Monday, January 29, 2007

Break Forth 2007

Check out my pictures! Trevor took all the ones of Casting Crowns, Bob and AJ and Starfield, and I took the rest. I had some fun with the old buildings around Edmonton, but it was so cold out I had to stop cause my fingers were getting too cold to push the buttons! It was COOOOLD there, and there was shin-deep snow in the neighbourhood where we were staying - big switch from the 13 degree weather in Calgary when we left on Thursday!

So much to tell, and not nearly enough time - it was a LOT of work, and I doubt that I'd do the volunteer thing again, but I did get to go to some really great sessions and hear some good music, so it was a good weekend overall. I'm exhausted now though!

I was helping my Dad pack to move last night, and he's given us his 42-inch TV, cause he's getting a 52-inch for his new place. It's very big and I may have to rearrange the whole living room now though... :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Drumroll, Please!


My Legal Assistant Certificate came in the mail this week - hooray! After about 2.5 years of night classes, I am VERY glad to be done! I finished with at 3.5 GPA, which was not as impressive as I'd been hoping for, but certianly respectable. I also had my one-year review at work last week, which was short and sweet. They like me, my only real complaint is something the office manager is working on already, and I got a raise! So that's all good. Except...tomorrow's Monday, and I'm not ready for the weekend to be over yet!

At least it will be a short week - we're leaving Thursday afternoon for Break Forth, and I am SOOOOOO excited. I love going to Break Forth, and Casting Crowns being there makes it that much more exciting. Plus I'll get to see my friend Sarah who I don't get to hang out with very often, so that's also exciting. Oh, and did I mention the road trip with Scott and Trevor? That will be entertaining as always! :)

Hopefully I will take tons of pictures with my exciting new camera, and I'll update y'all when I get back! If you get a chance, prayer for good driving conditions would be much appreciated!
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stars on Ice

Stars On Ice:
Throughout his spectacular career, Brian Orser has helped define figure skating in Canada, served as an inspiration to other legends of the sport including Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko, and thrilled Canadian fans from coast to coast. This spring, those fans will be able to celebrate with him as he tours for the final time in his career with 2007 HSBC Stars on Ice Presented by Smucker’s.
The Saddledome
Date: Monday, April 16, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Price: Lower Bowl: $56.40

So there's no way on earth I can convince Trevor to go with me - anyone else interested? I'm sure the tickets will be going fast, so let me know!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Year, New Things

It's been a while! Things have gone absolutely NUTTY at work - I can't even begin to tell you... Actually, I really can't - I am bound by lawyer/client confidentiality, but suffice it to say that Christmas is apparently a breaking point for a lot of relationships on the brink...very sad... :(

I've been meaning to write a post about the New Year and what it might have in store, so I may as well do that now, while I'm here and somewhat focused!

This was my email devo I got on December 31...

This is what the Lord says, ... "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
- Isaiah 43:16,18-19

THOUGHT: The year is gone, finished, past. We cannot reclaim it or undo it. We cannot rest on the great distance it has brought us. If tomorrow dawns, it will be another day, a new opportunity, and the time to show our faith in Jesus as Lord. Let's journey forward, knowing that God already inhabits the future and promises to provide us refreshment on our journey there.

PRAYER: Lord of all eternity, please help me to learn from my mistakes this past year, but not to dwell on them. Please help me not rest on my accomplishments in this past year, but use them to further your work in me and through me. Please help me not quarrel with those who injured me yesterday, last month, or this past year.
Instead, O Father, lead me in your paths and help me see your mighty works this next year. In Jesus' name and by his power I ask it. Amen.

Christmas/my birthday/new years is a pretty introspective time for me - having three major occasions all on top of each other like that is a lot to think about. What have I done with the last year? What do I have to show for 26 years of life, anyway? This year wasn't such a crisis moment for me (not like turning 25 was, anyway...oh my, that was a hard one) - the feedback from the kids at Survivor in December really made me feel like I've done something with my life. I've grown and changed more this last year then I have in a very long time, and it was good. I really have a sense of peace about the things that last year brought.

But now I'm restless - what is going to happen next? I don't like just sitting around and watching TV, as entertaining as that is! I want to be doing something that will leave behind a legacy of God's love when I'm gone. What's God bringing along for me this year?

And I've just got itchy feet, plain and simple! On January 29th, I'll have lived in Calgary for eight years, which is a very long time for me. I've moved around a lot - I was born in Comox, and we left there for Greenwood NS when I was about three. We lived there for about 5 or 6 years, and then we moved to Halifax, where we lived for about 4 years. Then it was off to Victoria for about 4 years. So eight years is the longest I've lived in one place, and I'm really feeling the need for a change. Switching jobs last year helped a bit with the restlessness, but now that I've been there for almost a year, the novelty is wearing off, and I want to really change things up.

So we shall see where God takes me this year - I know what I want, and I'm really hoping it's what He wants! :) Here's to an eventful 2007 - may it be full of living life to the fullest and serving God wherever He takes me!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"Calgary's oil rush rash"


CALGARY -- Welcome to a city that's going boom and Kaboom! at the same time.

Everyone in Canada knows about the boom sweeping Alberta that has Calgary rolling in money. Oil is gold right now, and there's lots fuelling the economy here.

The streets are filled with shoppers dumping loads of cash on big-screen HDTVs and $60,000 pick-up trucks. If you've got it, flaunt it and they certainly are.

There are jobs for everyone. Unemployment is a tiny 3.4% and falling. Ontario's is 6.3%.

It may look perfect, but there's an underlying problem. There aren't enough people to do the day-to-day jobs necessary or enough places for the gold-rushers to live.

Let's start with the jobs. Try to find a taxi in this town. Good luck. Has your car ended up in the ditch in the snowstorm? Abandon it until summer because there aren't enough tow trucks to yank you out. The airport shuttle you're waiting for? Keep waiting. The business shut down at the end of November after its proprietor couldn't find enough people to drive the buses.

Anyone who wants to drive for a living has left town for the big money driving gargantuan gravel trucks in Fort McMurray.

Shop 'till you drop doesn't apply. There aren't enough people to man the stores. Over Christmas, malls actually reduced hours.

Beds in Calgary's hospitals are being closed due to nursing shortages.

Construction workers are in high demand. Need something fixed? Good luck.

EnCana announced plans to build a 59-storey, $1 billion office tower in the heart of the city and everyone wondered who would build it.

Traffic? It stinks. It's a city allergic to public transit, but is finding the cure must come as gridlock strangles the town.

Then there's the homeless here in Boomtown. There are about 3,500 homeless people in Calgary, up 32% in the last two years. There aren't even enough places for the employed to live in some cases. Rents have soared while vacancies plummeted. Shelters are at capacity. The city just took over an abandoned Brick furniture store to house up to 300 people a night. People are picked up downtown, shuttled to the human warehouse, then bused back downtown in the morning.

Unlike Toronto, where it seems like the homeless are on every street corner, Calgary's homeless are grouping together and becoming a menace to citizens walking on paths along the Bow River downtown. I watched this summer as a group of boozy men went after a bicyclist, then told me the path was not a safe place to walk my baby.

Calgary even had to enact a public behaviour bylaw, fining those who spit, brawl, loiter or urinate in public. How civilized.

Most disturbing is while the residents in the city and province are rocking and rolling, and provincial government coffers are overflowing, the schools are crumbling and there aren't enough rinks or community centres for the people who have arrived. And at the same time, the province handed everyone $400 in Ralph Bucks for a job well done -- that is watching the price of oil soar.

Calgary is drowning in the troubles brought on by explosive growth.

And remember, this is an economy built on one industry. It's like a unicyclist balancing an entire province's future on his shoulders.

Just one oil field being put on hold could have a devastating effect. It seems hard to fathom with $10 billion in oil sands projects on the books, but a bust has hit here before.

You might recall the last boom in Alberta, and its devastating pop. "Please God, send us another oil boom, and this time I promise not to piss it all away," the popular bumper stickers read.

Those who lived through the first boom in the '70s and bust in the '80s are playing it a little safer.

As for the gold rushers who have flocked to Alberta, could history be repeating itself or will it just be the fact no one's around to service them that will cripple Calgary this time?

If you're heading for the hills be warned: This isn't the promised land you might have expected.