Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Speak every time you stand so you do not forget yourself.
Do not let a moment go by that doesn't remind you that your heart beats 100,000 times a day and that there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean.
Do not settle for letting these waves settle and the dust to collect in your veins."

For Those Who Can Still Ride in Airplanes for the First Time

“I am looking for God, Quentin.”
“While this world says “fuck you” for trying.
For this world hates your eyes, Quentin.
For they are simple and pure.
And this world hates your fingers, Quentin, little like the stems of flowers.
For not being able to pick up the things you have left behind, because you are still learning to do so.

I always hated poetry in school. Grade seven poetry was hell as far as I am aware. I once heard a woman speak at Soul in spoken word. I can still remember mocking her elegant lack of tone and emphasis on strange syllables. Yet I am now somehow convinced that the purest form of art comes from poetry. Surpassing the art of music perhaps, but who am I to say.

This poem captures the innocence of children in one respect, yet opens up many other conversations as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Athlete of the Week

Andrew Benga of the Springs Christian Academy Eagles soccer team is this week’s Home Run Sports Winnipeg High School athlete of the week.

This 5’7” midfielder is the Eagles’ captain. At the recent Beaver Brae Soccer tournament in Kenora, he received All-Star recognition. Coach Kim Barkowski states, “I have had the honour of working with Andrew for 4 years and he has constantly impressed me with his talent, positive attitude and skills. It’s Andrews humble leadership style and his ability to inspire, motivate and elevate his teammates to a higher level of play that sets him apart from other athletes.”

In his grade 12 year he maintains an academic average of 93%.


My buddy got Athlete of the Week for Manitoba High School Athletic Association. Honestly, this kid is a champ. He is insanely talented both on a off the pitch. Props to you Benga.

Tyler Ward Meets Airplanes

Here is one for ya. I must say, I am totally digging this Tyler Ward dude. One of my buddies showed me this fella, fairly impressive no?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Valedictorian Speech

*** Updated on 03/24/11 ***If you have searched on Google for a Valedictorian Speech go ahead and use mine as a basis. If you have any questions about a speech email me @
Good luck in writing your speech!

Turns out I am not Valedictorian for this year. I won't lie, I am a tad disappointed but I also understand that when I look back on my high school career I am not going to be in tears at the fact I was not the "big V". Either way, one of my best buddies got it instead so I am pretty pumped for him.

Here was the speech that I pitched to the faculty last week, give'r a read.

Good afternoon and welcome, friends and family, teachers and administration, honoured guests, Pastor Leon, Mrs Bayne and you, the class of 2010. First off, I would like to thank God for allowing me to have the opportunity to speak to you all today.

So, here we are… Many of us have waited thirteen years for this day. From Kindergarten until grade eleven we dreamt and imagined what it would be like to finally toss a hat into the air. We dreamt of growing up and becoming more independent in our own lives. Then grade twelve dawned upon us… in the hustle and bustle of everyday life we almost forgot about graduation… We focused on high school credits and sports team accomplishments. We concentrated on building friendships and on making memories. But now, this is it. Graduation. Today is a day for celebration. Today is a day where your thirteen years of work all pay off. Today is a day focused and targeted around us, the grads.

But to celebrate us we must first look back to how we got here.
Mom and Dad, and parents of all these graduates - thank you so much. It is you, the parents, who have pushed us in making decisions as we strive for excellence. It was you who offered your advice, your love and your experience in every area of our lives. When we were stubborn, you pushed through. When we were crying, you cared. When we were needy you provided. We thank you ever-so-much for simply being our parents.

Teachers, Pastors and Mentors. Thank you as well. When we were away from home we were usually in the presence of you. You were the people who encouraged us to do the best that we could, you were the people who we ran to when we thought no one else understood and you were the people who always dropped insight into our lives from an angle we never fathomed. From the graduating class, we thank you.

And to the Graduates. Most of you I have know for a good portion of my life. You have truly been a blessing in more ways than you could imagine. It was you who set an academic bar that I strived to reach, it was you who took a vested interest into my life, and it was you who took the time to simply be my friends. Each one of you has taught me a different and important lesson in the years that I have known you and have made an impression on my life in one way or another. As my gift back to all of you, I give you these thoughts…

It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”. This quote captures the idea of graduation in its entirety.

We all have a past… A journey if you will. It started from birth and morphed its way to where we find ourselves today. We attended elementary school and learnt to share the computer in Mrs. Joyal’s grade one class. We grew into children who learnt to work diligently as we longed to go to fun mountain every year from grades four to six. Then we made a leap into junior high where, on the Memphis trip, we learnt about raging hormones, as the bus was separated with girls up front and boys in the back. Our journey continued into high school and eventually grade twelve, from here we learnt what it meant to support a friend in time of crisis. We learnt of the qualities and characteristics of God and how we relate that to others through a bonding experience at camp Cedarwood. We have acquired knowledge through our years and we have come to a point where it is time to put that knowledge into action.

As an accompaniment to our past, all of us have a future. In fact, we have spent this last year fervently preparing for our future. We are aspiring Dentists, Pilots, Lawyers, Engineers, Teachers and Automotive Mechanics, just to name a few. We are people with big dreams and people who have a desire to let their lives take flight. We know that with the proper guidance we can make a difference in our world using the lives we have been given.

But all of it… Our past, our future, graduation day itself. Mean nearly nothing when compared with what dwells in both you and I. It is a overused cliché; “This generation will be the generation that will change the world.” We have heard it said time and time again, but as far as I am aware it has never been as true as it is today. As much as I would cringe when I heard someone start talking about “this generation” it finally hit me… In Mark 16:15 we are called to ‘go into all the world and make disciples of all people’. We are administered a challenge that if taken on has the capacity to change our earth in ways we could never begin to imagine. We, the class of 2010 are the people that Jesus is talking to in this passage. He is calling us out, telling us to spread the word of God in a way that people will understand. Now is the time to be bold in our faith and to take a step out of the boat as Peter did. To rely on completely our Savior who dwells within us. Jeremiah 33:3 is a promise from God, saying; “Call to me and I will answer you, tell you great and inconceivable things you did not know.” One on hand God gives us a task, yet on the other hand He give us a promise. He sends us out, but He does not send us out unequipped. Ephesians 2:10 Says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ to do good works.” God delights in us and He has given us the opportunity to leave High School behind us and to keep on going, to strive for great things in our lives.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”.

Our past and our future are simply tiny matters when compared with our potential, combined with the love of Christ in our lives. Now is the time to go out and to be God’s light in a world so desperately seeking Him.

Now, as I close I wish to leave you with a blessing…

May the Lord bless you as you go on your way. May He go before you to show you the way. May He go behind you to encourage you. May He go beside you to guide and befriend you. May He always be above you to watch over you. And may He be within you to give you peace.
In the name of the Father and of the Son of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I listened to a lovely elderly lady named Erna Baughgartner speak today, here are some thoughts and notes I took that I'll share...

- Darkness is needed on a canvass to produce picture. A canvass is white and without darkness a picture cannot take from. In this way, darkness is needed in our life in the form of suffering. To paint a picture, to build character.

- "God has given, God has taken away. Yet the name of the Lord is to be praised"

- Job's friends came to him and they took pity on Him. They were right by sitting with him in his time of loss but they were wrong when they started to speak into his life without wisdom.

Okay, that point makes me think... Too often we try to speak words of advice into someones life when we have no clue what we are talking about... Being there for a friend is the best advice you could give, to not speak but rather simply be present.

Oh, and check out Job 2:8. Someone, please, tell me what that is saying to you. I stumbled upon it today while reading.
It's been a long night and I've tired my knees down to the bone, and my heart of stone. I should feel lucky, but I don't.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kill 'Em With Kindness

I saw this tour poster and have since applied this principle to my life. Kindness is one of the greatest weapons that any man can possess. It has the power to do amazing things to the emotional state of any person.

I met a girl today. Aged 16, but doesn't look it one bit. In the first 3 minutes that we were in each others presence we said nothing more than a hello. In the next 2 minutes I asked about her musical preferences. In the next 4 minutes I showed her a song that she may enjoy. In the next 15 minutes I learned of how high school friends have treated her poorly, how her sister cuts and how she worries for her family.
It took me a very long time to process this exchange, I still am not to sure what to make of it. I simply gave this girl a ride from point A to B... All I know is that kindness kills. Kindness kills in the most positive and constructive way possible. It is kindness that breaks down the walls to a hardened heart.

Try it out. Be Kind.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I have spent my night doing an insane amount of homework. I don't usually do this much but I had been stressing all day about my work load so I figured I would plow through it tonight. It feels insanely good to get a solid amount of work done.

I wrote my potential valedictorian speech today. I say potential because I must present it tomorrow in front of a board of faculty, from there they choose 1 of 4 possible people to present their speech as valedictorian. So, if I get chosen you will have to wait until the end of June to see my speech, but if not I will post my speech as soon as possible.

I am working everything out for my graduation day as well. I got the car set up and am getting everything ready to go. It is exciting.

Friday, May 7, 2010

One Step in the Right Direction...

"One step in the right direction
Won't change the world, but it's a start
Someone's gotta see the good in everything
And that there's more than just the stars to think about
That's where the art comes out
That's where the truth of the heart comes out"
- The Banks of the English Bay,
Said The Whale

Sitting in law class today, I tore through a huge assignment in record time while listening to my new found obsession, CBCRADIO3. I tell you, every Canadian artist is on this site and there are some solid tunes pumping from it. But, while listening to one of my favorites, Said The Whale, I heard a quick verse and had to look up the lyrics to see if I heard correctly. And yes, I heard correctly.

"One step in the right direction won't change the world, but it's a start."

Say what?! Right there, they had me. It's beautiful. We all know that big accomplishments are not made by one giant leap but rather many small 'baby steps'. Never mind that we are talking about changing the world here. You could ask anyone in this world and they would say that our world is in due need of some sort of change. I think this line is gorgeous!

"Someone's gotta see the good in everything"

What more do I need to say about this?, everyone needs and optimistic friend. I know in myself I see the cup half empty a good amount of the time, something that I have tried to curb. Thinking positive instead of negative totally will improve the life of yourself as well as the people around you... I am no shrink, but of this I am sure.

"And that there's more than just the stars to think about. That's where the art comes out, that's where the truth of the heart comes out"

I have no clue what Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft of Said The Whale were thinking when they wrote this, but that is the beauty of art. For all I know they could have been talking about global warming, yet when I interpret this I see it as a magnificent quest to understand the concept of a creator. The idea that there is something beyond the stars. And once we can come to realize that there is something behind the stars we see the origin of art, the Creator himself. Now wait, Said The Whale could have just left it there and I would have been content. Yet instead they choose to add one more line; "that's where the truth of the heart comes out". Oh my goodness, how well does that tie in with the idea of a creator? For me, coming to the realization that God is out there and then seeing how all art finds its path back towards Him is a solid idea. Now toss in the fact that He knows our hearts through and through. The truth of ones heart can elude many a people, including the one bearing the heart. But through God those secrets of darkness become illuminated, brought to light and dealt with.

Gahh, a profound moment for me today.
Have a good one.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Job 42

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted." - Job 42:2 (NIV)

I had heard someone speak of how whacked out God was because He allowed Job to suffer immense pain and suffering at the hands of Satan, and when Job asked God "Why me? Why all this?" God responded with a "Because!". So I figured I should read it and find out for myself. I bookmarked the page in the Bible a while ago but only got around to reading it now. God speaks to Job in a long piece as to how great He is in comparison to Job. But I see more here, I do not think that God was screaming at Job as to how foolish he could have been for questioning Him or boasting about His greatness, but rather God was reassuring Job that he will never leave him or forsake him (Heb. 13:5). I guess Job didn't have this New Testament promise to hold on to yet, but God was still there telling Job not to worry.

I think if God was tearing a strip off Job for questioning Him, Job would not have ever responded to God. He would have been beat into submission where the fetal position would have been Jobs only option. But instead Job praises God as to how mighty He is. After God is done speaking to Job, Job simply tells God that he understands. He may not completely understand why God had made him suffer but he does understand that God is not going to abandon him in his time of need, that God will still be there for Him despite his trials and hard times.

Just a little note... Something I took comfort in today.