Sunday, December 30, 2007

End of year reflection: the Heart of the Father, take 2

It's good to be given second chances. I had the chance to revise and give this message to the people at the Bridge toward the end of 2007. If you have been following my blog, you will know I gave an abridged version of the same message to some of the youth in Reading.

Having a second chance is neat. It has helped me to rethink some of the points and to better describe in words, what I believe God has been teaching me.

You can read it here, or listen to it here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

Rib-eye Roast Beef with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. Yummy.

Family dinner. Three generations here.

Lots of presents. Small living room.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saskatoon in the winter

OK, so in case you ever wondered what I do for a living, I work in the IT department of a small agricultural trading company. About half of my job involves Java programming (doing front-end UI design for a new business system) and the other half involves system and network administration. I enjoy both aspects of my job very much.

This winter (as seems to be the running trend now for two years in a row...) I had the honour of visiting Saskatoon again to install our new server room closet for our new office. It was fun! ...and tiring! Though at one point the thought did cross my mind, as I was bolting in server lockers, as to where exactly this was listed on my original job description. :-) Things evolve I guess...!

Anyhow, the real adventure didn't start until I was due to fly home. The flight out of Saskatoon (to Calgary) was due at 9:30pm. My flight was delayed until nearly 12:30am when of course all Calgary -> Vancouver flights were done for the night. It wasn't all bad though - it is quite interesting how events like this can bring the most unusual people together. I had quite an engaging conversation with a young, intelligent university student and a very old grandmother! It was also fascinating to observe the optimists and the pessimists in the room. It certainly made for some interesting conversation. Most of all, it was hilarious (though not helpful) to hear WestJet's (the other airline) constant jabs at Air Canada.

"For the information of those passengers traveling on WestJet flight 136, we are not currently affected by the weather [unlike Air Canada's flight] as we fly jets, not turbo props."

Probably the thing that worried me the most though was getting home in time for Erich's 2nd birthday, which, though delayed by one night, did happen. He was so happy to see me, and that is always a joy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Erichxercise: Get in shape! (and way too funny not to post)

Karen has an interesting nighttime regiment before she goes to bed. Out come the 3 pound dumbbells and the sit-ups.... not that I'm complaining of course - it helps to maintain her beautiful looks :-)

Anyhow, Erich decided one day that he must have dumbbells too. So I fashioned some out of his LEGO, and this was the result.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Erich turns TWO!

A little taller. A little wiser. And a lot more talkative. Erich turns two today. As promised, we took a photo of him and his past portraits.

Happy Birthday little Erich!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More on Eddie's trip

Karen and I have had the privilege of knowing Eddie over the past year. We met through the Bridge Church. In addition to being his small group leader, we have come to know him as a friend. We have seen him grow in his faith, and walk with Christ.

This year, he embarks on an incredible adventure to Liberia where he will be serving aboard one of the Mercy Ships - the African Mercy. This ship is a hospital ship and serves the people where she is docked by performing well needed surgeries. Eddie, who comes from an engineering / IT background, underwent a major career change at the beginning of last year to pursue what he has always loved. As a result of that change, he also saw opportunity where he can serve the Lord with his newfound skills.

Eddie -- we will miss you, but we are also incredibly encouraged by what God has been doing in your life. May your mission to Africa be fruitful, and may you remember that the Lord God is faithful all the time, even when the going gets tough. Since you will be baking lots and lots of bread, I thought it would appropriate to encourage you with this verse (okay okay, I just couldn't help it... :-)):

Deuteronomy 8:3 - He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

The context is that the Lord God led the Israelites out of Egypt and provided for them. Here, in Deuteronomy, the Israelites are being reminded of God's faithfulness. Jesus uses part of this verse to rebuke Satan in Matthew 4:4 while he is tempted.

The application here is that we are not to forget the Lord and particularly his promise that He will be faithful to His people. Therefore, when tough times come you may be tempted to be solely focused on doing your work (i.e. baking bread) - but do not forget that this trip is also about spiritual growth. Feed others (physically), but also let God feed you spiritually.

To the people of the African mercy -- you've got an incredibly dedicated baker coming your way. Fasten your seatbelts!

You can follow Eddie's adventure on his blog at

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A very special birthday cake!

Our friend Eddie Wong (former IT consultant, turned pastry chef) is about to embark on an incredible adventure to Africa where he will be baking and serving aboard a hospital Mercy ship. More on this in a later post.

Anyway, before Eddie left, he wanted to make something very special for Erich. In line with Erich's passion for trains, and our taste for good dark chocolate, Eddie made a chocolate-almond mousse cake for Erich's 1 359/365th birthday. It was delicious!

Erich called it the eisenbahn cake. (German for railway cake). We took some photos of the cake, then when Eddie went to cut it, Erich was so upset! He didn't want his locomotive cut in half. Oh well. He stopped complaining soon after we gave him some. :-)