Archive for January, 2007

She's Married!

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

The phone rang around supper time. 

She’s married.

This afternoon!  In Las Vegas.

Allison is now Mrs. Scott Opseth (sorry, I guess that should be Mrs. Allison Opseth) of Birch Hills, Saskatchewan.

Pictures will come later.  She had a beautiful dress (sorry, I’m not a fashion page editor who could describe the crinkles and wrinkles of material!) and Scott was in a tuxedo.  They were chauffered in a limousine to the chapel.  Her hair was beautifully coiffeured (OK, so my spelling is off, but I’m getting closer to the fashion page!) and the bouquet is in the motel room being prepared to become a part of the wedding momentos.

This is our first child married.  As you prepare for the wedding (and I suppose more so as they plan to elope) you are left slightly removed.  Not in a bad way.  But, as Jill said after getting off the phone, she’s no longer our responsiblity.  The funny thing is, I feel like we have just moved to another level of responsibility — one which I’m going to enjoy — stay out of their business unless asked for advice, pray like crazy and support them in their marriage.

Congratulations Scott and Allison!

Reading from the inside out!

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Tomorrow I’ll lead the devotional time in our local ministerial meeting.

We are moving towards spending more time in prayer and sharing.  The idea is to be open to others in our weaknesses as well as strengths.

The anchor for my discussion will be found in the book “Philippians”.  The fourth chapter of this book has a statement that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Most people that have reviewed this verse point out the fact that we can stand with Jesus alone. 

For some over the centuries this has meant extremes — being a hermit, not being open others, or perhaps worse — isolating yourself from everyone.  I was pleasantly surprised in my rereading of this chapter that the opposite is true. 

Paul, the author, talks about how the Philippians have been of help to him — when they heard what was happening in his life.  After explaining that God could take care of him, he states that it is good that the Philippians did care for him.

When we take our own preconceived notions into reading the Bible we rob this book of power.  And we rob others of ministry.  And we rob ourselves! 

James Taylor is alive and well!

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I popped into the house for supper.  After talk about family and funerals (my Aunt Clara Mae died — funeral on Saturday at 2:00 in Delisle) Jill just couldn’t hold it in.

“I saw Oprah today.  Carly Simon was on.  She sang, “You’re so vain.”  Her two kids sang with her — somewhat bluegrass.  She was married to James Taylor — he sang “fire and rain” and “Carolina in my mind.”.  He’s still alive.  I checked out his website.  Heard some great Christmas music on his site.”

Well, that’s it.  No dishes tonight. 

Off to the computer.  Sounds great.  Listen to it here.

Who's wearing the watches?

Monday, January 15th, 2007

I hear that you can tell how old you are by the watch you wear — or don’t wear.

If you are over thirty, you wear a watch.  If you are under thirty you use your cell phone.

So, what time is it?  Where did you look?

Picture of congregation to be sent to Japan

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

As our church service ended today, we called everyone to the front of the building.  After clearing off the platform, we arranged ourselves — 87 of us — into a coherent whole.  Everyone’s face was there!

Why?

We have partnered with missionaries in Japan.  They work with two churches.  As a part of being more personally involved with each other, we will exchange our picture.  Some are planning on visiting Asia in the next while and will stop in Japan to just say “Hi.”  Others are working on setting up a short-term missions trip to Japan.  We are also hoping to get the pastor from the one church to come visit us.

With all of these thoughts, the easiest thing is to get the group together when we are all there!  The invitation was given to end the service by coming forward instead of heading out the back door.  The children joined us and soon the platform was full.

Where are the pictures?  Still in the cameras of the photographers.  In keeping with sharing the work of ministry, three people took pictures.  We will gather the digital pictures this coming week.  The plan is to forward them to Japan within the week. 

Amazing what email and the digital camera can do to bring us closer together!

The

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

Not that the baby didn’t show up! 

Lexi was there — a very beautiful 8 week old.  Sleeping and waking just to smile and be perky.  Exactly what a new mom treasures and guests adore!

The idea was just to come over and see the parents (Cliff and Tanis) and enjoy the baby.  Of course, in my ignorance of etiquette, I’m thinking that’s all we will do.  But, there was a need for a card.  And a small gift for the baby.  And a card for the grandparents.  Along with a small gift. 

Of course, the hostess had prepared great mincemeat cake, Naniamo bars, celery sticks and radishes, brownies, and many other delectable treats that satisfied the palate.  And we sat in groups and talked.  Things about weather, kids, relationships and church. 

When we were done, we left  — with that “I’m glad I came” feeling.  We could have stayed longer.  But in our leaving we look forward to meeting once again.

Now that’s a party! 

When internet surfing slows down

Friday, January 12th, 2007

This last week has been one of church planning, visiting and deciding.

In the midst of all this, I’ve had little time to surf the web.  I missed it!

A few decades ago I would never have made that statement! 

In 1986 I was serving as a Teacher’s Assistant while completing my Master of Library Science.  The computer was just becoming a home appliance.  In my earlier high school days I had done some computer programming and enjoyed it thoroughly.  When the professor who taught Computer introduction found this out, she asked if I would sit in the computer lab.  All I had to do was help students turn on the computers and not break anything when the computers failed to do what they were told.  And for the timid soul, I taught them to “push the button — it won’t blow up.”

While in the computer lab I also to helped students sign on to various library databases.  To find information on the web required reference books and perseverance.  Search engines were pretty well non-existant (the term “googled” was a non-term, waiting to be born!!). 

When it came to surfing the web, most students were just beginners looking for water — they couldn’t even fathom there were waves big enough to ride!

At the time, I took the view that this “net” thing was fun, but not a necessity.  20 years later I have a very different POV (point of view)!

Now, I use the net to prepare sermons, find phone numbers, check on travel and accommodation, find appliance manuals, read/hear the news, find jokes and illustrations!  The other day I asked my wife for the translation of a latin phrase.  Having studied Latin in high school she easily translated most  of the phrase.  But when part of the phrase seemed to be a mystery, she headed right to Google instead of to a Latin dictionary.

So, tonight after more meetings, I’ll head home.  Check on some blogs.  See about some news.  And maybe just pick a word out of the air and see what Google turns up!

Fasting to Feasting!

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Re: Sabbath

Jill and I have been working through the idea of Sabbath.  We have set aside this Saturday to serve as our Sabbath.

So, how do you feast on Saturday if the rest of the week has been lots of food?  We have been trying to watch our portions this week so that on Saturday we can feast.  I’m not sure that will mean overeating.  But perhaps it will be a little larger portions and a little different food.  Or maybe a few extra snacks.  Not sure yet, but we’ll see.

Always a pleasure to work on a new challenge!

Blizzards are grrreat!

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Blizzard conditions bring refreshment to my soul.

Not because you get to take time off . . . Not because nothing is going on . . . Not because . . .

Blizzards are just inspiring.  They remind me of life without predetermined boundaries.  Most days you wander through a picturesque landscape.  You have to dodge trees, skirt mud puddles and evade insects.

In a blizzard there are no indications of barriers.  You just plow ahead slowly — not so fast you will hurt yourself if you hit somethin — not so slow that you freeze.

I can imagine what is out there.  I can picture a beautiful plain or a high mountain.  My imagination can fun wild.

So, you’ve got to love those blizzards. 

Now, if I just didn’t have to clean up after all that snow!

Words, words, words.

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Glancing through CBC.CA!

There is a section on their homepage called “diversions”.  When you just need to sit back and see the world from a new (and often wierd) perspective, this is the place to go.  Check out the following:

ANAHEIM, California (AP) – Pluto is finally getting some respect – from wordsmiths.

“Plutoed” was chosen 2006 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society at its annual meeting on Friday.

To “pluto” is “to demote or devalue someone or something” much like what happened to the former planet last year when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto did not meet its definition of a planet.

“Our members believe the great emotional reaction of the public to the demotion of Pluto shows the importance of Pluto as a name,” said society President Cleveland Evans. “We may no longer believe in the Roman god Pluto, but we still have a sense of personal connection with the former planet.”

The rest of the article goes on about words like “murse” and “flog”.  The one most interesting to those of you with philisophical and theological minds is “truthiness” defined by television satirist Stephen Colbert as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”  A few decades back we had “true truth” from Francis Schaeffer which would be the almost opposite — truth that is given by God and not just how we feel after having jalapeno peppers and beans!