Friday, November 2, 2018

Some quotes that hit home

I’m reading . . . short articles in the midst of home renovations.

Here are two quotes you may find interesting – along with the link to the article.

If humans are going to find God, it will not be where he has chosen to hide but where he has chosen to reveal himself. It is not in quantum uncertainty or statistical analysis that God is discovered. We will not find him in a gap but on a cross.

(Shayne Looper)  www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/october-web-only/atheism-where-is-god-physics-revealed-in-christ.html

More people are going to come to Christ today because they know they are broken in need of a healer, than because they know they are sinner in need of a Savior.

Page 45 (Rob Reimer) of Connections online magazine – issuu.com/cmacanada/docs/alliance-connection-fall-2018-pages

Friday, September 28, 2018

Sonrise

I’m looking out my office window as the sun rises.  Later each day, promising winter and then spring.  The colours are beautiful – fall is upon us and the leaves are changing.

I remember yesterday like it was today – oops, a senior’s thing of stringing all of life into one day!

I prayed for good weather when the weather channel was forecasting worse.  We were the hot spot in Saskatchewan.  I’m still trying to figure out if God is laughing at me because I really didn’t think much of that prayer.

I’ve gone completely off a drug I was taking.  I prayed for God’s healing.  I’m still not sure what has happened.  I’m not perfectly healed, but my body is responding is unexpected ways.  Maybe God thinks I’m a bit hilarious for tossing that prayer his way.

I pray in Jesus’ name.  Maybe the Son of God is beginning to rise a bit more in my life.  The colours are beautiful – resurrection is upon us and new life is here.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

From yesterday’s observations

A friend mentioned that perhaps Twain’s summary of the Book of Mormon was much like a summary of Plato’s Republic.  At least that is what I took from his words.

Which is in some ways a justification of Socrates idea of precise definition of words and ideas.  Without the full quote (words written out) I’m unable to fully understand in my search for truth and beauty and happiness found in the writings of Twain.

I went looking for a summary of the Book of Mormon by Samuel Clemens – the real Mark Twain (now there is a sentence which needs further clarification – when is another name the real person, or is the pseudonym truly the person themselves?)

The summaries I came across were interesting – none of which glorified the Book of Mormon.  Knowing the writings of Mark Twain, I imagine there is a very well thought out, concise and stinging critique available. 

Just haven’t found it yet. 

I’d love to know if you know what I don’t know which would knowingly assist me in my search.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Plato’s Republic– What is truth?

I’m in the midst of reading Plato’s Republic.  My wife had a copy hanging around and since I had never read the original – although I have read summaries – I thought is was time to digest Socrates’ thoughts as given through Plato.

My first impression was that words and precise meanings are essential for Socrates way of life.  The rhetoric – or arguments – are designed to help the seeker find truth. 

My second impression – as I read along today – is that presuppositions tend to rule our arguments.  We try to prove what we already believe.  Although the seeker must also seek as well as justify their own conclusions, the whole thing tends to come off as manipulation.

At least as Plato writes it.  While Socrates will listen to an argument, sometimes it seems like he goes through a maze of twists and turns to come to the conclusion he may have held in the first place.  Plain and simple, Socrates truth is what he “knows” and what he is willing to understand that does not negate some basic ideas he began with.  A journey of truth seeking starts with some innate “truths”.  At least that is my impression so far.

Which brings me to the question of the day.  If we are seeking truth, the best way to find truth is to start by finding the gem of truth that wholly shines out the essence of truth.  That is not me, or Socrates, or any other human – we do not have a broad enough scope to plumb the depths of truth.  When Jesus (who claims to be the creator and God) says he is the truth, that is a statement that makes sense for those of us who truly seek truth.  And to begin with that gem as our focal point, we then have a pathway to truth.

What is truth is answered by Jesus – in the fullest way possible.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Centering my age

We have a new pastor at the Kindersley Alliance Church.  Peter Ralph, Jr. was installed this morning – he’s now plugged into our congregation and ready to go.

My friend’s son is now my pastor.  The kid from Sunday School and Children’s choir is now our senior pastor!  I can see why we have gone to the moniker – Lead Pastor.

In the past two weeks, two of my friends from my teen years died.  Cancer takes lives – and I’m coming to say that 60 something is young!

I recalled a 1968 event with ease, and the idea that I was around when the Cuban crisis occurred dates me.

A numbing left arm brings to mind immediately a possibility of stroke, instead of the realization that I’ve been working on renovations steadily for the last few months.

My eyes feast on the beauty of my wife, but my willing body would like to respond much more quickly to the stimuli.  I drive with cruise control, not so much to curb my heavy foot but to give my foot a rest.

And so, on September 21, 2018, I limp over another milestone.  I’ll be 65 – still feeling 18 but visiting in my mind the future of being 100. 

I’m glad that my ticket for the future is not yet bought even though I’ve been reading the brochures!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

On homelessness, hopelessness, and the culture we live in

I’ve had opportunity this past while to hone in on homelessness. 

My definition has needed sharpening.  I once asked what we could do for homeless people.  The reply was – “Put them in a home.” 

Simple but true.  Then there would be no homelessness!

. . . Not so simple!

The homeless find shelter on other’s couches or in short term residences.  They are not homeless by definition.  But they are homeless by lifestyle and circumstance.

At the same time, the subculture has a whole set of rules.  We all live by law – the rules that surround our culture.  A subculture lives by two sets of laws. The dominant culture’s and their culture. 

Often the laws clash. 

Our next door neighbour’s house is in foreclosure –they are now homeless.  The commandeered house contents are now sitting in a trailer ready to head to the town disposal site. 

This is where determining the spirit of the law and the letter of the law becomes vital.  In a poverty situation, where the dominant culture is dispensing of “junk”, is that junk then open for retrieval?  When is that retrieval stealing?  When do we argue law and when do we argue grace?

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Moved by a moved house

Well, I’ve been off the grid on this blog site for over a month.

Not because I haven’t been busy writing.  I’ve done a number of articles for our local social media – www.kindersleysocial.ca.  I’ve also written an updated marriage ceremony for those who are divorced.  And prepared funeral services.  And written in my daily journal.  And lost of to-do lists!!

That which has occupied me most is the renovation of a house.

The pictures have been on this website and my Facebook account.  The interior has been gutted and renewed.  The exterior has new windows and doors – with a complete new basement.  We like the house enough to consider moving across the street.

What I have found is that I am good at demolition.  Not so excited about the finishing touches.  I enjoy the flow of work but am frustrated by interruptions.  I’m easily distracted by the many items that need cared for, but when focused I drill down into the job.

Learning each day!  Not a bad thing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The house obsession

Well, I’ve finally gotten back to my blog site.  I feel like I’ve been away for months – and I have! 

Our current obsession has been a house move.  We brought a farmhouse into town and placed the house on a basement foundation. 

The process has been time consuming and somewhat costly. 

The product has been amazing!  We hope to have the basic renovations done by September.

We’ll see.

See you later!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Good Words to end a concert

I was asked to give the benediction at our community choir presentation on April 15, 2018.  Here is what I said:

    • May the flood of God’s love encompass you.
    • May the support of God’s presence hold us close.
    • May the peace of God keep our hearts and minds safe.
    • May Christ be seen, known, and heard in all we say and do.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cannabis and Me

My latest editorial for Kindersleysocial.ca – March 15, 2018 issue

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Cannabis and Me

My Grandmother was a faithful member of the Kindersley chapter of the WCTU. Most of you will have no idea of what WCTU stands for. Let’s just say politics, women’s rights, social equality, all were a part of the WCTU. This movement has been branded as the first women’s rights movement in Canada.

As the Canadianencyclopedia.ca explains: “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) . . . [believed] that alcohol abuse was the cause of unemployment, disease, sex work, poverty, violence against women and children, and immorality, the WCTU campaigned for the legal prohibition of all alcoholic beverages.”

Alcohol?? In the 21st Century, that sounds like a non-starter!

Now that Cannabis (we used to call it marijuana) is about to be legalized, I think I’m a step closer to understanding her passion to limit a social ill!

This past decade I sat on a community committee called KDAWN. Membership over the years included social workers, RCMP, town administration, ministerial and other interested individuals and agencies. We cooperated with the P.A.R.T.Y. program (a secondary school educational program dealing with alcohol), sought to find a way to bring a drug and alcohol rehab center to Kindersley area, and provided educational resources and events regarding drugs and alcohol.

If I didn’t realize the depths of the problem before joining KDAWN, I was soon filled in. While alcohol has been regulated for some time, the social cost has been enormous. While some drugs have been illegal, and others (such as cigarettes) have been legal, the social cost has been enormous.

An attempt to restrict drugs and alcohol in relation to children/youth has met with mixed results. While we claim that this age bracket is too easily influenced and unable to responsibly partake, adults have sometimes served as poor role models! Maybe the adults need to be regulated more stringently as well.

In a recent email circulated to the Kindersley Town Council, I addressed the issue of cannabis. I understand the Council would like to have others provide feedback.

In my email I asked that, while medical cannabis has a place in pain management, the recreational use of cannabis has been documented as harmful to our society (and the second hand smoke has much the same effect as cigarette smoke). I do not think we need a dispensary for recreational use of cannabis in our town – and if individual grow-operations are allowed by the legislation, let’s find ways to make sure both regulation and enforcement are sufficient to restrict harm to our citizenry. Finally, I suggested that the Town Council consider proclaiming a day of mourning for those whose lives are adversely affected by drug and alcohol addictions.

And here I thought Grandma was merely “pushing against” alcohol use. Some will think I’m merely “pushing against” cannabis use.

The truth is, I’m “pushing for”! For a citizenry who are seeking to live healthy lives. For a culture where the heart is set on loving others and not harming them. For an opportunity to be an example, as a region, that we not only seek harm reduction and rehabilitation for those who are addicted, but that we want to be proactive in producing a citizenry whose heart is set on the good of all and not just the pleasure of the individual.

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