Archive for February, 2007


Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

So, I’m sitting in a Bible college library.  20 years ago I had visited this library.  As a part of the tour of city libraries recently constructed, this was a prime example.  Now, two decades later, I’m back again.

Now there are computers situated on a row of tables by the wall.  The brick is light brown, almost an ash color.  The tables have flat screen monitors.  The CPU’s are up-to-date. 

It doesn’t surprise me that a student is sitting at a computer, talking to someone.  Skype and other telecommuication wonders are simple to use — simple to plug in to a host computer.

What does surprise me is the discussion.  Poker hands are being discussed.  He seems to be winning — somewhat.  Then he encourages the anonymous friend to place a bet — it’s part of the risk of life.

Somehow I’m amazed.  Poker in the library!

Maybe I’m old fashioned (and I probably am), but I guess I just find it hard to imagine a Bible college computer being used to gamble.  Or has entertainment now become acceptable no matter what the consequence and no matter where the location?

I'm Back

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I drove into the driveway around 9:30 pm.  Left the outskirts of Edmonton around 5:00 our time (4:00 their time).

The last two days were taken with a lecture series by Dr. Aubrey Malphurs.  His specialty is in pastoral ministry with a push towards church management and church planting.  All things I’ve heard before, but it never hurts to be reminded.

When I arrived home I was informed that Alice Keller had passed away.  Looks like I’ll be leading a funeral this coming Saturday.  Tomorrow we’re off to Saskatoon for a check up on Jill’s pacemaker battery.  Friday I’ll lead our community Lenten Lunch service.  Nothing like something to keep you busy!!

Say I'm crazy!

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Some people did!

As I write this early Saturday morning, I’m looking out the window.  The sun is not yet up.  The street lights are reflecting off fog.  


I’m a prairie boy.  For the last few years I’ve had to revisit my understanding of winter.  As a child fog was unheard of in February.  For the last two years I’ve seen fog in what should have been the coldest months of the year.

Brittle, harsh and uninvited cold I understand.  Piles of snow I expect.  But fog?

Which brings me to my craziness.  I love blizzards!  No visibility, swirling snow and chaos. 

These last two days we were promised a blizzard.  OK, the weather forecasters were predicting snow and blizzard conditions — which in their case is probably 80% of a promise.  Thursday night came with howling winds but no snow.  Friday came with snow but no gust of wind.  And this morning there is fog.

I’m ready!  Bring on the blizzard.  Make my day!

Ever wonder what's shorter?

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Time wanders on.

When a day turns short, there are moments left. 

I had booked an appointment for the evening.  The work needing to be done was done — by 8:00.  Two hours remained before I would head to bed.  I completed a task I had planned on doing tomorrow.  That took me til 8:30 or so.  I sat with my wife.  We watched TV.  Now it’s 9:30 and I’m writing.

When you have a task, the time is short.  When time is given to us unexpectedly, the moments go slowly.  What a conundrum.

Which begs the question — how does one rest?  And for how long?  And when?

Can you turn unexpected time into rest time?  Can those long moments of unexpected time refresh and revitalize?

I think so — if you put your mind to it!  (Oops, does that mean I’ve turned rest into another task?)

To Saskatoon

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Wednesday I ventured to Saskatoon.

The reason:  a one day session put on by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. 

The sessions included thoughts on how churches can reach out in a Canadian context — along with some analysis of current trends in Canada.  Good information that can help form solid decisions in the future.

The interesting part?  I was on the road at 7:00 am.  Fog was surrounding my headlights.  When I saw a sign indicating deer could be expected, I increased my watch.  At the same time I did not feel fear.  Which is a good sign.  God was protecting and I was watching!  Closer to Saskatoon some snow had fallen and was deposited on the highway.  Again I was watchful but not concerned.  Thankfully the road home was much clearer!

I sensed God in the drive as much as in the sessions.  I have a sneaking suspicion that is the way it should be!  In the ideas and in the practice, God is there.

Mom's Song

Monday, February 19th, 2007

When I was growing up I remember gathering around the piano.  Mom played all the black notes and sang wonderfully.

The song I remember was “When the roll is called up yonder.”  So here is the song  — you can probably download it by right clicking on the box and saving the file.

Cold and colds

Monday, February 19th, 2007

I’m sitting here writing this while fighting a cold.

I’ve yet to understand how you fight a cold!  I guess if taking medication is one weapon — I’m in the battle.  My wife prepared some chicken soup — I’m advancing on the cold.  But in the end most colds progress through our bodies and we’re left treating just the symptoms.

Someone pointed out at the door to the church yesterday — “Colds start when we get warm breaks in the weather!”   I’m not sure I’m quite ready to ask for constant -40 degree weather.  Although, with being stuffed up right now . . .

Annoying Attributes of God

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

A while back I purchased a small book (both in dimensions and pages) called 99 Annoying Attributes of God.

Not to steal the thunder of the editors (Ray Albrektson, Janet Kobobel Grant, Alan Scholes, Gary Stanley and Kristen Wilson), but here are a few thoughts.

God is annoying because –

  • he won’t let me take anything with me when I die;
  • he often thinks “no” is a sufficient answer;
  • he expects me to openly share the secrets I’d rather keep hidden;
  • he wants me to keep secret the things I’d rather openly take credit for
  • he’s always kind but he isn’t always nice

Many of the thoughts have scripture tucked in with them.  Sometimes I just need an easy way to look at things — jars me out of the rut I get into (I wonder if I could add another metaphor and really mix things up!).


At home

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Lunch time.

A bit of snow has fallen, but the temperature is melting the residue.  Scarely two days ago we were in the -30 range.  Now we are around 0 degrees.

We sit and slurp tomato soup.  Tomorrow night we will visit with Aunt Etta.  Always nice to have relatives.  The evening will be early.  Sunday preparation begins Saturday night.

Sunday promises to carry us forward with responsibilities.  Worship service in the morning, manor service in the afternoon and prayer time and supper together with some of our church folk.

This afternoon is a planning time.  This week has seen its dose of meeting with people (and I consider doses of people good medicine!!). 

So, here I sit thinking ahead.  Much of the planning for this past while has been postponed, cancelled or otherwise waylaid.  I’m more aware now that we can make our plans, and should!  But God will direct the final pathway.

Camels and Friends!

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

So, today I’m talking to a friend in Prince Albert.  She mentions that some of our friends are over in Niger, Africa.  They set up blogsites when they went (they will return shortly).  One is a general pracitioner, the other a dentist.  The families went along.  Take a look here and here to see some of their adventures. 

To ride a camel, or not to ride a camel, that is the question!