This week I asked readers how many hours a youth pastor should spend with teens. We drew from the comments, well Jayson did the random drawing from little scrunched up papers in my hand… and CASEY HASSELKUS (from Wisconsin) is the winner. She gets to pick one of my paperback books (and who wouldn’t want one of those, eh?) as her prize and we’ll get that to her as soon as possible.
Congrats and stay tuned for another book giveaway next week!
The Advent season captivates my heart more and more each year. It stuns me what God has done, that He came and dwelt among us men and women. His love is so Good, beyond our capacity to grasp. And in God’s love story, our own story finds meaning. Part of my heritage comes from the Norwegian tradition, and few cultures celebrate Christmas better.
So, on this eve, this holy night, I share with you one of my favorite renditions of O Holy Night: Sissel’s O helga natt.
Every so often (ideally at the end of each week), I’ll put up a list of links and highlights from recent days. So, from this corner of the world here are a few time-worthy links:
I love sports, most any sport. So, I love Cricket and was pleased to see that South Africa dominated Australia this week. England has been taking it to India and I got up early today to see the last few overs of today’s part in that test. What I also enjoy about Cricket are the smart writeups done by newswriters like Daniel Brettig. They take a relatively benign game and turn into a masquerade of intrigue and literary tension. Imagine what such writers could do with baseball!
For those of you who live in the United States, I trust this past week was a beneficial week for you. And I’m well aware that we’ll be exercising some of those “benefits” away this week. Seriously, what once was a holiday that I barely enjoyed as a teen (I think it was the fact that many people crammed into a small hot house for 3-4 days) is now a week that I treasure and enjoy. I don’t do the shopping adventure, but I like the time with family, the opportunity to stop and reflect, and to catch up a bit too. And maybe it’s because I’m the one now orchestrating the cramming of people into familiar places.
Have you noticed how Thanksgiving is becoming less of a just a day and more of a week off? It seems that more schools are giving the Wednesday before off as well … and more families are planning bigger vacations around the holiday. Quite a few colleges now give the whole week off and I think that more and more will consider it, though I am not sure how that will affect student learning. I had many students skip my class on Tuesday, even those who knew that doing so lowered their final grade since they had used their skips up already.
This summer I took my what I said at the time was “my last trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe and Wilderness Area.” It’s not true, but it’s how I felt as I left. This will surprise regular readers of this blog who know that I have enjoyed the BWCA for 25 years now. In fact, my reviews of various tents (The Equinox 6, Grand Mesa 4, and Timberline 4) and BWCA gear are still among my most-read posts by those searching the web for information.
The truth is: I love the Boundary Waters. But at times I hate being/going there because the trip confronts me at so many levels. It’s not about the BWCA… it’s about what wilderness camping reveals about me that I don’t like to recognize. So, I’ll go back again with Kelly. In fact, this past Saturday I was longing to be out in a canoe up there.
As darkness and coldness presses in earlier each evening, thanks to daylight savings time and winter’s approach, one of my sons mentioned that he missed our chai tea latte that we had last year. So, to help you northerners usher in the fall season, here’s a recipe for a mix you can make at home that I like better than any mix I have tried commercially (yes, even Starbucks). Please don’t skip the cardamom; if you shop around a bit, you can find it reasonably, and it keeps well.