Archive for December, 2005

Resolutions

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

There was a time I did the resolution thing —  a list of “to do’s” for the coming year!

And I guess I still do — but mostly at a point when I realize I need to change a particular action.  The big push for New Year’s to be the day of resolutions has waned.

But that does not mean I do not take inventory at this time of year.  I’m in agreement with an email my wife received from Christian Women Today

“Rather than centering your focus so much on what you are doing . . . ask God to help you get fresh insight on what you are becoming. . .  Make your own “to be” list this week.  Mine looks like this:  Be thankful . . for little things; Be joyful . . by choice;  Be patient . . deliberately; Be kind . . on purpose. . . As the being takes place, the doing will automatically happen.” 

The week is done!

Friday, December 30th, 2005

OK, its only Friday but I feel like this has been a long week.  A good week, but a long week!

Originally I was to take off a few days while family were around.  In the midst of this came the call to lead a funeral.  In this case, and particularly for the sake of friends who called, I felt privileged to be asked to participate. 

The extra time was not begrudged by our family!  I was up and running in the morning when most of them were still in bed!!  The family celebrations were great.  15 people sharing together food and fellowship on Wednesday.  Then on Thursday they were all gone — back to their homes.  By Thursday evening Jill and I confronted an empty house — and said it was time to get some rest.

Today the fog rolled in — seems so unusual in a time when -20 Celcius and cold winds are the norm!  We left a little early for the funeral in Eston – a 45 minute ride away. 

As we returned we plotted our supper meal – leftovers of turkey, salads, potato and gravy, cauliflower and pie.  All heated on the stove and in the microwave in about 10 minutes time.  Talk about fast food!!  We relaxed for the evening and I will take a day off tomorrow!

Until then . . .

It's done!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

The turkey is done!

Supper’s at 4:00.

15 people around the table and fellowship for all!!

Corner Gas reflections

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Second Season Corner Gas DVD!  A Christmas gift from our daughter!

After falling off the couch during the first season, getting the complete second season on DVD is indeed a treat! 

What makes this a treat?  Being a Saskatchewanian by birth and choice, I get it!  I’ve met those who don’t.  I watch the 1/2 hour show (or is that 22 minutes) and the humour just seeps into my funny bone. 

I know what it is like to watch someone drive towards you for almost an hour.  I sympathize with gas station attendants whose life is enhanced by the lone car driving up to the pumps.  I laugh with the laisse faire attitude of a prairie town — “if it doesn’t happen today, tomorrow will come!”

Humour that’s clean – now that’s fun!

The Day After

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Boxing day! 

With our extended family celebrations happening on Wednesday, I headed off to the church office.  I was hoping to spend a quiet day writing a sermon.

Unlocked the door to the church, walked to my office door, inserted the key, entered and turned on the computer.  The phone rang!  Word of a parishioner, Catherine MacDonald, who had died.

If life were just doing what we planned, there would be no spice.  And without spice, the days soon become gray clouds of nothingness.  So, look around your life today and see what unexpected spices are flavouring your day!

Christmas Day!

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Our Christmas festivities were low-key this year. 

Our family was part of our Christmas service.  Then home for lunch and opening of gits.  A walk around the block and a Christmas supper.  Some TV and DVD’s, good conversation, and off to bed.

Christmas Eve Day!

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

So, the evening of the day actually begins the night before.  You can begin the day the day before. 

Yesterday we were examing the world clock on a cell phone.  If you were in London right now you would be ahead of time.  Add to that that the sun is setting and you would already be in the next day while you are still in today.  Either you had a great Christmas, are about to have one, or will get in on two Christmases!

If you followed that you are either brilliant, ahead of your times, or . . .

Indecency and harm based tests – a new morality??

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

I’m just reading through the latest Supreme court decision on allowing  “Keeping common bawdy-house – Indecency – Harm-based test – Group sex in club – Whether conduct constitutes criminal indecency – Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, ss. 197(1) “common bawdy-house”, 210(1).”

I am not surprised but still scared with a number of comments. 

One is that we have moved from the test for indecency based on community standards (a hard one to comprehend in the best of circumstances) to a matter of harm ( “by its nature the conduct at issue causes harm or presents a significant risk of harm to individuals or society in a way that undermines or threatens to undermine a value reflected in and thus formally endorsed through the Constitution or similar fundamental laws by (a) confronting members of the public with conduct that significantly interferes with their autonomy and liberty, (b) predisposing others to anti-social behaviour, or (c) physically or psychologically harming persons involved in the conduct.”  – from the preliminaries of the SCC decision).

We have moved from a normative standard to a constructed standard.  Now, these are interesting concepts to discuss (check out my theology blog for some thoughts on this area).  But what it comes down to is the fact that in a pluralistic society we are erasing religion from consideration.

Note the following statement:  (section 34/35) – 

34  The complexity of the guarantee of freedom of religion in this context requires further comment.  The claim that particular sexual conduct violates particular religious rules or values does not alone suffice to establish this element of the test.  The question is what values Canadian society has formally recognized.  Canadian society through its Constitution and similar fundamental laws does not formally recognize particular religious views, but rather the freedom to hold particular religious views.  This freedom does not endorse any particular religious view, but the right to hold a variety of diverse views.   

35   The requirement of formal endorsement ensures that people will not be convicted and imprisoned for transgressing the rules and beliefs of particular individuals or groups.  To incur the ultimate criminal sanction, they must have violated values which Canadian society as a whole has formally endorsed.

By the nature of the decision, the religion of Canada has become that which the constitution and other fundamental laws state is our concensus of the values and morals of our country.  If there ever was a time to recognize the place of the legislative bodies of our country, this is the time!

But, is there a higher law?  That is indeed the great question of the day – which begs the question of why we say that we are “under God.”  If we are under God we do not construct laws and constitutions based on cultural norms, but rather we seek to understand and interpret laws that are already established in who God is and the resulting implications thereof.

The young and the old

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

A six week old baby and an (almost) 87 year old man.  Under one roof!

The interaction is precious.  As the great grandfather speaks to the child.  And the child smiles back, inviting the old man into his life.

Touching and precious moments!

Writing energizes me!

Monday, December 19th, 2005

There are days when you just need to do something that’s fun.

I sat down today and wrote.  I love to just start with an idea, then run with it! 

Not too far — I like to have someone read what I write. 

This was to be a mixture of sermon for Sunday and a short story/devotional.  As I wrote, the adjectives kept coming.  Describing, picturing and adjectivizing (love those new words!).

In the end, I read it to one of my most astute critics.  As usual it was not even close to what she had expected – but pleasantly surprising enough that she listened to the end..

So come to Christmas day service at 11:00 and see what has transpired – along with the carols and readings and special music you may even find a piece of literature that works well as a sermon/devotional.