Archive for April, 2009

Unto the next!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Just one of those days.  Rested for around 25 minutes.  The rest of the day has been leapfrogging from one thing to the next.  From funerals to funeral preparations.  Sermons to prepare and administration to achieve.  A late lunch soup and an evening mushroom soup (prepared more like a stew).  Morning granola and now an evening apple juice.

Finally, an evening call to my wife.  She’ll be home tomorrow, and I’ll appreciate her return!

University president speaks

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

We’re in a tough place, but we’re in a good position to see it through.

Those are the words I heard in a news broadcast this evening.  Attributed to the University of Saskatchewan president.  Regarding such minor things as finances, etc.

I’ve been thinking that’s not a bad Christian position to take.  Our opponent figures he has us up against the wall.  And some circumstances would appear to be that way.  Finances are tough, job situations are intolerable, health is precarious, relationships are fragile, church circumstances test our faith.

But, we are in a good position to see it through. 

I’m still working on the picture of a God of the universe expansively waving his hand.  He slices delicately through whole galaxies.  His breath blows gently upon one tiny speck of dust called earth.  The curls of the breeze land next to us and somehow lift us up into the heavens so that we see with a greater awareness who God is and what He can do.  That’s  a good position in which to see “it” through.

May God lift you on His breath, His Spirit, to see that you are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ.

Oh, and if you’re not on the wind with Jesus, consider that He is the one that can take a tough place and turn it into a good position to see the world the way He sees it!  Let the breeze of Jesus fill your sails!

Planting an idea

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

As the elders met this evening, we talked about reaching into our community.  We are a church.  From that perspective, we have Christians who make up the core of the group.  In biblical terms, these are the ecclesia — the “church”. 

Of course, in our society we have another definition of church.  This definition allows in all sorts of people, beliefs, understandings, and variety.  So, you might ask the person on the street if they are part of a local church.  Drunkard, upstanding business person, mayor or waitress — the answer would be “yes!”  I’ve had someone talk to me at the church door.  They explain that they have attended another church in town once or twice, but they have decided that this is their church.  I’ve seen them once or twice in the last year.  I’m not even sure what they believe.  But they are part of our church!

Then, one of those concepts that I’m still working on!  Can we consider everyone living in an area to be part of our parish?  They are part of the church, just currently not active, committed or aware of being a member of the church!  So, we provide our service (ministry) as a church to the whole community.

Each of these definitions provide a different approach. 

In the end, I’m after seeking out (going into the whole world) those who need God.  Some need to enter into knowing God through Jesus, others know Jesus and need to grow in their understanding, others need to get out there and bring others in.

Right now, I think we as a local church need to get out there.  I’m not sure I like the term “missional” as it is being thrown around these days, but I guess it serves as well as any term. 

My current picture is driving the main street of my town.  On either side I see someone.  Someone I’m pretty sure doesn’t attend a gathering of God’s people at any time during a week.  Wouldn’t it be great to see them added to a gathering in this town.  What about having them added to the gathering I’m part of?

Imagine if every month two people joined each gathering in the community.  Pretty soon we’d see a change in the heart of the community, as well as in the heart of the individuals.

Want a challenge?  I’m calling this the “2+” challenge.  What would your community look like if this happened?

Here she is!!

Monday, April 13th, 2009

A quick trip to our old home town, Prince Albert, reaped great rewards.

So, here is a picture of our new granddaughter, Hannah Elizabeth Opseth.  Cute as anything – and no bias at all!

hannah elizabeth - April 13, 2009

A friend calls

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Every few months Cal calls.  Just been on his heart. 

So, he fires up the phone.  Rings our house.  And chats for a decade or two of minutes.

Nothing unusual.  Just the type of talk that we all need every once in a while.  Things like kids.  Engagements, grandkids, and parental pride.  Things like jobs.  Getting let go, dealing with disappointments and excitement, finding balance.  Things like wives.  Irreplaceable!

Then we hang up.  But the wires remain open.  And I pray for him and he prays for me.  For forty years this communication, in various forms, has been going on.  May it go on until death do us part!!

Death enters life

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Our friend, Verna Sawchuk, passed away this evening.  Her wholehearted commitment to Jesus was just a few years old, even though her body was much older!  I will miss her life and example.

When the car breaks down

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

As the 10:00 hour came, a phone call interrupted the morning’s activities.

Vince, a friend from years back, was at our Tim Horton’s.  His car had a water pump that had broken.  He was awaiting a tow truck and coffee was on him!  Just then my wife walked into the office and was more than willing to join us.

Vince has travelled a long road.  From a near death experience, to broken marriage and rough relationships, his life has had its share.

Today we just caught up.  He is working IT (computer stuff) for the federal government.  He also does other computer work on the side.  He is living close to the Bowden prison in Alberta, where he works with their LAN (local area network) and other computer networks for the federal government.

In times past we met weekly.  Now, he was off to visit another fellow who had been in a small group study with us.  That was a few years ago.  Now we are hundreds of miles apart but still remember the impact that group had.

Thanks, Vince, for the visit and encouragement that, though years pass, we can still connect!!

Early morning!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Well, Wednesday morning I’m on the road to Saskatoon. By morning, I mean early morning!

Up at 3:30 to leave around 4:00. My son’s plane leaves at 7:15. We need to be there an hour early. The trip is two hours long.

Upon arrival in Saskatoon I see Tim off. Then back in the car and back in Kindersley by 8:50. Just in time to start the day!

So, the long and short of it is — I’m short on sleep and in a long day!

A new grandchild

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

At 10:45 last night (April 6th) our daughter, Allison, and her husband, Scott, had a granddaughter, Hannah (I think that’s the right spelling), who is a sister to Christopher (age 3).  Hannah was 8 lbs. 8 oz., has black hair and is a great addition to the family!!

The day’s activities are winding down

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Most Sundays I preach.  Then I rest.

Today was a little more involved.  And I might add, quit enjoyable (in a refreshing way).

I began with a music practice in preparation for our 11:00 am service.  By 9:45 I was into teaching a Sunday School (Family Bible School) class — which was based in a DVD series so I didn’t have to speak for the complete hour!!  Then into our morning service, playing guitar, praying, reading announcements, and preaching.  The greeting time afterwards led to a discussion on a recent death and encouragement of others. 

By 1:00 — lunch time.  The meal was a dry run on a meal my good wife is preparing for our seniors group on April 21st.  May I have many more dry runs.  The sweet and sour chicken was amazing!!  Then a time to sit and chat with a couple who had come for the lunch.

By 4:00 we headed over to our local Heritage Manor.  There we visited with a family whose wife/mother is coming ever closer to passing away.  Prayer and conversation filled the moments.

Now at 5:30, I’m home and looking forward to a “do nothing” evening.