Thursday, June 30, 2005

so close

We're having breakfast, we're about an hour north of cstone. Hi lights so far:

We found dog river!

Yesrerday we had breakfast with Roy of Dispatches from Outland.

Pictures and details when we get back.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 19

1Sa 18:6 – “Now on their way, when David came back after the destruction of the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, with songs and dances, meeting David with melody and joy and instruments of music.”

David defeats Goliath. It is one of my favourite stories in the bible. God shows his power and blessing on David. I have to confess I’m usually one of the guys cowering off in the corner when the Goliaths of life show up.

Where’s the Joy
The women here are celebrating David’s victory. Somewhere out there, for every Christian, there is someone who is praying for them, encouraging them, and when they have victories, joyfully celebrating with them. Lord help me not to let them down.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Cornerstone or Bust

Element is fuled and packed
IPod play list has been set
Bikes are loaded
Tent has been set up cleaned up and repacked
Idenity Papers, check
US Cash, check
Route ploted and printed

Ok we're good to go. See you in Ten days. Will be camping on the north side of this lake near Bushnell IL. It's Cornerstone 2005.

Mike, Richard, Kris post something eh? I may or may not be able to post from the road.

- Peace

Sunday, June 26, 2005

1500 km down 2000 to go

Just did 22 km that puts just over the 1500 km mark. That's 42.8% of my goal for the year. Was hoping to be at 50% before leaving for Cornerstone tomorrow, but that's not going to happen.

June was just over 500km. Here's my best guess at the way the rest of the year will go:
July 500 km
Aug 500 km
Sept 400 km
Oct 300 km
Nov 200 km
Dec 100 km

That would get me to my goal of 3500 km. Yeah I know that's a dry post, but it keeps me motivated.

- Peace

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Zed's Testimony

For all you going away to camp this summer :)


- Peace

Why On Earth (Or Elsewhere) Am I Enjoying Christian Rock?

Self described secular humanist and a diehard shoe-gazer Daphne Carr explains why she likes some Christian bands. Love the last paragraph in the article

If there's anything Sufjan Stevens has learned from Christian rock's lectures, or for that matter from 2,000 years of Christian narrative, it's that the best mix of sacred and secular comes by contextualizing lived experience, offering narratives of God's impact on broken lives rather than open-ended invitations to be part of the story. In his songs, the faithful doubt and doubters are not cast aside. There's a place for the dismayed secularist, perhaps even a chance to strike up a chat with a boy in a hoodie about the seemingly irreconcilable gulf between Christian rock's intentions and the alternative nation's focus on resulting aesthetic objects. Now that there's good Christian rock, it's an argument worth having.

Story as seen on Thunderstruck.

- Peace

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Things I learned from my bike

At PedalHead the phrase "If you're not falling you're not ridding hard enough" is quite common. I've been thinking about falls. Nobody aims to fall, everyone does. Yes even Al of PedalHead fame, I've seen it happen. Falls can be celebrated, but we also try out best to avoid them. There's an easy way not to fall - don't ride; but that's missing the point.

I'm thinking this is a close match to sin in my life. We're called to love, and I fall short all the time. It's tempting to focus on sin avoidance by withdrawing from life and love, but that's missing the point. If I deny that I sin I'm liar. I can celebrate my sin but I'm called to love not sin.

- Ride on

Searching for the Joy - 18

1Sa 11:15 - "So all the people went to Gilgal; and there in Gilgal they made Saul king before the Lord; and peace-offerings were offered before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel were glad with great joy."

My first thought upon reading this was, “These people are crazy. They are celebrating doing the very thing that God told them not to do. God said He would be their king.”

Then I looked a bit more. Just before this God’s spirit fell on Saul and he organized Israel and they won a great victory against the Ammonites. After the victory the people wanted to make Saul their king and called for the death of those who were opposed. Saul, however, showed great clemency in saying, “There shall not a man be put to death this day”.

Where is the joy
The people had someone who could lead them to victory and this gave them confidence and joy. We too have someone. Jesus, who is the rightful king, gives us hope for victory over the enemy, over our flesh, even over death. How good is that?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 17

1Sa 6:13 - "And the people of Beth-shemesh were cutting their grain in the valley, and lifting up their eyes they saw the ark and were full of joy when they saw it."

The Israelites had suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of the Philistines. Their army defeated and the ark taken by the enemy but God used to ark to give the Philistines all sorts of problems and they brought it back to the Israelites.

Where is the joy
It is always encouraging to see something which says, “God hasn’t given up on you.” The Lord will never give up seeking us or searching us.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Path to Work

Southwest of Calgary, a dam breech threatened the hamlet of Priddis. It caused a local creek to rise by a metre in a few hours.

I've been told the Priddis dam is on fish creek, that may explain why bridge 11 is now down stream of where it was. I've posted more Fish Creek flood pictures at flickr.

Looks like I'll have to ride on McLeod Trail at least till the creek goes down and I can see if bridge 10 survived. It was still there on Sunday but was cut off by water.

- Peace

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Zimbabwe a Tradition in Stone

For what it's worth

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal




Reformed Evangelical




Roman Catholic


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Friday, June 17, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 16

1Sa 2:1 - “And Hannah, in prayer before the Lord, said, My heart is glad in the Lord, my horn is lifted up in the Lord: my mouth is open wide over my haters; because my joy is in your salvation.”

This is the beginning of a beautiful and awe inspiring prayer by Hannah. She doesn’t really even mention specifically what the Lord had done for her, praising the giver rather than the gift.

Sometimes I doubt God’s salvation. I know I shouldn’t but I do. Herein is the root of my struggle to find joy. If I knew the fullness of my salvation in Christ there would likely be no problem finding joy. 1 Pe2:2 it says “You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk,”

Lord give me the spiritual nuourishment I need so that I will know the joy that is in your salvation.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Eugene Peterson is my favorite heritic

One of the Devil's finest pieces of work is getting people to spend three nights a week in Bible studies.

Religion, is the major defense we have against God.

By the time you get to be my age you get to be very skeptical about anything where there is a great amount of enthusiasm because it's going to be something else next week.


- Peace

Searching for the Joy - 15

Jud 19:3 - "Then her husband got up and went after her, with the purpose of talking kindly to her, and taking her back with him; he had with him his young man and two asses: and she took him into her father's house, and her father, when he saw him, came forward to him with joy."

This is probably the only happy bit of this particular story as it shortly becomes an object lesson in how deep into sin Israel had fallen. There is still much joy here. A husband attempts to reconcile with his wife and a father in law greets a son in law with joy.

When we have a break in a relationship we should seek reconciliation. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New Apple Switched Ad

Steve Switched from IBM.

- Peace

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 14

Jud 16:25 - "Now when their hearts were full of joy, they said, Send for Samson to make sport for us. And they sent for Samson out of the prison-house, and he made sport before them; and they put him between the pillars."

Another tough one. The Philistines are celebrating, they’ve captured the mighty Samson and plan to have a little fun with him now that he is blind.

The joy:
Even after Samson had clearly sinned, and abandoned his vows as a nazarite. God heard his prayer. Samson was redeemed (his hair grew back as a sign (Jud 16:22)). God restore me.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 13

Jud 9:19 - "If then you have done what is true and upright to Jerubbaal and his family this day, may you have joy in Abimelech, and may he have joy in you;"

I had forgotten about the story behind is about so I looked it up.
Jotham is the youngest son of Gideon (Jerubbaal). His other brothers were ruthlessly murdered by their brother Abimelech (Jud 9:5). Jotham’s response to this is to give them a scathing and sarcastic rebuke starting in Judges 9:9.

What Jotham is saying is “You have about as much chance of being happy with Abimelech as king (and he with you) as you as you did right by killing my brothers.” He is calling a curse upon them.

So where’s the joy?
I guess I’m glad that God treats me with kindness and grace and not as I deserve. He could hold a grudge or cast a curse on me. Instead by His Son He offers to cleanse me of all my unrighteousness, forgive me, heal me, and bless me. I can only say “Thank you Jesus for the cross”

Guest blog: the Book Meme

This is Beth, the owner of the blog for Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog. Dave tagged me awhile back to post on the book meme that's going around, and I need to start by thanking him for letting me guest blog my reply here since the U2 Sermons blog has defined itself so narrow and objective a topic that a post about my own personal book habits is out of bounds. And...connect them all to U2, Dave? Just watch me.

How many books do I own?: Gaaa. Like 500? Book-buying is a hazard of being a pastor, I'm afraid. A lot of spirituality, liturgy, Bible commentaries, Bibles, and that kind of thing. Also books on culture and sociology, some poetry, a little fiction, books on cooking, books in French.

Last book I bought: "Charles de Foucauld et la fraternité" (I'm in France now, so English books are slim pickings and very pricey), an anthology of early 20th-century French hermit and missionary de Foucauld's writings with commentary. His prayer "Father, I abandon myself into your hands..." was used often at the first congregation I served in seminary and is still a favorite of mine. Forced U2 connection: He had a call to serve the poorest of the poor in Africa and lived a life centered around adoration.

Last book I read (i.e. finished): "The Debt Threat: How Debt Is Destroying the Developing World" by Noreena Hertz. It's about why debt cancellation in the Third World is not only a moral imperative for the West but is also in our best self-interest. The writing is a tad too casual for my taste but the story behind the debt, which I imagine few American readers know, is staggering to read; and overall of course it's a hugely important topic. U2 connection: Not forced at all. There's a Bono blurb on the cover and the first sentence of the book has Bono in it. Even British PhD experts on economic globalization can no longer write on debt or Africa without bringing Bono into it now.

5 books that mean a lot to me:
The Bible particularly Psalms/ Isaiah /2 Corin. U2 connection: Do you have to ask?
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton's autobiography. Played a key role in my conversion, since it was where I caught the vision of an intellectually and aesthetically coherent faith in Jesus. Forced U2 connection: Merton complained in one of his journals about how hard it was to live the Christian life "with the spiritual equipment of an artist."
Confederacy of Dunces. Just a hilarious novel. Forced U2 connection: I know someone on the @U2 staff who also loves this book. "My valve!"
Bird by Bird. When you come down to it I'm a writer, and this is the best book on writing I know, especially wonderful for its honesty about self-doubt and its Christian aura (made much more explicit in later Lamott works). Forced U2 connection: Like some Irish celebrities we could name, Lamott also uses profanity and is madly in love with Jesus.
The Journey of Desire. I went through the workbook of this last fall in connection with decision to take a year of pilgrimage with my husband. I love the point that the Christian life calls us not to settle for less by either killing our desire or misidentifying its true object. U2 connection: "I Still Haven't Found" happens to be quoted as an epigraph, but in a wider sense the whole topic is one of U2's favorites.

Many thanks again to Dave for being such a good sport about this and letting me appear on IdeaJoy.

I must be the luckiest geek in the world

At 9:45pm on Friday, all three kids were in bed, my mother and grandmother were home, and I realized I could take my wife on a date for the first time in ten months.

She wanted to see Revenge of the Sith (bless her heart) and we found a 10pm showing. We arrived at 10:05pm, they were still selling tickets, we walked in at 10:10pm and they were still showing trailers so we didnt miss anything. Wow! what a great movie. Though I do find one line said by Leia in Return of the Jedi problematic: "Just images really. She was very beautiful, but somehow sad"

One of the trailers began with "Marvel comics presents...". I thought to myself: "X-men 3? Spiderman 3?". Then my heart swelled in nervous yet hopeful anticipation when I heard the words "cosmic radiation". Could it be? Could my favorite comic book characters be coming to the big screen? Is this just wishful thinking? Then the doubts dissolved when I heard the line "there goes Reed, always stretching..." - the Fantastic Four!

The special effects for Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch looked great. I was disappointed in Aunt-Petunia's favorite nephew, the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing. I must say his rocky exterior looked more like cheap pillows than a rock hard carapace - he looked way better in the comic books...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Fish Creek path open

I was able to bike in today, though I stuck to the paved path. The shale path has some serious washout grooves in effect. If I wasn't on my way to work I might have tried the shale path.

Steve linked to a some impressive photos of the flooding here in southern Alberta, including more pics of Fish Creek.

- Peace

Searching for the Joy - 12

De 30:9 - "And the Lord your God will make you fertile in all good things, blessing the work of your hands, and the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your cattle, and the fruit of your land: for the Lord will have joy in you, as he had in your fathers:"

This verse describes God’s joy. Not only does He want to bless us but He wants to rejoice over us and with us.

I always thought God was pretty disappointed in me. I get hope from this that He desires blessing and joy to be the hallmarks of our relationship rather than doubt and angst.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Fish Creek Flooding

Tried to bike to work yesterday morning, but couldn't get across Fish Creek. I did think about taking a shot at it, but just didn't. Probably best, what with my work clothes and PDA in my back pack.

Sarah and I went last night to take some picutures of the flooding. It had calmed down a bit since morning, but the paths were still under water. This section is after crossing the bridge, heading west to Elbow Drive.

It doesn't rain much in southern Alberta, but every 10 years or so we get flooded. Last flood was 10 years ago to the day. Course it been worse for others. See Rain eases, but Alberta flood threat persists.

I've uploaded three other picutres to my flickr acount.

- Peace

Searching for the Joy - 11

De 28:47 - "Because you did not give honour to the Lord your God, worshipping him gladly, with joy in your hearts on account of all your wealth of good things;"

This is a part of a prophetic warning of what would happen when Israel sinned
(and they did, and it did).

Why does God punish?
I can tell from my own experience three good reasons (there's probably plenty more for me to learn): (1) because it turns me back to Him (nothing gets my attention like pain). (2) because all children need discipline (He chastises those He loves). (3) because I've hurt Him. (It's not like I was some pagan who didn't know where my good fortune came from. I know and I'm responsible for knowing.)

So where is the joy?
I have to admit I find it hard when I'm being chastened to like it.
I guess I better ask for help with this one.
Lord even when I'm in your discipline I want Your help to turn to You rather than from You. You are the only one who can wash my sins away. You are the only one who can restore my joy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Book Tag

Been Taged by Wendy and Steve to blog some books.

How many books do I own? If we count comic books it might be as high as 500. I started giving my pulp scifi to the Thrift store, other wise that number would be higher. Stuff like New Jedi Order, Left Behind and way too many Star Trek books.

Last book I bought: The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Omnibus by Douglas Adams. It's for Sarah. She made it through my failing aprart paperback version of H2G2 that I got back in High School and she would like to read the rest of the trilliogy in five parts.

Five books that mean something to me, I'm keeping this to 5 cause we all have lives to live.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. First CS Lewis book I read durring the summer between grades 6 and 7. Aslan as loving, powerful and wild was helped has a unified view of the God in scripture where many people see a divide between new and old testement. I've since read all of Lewis's fiction and most if not all of his religious writings. If Sarah had been a boy, his middle name would have been Aslan.

Leap Over a Wall:Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians, reflections on the Life of David, First book I read by Peterson other than the Message. He's become a favorite of mine. He teaches us how to read scripture of Nartive, not by talking about Nartive but by showing us what's happening in the Naritive. Naritive is the normative pattern in scripture so if we're not reading it that way we're missing a great deal. I also love Peterson's continual call for us to lead a spiritual life that is relational, incarnational, spiritual, ordinary, and a Holiness that is fully alive. Too bad I suck at all those things, but then Peterson reminds us that God loves to work with the low and despised. It was Poul Mark who first mentioned this book to me, thanks man.

Foundation's Edge , first book I read by Issac Asimov . First 'hard scifi' that I read. I remember picking this up on a vaction in PEI in March, grade 9 I think. There's not much to do in PEI in March, way too much snow and no ski hills. I went on to read all of Asminov's fiction. The zeroth law, the logical conclution of his famous three laws of robotics, made me a life long skeptic of morality based on reason alone.

Virtual Light, first book I read by William Gibson. Picked it up at a garage sale for $1 in Edmonton. I've gone back and read all his stuff as well. Gibson has a limited range of concepts and architypes that he plays with, but he's like a colydiscope that reagranges them in brillant paterns each time. He's facination with those living at the edge of society and technollogy resonates with me.

Design Patterns, by the Gang of Four. Was given this by a Dr. Richard Johnstone, the only Ausie man I ever kissed. I was a jr. developer when I read this, just starting with Java. I read it slowly over a year. Not only did it help my code, but helped me learn from others by watching for their patterens. I've recomended it to all my programing students.

Tag 5 more

Swan Smith, who I'm hoping will tag her husband Tim.


Jon Trott

Poul Mark

Beth, who will have to connect each book to U2 to keep it on topic.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Searching for the Joy – 10

De 27:7 – “And you are to make your peace-offerings, feasting there with joy before the Lord your God.”

Here again the offering and feast with joy are brought together. Matthew Henry in his commentary points out that they were not yet in full possession of Canaan when this was written. I always find this difficult the now and the not yet aspect of the gospel. He has made us new creatures yet I still have the appetites and desires of the old creature. Still God’s desire is for us to celebrate in Him and see with eternal eyes that it has been accomplished already.

Church of the Low and Despised

Moses dies, by all human accounts, a failure, and knowing that he is a failure, knowing the everything that he has worked for in leading, training, and praying for this community will unravel as soon as the people enter Canaan. It is a familiar story for readers of Scripture, even though frequently suppressed. What does this mean? It means that we have to resvise our ideas of holy community to conform to what is revealed in Scripture. It means that we cannot impose or paradisiacal visions of hanging out with lovely, upbeat, and beautiful people when we enter a Christian congregation. It means tht God's way of working with us in community has virtually nothing to do with the world's idea of getting things done, of what "works" and what doesn't. It means that God hasn't changed his modus operandi of choosoing the "low and despised in the world" (1 Cor. 1:28) to form this community. It means that we who want to get in on what God does in the way God does it in all matters of community, will have to give up prentensions of shaping an organization that the world will think is wonderful as we parade our accomplishments to the tune of "worship" or "evangelism".

Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Woman killed in Canmore grizzly attack

Ok so it was on the other side of town from where we were yesterday, but still. I have biked over there, makes you think.


- Peace

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Goat Creek Ride

Rode from Goat Creek (just out side Canmore) to Banff and back to Canmore yesterday. It's 45km, mostly down hill. We left the Element in Canmore and took Rawliegh's truck up to the trail head. Yeah we're wimps, but 1000 foot climb up a gravel road is no fun.

I've set up a Flickr account with more of the pictures.

- Peace

Fixed Logo for IE

I happened to see the IdeaJoy logo on IE for the first time and noticed the ugly black back ground. I've fixed thanks to some JavaScript, see: The PNG problem in Windows Internet Explorer. Of course you could just switch to FireFox.

- Peace

Friday, June 03, 2005

Programmer Humor

Now that's funny.

- Peace

Michael W. Smith concert tickets

We bought tickets for the Michael W. Smith concert in the Saddledome on July 17th
However Carol’s work is sending her on a training course in Ottawa and I’m going with her.
So we have the following tickets available:

Michael W. Smith
Saddledome, July 17th
Section 219, Row 7, Seats 17 & 18
Paid $46.10/ea, best offer takes ‘em.

Searching for the Joy – 9

De 26:11 - "And you will have joy in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and to your family; and the Levite, and the man from a strange land who is with you, will take part in your joy."

The promise expands again. Not only am I to have joy but my whole family and everyone around me. It seems almost fantastic to me that I, who struggle to find the joy of the Lord, would somehow become a source of it for others. Lord help me have that joy that would water others in the desert of loneliness and despair.

A picture by Sarah

I just thought that was too beautiful not to share.

- Peace


Getting saved is easy; becoming a community is difficult -- damnably difficult.

- Egene H. Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 8

De 16:15 - "Keep the feast to the Lord your God for seven days, in the place marked out by the Lord: because the blessing of the Lord your God will be on all the produce of your land and all the work of your hands, and you will have nothing but joy."

Why is this said four times in a row? The first (De 12:7) centered on thanksgiving because the Lord has blessed us (past). The second (De 12:18) expands the joy to everything we put our hand (work). The third (De 16:14) is inviting us to include everyone and expands the joy to our worship. The forth (De 16:15) is a promise that I read as, “Don’t forget me. Keep tithing, working, inviting. Keep the Lord’s supper and you will have nothing but joy (future)”

This is a big promise. Lord, help me do my part so I can know what “nothing but joy” feels like.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The new bike frame!

In the spirt of the season...

Not sure if Store Wars came out a long long time ago, but some stories seem to stand the test of time...

1000 km down 2500 km to go

Brodie replaced my frame, well for $150 upgraded it to a 2001 Evolution frame. Part of their Hard Ass series. Ironic I know. HA bikes are what free ride nuts ride, we'll see if this works for me. Rode to work this morning, as I approached Fish Creek I passed the 1000 km mark. I did a slight detour taking a bit of single track to test out the new frame, works well. Will take a bit of getting used to, it's a bit heavier but feels really nice off road.

I love the PedalHead guys, they striped my bike, shipped it to Brodie, convinced Brodie to ship the new frame before they got the old one (saving me time), rebuilt my bike and charged me all of $30 for a couple of cables. Nice.

- Peace