Saturday, December 31, 2005


Okay, I add this so you can all laugh at me. Life goes this way sometimes...

I have a wonderful, sleek, stylish vehicle (for those that haven't seen it, this is sarcasm. The hood is tied down with rope). It is amazing. I love it so (more sarcasm). Last Sunday, Christmas, after church it was discovered my tire was flat. So, I put a little air in it and left it the car here while I went to the in-laws for Christmas, thinking I would fix it when I get back.

So today I went to do that. I was going to get a new tire put on by the nice people at Pep Boys then thought, "Hmm, do I really want to spend money? I'll just put on the spare." So, after a little hard work I got the flat off and the spare on.

But, would the story end there? No! God has to have more fun with me. The spare... flat. Oh so flat. So I drive my car with the flat to the gas station (its not far, you can see it from my apartment complex). I get there and buy a chocolate bar to get some quarters (Nestle Crunch, mmm) and put air in the spare tire.

Wait, can that be all? No! God's Comedy Central otherwise known as Troy's life isn't that easy. The spare won't take air, it's too far gone. So there I am at the gas station changing tires again, putting the flat back on so I can put air in it to take it to Pep Boys to get the tire changed.

So an hour later from when I should have left, all is well. Or is it? Nope, of course not. Pep Boys is full and can't change the tire, Wal-mart booked up until the end of the night. So I still have a flat. I have a quick fix for now, but my wife is trying to talk me into getting a new car (she doesn't like the rope or something, maybe the noise my door makes when I open it). So, if anyone out there has a cheap car, I need it :) I just hate buying cars, that's why I drive them until they die. But after today... hmm...


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Does bad Outweigh Good?

It's been a few days but I am back from the in-laws. It was quite the Christmas break. But in it all I realized something. For some reason, whenever something bad happens, we seem to give it precedence over the good.

It was a good trip. We had fun. There were good meals. We saw lots of people. Had a great time at the museum. Saw a few good movies together. But in the midst of it all two minor family incidents happened.

So why is it that everyone is apologizing for the trip? When we left people were sorry for the time we spent there? Why? Why is it that if something bad happens over a four day period we automatically pitch all the good things that happen and focus on the bad?

And it's not just on vacations. I was thinking about it on the way home. We love to focus on the bad. Someone can save hundreds of people's lives, but then we find some dirt on them and we knock them down as far as we can. It's stupid. So from now on, something to think about. Focus on the good and remember when that happens, not on the bad. Don't let that be your lasting memory.

Now I have to stay up really late, getting acclimated for the All-Nighter...


Saturday, December 24, 2005

I Shouldn't Get Frustrated

To start this, I'll have to give a little back story...

I have inherited a nephew Brandon from my new marriage. He's a cool kid and I love him and really smart, so Lorie and I were at Sam's Club and saw a book that he would love about a month ago, but we were grocery shopping and busy, so we thought we'd come back and get it (like doing it then would have taken more time then coming back later, I don't get how that worked out in my head).

Yesterday, the merry 23rd, we go back to Sam's to get the book for Brandon. It's gone. Craptacular. So we go to other bookstores looking for the coveted special book. And nothing. Everyone is sold out. So at Borders, the last stop of the night, we're looking and...! No book. It's gone. So we decide to get him the Chronicles of Narnia instead (also good books).

This morning, my wonderful and lovely wife tells me that she thinks Brandon already has Narnia, information that would have been useful at the bookstore. We of course don't know for sure and have to call his mom, grandma, all these people to find out that yes, he does have them. So what are we going to do now? And that brings up this whole debate on what to get, what to do, etc. Getting more and more frustrated, I finally just say I'll go back to Borders, on Christmas Eve (which makes me all happy inside) and shop (which makes me even more happy inside) and take back his gift and find him another book. But that leads to, "What are you going to get? What if he doesn't like it?" and a plethora of other questions.

So finally, ticked off and frustrated, I drive back to Borders feeling crappy about having to shop and bad that I have to make someone work on Christmas Eve. I go in the store, and what is on the display shelf, right at the front of the store, restocked and looking all pretty? The original book we wanted.

God knows what He's doing. He'll even take care of little things like the perfect gift for a nephew. It's always tougher following God through the situation than after when we see why all the frustration and problems. If we didn't pick up a book Brandon already had, we wouldn't have gone back and seen that they had more copies put out that morning. I had to go through the frustration to find that out, and now I'm happy that I did.

Merry Christmas Brandon, I hope you like the book, and Merry Christmas to everyone else. Hopefully I'll see you tonight at the 7:00 service (or tomorrow, I'm preaching!)


Thursday, December 22, 2005

What Goes Through People's Minds?

I was going to talk about a song that's been in my head all day because we're playing it as special music at NewSong on the 1st, but something else happened between the time I opened this lovely blog box and I could start typing (I'll talk about that some other time)...

I just want to know why people are dumb. That's pretty much it. And I'll narrow it down a little. A friend of mine just came in and told me about someone he works with. Someone frustrating him and other employees. Why? They're a chronic liar. And I mean to the point where his office is wondering if they are really having surgery.

People will lie about anything. We all know it. We've even all done it. Done something wrong and don't want to get in trouble. A little insecure when someone has a great accomplishment and want to feel appreciated. But why? I mean, really, why? When do we lie and it not get found out? It's impossible to keep up a lie forever.

When I lived in Edmonton there was a guy that had to be sat down and explained to that he was lying and needed to stop. I just don't know how people can get truth so confused. "No, you have never been to my hometown, it's 2000 miles away and you can't find it on a map." "You know my sister? How old is she? Nope, try again. What color hair? Nope, try again." I mean, is truth really that hard to distinguish from fiction?

Well, I guess in a way, yes. If truth was so easy to identify, more people would follow truth. But now we live in the digital age. A person's voice can be faked. The whole goal of movies are to trick you into believing something that isn't true (man, did I see that at Disneyworld!). Yesterday someone sent me a picture of a penguin with a pair of cymbals standing on a sleeping polar bear about to wake him. Of course we all know that's not real, but it sure looked real.

Maybe it is hard to decipher truth and fiction now. I knew a guy who for a prank told a friend from Africa that snow contained deadly snow spiders. Sounds stupid, right? Well, this guy, smart as he was, went home and made a webpage about it and submitted it to search engines. When the African guy went home and checked it out on the internet, guess what he found? He said the nurse was really confused when he called the hospital asking about the vaccination...

This is why we need truth all the more in today's society. Follow truth. Jesus is truth (John 14:6). Do what you can to share truth. To follow truth. To live truth.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Wife Wants A Pet

Yes, it's Christmas. And my wife has told me something she would like. Unfortunately, she will never, ever have it. I'm not trying to be mean. It's just a fact of life. If you want to see him, go to

That's right, she wants a baby panda. I'll be honest, I'm addicted to watching the little guy and love him too. He looks all cute and fluffy, right now he's in the viewing area of the National Zoo in a small tub playing with a ball. Earlier he was climbing up on the platform that he was too small to get on just a few weeks ago (and then he lied on his back, rubbed his belly and chewed on his foot).

So why the fascination? I don't know. I love animals. I go to the zoo all the time now that I live near one. On my honeymoon, I went to Disneyworld and stayed in the Animal Kingdom Lodge where we could see giraffes and zebras. I used to hike in the mountains looking for mountain sheep and goats. I've been on safari in Africa. There's just something immensely cool about different creatures, watching them run, play, eat, drink and just live out their lives.

According to scientists, we have classified a little under 2 million living things on our planet (the numbers saying how many we haven't classified vary greatly, probably because, well, we're guessing on what we don't know). That's insane. 2 million?! (btw, the baby panda just flipped out of his bowl, rubbed the top of his head on the ground and is not trying to roll back into his bowl. It's great entertainment). Sorry, yeah, 2 million!

Now think about this. God made every single one. He knew how they would work, what they would do, what they would eat and drink (and then had to make those foods and drinks too). It's just nuts! God has to be so much bigger than we could even imagine. This tiny part of his creation is baffling.

Sorry, I just love animals. The baby panda's crawling on his rocks now, really awkwardly since he's still a baby. It's days like this we could live in houses inside huge forests rather than cities, days I miss seeing deer walk through town or living 5 minutes from a mountain range. But hey, I have a panda cam :) Thank God He made animals.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I Hate Being Sick

Yes, it's happened. Not enough vitamins or something, who knows, but I am somewhat ill (not all out puking sick, but tired, dry throat, cotton mouth, coughing, wheezing, blah). I hate it. So dumb. Why do our bodies need to tell us we need more sleep or we're not eating right by getting sick.

You know what God should have done? Installed a health meter on us. That's right, a health meter. Wait! Even better! Our bellybuttons could have been health mood rings, it's green when we're okay, red when tired, purple when we need more vitamin C. That would have been great! So why didn't God do that?

Probably because we would have relied on the stupid mood bellybutton. We're all hyper anti-virus freaks as it is. Oh no, germs. Imagine what some people would be like if we had that system? Doctors offices full of idiots with blue bellybuttons and doctors going, "Blue means exercise." "What? How do I do that? Don't you have a drug to give me?"

Okay, so maybe God knew what He was doing. I just wish it was easier.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Once A Gamer

Today was a two hour delay for H.S.E. and of course, they cancelled well after I was already on my way to McPrayer. Yay. So I get there and James is already there, then Shawn and Stephen show up and we all realize there is no school. So we go to the Myricks and play Halo.

Now years ago, back in the day when 16 bit graphics were amazing and controllers maxed out at 9 buttons, I could play video games. I wasn't that bad. I still have my N64. But today... Oh today... I got killed. Many, many... many times. I felt so ashamed. The old jokes begin. The laughter still hurts (a tear welled in my eye). Man, I was horrible.

I had a friend in Louisiana who I used to play a Quake mod with. We would always go at each other. But I remember him saying that if you don't play every day, just missing one day, you can see yourself slipping and getting worse. And he was right. If you don't play those games every day, you'll start to slip and get a little worse.

I'm not saying go out and play video games every day, but there are some things that if we don't do every day, we can see it slip. I'm not as fast on the guitar as I used to be. I even broke out the N64 to see if I could still handle Goldeneye. Yeah, not as good as I was. Everything in life takes some level of dedication, be it a game, a friendship, even just getting to know God better. If you want to be better at something or know someone better, it takes a lot of time.

Gaming still isn't high on the priorities list, and when I play again, I will get killed again. Repeatedly. But there are some other things I know I have to spend more time on...


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I Look Like What?

Today I go into the bank, no big deal. Then the teller is reading my checks and we start talking about the church and what I do, etc. Then she says to me, "You look like a youth pastor". Okay, so what does that mean?! I don't have short spiky hair with bleached tips, a goatee and a WWJD bracelet on. What does it mean I look like a youth pastor?

So here's the deal. All you that know me leave comments. Do I look like a youth pastor? I'm gonna have a complex.



Okay, so every once in a while I daydream about the old hope and prayer, going out and playing music. I don't even know what I would play, sometimes I want to have a good 80's rock arena fun day, others (sometimes the same day) I'd rather just pack as many people as possible into one room and praise god as loud as possible. Maybe even both in the same concert.

Then I do what I usually do, and that's see how my favorite bands are doing. One, who I won't mention, had on their website the new tour dates (none coming here, of course) and I notice that Toronto, the old stomping grounds, has three days sold out, and another one added like a month later, which is kind of odd. So then I look at the news story saying how this band has managed to sell 500,000 tickets for their tour! A little impressed. Then I read closer. Nope, they sold 502,000 tickets... in the first 48 hours of the tour being announced, 17 cities sold out immediately. Man that would be fun, playing for half a million people (and of course, still playing at the church on the side, I'd miss the 50 diehards in NewSong way too much). One day...

That was useless rambling and pointless information. It must be late. Have a nice day.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Sorry it's been a few days. This weekend was pretty busy. At our student ministry's Christmas Party, we had over 65 students (34 in Sr. High)! See what happens when you bring your friends? And then, today, I had to work on my day off, my office was moved... yay... All a part of the fun.

But here's what I learned today. I saw "March Of The Penguins" (Will, you'll love it) and although it amazes me all the immensely fine details that God goes through with one small species, that they find their mate and they walk 70 miles to their spawning site because in summer, all the ice melts to within a few hundred yards of them, things like that, there was one thing that stood out to me. John 10 talks about how sheep hear the shepherd's voice and know him by that, I think we've all heard that analogy.

But here's the mind blowing part. With the penguins, the parents take turns getting food. The dad stays with the baby while the mom is gone for weeks getting food. Then it's dad's turn, but before he goes they talk, squawk at each other. Okay, no big deal, bird's squawking. While he's gone for food, mom leaves too! That's right, leaves the poor defenseless baby on its own. Then, a few days later, dad comes back with food for the baby. How does he find his child? The squawk! Dad can tell which baby penguin is his by their voice, and the baby knows the dad by his squawk. That's nuts!! But to think that we can know God that well, to know His voice amongst a billion penguins chirping? I want a faith like that :)


Saturday, December 10, 2005

It Was A Saturday

So, I really have nothing to say, nothing at all. I even asked Lorie what to talk about and she couldn't think of anything, so I'll just say what happened today. It was really, really... really eventful. Slept in, went to a staff Christmas party (which was good, I ate a lot), then went to the church for a few hours and set up for NewSong. I'm preaching tomorrow, so I hope it goes well.

And that was basically it. Besides working on a bass part for part of the afternoon, that was my day.

Why isn't there a sitcom about my life?


Narnia And John

Okay, so I saw Narnia tonight and thought it was great. Yes, it was Disney so some of the dark parts weren't quite as dark as they could have been, but they were still nasty nonetheless and had people in the theatre crying, etc. And it was in one of those dark scenes something hit me (as occasionally does during movies).

Except this time it was about the Bible. Straight forward. When Aslan is heading to the Stone Table, Lucy and Susan walk with him, keeping him company. Then, after the nights ordeal, it is Lucy and Susan that stay with him for the night. It was when Lucy kept trying to stay with Aslan through all the ugliness it hit me.

I understand a little more why John (the gospel writer) is nicknamed, "The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved". On the night Jesus was betrayed, everyone leaves. They all run. The guys who had been with Him for years and said they would stay through thick and thin, where did they go? Anywhere. They all ran. All but one.

In John 19, John recounts how when Jesus was on the cross, he was the only disciple left. Jesus even adopted him into the family with Mary being his mom at this point. At a time when everything was horrible and evil, when Christ had to take on what no other person could, the sin of the entire world, having His relationship with God shattered, one that was so strong I can only hope and imagine what it would be like, it was in that darkest hour that John stayed with Him. John followed Jesus while He carried the cross and John stayed at his feet amidst persecution for the One he loved. We sing a song that Jesus is our Best Friend, I only wish I could live up to it on my end.

Go see the movie.


Thursday, December 08, 2005


Okay, so if you haven't figured it out yet, I read a lot of random facts. So here's today's.

On average, a box of Wheaties with Tiger Wood's picture on it cost $2.79. For every box sold, Tiger got 10 cents. Not bad, but here's the kicker. The farmer who grew the wheat for the cereal, only gets 5 cents. That's right, the store who sells it and the company that makes it, the big corporations, get $2.64, but even in some twisted way I can accept that. But a celebrity face getting twice as much as the guy who actually supplies the product? Now come on, there's something wrong with that.

I've never understood how our society came to be so dependent on entertainment. We pay hundreds of dollars for football tickets (thousands sometimes) with no questions asked, but when we have to pay our child's teachers more, there's an uproar. That's not fair. They're just greedy. They don't deserve it. Here's your $250 mil. A-Rod. Seem a little out of place?

So here's an idea. As it's Christmas, instead of complaining about how much that gift costs, be thankful you have the money to give it. And if you don't have the money for it, take a look at what you spend on other things, eating out, cable, movies, sports, video games, whatever other things there are that you could really live without, but you have convinced yourself you need.

I'll stop with this story. When I lived in the mountains, one of the main industries was a coal mine. When it shut down, I had to go into the school and help with counseling because families were telling their kids they had no money for food. These people were raiding the food bank, grabbing everything they could because they were so poor. How poor were they? One family I knew (and they were the rule, not the exception), made twice as much as me on their unemployment alone, had two trucks, a snow machine/snowmobile, a quad, a 61" TV and a monthly satellite bill. But yes, they didn't have money for food...

"No matter what happens, always be thankful." I Thess. 5:18a

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gander, Newfoundland?

Okay, I was reading today a little about Gander, which means nothing to most of you, so I will explain.

Gander is a tiny town in the province of Newfoundland (Canada). Years ago when flying across the ocean first became popular, it was set up as an airport because planes could not make it all the way to New York from London on a single tank of fuel, so they set up an airport at the closest spot to London on North America, Gander.

When 9/11 hit, all aircraft had to be diverted. Not in use, the former international airport in Gander was a popular place to go because it had a large airfield (even if it wasn't in use) and many planes needed to burn more fuel diverting from their original destination, and again, Gander is the closest point to most air traffic coming in from the Atlantic. This small town suddenly had 6500 people appear.

The amazing part is what they did. Everything they could. They gave out every single hotel room for free, plus opened the library, school, churches, everywhere possible for people to sleep, including homes. The phone companies gave free long distance and internet access so people could call their families to let them know they were safe. They provided prescription medicine, again, free of charge. They fed every one of those 6500 people for a week, many people working long hours in food lines making sure that everyone was fed.

Can you imagine? An entire town coming together and giving out of the little they had? The generosity that was given with nothing asked for in return, many times to people who had more money than them at home, but were now powerless to use it. Massive amounts of kindness for nothing in return. We should try that this holiday season. Giving for no reason other than to give. We should give it a catchy nickname too, something that will help people to remember to do it. "Holiday Hoopla" or "December Generosity" or "Christmas Spirit"...

"Help them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back." Luke 6:35

Stealing From Liz...

Okay, so I'm sitting here a little past midnight, trying to think of what I should put on here for today. Nothing was really coming to mind and I went to Liz's blog (my partner in crime) where she put up a huge section of the Psalms as a verse for the day.

It's Psalm 51 ( Now, I know for most people, that means absolutely nothing more than it comes after Psalm 50. But if you read it, it's really, really depressing. It was written by King David after it was found out that he had an affair with a woman and then had her husband killed so he could marry her and try to cover it up. Notice, it wasn't written after he had done something stupid, but after someone found out about it, then he felt bad.

It's one of my favorite Psalms because it describes how I feel a lot. This feeling of, "Crap, I've screwed up again, please don't stop loving me because of my stupidity God." It's not a happy-clappy Sunday morning worship chorus. And yet, it's a psalm. God deemed it a worship song. Look at verse 17. "I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered." I've been thinking a lot about how lately we as a society driven by merchandising have been reducing "worship" to a style of music, one that will sell in the "worship" section of CD's at Wal-Mart. Music that is given to worship in God is full of songs that we sing at church Sunday morning to make us feel better, but they're also songs like this Psalm. "My sins are staring me down." "Don't throw me out with the trash." "Bring me back from gray exile." Not typical lines you think of when you think of singing to God. But in it's purest form, it's worship just by the fact alone that David recognized there was a God and instead of directing his thoughts and talents somewhere else, he gave them to God, even if they weren't all "Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee."

Sorry, it kinda got me started and I went for a while there. I'm going to go work on some Psalms of my own now.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Nobody's Perfect

I hope this makes up for missing yesterday. We'll call this morning "late Saturday"...

So here's how my afternoon went. I was trying to make a video to use at church tonight. Scratch that. Made a video for church tonight. Took all afternoon. Then when I was about to leave for youth tonight, my computer froze up. All my hard work, gone. So gone. So mad. That caused me to be late to worship practice (a huge pet peeve of mine, and now I did it) and that threw things even worse. According to me, the night was going to bomb.

And then it happened. We had the second highest number of people at youth group tonight, the highest for a regular Sunday Night activity (the highest was our back to school bash with the balloon jump house and stuff like that). People everywhere! It showed me two things. 1) what would happen if everyone started to invite their friends out to church, there were about five that did so tonight; and 2) that God does not need my perfection. I was ticked off because the night was not going as I had planned. That my perfect video for the perfect night was going to mess things up. God doesn't need my perfection. He's God! He already has enough perfection. Maybe I should have spent more time on other things that freaking out over a stupid video that didn't hinder tonight by not working at all.

Man, what if I had spent the wasted time at my computer praying for tonight and convincing more people to bring their friends...


It's So Early

Sorry for missing yesterday y'all. I haven't even been at this a week and I've already skipped a day.

Okay, so it's nice and early on Sunday morning. For those of you that don't know me, I hate mornings. I loathe mornings. I can do more at 6am if I don't go to sleep and stay up until 6am, not wake up that early. If mornings are so good, beds wouldn't be so comfy. And I wake up (groggily) and get myself ready because I have church today.

But that's when it hits me. I love church. I want to go to church. For so many people it's a boring, stupid chore that needs to be done every week to relieve some sense of guilt that was instilled in them by their parents because somehow sitting your butt in a pew and pretending to pay attention for an hour on Sunday morning will deter God's wrath along with mommy's. I'm the exact opposite. I don't have to go to church, I get to go to church. After worshipping God by myself all week, today I get to do it with a room full of other voices. After reading my Bible and praying by myself, I get to see someone else's point of view and learn something I new.

Can you imagine how much fun church might be if you actually wanted to be there? (God didn't create it as punishment, after all, heaven will be a lot like a huge church service at times, and God invented fun as a taste of heaven). Think about it. What church would be like if you actually took a second and treated it like you wanted to go... or what it would be like if everyone else there wasn't sitting quietly doing their 1/168th of the week they have to, but actually wanted to be there. Showing up on time. Smiling. Friendly. Singing loudly. Laughing at the jokes in the sermon. Paying attention. Maybe even taking notes. Welcoming new people. What would a church full of people like that be like?!

If a church was like that on Sunday morning, maybe new people would want to come see what it's all about out. Maybe this is the reason they don't...

Enjoy your Sunday. Meet with God, He wants to meet with you.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Getting In The Habit

Alright, so it's day two and I highly doubt anyone has even read the first entry, but I figure I better get in the habit of writing here everyday (or at least close to) so I'm making another entry. I will warn you, it's almost eight in the morning and I've been up since five with little sleep, so the ramblings may end up being worse then yesterday (or better, who knows).

The reason I'm up so early is every Friday our sr. highs from our church meet for breakfast at McD's and a devotional before school. I still don't know why on earth McD's serves breakfast, as if the grease for the other two meals is not enough. I complain, yet I still eat there, so I'll shut up about that.

Noah did the devo this morning from Proverbs 1:8-9. Talking about listening to your parents and how their wisdom is good and right. I never had an issue with my parents growing up, we got along and I generally listened to them, but I still remember thinking when I was 16 how I knew everything. Man, how stupid. It's over a decade later, finished high school, college, post-graduate, lived life, moved 7 times (3 of them big), gotten married and spent more time with God and I feel as if more than anything I've gotten stupider, not smarter (the use of the word "Stupider" is proof). What is it about human nature that makes us think that we need to know everything, or even more arrogant, that we can? I don't know if light is a wave or a photon, but I still enjoy it. I don't know how my iPod can take a series of electrons, shoot them across metal roads and turn it into music in my headphones, but I still listen to it. And then to think about there being a God. There is no way I will ever fully understand who He is or how He thinks, but I still believe He exists and do my best to know Him more.

Who knows? Maybe in two hundred years we will have all the answers. We will understand everything. We will have mapped the cosmos, defined every living organism, understood what actually causes gravity, we will have turned infinite knowledge into a textbook containing all there is to comprehend. Then what? What happens after that? What will we do if we have nothing else to strive for? Where's the fun in that? Part of the adventure of traveling is a new experience, seeing something for the first time, meeting new people, learning just how little we are in this world and how little our knowledge is about it. What's the point in hiking a trail in the wilderness if you know where everything is, have seen where it goes, know every squirrel you see by name, where every rock lies?

But then again, it is morning...


Thursday, December 01, 2005

The magical first entry...

So here it is, a lilttle piece of the internet devoted to my life and thoughts (it'll be a small piece). And I have no idea what to write. Do I want to rant and rave? Or share deep philosophical questions? Right now, neither.

So until I think of something to share here's what I want you to do. If you've read this and have any ideas for a topic of discussion, leave a comment and let me know.

I will leave you with this. There's a good friend of mine with a myspace account and I'm sure he would like some visitors.