Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mount and Blade

Underrated, over simplified and loads of fun: Mount and Blade.

RPG, First person shooter (well swordsman), open ended quests. Its great. What it lacks in graphics it makes up in awesomeness.

Thanks to Chris Clements for the tip.

Patman the Lord of the Nords

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Library

In all surprises I went to the library today. It was pretty bold because nobody approaches the library until the first paper is due which I can only assume is sometime in April. It is a fascinating place most particularly because of the grand accumulation of knowledge and the subtle tyranny of Library law (Shhh!).

Well I read books. I read a book on small group ministry. I am trying to build my small youth ministry through the art of small group ministry. Since at this point, by definition, it is a small group. This book, on small group ministry for youth groups, was speaking with wisdom on the subject and I was planning to sign it out but I left my student card on my desk. So now I have no books. And I ran from the library in embarrassment.

Patman the Bookless

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Prehaps it is unfair to say this...

I've gotten the sense that somewhere along the line people got it into their head that marriage was the end all and be all of life. That for the twenty-something marriage is a key goal if not the key goal if you expect to be:

a) taken seriously in life
b) make something of your life
c) be happy

I happen to know a fair amount of married people who I would never take seriously, who seem to have, through marriage, amounted to nothing more than before and, here's the real kicker, are unhappy. We all know that none of these expectations about marriage are true but as is traditional with humanity we tend to say one thing and act in a different way. I just want to rant for a moment and tell anyone who acts this way to open your eyes. The bible takes no stance in preferential treatment of marriage or the single life.

If you would like to get married fine. I personally would like to get married. However if my life's goal, my daily focus, my reason for being, or my source of strength is marriage or my significant other I have to say that somewhere along the way I may have blurred the line between right relationship and idolatry (yes your spouse can be an idol in your life). I, an obviously skilled marriage and family counselor and well versed bachelor, would recommend stepping back from your life and resetting your priorities...

or at least shut up about it.

Patman the Single

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A reasonable lesson from class...

Today I went to my last class of the week on curriculum development and evaluation. I was pretty excited for the class because I like talking about these things. We discussed syllabus things and reasons for attending the class in the first part. Then we went to Kairos chapel. Then we came back to discuss the purpose of the church.

The professor taught a very simple pneumatic about the purpose of the church. It can be remembered because the church is the bride of Christ it can also be called the WIFE

For the church to be fulfilling its purpose in the world it needs to:

W- Worship- bringing honor to God, praising Him and what not

I- Instruct- Discipleship, equipping, preparing and developing the body of Christ

F- Fellowship- gathering as the body, community, sharing life together

E- Express- Witness, making disciples, sharing the message and living outwardly our faith

I think it is a handy little trick to remember the purpose of the church.

I will leave you with one final thought that was given in class that "Not every ministry in your church needs to cover every area of WIFE but rather the ministries of the church need to together fulfill the purposes of the church and together make WIFE happen."

I like it.

Patman the Thought provoked.

This is me in class happy about curriculum (sans mustache)
Photo may or may not actually include me

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And they prayed for my immortal soul...

I learned something about my past today. Let me explain it to you in a funny story.

Many years ago I lived in a unique land. It was a hallway. But it wasn't just any hallway because within it lived different people from a broad perspective of Christian backgrounds. I was one of those people.

Now it came to pass in that land that some people believed certain activities were of the devil or demonic in nature. (Its important to note that I am not an expert in identifying which activities are of the devil and which ones are not) Either way certain people had made that decision.

I was aware of it. I also knew they liked to pray for these people and the obvious pitfalls there were falling into. Which was very nice of them to do.

Now for this story to make sense you need to know one more thing about my life in residence. I introduced the game "Settlers of Catan" to the Tyndale community. Its a fun game where you produce a small settlement on the new found island of Catan. You roll dice, collect resources and build buildings. Eventually someone builds enough to get the points to win. Its fun. Its harmless. I like it.

I also used to have a sign on my door welcoming fans of the game to knock on my door and I would introduce them to the game or play it with them. It was my way of getting to know people and early on I had no one else to play with.

Well according to a reliable source one day these two facts crossed paths. During a casual prayer walk for people in the school they prayed for people and their magic cards, for people and their Dugeons and Dragons and they got to my door... and prayed for me and my "Settlers of Catan" and my immortal soul.

Patman the Pat

Monday, January 12, 2009

The week of firsts...

It seems that when you step away from life for a month everything starts back up in the same week.

First day of classes: Systematic Theology II
Victor Shepherd lectured on the council of Trent, particularly the conclusions they had on justification, for three hours. It was riveting in the way that digesting classic documents of the church is riveting. Interpret that how you will.

I meet with friends for dinner to plan community for the first time this week.

I go to my first pastor meeting.

I go to my first sunday school prayer meeting.

I go to the first "social gathering that will not be named" session.

I have other classes which begin

I am going to have sushi for the first time since I returned to Toronto.

Patman I

Ps Age of Empires is back with a vengence again. Its a timeless classic. New favorite civ: the goths.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It all starts tomorrow...

I know myself pretty well. I like to think that I am fairly self-aware and that I know what to expect from me on a day to day basis but tomorrow I've broken that pattern (although I wouldn't blame me for it) and I start what I've jokingly referred to as "The Great Experiment."

I've been a member of a church, attended semi-regularly my whole life, watched people come and go, read books on the subject and seen some of the church's strengths and some of the church's weaknesses. I'll admit the church scares me.

So tomorrow morning, through the encouragement of the Spirit, the gift of Jesus and the grace of the Father, I take up a position in the church. Ok I've been working all week but tomorrow is the first Sunday and that somehow makes it the big moment.

I have rarely proclaimed that I would want to work for a church as a pastor or anything like that. And to be honest it is because the church has great potential to hurt. I believe in community, I love the idea of getting together with others but along the way people get cut so deep that the wounds last for a long time. I don't want to get hurt. Even more so I don't want to be responsible for the hurting. For that reason I am scared of the church and in that it becomes the great experiment but God wants me to try it.

I will try because mixed within the potential to hurt is the opportunity to heal. I want to act upon my fear and take up the cause for healing. Aware of what can be lost, aware of the harm I could do to others I need to step up and try. That is why I'm going to church tomorrow as...

Patman the Youth Leader

Ps Perhaps I will 'do' not 'try' because, in the words of Yoda, “Do or do not... there is no try.”

Monday, January 05, 2009

Dave Kentie will not win

On Jan 5 2009 David Kentie, local blogger, decided to take it upon himself to call upon me for testimony on the diplomatic events that transpired at 493 Cummer Ave on Saturday Nov. 29th 2008. Mr Kentie describes his blog as "A plea for Patman to post on the not so recent Diplomacy" This so called plea looks more like a demand from a dictator like regime.Known Blogger- David Kentie

I, for one, do not react well to demands and I will not give in to the demands of David D. Kentie because I do not negotiate with Bloggers.

Patman the Unmoved

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Here's the thing...

This is the thing I hate the most...

When someone is right and I am wrong. By this I don't mean that someone knows a piece of trivia or practical information that I don't. By this I don't mean the reward of gloating that a person receives at the expense of me. It isn't as simple as bragging rights and it has nothing to do with who is right but more to do with how I am wrong.

This all started a month ago when I decided I watched too much tv and that I should probably replace my viewing with a sermon or something relevant to the real world. For that reason I got into podcasts. At the time one of my professors was particularly into Andy Stanley and recommended his podcast on leadership. So I, of course, jumped right in. I got the leadership podcasts and the weekly sunday services Andy Stanley does at North Point Ministries.

Its at this point that my desires, my wants, my greed, my obvious flaws tell me that that was a big mistake. And I, with my most conflicted self, want to claim it was a mistake. It wasn't a mistake because it lead me to somewhere bad. It was a mistake because it led me where I didn't want to go. I have a rythm to my life. I have a normalcy in my day to day life. It seems that even the things that I have to seek forgiveness for have a place in the normals of my day. And it shames me to confess that I was ok with that. Once more I was ok with that.

And so I desperately needed to hear what Andy Stanley was saying to his congregation. He asked the simplest question and opened a door into my life that I don't think will be easily closed. He says that when it comes to making decisions in our lives we often ask the wrong questions. We ask "How far can I go without getting caught?" "What is legal?" "How can I live for Jesus and still get the most from the experiences of life?" "How much can I do without feeling the negative effects of it on my life?" "How close can I get to the edge without falling off?" "How close can I get to sin without actually sinning?" And this approach is flawed. It is asking the wrong question.

Based on Ephesians 5:15-17 Andy Stanley suggests a new question: What is the wise thing for me to do? In the light of my past, and in light of what I want from my future what is the wise thing for me to do?

How can I ignore that question? How can I not look at my life and ask it? I'm not happy with this question one bit because it forces me out of my comforts, my simple pleasures and it really forces me to choose. And it is taking me where I don't want to go.

So you know what? Andy Stanley is right and I am wrong. He doesn't win a prize, he isn't better than me, and he gains nothing from being right. I, however, gain something. Although at my heart of hearts I may have known I was wrong, I can no longer escape it.

I am wrong. I'm sorry. Forgive me. Happy New Year...

Patman the unwise

PS this is a poor summary. Go to your podcast search engine, find North Point Ministries and listen to "The Best Question Ever" to get the real thing.