Archive for June, 2011

Unexpected

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I was headed to a fundraising course.  Instead I came away with a church management think tank.

Now, of course, those who were in the video conference took away information on fundraising for non-profits.  But every time the instructor mentioned something, my mind switched over to how this would apply to church work.

The funds needed became the resources that a church uses.  The approach to people became the hand reaching out to those in need of a place to put their lives (their greatest resources).

And so, although I was up early in the morning – I did not tire!  In fact, as I write this in the last hours of the day, I’m still thinking.  Refreshed by the completely unexpected!

Great stuff!

Brighter days ahead

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

The day of sunshine and temperatures reflective of June are finally arriving – on the last days of June.  We stood on our porch today and felt the heat.  Not glimpsed or gawked at the heat.  We actually sensed a covering of heat, a weight to the Celcius thermometer.

And so, summer begins.  At least we hope so.

Strikes

Monday, June 27th, 2011

‘Tis the season!

I’ve refrained from commenting on the rounds of strikes currently taking place.  One set of strikes includes those who are the negotiators being friends of mine – I’m not sure whether they are friends with each other right now.  Another strike inconveniences me.

The rash of strikes seems to go in cycles.  The top of the cycle is currently caused, from my perspective, from an upsurge in the economy (which means an uncertainty in buying power), and a new set of leadership coming on the scene (which means a juggling act to decide where power lays).

Of course, that is simplistic.  There are many issues that relate to work conditions, gender equality, even centralization vs. decentralization.  But, these two previously mentioned issues can either be managed with humility or become power grabs.  My prayer is that listening ears will prevail instead of caustic mouths!

The Great Giveaway

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Yesterday I talked to some of our seniors.  The talk was more a sharing of my own life.  At the end I made an appeal for people to read their Bibles.  Particularly Bibles that are “living” – ones that are easy to read and quite understandable.

During our coffee time, one of them asked me if I had available the translation I was reading from.  They found it quite easy to understand.

I replied that we had a supply at the church – just a literal hop-skip-and-jump away.  Another chimed in and asked for a copy.

Ater returning to the church, I picked up a two copies and took them over to the Village.  As I was delivering them, another lady asked for a copy.  Sort of helps me understand the thrill of the Gideon organization (which is 100 years old this year) – a group of people who literally give Bibles away.  You’ve probably seen some of them in hotel rooms!

This type of thing is so enjoyable! 

I mentioned to the seniors that we had purchased these Bibles for our youth.  The print was rather small.  But they were not deterred.  They just wanted to get something they would find easy to read.  Unfortunately, even for them, they find the King James Version hard to read. 

So, I’m ready to give away more copies of the “New Living Translation.”   Interested?

Back to website construction

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

For the past while I have been trying to create a website.  Not just for fun, but also for others. 

And what fun it has been.  Using WordPress software, the amazing strides in the interface and ease of construction amaze me.  Years ago I used the same software.  Lots of editing and low level programming.

Now, you can sit down, click a few links and things work.  I mean, actually work.  What took me hours years ago was done in minutes.

So, in the next few weeks I’ll let you know where to look to see the site.  Until then, I look forward to the tweaking that comes next.

Just one of those fun things in life!

To Medicine Hat and Back

Monday, June 20th, 2011

For the past few years our “city” visit has been to Saskatoon.

Don’t forget, Kindersley is at least two hours from any notable city.  Any way you go!  You can ride a horse – which takes longer.  And biking for me would be an extended time I would have not time for.

So, when we realized that traversing Saskatoon to get to our favourite spots was restricted by road construction – which would add up to 1/2 hour extra time – we decided to venture to another town. 

Medicine Hat was our choice.  Just 2 1/2 hours distance, we were assured this would be a quick ride.  Little did we know that early in the morning, after an hours drive, we literally saw no one (OK, one!) until we arrived in Medicine Hat.  There were no towns to slow down for of any note, and the road was fairly well straight (as straight as prairie roads can be).

We left at 7:30 and arrived home at 8:00 in the evening.  No stress driving – all our shopping was in one area of town and there was no provincial sales tax.  In all, we travelled a few extra miles but saved on gas money (gas is cheaper in Alberta).  We saw new sights and came home ready for the next day.

No bad!!

Going Non-Digital?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

A few months ago I asked our youth group what it would be like to take a sabbath from their digital devices.  Blank stares ensued – the impossibility of it all was impossible to understand.

Well, Ed Bahler has suggested something similar for dads!

Here’s a challenge to all you dads. First, turn off those distracting audible notices when emails, texts, and voice mails come in. Make a real effort to be present with whomever you’re with.

And second, disconnect.

That’s right. On June 19th, Father’s Day, disconnect your digital device for 24 hours and reconnect with your family. You’ll be shocked by how much that quality time with your family can revive dormant relationships. And you’ll be shocked by how much you’ve been missed.

Here are two simple tips to make it happen:

1. Before going to bed the night before Father’s Day, check your e-mail one final time, turn off your mobile device, and put it in another room. You may get the shakes, but you’ll get over it.

2. Make a good plan for the day.

Alcoholics are especially susceptible during periods of boredom, and it’s no different with an internet junkie. Plan a day of special activities with your family so you’ll be less tempted to check email or go online.

I’m in. Will you take the Father’s day challenge with me?

The day the survey died

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

In the past few weeks I have had around 5 surveys land on my desk or come in through email.  All of them are about what the particular company or organization should be doing.  As though we were to write their mission statement for them.

I understand that organizations change and new challenges arise.

I understand that organizations must hear their constituents.

I understand that organizations plan ahead.

But, is there a time at which there is overload?  And is that time now?

I watched an interview where one person finally out and said, “Too many open houses and surveys.”  They wanted the organization to get on with their work.

And so we become jaded – and no surveys get sent in.  I’m not sure if this is a matter of a leaderless society.  Or perhaps the risk of stepping out without first surveying the ground is too great.  Or perhaps our society has lost the moorings of truth that is anchored beyond ourselves, and we can only live with majority rule.

Whatever the reason, I just shredded another survey!

The felling

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

A small tree/shrub died in our backyard.  Over the past few years.  Not quickly.  I think it was just exhausted.  The brilliant burgundy leaves did not materialize this year.

Yesterday I dug a circle around the tree roots.  Today my plan was to topple the tree.

The best laid plans oft gang awry. 

But not today.  After a bit of sweat, the sharpening of the age and judicious digging the roots were severed.  As my wife talked to our neighbour I slowly rocked the beast until it silently descended to the earth from which it came.

A few cuts and the limbs were dismembered.  The stump was transported to the waste management / town dump / compost heap.  And the hole was filled in by soil.  Now all that is left is to plant grass seed.

The felling was a great accomplishment for this day.  And tomorrow?  A sermon, a farewell to a local clergy and the rest of the day as rest.  Should be good.

Sliding back into life

Friday, June 10th, 2011

The trip to and from Manitoba ended up rather enjoyably.  Unfortunately previous trips I have taken have been less than enjoyable – far too long in a seat far too uncomfortable.

But this time around, the drive was enjoyable.  And the conversation with my associate pastor inspiring.

So, here I am back, trying to get things back into order.  And enjoying it!

The rest was great, the return motivating.

Here I am.  May the days to come be as enjoyable as those past!