Archive for August, 2007

Music to end the day!

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Although I tend to tire by the end of the day — I find sitting and playing/singing music is a pick-up for me.

At 7:00 this evening we started.  A practice for a concert at the end of the month.  Three guitars, a piano and a synthesizer.  Gathered around the music of Wayne Gibson. 

Two new pieces.  All of us added our opinions and musical flourishes.

There’s nothing quite as exciting as the creative process.  One hears something.  Another plays a serendipity musical phrase.  Another listens and tries out something new.

That’s where life seems to begin.  The composer starts the life of the piece.  Then other musicians add their comments and considerations.  Soon the ebb and flow of the piece begins to take on shape.  And after two hours of practice on one song, a new creation begins to evolve.

And that’s when I realize I haven’t been thinking about sore knees or a gnawing stomach.  I haven’t been overtaken with concerns or worries.  

This time is for the music!  And what fun it is!  I hope heaven has a few places just to hang out and do music!!

Car creaks and other squeaks

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

For the last while we’ve heard it!

A thwunk (not quite a thud, but not a thwack).  As we tranverse the town, each bump in the road calls forth the thwunk.

At first, the sound seemed to emanate from the front of the car.  Then the trunk seemed to capture the sound waves.  Now we’re not sure!

A suggested fix would be around $2,000 — the car is a 1994 model.  The worth is not so great that we to proceed with the fix.  At the same time, the alternative is a "new" old car.  And they are not cheap.

The conundrum?  To find a fix or a car for cheaper than the alternatives!

Keep tuned, we’ll have to see where this one goes — or maybe a barrell full of WD40 would to the trick??

The stories we tell

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

When you least expect it.

That’s when life explodes.  Not in phosphorous translucence, nor in splatters and shards of silica.  Instead, the bubbling just emerges, in lava-like plumes to envelope you.

Months of plodding finally come to a conclusion.  The alternatives?  Either you stop from exhaustion or you complete the task that has been niggling at you for eons.

The triumph is in the completion and not the exhaustion.

Today, I finally got phase one of a computer changeover completed.  This has been in the works since the leaves fell last year.  A faster and more portable computer will grace the desk of our secretary.  Tomorrow the hope is to work with another computer or two and get them ready to act as ministry facilitators and library catalogues.

So, to bed tonight with USB and CAT5 cables awaiting transport to the office. 

I can hardly wait to see what emerges tomorrow!

One of those weekends!

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Once a day.  That has been my usual practice with blogging.  Some days I put in two or three entries.

This weekend seemed to rush by.  We headed early on Saturday to Saskatoon.  I wanted to examine some curriculum for small groups and Sunday School.  While there, we did some other shopping.  Arriving home, after visiting in Rosetown, we rested.  Sunday started early as well, with a rest time in the afternoon and an evening farewell from 6:00 – 10:00.

In the midst of all this, the computer did not get fired up for more than a few minutes on the internet.  That’s unusual, but I wouldn’t say cruel!  A break is often as good as a rest.  And a day of sabbatical rest (or even two in a row) is not bad!

But . . . it is a struggle for me not to wander into cyberspace.  The crowds of information beckon.  The swirl on conversation is enticing.  So, I’m back and it’s now Monday!

Lifestyle evangelism trashed?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

A number of years ago I met Steve Elliott.  He has since gone on to take a Doctorate in Ministry and is teaching in a Bible College.  I ran across this article by him recently titled "By the power of signs and miracles".   The article is actually a summary of his doctoral project — but highly readable!!

I love quotes out of context!  Hopefully this is not too far off — taken from Steve’s article:

  •  For most of my adult life I had been taught that lifestyle evangelism was THE biblical and most effective means of sharing the faith, yet biblically it was obvious that lifestyle evangelism accounts for only the tiniest percentage of the conversion stories in the Bible.

And how about this?

  •  While all forms of evangelism are to be applauded and utilized, not all forms of evangelism are equally effective. The church’s present methodologies are reaping meager results. Lifestyle evangelism, while a good form of evangelism, is simply not the most effective means of evangelism.

And finally –

  •  I theorize the persuasive influence of miracles is needed to effectively reach large numbers of Canadians for Christ.

"Second Wind" Days

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

This summer has had a number of occurrences.  I believe that all things work together for good to those who love God, but some days are just "draining in the happening."

We judge — place value on — each of our life events.  Some are tough and drain the life from us.  Others seem to enrich us with life.  Hopelessness comes when we judge — value — an event as unconquerable.  Rejoicing comes when we approach events with gratitude.

I say gratitude because I’m slowly realizing that even the best positive attitude is a mere small beginning in the light of just turning things over to God.  And when God’s got it, then I just need to sit back and be thankful.  OK, maybe sit back is a bit of a misnomer.  I find when God’s got it, then he’s got lot’s of other things in place for me to do.

So, this summer as I hit upon various occurrences, my initial attitude was not always thanksgiving.  Stands of conscience, watching parents age, experiencing recurrences of negative attitudes in others, wondering if renovations will ever get done . . . and I suppose each day brings a new occurrence.

Then there are days.  Days when the "Second Wind", the wind of God — the Holy Spirit, somehow touches down.  Days where I remember whose I am, and His conquering power. 

I need more of those.

What's my wife reading?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

When we retire at night my wife writes in her journal and reads a portion of a book.

I trust her judgment. 

  • If a book isn’t making it, she quits. 
  • If it’s good, she rereads it. 
  • If I should be reading it, she tells me!

Two books recently have struck her fancy!  One I’m just beginning to read —  I Was Just Wondering, by Philip Yancey.   Here is a book of short essays written for a column in the magazine called Christianity today.  Yancey ranges all over the place with his thoughts, and writes well enough that you trail along with him.

The second book I haven’t gotten my hands on yet.  Not that I haven’t heard bits and pieces of wisdom from the book.  The best thoughts, in a few paragraphs, get read to me just before I fall to sleep.  And somehow I remember them!  Last night Jill mentioned she is about to start reading, once again, Hidden in Plain Sight by Mark Buchanan.  The book is a study of the Bible book, II Peter.  I’ll poach it from Jill once she’s done (and not a moment before, if I know what’s good for me!).

Got some books you are reading?  Leave a comment!

When they work, computers are great!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

The computer had been basically given to the organization.  There needed to be a little tweaking.  Out of my box of Computer goodies there appeared a new CD drive.  I also installed a DVD burner.  Cleaned the cover.  Attached a monitor.

Voila!  A functioning computer. 

Generally I would have been expecting those marvelous PC treats!!  "Fatal error" or "Data overflow" or some such thing.  NOTHING!

Within moments I’m done!  I phoned a friend but he wasn’t home.  So I sat down on my own computer and began to clean up some files.

Now it’s 9:15 and my motivation is winding down.  So, to the computer — good night.  To my files — good night. 

And to all — a good night!

When the bough breaks

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Yes, the wind has been high.  I understand we were the wind capital of Saskatchewan on Friday night. 

The days continue to exhibit the push of power.  Today people entering stores were headed, slanted, into the wind. 

Often it is not so much the wind.  You can find shelter.  You can tighten up the coat.  You can even defiantly face into the wind.

But the sound.  Constant.  Unceasing.  Persistent.

I’m not sure if I associate destruction with wind.  Perhaps a hurricane victim would speak better to that.  Mexico and Hurrican Dean may be just the real life laboratory to test sight and sound — to associate dis-ease and destruction with sound and sight.

Tonight the wind has calmed — and somehow the soul joins in!

Winds that blow!

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Last night we watched a thunder storm.  Not just thunder — but lightning and rain and wind.

Wind that blew branches off trees.  Wind that twisted a neighbour’s newly planted tree almost 45 degrees.  Wind that blew over a lawn chair, eavetroughing and some bricks. 

We cannot see the wind.  We can certainly see the results.  We can harass the wind and transfer the power to electrical grids.  We can pressurize air and utilize it in pneumatic tools.  We can even stand in the wind and pretend to defy God.

But are we the authors of the wind?  Are we able to control the hurricane?

At best, we are observers.

And so, last night we took the time to stand and watch. 

And in the midst — God is who he is, let all the earth keep reverent silence.