Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Novel in Four Parts with Epilogue

I finally finished reading "The Brothers Karamazov" on Sunday. It took months to read, because I didn't want to finish reading it. I could have torn through it, but I always had to step away and contemplate. It is the first book I seriously considered reading again from the start once I finished it. I can not explain the merits of this book enough. This is a joyous book that is flowing in suffering. To hold and understand both joy and suffering at the same time has been one of the valued lessons the spirit has led me through these past few months. This book has played its part in the process of wholeness I find myself in, and the fruit of new life.

I have an old, good, friend back in my hometown whose face often appeared in my mind as I read this book. One day in the near future, he is going to receive a surprise package in the mail with a note attached to it that goes something like this:

Dear ______,
Just under a year ago I found this book in a used bookstore and felt compelled to buy it. Read it I did, and my heart burned. I speak truthfully when I say the voice of God was heard as pages turned, and the hero Alyosha navigated the world his beloved Zosima sent him into. From early on I knew I needed to send you this book, purely as an response to a burning heart that I'm still learning to acknowledge. So read this treasure, my friend, and as you finish I hope you will speak the novice's penultimate words with me: "Certainly we shall rise, certainly we shall see and gladly, joyfully tell one another all that has been."

Until that day,

This is a masterpiece. Even LOST Season 2 thinks so...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

damiel und marion

There's no greater story than ours...
that of man and woman.

It will be a story of giants...
a story of new ancestors.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

glen and marketa

Just because.*

*Click the picture to download "Fallen from the Sky (live)"

Here's a Thought...

No Fringe. No Flashforward. No Office. No 30 Rock. No Sportscentre. No new sitcoms. No new dramas. No daytime news. No late night talk shows. No time wasted. No television.

On May 24th, this might be my new reality.

I have enjoyed the six year run of LOST immensely; some might even say a bit too much. For me, the show has permanently raised the standard for what I'm willing to invest my time in watching. As such, it is now rare that a show is able to garner my attention, let alone deserve my attention. I fear, but secretly delight in knowing, that once LOST is off the airwaves, I will no longer have any reason to spend time watching television. So perhaps once the show wraps up on May 23rd, it might be the last time I watch television (save for a good hockey game with my dad, or something of that sort). The thought of this is rather exhilarating.

We'll see how this idea gets executed, but I can already see more time
freed up to do more enjoyable things, like read a great novel; paint a picture; write a letter on my typewriter; make a cassette mix tape; listen to an LP on vinyl, sans interruption; write a book on my typewriter; take a walk; phone a friend; make travel plans; go to the theatre; enjoy coffee with a friend; volunteer somewhere; explore the kingdom; write a song on the piano; dream of endless possibilities...

I think I might just do this.

Friday, February 5, 2010

On Mexico, Joy, and Wholeness.

I really wish there was a more flattering picture of me in the market in Mexico City.

It’s been a few days since returning to Toronto from my five days in Mexico City, and I’m still thinking a lot about the whole experience. Many people have asked me about what was meaningful about the trip – and to be completely honest, to share everything I’m thinking about post-Mexico would fill far too many blog postings. So the highlights:


So I went to Mexico City to be trained on how to lead a Global Partnership in the future (interesting notion, considering I’ve never been on one before), and these were some of the key criteria touched upon that a good director should be pursuing:

-Finding the Teachable Moments

-Planning for the Future

-Inspiring Character Development

-Building Effective Teams

-Developing Cross-Cultural Competency

Each of these areas were discussed at length, and the most exciting part (at least for me), was visioning around what the implications of a vibrant and growing field of Global Partnership means for the future of our ministry. Seriously, it was way too much fun dreaming about the future. All of the content was serious gold, and I’m really excited what this means for the students coming on a GP with me, and for future exec teams at U of T.


We were based out of the Gran Texas Hotel and the Casa de Los Amigos for the five days we were there. My room was on the fourth floor of the hotel, and I had to actually exit the building and walk on the rooftop patio to get to my room (great!). The view was pretty fun too as I looked out on the rough-around-the-edges-but-beautiful neighbourhood. And as always, the people were pretty fun too. Seriously, I love IVCF folks. It’s near-impossible for me to spend a week with 25 Canadian staff and not have an enjoyable time. I think there’s a sense of deep understanding and respect we all share – a common commitment to the gospel – that allows us to all get along famously. It’s like going on an adventure with your best friends (both old and new).

Joy and Wholeness:

I feel like I’m in a season of joy right now. I am so thankful for many of the experiences I’ve had as of late, and have seen nothing but good things happen on campus since returning (which is especially meaningful given the ups and downs of the year thus far). So Mexico = Awesome; Returning home = Awesome; Awesome + Awesome = Joy!

Another reason for my joyful attitude these days stems from this process I seem to be finding myself in where I’m seeing the many formerly-divided parts of myself being reintegrated and contributing to a feeling of wholeness. Consider this: For years I have had three competing desires that never reconciled with each other. 1) the desire to influence and shape lives [which led me to want to be a high school teacher]; 2) the desire to travel and see the world [which almost led me to drop out of university; and 3) the desire to write, film, and create [which still pulls at my attention]. Now, all three of these things are being brought together in my job.

I get to mentor and disciple university students on a daily basis, invite them to travel with me and engage foreign cultures in a way that is far more invested than mere tourism, and I ‘hopefully’ get to document my upcoming summer GP with a camera and microphone. So basically I get to be a Cross-Cultural-Documentary-Filmmaker-Campus-Minister. And I get to be trained in places like Mexico City. I seriously love my job!

There are many, many, MANY more anecdotes to share from this trip that are better shared over a cup of coffee and conversation, so if this post intrigues you, track me down.