Archive for March, 2011

What happens when?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

I’m listening to an evangelist on DVD.  Sermons that inspire!

John Bevere is not necessarily my style of speaker.  And sometimes his big swathes of ideas are crowned by illustrations that push towards the unbelievable.  But, I think my downfall in life may be belittling instead of accepting the improbable.

Perhaps that is where repentance comes in some days.  Someone figured repentance (see a previous post) is being able to take a hold of a new possibility because the one holding forth the possibility is credible.  To take a hold of that possibility is to leave behind that which shackles us to the lesser things of life.

And so, I want to be open to new things!  Not to presume on God to do what I want but to look for what God wants.  I guess that’s why I pray for wisdom.  To know and to hold onto that which God wants for me.

The tickle

Monday, March 28th, 2011

A short rest this afternoon turned into a longer respite – and a cough when I arose.  Funny how a slight tickle can turn into a full throated cough in mere minutes.  Now, if I breathe a bit too deeply I begin to try clearing my throat.  That leads an expulsion into my sleeve.  And finally, the frustration of knowing this may lead to a not-so-good forced rest over the next few days!

I’m going to be praying for clear sailing instead of stormy days to come!

Icy meetings

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Today our church service started at 11:00.  On the way in – from farther distances – there was much ice.  On the road.  With ditches on either side.  Beckoning!

So, our out of town people were not there in great numbers.  Another in church, whose pastor lives out of town, canceled their service.

Now, we also had the great smells of a potluck to entice people.  As usual, the usual fare of food was great.  And people enjoyed the fellowship.

Our numbers were good.  Our joy was good.  And now I’m looking ahead to the coming years to see where God is taking us – even in the midst of ice and snow, and even some sleet!!

Of the Sabbath

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Abraham Heschel’s book on Sabbath was suggested to me recently.  His Jewish perspective attempts to root the Sabbath in Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament).  One review/comment on Heschel gives the following consideration:

Heschel says that Judaism teaches that humanity meets God in the realm of time. But if every instant  (space in time) is a moment when we may feel the possibility of living differently, of “turning” to use the Jewish term (teshuva, often translated “repentance”), . . .  [Sabbath] is an acknowledgment that God awaits one the next instant if only one looks beyond the things in space that occupy one’s time. The Sabbath is Teshuva, and it is also the reward for it. Both at once. The instant one performs the “turn,” one gets the reward.

Just a quick side note:  I love the idea of repentance being the moment when we may feel the possibility of living differently – and we act on that.  True repentance then, requires one who can create that possibility.  Certainly not ourselves – we soon realize our finiteness.  We need to look to the infinite creator – Jesus!

Music explored

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

I love listening to music that is an expression of the musician(s). 

Today at music festival, the equivalent of a music recital but for more people, a friend of ours played clarinet.  Not just well, but very well. 

Vanessa is one of those “kids” who grew up around us over the last 6 years.  Last year my wife played for her at music festival.  This year the pieces increased just slightly and Jill was also busier.  The reins of the piano were turned over to another friend, Wayne Gibson. 

Put the two together on a Mozart extravaganza and the evening was magical.  The adjudicator thought so as well. 

He started the adjudication by talking about being a performer, not about the instrument or technique (both of which she has a great ability to master).  He said, “When you go on, and you will go on,”  and proceeded to talk about stage presence.

High praise for a young lady of 16.  In years to come I hope to have the privilege of hearing her reach greater heights.

Thanks, Vanessa – well done!

Hanging on the wall

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Calendar squares are populating my office wall.  It’s all part of a conspiracy.  To be sure I can see at a glance what happens next. 

These last few weeks have too quickly gobbled up my time.  Striking back at the dark forces of minutes and hours, a few black felt pens have filled in the spaces. 

Now all I have to do is stick to the plan!!

Uncle Ray passes

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Today around 2:00 my uncle Ray Somerville passed away.  He was married to my father’s sister, Myrtle, for something like 60 years.  His life had deteriorated over the past years, pneumonia took him quickly over this weekend.  The children gathered at the Kindersley hospital – we were able to come by just shortly after his death.

There is a hole in the world when a loved one passes.  Even so for my aunt and cousins today.  Pray for them in this time of sorrow.

Our changing block

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

In 2005 we moved onto a short block in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.  The houses were populated with seniors – we were almost the youngest people on the block!

Now, six years later we are welcoming a new family into a home just a few houses down and across the street.  They are friends with 3 young boys.  Next to them is another young family, and across the street are three young children eager to meet them.  Directly across our street is a family whose teens are just moving into their twenties.  A young couple lives next to us.

Emily and Rita are still stalwarts on the block.  They don’t seem to age but have been here since their homes were built in the 1960’s.  I imagine they will soon move and youth will continue to invade our space.

Which I welcome and love!!  Weekly I have the enjoyment of working with some of our children’s and youth programs.  I’ve tried to slowly inch my way out of these activities, but my heart is still there. 

Change is good!

From here

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Last year one of my friends died on this date.  The day was warm, no real snow to speak of, and summer to come just around the corner.

Last night we watched out our window as snow fell.  They were huge flakes.  Covering the ground and in the morning the crunch of half melted snow frozen overnight greeted our ears. 

The temperature is said to be around the zero mark these next few days.  And then, who knows?

From where I’m standing the standing joke is becoming, “Who stole spring?”

Into the week

Monday, March 14th, 2011

For many pastors, Monday is the day off.  For me, it’s my day to clean up.

So today, I sat with two different change agents.  Both are great people who want to see things done.  The time was invigorating.  So, when I hit a later meeting that was a bit slow, I stayed focused.

Not every week is this good a start.  I was reading this past week that the eighth day of the week is the true beginning of the next week.  An interesting thought.  Looks like this next week could be great.