Archive for February, 2010

On the end of life

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Mamma’s and Pappa’s lead singer was Denny Doherty – a Canadian.  In a documentary which I found on Bravo.ca, he discusses death and dying with reference to the death of his wife, Jeanette.  Check out Clip 8 of “Here I am”, the 2:00 minute mark.  Here is a sample.

Doherty:  I watched her take her last breath, counted the seconds between each breath, then heard the last one.  That’s it, and then she was gone.  Where did she go?  Not physical.  She’s not here any more.  What was that that just left?  And where did it go?  I physically felt (breathes out).

Interviewer:  Did that give you some sense of peace or some sense of unease?

Doherty: Oh, terrified.  It’s the unknown.  I don’t know.  Where did she go?  She was here a minute ago. 

It’s gonna happen to me.  Yea, it’s gonna happen to you. 

Where are you going?  I don’t know.  Do you? (in anexaggerated tone): “Yes, I’ve been there.  I’ve had an out of body experience.  Where are we going?  Are we going to Cleveland?”

Right questions! 

There is a better answer!

Second day home

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Well, this cold just continues.  By noon I was stuffed up and a little rest helped.  The rest of the day has been inside.  I had one project that required me to head outdoors, but someone volunteered.

This sitting around is tiresome.  Imagine those who are restricted to hospital beds (there is one I’m visiting who has been in for weeks).  Imagine those who face depression (there are those in the past who have waiting for a phone call).  Imagine being snowed in (wouldn’t a number of us love that right now)!

May you have a good evening and find sufficient grace and strength for the day!

Not there

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Well, the conference goes on.  I didn’t go!

This morning both of us who were to be headed to the conference were feeling sick – fluish, cold, that type of thing.  Rather than continue to spread our germs and not feel well, we cancelled out.

So, here I am at home.  I’ll try and slow down and bit and see what comes.  At this moment my head is clear – I trust my chest will also remain clear!

Conference time

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Tomorrow two of us head to a conference on rural churches.  I’m interested to see the contrast between the more mainstream approaches to church ministry vs. the rural distinctives.

The conference is in beautiful Cypress Hills.  Maybe a bit of walking for exercise and clearing the mind.  And a resort facility that should provide an opportunity for good listening, eating and fellowship.

See you later!

To recoup!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I felt a tickle.  Not big, just enough to cough once, then again, and again.

So, although my days are busy, I laid me down to rest.  At 7:00 pm.  I thought maybe I would arise shortly and do some hospital visitation. 

Now, three hours later, my throat is a bit better.  My soul feels rested.  And I’m off to bed once again.

Sweet dreams and may your rest be as deep!

Harkening back to healing

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

From my blog on Thursday, June 21, 2007:

“To be healed is not so much about being able to “do more things” for God, but about bringing glory to God.”  I tend to think that it would be nice to get healed so I can throw myself back into all the stuff I think I should be doing.  Maybe it would be more important to see how God can use this, than to prove to others than I am a superman able to do everything!

I have been working on my own current understanding of healing.  I firmly believe that God can heal.  I’m looking forward to a healing service a number of churches will incorporate into their Good Friday service this year.

At the same time, the sentiment above has kept coming back to me over the past few years.  I wonder if I seek for healing for my own glory – to be able to do more so that people think well of me and they miss God’s miracle in it all?  I think I’m getting closer to the point of writing this sermon – although I’m not sure it will be easy!

Dallas Willard’s new book

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Ever wanted a book to let you think.  Quite literally, to let you think about thinking and faith.  Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy) has a new book out called:  Knowing Christ Today:  Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge (Harper Collins/Harper One, 2009).  Here is a sample of some of the thoughts:

. . . some people who enter the lottery know they will not win.  they will not win, and they have good evidence that they will not.   They may refuse to consider the evidence or hold it before their mind.  Yet they are prepared to act as if they might win.  In wagering they are irrational and irresponsible.  Human life is full of such self-delusions.

And that explains why gambling is morally wrong.  It is not a morally admirable practice, but rather just the opposite.  Rational and responsible persons will not do it.  (We have a duty to be rational.  It is virtue.)  And it also explains why the gambling industry presents itself as “entertainment.”  It wants to disguise what it really is.  When you gamble, according to it, you are just “enjoying yourself” or having a fling.  But rational and responsible people are those who strive to base their beliefs and actions upon their knowledge.

Or how about this convoluted way to get a point across, where Willard quotes Elton Trueblood who is quoting Kirsopp Lake (and now you can quote me quoting Willard quoting Trueblood quoting Lake):

Faith is not belief in spite of evidence, but life in scorn of consequences.

Or, how about this snippet (you’ll have to read the book to get the context):

That also explains how many people can now say, “All religions are equal.”  What is meant is that all religions are equally devoid of knowledge and reality or truth.  In fact, however, no know religions are the same; they teach and practice radically different things.  You only have to look at them to see that.  To say they are all the “same” is to disrespect them.  It is a way of claiming that none really matter, that their distinctives are of no human significance.

A luncheon date

Friday, February 19th, 2010

My wife and I set up a luncheon date with a couple and their daughter.

Now, if I were a youth pastor, you would expect this to be a time to explore the current state of the family.  We might talk of life goals, or values, or communication.  You might even expect the daughter to have either initiated the meeting, or to have vehemently opposed attending.

Just the opposite. 

This meal was held at the local senior’s complex.  The daughter is close to our age (we are no spring chickens!), and the parents are great grandparents!

The meal was one of those enjoyable conversational jaunts down known paths, enjoying shared thoughts and exploring life as it unfolds.  We have know the family for literally years.  This was just one more opportunity to reacquaint and reactivate friendship.

Besides, the roast beef and gravy sandwich was great!

Quite a combination

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I met today with a new acquaintance.

He is lately moved to Kindersley. 

His life story has been extensive, and yet he still appears young.  He is married to a Muslim lady and is a bit of a Koine Greek scholar – reading and translating the New Testament.  He is a Caucasian from small town Saskatchewan. 

With that background a whole story could be imagined.  I’m rather inclined to spend time with him and find out the real story.  As I mentioned to him at one point in our conversation – I seldom read fiction, I find non-fiction can be way more exciting!!

Funeral finality

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Closure is what we call the need for finality after a death of a loved one.  We can claim we are unaffected, but somewhere, sometime the effects will out!  Thus, the need for a “funeral” of some type.

I have seen anything from the somber to the bash!  Religious to pagan. 

Every culture has there approach to death. 

The Christian has an optimistic yet realistic approach.  In today’s funeral we celebrated the life of Harry Piluk.  We watched as weeping happened – sorrowing for the loss of one who had talked, walked, comforted, fathered, fixed and loved.  Then we gave the casket a final resting place, confident that Harry is not dead but will live – absent from the body is present with Jesus!

Death and dying are joyful yet painful times.  May God comfort the Piluk’s at this time, and give them the great hope of the Christian – resurrection!