Re-living

“Even those with expectant hope and without a great deal of fear or guilt . . .”

That’s a statement I have put to myself these last few months.  As I have researched and written about the local church I attend (Kindersley Alliance Church – KAC), I have realized this is also my life story.  Quite literally for the years of my pastoring KAC.  Figuratively, in the way all good stories reflect truth to the reader.

I believe that this church has great hope for the future and a few skeletons from the past.

Dry bones rattle. 

When they do we either close the coffin unceremoniously – and put a few more nails in the lid.  OR, we examine the body – not to bring it back to life – but to see how a revival of life for the living can be found in the bones of the dead.

More on that story in weeks to come!

Living 20/20–Kindersley Alliance Church in perspective

I finally have a first draft of the first volume of the Kindersley Alliance Church history – 1938 – 2018.  I’m thinking the title will be “Living 20/20, Kindersley Alliance Church in perspective:  The Reference Volume.”

Far from a finished product, at least the basics are there.  The dates and adventures.  The pastors and the people.  The foibles and the fantastic.

I must admit, there is a certain muscle memory that comes from reviewing your history (I say “your” because I was born into the church, my dad and his dad had connections to the church, I pastored the church, I’m retired here).  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh, sometimes my stomach churns.

I came across unknown facts to me – the first church baptism was held at my grandfather’s farm.  My uncle, Bruce, was president of the youth group shortly after World War II.  Another uncle, Robert, was the first wedding in the first church built and owned by Kindersley Alliance Tabernacle.  My father was church treasurer from 1950-1955.  And, I served as Assistant Pastor from 1976-1980.  I returned in 2005 as senior pastor.  I retired here.

There was the day I was told my preaching was not good enough.  There was the day, almost 40 years after the fact, that a “youth” told me they had learned from me that you are always a leader, no matter where you are – so lead like Jesus.  There was the day I officiated a couple’s wedding, and two decades later, the day I  officiated their son’s wedding.

And the stories go on.

My history, our history, and as I look into this coming year of 2020 with 20/20 . . .

I sense this is also His-tory. 

Snow has come to stay

Looking out the window on lightly falling snow, I’m reminded . . .

That seasons change.

That conquering cold is an adventure.

That white is nice.

That blizzards come.

That spring will come.

I like winter.  I like spring.  I like summer.  I like fall.

Right now, I’m into liking my tracks in the snow that remind me I am alive and well!

Take a walk.  Enjoy the day. 

This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it!

What 50 years reveals

When I was 16, I wanted to know everything.  I desired a system that was logical and foolproof.  I sought for advisors, writers, godly instructors.

Now that I’m 66, I want to know God.  I desire to understand his workings.  I seek for those who walk the trail with me in hearing from God.

The nuance is slight. 

To know everything is to know the creator.  To understand how life works is to delve into an understanding of the mind of the creator.  To seek wisdom is to seek the one who wisely formed me, this world and all that is in the world.

Jeremiah 9:24 – if I place a priority on one thing of all the things that I have experienced, it is this alone. That I have come to know God.

Hard Work and Society values

I was reading through a financial investment email from my bank.

The articles they were highlighting sounded interesting, but the footer “teaser” was even more so!

$3,850,000

The winnings (in US dollars) that Bianca Andreescu took home from the U.S. Open.

(Source: U.S. Tennis Association)

I find this an exceptional amount of money – I grew up when you wanted to be a millionaire – now your house costs more than the million that was going to bring you lifelong security.

Bianca has worked hard.  She is exceptional.  She deserves honour.

But I still scratch my head – where there is no hair.

What is the rest of the world worth? 

Is the true measure of worth in what we do – or cannot do? 

Or more to the point, is our worth based on our marketability – and consequently on the market?

Podcasting

Working on a podcast with my pastor.

Interesting approach – the two of us are steeped in church background and work.  We are both rural at this point.  Our voices are easy to listen to (subjective assessment!).  We will cover a number of rural church topics and hopefully have some guest speakers join us.

The step we are at right now is finding the best hosting site and getting the podcast episodes on line for all sorts of people to stream and download.  I think we are just about there. 

We have put together a few episodes (each about 10 minutes long).  More to come.

Coming soon to an electronic device near you!

Building a deck or a dock?

Many years ago, my brother and I built a deck. 

Now, almost 40 years later, we are at it again!

The first deck was at the end of a summer of fine furniture construction.  We had decided to create wood (oak mostly) art pieces for others.  Even our side tables were unique.

Then my wife asked for a deck at the back of the house.  Made out of spruce.  About two or three feet high.  Nothing fancy.

We decided to use only dowels, with unique decking boards, and to size.

Which size ended up looking more like a dock than a deck.  Quite literally you stepped out the back door and, in winter, slide to the end of the deck and down the stairs.  A masterpiece that is no longer on the house (yes, I have driven by the old house in Regina – they got rid of the deck/dock).

NOW, things are different.  We are using special lag screws, the decks (we are building two decks, one in front and one at the back) are made of treated wood beams, joists and decking planks, and the sizes . . .

The front deck is around four feet off the ground and is eight feet by thirteen feet.  The back deck is 12 feet by 20 feet.

No docks here!

Live the Life

I love to research historic events.

Often for assignments or on commission.  Sometimes for my own curiosity.

As I enter the life of the historic actors, the play becomes complex.  There are no small characteristics in a person’s life.  As in Jenga, all the pieces hold the whole together.

For many, reading a fiction book is a pleasure.  The reader begins to see the character as shaped by the author.  They enter their lives and guess what comes next.  A good author keeps them guessing while holding true to the essential person they have created.

Historic research is the opposite in many ways.  The character’s final actions have been mapped out previously.  Now the researcher is given the task of finding out the character of the subject.  When, in their own minds, they guess wrong, they go back to the archives.  Searching once again (re-search), they find a new narrative line.  Tested against previous action, the description of the subject is altered to remain true to history.

And I suppose that is why I love to read the last chapter of a book first.  Here is the archive of the characters.  Here is the final result of the actions taken.  Now, in mystery type fashion, I construct the story line.  If a cursory examination of the book (called skimming) shows the results are what was expected – I leave the book.  If there are anomalies, I’m driven to searching the book to find answers.

I like to create the life from the final results, and not necessarily journey through the life to final end.