Sunday, March 26, 2006

Great Birthday Party

So, I had to cut a bit of my planned time for writing code on a school project to get myself ready for the party: some food, the cake, etc.

It turns out that most guests were late, but all were late at the same time, which was great. There were 15-20 people in my apartment and we all had a great time. I had board games ready, and noone wanted to play them because they enjoyed their conversation so much!

I shared my conversion story with some workmates, talked about marriage and singlehood, blowed my candle succesfully, and received very encouraging word. Overall, the serving spirit, the multiple facets of my convictions in my life and my love for God and knowledge were the most marking to my friends. I sometimes need to be told things like that :)

In the end, it was not bad to have this party, even though exams are next week. I had a bigger smile and less worries... I was able to let go, just for that one night. That's worth something, definitely.

We had tunisian food brought by a coworker, turkish sweets, iranian tea, rice salad (done by myself), a chocolate cake, apple pies, some australian and spanish wine, etc. A good mixture indeed!

I got from my parents a digital music player that supports the Vorbis format, as well as noise-cancelling headphones. I was given a 3 CD set of classical music, and a brother gave me a CD of classic/jazz music. I am buying myself some special earplugs to ear conversations better in noisy environments, as a gift to myself.

Another great thing was the encouraging cards I received. I even wrote myself one, just because I love myself. Don't worry, I'm perfectionist enough to be immune to narcicism! My ego is not yet out of control ;)

Everybody had a great time, and I'm sure that it left an impression of guests as well. I need to pray for all of them to join God's kingdom.

Gotta See Primer on Web Application Security

Microsoft has increased (a little bit) in my esteem after dedicating one of their shows on web application security

The Code Room: Breaking into Vegas

Friday, March 24, 2006

Gaaaah

Hmm... the amount of work let me to organize my birthday party kinda last minute...

That, and that overall drain of energy I had, since I got a cold.

Anyway... studied a bit, got some work done of the team project, and too much time spent organizing a party...
Many people told me I was looking stressed out and tired... I guess they were stating the obvious.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Birthday is This Saturday

Just as a note for everyone: I'll be 25 on the 25th (isn't that simple and easy to remember?)

That way you have no excuse not to send a wish ;)

Blessed Week

There has been some really positive things that have happened this week. Let us look at them:

-The Hulk is coming in town
-Meeting planned in heaven
-Science vs. Genesis
-Bible talk training
-Money growing on trees (or kinda)
-Great conversations for great friendships
-Strong preach this weekend
-Learning the art of encouragement
-Sheperding in practice


-The Hulk is coming in town
SO, this monday and Friday, I spent an hour in the university's gym with a brother and a classmate and started pumping iron. I'm working on endurance (so that my tendons have a basis for further musculing) for now: 2-3 sets with 20 reps, focused on the upper body. The lower body should be taken care by the jogging
-Meeting planned in heaven
Now, imagine this: a sister owes me money and can't come in when planned. We move the time to have an 'evangelization date' on Wednesday. It turns out she leaves the bathroom at the same time as a woman that was coming to my Bible Talk. Quickly, I introduced them to each other and they were making friends before I had the time to blink!
-Science vs. Genesis
Good news: they match. My roomate did an interesting and convincing presentation about the creation. One of the biggest stuff: the word used to talk about Adam's creation was referring to making into a spiritual being. This should cast aside all doubts about the first few chapters of Genesis
-Bible talk training
I spent some time with brothers to help them build better Bible talks. The leaders are cool with the idea of a series of workshops to raise up a new generation of leaders
-Money growing on trees (or kinda)
I finally received a chunk of my contract. Yay! My banker would be happy too, I am sure
-Great conversations for great friendships
I spent some great quality times with brothers sisters this week, notably two full hours on the phone yesterday, and one today with a brother I did not know much about.
-Strong preach this weekend
Compare Abel and Cain, their personality, their deeds, and ponder about yourself...
I was translating for someone and I lost a bit of the contents though. I guess I'll steal somebody else's notes...
-Learning the art of encouragement
In the context of lessons learned at the last devotional on dating and sexuality, I'm trying to compliment others on the good things I see in them. I almost feel cheep/flirty/weird... I'm not used on doing anything but bash on flaws...
-Sheperding in practice
My frustrations in discipling relationships might be to an end... for a change, this week, I just gave a few phone calls to brothers and set times together almost by snapping fingers. Now lets make them worth their while! :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pourquoi le message de Jésus est toujours bon

Quand je parle de Dieu ou de la Bible à bien des gens, il arrive qu'on me réponde "je ne vois pas pourquoi quelque chose écrit il y a 2'000 ans nous servirait aujourdh'ui".
Bien qu'on puisse formuler des objections de nature philosophique et historique à cet argument (p.ex. la notion de démocracie et de république, la philosophie grecque, etc.), autant laisser la Bible parler d'elle-même.

1) La nature humaine est inchangée
Marc 7:21-23: On voit bien ces choses dans le monde actuel. Pouvez-vous nommer un exemple concret d'orgeuil, d'adultère, de fraude ou de calomnie?
Comment se fait-il que, malgré "l'évolution" humaine au cours des derniers siècles, on puisse voir les mêmes problèmes venant de l'être humain?
Ec 1:9: Il n'y a rien de nouveau sous le soleil. C'est la manière de faire qui change, mais les éléments en jeu n'ont rien de nouveau.
Par exemple, on voit l'industrie du disque paniquer face à la distribution de contenu musical "hors-contrôle" sur Internet. Pourtant, la même panique eut lieu lors du développement de la radio un siècle auparavant... rien de nouveau sous le soleil.
Pouvez-vous nommmer un "pattern" qui se répète dans l'histoire?
2) La nature divine est inchangée
Mal 3:5-6 Face à la dépravité, Dieu n'a qu'une seule volonté: juger et punir... et cela n'est pas négociable, et Dieu ne changera pas d'avis là-dessus.
3) L'objectif de la Bible est mécompris
Plusieurs personnes avec qui je parlais me disent souvent qu'ils n'ont pas besoin de religion pour leur dire ce qui est bon et ce qui ne l'est pas. Cela est fort vrai.
On connait bien la religion qui dit quoi faire et quoi ne pas faire... nous savons aussi que la Bible a beaucoup de versets qui parle de cette manière.
Première question: pourquoi Jésus est venu sur terre?
Jean 3:17-19: Jésus n'est pas venu pour enseigner des valeurs morales, ni pour philosopher.
Autre question: Qu'est-ce que la vérité?
Jean 8:31-32: Une chose telle que la Vérité existe. Elle n'est pas propre à chacun, mais basée sur les enseignement du Christ mis en pratique.
Autre question: De quoi la Bible parle-t-elle?
Jean 5:39 L'ensemble du témoignage de la Bible permet de bâtir la foi en Christ.
Lk 4:17-21, Lk 17:44 La Bible démontre l'accomplissement de promesses de Dieu en Christ.
Pourquoi la Bible existe-t-elle?
Jean 20:31: Un des objectifs de la Bible est donc de nous permettre de croire en Jésus.
Hébreux 5:12-14: Les enseignements du bien et du mal, du quoi faire et du quoi ne pas faire ne sont là que pour nous faire maturer. La personne qui croit en Jésus utilise donc la Bible pour grandir dans sa foi.

Mutual Edification is a Commandment

How should we interact in the Body of Christ?
In this study, we will see that our focus should be on uplifting each other.

Note: All quotes are from NIV, used with permission

1) Mutual Edification is a Commandment and a Consequence to Grace
Hebrews 10:23-25
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Romans 15:1-3
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."
Ephesians 4:29-32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
2) Forms of Mutual Edification (as comprehensive as I could make it)
a) Mutual Serving, Devotion and Submission
Galatians 5:13-15
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Ephesians 5:19-21
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
b) Forgiveness, Social Interaction
Ephesians 4:1-6
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit.just as you were called to one hope when you were called. one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:25-32
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We see here that the integrity of teaching and the spirit of unity matters a lot.
c) Encouragement, comfort
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Hebrews 3:12-14
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
The challenge: take some time to learn about the others here, and see what need they have and how you can help them meet this need.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Now a published academic

So, we submitted today the final version of a paper for CCECE, a conference to be held in Ottawa in early May. Our extended abstract was accepted, so we have no reason to expect not to be published at this point :)

The annoying thing is that the conference is from Sunday May 7th until Wednesday May 10th. I'll have barely the time to breathe after submitting the Forensics project that I'll have to work hard on making a top-notch presentation.
Also, I sent an email to one of the chairs to request to be scheduled any day but Sunday. I don't see why they would not accept, so lets be confident :)

Now, that thing must be paid from my pocket with the University taking a looooooooong time to reimburse it. This means two words: credit card :(

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Evangelistic weekend in Quebec City

Wow. I am totally encouraged.

3 brothers, including myself, left using a rented car on Saturday morning. Their objective is simple: share the Good News in Quebec City.

We arrived at 12:00 there and ate with a brother.
At 2, we were praying and getting ready. We split in teams of two and invited for 2 hours straight. The way we shared our faith was great, because we were actually engaging in dialogue with a lot of people. We were crazy enough to get to a residence and knock on some guys' doors... almost like Jehovah Witnesses ;)
At the end of that time, 2 folks joined us. We left aside the planned Bible Talk and instead looked at Paul's preach in Athens. The guys were excited at the end and we all left to go for a spaghetti night together.
I, of course, left them to join my dad. We ate together and he showed me a DVD of the ski school with recordings of him practicing.
On we Montreal people preached during the service. We reused our message on "those who dream" and the feeback was great once more! The folks we met the day before were there too. I was so excited to see their interest too!
Afterwards, we chatted and went to a restaurant, then I drove back to Montreal. We had a leaders' meeting where our opinion and ideas was really listened to and though over. I feel I made a contribution today.
One suggestion I had was to make Bible Talk seminars, in order to give confidence to the folks who'd be interested in running them. We'll see if there are voluntters. :)
Overall, I feel great. I feel that God has used me this weekend. I feel vibrant spiritually of having fought so much on the battlefield for a given day. I feel joyful at the idea of people studying the Bible. You get the idea :)

Monday, March 6, 2006

Enjoyable weekend

On Friday, it started with a cancelled class that allowed me to get some more work done.
Then I got to see a movie with brothers.

On Saturday, it was followed by a d-time and lots of catchups, completed by a great meal and a board games night.

On Sunday, it was a vibrant church service, a common meal, and work on a message mixed with time with friends...

So, I finally watched Star Wars Episode III. I liked it for the deeper lessons, not for the acting. What I liked the most was
a) he didn't get any of what he wanted, just like Satan promises but doesn't deliver
b) the corruption was very progressive and it was unavoidable, even though some willpower was involved in it
c) being fully open is a necessity
d) pushing a struggling man out of the way is not a good idea, empowerment is better.
e) finish what you start, it might come to bite you otherwise
We were supposed to play at LaserQuest, but some came late and we would be almost alone playing... so we fell on plan B.
The meal was nice. We had a good supper prepared by one of the married couples, and the 7 of us afterwards played Cranium, a Québécois board game that was a lot of fun. It includes trivia, linguistics, drawing/sculpting and singing/miming categories. In that sense, its kind of more balanced than many other such games I played in the past.
We had a 'beach service' this Sunday. The preach was a blaze of fire. It talked about unity and attacked solidly some dissenting spirit that we have seen recently (church replantings, calling people to change church, politically cutting contributions, etc.) I liked when he opened a phone book and said "this guy here... I'm sure he's going to the wrong church! and that other guy, wrong church too!" and basically telling to start with the white pages if you want to call people to change church. Brilliant. And he also asked us if Jesus, despite his sharp disagreements with the leaders of his time, stopped giving contribution, called people to change synagogue, etc.
Afterwards, some of us stayed to eat, others went to get meals and missed the whole point of the beach service.
Then, I went home and started working on my Friday devotional message "Bible Sex: You Know You Want it"... that should wake up the sleepyheads :) I spent a lot of time on the historical of the false idea that Christianity sees sexuality as some kind of bad thing. I talked a bit with a sister working on an assignment at our place, and I had supper with my roomate and her. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of giving a phone call to someone in Toronto and it was time for bed :)
For once, my 'day of rest' looked a bit like one!

Natural Products Madness

So, I'm deciding to give those green products a chance again, after deciding to repent of my laziness and bad eating habits. Its gonna be a uphill battle, but I gotta do it if I want to be healthier and (as a side benefit) slimmer.


The point is health first, as a sidenote.
I went to a store that was offering 10 gazillion brands, all of them being relatively expensive. The sales person was helpful, and left me with a matching number of fliers for me to consult in order to make an informed choice.
Great... I almost feel like being taken by the hand on that one. That is surprisingly unlike me.
What are my objectives?
I want a dietary supplement, not a meal replacement.
I want something that gives me energy and a good balance of nutrients, minerals and vitamins
I want something that lowers the appetite so that I don't loose control overeating (it does happen too often for my liking)
And now, those wondeful products:
lean+
Slimstyles
greens+ (with variants: extra energy, daily detox, multi+)
vege greens
Flora HoodiaTrim
A. Vogel Helix Slim
Now... before I get an headache reading all those, does anyone have advice or practical experience to share with me?