Archive for September, 2009

To the next day

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

For the last while I’ve been dealing with what appears to be GERD (reflux acid from the stomach going up the esophagus).  This often results in scarring of the throat and worse.  The cause can be both physical and stress related.

My physical symptoms would be easy to deal with if it were just pain.  The nausea is what concerns me more.  I end up distracted and sometimes left in a fog.

Funny how mentioning this to a group you soon find others with similar conditions.  You can place yourself as to the severity of your symptoms based on their experiences.  I’ve learned that I definitely have the outward signs. 

In a week or so I’ll have a scope go down my throat and look at what is happening.  Should be fun – in a warped sort of way. 

For the moment I’m on various medications and trying to see how well balanced they are.  The last two mornings have been less than stellar – maybe that’s what morning sickness is like?

So, my hope is to awaken tomorrow a little better.  We’ll see!

Upon reading a prophecy

Monday, September 28th, 2009

We had to turn on our furnace today.  The winds are blowing and the mercury on our thermometer is going lower each night.  

After a bit of anxiety over a problem that I encountered, I returned to a “fix” we had paid for a year or so ago.  Looking back over the past helps us for the future winter.  With that fix in hand, I’m glad to forecast that things will continue to get colder.  I think I’m fairly safe in that prophecy.

Now, the past often needs to be consulted to form a usual result for the future.  Sometimes the past must be overlooked to obtain a “new” result.

I was reading in the Worship Leader magazine a quote that was tucked in the midst of a review of a new CD – “Leeland – Love Is on the Move.”  Here is the quote found on page 56 of Worship Leader for September 2009:

However, here is the significance of this release:  If you want to know what congregational worship is leaning toward next decade listen to Love Is on the Move.  It won’t change overnight, but as the Millennals begin to overpower the Boomers and the X-ers in sanctuaries across the country sing-along songs will trend toward concert cuts.

I thought we had fought this fight before.  Will contemporary Christian Music soon go the way of the Church Choir?  When Church Choirs began to present more and more special music in church services, and congregants did not have to participate, or when they were asked to participate the music was too difficult, we became spectator churches.  The Worship renewal in the last few years was about participation.   And the usual church choir disappeared in many churches.  Is the death knell for Worship Bands being sounded?  What would replace the Worship Band?

Or, is there a “new” result that should replace our current definition of worship?

Goose Fest Parade 2009

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

I was out of the house by 9:15 this morning.  My civic duty was calling.  I was to be a judge at our annual Goose Festival parade.  The day was beautiful – a little breeze and some cloud cover on a seemingly summery day.  Shortly after 10:00 the judges paired into teams to check out the 70 some entries.  Marcia and I wandered up and down, judging various categories (subjective criteria for judging – we made it up as we went along!!).  In a small town you can show up in a tractor, or put a poster board on a golf cart and you end up with a reasonable entry.  The line up went for blocks – the marching band was close to the front and the fire trucks at the back.  And the town was out in droves!

Goose fest parade band 2009

Goose fest parade tractors 2009

 Goose fest parade cadets 2009

Goose fest parade fire trucks 2009

Tallest man in Canada

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Unofficially!  That’s who we saw tonight.  He is originally from Fiji and is around seven feet, eight inches.  Strong, with a heart for God.  A good ending to the day – to watch feats of strength and realize the greatest strength is found in God.

The joy of study

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

When I  work on sermons, I will spend hours working on proper wording and flow.  There will be time to add illustrations and relevant personal application.  But first of all, I want to understand what was actually being said by the original biblical author.  Which also can take hours!

In a post modern world, what was intended by the original author is often considered secondary.  Current interpretation of literature is the following:  what the author wrote about is irrelevant or at most secondary — what is really important is what you get out of this, what you find and how you interpret what is written.  Your ideas do not have to concur with the original author.  As a matter of fact, you can be completely contrary to the original authors intent.

So, we can read the Apostle’s creed and interpret it to mean what we feel in our hearts – which can be totally different than the original crafters had intended.  With a clear conscience two religious people can say they agree with the Apostle’s creed and yet believe totally different things (a little rant there  on ecumenical ministerials!).

Now, I prefer to give respect to the original authors.  I’m not so caught up on my own personal feelings that I want to disregard what has been said.  If I disagree, I’ll say so.   Nicely, but . . .

Therefore, back to the first paragraph.  I think the most important part of sermon writing is not checking out psychology or sociology or demographics or marketing – although we should not disregard their discoveries.  The most important part is to understand what the biblical author, under the inspiration of God, was actually saying.  That’s hard work . . . tonight I’m working on the first letter Peter wrote!  Been at it for awhile.  And I sense I’ll be at for awhile longer!!

Playing with kids

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Over the past three weeks I’ve come to appreciate being with the younger generation.  I wish there was another term – that sounds like I’m looking down on them.

Far from it!  I appreciate their energy and strength.  They overflow with creativity.  And they have this “truth meter” that catches you every time you stretch the truth a bit.

So, tonight I head out to our AWANA club.  I work with Grades three and four kids.  We’ll try doing some memorizing, play games, drink juice and eat cookies, hear a talk on God and then head home.  I’ll be tired, but that can be a good tired.

In the midst of my father’s funeral preparations, this was one diversion that I gladly accepted.  So, as I brush my teeth and step out the door, I’m looking forward to this once again!!

If you can’t say something good . . .

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

There are moments where things are less than the best. 

At those times I find myself torn between speaking negatively in self-pity, or speaking with unrealistic optimism.  The thin line in between is where empathy and sympathy grow as others hear of trials in your life, but recognize that you are not trying to create pity or live in denial but rather finding place for others to “minister” to you.

All that to say that I met today with various groups and individuals who heard of my “no good, very bad day”and prayed for me, and provided support and took some of the things that need to be done, and will do them.  Hopefully I have not verged into self-pity or painted an unrealistically optimistic picture of life.  My prayer is that we find that knife edge so that ministry can happen!  And may I also find others for whom I can be a minister!

A bit of football

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Kindersley Kobras (high school team) were playing yesterday.  I took in most of the game.  Four years ago I also attended a few games.  This is a new team, and they are in the rebuilding process.  But what a difference from four years ago.  There are more players, younger players as well as seasoned, and a feeling that they could win games.  Take a look at the team.  This is championship material!!

Kindersley Kobras Sept 18, 2009

A second wind

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Yesterday I experienced the atmosphere that accompanies slowing down after a busy and emotional period of time.  During the period surrounding my father’s death activity abounded.  Then yesterday I crashed.  Well, not quite a crash, but certainly a let down.

After a good night’s sleep, I was up at 7:30 this morning.  I pushed myself, and found that the tires were on the ground ready to roll.  So today has been one of sermon preparation.  By 4:30 the basics were all in place.  And my life feels a bit more balanced.  Thank God!

Tomorrow is filled as well.  A funeral of a very sweet lady I met just months ago.  A football game of our local high school.  An evening meeting with our youth attending a presentation on Noah’s Ark.  Should be good!

How small town works

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

There is a social phenomenon that urban centres miss.  In a high density area, the people must work with structure and procedures.  Paperwork is essential so that you do not get “lost in the cracks.”  Computer database programs help to track people and make sure programs are delivered to the right recipient.

Come to Kindersley!  Recently the Post Office had a new paperwork trail to be sure that only authorized people pick up mail.  I understand legal issues with divorces and separations and a myriad of other permutations.

Having said that, a small town is often aware of the implications of social interactions between people, and staff at a place such as the post office could easily divert touchy situations before paperwork even gets done.  OK, maybe that’s a bit ideal, but I think small town people think they have their fingers on the pulse of things.

A prime example.  After my dad’s funeral someone found that they had not placed their card at the guest book table.  They apparently purchased a stamp and sent the card to us.  The card arrived today – Tuesday – one business day later.  Here is the sum of the address:

Baker families

c/o Ron Baker

Alliance Church

That’s it.  No street address or post box.  No town or postal code. 

And today it arrived in the mailbox.  Some days you have to love small towns!!