I don’t technically have the time to sit here and do this, but really, when have I ever? My motivation to sit and type is largely fueled by the quickly approaching due date of an Art History paper. What on earth do you write for an Art History paper?!? “It was a very nice statue. The carving is typical to the artist…” No idea. Anyway, you can see my dilemma.
I feel like I need to amend my comments on BreakForth. I was in a bit of a state when I wrote them. I did not mean to imply that Bruce Wilkinson was a bad speaker. Yes, Arlen Salte (the conference organizer, and, for those of you southern Albertans who may remember the 80’s-90’s rock band “Heartattack,” the lead singer of that former band) did get up at the session following Bruce Wilkinson’s and [sort of] apologize for what he said. But that doesn’t mean people weren’t impacted by his words (in a positive way). Actually, Arlen didn’t apologize as much for what Bruce Wilkinson said as for how it came across to people and how it made some people feel. Some, and I count myself in this group, were quite offended by him calling down judgment from God on the churches, families, relationships, and personal lives of the people who did not stand for his “alter call to discipleship.” His call was worded in such a way as to not include everyone, and I did not feel like it was something God was dealing with me about. However, to then tell me that my church, relationships, family, and life is cursed because I didn’t stand up is not cool in my book. That being said, one of the ladies from church who came to BreakForth for the first time this year was quite impacted by his talk and really came away with good things to say about it. Upon reflection, there were some excellent points made (if I pulled out my journal, I could transcribe some of my notes), I guess the ending soured my perspective.
I think that my favourite class of the weekend was one on Worship Leading with Graham Kendrick. He is one great guy. Very humble, very genuine. It wasn’t too simplistic or anything either. One of my pet peeves is when people get up for a talk and start quoting random people you are fairly sure they have never read, but just happened to come up when they googled “worship quotes” or they are from the latest quote book at the Christian book store. Unfortunately, I see that a lot with “worship-type people,” not to generalize or anything because I am somewhat in that “worship-type” group. But there was none of that with Graham. He was very straight and left me with the impression of great wisdom.
And of course there was my sister’s church Sunday morning. She goes to one of the Anglican churches in Edmonton. I must say that I love going to an Anglican church every now and again. One thing I really miss is the richness and beauty of the liturgy, the focus on scripture, and emphasis on confession and becoming right with God before the Eucharist is celebrated. I think that we tend to gloss over a lot of that in more “evangelical” circles – especially the confessional emphasis and focusing on scripture (case in point: I cannot remember if the Bible was even read this morning at my church…). Also, her minister is possibly the best preacher I heard all weekend. Jen said she has a PhD. in English, and it showed. Every single word that she said counted. It was really intense and made me think a lot, but she was humourous, in an intelligent and dry sort of way. I think that she said more in 20 min than most preachers I hear on a regular basis say in 40. It almost felt like I was in a university lecture, except it was a little shorter than most of mine! Jen said that can be either a good thing or a bad thing (who needs 6 days a week with “classes”!) depending on the amount of sleep obtained the preceding night. However, I loved it. I would love to be able to preach like that! Thinking back to my previous comment on quotes, I sometimes wonder how people can have had the time to actually read all the fantastic books out there. There are so many books I would love to read, at least for their literary value (I’m thinking of the classics which everyone quotes and I have read a fraction of) or their theological value (some of the classics of Christian thought). But how does one have the time to read all of them? I barely have time to read my text books in time for the next class and inevitably end up reading at least one if not more chapters for the first time the night before an exam. Perhaps sitting here and typing is part of that problem. But seriously, I am a fast reader and can’t fathom being able to read all of them! Maybe when school is done and I am aching for intellectual stimulation while sitting in a boring job I am working at to make money to pay off loans I incurred while attending school and traveling. Ideas? (And Coles Notes is NOT a solution!)

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