Archive for December, 2008

Evaluating the holiday season

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

First off, it’s the Christmas season. 

Which means I start off with a different premise.  This is about a gift given to us before stores had UPC codes and sales tax.  Before black Friday or Boxing Day became consumer holiday madness.  Prior to wrapping paper — more related to swaddling clothes and babies.

Yesterday we visited a new born baby and his parents.  Kale was born on December 28th and stretches over 23 inches!  Hard to imagine a savior that came to earth 2000 years ago that could almost fit into your hand.  No wonder any self respecting philosopher struggles with the flesh and blood of the incarnation of God.

We also visited with my father on his ninetieth birthday (or as my brother so lovingly says — “you’ve entered your tenth decade”).  When we sang happy birthday, and added “and many more”, dad’s reaction was “not too many more!”  There is a place for living here and now, and there is a place for living ready for eternity.  The older we become the more we move towards a new place and a new desire to shed this body and receive a new body.

One final observation.  The snow started to really fall today, pushed by increasing winds.  Blizzard conditions for almost an hour or so.  Then the sky cleared and the expected snow day disappeared.  But, just wait an hour or so, and the wind returns and snow falls.  I’m not much of a forecaster, and the more I encounter the weather the more I’m willing to be an observer and leave the forecasting to more adventurous souls (a compliment to my father who served as a weather forecaster for 25 years).

Birthday celebration

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Well, the 90th birthday is actually here. December 29, 1918 my father was born. The war was just done and another on the way – just in time for my father to be eligible for service (he chose to be a conscientious objector and worked around Waskesiu, Saskatchewan for his “war service”).

Our trip here came through snow and wind. Around a place called Cadillac the worst of the storm appeared. We followed the yellow line (better than a yellow brick road) – sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other. I caught the silhouette of a deer at one point just to my left. And then the road seemed to clear with snow rushing across the tarmac leaving the blackness of the road to contrast the white snow shining in the headlights.

Total time to arrive? From 3:38 in the afternoon (following a church service at our local seniors manor) ’til 7:59. Then evening tea and talk.

Now today we will celebrate with three of us mom and dad, siblings, children, spouses and whoever else may wish to pop in!!

Holiday: Day #5

Friday, December 26th, 2008

So, I missed days 3 and 4!

Actually didn’t miss them at all!  We were in Prince Albert at our daughter’s place for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  A great meal, with in-law relatives in abundance.  Gift opening with fun included.  Cleaning the stacks so the toilet flushes well (OK, so every holiday includes those “down to earth” times).

We’re back now, but looking forward to a quick trip down to LaFleche to visit my parents and two of my siblings (with Nadia’s kids included).  The occasion?  My dad’s actual 9oth birthday is on the 29th!

Merry Christmas  to all, and to all a gracious New Year.christmas dinner 2008

Christmas stack fix 2008

Holiday: Day #2

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Time off with leisure in mind.  Delivered some goodies to staff and elders at the church.  Watched some movies.  Leisurely worked with my wife around the house.  Entertained a guest from Calgary.  Ate meatloaf, sweet potatoe and cauliflower smothered in cheese.  Not a bad day!!

Holiday day #1

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

There are things that are work.  And there is work that is play.

Today Jill, Wayne Gibson and myself held a concert.  That is work that is play!

The weather was cold (wind chills too low to mention).   The crowd was small but appreciative.   And the recording actually sounds fairly good.

Company was to arrive tonight.   They delayed leaving from Calgary until tomorrow morning — something about the weather being bad??

And now, to all a good night! 

A filled day

Friday, December 19th, 2008

By 5:30 in the morning I was off to the church office.  A few things had kept my mind whirring during the night’s sleep.  By early morning I was ready to go.

And go I did.  A morning study time, notes of things to do left with the church secretary, visiting hours from 9:45 – 2:30.  Set up for a function at the church ’til 5:00 or s0.  And another visit completed by 6:00. 

The evening off became a welcome adventure of doing nothing.  And now, I’m off to read a bit before bed.  I’ve been enjoying a book on understanding the Koran.  As I’ve mentioned, this is actually well written and easy to read.  And by the time I’m done I will have learned a number of new things.  Not bad for a book that fell into my lap, almost literally.

May your evening be as short as the hours when the sun is sleeping (right now that’s from around 5:00 at night until 8:00 in the morning — a half way decent evening time!!).  December 21 is creeping up, and just around the corner the days will become longer and the evenings shorter.  By mid-summer my blessing of a short evening will truly be short.  But for right night enjoy the long-short evening!

Next Friday

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

So, I’m watching an ad on TV.  The announcement relates to an upcoming show — next Friday.

Suddenly I realize that next Friday is Boxing Day.  The day after Christmas.  This Friday is my brother’s birthday.  In between those two days we do a concert and visit our daughter in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

How can time pass so quickly?

Time passes at a regular rate. 

Maybe the question is — How can I be involved in many things and somehow miss the passing of time?  Is the passing of time so quickly a bad thing?  What would I expect to be doing if not involved in what I am doing?

Eternal questions. 

Somedays I wonder if I have time to consider these questions because time passes so quickly.

When the power goes out

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Around 2:30 this afternoon the power went off.  Now, we’ve had cold weather – perhaps the equipment failed.  Perhaps the backup system could not handle the power outage – when the power went out there seemed to be attempt to restore power immediately.  Didn’t work. 

Whatever the reason, I was placed into semi-darkness as I sat in my office at the church.  I had been starting to work on my sermon for this coming Sunday.  Between partial darkness and no internet, I panicked.  Well, not quite panic.  I just got up and walked out.

I’m still evaluating my response. 

In past years I would have remained for a good while, picked up a book or found a place to write.  Today I figured the power might still be on at our house.  I figured I needed to instantly return to what I had been doing.  I figured I could redeem the time by moving on to someplace else.

I’m not so sure that was true.  Perhaps I have become impatient.  Perhaps I am too dependent on electricity, computers and the inspiration that electrical power provides.  Perhaps I’ve been caught in our instant society!

Perhaps I need to learn a little of what I preach!  The first Sunday in Advent I preached on waiting.  Now, wait a minute!  Are we supposed to actually learn from what we preach!!

2008 KAC Christmas program

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Well, the day has come and gone.  The church Christmas program went very well.  The meal was superb, the decorations were inviting and the technical details flowed without a hitch!  A total of 122 people came and enjoyed the day!

christmas program 2008 - meal 003

christmas program 2008 - youth brass band

christmas program 2008 - shepherds

christmas program 2008 - angels

When weather hits!

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Yesterday was a bit cold.  This is winter with a bite!

Today I’m preparing to head to our church Christmas program.  At this point the temperature is a chilly -32 with the expected high -31 (wind chill of -44).  I’m expecting there will be more than a few who decide an extended drive in this cold weather would not be advisable. 

Already we have one couple who live in a remote area who have made that decision.  We’ll do a little revising to the program as needed.  As always, blessed are those who are flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape!!