Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spiritual Discipline

I've been thinking about my faith lately and where I'm at. I think my growth is pretty slow and I haven't prayed or read my Bible in a long time. I do feel it's good to read the Word, but my mind is easily swayed to reading other books. I think the cool thing about the Bible is that I do learn something new each time I read a verse. It's just getting the motivation to read it.

I read a pretty interesting article titled "Willow Creek Repents?" about Willow Creek Community Church admitting that they made a mistake by investing millions of dollars into programs and measuring participation as an indicator of spiritual growth. From a qualitative survey of people who attend the church, the staff learned that those who were not Christians felt the church was doing a great job meeting their needs. However, those who were devoted followers of Christ were not growing spiritually much at all through the Willow Creek model of seeker sensitive programs. The biggest thing they learned was that teaching the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships were the most effective methods of helping Christians grow spiritually. And these basic disciplines do not require millions of dollars to promote.

Bill Hybels who founded Willow Creek Community Church confessed:

"We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own."

My thinking about which church to go to has made me realize it doesn't matter. Which church has better praise and worship or sermon really doesn't affect how one grows spiritually. I'm sure I will be staying at my church for a long time because I learned today that what matters most for my growth spiritually is self discipline. It really made me realize that faith is a journey and if I want to make the most out of it, I have to put my own effort into simply praying, reading the Bible, and building relationships. Programs are not going to help me grow, but quiet times will. That is truly what I am lacking and I need to think about that.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Goodbye Westbeach

Last Saturday night, I was walking down 4th Avenue with my buddy to go out for dinner when I noticed Westbeach shop was gone. My buddy, Justin, said, "It's an end of an era." We remember it used to be so popular back in the 90s. I bought my Burton snowboard bindings there and still use my velcro Westbeach wallet. I was saddened, but things change. It has now been re-branded as Showcase. Apparently, Showcase Snowboards was one of the first snowboard shops in Whistler and has been a strong brand up there so it's good to know the shop is in good hands.

A fact I didn't know is that Westbeach was started by Chip Wilson who founded Lululemon Athletica.

I also learned Westbeach as a clothing brand is still alive and kicking it. Their stuff can be ordered online as they celebrate their 30th year since its inception in 1979. I remember the guys in my Grade 12 year wearing Westbeach hoodies with four multi-coloured dudes carrying a surfboard. I also remember guys sporting the Westbeach branded snowboards, although I don't think they were very good boards. I really just loved the clothes they made. Ah...the memories.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yes Man

It's been about 5 months living on my own. I enjoy it, but at times it feels lonesome. I think during this time, I realized how much of a people person I am. I try to go out as much as I can. Pretty much any event invitation I get on Facebook, I say "yes." I am for sure a "Yes Man." I should see Jim Carrey's movie. I used to be more of a "No Man" or I chose to wait to see if there's something better. These days if someone invites me to something, I say "yes" unless I'm already doing something on that day I had already said "yes" to or I have final exams coming up (although that's not always true). Actually, I've agreed to go to my friend's concert this Friday night and another friend's concert this Sunday night even though I have my Statistics final next week. I figure life is short and really what am I going to do with Stats...ha ha.

This "yes" feeling has been great because I've experienced a lot more in life than if I had said "no." I think Facebook and Messenger is great because even though I'm alone at a computer, I still feel connected to people. Whether it's chatting on Messenger, writing on someone's wall or checking out their pictures on Facebook, there's a sense of community in my life. I think in the future when I have more cash, I will join a ice hockey team. I'm glad I go to church and just recently I went on a pretty rad ski trip to Silver Star with 25 other people. I made some new friends and got to know others better.

I think when I'm a senior I would prefer living in a home. I like the fact that people are around and we could hang out playing video games or cards. I don't think I'd like living on my own then.