Archive for July, 2011


Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Taken from Penticton Western News – Wednesday, July 20, 2011 – Ad for Superstore.

Sinday - small

Adding to subtract

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Feeling like life is less stressed?  These last few days I have found that the things that I enjoy doing – I have been able to do.  And when I add up this week these are some of the stats.  Up by 6:00, appointments carried throughout the day (with less TV than usual!), loss of my extra weight, and a strong spirit.

And yet, I’ve done more than usual.  Perhaps the idea that you don’t do what is necessary and do what brings joy has some merit to it.  Interestingly, the unnecessary/joyful things that have gotten done have proven to be the necessary things to promote my ministry and my life.

Now, there is a paradox!

A funeral and a day

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Today’s funeral was unlike any other.  The family requests stretched the service to almost 1 1/2 hours.  The graveside lasted for an extended period.

In most cases we would say this was extreme.  One might even say that the time frame was too long.

If anything, this brought a new appreciation to my mind.  You see, the family sought to be a family.  They moved into action to comfort one another – time was not the most important thing – people were.

And so, although I believe in order and good time frames in funerals, I saw today the place of people and relationships in play.  Perhaps the combination of structure and freedom needs more exploration!

Sabbath’s golden rule

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

“Cease from that which is necessary.  Embrace that which gives life.   These two things taken together , make up Sabbath’s golden rule.” 

Mark Buchanan, The rest of Godrestoring you soul by restoring Sabbath.  W Publishing Group, 2006.   Page 129

The joy of Sabbath time

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

I’m beginning to call the moments in my life where I’m not imprisoned by a schedule (work time) as Sabbath time.  Sabbath is really just the act of resting.  We surround it with two passages in Exodus and Deuteronomy.  And over the millenia we have created all sorts of rules – so much so that we have had to work hard at resting.

At least that has been my experience.  My wife watches me pace the floor as I try to Sabbath.  I secretly envy those who can just drop everything and move into rest.

So, without planning it (but perhaps with a few years of unconscious desire), I have been getting up this week at 6:00 in the morning.  I figure by 8:00 I need to be getting ready to head to the church office.

Between 6:00 and 8:00 I have chosen not to find a faster way to do things.  I’ve chosen to pick a task that can be interrupted.  I’ve chosen to dismiss deadlines.  I don’t wear a watch or carry a cell phone.  I’ve chosen to be the opposite of my usual driven, administrative self.

This morning I picked up small rocks.  For various reasons they needed to be moved.  I contemplated using a rake, or a wire mesh.  But then I decided to pick each stone up separately, be sure it was brushed off, and place it in a pail to be emptied later.

Usually I would have been frustrated within seconds.  I would have charged off to find a “better way.”  But there was no rush.  No deadline.

So, I noticed the shape of the rocks, their color, the dead leaves and compost that had gathered around the stones, the breeze that blew away stray pieces of matter, the holes in my gloves, the sun shining, the coolness of the cement, the grains of sand texturing the soil, . . . and most of all I noticed that I was noticing!

Perhaps we do run too fast, organize to much, and miss rest.

I’m enjoying these Sabbath times.  When do you find Sabbath time in your own life?

Is there an upside?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I’ve been observing relationship breakups.  As I watched a group of junior high’s walk the streets of Kindersley, I wondered if they can live through the possible wrenching of the heart strings of their lives!

Of course, we tend to live through it.  But do we come out on the other side in good shape.  I’ve seen both the beginning and the end of soured relationship this week.  Neither is pretty.  Or fashionable.  Or worthwhile.

We hit 35 years of marriage this fall.  On Thanksgiving weekend!  There is much to be said for sticking it out.  There is much to be said for marriage vows that are uncompromising and uncompromized. 

Health and perseverance

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Today I think I finally came to the right door.

For quite a while I have been pursuing an approach to health in this area.  One that would recognize the size of our center (as compared to outlying towns), that would see us progress from a first aid center to a center of medical excellence recognized both on a regional scale, but also on a larger scale as well.

After contacting our MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly), then our health district CEO, I finally sat down with our health facility manager.  Sharon Forsyth is just new to town and has some background that could prove helpful to making things run here.  As she mentioned, the need for a strategic plan would give us one step forward.

So, I’ve suggested that we get together with other stakeholders and get some discussions going.  I can see this working for good.  I know I have wanted to get a rehab center happening here in town.  But there needs to be an integrated approach.  And strong support.  Whether this is our greatest priority, I’m not sure.  But right now we are casting in the dark, hearing strong voices but not always seeing the light.

I have been invigorated looking at the possibility.  Add to that the very real recognition that spirituality will have to play a part in this whole plan (based on the stated provincial values).  My expectation is that pastoral effectiveness in hospital visits will be increased many fold!  I’m praying that direction!

Cooking Out

Monday, July 4th, 2011

I enjoy working with my wife!  Today was one of those days.  We were off at 9:30 to get ourselves up to Luseland Bible Camp.  To cook!!

Back by 8:30 in the evening.  What a great time.

We had sloppy joes for lunch and ham in the evening.  Interesting that we always go by the meat in the meal.  Could have said great cucumbers and carrots for lunch and corn on the cob for supper.  That might have been attractive to a few.  Or how about butter tarts and brownies for lunch and cake / ice cream / strawberry and blueberry sauce for supper.  That might be even more attractive!

All of which says that the 25 or so of us had great food.  And fun around the tables.  Tonight is a tabasco eating contest for two of the counselors.  Sorry we missed it – or maybe not!

The smell of bread

Friday, July 1st, 2011

For her birthday, my wife is baking pumpernickel bread with rye flour. 

We have had a number of ingredients around the house – some of which have not seen use for a gopher’s age (however long that is!).   The very active ingredient of yeast is new – and that is important.  Other than that, the rest of the flour, sugar, molasses, etc., seems not to really care.

At half-time (when the bread had arisen for awhile and before another session of rising was to arise!), pictures were taken.  And now the bread will be good – at least from the smell of it!

So, enjoy your day – I’ll enjoy mine!