Monthly Archives: December 2010

To the town council

One of the town committees I sit on presented an idea to our local town council.  We were well received and enjoyed the opportunity.

I believe in being committed to the community. 

I was born in the cooperative movement province, Saskatchewan.  I think sometimes we have lost this spirit.  And so, I want to be an apostle to our community for God and for good.  Perhaps this is how we let out light shine?  Perhaps we are called to bless our communities?

I must admit, this idea has not always been a part of my thinking.  I take myself back a few decades to the years working at a seminary.  I was focused only on the local church – with little or no room for those outside of those walls!

Daily at seminary I was surrounded by thinkers who pushed me to consider what cooperation was about.  First to Christians – we are to be known as those who love one another.  To non-believers, I want to live at peace but also to promote the good!

And so, I’m on a journey.  Trying to learn how not to compromise the need for a personal relationship with Jesus while seeking to work with those who are indifferent to, or even reject Jesus.

How have you lived in your community as a Christian?

My Father’s letters continued

Well, the fun is still there.  Each day I’m trying to transcribe the letters of my father’s trip to Ontario during the dirty thirties.  The trip began in July of 1937.  What today is a ten hour drive to Winnipeg takes a few days.  Town mentioned include Biggar, Saskatoon, Guernsey, Brandon and Foam Lake.

The term for the approach to travel was called “thumbing”.  A driver notes those who have their thumbs stuck out, and may chose to slow down and accept them for travel.  This form of transportation seemed to have carried on for a number of years – into the 70’s and 80’s.  By that time there were not a lot of people who picked up passengers – there had been too many muggings.  On the other hand, not many wanted to hitchhike – there had ben too many muggings.

But, back them this was an acceptable form of transportation.  If you would not pick some one  up, then when you needed a ride don’t expect anyone to pick you up. 

Dad mentions two particular rides.  One a young couple who blew a tire when they had inadvertently left the highway.  Further reading of the letters indicates that gravel roads were considered highway grade.  Even plain dirt served as a channel for travellers.

The other ride was on a ten ton truck with two threshing machines.  A 320 mile journey.  Needless to say they were looking up friends in the next big town and taking a bath!

Where to next?  Let’s see what comes!

Father’s legacy

Part of my family legacy are letters my father left when he passed away a year ago at the age of 91.  They are the remnant of a visit he took to Ontario in the 1930’s when he was around 20 years old.  I’m trying to type them out and having a hoot!  I think that even might be an expression from back when he wrote those letters – he would have been around 20 at that point!

So, here’s a little bit from one letter.  Talk about how youth continue to be the same while believing they are totally different.  Have fun!

A few Sunday’s ago they announced that they wanted names handed in for the church down here to be considered at council meeting. Well, I got Marshall to hand in Mountain Veiw Church because there is a very good view from the door. The church has always been called 6th Line but they wanted something official or something. Well, they brought it up at the meeting today and they had a list of 14 names written on the blackboard such as Batteau Creek church, Cedar Grove, Cedar creek, Cedar Lawn, Blue Mountain View, Mountain View, Berean Church, Dutch Settlement, Mount Zion, Sunshine Church, that’s all I can think of and then somebody wrote on the tail end 6th Line church. Well, I canvassed around all I could for Mountain View and then after dinner we voted. It came out between these 4, Batteau Creek, Cedar Lawn, Mountain View and 6th Line. We voted again and what do you think. 6th line church came out ahead, and Mountain View close on its heels. Oh boy! Some of the people were sure discustipated to think that that old name “6th Line” won. I don’t see how it ever came out ahead because nearly everybody seems to be pout out about it. I guess it was just all the old conservative types who voted for it.

You’ve got to love that 1938 word – “discustipated”.  And how about church politics – they’ve been around for a long time.

Now, on to a youth thing!

Say, a bunch of us guys got an awful trick played on us today. It was at noon. Council starts at 10 am down here and then we had 1 ½ hr. noon hour before the afternoon session. Well, anyway Roville and Marshall and Don Marplet & I were standing around not knowing what to do with ourselves. We happened to spy the empty back seat of Vic Appleton’s car so I made a b-line for it and the other guys followed. We got in and here if Lila, and Lela and Mary Lou weren’t parking the front seat (of course, we didn’t know it? Shush?) Lila had the nerve to tell me I was getting as bad as her.

Well, we had only been there about 5 minutes discussing the weather & other unimportant topics when along came Mrs. Swalm and told Lela she better come into the church. She tried to get out of going in but her mother insisted so she had to go & so Lila and Mary Lou went too. We had the whole car to ourselves then but we might have rather had it crowded, we might have been able to keep warmer.

Those God moments

My wife asked God to stretch her.  After going through a cashier line, the cashier, whom she barely knows, approached her and asked to meet with her to talk. 

I sat with a social worker who is inaugurating a wellness program.  Our ministerial were asked to participate after we had pointed out that we are the “professionals” in town related to spirituality.  Because a number of social workers have come to know me, they felt comfortable with opening up this avenue of participation.

Sometimes just being around long enough helps to establish rapport in a town.  Sometimes just being there let’s God establish rapport with those around you.  Which ever way it works, God has this plan to intersect our lives with the lives of others, for His sake.

Thanks, God, for opportunities that you bring our way!


I’ve had a sheet of paper in my possession for the last few months.  Ripped from a Christian magazine, there is a website indicated to get to podcasts from Beeson Divinty School (

I happened upon Sinclair Ferguson’s podcast with Timothy George.  In the midst of listening (and I’m not a regular podcast listener), Sinclair is talking about preaching.  He says that some days the worst sermons he preaches, from his perspective, are the ones that touch people.

I had one of those times recently.  When I got up on Sunday I had already told the operator of our PowerPoint that I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.  I had a script, but it was missing something.  I knew it.  And time marches on, regardless of  who you are or what you feel! 

So I stood and preached on hope – the first Sunday of Advent , November 28th (you can find the sermon through our church website – – check out the sermon tab).  I found myself being passionate and strangely found the listeners listening.

After service I placed the sermon on the internet.

I decided to listen to it. 

Once again. 

I seldom do that.

Listening to what I said confirmed some things I truly believe.  From my heart and not just the script.  I’m  glad I listened!

Sometimes the unscripted moments are the ones we need to go back to.  To look at our passions.  To realize that our weakness is God’s strength.  To listen to what God has placed on our hearts.

Go back to the time you compassionately spoke to your child about their future.  The time you said sorry because you really were.  The time you leaned forward in your chair to make a point. 

Go back to the unscripted times and see what God was saying to you and through you.


So, we’re sitting here listening to the show – “The Sing Off”.  This is music without instruments.  I love it.

My own background is in vocals.  Anything that showcases the voice . . . I love to see how it’s done.  A Yale group just did that thing . . . sassy and traditional, loud and soft, dynamics that were unbelievable.

So, for two hours I’m actually watching a show that I wouldn’t mind being on!  It makes me want to sing!

Cataloguing done

3,465 books, 85 hours and just plain fun.

That’s what it took to get Tim Crump’s books catalogued.  This was phase one.  There is still the need for family to choose books they may like, and then to sell the remainder.  Every once in a while I was asked when I would be done, and even why I was doing this.

Done – when it’s done.  Reason – a final request of a friend.

Funny how completion of even a stage in a project provides a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.  Funny also, that this would be a pleasurable activity for me.  Four hours would go by without a thought.  For others it would have been interminable.


Thinking in sections of the day

I generally put my days into three sections:  morning, afternoon and evening.  I then plot out (but not always fulfil) the work time, portions of the day that are off work,  and days off.  Seven to ten portions are not to be work related, with at least three consecutive blocks considered a day off.

Today I had a morning block that was a meeting with local evangelical pastors.  The afternoon was my own time as I catalogued books for a friend’s estate.  And this evening was our youth meeting.   The rest of the day I ate, slept, showered, chatted with my wife, and wrote this blog.

Now that I’m at the end of the day, I can say this has been a full day.  I’ve enjoyed it, eaten well (morning started with a full breakfast meal!), and now anticipate sleeping well.  Tomorrow I start early and finish my sermon (I’ve finished two drafts, one or two brainstorming times and tomorrow I’ll pull it all together).  By later in the day, I’ll go back to catalogue some books.  And my hope for the evening is a “free” time. 

Should be good!

Facebook reviewed

The latest issue of “Faith Today” has an article on Facebook usage.  Written by a woman, some of the disadvantages of Facebook are the addiction, the “high” that you get from friending people for the sake of stroking your own ego, and even the matter of time management.

I like Facebook for the communication potential.  Particularly for our youth.  I’m still getting used to those in teens and twenties (and even into thrities) who use text messaging constantly.  I was talking with some grandparents who had taken their granddaughter out for lunch.  While I talked directly to the “old generation”, the granddaughter held her cell phone (a nice lime coloured one) below table level across from her grandparents.  Not to give the cell phone an open space to the air, but to read and respond to text messages.

Now, we have had the same thing with the previous generation and television.  A few decades ago visiting a friend meant that the TV was turned off.  Now, we almost expect that the TV will stay on as background noise, if not loud enough to hear the score or see the plot line developing. 

Which brings me to the question of listening. 

Facebook doesn’t require listening.  Using Facebook means we deliver what we want to say.  Others may comment, but often even that is just “commenting from our perspective.”  Someone has said that Facebook is not good for sorrow.  Text messaging may also be the same.

Watching TV and visiting doesn’t require listening.  The TV story line takes precedence – it may give fodder for some discussion but more often it dominates by telling instead of listening. 

There was something about a board games night where there was as much talk about life as about the game.  Or that most unusual thing we call a sit down meal – no radio or TV, no other diners interrupting, no agenda than just being with the other person.  Or how about tea time, not “Tim’s time”, where you are with others and no others are there to interrupt your discussion.

OK, I’m in the midst of too much technology, information overload and a lack of face time with others.  I’m not against technology, information or large group opportunities.  I’m just trying to balance my life.  What does that look like?  Any comments would be appreciated.