Saturday, December 20, 2014

On Christmas

I was young when I understood how cruel the world was.  I grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch and witnessed life and death in its rawness.  A prairie chicken (Grouse) would lay 8-10 eggs and one or two would be eaten by fox or mink.  Five or six would hatch if the weather was good and then owls, eagles, fox and coyote would have their feed on the chick and maybe one or two random chicks grew to adulthood to be hunted during the hunting season in the autumn/fall. I witnessed the messiness of stillbirth cattle and sheep and the loss of very young lambs and calves to a pack of coyote pups practicing their killing skills.  It was in this context that I grew believe that there must be a creator.  The ecosystem I observed was so fragile and interdependent that it simply could not be explained by a random explosion.  There was significant order and connectedness.  I believe there must be a creator.  If there is a creator then I had a satisfactory explanation to the rawness of life and death.  I could not accept that life was random and the cycle of life and death was meaningless.  As a youth, I decided that the only possible thing that made sense was that there was a Creator, a loving God who was willing to not only set this world into motion but also was willing to live this life in Jesus the Son, and experience its inexplicable pain and suffering so that the world could be redeemed.  I could hold on to idea that there was redemption to all which I thought was cruel in creation, that idea made sense.  I knew that if all this existed for no reason other than existence, that it just happened,  then everything was meaningless and I may as well not exist.  But redemption mattered, it gave meaning.  And in my life since, I occasionally witness the depth of redemption and rejoice. And many times I wait believing God’s redemption is an eternal thing and that I probably will not witness it all in my human life span.  I wait with the Spirit of God as my comfort and hope.  

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Self Aware?

I like to think that I am self aware, yet I continually find myself in positions wondering why did I say that or why did I say that this way.  I am usually able to come up with an answer relatively quickly and I can't say that I am always proud as punch of that answer but it is truthful reflection.

I believe that self awareness is not necessarily knowing why you are going to say a particular thing but that self awareness is being able to reflect on the thing said and make changes if necessary.  I might however, have this very definition in order to defend the fact that I am not able to in the heat of the moment think through my words carefully.

My weakness come in my extravert personality.  I usually jump right into conversation and discussions.  I have come to respect the introvert who generally thinks before jumping.  I know I speak in generalities but in the interest of space this will do.

I know I will continue to jump so must be prepared to have the discussion about how and why continually.  How about that - maybe I am self aware, just a little at least.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I am not in the country anymore

That might seem quite obvious.  I am in a suburb and it is not at all like the rural places I have been.  What I am really think that I subtly changed during my time in the bush.  I had well, let my guard down a bit maybe.

There was a community event on our church grounds this weekend and two local council members were there.  In my head was as I expected a caution to be careful and although I was.  I was taken aback at the deep by the distrust of some people to either of them.  There was expected by people to be political wrangling at a community event which should unify.  I of course was less suspicious, like to believe people are people.

I did not sense that there was any significant political manoeuvring only that some people do not trust them.  I was reminded though by these reactions that I am not in the country anymore.  I do need to put on a different kind of awareness for the suburbs and hone a kind of discernment that has been more dormant for a time while letting my default position to be people are people not roles or positions.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I believe that there is something very important about gathering together as God's people to worship God even if we have to do the business of the church (read Synod) as well.  Many people dislike going to Synod meetings because they believe it is a boring meeting taking time from the important work of God.  I think they miss out.  There is something very special about 500 or so people coming together to worship, sing, laugh and be moved by the Holy Spirit.

The same goes for Sunday worship.  People seem to not be too bothered by missing worship now and then for special events.  'God understands.'  Again, an opportunity is missed.  God does understand and I am so thankful that God is faithful and shows up ceaselessly.  The alternative, God not showing up is a pretty dismal thought.

I had an great time at Synod.  I was inspired, filled with hope and a Spirit kind of energy.  If I have any wisdom to give, it would be - to gather, God is here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The other day I got lost in our new neighbourhood.  This is common for me as I have a poor sense of direction.  I found myself a bit emotional about being lost.  This was not so common because Mal was driving.  I was not in any risk, Mal knew where we were but I was still emotional.  Like other people, I do not like being out of control.  I like to know what is going on and where I am, however, in a new environment, I am vulnerable and being lost added to that and was the straw that broke the emotional camel's back.  

There was just too much 'new' for me to take in and some of it pour out.  There is still a lot new about this community.  Many new names of 'new' people.  Many new habits, styles, and context, all I seem to be able to deal with.  But new places to find seems to tip me over.  I am sure that much of this has to do with my poor sense of direction.  I must repeat a path over and over in order to be comfortable on it.  Add that to the fact that I never really enjoyed driving and the new place to go can be too much.

How thankful I am that Mal is willing to drive for these few weeks as I learn my way around.  How thankful I am that there are many offers to pick me up and show me where things are.  How thankful I am that I can have the privilege of being and learning something new.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I am back.

My! It has been awhile.  A lot has happened during my three year absence.  I ceased blogging when natural disaster after natural disaster after natural disaster struck.  I needed to focus my attention in other areas and let this part of my life go.

But, I have been missing you.  I enjoy blogging.  I enjoy the self reflection and the opportunity to capture moments in time by the written word.  So dear reader, I blog for myself not necessarily for you.  I am happy to entertain your comments however.

It really has been a full three year absence.  A grandson, two household moves, state committees and now I believe the beginning of a settled life.  I am not sure I know how to live a settled life, but I have moved into a ministry placement with the commitment to stay.

I feel a commitment to including reflections here is a part of the settledness; part of the routine; a discipline.

That is what I feel the call to this place is about - discipline.  Exercise, reflection, building up, and action.  I am not sure I expect a particular pattern, that might get boring, but I do expect well... discipline.

Wish me luck, or better yet pray.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Matthew 25:35-36

"...when I was a stranger you invited me in..." Well we didn't quite invite so does it still apply? This morning Mal and I woke up to a young man sleeping in our guest room. He had left his shoes at the front door and curled up and went to sleep, apparently. Mal and I don't know - we didn't hear a thing.

Mal and I discussed when this may have happened wondering if he had just come in after Mal had unlocked the front door this morning. Then Mal remembered the shoes were in front of the door when he opened it. At that time, Mal had blamed me for the shoes in front of the door. Mal and I had walked around the house and Mal had actually entered the room with the sleeping young man a couple of times before we even realized we had a house guest.

Before we knew his story, while discussing what to do, we quickly decided that he must have really only wanted/needed a bed because that was what he took. He had even been polite enough to leave his shoes at the door. So we left him, sleeping and I began to call him Jesus.

We thought that maybe, the boarder in the flat next door might have sent him over. Nope. Mal tried to wake him and he said he was cold so we put another blanket on the bed and let him sleep. Eventually, Mal had to leave the house (I had left for a meeting) so Mal woke him and he was confused at first then embarrassed.

"Weren't there people and a party here last night?" he asked. "No" Mal replied. He said, Maybe, I drank too much. I just remember being so cold." No wonder it was 35F/2C last night and he had no coat. He told Mal his name, where he worked and apologized many times.

He apparently wandered out of his party and thinking he was wandering back in entered our 'locked' house. Okay, the door locks but the house has moved and sometimes it doesn't really latch and a push on the door opens it in spite of the lock but that only happens once in a while....I thought.

I will actually be more diligent in ensuring the door is locked at night but also know I will feel a bit guilty and wonder if there is someone out there that needs an unlocked door. I pray they ring the bell....