Archive for November, 2006

Recording

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

I’m unplugging you right now . . .

This computer is going to the living room.  There it will be used to record music. 

Beautiful music . . . Unique music . . . One of a kind music . . .

I’m unplugging  you right now . . .

Oops, one last commercial.  This will be great music . . .

I’m unplugging you right now . . .  Good b – – . . .

Chilling cold

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

The weather of Saskatchewan is often indescribable.

I wanted to start this blog entry by describing the chill of the outdoors. My son is on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  There the temperatures do not dip to -10 degrees Celcius — or to any Fahrenheit equivalent.  To talk about the cold of -30 degrees Celcius is meaningless.

I have watched students come to Canada from tropical climes.  Theire first reaction to snow is incredulous.  From the sky comes a solid substance that can sting in a strong wind, can melt on a sunny day, or can be pounded into mounds of rock like formations.

So how do I describe the cold of the last few days?  There are always times when a quick temperature change disorients you.  Even the hottest day can bring an unexpected breeze or a cold shower.  What you had expected from that balmy day is immediately dispelled.

Take that exact moment.  Stand in a doorway and pretend you are walking into the chill of that moment.  Now, increase the exposure by around 10 times.  Add a growing tingling to your face and exposed skin.  Finally, shiver so that you feel you will never recover.  That’s -30 degrees Celcius.

Wait til you meet -40 degrees Celcius.  You become an ice cube wishing you could thaw, an ice cream sundae whose frozen toppings are impenetrable, a reverse furnace who finds more warmth on the outside than on the inside.

If you want to join the extreme sports crowd, venture this way.  Welcome to the wind blown prairies of Canada.

Ethics and Morals

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

While sitting at my work desk, I’ve been pondering a statement from an email I received about a month or so ago:

  • Ethics (from ethos – the steady state of the atmosphere in a cave) is distinct from moral (from descriptive practices or mores of a culture). 

The email had come in a discussion on servant leadership for churches.  In the discussion, some questions had arisen, expecially the matter of truth in a relativistic society.  In the midst of that discussion the ethics of what we do became a question to be examined.

For years I have equated ethics and morals.  Maybe I have been too simplistic. The statement above made me evaluate my own approach.

In our society I can quickly point to things I think are wrong — to morals that stare me in the face every day.  Abortion, homosexuality, rape, murder, stealing, fraud, hypocrisy and much more.  These are very much the practices of our culture.  I can categorize and synthesize and even analyze them.

But in the end, when I have all this laid out in front of me, these are just desciptions.  The real question that we need to examine as a society is the matter of what the prevailing atmosphere is around us — the steady state of the “air”. 

Take the case of a cave that is full of carbon dioxide (CO2).  The culmination of many observations of CO2ness within a cave leads you to conclude that this is a CO2 cave.   Where carbon dioxide is in greater supply than oxygen we have an ethic of CO2.  

Now arises the matter of a way of life.  Or more rightly put a way to life.  You can state that your “cave” is a CO2 cave.  But is that healthy?  Is that life?  You thus must come to a concensus of the “truth” — of what is healthy and what is life.

Most people around us are content to merely describe the ethics and morals of what is happening around them.  They will “live with it”, or as some say, “if it feels good, do it”.  But as a Christian, I am called to be a change agent — to be leading people to be reconciled with God — to know truth, to come to life, to find the way — the way that brings life and not suffocation and death.

And in the end, the old cliche from the ’60’s still stands — “Jesus is the answer.”  What is looked on as a simple answer is actually the most complex, fulfilling and inexhaustible answer for our society and for each individual in it.

Lloyd Pierce preaches

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

One of the objectives of our church family is to release people into areas of ministry.

Today, Lloyd Pierce preached.  His sermon was on Acts 9 — Terrorists can change!!!  He used Saul to help us see that we all can change — from where we are to where God wants us.

I had the great opportunity of sitting in on his preaching. 

Lloyd was not preaching because I wanted a holiday.  He was not preaching because no one else was around.

Lloyd was preaching on purpose.  He is a good speaker whom people respect.  He is able to preach in such a way that it is simple and yet not simplistic.  He was preaching because this is an area of giftedness in his life.

Although a pastor may need to be preaching most of the time to give vision and direction within a church — and to lay doctrinal and biblical guidelines, that doesn’t mean all the speaking needs to be done by him or her.  If anything, a strong sense of ecclesiology (the study of the church) will show that we need to share with those who are gifted.  When someone takes on all the jobs in a church, then we are providing a place for spectator sport and not for the participation of the whole group of people we call the church.

So, I participated in the worship service today at the Kindersley Alliance Church.  I did not preach.  I did not take up the offering.  I did play and sing (a gifting area that I have been a part of for years). 

And somehow God refreshed me and the congregation!!

Cubase, self-examination and a day off!

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

You wake up with thoughts in your mind. 

Thoughts about music, ministry and motivation.

First, I finally got some extended time today to work with some music recording software called Cubase SE.  A definite upgrade from Cool Edit.  I cut and pasted, made a marvelous drum roll and took some cassette recordings and moved them to CD.  I’m finding in the midst of this that I have a bit of a knack for the engineering side of audio recording.  This is fun!!

Yesterday I completed a leadership test.  The results of this 22/23 question quiz gave a general overview of how I approach leadership.  Some of the results were generalizations but on the whole truth prevailed.  I am a facilitator type of leader.  I work best with groups and teams — I’m a mediator more than a confronter.  Today I considered these results (not that they are new thoughts, just packaged in a new way).  Given a bit more time, perhaps new approaches for ministry will result.

This was my regular day off.  Once a week Sabbath is necessary — and I haven’t been all that good at keeping my Sabbath the past few weeks.  I feel refreshed as I come to the end of the day. 

For you — may this day also have been one of fortification for the coming days.  And may God have granted to you a peek over today’s fence into the lush fields he has provided for the coming days!!

Into the night!

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Night is coming sooner each day.

Just yesterday I was able to make a positive pronouncement.  In less than a month, the days will become longer. 

That is a welcome thought when you have to wait until 9:00 in the morning to sense that light has broken upon the day.  On the other hand, with darkness is encroaching upon us around 5:00 in the afternoon, we can take comfort in knowing light is on the way!!

Light is a vital catalyst to a good day.  The Bible talks of light — and in the Advent season surrounding Christmas we will encounter this thought more than once.  The best days are spent basking in the light of the light of the world, Jesus. 

So, I look forward to the days getting longer, and to entering the Advent season with the reminder of the greatest light shining into this world!!

ETR for Pacemaker

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Today I learned a new acronym.

Jill, my electrifying and electrified wife, was in for a checkup.  Since she was in her teens she has been powered by battery.  Her heart is kept going by a pacemaker.  Originally the battery lasted two years.  At one point she got a nuclear powered pacemaker.  We were supposed to report to border guards that we were carrying nuclear material!!

The latest battery was implanted in 2001.  Each year we have checkups to determine how the pacemaker is working and what the current status of the battery is.  Today we learned the battery is at 25%. 

The ETR (estimated time of replacement) is comig up!  Perhaps in nine months, or longer.  We’ll head back in a few months for a further assessment.

Looks like the replacement operation would take place in Edmonton.  A forced holiday! 

Stay tuned and keep your batteries charged (I’m still waiting for the day that pacemaker batteries can be recharged!).

Sometimes we blog . . .

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I have found a new blog site — one of the elders at our church.

John Stuart is a thinker. You will find his site will stretch you to think. I’ve just begun to look through his postings and look forward to a more concentrated time to take in his thoughts.

Check it out at www.undertheeagleswing.blogspot.com

Library software?

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

In the last while, we (the church I work with!) have been offered two computers.

That is a great thing!

Now I’m into thinking the nitty gritty questions!  One computer should go to the library to house the church library catalogue.  So we need software.  I’ve done a bit of contacting and research and we’ll see what comes of that.  Even though I have a library science degree, in the end some of the best advice you can get is a friend who has done this “small church library” thing.  Thanks, Laurene . . . and any others who have suggestions!!

 

Kazoo People

Monday, November 20th, 2006

Ever wonder what it would be like to speak through a kazoo? 

Tried it out last night.  Totally frustrating.  You can use inflection, wave your arms and arch your eyebrows.  But in the end you still feel like you don’t know what “he said, she said.”  The Wycliffe theatre group did a great job of showing the frustrations of translation!!

Talking of pictures — I had a picture taken of my knees today. 

For a number of years my knees have been giving out.  6 – 8 years ago a doctor had told me I was in trouble, but that I might wait a few more years until I was older.

I’m older.  And my knees are not in great shape.  I wander around, but often find that there is pain.  I no longer expect that I can correct a fall with my legs.  Rather than the excrutiating pain, I have learned to fall well!

So, waiting times being what they are, maybe in a year or so I’ll be looking at new knees!!