Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Outsiders

Tuesday marked the release of the new Skillet and Mark Schultz CD's, but there was another album I was looking forward to even more. The new offering from needtobreathe. I'm digging it. Right now my favorite song on the album is the third track, Through Smoke. Check it out:

Before the truth will come to fill our eyes
The wool comes down in the form of fire
When the answers and the truth have cut their ties
Will you still find me
Will you still see me through smoke

I was born in a town just like your own
I was raised to believe in the power of the unknown
When the answers and the truth take different sides
Will you still find me
Will you still see me through smoke

When their whispers have faded pictures that
Make you doubt what you once believed and
They burn stories and hide the glory to
Keep us searching through smoke

Who do you believe when you can't get through
When everything you know seems so untrue
When I'm lost in a place that I thought I knew
Give me some way that I might find you
Through smoke

LOVE IT! [hear it here]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All Work & No Play

This summer has been hard on me. I haven't booked any vacation because we're saving that week off for when we move (hopefully) in December. So every day from May-September I'm in the office. No big deal, I thought, I still get long weekends, and I can go to the beach on the days I don't have meetings. Not exactly.

I think I've gone skimboarding twice this summer. Haven't spent much time at the beach at all actually. I set a goal for myself earlier this year, paddle from Centennial beach to the edge of Big Bay Point. I haven't been out on a board at all this year. So what happened? It's been a stupid busy summer. Trying to get the condo ready to go on the market, trying to squeeze in beach tour stops, birthday party planning, and random errand running have taken up a chunk of my free time.

Is this just a season, or is this what happens as we "mature" and take on more responsibility? Maybe it's because I never sat down and planned out some time off? I just figured it would happen. Whatever the reason, I feel like I'm going crazy. I have this deep-seeded need to travel. To board a plane/train, to drive for an extremely long period of time, to discover places I have never been, to chase excitement and adventure.

Maybe this is why God instituted the sabbath? Not so that we'll be forced to head to church, sing pretty songs in unison with our neighbours and write a cheque to the church. But so that we can escape the daily grind and recharge. Maybe instead of working on Sunday after church I need to force myself to do nothing. No work at the office, no grocery shopping, no cleaning, no laundry. Maybe go for a hike, or go canoe the nottawasaga. Go take in some nature, and spend some time with the creator of this beautiful part of Ontario.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Driving Test

One thing I have found odd about living in Central Ontario is how people wait FOREVER to get their drivers license. Seriously... what's the deal? The second I turned 16 I was taking my G1 test. Is this a geographical thing? People outside of Toronto will wait until they are 18 or even 20 to get their license? Maybe it's just a generational thing? When did you get your license?

On a semi-related note, wish I could parrallel park like this kid.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good or Great?

This past weekend I was checking on my fantasy baseball team, and stumbled across this article on Josh Hamilton.

Last year Josh Hamilton made headlines as the feel-good, comeback story of the year. He had seemingly beaten his demons, and got his life back on track. He dazzled us with tape-measure shots in the homerun derby, he was a happy go-lucky guy who was making the most of his second chance in the big leagues. His story was almost unbelievable. Sports Illustrated did a feature story on him (read about it here) in which he talks about his Christianity and how it has helped him on this journey.

Fast forward to last weekend, where the story comes out that earlier this year Josh Hamilton relapsed while working out in Arizona. Even with all the safeguards in place, Josh managed to slip into old habits... the kind that never seem to fully go away. But after reading the article I wasn't upset with him. Sure it was disappointing, but I didn't think any less of him. In fact, I think I thought more highly of him. There's a line in the story that stuck with me: “I don’t feel like I’m a hypocrite,” Hamilton said. “I feel like I’m human.” Now this is a guy who understands
what it means to be a Jesus follower. We all screw up. From the drug addict, to the guy who cheats on his taxes, to Josh Hamilton who ended up licking whipped cream off the body of some random woman.

I think the part that caught me the most happens about halfway down. In the previous weeks, Hamilton, so focused on his preseason conditioning at Athletes’ Performance training facility in Tempe, scuttled his routine. He said God helped him stay sober, and when he cut out Bible study and prayer in favor of longer workouts, the devil pounced. I think we do this more often than we might realize. We settle for good instead of great. There's nothing wrong with working out more, in fact it's really good for you. But when you cut out the great in favor of good, you're missing out. Nothing wrong with putting in some extra time at work, but when it's cutting out family time you're heading into sketchy territory. There's nothing wrong with hanging out with the guys, but when it's replacing hanging out with your wife, that's a recipe for trouble.

How do you give up the great and settle for good?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kids Rock

I'm back on The Slam tomorrow night. Until then, enjoy a laugh, on me.