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Pat Dryburgh

i got to the till and paid for my half fresh/half processed to the max submarine that i looked forward to more than most anything else happening that day. i looked around the christmas-crowded mall food court for an open seat. i found several, but most had a similar problem - they were all near other people. not wanting to feel awkward, i walked halfway across the room to sit at a table that had a buffer of one empty table at least on one side. i walked up to the table and sat at the furthest chair to me…because the other chairs would have made me sit eye to eye with a few people at another table. i sat, facing the back of a woman in the table in front of me. my plan had worked. i had found the one table that would provide me the comfort of knowing i need not make eye contact with anyone. and then…i froze.

i began to wonder about all of the thoughts that had played out in my head as i was finding a table. i wondered how much time and thought i’ve put in through my life towards trying to avoid that human connection. how often have i sat alone at a table, for fear of having to converse with people close to me? how often have i not responded to someone on msn not because i don’t like them or think anything less than great things about them, but simply that i was not in the mood to talk? how often have i avoided sending that email or that text message or making that phone call because i wanted to remain comfortable?

i wondered then how often we as humans have done this as a whole. i looked around and even in this season of love and caring, we don’t look each other in the eyes as we walk past in the mall. we don’t smile at one another, and wish each other well, no matter what time of year it is. we hurry by each other, never once thinking “i wonder who this person near me is…i wonder what their story is, where they’ve been, what they know.”

i dunno. maybe it’s just me…but i think as a society who’s just been recognized as a generation that is more in tune with one another because of the internet and communication technology, we are doing so poorly at making and keeping the real human connection…

Permalink for “Losing the Human Connection” published on date_to_rfc822

some major developments have transpired over the last two days.

i stopped in at the salt lounge tonight to grab a drink, and to see if anyone i knew was hanging out/playing. turns out a band called leviride were. i opened for them a while back, and i really enjoyed their songs. i went up and said hey to the lead singer tonight, chatted it up a bit. however after talking to him, i had a thought.

i wondered if he knew i was a christian, and if he didn’t and found out, if his perception of me would change. i thought “would he think i was an intolerant bigot, bent on forcing my views on other people and ‘saving’ them?” would he think “this guy is part of the group that’s responsible for more deaths than any other religion”? i basically wondered, “does this guy think i’m ‘different’”?

walking back to my car, i then thought “those first two things i can’t really change, and i hope that he would have enough understanding or at least enough willingness to hear me out about those issues. But, that last question, I wonder if I would rather that answer be ‘yes’?”

i wonder if people look at me and realize that there is life inside of me? i wonder if there’s that sparkle in the eye, the calmness in my voice that lets people know that i’m safe and that i’m good. i may mess up, but God is making me a perfect person. he promised he would. he said i would be a new creature and that i would be used to reconcile the world to him. am i that person? am i sometimes that person? can people see that life in me?

Permalink for “November 23, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

I wrote in a post a long time ago that God was in the business of provision. I said that I wanted to give more, and that it was not because God will then in turn provide for me, but that he has already provided. I can’t say I’ve been keeping up with what I had hoped to do, though I do still plan to give as soon as I can find a church home that I can give to.

However, today I just received a phone call that, if I ever had any doubt before, shows me once again that God truly is Jehovah-Jireh. I posted more recently that I wished I could have $200 so I could apply for residence. I honestly did not know where that money was coming from, as I’m already stretched to the limits with my current budget. I also owed a couple of friends some money from several months ago when I was just getting my life back together, and I know I have to pay that back first.

In the phone call, I was told that my old car insurance company had some money for me, which I knew was the case as I had paid one final payment when I had canceled the policy. I knew I had $300 coming to me, most of which was going to be going towards paying my friends back. However, I just found out tonight that in fact I am owed almost $700, and that they have my check at their office! I look at the principle I talked about before, about how God had already provided for me, and I am blown away!

Anyways, so if Marjory is reading this expect a check for $200 coming your way this week, and hopefully things will continue to work out with everything else!

Permalink for “Provision” published on date_to_rfc822

last night was incredible. led worship at a youth outreach event in st. catherines. it was at a huge church called niagara celebration church, pastored by peter youngren. it was an amazing event, with probably 100+ mostly unchurched kids out. they had a huge inflatables section, ping pong and other sweet games, and a great youth worship band. we rocked out for a good hour, finishing our set off by inviting their youth band on stage to play “everyday” with us. it was amazing.

it was one of those nights where anything that you wish wouldn’t happen did. ty had some major troubles getting to the show, and the sound wasn’t great, but the spirit and what God was doing in the kids hearts and in my own was truly amazing.

Permalink for “October 28, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

i often wonder what people are thinking when they come to my xanga. i mean, they seem me post every day pretty much, there must be some sort of thoughts running through their had concerning me.

i wonder if people think that with the last few posts that i’ve been trying to act like ‘everything’s alright’ in terms of my relationship with God. i wouldn’t say things are ‘alright,’ but i would say that progress is being made. i guess, that’s really what it’s about. that there’s some sort of forward movement going on, in terms of my understanding of God and myself. i’m trying to find the ways in my life that i’ve never before thought to connect God to, and it’s been interesting for sure. the last two posts have been about those kinds of things.

i then wonder if some people think that i’m just putting on an act, and that i’m really not a christian anymore or whatever because of some of the things i’ve said in the past, or things i’ve done. i’ve started reading “mere christianity” by c.s. lewis (again), and he pointed out that the word Christian in the bible simply meant that someone accepted the orthodox beliefs held common by all other believers of Christ. this isn’t to say that there weren’t good christians and bad christians (or to say that there aren’t now), but simply that the word Christian doesn’t need to have any sort of ‘deeper’ meaning that would reflect someone’s behaviour rather than simply their creed. their behaviour can be described as either positive or negative, rather than revoking or instilling the word “Christian” to someone based on their behaviour. so, in the sense of being a Christian in terms of belief, i would say that i am. i still believe in the death and resurrection of Christ, the forgiveness of the saints, the father, son, holy spirit, etc.

what i struggle with is behaviour. not that i’m going out getting drunk every single night, or that i’m committing adultery or murder or any one particular sin. more that i’m not where i’d like to be with God in terms of relating to him. i want to be able to talk with him for hours, simply talking, listening, writing and singing. i want to write songs that give him praise, rather than myself or a girl or whatever. not because i think doing the latter is wrong, but only because i want to use whatever gifts i have for him. and since i don’t have much, i figure i better give him lots of what i do have.

i also want to journal again. the last journal i had i believe i lost in nashville. i think the last journal i wrote was how much i hated being in hello kelly and how much i wanted to be back with sarah. well, clearly some things have changed, namely the wanting to be back with sarah (i’m so over both sarah and kelly now). i just wish i could write the thousands of thoughts that run through my head. wait…i guess that is what i’m doing…right now. only you can read this, and though you won’t comment or respond (which i’m ok with, i’m just making an observation), i will continue to write.

i just ask that you please don’t judge me on what i write. what i put into words on here are not well planned out. i don’t have an outline to follow, or a three-point message to give. i just have thoughts, and a few thousand english words at my disposal. i’ll try to use as many as i can, but if i don’t get to them all, i’m sorry.

thanks for reading.

Permalink for “September 30, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

i’ve struggled with the question of whether or not God hears our prayers when we pray. i don’t mean it in a systematic theology way, i mean it in a real, emotional/spiritual way. in my heart, i want to believe that he hears what i ask, but so many times it seems like my requests don’t quite make it to the throne room. i then wonder “am i asking the right things?” “am i asking the right way?” “should i be praying for something else rather than my own needs? is God concerned with my worries?”

i was reading a magazine today that had a question that felt like the one i had asked so many times. it went on to talk about psalms 22. david sang “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? … O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer.”

it seems like this feeling is felt across the world. i think of the people in africa who must feel like their pleas for rescue continue to go unheard. i think of the teenagers around the world who suffer through depression and loneliness, wondering if there’s anyone in the world who could reach and save them. i think of the parents who have a child who is sick, or even a child who is missing. or the single mom who’s working three jobs just to feed their children. or the father who’s been widowed who feels that they now have a huge void to now fill.

i wonder if God hears these prayers, and then i read the next verse.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.

it isn’t easy to honestly say, but i do believe God is in control and that he does hear our prayers. it sucks that not always are the answers we expect to receive the answers that God knows is best for us. but i look back at the last year, the character i’ve built, the person i’ve become. i wouldn’t be this strong if i hadn’t walked through the flames. i wouldn’t be this concerned for my friends if i hadn’t lost them all. i wouldn’t have felt God running after me if i hadn’t run away.

i don’t pray God would listen, cos he already is. i pray that i would listen, to him and to people who need to hear from God, cos i think he speaks through me and through other people way more than through signs in the stars.

Permalink for “September 28, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

right now i’m looking for a new church. i went to harvest bible chapel which is held at oakridge secondary school. it turns out that it’s actually the old southwest community church with a new name, which i thought was cool. i’m not 100% sold on it, obviously after only one visit. i guess i’m just hesitant because of some of the things the pastor talked about. he was very condemning of a lot of other churches, which whether he’s right or not is irrellevent. our goal should be to uplift, not knock down. yeah, it’s easy to say, but maybe that’s the problem. a lot of things that are easy to say are hard to do.

tonight i talked with an old friend about his church. he is a creative arts pastor at new hope community church just outside london (very close to where I live). he told me he’d love to see me come along with the worship team, however i’d have to attend the church for 3 months before i could join the team. that is not a problem for me, as i agree that there needs to be some sort of commitment to the church before there’s a commitment to ministering there. but, i’m excited because i’m finally going to be able to use my gifts again, something i’ve missed since i left stoney creek baptist to follow my ‘dream’ of being a ‘rock star.’

this last week i’ve been reminded of something that corrie kessler said to me over a year ago. she said if i don’t use the gifts God’s given me, he’s going to take them away. i struggled for a long time with the worship leader/rockstar thing, and she gave me the best direction i could’ve asked for. however, because i’m hard-headed and stubborn, i managed to ignore her advice and followed my stupid dreams instead. well, that came back to bite me hard. and over the last few months i’ve been paying the price.

tonight, i wrote a chorus line for the first worship song i’ve written in probably a year. it’s nothing amazing, or special, but it’s true.

“i don’t know what i’d do without you in my life.”

i don’t know what i’d do with God. it sounds so corny, and i’ve fought it probably harder than most, but somehow i can’t escape him. wait a second…i think there’s a story about this in the bible…

God, please use me for your purpose. Whatever your plan, wherever you plan to take me, please take me. All of me. Amen.

Permalink for “September 19, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

i’m in my apartment. it’s been four straight days now, and i love it. the freedom, the independence, the sense of ownership over my own life. i come and go as i choose. i cook my own food. i have had friends over, knowing that i don’t have to hide in the basement to avoid interuptions from siblings. it’s been so great, and really refreshing.

i went to work at starbucks for the first time in almost a month. it was really weird walking in, seeing people working i had never met before. but, i guess that’s what happens when you’re gone; you miss things.

it’s weird not being at camp anymore, knowing i won’t ever be going back as a counsellor. to literally hundreds of kids, that was my identity. to dozens of fellow leaders, it was the friend they knew every summer. to me, i knew that i could be me at camp. i could ask tough questions not because i thought anyone had an exact answer, but because collectively we could at least put words to some of the thoughts i struggle with in my head.

i’ve realized lately that i’m tired of settling for the mundane. in every aspect of my life in the past, i’ve allowed mediocrity to be the standard. i’m not going to let that happen anymore. in my work, my business, i’m going to put in all the energy i can. in my music, i won’t settle for ok. i will write and write until i write a few great songs, and when i go to the studio soon to record them, i will expect that the end result will be amazing. in my future relationships with a girl, i will not accept just waiting around for something to happen. i will make things happen. i will be the catylist.

i will be the catylist. i like that.

Permalink for “August 30, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

so this weekend was kinda crazy. 3 shows in 18 hours. haha, but it was fun.

the first was at GTA. Matty Johnston and Trevor Howard played too, which was fun. The next was at gasp a bar. It was Paris Burning’s cd release party, and it was a blast! Met some great people, had a good time. Didn’t drink any (don’t worry, mom) only cos I don’t drink when I sing.

The next day I loaded up in a car with my amazing friends Kevin and Jenn, and headed out to Hanover to play with my other awesome friends, Dave and Tyler. My New Obsession took the stage after a 4 month break, and it was a lot of fun! I was worried a bit, but after a few glitches we pulled through and rocked it like we do.

Today I went to church. It was about Father’s day, obviously. It was alright. I’m kinda getting bored, just sitting there. I need to be involved. But, I guess one day.

anyways, that’s all for today. happy father’s day dad. and happy birthday mom.

Permalink for “June 18, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822

Well, I am down here in Nashville right now, soaking in the Gospel Music Association’s Music Week. It has been incredible so far, and it’s only been two nights! Tonight we shared a time of worship with lead worshippers Charlie Hall, David Crowder, and Chris Tomlin, with a fantastic message from Louie Giglio about the supremacy of Jesus. It was one of the most refreshing times of worship I have had in a long time.

After the worship time was a very intimate Songwriter’s Showcase featuring acoustic performances of this year’s best songs. Artists included Third Day, Matthew West, Joy Williams, Bebo Norman, Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, and many more.

We’ve also been meeting up with some home-grown bands, including Manic Drive, Starfield (who is releasing a new album in May), Jon Steingard of Hawk Nelson (who is releasing their new album on Tuesday), and a few more. We’ve also been hooking up with lots of artists and companies here in the US. It’s been a great experience so far, and we’ve got about 3-4 more days to go!

Permalink for “April 03, 2006” published on date_to_rfc822