Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gathering

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

Lost

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....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Resolution

How are you doing at your New Year's resolutions? I have lost a small bit of weight but overall, I have not done too well and have maintained the fitness level I had at New Year.

Now it is Lent, the 40 days plus Sundays before Easter. It is the season that in tradition people sacrificed something in penitence remembering that Jesus sacrificed His life. Following this tradition can be a holy and sacred experience for people who go into it for those reasons. I have for many years, given up different things each year for Lent. Each year, I realize how dependent I am on things rather than God. Last year I gave up coffee and struggled because I learned that coffee is a crutch I use in stressful times, I suppose like some people use cigarettes or alcohol. Most days, I did not miss the coffee but when stuff happened, the craving was - well I usually gave in.

Lenten sacrifices can be like New Years resolutions, we forget the purpose behind the resolution. We forget the lessons that life taught us so we do not keep the resolution. This weekend, I remembered why I made the New Years resolution to be more fit. There was a tug-of-war competition at the family reunion. I do want to be fit enough to do these things - so back on track for fitness.

I am still dependent on coffee, even this morning waiting for a tough phone call I had another cup. I, however, turned to God first and thanked God for allowing me to have the crutch and hoped that God knew I need God more than the coffee.

I am glad that Lent (and New Year for that matter) come around regularly so that I can each year renew afresh my memory and commitment of what I believe.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Deep sigh

Well being cut off by flood water was not the end of the story. I found myself in Goodna, a flood devastated community between Ipswich and Brisbane. I spent ten days there and found myself humbled by the enormity of our God.

The enormity of the flood was too big for my imagination and during the ten days, God proved many times that he is indeed bigger.

Cyclone Yasi steam rolled a good part of N. Queensland and I expect that many there will be humbled by God's grace.

No, I did not see supernatural stuff, just people responding, because God had whispered in their ear to respond. People who rang up and said, "I have a (fill in the blank) is that something that will help?" exactly at the time that (fill in the blank) was needed. This happened over and over again. I was overwhelmed at the generosity of so many.

Like in Roma last year or The Gap a couple of years ago, I know that the work will take months to complete the work ahead; homes to be rebuilt or torn down. Lives will take years to normalize.

Right now all that I have to offer is a deep sigh.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 look back at 2010

This time last year, rain had started to fall in the Maranoa Region of Queensland staving off what was expected to be one of the worst drought related mass killing of starving livestock. In one week's time this country turn from a dust bowl that I thought would not grow anything into lush and beautiful country. The area here still looks lovely. There was an abundance of spring flowers. Every thing is green. 2010 will be known as the second wettest year on record for this region, averaging 2/3 an inch of rain per week (that is 17 mil/week).

This week was dry. Yay. But only here. The rest of Queensland only miles from us is under water. Our road has been cut off for some time. It is expected that our McDonalds will close tomorrow from lack of supplies. Milk is being flown in. When we do get food again they will be expensive because all the prime agricultural land in Queensland is flooded. At our local grocery store the only fresh fruit or veg is lemons.

Today, I am making lemonade.