Archive for September, 2011

Early to rise

Friday, September 30th, 2011

These last few days I’ve been at work by 7:00 in the morning.  Usually there is the exercise bike ride prior to that, the cleansing shower and the 5 minute ride to the other side of town.

Which reminds me to remind you that life is so much simpler in a small town.  Going across town is a mere minutiae of time.  Gas stations are bypassed.  The sunrise’s slow rise barely ascends during the drive.  Who wouldn’t want to live in small town?

Back to the early to rise thing!  My mind works best early in the morning.  I schedule my thinking time then.  And laugh when other colleagues arrive shaking off their rest in an effort to pop above the morning tide. 

And now, as the evening approaches, while my colleague is just coming alive, I’m descending to the depths of rest.  Unfortunately I’ll be bowling in a few minutes – hopefully I can see the pins! 

Early to rise – late to bed – may not work so well!!

What a difference a week makes

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

My father was a weatherman.  He began here in Saskatchewan and always had a heart for the prairies.  I also am a prairie boy.

So not much in the way of weather surprises me.  Nonetheless – when extreme variations do occur I wonder how we survive on this planet.

Last Saturday I performed an outdoor wedding in well over 30 degree weather.  As I drove to work today it was -1 degree!  From frost to steam!  That’s the life of the prairies!

Gutter cleaning

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

As our neighbourhood heads into the fall, a few of us have volunteered to help with various outdoor activities.  Like cleaning out the gutters (or as we call them – eavestroughs).

In this particular case, the gutters had not been cleaned for a while.  As a matter of fact, rain that would have fallen would never have made it to the downspout! 

As we excavated the dirt, at points we found at least a centimeter or more of unnecessary rubble.  Probably 20 ice-cream pails of dirt.

What fun!  When we were done you could see a few holes in the gutters.  The dirt would have covered these holes but now they will need to be repaired.  But at least now the water will drain and now seep into the wood around the gutters.

Oh, I put back on the air conditioner cover back on.  Seldom have we had warm weather at the end of September.  Almost feels like our calendar is out by a month.  Maybe the days are returning to normal (which is colder than I would like!).  We’ll see!

The nines

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

From 10:00 – 6:00 various Church leaders gave “nine” minute video presentations (streaming video online) through the leadership network organization.  Themes touched on family, vision, staff, burnout, and other leadership emphases.

I started the day intending to just catch a few segments amidst the other duties of the day.  By 3:oo in the afternoon I was hooked, watching and perhaps doing a few other things, instead of the other way around.

So, back to work tonight to cover a few things that still needed done.  But, in the end the benefit was worth the extra effort.

A sermon from experience

Monday, September 26th, 2011

After the kidnapping and release of his sister-in-law and her family, Jason Ambros spoke yesterday about prayer.  Although not necessarily on the kidnapping, the sermon spoke to the matter of basic praying that goes beyond selecting menu items and telling God what we want.  Thought some of you might be interested.

You can find the sermon on our church website –  Just check out the “sermon” tab, and look for Jason Ambros – Tim Horton’s Prayer.  It may take 15 seconds or so to load, but well worth it!


Sunday, September 25th, 2011

When Saturday began I knew the day would be all over the proverbial map.  And so it was.

The day turned hot – I had bought bungie cords early in the morning to put around our air-conditioner cover.  By noon I had removed the cover and the A/C was turned on.

I officiated a wedding – a beginning of sorts.  And visited a store – an ending of sorts.   Both were complicated but a milestone was reached.  Sometimes the markers in life are as important as the journey that takes you to and from the marker.

And finally, as the day finished I fell in bed exhausted.  I push myself quite often and long days are not the exception but more often the rule.  I reserved time throughout the day for short naps.  And still yawns escaped my body!

Now, as Sunday morning dawns I’m set to go for a walk – into the sunrise and into the Sonrise of a Sunday morning!

When the plot is predictable!

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

So, here is the writer – my wife.  We watched what I would call a “clean” movie tonight – My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend.  Jill was sitting next to me and seemed to know what the next move would be.  The plot was probably too formulaic, but something about that created a believable side to a fictional story.

The interesting thing is that certain lines in the movie just made you want to believe that they made sense.  Ideas like love and marriage should be forever and that you should be free to tell your loved one everything about yourself.  With the realism of divorce and the heartache of deep secrets included in the narrative of the movie, realism meets idealism and the messiness of life begins to be untangled through forgiveness and love.

While I don’t think the movie fully reaches that height, I see the pinnacle in God’s love through Jesus –  the best example of forgiveness and love!  And the messiness of our lives can be untangled through Jesus’ forgiveness and love!

What a zoo!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Imagine heading to a staging area to pick up billets.  The hallways are full, the people are polite (a true Canadian trait) and the faces are myriad! 

That was Kindersley Composite School last night around 9:30.  We were taking in four young ladies – two from Kelliher and two from Quill Lake.  I had to walk from one end of the school to the other to pick up the students.  Then placed all their luggage in a Toyota (which trunk is nowhere near the capacity of older cars).  And finally we arrived home for some birthday cake (yes, yesterday was my 58th birthday!).

Dismissal for the evening came around 10:30 and not a creature was stirring by around 11:00.  Now – tonight will be a different story!  I don’t pick up the billets until around 11:30 and they have to be out of the house the next morning by 8:00.

This I have to see!  I’m sure they will be saying, “No pictures, Please!”

Live2lead billeting

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Our local high school, Kindersley Composite School, is hosting a region wide (which includes a good part of the province) gathering of leadership youth.  When the idea was first forwarded in the community many of us had one thought?  Where are you going to put 750 kids.  Of course, the final numbers will be a bit different, but even so . . . that’s a lot of kids.

Our local motels are constantly filled with oil workers – you can’t get a room during the week if you tried.

The final realization?  We as a community have to billet the kids!  I guess our society has gone so much to hotel and motel use that it’s “inconceivable” that local homes would be available.

I would like to say – We did it!!  As part of the hordes of homes, we are having four girls stay at our place.  9:30 tonight I pick them up.  At 8:15 in the morning we are back at the high school.  At 11:30 that evening I pick them up again (after a dance that goes way past my bed time!).  Friday, their final morning with us, they are back at the school at 8:00. 

Should be fun – if I can stay awake!

Church from the other side of the world

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Over this past weekend, Don Love, international worker from Japan, spoke at our church.  One of the discussion points we had with him after the formal services was regarding house churches.

In Japan affording a”facility” is pretty well out of reach for most people.  A church building to accommodate 20 people can be in the millions (or at least into the million mark).  For that reason, church (the people) have to do without church (the building).  Small groups of people create church that is not related to a building.  The idea of a house church is to break forth into a community with the good news of Jesus, without feeling burdened by debt, worry and depression related to finances.

The problem of transfer of the term “house church” to North America is one of context.  Here a house church is more a “break away” style than a “break forth” style.  People join house churches to form their “own thing.”  They become isolationist – feeling that their way is the only way.  We have one example of a building in the same block as our rather larger church building.  Twice in the past few years our town administration has asked us who owns the building.  All they have is a box number – and they would like to put a face to the inhabitants of the building.

We don’t know!  Other churches in town don’t know.  Some people have been seen there, but we don’t know who they are.  When a house church becomes such that there is no community involvement, I really wonder if they are a church as Jesus intended.  Going into the whole world should mean at least those on the same block know who you are!

I like break forth churches, but not so much break away churches!