Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Driving... continued

Ok so here's the low down, according to the latest from the Canadian Press.

The laws will affect all drivers under 21 as well as new drivers of any age in their first year of driving - regardless of their level in the Graduated Licensing System. The new rules are as follows:


  1. Zero tolerance for drinking and driving. This means that as long as you are under 21 your blood-alcohol content has to be zero. So far I have not found anyone major opposition to this restriction - though some older drivers getting their license for the first time would like a little leeway - and I personally believe that it makes sense given the number of alcohol and drug related accidents there are every year involving teens.
  2. Zero tolerance for speeding. This is where things start to get dicey. Currently drivers of all ages and ranks receive fines and demerit points based on how far they are over the limit. The way things are looking right now in terms of this law, drivers under 21 caught speeding - regardless of the amount over the limit - will face a severe series of penalties, starting with a 30 day suspension. Young drivers are calling foul on this play and playing the age discrimination card. The argument is that anyone is capable of speeding and that your ability to react at high speeds is actually lessened as you get older. Yes, teens speed; but so do adults and some seniors. So why don't these rules extend to them?
  3. Drivers aged 16-19 can only have ONE teenage passenger. This one is wrong on so many levels. Yes, research has shown that have more teens in a vehicle can increase distraction and increase the likelihood of a accident. However, stop for a moment and consider the implications of this law, because they are far reaching. The most important place to begin is with car pooling. In this day and age car pooling is an important part of life, especially for rural dwellers. Car pooling is an important link for groups of young people living outside of town and in areas not serviced by buses, cabs or trains to travel together to school, to go shopping or to visit family or friends in other cities. With the advent of this law, an important tool is being torn away from those youth, forcing them to rely on older drivers who may not be as willing or able to drive such distances, or putting more cars on the road. What ever happened to going Green? Environmentalists should be just as outraged at this law as young drivers are! Furthermore, this is somewhat counterproductive for MADD, the organization pushing this bill, as it spells the death of designated drivers. Because the reality is that teens, following in the footsteps of adults over the years, will drink and party. That isn't going to change. This just leads to three possible scenarios:

    • there are going to be more designated drivers, a job that very few people really want,
    • there will be teens having their licenses suspended for doing the right thing in being a designated driver for their friends, or
    • there will be more teens on the road after drinking

    I really can see no other alternative. Which do you think teens are going to resort to? Certainly not the first option.

So, it is a nice thought. But I cannot seriously believe that it will really make a huge impact in lessening the number of driving-related teen fatalities. The truth is that laws cannot make better drivers. Better instruction and better enforcement of current laws, on the other hand, can make a huge difference. Because the truth is that as long as there are rules, people will break them. And if youth and children are learning from their parent, and their parents are breaking those rules, the vicious cycle will continue and the face of youth driving will not change.

Mike

Taking Driving to the Next Level

... of frustration.

A proposal is going before the Ontario Legeslature today which will add and change some driving laws in regards to young drivers. Whereas previous changes were applied to the graduated licencing system and the G-level of drivers, these new laws will affect drivers based on age; namely, those under the age of twenty one. The proposed changes include stiffer penalties for speeding, drinking and driving, as well as affecting the age and number of passengers young drivers can carry.

The exact limitations and penalties are somewhat disputed at the moment, with different news agencies reporting differences in who these laws will affect. However, the Minister of Transportation is set to make an announcement at 12:30, so we should find out more then.

Now, I'm not saying that this is all bad, but some of it - especially the part about the number of passengers young drivers can carry - will be plain frustrating depending on how it is acted out. Either way, we will know for sure soon.

Mike

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

School & Life

... at this moment.

So basically I'm in a place right now where I really have zero time. Or, at the very least, I'm not leaving myself any time. Let me explain:

First off, school is way more spread out here than in high school. Sure, I only do 18-ish hours a week (down from the approximate 30 in HS). But that 18 hours is distributed on a 8-5-4-1-0 week. Monday is ridiculous. And then Friday I have my practicum for the edumication portion of my schooling, and thus is really about a 6-7 hour day. Then factor in hour gaps leaving me at Trent from 9am to 9pm AND assignments and it is a wonder that I am not burned out already. Probably because I get to use some of that downtime to use my oh-so-convenient bus pass to head up to KLBC to chill. YAYS! The ammount of computer time I can get is pretty nifty too.

All that said however, I really like the atmosphere here. Surrounded on all sides by nature; affiliated with the prettier side of campus (aka, the West Bank); amusing profs... things are pretty good. Going to get hectic is a little while, but still good.

Meanwhile, I have also been working on framing my thoughts on the Human Rights Comissions. I read an article recently on them that brought up a lot of interesting questions about how they relate to religion. Cool stuff. I'll tell you more about it later.

I think that is a sufficient update for now...
Cheers!

Mike

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mike used a revive on his blog!

... here is the problem with not updating in... well, lets just say a long time: you want to catch up on everything that you missed in the last three-ish months. But it is just too much darned work. So, here is what is going to happen. I'm going to make this nice little, short post today and then start posting regularily again after that. If you want to know what the big silence was all about, you will go check out the Fort McMurray blog and read up on it there. Deal? If I decide to remark on anything in particular that happened out there - or I get requests (which isn't going to happen) - then you will be the first to know. Read. Whatever. But as it stands, I'm starting fresh with the beginning of my year here at Trent. Capish?

Love you all.

Mike

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Changing the World... and Other Small Things: Part 2


The Leader


"He is greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own."
- Henry Ward Beecher

You’ve all seen them. Walking around, usually with a group of followers. It doesn’t matter if the group is large or small. Or if the members are young, old, or about the same age as whomever it is they are following. Leaders usually stick out. But what is that magic spark that they have which allows them to lead?

That spark which is within us all, just waiting to be fanned into flame.

I like to call that spark influence. The ability to affect what people think, how they act, what they say and do not say… influenced by what you do, what you say and how you say it. Or what leverage you have on them, as the case may be. Everyone has some sort of influence, whether great or small, over something else. Ever changed a friend’s mind about something? That is influence.

“The humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others.”
- Beecher

Influence is what makes a leader. Have you ever seen one without it? And the degree of influence is directly tied to your capacity as a leader. The more influence you have, the more you can lead. The more challenging it is to lead as well. Leadership also depends on the kind of influence you hold. If you can only influence people because you are holding an axe over their head, that is not true leadership. If you get your influence through bullying, that is not true leadership either. It may be a form of leadership, but it is a negative one and only fakery.

So then, what is real leadership?

A couple thousand years ago, there was a philosopher who had a pretty good idea of what makes a true leader. And true influence. He suggested that a true leader was one who served the people. That influence was not given to someone because of what or who they knew, but earned through good service. Leading not by what you say, but by what you do. Servant leadership. Leadership based on stepping back from your own ambitions and leading in a way which benefits others. A pretty decent philosophy. And seeing that Jesus is who He is… well, I think He would know a thing or two about the world.

“Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary use words”
-attributed to St. Francis Assisi

Influence is subtle at its best. Leadership is subtle in its truest form. And what is the best way to be subtle? To say nothing at all. Words can say a lot, but, as many a mother has pointed out, actions speak louder than words. We gain more influence through how others observe us - our interactions with other people, how we live our day to day lives - than through the things we tell them. It doesn’t matter what we say to people if our actions, our lifestyle, doesn’t endorse it. “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t pan out for a leader. To truly lead, your words must match your actions. And your actions should be such that others want what you have, and they will follow you to get it.

It may sound as if I am saying that only Christians can be leaders. That is not true. At all. Gandhi certainly led by his actions, and though he was not a Christian, he held up peace in through his lifestyle and people followed him for it. People still follow him for it. And I am sure that you can think of people surrounding you who are not Christian and have the same effect. What I am saying though for Christians is that it is necessary to fan that leadership spark into flame. Otherwise you are not fulfilling your purpose here. Evangelism depends heavily on leadership.

Now, I think, would be a good time to make a distinction. There is a difference between leading and being called into a leadership role. Not everyone is called to a leadership role. To be that public figure from the get-to-know-you game. Everyone who has influence, which means… everyone, is a leader capable of leading. End of story.

So what is a leader? Someone who allows their actions to speak for themselves and who others follow because of that example. A Servant Leader.

Someone who has taken the first step to changing the world.


Part 1/ Part 2/ Part 3



Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=

The Open Door - FortMac'08

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Changing the World... and Other Small Things: Part 1

The “Get-to-Know-You” Game

Who are the people we look up to in this world? When asked – as is almost inevitable in ice-breaker/get-to-know-you games – who you would have lunch with if you could lunch with anyone in the world, what kinds of people are chosen? One answer suffices for both questions: leaders. Influencers. People who have an impact on the world around us.

What do Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Lester B. Pearson and Barrack Obama have in common? They all, in their own way, changed and challenged the world as they know it. Luther challenged religious practices, and so the Christian faith was revolutionized. Einstein gave us a new way to look at the world. Obama has already, and is continuing to, alter centuries of American politics. And the list of people who do the same continues ad infinatum. These are the people who are commonly chosen in that get-to-know-you game; these are all examples of great leaders and world changers.

Aren’t they amazing?

The short answer: no.
The long answer: still no, because they aren’t supermen. Because for every public figure chosen in this game, someone else will bring up a parent. Or a grandparent. Some other relative. A friend. Someone (usually) out of the public mind. Definitely not a great leader or someone who can change the world.

Or are they?

This, then, leads to two possible conclusions about my “sufficient” answer. Either a) I’m wrong and it is completely chance, the person picking the first person to come to their heads, or b) I’m right and there is something about this whole changing-the-world thing that we are missing.

Guess what: I’m not wrong.

Think about it for a moment. From the time you were young, who changed your world? Who lead you through your trials? Whose actions influenced the decisions which molded your life into what it is today? Who had the greatest impact - for good or bad – on your microcosm of a world?

Parents. Peers. Friends and family.

I am suggesting – and am personally convicted – that everyone, no matter their personality type,is a leader. I really, truly believe that. And, by extension, I also believe that everyone has the potential to change the world.

A rather challenging thought to live up to.


Part 1/ Part 2/ Part 3


Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=

The Open Door - FortMac'08


Friday, June 13, 2008

Winning the Internet

Ah! The Internet! That Oh, so beautiful place! That oh, so dangerous tool! Oh double-edged sword!

I’ve spent a lot of time online lately, working on my comp.sci. culminating task. It has been a good run, and I’ve learned a tonne of html/css programming. Hence the coolness of my blog now. Yay customization!

But I digress. There are a lot of really cool websites and web tools that out there and I thought I would share some of my most favourite recent finds with you! In Top Ten format, of course!

10. Firefox: Ok, not really a new find. But it feels as if I am constantly rediscovering it and all of its awesome, I’m-better-than-IE-ness. Hooray for open-source freeware!

9. Picnicface: I haven’t had time to check the whole thing out yet, and I don’t think I will, however it is a must go to just because of Powerthirst, Powerthirst2 and Superbingo. Absolutely hilarious, and Canadian. I will warn, however, that there is some language and it is not for everyone.

8. N: An absolutely amusing game that requires ninja skills and some patience to overcome. Collect gold! Avoid rockets, lasers and falling death-trap thumpers! Beat the clock! Follow the way of the ninja!

7: Flickriver: I StumbledUpon this site earlier… the pics are sooooo cool!!! I <3>

6. E. F. P.: Ok, time to plug my cousin’s site. E. Foster Photography is a photo blog with some ama-za-zing content on it. She has an awesome gift with a camera. Some of her stuff looks better than pro. work! Stunning is one of the only words I can use to describe it.

5. BlueLaguna: This is where we found all our music for our culminating task. There are tonnes of trax here from all the greatest videogames with Official Soundtracks. I was drooling for about five minutes before I could even start downloading. GAH! Bookmarked!!!!

4. Gimp: Free image editing software. I used it to create all the images here, as well as some of the images for my GSU. Dead easy to use, and pretty powerful too. I love using it.

3. PMOG: Passive Multiplayer Online Game. Turns the entire Internet into a game. Sign up for an account and you can lay mines for other players to trip, create links from one cool page to another, link common websites together and accumulate points for every site you visit! AND using items automatically allies you with forces of both Order and Chaos! While not particularly action-packed, it is still inventive. For FIREFOX!

2. Ctrl+Alt+Del: Gaming sweetness. CAD is essentially focused around the comic, which follows the lives of a group of friends/gamers. Sounds lame, but is actually really sweet, and the author has dealt with some pretty crazy (read: non-gamer-comic-ish) themes. It is both light, and deep. Poignant and silly. With a pretty good cult following to boot. YAY GAMERS!

1. StumbleUpon:Be still my beating heart. Ok, not actually. That is reserved elsewhere. But it is still really, really cool. StumbleUpon is a toolbar for IE and Firefox (FIREFOX!!! YEAH!!!) which allows you to view random websites based on you interests. Just pick the categories (and there are many to choose from, and fairly specific too) you are interested in and hit STUMBLE to reach realms of the internet previously unknown! Many of the things on this list were found this way! Boredom be gone! StumbleUpon is here!


Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=

The Open Door - FortMac'08

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Operation Splashy-splash

... and others

An Update
What has happened in the last while...

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere...
Cutting the clear water in constant, clean strokes. Fighting the wind, fighting mosquitoes, fighting... POWERTHIRST!!! Not actually, though. Soaking each other with canoe paddles, and when I say soaking, I mean 3rd degree soaking. Your eyeballs are soggy. Campfires, 90's songs and a bonding between the vets. and the n00bs. A passing of the torch.

These are just a few highlights of this years Ramblers canoe trip. And yes, Holy Cross' outdoors group is called the Ramblers. And no, it is not lame... it keeps those who could not truly be dedicated to the group out. We are the elite adventurers. And we can rock out.

It all started on the 29th... thirteen students, three leaders. Loads of fun. The group was more or less equally split: Peter, Brock, Ethan, Emily, Lisa and I representing the grade 12 class and the remaining seven (Hillary, Heather, Kari, Jon, Aiden, Taylor and Nick) representing the grade 9's. Perhaps in any other group the age difference may have been detrimental, but for us, it was a plus. A morale booster with all the hilarity we could cook up in this strangely close-knit group.

And boy, would we need it.

The weather was supposed to suck, rain on Friday, thunderstorms on Saturday. Not optimal weather for a portage. But with a little fire, imagination, a huge sing-along of TV show themes and old-school music - not to mention POWERTHIRST!!! and a sun dance - we not only managed to keep spirits up, but freakily banished the rain with our sun dance.

It was wet, but it was fun.

On the Holy Cross Lawn...
... Operation Splashy-splash is in full swing.

It is Fun in the Sun. Probably the best I have been to in my four years at HC. Not to mention the last. FitS usually degenerates into a huge water fight, but this time around... we are going to start it with one. 100+ water balloons. Two dozen water guns. Hundreds of water bottles.

CHAOS!

Overall, it was amazing. Amazingly wet, amazingly sweaty, amazingly fon. GAH!

At school...
... culminating tasks are being worked on. I've completed two of three: Music and English. Music was a recital; I had to preform three songs, come up with my own programme and all the other things that make up a recital. I did one baroque piece (Sicilian & Minuet by Bach), one contemporary classical piece (Abstraccion by some Argentinean composer), and composed a medley of Nintendo themes for my last piece. It want pretty well overall. As for my English... well, one thousand words on the timelessness of archetypes using the Odyssey, Beowulf and the Silmarillion was never written in less time or better. Not that I've found anyway, lol.

At home...
... everything is about status quo. Missing Seana out in Fort McMurray, but I'll be out there in 19 days... I think I'll be able to make it 'till then.

I'm done high school in two and a half weeks. Yikes!

May your day be full of joy,

Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=

The Open Door - FortMac'08


Monday, June 02, 2008

Pirates, Ninjas & Dragons: Living in a World of Imagination

Crossing blades with pirates on the high seas. Going hand to hand against ninja J├┤nin in the forests of Japan. Wreaking havoc on hordes of horrid wer-creatures astride a fiery dragon. Alas, the days have long past that such thrilling events could pass in any realm but the imaginary. Yet imagine we can.

We have been obsessed with the imaginary and fantastic from the time the first child asked their parent for a bed-time story. And as that first parent spun for their child a tale of unknown wonder, so too does the tradition of fashioning fantastical tales from nothing continue today. I am sure that everyone can think of a favourite tale from their childhood: a tale of princes and princesses perhaps, or of a troll under a bridge or boogiemen under a bed. We are, from a very young age, immersed in a world of imagination.

Take the entertainment industry. It feeds, and is fed by, the imaginations of the writers, singers, painters and spectators who immerse themselves in its many branches. Television programs and films create and display for us the marvellous images in the heads of their creators. Novels and plays allow us to see what is unseen; that is, use our minds to fill the gaps of what is not shown. It is easy while reading a novel or watching a play, to imagine yourself taking part in the events and become completely immersed in this land of the mind. And still there is art - the physical manifestation of imagination - and music, which harkens back to the oldest forms of storytelling and the bards who wandered Tara with their tales.

What is it that attracts us to the imaginary? There is so much to see, so much our world is filled with. Why, then, do we come up with tales of things outside of what we know?

The answer lies in the question itself. We create stories and fiction because of the Unkown. Where did the trees come from? What are stars? What lies *just* beyond that horizon? A thousand, indeed thousand upon thousands, of tales of imagination have sprung from those questions and others like them. It is inevitable, as anyone who has observed small children will tell you; we are curious beings and, especially in small children, even the smallest unknown can beget the greatest of tales.

And it is by observing children that we can discover the greatest truth about imagination; that it is, in fact, their domain and kingdom. Children are the kings and queens of that amazing, marvellous realm called imagination. That is not to say, however, that adults have no place in this world. No, even though we may grow up on the outside, inside that undeniable force - manifested outwardly in the form of a look of childlike innocence or in a glint of mischief in the eye - called the Inner Child reserves for us our place in the halls of the imaginary. Imagination is, in its deepest essence, the much sought-after Fountain of Youth.

So although we may grow old and our swash-buckling skills may decay, we may still conquer that beastly giant. Or rescue a beautiful princess. Or simply take a stroll with Nyads in a quiet wood.

For we do, after all, live in a world of imagination.

Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=

The Open Door - FortMac'08

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thinking About...

… nothing. Any yet, everything.

I've been having some trouble lately with thinking. I have so many thoughts running through my head – fragmented, scattered, disorganized – that I just am not sure how to express them. I feel like Arthur Dent in the beginning of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: bulldozer and yellow are just floating through my head looking for something to connect to. I know they will eventually. Hopefully.


There are so many things I want to get down here. Things about the new theme. As in, a central focus perhaps? I have a rough idea of where that is going… I'm just having trouble expressing it.


Currently reading: Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.


Mmm… here is another thing I could just write on. This guy is a brilliant writer… and Canadian! Had I read jPod and Microserfs months ago, I might have used them for my English culminating task. Then again, I think I like these books too much to psychoanalyze them that much. I still could write an essay on them though. For fun. On geek culture. Or just culture in general… these books are so loaded with cultural analysis (ok, that phrasing is totally spooging what I want to say) that there is so much which can be taken away. You have to get through a little junk to get there, but the junk is very rare and almost negligible. It's getting harder to find books without junk I'm finding.

I am such a geek. And I am OK with that. Interesting: in Microserfs they say that the thing which divides the geeks from the nerds (other than the fact that girls can't be nerds… or maybe as a by-product?) is that geeks are more marketable, more chic, than nerds. For me that is important because it settles the question as to which I am in my mind. At least, I hope I'm marketable… whatever that means…

But as to my geeky-ness… well, I actually enjoy writing essays. Strange, no? Now that I have kinda moved beyond the clear-cut, this-leads-to-this-leads-to-this method of essay writing, I actually enjoy them. I had to write an essay on Tuesday for my English class about… anything. So I wrote about imagination. And, in my opinion, it was pretty darn good. I was even learning from what I was writing. It was a little scary seeing what was stored in my sub-conscious come out that way… so, when I get it back I'll post it and see where we go. Hopefully somewhere good.

I've also been agonizing lately over my blog… I don't know if you noticed, but I'm having some layout issues with my sidebar… there is some messed up code in my last post somewhere, I just haven't found it yet. Hopefully I can get that cleared, but mebbe getting this up will work in lieu of going through all that code *fingers crossed*.

So, the primary Ft. Mac (not the accurate spelling, but meh…) team leaves next week. Mmmm… mebbe I should talk about that a little here, since I don't think I have mentioned it yet. KAOS Radio has put together a team – mostly of college and university students with the exception of high-schoolers such as my sister and I – to go up to Ft. McMurray Alberta to work with at-risk youth and young adults. As I mentioned, the primary team of ten is going up next week. The second team of four is going up June 20th. Because I still have to graduate, I am gong to be the last one up. I'm a mixture of emotions over this… excitement, apprehension, and everything in between. All for the same reason: because it is gong to be new and unusual. Outside of the box. Outside of my comfort zone. WAY outside of my comfort zone – though not into the panic zone, I hope. This summer is going to be a huge learning curve for me. I am going to see and experience things I have never seen and experienced before.

So, I am thus not going to see Seana for about a month- since she is headed up with the primary team. But one of the more exciting things, for me at least, is that when I do get up, we are going to be able to work together – for the first time since Hope Valley – and experience these things together. And hopefully it will help us grow – not only individually, but also as a couple. And that is, as the ninth Doctor would say, fantastic!

(Seana, ps. 8 days... lol)

I wonder if this is what posting is going to be like for me from now on… discovering what is on my mind by just talking and typing as thoughts come to my head…

Who knows? It could be good for me.

Either way, I've rambled on for a while here, and if you have made it this far, I applaud you. You should probably comment so that I know exactly who I am applauding though. I don't particularly want to be applauding a spider-bot.

May this day – whichever day you read this on – be filled with joy and wonder.


Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=


Friday, May 16, 2008

The Open Door

There are lots of doors in this world.
Doors to childhood, to adulthood.
To memory and experience.
Doors to our past and to our future.

Through these doors we can bear our inner being to the world...
...or shut it out.

There are doors we open, doors we close.

Gateways to our heart and soul.

Open and shut.

A new door has opened, and another shut.
Area314 is no more: life has moved on and left it in ashes.
And yet…
… a new door is opened.

It is The Open Door.

Welcome to the Open Door: a gateway to my heart and mind. Here shall we venture together, crossing thresholds as the LORD opens doors before us… doors to the light.


Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Challenge

Every once in a while it seems to be that I get an email - usually a forward - that speaks to me in some way. I posted one previously, but it was... not in an even remotely comparative category to this one. Mostly because this one wasn't made as a forward. It just ended up that way. Anyways, it was written by a guy who goes to my church who was a pastor, and is an all around cool guy. He calls me Benji or Gabriel for some reason... anyways, I'll shut up and let you read this.


Michael
___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=




My heart is heavy because I am seeing so many people and hearing so many people who are trying to work out where God is calling them to be used by Him and seem so disatisfied and confused and hurting.

May I say that most of the times I am disatisfied, confused and hurting, the root is not what is going on around me but my own personal life. When I don't seem to have control of my life and am not obedient to God and am so busy making plans for Him and not spending "MUCH TIME IN LISTENING" to His wee small voice, I fail Him miserably. I forget that I am a part of the BODY OF CHRIST . . . I forget that I was not created to live out a solo life in isolation from the rest of the Body, I forget that the Holy Spirit has been deposited in my life to give me wisdom and discernment if I am willing to spend time with Him . . . lots and lots of time . . .and truly listen. I was not called to make all decisions on my own. The hand, the foot, the arm, the leg . . .yes, even the toenails, fingernails and hairs in the armpits have a reason for being . . .there is no part that is not important . . .thus it is with the Body of Christ . . . there is no insignificant part or person . . .each has a "special mission" that only he or she can fulfill when in harmony and obedient to Him. My message at our Men's Breakfast at Calvary yesterday morning had the theme, "USE ME!!!"

My point is, and drawing from the theme of a Ladies' conference that my wife went to in 1975, we need to "Bloom Where You are Planted" . . . which means to me, where you are at any given time, God calls you to minister there.

I NEVER saw, what I am about to share, in Haliburton or Caledonia where I pastored, but I sure see it in Peterborough . . George Street United Church, Edmison Heights Baptist Church where I pastored and of course with people of other churches in our city. There is a greater disatisfaction or groaning among members of the "Organized Church Institution", and so much of it is within the individual lives of those people as they try to figure out, many way back to the original question, "Why am I here?!" I see people shuffling from one congregation to another trying to figure out where they fit in . . often being upset what seems to them as the essence of their faith. It is like a giant spiritual smorgasbord and people are looking for bargain spirituality where they can be scratched where it itches. We seem to be more concerned about being the scratchee rather than the scratcher.

The early Christian Church and right up today . . .the greatest mission field has not been so much within our congregation on Sunday mornings or during the week in our institutional churches . . . that is were we go to strengthen our faith, to fellowship with other believers, to get charged up, to confess with one another our sins, to lift each other in prayer, to strenghthen one another in the Lord.; it is where we go to participate in Christ's love and regeneration, not to be a spectator.. . . it is no different than when the early Christians worshipped in homes. The greatest MISSION FIELD, is what is happening outside the church building structure. God is waiting for the thousands of people who claim to be Christian in our city, to serve Him . . .truly serve Him . . to say to Him, "Use Me" and walk out into the "real world where the rubber hits the road."

Before we can begin to look at the individual congregations of our city and ask, what are "they" doing for the cause of Christ, we need to be asking ourselves, what are we, as individuals, doing for the cause of Christ. I am now 63 years old and I have fewer years ahead of me than I do behind me. How much am I doing as an individual that really counts for Christ's Kingdom? How much is merely "Doing Church" and how much is "being Church--the Body of Christ"? I attend Calvary Church in Peterborough . . but am I merely attending or am I participating? . . . am I a part of the problem or am I a part of the solution? As Norman Vincent Peal once said, "How do we turn crosses into plus signs"? Well, I need to stop playing God and wanting to be the "Divine Orchestrator" and controlling what is going on around me. I need to be obedient to Him. . . . I need to listen more and talk less and yes, it may be listening to the wee small voice of God which means there are times I need to be so silent I can hear a pin drop . . . and it means that I need to listen to the voices of others around me whom I know have a very close walk with God. We pastors don't have it all . . . God doesn't only speak through pastors . . .what a revelation, eh?? I need to spend more time in prayer, and again if prayer is communication with Him, it is a two way street . . . I need to LISTEN.

Here is an exerp from my thesis of 1994. . .a parable by Howard Clinebell. Even if you have seen it before, please don't just speed read it and gloss over it. It is very poignant!!! Ask yourselves: what stage are you in corporately as a congregation and individually as part of the Body of Christ?

Read on . . . and blessings . . . Don Nicholson.

"The Parable Of The Lifesaving Station"
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day or night tirelessly searching for the lost.

Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding areas, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. The little lifesaving station grew.

Some of the new members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.

They replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building. Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they redecorated it beautifully and furnished it as a sort of club.

Less of the members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work.

The mission of lifesaving was still given lip-service but most were too busy or lacked the necessary commitment to take part in the lifesaving activities personally.

About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet and half-drowned people.

They were dirty and sick, some had skin of a different color, some spoke a strange language, and the beautiful new club was considerably messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal pattern of the club.

But some members insisted that lifesaving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the life of all various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast.

They did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. They evolved into a club and yet another lifesaving station was founded.

If you visit the seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but now most of the people drown!

ps. As an aside, I have my new vision pretty much hammered out, so now it is just a matter of putting it into practice. Look for changes in the next few weeks!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hawk Nelson - Friend Like That

I really wouldn't have put this up, but the video is like Hawk Nelson with Foster's House for Imaginary Friends and that amused me greatly.



Mike

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Afterthought

Mmmm... if you start seeing changes to the blog layout et al., I'm playing with the code to create a truly personalized experience.... and just because I can.

Go CSS!!!

Cheers!

Mike

Babes, Teens and "Do Hard Things"

Bought Do Hard Things. Read Do Hard Things. Re-read Do Hard Things. LOVED Do Hard Things.

Waiting a year for this book to come out was totally worth it. Amazingly and clearly written, inspiring, convicting, challenging. I am SO making all my friends read it.

Reading it has made me re-evaluate some of my personality traits and how… good they actually are. Like procrastination. If I didn’t procrastinate and got work completed early, how could the time spent doing meaningless things – too much recreational reading, vidja games, internet browsing in excess (all staple diet for the procrastinator) – be spent in pursuing other meaningful, even big, things?

Babes and Teens

One of the most convicting parts of the book came nice and early in chapter 3 where Alex and Brett are outlining what they refer to as the “Myth of Adolescence.” In it they state that:

It has almost gotten to the point that people expect less of teenagers than they do of toddlers. Think about it. Why do babies… experience nearly 100 percent success in overcoming difficult challenges, while teens often falter? Well, one is expected, and the other is not.

(Do Hard Things, p. 39)

That just blew me away. To think, I’m not living up to the same standards as my year-and-a-bit cousin Isaac! Holy crap! Talk about a paradigm shift! I can’t go away from that idea without changing something… so my challenge to myself, and to you, is to expect to overcome difficult challenges and work my tail of to get there.

Are you in?

Mike
________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

[Insert Subject Line]

Blah. School ends in 38 days... school days that is. mmm... that's about... 7 weeks? and then I am out of here! Only to come back here! Yay Trent!! Yay canoe trip! Yay formal! Yay getting this all over with.

Or something like that.

...

I started this with the intention of saying something... I just forget what.

...

Huston we have a problem. Failing to launch... and done.

Well, this was productive.
Michael

___________________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mr. Microphone's Nonsensical Journey Into Dreamland Upon A Lethargic Elephant Cloud (AKA Cloud Spotting While Drowsy)

A great expanse of black
    A field smattered with stars
Quiet...
    Comfortable...
Falling through lights
    As diving through water
...
    ...
To neon dancing
    ...
Silky smooth
    the jelly waterfall
As I spread my wings
    and soar through...
The violet-pumpkin sky
    ...
The moogles frolic playfully
    in a candy apple meadow
and the sun a merry jig
    dances to green the moon
Sleep by a chocolate river
    ... but no, sleep not in a dream
For then the pigs on high will fly
    and pearls the swine excrete
...
    ...
Mutter murmur mother
    makes many meadow meats
From dandy-lion tails
    a salad green and sweet
and Mufasa stares on sadly
    Pan a tick defeats
...
    snore
A boar bores boredom
    as a giraffe loudly lectures
Pirates eating salad
    and ninjas play hide 'n' seek
A zither zather zuzzzzz
    ...
A zither zoo zooms
    through Dr. Seuss' land
As umbrella trees shelter me
    from gumdrops a-fallin' on my head
A bowler bowls me over
    and sends me swimming through the sky
Then I started drowning,
    hit yellow with my head
...
    ...
Put me in a coma
    and dreams into my head
Bring me from my home
    in rainbows
To a soft...
    and comfy...
        b...bed.......

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

ELMO!

Now, I know that I promised to share my thoughts about Africa - and I still am - but I saw this in my computer science class and had to share... enjoy.



Goo Goo Dolls & Elmo - Pride

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jambo!

Well, we made it back safely from Africa... and man was it an adventure! So many new experience, people, sights, sounds, tastes... almost too much for the senses to handle.

Anyways, I'm planning a rather large and involved post using things culled from my journal (which I miraculously managed to keep!) later, but for the moment I'll leave you with a few pics I shot while there...

Michael
________________________________

=Annwas Adeniawc=












(Seana, I thought you would get a kick out of this... lol)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

w00000000t!!!!!

GAH! SO-MANY-BIG-THINGS!

Its MARCH--FREAKING--BREAK!!!!
And in approximately 13 hours I'm going to be boogying my way on down to Detroit to catch a flight to Tanzania, Which for those who are geographically challenged (or American... sorry, I just couldn't help myself... for the record, some of my family is American... so no real hard feelings)... now I've lost my train of thought...

... oh yeah!

!!!!ITS IN AFRICA!!!!

GAH! TOO EXCITED!!!

We're going to be spending three awesome weeks with my uncle and his family in Africa hanging out... doing some camping on the Serengeti... chillaxin' on the beaches of Zanzibar (where I apparently have to bring back some sand from... o_0;) as well as some other schweet stuff. Gah! exciting.

Ohohoh! AND in related news... MY CAMERA HAS SURFACED FROM ITS HIDING PLACE!!!!!!!! YAYS!!!!! That means.... PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (many thanks to my brother for that)

mmmm.... so in other news...

Hansen just did this... so in honour of the great internet art of mimicry...
Michael needs...

1. Mum (???!?!)
2. a life without... something
3. one crisp story
4. a girlfriend (not!)
5. toilet paper
6. his weed
7. a light-razoring?
8. help... now
9. to find his place again
10. YOU! (I find this amusing...)

I've noticed that my writing here is a little... random. To put it lightly. Cool.
I'll try to fix that. Maybe.

Anyways, I actually have to get back to packing. So I'll leave it here.

Catch y'all on the flip side!
=Mike=

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

God and Tetris

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
-Philippians 2:12-13

How often have I let things get between myself and God? Too often have I let myself slip into a mindset where I think that I can do things without God or keep Him out of my day to day life. Too often have I put things of this world - video games, books, school, friends - above my relationship with my Saviour and Redeemer. Far too often have I let these things fill up my life like so many coloured blocks.

Our relationship with God is like a game of Tetris: life throw us distractions and we have to consciously work to clear them and keep our field of focus clear so that we can keep our eyes on Christ. We have to work continually to persevere, mature and grow in out walk with Christ. And like in Tetris, the further we grow in our walk, the more difficult life's distractions become to ignore and yet the more we are enabled to deal with what is thrown at us: in Tetris because we become more accustomed to the rhythm of the game and in our walk because we are empowered by God.

So may you persevere in your walk and keep those coloured blocks at bay
Michael
________________________________

Brother in Arms
Proverbs.17.17

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Catchup, a Launch and What is on My Mind

So, two months later... lol

So what has happened in the last while?
Let's do a quick run through.

December:
Christmas, obviously. A kind of hectic period of time... driving down to London, driving up to Ajax, driving back to the Pdot, driving back to Ajax... followed by a drive back to the Pdot... whew. However, Christmas with my family is always exciting... and I think Seana was excited that she wasn't the only non-Foster at the huge family blowout. It was fun. And crazy.

January:
Exams. Those were fun... not. But I'm glad to see French gone... its not that I don't like French, I just disliked the teacher. A lot.
January was also turn 18 time. Yes, that's right; I'm now legal. w00t! I can... vote??!? There are other things I can do too... but I really don't want/need to.
Another anniversary was in January: Seana et moi have been going our for one year now (well actually, more than that now now, but meh... close enough). I haven't really talked about Seana much here... so there you go, now you exist on my blog ;o).

Other than that... I've just been making it through school, trying to get homework done... get my University stuff all finished (I hate PSEs, officially). Ohh... and I launched another blog... yesterday... so now I have to work twice as hard to keep up to date, lol. Not actually. My other one is where I am putting on display some pictures of what I get up to and any schweet graphics I feel like designing. So, I present to you Ma Vie en Photo (in French, just because I can).

And now for some things that I have been following lately.
  1. CoS vs. Anonymous.
    • This hasn't really been making a huge splash in mainstream news coverage, but in the online community, the war between the Church of Scientology and the (so called) hacker group Anonymous has been really interesting to follow. You may or may not have heard about the protests that were held world-wide in front of CoS centres, but this whole thing really threatens to shut down the CoS, or at least change the way it operates today. If you want to know what is going down, check out Search Engine (CBC Radio).
  2. Fifth Business.
    • I usually don't enjoy books that I have to do for English class (Shakespeare excepted). However, this book is just so fantastic that I can't help but like it. If you haven't read it yet, you have to. Though I may just like it because I identify myself as Fifth Business... but you will have to Google it, Wiki it or read the book to find out what I am talking about ;o).
  3. Do Hard Things
    • The Rebelution book comes out in APRIL. YAYS!!!! I am so psyched for this book... they have an excerpt available on the Rebelution website and it reads absolutely fantastic thus far. If you haven't heard about the Rebelution, I highly recommend checking it out.

Umm, so I think that's about it for now.

Have a very awesome day
Michael
________________________________

Brother in Arms
Proverbs.17.17