Archive for April, 2007

To Pray or . . .

Monday, April 30th, 2007

I’m sitting in my office.  Working on a sermon series.

Back in January I had calculated the date when my series on Acts would be completed.  This past Sunday "The End" came.  I feel a little lost — Acts has been a great launching pad and growth ground for my thoughts.

In January I also sensed that the following series should be on prayer.  Not because of some crisis.  Not because the "fad" is currently to preach on prayer.  Not even because all preachers "should" preach on prayer.

NO, just a sense that prayer is where I needed to go.

In some ways the days have crept up on me.  I’ve lived for the last few months almost totally with pencil in hand — revising my schedule daily and sometimes even hourly.  God has been gracious — just giving me enough to do in His strength and not my own.

I’ve been spending time each day praying.  For years I have daily prayed a short prayer for my children.  For these past few months I’ve prayed "unbounded" prayers — just a minute of prayer without a boundary, or an "intention", agenda or direction — just prayer to God which sometimes is unspoken because I’m not sure what all to pray — I just need to pray.  I’m also praying to God for healing — a gradual healing of my knees.  Occasionally I get some burden (often in a crisis) and I go for a strong dose of prayer.

I’d like to say I pray in total faith.  I can’t.  I pray with God in view, but sometimes it’s a bit cloudy.

I have big desires — to see our community change, to see Jesus expressed in this locale in terms people will understand, to have our own church continue to find unity in Jesus, to see my chidren racing with God, to expect more than I can imagine from God.

That’s just a start.  I have more prayers related to family, and friends, and education, and discipleship, and mentoring, and writing, and ministry, and . . .

I guess my prayers are a rather big conversation.  One I’m not always engaged in as much as I would like to be.  But one I sense is important.

The yard, Oh, the yard!

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Up early to travel to Rosetown to visit my parents, and two of my sisters, plus various and asundry others.  Long time since I’ve travelled an hour to have oatmeal porridge.  All good!

Back at home for the afternoon, we cleaned up the yard.  This included trimming trees and mowing lawn.  To keep the day fun, I also put an axe head on a handle we had purchased earlier in the year.

At one point today I looked across flat prairie.  I smelled the aroma of fresh tilled soil.  I saw seed being planted.

The "proverbial" heaven on earth!

Serendipity and country music

Friday, April 27th, 2007

So, tonight I’m flipping through TV channels. 

I hit the country music awards.  Someone is singing about believing.  I listen as the last minute of the  song is sung. 

I’m not one for a lot of country music.  But, I like the words.  Brooks and Dunn singing a Dunn/Wiseman song called "Believe."

I head to my computer.  Here is the song if you want to hear it.  Here are the words that struck me:

I can’t quote the Book
The chapter or the verse
You can’t tell me
It all ends
In a slow ride in a hearse
You know I’m more and more convinced
The longer that I live
Yeah, this can’t be
No this can’t be
No this can’t be all there is

Sorry for coffee?

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Today, I arrived back at work after coffee.  Someone needed to get into the facility.  They had to find another key.  Things worked out.

I said to them, "I’m sorry".

 I was sorry they had been inconvenienced. 

But I really wasn’t sorry  — at least not for having gone out for coffee.  Coffee is important (OK, so I don’t drink coffee — but the social activity of coffee is important).

To be sorry or not to be sorry!  That is the question.  

Awana finishes

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Tonight was the final Awana club night of the year.  The children sang for us, puppet entertained and leaders were honored for their work.  The evening began with a delicious spaghetti meal, along with ice cream cups, buns and caesar salad. 

See you next year!!

 

Starting Reno's

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Tonight I wandered into the basement.

We’ve constantly told people whom we lodged that our next project was to be the suite in the basement.  There are two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room.  Probably around 800 square feet. 

The layout is great.  The colors are interesting (I love that word!).  The flooring is ’70’s.  The kitchen cabinets could use updating.

So tonight I took off baseboards, scraped some corkboard off a wall, and generally got ready for a make-over.  Our biggest decision?  Probably the flooring.  I haven’t check much, but I have this funny feeling we are in for a few dips, hollows and hills!

By this time in the fall, . . .

Check back for details!

Rosetown welcomes parents

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

They’re here — a picture from our visit with them on Saturday!

What rattles around in the brain?

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Over the last few weeks I have sat in on a number of presentations.  They have ranged everywhere from understanding Hutterites, to business and Christianity, to a drama on the possible outcome of the resurrection for Pilate’s wife, to women in ministry.  And those are just a few of a myriad of inputs!

We are all people with many thoughts racing, rumbling and reacting in our heads.

Mosts days we can keep them together.  We recognize the relationships.  We have a context.  We can concentrate for the moment.

Some days are more difficult.  For my mom, right now, most days are difficult days. 

An assessment done on mom today encourages us as family to walk alongside her.  To love, protect and care for her.  We have committed to do just that.

Mom, we love you!

No secret!

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Apparently in February, Oprah opened the world to a new branch of thought.  Well, actually, its old school thought put out in a new dress.

First, the thought is contained in a video instead of a book, or being expounded from a pulpit.  Second, the thought is considered to have been a secret for centuries — kept from the masses.  Finally, the thought will change your life so you can have health, wealth and everything you ever wanted.

The following is a part of a summary of the thought as expounded on the Oprah show.

People around the world have been talking about a movie so powerful that it can change the course of your life. This movie, The Secret, was created by Australian Rhonda Byrne, and she says that if you follow its philosophy, you can create the life you want—whether that means getting out of debt, finding a more fulfilling job or even falling in love.

Rhonda was in a state of despair when she came across The Science of Getting Rich, a book written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles.  I took a look at some of his writings.  Supposedly his earliest writing, and one considered to be foundational to all his other writings, was a book called "A New Christ".  Filled with Scripture, my reading of it shows a denial of Jesus as he has been historically understood. 

Rather, Jesus is just a man to Wattles — an exeptional man but nevertheless just a man.  Further, Jesus shows the way into the cosmic consciousness.  He brings to us the truth that we can all become one with God.  And as such, we have access to the universe.  All we have to do is use our minds to think positively.

Well, that’s a quick summary designed to show where I think this he’s going.  This is a gospel of selfishness.  The idea is to become our own god, and to visualize our way into whatever we want.

I’ve lived a few years now, and I see a mixing of world religions in this one.  From Eastern religions to Scientology and a few others.

Which makes me want to yell and scream!  "Jesus is the answer, not ourselves!" 

God is in control of the world, not us.  We are projecting onto God our own selfish desires, rather than seeking God to know what God’s will is.  Wattles has a warped view of knowing God’s will which is selfishly based, rather than unselfishly seeking after God — willing to obey God rather than, as Wattles describes, having God do our bidding.

The contrast is amazing!  On an earlier Oprah show, Rick Warren of "Purpose Driven Life" fame, came on to explain his approach – on that is based on Jesus.  I’m not sure the world of Oprah caught all the contrasts.  But, in a world that is increasingly hostile to Jesus followers, "The Secret" is no longer a secret.  I believe it to be pretending to be the real thing!

If you want a proper view of living in this body, of stewarding the resources we have on earth, of knowing our proper place in the universe — consider what God says in the classic book, the Bible, not a sensational video called "The Secret".

By the way, this rant was inspired by the use of "The Secret" as a training video in a local business. 

Chamber of Commerce luncheon focuses on youth!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Saskatchewan is a booming economy.  We have the statistics to prove it.

But our labour market is stretched to the limit.  Today, Ralph Boychuk (Sask. Chamber president), pointed out the need to have our youth stay in province.  But not only stay, but be employed gainfully.

The suggestion of having a certification in a trade also accompany a high school diploma is intriguing.   Sounds a bit like the German system of schooling.  There you are given a track (professional, trade, etc.) that you follow early in your secondary school years.  The biggest problem seems to be the inability to change tracks once you are completed high school. 

I would love to see more youth walking our streets, buying groceries and becoming responible citizens.   Let’s see what can be done!