Archive for November, 2009

So, we lost!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I’ve taken the day.  How do things crash with no time left?

The Roughriders had the last play of the game to salvage a win.  Just keep the field goal from heading through the uprights.  And they did.  But with unfair advantage, too many people on the playing field.  A “do over” proved to be the nail in the coffin.

In the living room those gathered had yelled at the prospect of winning, then suddenly the room was deadly silent as we lost.  I was ready to go home.  A few minutes later we stepped out to go to our car.  People from other parties were headed to their homes. 

No yelling, no honking horns, just slow evenly paced steps.

The day after?  Well, it is just a game and I didn’t have much time to reminisce.  But now, as I sit at the computer, I’m reminded that struggles in life can seem so near to victory and be so close to defeat.  Fight the good fight and let the final score be left to someone else!  We are called to be faithful.

If success were all in the scoreboard . . . interestingly today I feel we won!  The team came back and stood as a team at a celebration in Regina.  Score cards fade but people remain.

Besides, there’s always next year, or eternity if it takes that long.

Go, Riders, Go

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Off to watch the game of the year (for Canadians, that is, next to the Stanley Cup, of course!).  We’ll eat and get stuffed and come home and complain of too much food.  But I hope we can exclaim that the Riders win.

And of course, a friend has sent me a text message – actually a forward of a forward of a forward of a forward.  And I have to pay!  All to remind me of what I already know!

Go, Riders, Go!

Shoving and pulling

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

As sets go for Christmas programs, this is a fairly easy one.  After a short time of conferring together with the directors, we moved a few stage pieces and there we were.  Set with the set.

Well, at least, the larger pieces are in place. Over the next two weeks decoration will take place and the tweaks will happen.  Then, on December 13th at 10:30 in the morning the program will roll out.

I’m looking forward to it – if you are in the area drop by the Kindersley Alliance Church at 10:30, December 13th.  The lunch meal is free!!

A good death

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Tomorrow morning I will give a meditation at one of our local seniors complexes.  I’ve know a number of the residents for these past four years, worked with some of them on inviting the developer to come to town.

Now, I’ll spend time talking to them, not of dreams of a home here, but of a home to come.  And in light of that home, the ability to die a good death. 

Someone has said that pondering death is one of the best things we can do.  I’m becoming more convinced of this.  Death reminds us we have eternity to follow, if we follow Jesus.  Our aches and pains remind us that we want that eternity.  In the midst of all this, the certainty and imminence of death reminds us that we are accountable for what we do now.

I’ll use my father’s recent death to illustrate this – I’m bringing his 1937 Bible, a recent book he was reading and a scripture memory system he used.  In the end his end was just a beginning.  A good death for a life of eternity!!

Thirty years of Walkman

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Thirty years ago the Sony company created the Walkman.  My parents bought various configurations of this portable tape player.  Doing dishes, walking, on the plane . . . you could listen to the music you wanted and tune in to the speakers you were craving to hear.

Now, thirty years later the MP3 player and the Ipod have taken over the function of the Walkman.  Some children have never experience the Walkman.

So, when the BBC asked a 13 year old to swap his MP3 player for a Walkman, you have to know cultures and antiquities will collide.  The outcome?  Supposedly it took the kid 3 days to figure out that there was another side to the tape.

And if you are asking, "what is tape?", let me ask another question — have you ever heard of vinyl?  And not that stuff on your mom’s kitchen floor!!

What makes a culture?

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

You may notice by the word “cult” in culture that something distinctive makes a society what it is.  Not that it’s bad, or even jarringly different.  But there is something that an onlooker can detect.

Yesterday I headed to a “glow bowling” night with our youth.  Now, I’m naive enough to think that this is about bowling.  WRONG!

As I walked in the dress code was apparent.  And I had missed it!!  White T shirts that glow with ultraviolet light.  And yellow highlighters that, when written on skin, stand out in that same ultraviolet light.  Interestingly, when the regular lights are turned on you don’t notice the mustache that has been placed on an upper lip, or the words written on bare arms.

Of course, you will also often be subjected to “funky” bowling.  Lying on your belly, or left-handed, or through the legs of your team.  That game was less than stellar!

In the end, the yelling was inspiring, the bowling less so, and the fun great!  And next time?  I’ll wear a white T shirt!! 

Notarize or not to notarize

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I’m having great fun learning about legal documents. 

In the 90’s I served as a public notary in Saskatchewan.  The task was not onerous, nor was the influx of people wanting documents verified.  My expired stamp/seal sits in my closet.

With my father’s death there has been more than one occasion where a copy of a document has been needed.  And not just a photocopy, fax of email attachment.  The document must be notarized.  There must be an actual piece of paper with a statement that this is a facsimile of the original – verified by an honest person authorized to do so.

Two of us are doing the paperwork.  We live four hours apart.  Only one of us will have the original documents.  Every time verification is needed, we have to ship “real” paper back and forth.  That takes time – and money, as compared to an email or fax.

Is there a way to make that verification quicker and easier?  As a registrar years ago, that debate was just getting into full swing.  Now, 15-20 years later the “real” paper is still the preferred thing.  And may be into the future.  As one of my library science colleagues said, “paper will never be replaced”.  Maybe they are right.  Or we could revert back to rock and chisel.  Might take a little longer to transport, but it would be rather difficult to alter!!

Communication, cooperation and consideration

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

As our local general Christian ministerial meets this Friday we will be considering the level of cooperation we will have.  For the past year there has been a fade in terms of meeting and attempting activities together.  Smaller groups within the ministerial have been meeting, but as a whole we seem fractured.

This trend is evident across the globe.  Where there has been an attempt by Christian denominations to come together around like causes and a sense of brotherhood (oops, that’s a word that isn’t inclusive enough!), now there is a return to the realization that doctrine and practice are equally important.

Issues such as abortion and homosexuality are just the tip of the iceberg.  Many push back to an understanding of the Bible as primary for belief and practice.  We even hear the same words, like God and Jesus, being defined in completely opposite ways.

Is there a place for cooperation?  For us here, we will need to communicate with each other and decide what are terms of consideration are. 

So Friday, a local seniors residence will provide the general ministerial with a breakfast meal, we’ll hear how we can contribute to the lives of the tenants of the residence, and then the ministerial will sit down and talk.  Amongst themselves, about themselves, for the sake of themselves!  Let’s pray for clear words, open hearts and God given direction!!

Budget work

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Tonight is the first go at it!  Our year end is December, our annual meeting is in February.  The budget is approved at that point.

So, the need is to be realistic in budgeting and courageous in vision.  That’s easier said than done.  There is the vicious circle that says e need resources to fulfil the plans.  But we need to see the plans to release the resources.  Somewhere in between you realize that budgeting is an exercise in faith.

May our faith be great!!

Oh what fun!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

There is a time that just reeks of fun for me.  OK, maybe a few times.  But right now, I’m coming off on of those time.

We have started a quartet to sing at Christmas.  This was our second practice. 

When you do what comes naturally, and with little effort – that’s fun.  I’m singing the high tenor and letting my voice float.  So far I’ve still got my voice (I’m really a baritone / bass so those high notes are a bit of a stretch).

When do we sing?  At our local carol Festival on the evening of December 6th at St. Paul’s United church.  If that’s not available, try Sunday morning, December 13th, our Christmas program at 10:3o am.  You are invited!!