the labyrinth and by the end my hands were shaking and I was crying. When Brian asked me what was wrong and I just lost it and brokedown. I just ask you pray for me. It would really mean a lot to me.

Until next time... see you on the flipside.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Worship Blitz = Frustration: Part Two

When I last left you I was frustrated at how I didn't get anything out of the Center Street service. I just was wanting to know why I didn't get anything from it. God wasn't telling me why he was making feel this way.

The next church we went to on Sunday was the Ukranian Orthadox Church. It had a lot of iconography. The sanctuary was filled with paintings on the ceilings and whatnot on the walls. There were banners that represented that the Catholic Church believes in.

The paintings represented stuff as well. It was awesome looking stuff. The one lady was telling us stuff about the different things around the sanctuary and what it all meant. It was cool that there was writing in Ukrainian.

A thing I thought was interesting was how they didn't have any instruments when they sing songs. All they have is the choir.

After the Ukranian Orthodox Church we went to Westside Kings. It was a 20 something church. It was really laid back I felt.

At Westside Kings they sat around tables which is a great idea because it gives you a sense of closeness I guess you could say. They had a lot of praise and worship songs. I never heard any of those songs. The one doing the sermon was really smart. He didn't just babble like some people do when they preach. Then they have some discussion with the people at your table which is a good idea.

The cool thing was that they had a five minute coffee break before they had the sermon. I thought that was cool and interesting.

Here is Westside King mission and values:

Our mission is to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ in authentic community
for the good of the world.

Confident we're part of a story so much larger
than any of us, we dare to enter the stories of others in Calgary, and around
the world, holding to the hope of witnessing the healing and transforming grace
of God, first-hand.

Our values that guide everything we do are grace,
journey, and relevance.

We understand we're all on a life-long journey of discovering who God is and a more accurate perception of ourselves. We realize that God has in his imagination an idea of who we can become that is not possible without His grace that accepts us as we are and, at the very same time, calls us forward to live like Jesus did. It means we've taken our hands off the religious panic button, and abandoned quick answers and worn out rhetoric, and dare to engage in an open dialogue about faith and the things of life knowing that participating in God's activity wherever and however is what is truly relevant.
Here is Westside Kings style:
Our style - evolving. As culture morphs, technology advances and methodologies evolve, what you see, hear, taste and smell at Westside might vary. But, we are quite intentional about one thing - to never get in the way of God's story. Our style is ultimately to partner with God in offering a thought-provoking window into the heart of who God is and an invitation to transformation.

Our style - casual and artistic, safe and provocative, contemporary and rooted in timeless biblical truths, relevant and ancient, rational and vulnerable.
Our style - uncompromising about the gospel while committed to finding a way to language our faith in a way that spurs us to live our lives as Jesus did - authentically and unashamedly in a constantly evolving world.

When you show up on a weekend, here's what you can expect - an invitation to join us in expressing our thanks to God through music, a few announcements to keep you informed about what's happening around Westside, then one of our communication team will bring a thought provoking thought for the week. When it's all done, we hope our style complimented what God desired to do in your life.

Westside Kings is a church for younger people. Well, the Sunday night service is anyways. They don't try and force you to worship like they want Tehillah Monday. But I will explain more later. They Shepard you along and guide you which is how it should be done.

In the next blog post I will tell you about Westside Kings. So until then... shalom!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Worship Blitz = Frustration: Part One

This past weekend CBC had their worship blitz. Basically what that entitled was we went five churches. Four of them we went to a service. Let's get started shall we? I should mention that I am talking about a couple of the churches. The rest on posts to come.

St. Michaels Catholic Church:
This was by Catholic standards conservative. That is in no way a bad thing. I found it to be somewhat like Anglican services which I grew up with.


The band was awesome I must say. Everything flowed well and the drummer was very good. The, who I assume was the band leader, seemed like he would be a cool guy to talk to.

The regular pastor who had an acent seemed laid back from what I have heard about other priests in the Cathloic denomination. It would have been interesting to talk with him especially on the idea of giving children their first communion at such an early age.

I like when the regular priest asked the kids: "Who is your best friend? The answer was Jesus. I found that smart to ask that question.

I liked how people worshipped like people would in a say an emerging church with their hands in their air.


I didn't like how they give children commuion at such an early age. I am not some of them can't grasp it, it's just that some of them probably don't get anything thing out of it. I know if I was their age and recieving communion that I wouldn't get anything out of it.

Another dislike I had was when the Bishop was doing his sermon, he just read off of a sheet of paper. I like someone to have emotion in their voice and look at congregation when they are doing their sermon. Eye contact is crucial.

The final dislike I had with this church was how this one woman who got a to sing a solo made is seem like Canadian Idol. I feel that God couldn't really give a shit about how you sang as long you were doing so in God's name.

All in all I was pretty pleased with that service unlike some other services I am going to talk about.

Center Street Church:
This was the second church we went to for a service. It was a Sunday morning service and Brain said that was a huge church and he was not kidding. There was nothing about this church and service I liked. I shouldn't say that. There were two things I liked.

I liked that they had a book store and a library. Getting Christian reading material so you further you faith is a good thing.

The second and last thing I liked was that they had a cello player in the band. I thought that was totally cool.

As soon as I walked in the door I had a beef with Center Street Church. I seen that they had a fully stocked coffee bar where you could get coffee and something to munch on. I thought who needs that. There are some churches who have a pot of coffee and are fine with that.

Another I didn't like was the fact that they had security. If you are that big that you need security then I feel you are not an intimate setting, for a lack of a better term. I mean, you should feel safe in a church. In restrospect, security is pretty pointless in a church.

I thought that the service didn't do a damn thing for me. I saw people dancing, rasining their hands, and just praising God to the fullest. It's fine that they did it, I just couldn't get in that mode.

The things I did not about the service was rock concert it was. In one of the books for worship leading class it says that you shouldn't have a rock concert feel to it and have it showy. Yes, you should have a good sound system and yes you should play to the best of your abilities. But you don't need that type of feel to it. You can do as with less lights and whatnot.

The woman who sung a solo was trying to be too much like Canadian Idol. Again, God doesn't give a rats ass how you sing as long as you are doing it in praise of God. Sure it's nice to do everything perfect when worshipping God and all, but we are not perfect. Who cares if you make a mistake it's the end of the damn world.

The one doing the sermon was mono tone. I just couldn't get engaged by him. The thing I remember guy talking about was a story about him having to be on ritalin. That's pretty much what I remember. Otherwise, I didn't a thing out of it.

In the big scheme of things, I felt like God was so distant during the Center Street Church service. I just didn't feel like worshipping like I usually do. I didn't feel it at all. I came out feeling frustrated. It's something I have never experienced before. I have this feeling that God was trying to test me. I felt like, "Why am I feeling this way?"

Feeling frustrated set the tone for the rest of the worship blitz. I will tell you more about that in part two.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vespers, Prayer Labyrinth

I just finished Vespers. It's the same service as each Vesper service. I am not saying that is a bad thing. That is not what I am saying at all. There are times when structure is a good thing. I feel that some people need it in there lives. I can say that at times in my life I need structure or I don't get the task at hand done. With that being said, Vespers is a way to connect with God and Jesus in a various ritualistic sort of way.

I am not trying to say to non-believers that it is ritualistic in a bad way. It has candles, incense, and whatnot. I feel that it gives the room a sense of going from a noise filled day to a quiet time of reflection is this service. North America as a whole don't take the time to reflect. We are in a constant state of go, go, go. I feel that if we went a few minutes early (and I am terrible for this sometimes) and had places then we could not be in such a rush to get our next destination or wherever you happen to be going to.

I have made a promise to myself that once a week after the Vespers service, I find someone who possibly needs prayer and just go ask them if they need prayer or put my hand on someone and pray for them if they need it. I asked Jared if he wanted to be prayed for and he said yes. Then there was girl who needed some prayer and she was crying. I didn't know if should pray for her or not. Another student want and prayed with her and prayed for her. I was going to, but that person did.

Tuesday evening and Wednesday mornning we had a prayer labyrinth. It's basically like a bunch of prayer stations. I had experienced something similar to this at Gateway Covenant Church. But this labyrinth here was a bit more rushed as we had people behind you and people in front of you. We had to listen to a CD and each track was a different station. They had a person talking and then some music playing.

I like commuion station. It all goes back to the time when I growing up in an Anglican church in my hometown of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. In the Anglican church they have communion each Sunday. Having communion more frequently then once a month like the Covenant Church does, it's takes me back to when I was growing up and seeing communion or experiencing it more regularly. I also like the the rock station. You picked up a rock and put all things you need to work put those words into that rock so to speak. Then you put it in a bucket of water and it's like all that stuff is drowning or flowing somewhere so you don't have to deal with it at that specific moment.

The one I hated was the mirror station. It made you take a good look at yourself. I know there are a lot of stuff I need to change about my appearance. I am unmotivated at times and nothing happens. But this year I had made a promise to myself to try and lose weight. It has been slow going so far.

All in all it was interesting doing the labyrinth. I would want to do it again because I wanted to do it not becase we had to.

That's it for now. I will talk to you people later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Updates, Updates, Updates

It has been awhile since I have posted. There are updates a plenty.

School has been going pretty good. I am trying to keep up with all the reading. There is a lot of reading. Many people will tell you that. I need to read some more Created For Community, books for Worship and Intro To Worship, finish Blue Like Jazz, and read some more of my Bible.

Thanksgiving was pretty dead at school. More people left then expected. I guess people left because they could. Having quiet dorms was good I guess. We went to the movies on Friday. I saw Click while others saw different movies. Click was pretty good. It did have a story to it and I got the message behind it.

On Sunday my friend Mark Jensen and I went to the Anglican church service. Mark wanted to experience a serivce in an Anglican church. I told him that I grew up in an Anglican church. It was different from the Anglican service I am used to. All in all it was a change from the Covenant church.

I got my first paper of the year back. I got a 77 which better then I thought. Some people got higher which is expected. But overall I am happy with my mark.

In November, I will making two cakes. On will be on November 8th and the other will be on November 24th. My two nephew Brennan and Bryson have their birthdays in November which is cool.

I have to get this prayer laybrinth dones. I guess I will talk to you later.