"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


here is a christmas family photo,...yeah, its from last year, but we were more attractive back then...


We played some Scum with the Family. The scum had to wear the hats.

to much egg nog, perhaps?...

Not even an adorable baby girl could redeem this photo...I laughed so hard when I saw it. I wonder if when God created me, he said, "I could make Ty incredably attractive...or I could make him look like this..."

Thats my cousin's little girl, Ryanen, she pooped on my hand, but we still became friends.

The Chronic (What?) cles of Narnia

Aslan is on the Move!

http://www.youtube.com/watch.php?v=IggTu7kV7No&search=snl%20chronicles%20of%20narnia --funny stuff, funny stuff

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I think now is just about the right time to write my Christmas blog. I know that it is a couple days after Christmas, but that's ok. Reflection is good. It was a very lovely Christmas. It is so important to have time with family. I do regret, however, not spending enough time sitting in the stable next to the watering trough, gazing at my Savior and Creator in awe. Its funny how so much of that other stuff takes captive the brain, even when your brain is on vacation. I did manage a few minutes alone to reflect on and to ponder that first Christmas so long ago. With all birth, there beauty, and there is pain. So often we reflect on the beauty of the birth of our Savior. This year, I strive to see the pain, the great sacrifice made. I strive to see Mary's pain; betrothed to Joseph, she becomes pregnant. I can only imagine the pain she must have felt looking into Joseph's eyes when he noticed her belly growing, knowing very well that he had not been with her. It must have been a knife to the soul to see the hurt in his eyes. I imagine Joseph's pain believing that the woman he would do anything for, the woman he loved more than himself, had just betrayed him. I imagine both their pain as society shuns them, thinking that the "model couple" has just exposed themselves for what they really are. I imagine God's pain as the time his son would leave his thrown in heaven to go to earth and die for men approaches. I imagine Christ, anticipating the moment, looking down as if from backstage waiting His cue. He knows very well, that He will be hurt, that every person He loves will betray Him and His Father simply by being human. He knows how sin will surround Him. His whole life will sting like salt in a cut, yet I see excitement in His eyes. I imagine Jesus, shivering in the cold, wet and naked, as His mother wraps Him and lays Him in the hard, stone trough.

This Christmas, well, this semester, and perhaps my whole life if I had only been paying attention, God has been teaching me about boldness. Christ demonstrates great boldness, great risk, in coming as a baby to a sinful world for our sake.

I recognize my timidness. It repulses me. I long to be bold as Christ is bold, but I seem to be sitting still. It's far to easy to cling to a life of timidity, a life that won't get you in trouble, but at the same time won't give you adventure. I picked up Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge again. I needed a bit of encouragement. Listen to how John describes God's risk,

"God needs to get a message out to the human race, without which, they will perish...forever. What's the plan? First, he starts with the most unlikely group ever: a couple of prostitutes, a few fishermen with no better than a second-grade education, a tax collector. Then, he passes the ball to us. Unbelievable...

God's relationship with us and with our world is just that: a relationship. As with any relationship, there's a certain amount of unpredictability, and the ever-present likelihood that you'll get hurt. The ultimate risk anyone ever takes is to love..."

This was the risk a tiny baby took for our sake the first Christmas morning. And war raged!

1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. --Revelation 12:1-6

The greatest gift of peace to mankind was the greatest act of war towards the enemy. In the middle of this war, lay a baby, the one who will rule with an Iron rod, our Bold Savior, Jesus Christ!

Satan would stop at nothing to destroy him. For once, I'd like to see a Christmas pageant with a seven headed dragon with ten horns. Why cast kids as cows, why cast 13 shepherds or 4 wisemen, and three camels, leaving out the villain of the story, the risk of the story?

13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."...16When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.--Matthew 2:13,16

I'm not to sure how accurate this image is, but I always want to imagine Joseph clinging to Mary and Jesus as they gallop through the dessert towards Egypt under a night's sky. Invisible to them, and parting as they gallop onwards, is a war of angels, heavenly and fallen, battling, fighting for the life of the child.

Jesus, The Savior, entered this war, this earth, this pain, this betrayal, for us. He experienced Hell for us; all for a relationship that would let him down.

John Eldredge went on to quote C.S. Lewis,

"Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal."

God gave us his heart that first Christmas morning. It was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lied in a manger. What a risk to take; what boldness. He knew we would kill his heart.

I want to be bold like that. I want to love without fear of a broken heart, willingly offering it into the slippery hands of fallible human beings. I want to take risks. Yet, I'm scared, so scared.

Teach me to be bold, O Lord. I want to boldly surrender, embracing the pain that scares me away. Let me hear you call me a Man. Let me hear you tell me I have what it takes to fight my part in this war.

...But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.

I will continue to Ponder you in my heart, pondering the Bold God I serve, the Bold God who chose to become a small, and helpless infant child for the sake of his love.

Friday, December 23, 2005


If, for one second, I could see the Father's love for me, how would that change the way I love myself?

If I truly believed with all my heart that all of God's creation is beautiful, that God made me beautiful, how would that affect the way I live?

If I always remembered that God has a plan for my life that extends far beyond the dreams of my heart, where would that take me?

If I could see that when the pain of my past strips away the confidence of my now, that God walks by me boldly, how would that change who I am?

In the most difficult seasons of life when I seem to love myself the least, and detest myself the most, What if I could see that God's love for me hasn't changed?

In the moments of brokenness and abandonment, what if I saw that I am whole and in his presence? Could I possibly be broken, yet whole in Christ at the same time? Is there beauty found in the broken?

If my cold selfishness thawed away, and a Christ like selflessness blossomed, would others recognize me?

Could you make me new?

Thank you for sitting with me through the winter. Though I can't always hear your voice, your presence melts the ice. I don't like the cold. The winter chaps; dries me out. It hurts. The wind rips at my bones.

Let me not forget the beauty found in winter. Each snowflake that touches my cheek, has its own beauty. Frost clings to the trees, clothing them in white. The stars seem to shine brighter, the more bitter the cold. Winter has its place for a reason.

Yet, In your time the ice will melt. Green will come again. The water will flow; the brook will sing. How I long to hear its song, but for now, I'll sit in winter.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Don't think, just paint.

I was looking through an art catalog today, and getting excited at all the art materials when two thoughts came to mind. One, do other guys ever get excited looking at graphite pencils, and two, why in the world did I decide to become a student at a small, unknown school in dag cold Manitoba. My dad gave me the wise advice of going to a school in Minneapolis where I could pursue both art and Youth ministry, and though now he is quite confident I made the right decision in coming to Prov, sometimes I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be at another school. I really miss art. I wonder when I'll get to dig my hands into clay again, molding mud into something beautiful. Sometimes I fear the art will leave my fingers, that my talents will fade like an old drawing. When creating, I feel like I can understand God just a little bit more.

How long will God keep me at this school? What road will I walk down next? I long to create, to discover. Yet, if I pursued every opportunity I wanted to, I would be in post secondary education for about 10-15 more years. Opportunities are endless, showcasing Gods Hugeness. The question remains, which opportunity will God give me next, and, will I willingly take it?

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left their nets and followed him.--Matthew 4:18-20

Sometimes, I wonder, do we think to much as Christians? I think, that perhaps, we try to scrutinize our callings, analyze them, know the "why" when God hasn't given us the "why". We pray to hear God's voice when he's already spoken. We want shouting when God simply wants to whisper. Do we have to be 100% sure of where we are going? Dare I say it, do we even have to be 100% sure of the calling? Its hard to be 100% sure when God simply doesn't always make sense. When does prayer for clarity switch to trust in the fog? Where does faith come in? In a way, its a lot like art. If an artist thinks to much as they do their work, if they don't take risk, if they erase and redo, the piece can loose its spontaneity, its spirit. God wants our lives to be beautiful art, and the best comes when we step out in faith, allowing the Master Artist to shine His creativity.

not a day goes by where I don't wonder if I've made the biggest mistake in my life taking the job of a part time youth director. But even if it is the biggest mistake of my life (next to forgetting to put oil in my engine), could God make it into a beautiful mistake?

So, right now, I sit. Prov is where I belong. My family is here. It blows me away that only after a year and a half with these people (or less), they have become my greatest blessing. And the church is where I'm at. Though I'm not so quick to say it's where I belong, its where God is teaching me and using me, so, I'll trust that it's where He wants me.

Yet many opportunities still lie out there, which ones will God call me down? Simon Peter and Andrew seem a little crazy. They immediately left their nets, got out of the boat, and followed Christ. Will I so willingly, and eagerly jump out of my boat, cast away the nets that entangle me, and follow my Savior? Or will I think to much?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A toast to mr. Anonymous with a tall glass of Egg nog

Ahh, to be home! it feels quite nice. I do come home almost every weekend, but now I get to spend time with my family. I've got a pretty stellar family. Its kinda rough when you see your family every weekend, but you don't really get to spend any time with them at all. I can't wait to take my sisters out on dates and catch up on thier lives.

It finally feels like Christmas. before heading home, Em and I stopped at my ex-youth pastor's home. His little girl is so beautiful. One of the chubbiest/cutest babies i've ever seen. Her teeth are beginning to pop out. Its strange when kids grow up even without me watching them, suprises me every time.

The General took on a new battle scar. apparently he didn't like driving over a snow bank a whole lot, but mud flaps aren't that important anyway. It was nice driving home knowing I could stay home. the trees were amazing. I felt like I was driving through a wintery Narnia. Snow is so beautiful.

Some fine young gentleman has been giving my sister, Lyss, one Christmas gift a day to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Its kind of exciting, I'm not going to lie. I was always a little scared of guys being interested in my sisters. I thought I'd actually have to start working out or somthing. I don't know what I was scared of though, amazing people attract other amazing people, and Lyss is definitly in the top five most amazing people I know list, so of course she'd attract a quality guy. I give this guy an 11 on a 10 point scale. the best part is he was number 1 on the very short list of guys I would allow to express interest in Lyss. God is good, what can I say. he's smooth to, holy crank! poetry, flowers, chocolates, and humor, and this is only the fifth day! You got to love a guy with such class and good taste in women. I sulute you Mr. Anonymous. Wow,I'm begining to feel like a teenage girl at a slumber party talking about boys, this is rediculous.

This christmas will be great. I've got a plethera of books to read. I'm sure I'll tell you about those later. Top of the list right now, is a bit of Ted Dekker, Blue like Jazz by Donald Miller, and Captivating by John Eldrege. And drawing, I can't wait! I got some new Christmas music, it'll be nice to sit down with a cup of tea, some "yule be sorry" Christmas music, and a pencil and just see what comes out.

Can't wait to see Hondo and Erdawg. And John Kelly. Lauren's belly will be showing quite a bit by now. maybe the baby will even kick. I'm going to talk to the baby so she can know "Uncle" tyler's voice ahead of time. yeah, the kid and I will be tight. Ah, christmas break is going to be hectabeautiful. I have got to go catch up on a couple Alias episodes. I could use some eggnog right now...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The prince in the pauper

I love those moments when words mean more than they have before. When simple truths become profound. When promises become real. Our God is a good God. Oh, how my finite mind trys to grasp His infiniteness. My hand can't even palm a basketball, how silly to try to grasp His hugeness. Yet He takes my hand! The fact that He is beyond comprehension makes me desire Him all the more. Restoration. Why would the great God of the universe, Creator, King, Ruler with an Iron rod, why would He want any part of me. How can the Greatest desire this? I am broken, flawed, fallen, scrapped, graffiti-covered, poisoned. I am mean, bitter, angry and sad. I am valued. Why? When He could just start over, why does He continually, restore me. He restored me then, he restores me now, and on and on He goes. I'm like the teddy who's button eye fell off. A little boy doesn't want mommy to so the eye back on for his sake, but that teddy may be able to see once again. God restores me. He Restores me, because He loves me. I can see again. My eyes were wet under the eyelids. The warm water pushed its way out. I tried to hide the tears, but they fell, my soul's offering sliding down my cheeks. I wiped them away, hiding their truth in my heart. Such a simple truth. Such a profound mystery. I am Joyful, I am excited, I am His, I am Restored! My Redeemer Lives!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Who am I?

I was talking with a friend today about who we are and when and where it is that we are our “real” self. The other day I wondered about this. Are we most ourselves in those situations that we are comfortable and suited for? It’s at these times that I feel like I am truly myself. But what about those times when I’m not in my forte, when I’m not in my ideal situation? It seems that it is these times that are the most frequent. They are the difficult times when I must strive to be a man of God, when I must strive to be the same man I am in my ideal surrounding. Which me is the real me? When looking at Job, was he the prosperous man that he was before God allowed everything to be taken away, or was he the man that cursed the day he was born…or was he both. God counted Job as a man of righteousness, and he was blessed following all his torment. He never cursed God, and loved God despite the circumstances, though he hated them and thought God was being unfair. I’ve never, and probably never will face the excruciating agony that Job faced, but there will be times and situations throughout life that I am incredibly comfortable with, and others where I feel out of place, uncomfortable, or down right hurt in. I believe we have a choice. We can choose to be our “real” self, our best self in those ideal moments and places where we truly feel like ourselves, those places we feel we were designed for, or we can choos to be our "real" self in any situation, giving of ourselves to God no matter how hard it is, ideal or not. Growth takes place in the ideal, but the ideal is temporary. We can grow in those places of awkwardness, those places of, “It’s nice, but it’s sure not (insert special place here)”, and those places of pain as well (pain is a good teacher). It’s these places that we face far more often, giving us a much greater opportunity for growth. I don’t want to be a one dimensional Christian, only giving my best when I’m in my best. I want to take the gift of my ideal surroundings when I’m in them and offer myself up to God in those, and I want to give myself to God when I’m surrounded by the less then ideal as well. I want to be one person, not many. We are made up of many parts. I am made up of good and bad, kindness and cruelty. God is One; His character doesn’t conflict with itself as all human's character does. I recognize that I’ll never be able to be completely the same person that I am here (wherever here may be) as I am somewhere else or in some other situation (wherever that may be). I change like the seasons just as every person does. This truth must be recognized, but that shouldn’t stop me from striving to be my best, the person God designed me to be, at all times, and praising the God who is the best at all times.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I used to be an optimist. but every now and then things look so dark. I was the kind of guy that thought DC talk would get back together again. Sometimes life hurts. You are torn at the seems. mind exploding. past pains attacking. frustrations annoying. Searching in all the wrong places for comfort that cannot satisfy. Guilt punches you in the eye, while shame takes a kidney shot. You feel like everything is collapsing down on you all at once, leaving you lying in a pile of rubble, breathing in the dusty air, enveloped in the pounding heat of a pain thats more real than life. blackness hits.

Daddy, hold my hand. I need to know that you love me. I need to see you smile at me. Are you proud of me?

I don't care if the cup is half full or half empty, If it be your will, I'll drink it. give me the strength to drink it. I just need your help to tip it down. How I long to be Bold! But I feel so timid, so timid.

I feel you. Thank you for your warm hug. heating up the darkness.

Sometimes life seems so dark, but you'll flip the switch soon enough. I still think DC talk will get back together one day.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


What do you want for me?
with this brush in my hand, I paint out the picture of my day.
Don't want to use others to erase my past hurts,
brushing away their shavings from my canvas.
such a predictable piece.
its selfish, drawing in the lines, scared to leave them.
Scared to paint what's really true.
where's the excitement?
the wonder?
Its been done before.

You want something new for me.
your brush is your breath.
you paint the picture I never could have seen.
colors I've never seen, joy I've never felt.
each stroke changes me
you paint heaven in my heart
dampening the brush with your tears, you hurt for me.

My life is your canvas.
I so desperately want to smudge it.

This is not mine, it is yours.

Create in me a clean heart O Lord my God!