Archive for April, 2009

Endings

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

In a land where summer sports begin as soon as the snow leaves, when seeding begins about now, and when children are involved in other activities — we wind down our children’s programs about this time of year.

Tonight was our AWANA finale — spaghetti dinner and awards, plus a program for the parents.  Around 75 out for the supper which was scrumptious. 

Here is a first.  I don’t do puppets, but tonight I was enlisted.  We read the script, and it worked somewhat.  The kids were quiet and heard every word.  That’s a good sign.  For me, this was the first time I have actually done puppets with an audience.  At least there were no tomatoes thrown!!

And so, I sit at home thankful for the work done by each leader over this past year.  And thankful for the break that summer affords.  And looking forward to seeing what happens this coming fall!

When Wednesday is Tuesday

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I seldom lose my place in time.

The last time I used an alarm clock was . . . not sure – maybe when I was in my early twenties?  I can pretty well time out a 20 minute stationary bike ride.  I carry a watch more to confirm time than to check time.

So today was a little off-kilter. 

By the evening I’m sitting with a friend and telling a story.  About something that happened yesterday.  But I am not sure whether it is Wednesday or Tuesday. 

Feeling disoriented, I decide it must be Wednesday.  Doing the usual things.  But something is not quite right.

So, when I arrived home I talked with my wife.  Yes, it is Tuesday.  But with a Wednesday feel. 

I can hardly wait until Sunday comes — and I forget to show up to preach!!

Day’s off

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Maybe someday I’ll write an article for a well known publication that will bring me fame and reputation.  The question is, what would be read universally and impact the global culture?

I’ve wondered if the matter of the work culture of ants would suffice.  Or perhaps the intelligence quotient related to gossip columns.  Or the density of brain materials in those who figure they know it all.

Any of the above would be welcomed and hailed as the next greatest contribution to the knowledge of this world.

Of course, with the internet, who cares?

Gary cares, of course.

And if you need to understand that comment, you’ll need to await my next great article which I am preparing for some well known publication that will bring me fame and reputation!

Thanks for reading this — you have greatly added to the statistics proving my reputation is growing exponentially!

What we contemplate on our days off!!!!

To foreign lands

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

There are a few trips in the offing!

In October, tentative to the Chicago area.  In November, tentative to Tokyo.  In March, tentative to Turkey.

I’ve never been off the continent.  Chicago is no new thing.  But Japan and Turkey? 

All three trips are related to church work.  In different ways.  The first is as a co-leader of our regional pastor’s network.  The next is as a part of our seamless link with our missionaries in Japan.  The third is as  the moderator at our Canadian denomination’s biannual assembly.

Maybe the next trip after these trips will be a for the fun of it!  Maybe the Caribbean?  How about Dore Lake in Northern Saskatchewan?  Or . . .

A thought on leadership

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I’ve often wondered how to distinguish the leader that can really take an organization forward — versus the leader who is an egotist and takes things forward merely for themselves.

Ran across two video clips that resonated with me!  Put out by Cloud/Townsend (www.cloudtownsend.com) these two clips are interesting.  Try them out!

The talk revolves around sub-mission, humility and fulfilment as a leader.  And all in less than 2o minutes for both clips!!

Years later

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

A gem appears in one of those regular emails, every once in awhile, off and on, if you keep looking.  They always have at the bottom of the “newsletter” a little line that lets you “unsubscribe”.  I’m just naive enough to think that an unusually unusual “ah-ha” moment will happen one of these times.  So, I seldom unsubscribe.

A few days ago I ran across this goody from Matthias Media (a down-under company!).  It’s all about the Swedish Method of bible study.  When I first mentioned it to some others their eyes went wide.  I think they were thinking of Swedish massage and other aberrations.

Took a bit to calm down, but then we looked it over.  There is a core of three things (and you can add more) that let you just read the Bible and observe what it says. 

A light bulb: This should be something that ‘shines’ from the passage—whatever impacts most, or draws attention.

A question mark: Anything that is difficult to understand in the text, or a question the reader would like to ask the writer of the passage or the Lord.

An arrow: A personal application for the reader’s life.

 

I began to reflect on this method.  This is exactly what we used to do in our youth group Bible studies back in the late ’60’s (and to think I’m that old!!).  I can see it still working today!  I’m always amazed that our group would have 30 teens show up for Bible study –  which was almost more than showed up for our Friday night “social and devotional” time.  There’s something about direct Bible study that is rewarding.  Maybe it’s getting to know God yourself, with a group of seekers who are looking for the same thing!!

New faces

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Today I met more of the youth of our town.  Three young ladies at a Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network meeting, and three young men at a music jam session.

I enjoy working with youth.  They are both refreshing and frustrating.  I’m glad for myself the refreshing tends to win out more often than the opposite.

So, I’m home now.  Refreshed.

Meanwhile, a friend is in the hospital with a racing heart.  Laying in a hospital room where they can monitor his heartbeat.  And listening to other emergency cases.  I noticed he has a set of headphones hooked up to a DVD player.  Sometimes the distractions of life are a good thing.

Another friend is fighting addictions.  His emotions are stretched and his responses can range as wide as the ocean. 

May God keep us all in renewed states of seeking after Him.  That’s where real rest and refreshment are to be found.  Whether we are sick, addicted, afflicted  or in good health, there is a foundation of sanity that can only be found in the one who created us all!!

Delectable chicken

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

For weeks my wife slaves over the recipe and the implementation of a most delicious meal for our seniors group called XYZ.  This month’s meal was no exception.  Figuring out the amount of rice is probably the most tricky.  Rice never expands to the expected amount.

But, you can tell how the chicken fared!  The sweet and sour recipe delighted the crowd.  So much so that a number of people flocked to the kitchen to find out the recipe.

Now, that’s what I call a culinary success.  As did the 50 0r so participants!

Cleaning the cars

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Spring must truly be here.  Not only are there motorcycles on the streets, but we are vacuuming, washing and shining up the inside of our cars. 

During the warmer days of winter we washed the car.  But on the inside, snow and sand and dirt accumulated over time — dragged in by boots and shoes.  Small stones had begun to take the place of the gray carpet.

Time to take action. 

Of course, I had asked Jill if she had anything for me to do on my day off.  “Let’s clean the cars!”   After a long and tiring day on Sunday, that sounded like a nice reprieve.

Which proves my predilection (love that word!) to clean, organizing and sorting things.  My wife says I’m OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) that way.  I go into a grocery store and start to rearrange shelves!

Once the cars were cleaned, I vacuumed the garage floor and took a few pieces of garbage out to the town dump.

All in all a good day!!

Unto the next, Part #2

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Well, Friday proved a enjoyably busy as Thursday!

I started with a 7:00 am men’s small group, then another meeting at 8:30, preparation for a memorial service, practice with a quartet, memorial service, supper and a youth meeting with video games and devotional.

This was a day that was refreshing.  16 hours of constant activity.  Perhaps its the idea that something is getting accomplished.  Perhaps the activity itself keeps the body going.  Or perhaps God is in it all and wants to just encourage me!

Perhaps it’s all the above!