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.

For the beauty of the earth

I can look out my window and see green grass, brown dirt and beautiful sky.

That’s beautiful.

Meanwhile the farmers want the rain to stop so they can harvest.  Oil workers trucks are coated with mud.  Mosquitos continue to appear.

Some would say that is an interruption of beauty.

Depends on your perspective.  Farmers are still farming, oil workers have a job and the mosquitos are doing their job.

All on this beautiful earth.

Decked Out

Today we begin, in earnest – or is that surely, or perhaps . . . (just being gender inclusive!)

Our town gave us permission to build decks onto our house.  In a desire to do this right, we asked my brother to give us a hand – or more rightly, two hands, strong shoulders, able feet, etc. . . .

The lumber arrived yesterday.  We built flooring for under the front deck with pallets – not of the artistic painter type or the culinary taste type – but actually from the wood type:  pine, oak, cedar . . .

And enough of the . . . Onward to the rest of the day.  Let’s see what it holds . . .

New beginnings in an old house

Well, we moved across the street.

We are living in a newly renovated 1939 “farm house”.  The trim is not all done, there are decks to put on, but overall, the structure is sound and up-to-date.

I woke up on Saturday morning, staring at a ceiling with crown moulding.  Except I thought I was hovering in the room looking down at baseboards on a white floor.

That’s perspective for you.  Sometimes upside down is the right side up.

Meanwhile, some left over projects are awaiting my attention.  Sermons, books, lectures and much more. 

Off I go, into the upside down world around me . . .

You know you are known

You know you are known when you can rhyme off connections with those in front of you.

I was leading a hymn sing at our local senior’s home yesterday, and mentioned that my mother had turned 87 a few weeks ago.

There in front of me was a friend of hers from the early 1950’s, who had worked with her at the hospital.  To one side was another friend whose son was there with her. 

As I continued throughout the room, there was a lady whom I had met over 40 years ago, whose husband’s and son’s funerals I had officiated.  My pianist has been someone I have know for over 40 years. 

Each time I mentioned a name, the activities director shook her head.  Somehow I had just taken these things for granted – she hadn’t known!

You know you are known . . .