Archive for December, 2010

Great statement about missions

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Listening to our denomination’s video communication the following line just popped out at me.  This is a statement from those who have been around the world “doing missions”.  They know land that is shaped differently than my back yard.  They relate to people in different languages than I hear daily.  They understand cultures so different than the blocks on which I live.

So, they could be said to be missions hearted people.  All the way.

There life has shifted.  They now live immersed in missions – in Canada.  Here is what they say:

Missions is no longer geography, its people.

No matter where we are, missions is now home!

Our daughter and family

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

They arrived on Sunday and are gone today.  A quick but enjoyable visit.  We played Skip Bo, made up a game with the kids called around the world, and ate well.  Thanks Alli, Scott, Christopher and Hannah!

Opseth gang Christmas 2010

Hope is always ahead of reality

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

A year ago Laura Kornelson gave me a book to read, Paul E. Miller’s, A praying life.  I imagine she thought this would be a short term lend.  She was off to Calgary and would venture back every once in a while.  So I began chapter by chapter.

Somewhere along the line other books and projects and events filled the year.  This last week I returned to the chapter where I had left off.  Two chapters have filled my mind over these past days.  Both of them have to do with one of the author’s children – in reality they hit me particularly with one of my own children.  Most parents can pinpoint one child who is gifted and yet a handful.

Our hopes for our children are enormous.  And too often we figure our hopes should be the reality.  If they were – then hope would no longer be hope.

But we plow on figuring we can change things so that reality matches what we have in mind.  And God sits close by hoping for us to change and let him do the changing in our children. 

So starts my Christmas morning!

One day until tomorrow

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Remember the old story – twas the night before Christmas.

Well, this is the night before the night before.  And I still don’t feel like Christmas is actually here. 

Much like one of our seniors today who said she didn’t feel old, but had to admit she didn’t want to travel anymore with her limited eyesight.

When do we really feel like we are as old as we are?  When do we feel like 25 hours is needed to fill up 24 hours? 

There are times when time runs out before we are ready.

And today is one of them!

When December hits

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

My father’s letters continue to intrigue me.  Today I was looking over a December 23rd letter.  Dad’s job had not worked out, he was on the unemployment roll, and living in Stayner, Ontario.

A few days earlier, he and his brother were both in the same building – the library/museum.  Neither saw each other.  But later on they compared notes. 

“We thought it was a corker that we missed each other.”

I love that word “corker.” 

My father used it often.  Some days, when things happen, I’m waiting to hear my dad mention “that’s a corker.”  If we kids did something unusual, our would pop that word!  Perhaps that’s why I love creativity and innovation. 

Now, isn’t that a corker!

Ties are bad

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

I’m not sure what you think of men with ties, but I have a whole new perspective today.

In reading my father’s letters from 1937 I ran across a rather unexpected story.  He and his older brother (both just in their late teens/early twenties) were at a church service outside Stayner, Ontario.  The Brethren in Christ were holding a communion service – a sacred sharing together that shows commitment to Jesus and Jesus’ commitment to us.

To show this sacredness the church had bylaws that governed how you come to communion.  One of those bylaws required that men not wear ties, I’m presuming because of the vanity of such apparel.  And so my dad and his brother were told they could not wear their ties.

Now, as fashionable young men, this certainly must have struck them hard.  Both agreed to not wear ties.  They would have worn ties but they chose not to.  Here’s where their personalities differ.  My father was always a peacemaker – he joined in communion.  My uncle, a feisty type, was at the communion service but did not join in.

Now, here is my question.  Should we all (men) be wearing ties nowadays?  Our culture has changed so much that the fashion is to come up with the nicest open necked shirt we can find.  Perhaps we should wear a plain black tie with our shirts to show our rebellion against worldly influences?  Is this legalism to the last degree?  Does it really matter?

I like ties, they keep my neck warm, cover buttons I might have left undone, and look good.  My father liked ties – I always remember he wore a tie to church.  Perhaps we get too tied up in the fashion of the world and forget the heart of the matter? 

The has been Bean of Life

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Well, our Christmas program ran this morning.  145 people out – a good crowd for us!  The band was great and the play went well.  Food was easily the best in town and the round table discussion was enjoyable.  We had invited 8 others who joined us for a good time together.

The message about Jesus being the Bean of Life came across well and the presentation did not hinder the message at all.  I’m glad we had this time together – I’m already thinking ahead to next year!

The bases we touch

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Today began with a regional community group meeting.  Then home to talk to our local newspaper people about upcoming community plans.  Then off to a talk with someone from another local church.  Then set up for our local Christmas program.  As the day wore on, a nominating committee meeting, a prayer meeting and further set up for our Christmas program.

These are the bases I ran around today.  Now I’m home and the final base is a great place to be!

The power of the personal invitation

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I appreciate newspaper ads, paid spots and TV’s 15 seconds.  But in the end, when you invite a person to an event, the personal touch does best.

I am in the midst of two such events.  One is our Christmas program, the other a town forum.  We have chosen in both to forsake a push for expensive advertising.  Instead, personal letters and phone calls and personal emails and social networking will do the job.  And quite effectively from the whispers around town.

So, is this the wave of the future, or merely a return to the grape vine of the past?  Probably both.

Urinals and flush valves

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

For the fun of it, and to get hands on experience, I worked on a urinal flush valve today.  Of course, I always figure I can fix what is wrong.  Wrong!  In this case there is enough wear and tear that a properly functioning valve has become an open valve pouring forth unnecessary and copious amounts of H20.

Of course, it took me a number of minutes (which total amount I’m not about to disclose!) to figure out that I wasn’t about to create a miracle.  Finally I went looking for a replacement part.  Then, 15 minutes reassembling the various parts and the urinal was working properly.

The fun of the day?  Just getting things working! 

I realize someone may want to flush this blog entry down the drain, but at least now I can help you fix the valve to be sure everything works it’s way out!