Archive for April, 2008

Quick trips and children's finale

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

This morning it was off to Saskatoon, a two hour drive.  We took along a friend who had an appointment (she was done in minutes).  Jill also had an appointment with the pacemaker clinic.  The technicians enjoyed their time with her.  The new pacemaker is a model they had not seen before. 

There were tests of the pacemaker to check its abilities.  They were also able to delete some functions that took up extra battery power.  Jill should last for another ten years — right into her senior years!  A miracle, should this come to pass!

Then we rushed home and literally walked into a banquet and program for our children’s AWANA program.  Over 100 attended — just enough spaghetti and meat sauce!  Great to see kids who work hard, play hard and have fun.  Of course, we leaders realize spring is here — they are a little rambunctious!!

And now, we are preparing for rest!

Overcoming weariness

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

A number of people around me are weary.  Weary in well doing.  Weary in just doing!

Tonight a committee met to discuss our educational direction.  Our church has dedicated workers, but too few.  And yet, often the vision of a new outreach, or a significant impact can reform and excite us.  We tried to think outside the box.  Even to just understand the confines of the box.

We are still weary.  But hopefully in a week’s time, when we meet again, we will know the box better.  And perhaps have enough of a view of the horizon we can sail into the sunset (love the use of cliche and metaphor — they combine well to make up an understandable picture!).

Twice around the block!

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Each day brings new experiences.  One experience is just waking with breath flowing into your lungs.  I heard of someone today, a relation of a friend, who breathed their last breath.  So, I’m thankful.

Another experience is being able to walk around the block.  And today, as my wife and I traversed the block, I sensed enough strength to go another.  That is an added bonus.  And a sign that these knees of mine are healing.  Perhaps this week I’ll progress so that another block will be tranversed.  The day may arrive when I can walk the whole town.

But, it’s all one step at a time.  That’s where I started today, and where I’ll start tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day . . .

Foodbank banquet

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Along with 45 others, I ate.  Then I heard about food.

Those who have, and those who don’t.  In Kindersley we do have people who find no food in the pantry.  Their rent, the gas for the car, the prescriptions add up.  And nothing is left.  So they come, many humiliated that they must ask.

The foodbank gives, and hopes to find ways in which they can address the greater issues. Richard Sevigny and Barbe Dunn both presented the needs.  Now the question is, what further can we do as the community of Kindersley?  Will we see those who are in need?  Will we find ways to address those needs? Are our efforts to date sufficient?  How much more needs to be done?

The Future Church

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

The president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada puts out an occasional pastoral letter.  Most deal with the trends in the church, as he sees them.  The latest is on "The Future Church".

Probably the most interesting question he addresses is "Questions Three:  If the youth of today become the board of elders of tomorrow (way past ten years from now), how will they change the church?"

A lot of interesting answers in this part of the letter.  Things like letting the church be messy, being humble, grassroots.  A redefinition of success —  the church more as an alternate society than being relevant — since relevant seems to mean being like the rest of our culture.

One statement of interest — "Music will continue to be important.  One leader said that gyms will not be as important for the next church as recording studios."

Couldn't have planned it!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

The day started early morning (around 3:30 or so I usually have "devotions").  As I was reading, meditating and praying I sensed God had something planned.  Not of my own planning.  And some days you just need that.

After a few more hours rest, I was off to work by 6:45.  Now, for me, that’s a new thing.  After surgery I struggled to be in to work by 9:00 or later. 

But I was refreshed and had some ideas perculating.  One of the first things I did was put together a CD of some Sunday service highlights.  By 10:00 I was phoning some of those who had been unable to be out because of our "snowday" on Sunday.  Before noon I had delivered packages of bulletins and CD’s to six different individuals.  Another went out in the afternoon

After a half hour’s nap at noon, I headed back to work.  Our health and benefits provider has changed, so paperwork needed to be filled out.  The denomination’s president just sent out a pastoral letter with some possible directions for coming decades.  Some water started dripping at the church entrance so pails were assembled.  Then a young lady needed a ride to the hospital. 

Now, as supper approaches, God has given me a mindset of anticipation.  I can hardly wait to see what  comes next. 


Monday, April 21st, 2008

So, the lawn had become parched.  And the dust was blowing. 

Then the snow was snowing.  My wife said my picture yesterday did not do justice to the full extent of the blow.  So look below!

Awake my soul, and sing!

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Today we opened the curtains to a whole new world. 

Yesterday the ground was dry and parched.  Today the snow is back.  White and beautiful.

I have this great feeling when a snow day may be approaching.  The day seems to be freed of worries and woes.  The day is no longer ruled by others.  Instead, the weather dictates an "at home"stay.  No plans were made (unless you are a little paranoid and brought home extra work the night before!).

Well, the blizzard did not materialize.  But snow did fall.  Not fluffy white stuff.  No, it was sticky, Eastern Ontario snow.  Imported from Montana.  On it’s way North.  Bold and beautiful!!

Playing with ShowBiz

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

For over a year, I’ve played with ArcSoft’s ShowBiz.  Never with great success.  The program broadsides my computer — more likely hogs more memory than is available.

So, today, I’ve tried to put some video, photos and audio into a coherent whole.  The stakes are a little higher! 

Tomorrow, to finish my sermon, I wanted a piece of music that features Romans 1:16.  My wife had some creative ideas.  We sat down for 3 or 4 hours  [by the way, gentlemen, never overlook a time of closeness with your wife!!].  As we stitched together effects, transtions and text the whole began to pull together.

Finally, we ventured with the final project, over to the church.  Placed the MPEG file (the completed movie file) on the church computer.  Fired up the projector and attached the sound cable to the computer’s sound jack. 

Lo, and behold, the movie began, words appeared and we both stood back.  Spellbound with the movie and amazed with the technology.

I can hardly wait to see it again tomorrow!!

What's emerging?

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I guess those involved in the emerging church have found themelves. Or is it rather, they have been found?

When a non-computerite retiree asks about the emerging church, I sense the label "emerging church" is now becoming mainstream.  Interesting for an anti-institutional movement that would rather not have a label.  At least, not the way this one is being fashioned.

One thing that seems to be happening, even as people are just now learning about the emerging church, is that they are dividing up.

A former participant, Mark Driscoll, is distancing himself from the slippery theology of some of the movement.  Brian McLaren, a proponent and writer, continues on appearing at speaking engagements internationally.  John Piper, a theologian/pastor who never really joined the group, has been plugging along involved with a counter-group forming around "reformed theology". 

Now, even putting out these few names doesn’t do justice to the emerging movement or its opponents.  Check on Wikipedia and you will find the article has strong reader advisories — "The neutrality of this article is disputed" and "The neutrality or factuality of this article or section may be compromised by weasel words."   Basically this is a way of saying a fight is underway.  Both sides want to label the other wrong.

I’ve been watching this "emerging" debate for a decade now.  I remember remarking years ago, to a pastor’s coffee group, that we should be looking at this with caution, but also see what is good.  Just this past year, one of those pastor’s told me he thought I was out to lunch when I first said this (that’s my paraphrase — works well when you talk about having coffee).  Now he is watching young couples his age stuggle with the church.  And he is finding the emerging church has been asking their questions for some time.

I’m happy that the emerging church is pushing us to be "missional".  The church has been for itself, by itself and within itself for far too long.  We need to push out in "missional" approaches.  My great caution is that we may rid ourselves of what we believe in order to wedge our way into an increasingly non-Christian society.

And that, dear readers, is one of the quickest summaries I’ve written or spoken about on the emerging church.  Thus I have missed much.

What would you add?