Friday, October 16, 2009

back to euro!

my life is raaaandom - and i love it!

a new adventure looms on the horizon... the very near horizon, that is! in less than 2 weeks i'm hopping on a jet plane, with my gal pal arielle schade, bound for prague, czech republic! what on earth, you say?!.... yep, true story.

this time, instead of playing with the czechs, i'll be suiting up for team Turkey at the european cup. last year we beat this team quite handily (i won't remind you of the painful, imbalanced score but you can go through the archives to check it out if you're really curious!) but let's just say it was decently lopsided - a gross understatement. last year the turks flew in some foreigners from canada, sweden and finland, so this year arielle and i thought we'd do some marketing of ourselves to see if turkey would be interested in us being the imports that would join their squad for the tourney. having seen both of us play last year, they were interested and within a weeks time had all the details ironed out between hockey canada and the turkish ice hockey federation. so my player card officially belongs to the turkish ice hockey federation for this season. that's almost comical to think about!

october 27th we depart for two weeks of life on the other side of the atlantic, yet again. i'm looking SO forward to being back in prague - a city i love dearly - seeing people who have become like family in my time overseas and friends i'll never forget! we'll have 4 days with the turkish team and the rest of our time will be up to us to fill... which i'm sure we'll have no problem doing. even if i sit in the old square for a whole day and just people watch, sip a mug of czech beer (definitely staropramen!!) and contemplate life, i will be utterly satisfied!

god is so good - and his timing is AWESOME. and i feel SO blessed to have this incredible opportunity!

oak trees and the "eff" train

i'm reading a book right now titled "I really want to change... so help me God", by James McDonald. i admit, the title is cheesy and sounds like a self-help book. on a strong recommendation from my sister, i decided to give it a shot and it's been an awesome journey the past few weeks! the book is anti-self and pro-Jesus. i can work with that!

the current chapter is entitled, "I'm dead to that" and i want to share an illustration on man and sin that i think is so accurate, a great picture, and helps give some perspective to overcoming sin. i think one of the hardest things about personal change is the time it takes... we are one impatient culture and we want things now. i really might as well just substitute "I" for "we" in that cause i'm talking about myself.

the subheading on this one: don't trust feelings (good already, right?!)

When Christ stepped out of that tomb on that first Easter morning, the power of sin was broken. Sin can no longer take control of you if you are in Christ. It can't tell you what to do. It can't boss you around. Its power is broken.

"I don't feel like it's broken," you say. Don't trust your feelings! It's the same as when you came to Christ; at first maybe you didn't feel as though anything great had happened, but you believed the Word of God and acted upon it. As you look back, you know you haven't been the same since that moment. In the same way, if you, by faith, accept the truth that the power of sin is broken in you, you might not feel different, but over time you will be different.

"Well, why do I still feel so alive to the power of sin?" you ask. Picture a very tall oak tree in the centre of a park. The whole park is full of oak trees. And the tallest one - the strongest one - in the centre has a big, tall trunk extending up into the sky. It's a beautiful oak tree. But planted at the base of the oak tree is a strong, thick vine. It's been there for many years; in fact, the vine has grown up and wrapped its way around the trunk of that oak tree and out along the branches. Now, after many years, the entire tree is covered by that vine.

Now imagine for a moment that your life represents the oak tree, and the vine represents sin. When you came to Christ, it's as though God Almighty took an ax to the base of that vine and cut that thing off. And let me tell you something: The vine is dead! You say, "It doesn't feel dead. It is still all over me!" Right. And if you will begin to cooperate with God and do what you are about to learn, that old vine can be cast off in your life and you will begin to experience the victory that is rightfully yours.

that's James McDonald and i would definitely recommend his book to all looking to break free from the power of sin... ok, so everyone should read it!

it makes me think of another great thing i learned last year (the eff train)... it even has alliteration, which brings me joy in and of itself:

fact, faith, feeling

the idea being to keep it in that order!

cool stuff... tough, but so glad it's not up to me on my own!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

but look for christ

give up yourself, and you will find your real self. lose your life and you will save it. submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes everyday and death of your whole body in the end. submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. keep back nothing. nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. but look for christ and you will find him, and with him, everything else thrown in.

cs lewis

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

inconvenient, yet highly enjoyable, outbursts of laughter

i don't know if anyone else from the compass ever reads my blog (other than blair), but just in case you do...

since 'catchphrase' on saturday night, i cannot shake from my memory the chaos that ensued during that game... what blair and murray looked like as they screamed, shouted, sometimes shook with intensity... the guys cheating (admit it, you cheated boys!)... joel skipping over numerous words that clearly were not that difficult to describe... danielle trying to control jon's hand actions to no avail... and so many other things. the ridiculous thing is these mental images keep popping into my head at random moments and i burst out into giggles. i mean really, not a bad problem to have, but it does earn a girl some strange looks! haha.

good times in community on saturday night! looking forward to the next shin-dig... more fun will ensue, i'm sure of it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

independent woman...

i realized last night how much i've been trying to do life on my own lately. the past few days have been tough as i battle through sins the lord is showing me - some new discoveries, some not so new - this being a request i asked of him! but now that i'm seeing all this stuff and realizing just how messed up i am - and i know this doesn't even scratch the surface let alone touch on what i'm capable of - god's love is even more incredible to me and christ's death is even greater. because it's not a matter of the lord being tolerant of my sin. he HATES it. but he sees me through christ and that's the hand that's holding me from his wrath.

yesterday at the compass, we heard about the incomprehensible humility of christ. at one point in the service, i felt the iron hand of my pride slap me in the face. i don't really think of myself as a prideful person, but i'm deceiving myself. and it's got to stop! i get into this habit of comparing myself to people around me instead of that of christ through the word. blair cut to the reality of the situation with this sentence we each wrote down in our notes: i murdered jesus.

awkward silence?

have you ever thought about it that way? i think i have, but yesterday i felt it and it was AWFUL. especially as i'm sitting there hearing about the humility of christ - all of a sudden this divine being who died a few millennium ago has my name fused to the brutal death he endured. no, not his death - his murder. but it's true. how dare we think of it any other way!

when i think about the humility of christ, his absolute surrender of ALL his rights for my sin - despite his impeccable track record of human living - it's convicting. in a good way. how can i do life on my own when it's impossible to be truly humble without christ? how much time do i waste thinking about things that are not pure, lovely, admirable? thinking about myself? trying to plan out my future and get life done on my own? how could i try to do these things knowing what christ has done for me?? knowing his humility in life AND in death.

i want to be a radical follower of christ! i know my heart is already aching for heaven where there will be no pain, no suffering, no pride. but humility is possible in this life, through surrender to jesus, by immersion in the word and letting that alone transform my life.

the words, the rest of my life, are overwhelming in and of themselves... but if i stop and reflect on it, i'd much rather do that and enjoy the victory, freedom and fullness of christ than do life selfishly on my own just because it's easier. ya, easier for sure, but empty!

is a humble christian a paradox in our society? not if we listen to scripture and strive to live out this humility we see in true life with jesus!

Monday, September 28, 2009

something that pressed into me while overseas was the incredible importance of small groups. during the hockey season i was unable to get to one of the small groups that met every week from Faith Community church in prague. once march rolled around and hockey ended, i got plugged into one of these groups and it really spurred me on in my walk with christ. god did some big stuff in me during those months!

there's something so powerful about the body getting together and purposefully doing life together, challenging, holding accountable, speaking into one another's lives. i found these points on small groups as laid out by john piper on and just thought they were awesome. here they are:

7 Reasons We Need Small Groups
1.The impulse avoid painful growth by disappearing safely into the crowd in corporate worship is very strong.

2.The tendency toward passivity in listening to a sermon is part of our human weakness.

3.Listeners in a big group can more easily evade redemptive crises. If tears well up in your eyes in a small group, wise friends will gently find out why. But in a large gathering, you can just walk away from it.

4.Listeners in a large group tend to neglect efforts of personal application. The sermon may touch a nerve of conviction, but without someone to press in, it can easily be avoided.

5.Opportunity for questions leading to growth is missing. Sermons are not dialogue. Nor should they be. But asking questions is a key to understanding and growth. Small groups are great occasions for this.

6.Accountability for follow-through on good resolves is missing. But if someone knows what you intended to do, the resolve is stronger.

7.Prayer support for a specific need or conviction or resolve goes wanting. O how many blessings we do not have because we are not surrounded by a band of friends who pray for us.

i feel like i'm saying this all the time now... but SO GOOD, right?!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

daily dose of truth

My sister posted these great thoughts on her blog a while back... i'm posting them here because they're SO great and something everyone needs to hear everyday! they're from JD Greer and he says them to himself every morning.


“God, because I am in Christ I know there is nothing I can do today that would make you love me any more, and there is nothing I have done that makes you love me any less.”

“God, your presence and approval is all I need to have joy today.”

“God, everything the gospel tells me about your intentions for my life is TRUE.”

you should mosey on over to her blog and check out some of the cool stuff going on her life when you get a chance!

Friday, September 25, 2009

so i guess now that i'm not in the czech republic anymore i need to think of a new name for my blog. two minutes for czeching just doesn't seem appropriate when i'm clearly not in the czech and no longer number one on the list for people to penalize. well, not that i was ever number one - i think that title would go to ms. jackie friesen. seems the refs in europe couldn't get enough of seeing her skate to the box.

the reference to hockey might not be so appropriate - or rather - applicable since hockey is going to be a substantially smaller part of my world now that i'm back in canada.

yep, back on the homefront. now that i've been back for almost 3 months, i just experienced my first week of feeling like i'm happy to be here. it's been a tough adjustment - last week i almost bought a ticket to prague i missed the place so badly. i had to keep repeating to myself what is true about life: god is sovereign, god is sovereign, god is sovereign. if not for that incredible truth, i think i might have gone crazy! but he is sovereign and i rest and rejoice in that - even though i don't always like what that requires of me.

surrender? denying my own wishes? not planning out my future myself? seriously?? is that even possible? well, truth be told, it's not - not on our own strength at least. that's why our great and mighty god gave us the gift of faith... that he increases as we seek him so that becoming more like christ is even possible... that we can do those things that seem upside-down and are often completely against our will and the desires of fleshly, sinful man.

what does the world who doesn't know him do? do they think about such things? what governs their motives and assures them of the validity of their decisions? i can only begin to imagine the varied list of fillers... what happens to those things when we die? i bet none of it leads to soul satisfaction, peace, joy, freedom from circumstances.

last sunday at the compass ( blair talked about our joy not being in external circumstances but the forward progress of the gospel. that is one HARD thing to do - but again, it's not about us doing it... but the Lord doing it in us. and how is that even possible?? the power of christ, his death and resurrection, and saving grace that he extends to all of mankind. the compass is a new church that's recently started up in regina and the lord led me there this summer. i'm so jacked about it and excited to see what god's going to do in a body of people who love christ and seek to live missionally for the gospel.

what would happen if all the christians in regina really GOT it... really started surrendering, living for jesus, stepping out of their comfort zones, denying themselves and sharing what god is doing in their lives with others. it's my prayer that god would do that in me!

and wooaaaahhhh, it would be incredible, the transformation we'd see in this city. but why not?? look at the lord's resume... if anyone's qualified to do it - HE IS.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

sidewalk bodytalk

i don't know if i've ever mentioned this before, but there's not much by way of personal space in this country. even when there exists space to be used, often it is still not. case in point: this morning i'm driving home from our first AIA project meeting of 2009, and i saw two women walking on the sidewalk. there were people scattered throughout, but definitely enough space for everyone to walk comfortably. despite this fact, i watched as the two women walked past each other and gave a clear shoulder check to one another - both their arms went flying awkwardly into the air, but neither stopped or even gave a second glance. they went on as if nothing had happened! it was incredible to me. if that happened in north america, someone would have been shouting, possibly punching, maybe even calling their lawyer.

a similiar story comes from my great pal, arielle schade, who spent the year with me here in the czech republic. this time, the setting is italy. arielle is a fairly tall, strong gal (after playing hockey for years and being, well, canadian). she told me that when she was travelling through italy, she was getting fed up with being bumped, nudged, bodychecked, etc., by passersby, so decided to take matters into her own hands. she resolved that the next time someone walked closely past her, she wouldn't dodge out of the way or try to avoid running into them. unfortunately for her, the next person to come her way was a man - a man apparently without regard for anyone else using the space around him. this might be an extreme case, but none the less, it did happen. so arielle braced herself and as the man approached, she even leaned into it a little. BAM. the guy slammed right into her and sent her flying to the side, shoulder aching and feeling more than a little ticked. the guy didn't look back, didn't say sorry, apparently he hadn't noticed the shoulder check he'd administered on the sidewalk in rome.

i guess the moral of the story is... if you don't wanna get hit, you better get out of the way! what a place, this european nation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

brokenness, an epiphany

last night i had an epiphany. a good one. one that's maybe been a really long time coming.

yesterday i turned 25.

that's not the epiphany. but it's part of it. see, birthdays to me are a big deal. but this year was a hard birthday because i was felt more alone than i ever have. it was my first bday away from home and therefore the people that know me best were not around to make my day the awesome day it usually is. it was an ordinary day, with some disappointing rainchecks, a hard off-ice training session containing completely hockey-unrelated exercises, and just an uber-normalesque day. i think these, combined with the low after a great weekend,plus the emotional state i was in, left me feeling nothing but broken.

i got home from practice and cried in bed for quite a while. soon i let the rational thought switch turn on and wondered at my state. i was feeling the intense emptiness of being alone on such a big day and feelings are totally legit. but i was quivering on the edge of letting myself feel unloved. it was time to put the F train to work: fact, faith then feelings. at that point i stopped and opened my bible. it was time for some truth.

now some of you might be wondering at my mental/emotional state, that i would cry over a bday. it's not like i'm 16 or something. but those of you who have lived overseas, far away from home, from normalcy, from your support system, probably know that what i'm talking about is really not that crazy. being in the midst of this whole situation is sometimes just really hard.

so what did i learn last night? here are words of truth that spoke to my heart:

"So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes."
Isaiah 30:18-19

people are going to let me down. i'm going to have times where i feel unloved - whether that's true or not. but last night in my brokennes and in god's goodness he taught me this:

if no one ever loves me and if everyone i know lets me down, he'll still love me and he'll still be the same kind and loving god he is.

and that's good enough for me.

here's to 25 years and one amazing Father.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

loving a person

Loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it

i love this song by sara groves because sometimes loving the people in our world is one of the hardest things we're called to do. among other things, our most staggering obstacle is the disease of self, rooted in pride. how can we eliminate this ugly tendency from our lives when, in our pride, we can't even see ourselves the way we truly are?

here are eugene peterson's words from the message, a new favorite translation of mine:

In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

so loving a person comes back to spending time in front of that mirror so that we know who we truly are... so that when we glance into our mirrors we see christ and we know who we are and therefore how we act, how we treat people, the way we live our lives.

loving a person's no small thing... so start with christ.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

JC using JP to tell it like it is...

you know you've been mia for just a little while when your URL doesn't even recognize your own blog name when you start typing it in.

hey, i'm back. at least for a bit. ;)

i listened to a sermon today by john piper and it was SO awesome. lately i've been thinking a lot about the WORD and how i don't really spend time memorizing scripture. so when i signed up for the desiring god sermon audio by j.p himself, i immediately downloaded the talk named "if my words abide in you".

john doesn't beat around the bush. the first 17 minutes he spent quoting scripture. it was one of the most powerful and profound things i've heard in a reeeeeally long time. here are 8 points he made about memorizing scripture:

1. it makes meditation possible at time when you can't be reading the bible. meditation is the pathway to deeper understanding.

2. it strengthens my faith because faith comes from hearing.

3. it shapes the way i view the world by conforming my mind to god's viewpoint on everything.

4. it makes god's word more readily accessible in overcoming temptation to sin because god's warnings and promises are the way we conquer the deceitful lies of the devil.

5. it guards my mind, making it easier for me to detect error. the world is filled with error because the god of this world is a liar.

6. it enables me to hit the devil in the face, with a force he cannot resist, to protect myself and my family from his assaults. he's millions of times stronger than me and not only that, he hates me, my friends and my family.

7. it provides the strongest and sweetest words for ministering to others in need.

8. it provides the matrix for fellowship with Jesus because he talks to me here in the word and no where else.

good stuff, eh??

he said a bunch of other great stuff, too, but i'll leave you with this sweet thought:

God made us with a brain so that we can connect the words from the bible to our hearts and minds. In this process the Holy Spirit sanctifies us through faith in Christ!

Friday, February 20, 2009

end of ewhl

this is a big hockey weekend for hc slavia praha. we play the remaing two games of our ewhl season this weekend. croatia is making the drive to prague in what will be the ewhl clinching battle of the season. oh waaaaait. croatia still has no wins in their season, so the next two games will strictly be a formality. we'll still get to play, but it's never the same when you know you're going to win. it's kind of sad, actually!

after this weekend we have the national final series with Kladno (home of czech's own beloved hero, jaromir jagr) in a best of 7. the 4th game will be on march 8th, so that's when i'm pretty sure our season will end. we've heard down the hockey grapevine that kladno is stacking their team with girls from other teams who've already lost out. i really hope so, because that would make the games a lot more fun! maybe they'll even take one from us (you know it's bad when you're hoping the other team will win a game to make things interesting!).

last weekend the team headed to slovenia for our last road trip of the season. i stayed home, as i had the flu and ralph just wouldn't go away. it was a restful day at home, though i hardly remember it as i slept until noon, napped in the afternoon, and then went to bed early. i guess that's pretty strong confirmation you're sick!

the end of this month will bring some visitors to prague. ashley dejaegher, a former teammate with the cougs and good friend of arielle's, is coming to visit for a month and a half. she'll be taking off on some euro adventures during that time, too. next saturday jackie's brother, jarret, is coming for a week which will be intersected with the arrival of jackie's parents. i'm SO looking forward to having some parents around to hang out with! ;)

mom and dad... you can always make a last minute trip!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

i don't know what's with me lately... but i've blogged more in the past week than i did the past two months! maybe there's just so much to think about that i feel like writing it all down. or rambling it all down. sometimes that's the best way to think... rambling. then some poor, unfortunate soul gets to read your inner workings from the convenience of their home, office, blackberry??

did anyone watch nadal defeat roger (yes, we're on a first name basis) today for the australian open? i was definitely crying with roger during the award ceremony. what a guy. or hear about kobe's 61 points last night? ridiculous. maybe if both teams played some defense, that wouldn't be possible!

recently i ventured through the city with some friends, returning solo to my flat via tram. a few things cracked me up. firstly, there were only a few people on the tram to begin with, one of which was a girl sitting kitty-corner from me. apparently she was oblivious to the fact that i was sitting right there. unlike her oblivity, i was keenly aware of the fact that she was checking herself out in the dark, reflective glass in front of her. she wasn't just checking for food between her teeth, she was puckering, making model faces, adjusting her hat. i almost lost it. almost as tragic as her modelling was the fact that i had no one to laugh with. so i laughed alone. maybe we were a pair of crazies after all. a few stops later, a guy enters the tram and chooses the spot RIGHT BESIDE me, despite the fact that the tram is at this point basically empty. sits down, makes himself comfortable, doesn't think anything of it. i mean, maybe he was just seeking a little bit of companionship...? either way, also hilarious, though somewhat uncomfortable at the same time.

tonite i went to see a movie - it was horribly depressing, btw - with leo and kate. unlike their last cinematic duet, this one was not so heroic or romantic. it was highly disappointing, but not because leo and kate didn't do a great job, but just because their on-screen chemistry was wasted on an all around negative story. i guess i'm not a realist when it comes to movies, but i really prefer the escapism of fantasy, romance, the totally unrealistic films of the day. on that note, go see twilight... it's a no-miss!

it's midnight now and my mind is still going 100kms an hour...

...maybe i shouldn't have had that espresso post-movie after all.

Monday, February 2, 2009

who's hand are you holding?

we sang this song yesterday at church. it's simple, but profound.

i love it...

i will hold on to the hand of my savior
and i will hold on with all my might
i will hold loosely to things that are fleeting
and hold on to jesus
i will hold on to jesus for life

Friday, January 30, 2009

magical castles and family night

at the beginning of january, jackie and i roadtripped to fussen, germany, to watch the u-18 female world championships. five kilometres outside of fussen are two amazing castles - one of which was the inspiration for walt disney in building his famous castles at walt disneyland and disneyworld.

the first pic is at the rink with the following being around the castle grounds. it was a 40 minute walk up to the castle - an extremely pleasant, crisp morning walk.

last night the canadian flat in prague had familiy night! jackie made her famous honey-almond chicken with rice, i made a salad and we finished it off with coffee (french-press style) and dessert - courtesy of jackie again. she made her mom's homemade chocolate pudding recipe. sooo good! arielle and jeni provided the whip cream for the pudding and of course, the entertainment - themselves! it was great to eat a meal sitting around the table and sharing life. our friend, kelly, who plays with vienna (and is a fellow Saskatchewanite) is here visiting, so she joined us for family dinner. kelly first visited as she and jeni became friends in saskatoon, but after visiting a few times she's a "family" friend now! :D come back soon, kelly!

here are some pics from the night:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

today must be a blogging day

lately i've been thinking a lot about the concept of worshiping and mulling, for the past 6 months actually, what it means to be a missionary. the two relate so completely and wholly.

you are a missionary for what you worship.

does that make sense? according to the Word, we were created to worship, to give our heart, soul and mind to something we can believe in, to stake our lives on, something to give us sense and meaning. some people choose work, family, music, celebrities, god, etc. to fill that longing.

i was thinking too, about the "pressure" that exists once you're labelled or give yourself the label of missionary. i mean, i guess for this phase of my life it's my "job", but i really hope it'll always be my calling if not my official job here on earth.

then there's the whole other aspect of the pressure of being a missionary because there exists this idea that somehow a missionary is perfect, has it all together, has amazing quiet times everyday! that might sound ridiculous when you read it on paper, but who doesn't think that about missionaries in your head? you hear a missionary speak and you're like, wow, they really love jesus. they're in the stinkin' african jungle or some other random location, living for god. but isn' that their heart, their specific calling? if your calling is to stay at home and work a different job, then you're still a missionary. your field is just not somewhere far away from home.

if you love jesus, you're a missionary for jesus. if you love pop culture, you're a missionary for that because it's what you worship. maybe this is the ramblings of someone who's thoughts have been bouncing around for too long without rationalization.

if anything, life has gotten harder since i became a missionary for jesus. maybe some of that is just as we get older we realize how chronic, how embeded in human nature, is sin and death. and really how prone to it we all are, no matter our "title". some of it is that satan is threatened by someone who loves jesus. if i worship making money, what's it to him? i'm not following hard after jesus anymore, am i?

so i guess to go back to that random sentence a few paragraphs up, you're a missionary for what you worship because the things we worship are the things we've given value to, that we spend our time, money and effort on. they're the things we talk about, that we want to discuss with others.

so what's the point of writing all this down? i donno, maybe you have some thoughts you can shoot my way. i guess it's just that sometimes there's pressure to feel like i have to talk to people about jesus, because i forget that i WANT to do that. i want them to know his love, his absolute cleansing forgiveness, that he delights over them. and that what their hearts are REALLY searching for is the depth of life lived through a relationship with god in christ.

i'm a missionary for jesus because he's who i worship. it comes down to the simple, yet life-changing realization, that he's worth staking everything i have on.


the bid for the euro cup ended in the second round. we were swept by finland, 1-0, and khazakhstan, 4-2, and then beat denmark, 10-0. us four canadians kind of think that if coach karel had played us together for all the periods, instead of only the last period against khaz where we scored two goals, that we might have been more successful over all. just our thoughts, but i guess we'll never know!

next year...???
i wish i could somehow explain just how beautiful this country is, but i don't think it's possible to convey with words. even pictures barely suffice. it's something you have to see for yourself.

for the first time in a long time, prague got snow over the holidays. i wish i had snapped pictures when i had the chance because it was incredibly beautiful! i'm not exactly sure what it is that makes things so attractive around here - i think it's the intricate detailing of the facades, and the mix of man made beauty with what god already had here.

since late december i've started running, preparing for the prague half marathon at the end of march(a new challenge!). almost everyday i jog down to an incredible park, 3 minutes from my house, to complete my run. i've fallen in love with running, but i don't know how much that has to do with the actual running part or the fact that i'm running in the amazing surroundings of stromovka. the trees are tall, old, somehow reverent, the paths criss-cross, connecting the ponds, rocks and benches. there are always people there running, walking, visiting, enjoying being outside.

i'll keep you updated on marathon training... we'll see if stromovka can keep me trucking when i'm logging an hour and a half!