Archive for March, 2007

Three turkeys and one ham!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

No, I’m not talking about the people you meet down at Tim Hortons!

Today the kitchen crew was in to set up for our Ladies Banquet tomorrow night. 

The crew is basically ladies.  They chopped celery and radishes, cut lettuce and made macaroni salad.

And smells began to emanate from the kitchen and trickle into my office.  That was the turkey roasting in the oven.

So, I ventured into the kitchen.  At just the right time.  Two turkeys were sitting ready to be carved.  A knife had been sharpened and was crying out for someone to wield it.

Now, my father taught me to carve meat — and my grandmother even contributed a few words of advice for this culinery skill. 

I volunteered.  Three turkeys and one large ham later, I’m pleased to report that my carving skill was greatly appreciated.  I got some exercise (limited as it was!).  Plus, a good deed done is never to be frowned upon!

To worship God and to see Him work!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

I keep running this phrase through my mind.  70 years ago this started the church I’m currently pastoring.

As I’ve talked with people they immediately sense an affinity to the idea.  They don’t seem to need a definition.  And I suppose defining it will come in time.

But, the idea is that we participate.  We get in there and worship God and find out where He is working.  And when we do, we roll up our sleeves and plunge in.

This leaves a lot of latitude for diversity of spiritual gifts — a phrase which means God is going to do His thing through all sorts of people in all sorts of ways.

We have one Lord, Jesus and one entrance into this thing called the church.  But after that the creativity of God grabs hold.

Try it out!  See what you think.

Snow on the ground

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

A few days ago, we could watch the snow melt

Today, I’m awakened to snow on the ground.  But I know Spring is on the way — in fact, we celebrated it on March 21st.

How much like our lives.  Often we have come out of a long winter.  We have celebrated the entrance into a new season.  And then some adversity hits.  But, with it, we have hope.  We need to continue in that hope and trust God to work.

Jill and I have been much like the seasons this past week.  We are seeing God work, and yet we are also living in a real world of people.  I guess there is no better place to be — hope Springs!

Finding a new "old" car

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

We wandered over to a used car lot today.

For  the last few months we have had the use of a Neon car.  The usual driver of the car was over in Africa.  So we enjoyed being able to both be a two places at one time.  Without having to walk long distances!

The driver has arrived back from Africa.  So we wondered what a car would cost.

One was available for viewing.  $1,900.  1990 Subaru.  Four door.  A bit of rust.  No record of previous owners.  Some body work – accident?  We decided that some decisions are best made later. 

I have a feeling our desire is to replace without prioritizing.  So we will sleep on it.  Probably a few times.  And see what comes.

So far, the car is not coming.  At least to our place!

Generational Faith – not what you expect?

Monday, March 26th, 2007

I ran across the following article:  Defining Faith – How each generation sees it!

Some thoughts from the article?

Elders (those over 65 or so) see faith as the foundation of life.  Boomers 1946 – 1964 birhtdates)  see faith as providing security.  Busters (younger yet) see faith as helping to discover insights and relationships.

Elders appreciate religious institutions, boomers want content and institutions may or may not help.  Busters find institutions irrelevant since people are more important than the institution itself.

Elders chose Christianity, Boomers reshape Christianity to their own "selfish" religion.  Busters are existentialists finding spirituality in wide ranging discussion.

Check it out!  This is based on research from 2001.  Seems to have a ring of truth.

A presence more than a voice

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

When you are with these people, you bask.  Not that words aren’t present.  The words are behind the veil.  As though you know there is discussion and chatter.  But that doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that they are there.  Their physical presence is next to you.  And you miss it when they are gone.

My dad is  one of those people.  I’ve thought a lot lately about things we have done together.  His tips on electronics when I was working on a model train set.  His help in finding cars and suggestions of repair.  His ability to do math and encourage me in it.  His desire to be with us for our activities whenever he could.

But what sticks out is just sitting with him, or walking with him — being with him.  That is life.

This past few weeks I’ve also experienced that with one of our former parishioners.  John Graham passed away on a Monday.  His funeral was on a Friday.  A week later I was sitting in my office imagining the congregation on Sunday. 

And John wasn’t there.  And I missed him.

Four Commitments

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I have been working through renewing commitments in my life.  Four areas:  ministry, care, time and writing.  The four objects below represent these areas.  Guess which one is which!!

Now I lay me down to sleep

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

As the day finishes I return to my younger days.

In childhood I remember the end of the day.  We were encouraged to pray.  There was a simple prayer — "Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

I do not want to be presumptuous.  Neither do I want to disavow what God has said.  In these past years I have immersed myself more and more in Scripture.  I desire my thought patterns to be conformed to the thought patterns of God.

I do not wish to be overconfident.  But, my reading leads me to believe that those who wholeheartedly follow God are destined to eternal life.  I do waver some days in my commitment, but my heart is constantly drawn back to God.  I feel a tug that will not let me stay away long!

Towards that end, I read my childhood pray as one of hopeful and confident entreaty.  During the evening and throughout the day, God will keep my soul (the word for soul encompasses the whole of my being — body, emotion, mind — the seen and the  unseen!).  And if I die — and as I have watched Christians die in this past while — I trust God to grab ahold of them and of me.  And so, I shall see Jesus face to face. 

For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain – to be absent from the body is to be present with my Lord!

Taking some time off

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

For this last while, I feel like another blogger, Randall Friesen.  Few days off — but still enjoying ministry.

So today we are seated on our couch.  We have picked up what looks like a good movie.  We have popcorn popped.  And we will veg out for an hour or two.

See you later!

40years a Gideon

Friday, March 16th, 2007

What a great funeral!  As we walked through a godly life, and saw God’s grace, I was encouraged.

John was a faithful man.  Faithful to his family.  Faithful to his faith community.  Faithful to friends and community.  Even a forty year plaque affirming his service to the Gideons indicates his faithfulness.  May God continue to grow up men of godliness!