Archive for November, 2011

Christmas songs

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Tis the season.

And many are thankful.  Today one person talked about how the songs get into your head.  They begin to be on the back of our tongues, just waiting to come forward.

With the evident impact of carols and songs, I’m certainly enjoying getting a start on the season.  Of course, I’ve also been asked to sing a few times over the next few weeks – all the more reason to start listening and enjoying.

What are my favorite Christmas songs?  I love the old standard carols – Joy to the world; O Come, all ye faithful; Silent Night . . . and many more.  I enjoy some newer songs like Birthday of a King, and Oh, Holy Night.  And even more contemporary are songs like Hope is Born and Are you Listening.

Not that you know all these songs! 

So, what are the songs that you enjoy in this season?

Geriatric couture

Monday, November 28th, 2011

So, I’m listening to a forecast of the top 20 trends of 2011 (a video done in 2010).

Amidst the top 20 was one that struck me.  In the last while I’ve worn clothes that are ‘retro’, according to some of our teens.  And to them the term retro was not derogatory!  The first time I heard the whispers about my clothes, I just though my fashion sense was being questioned.  Of course, many have been doing that for years. 

Instead, the youth were surveying what I was wearing to see if the fit could be theirs!  Totally disconcerting.  I wear my father’s sweater because it feels comfortable.  They want to wear a geriatric sweater because the trend is sliding in that direction.

So, old people, open your closets! 

You have the clothes of tomorrow sitting on yesterday’s pile!!

Football

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

The last minute is on us!  Looks like BC will win the Grey Cup.  But there could be one last go for Winnipeg.  I expect a short kick.

Yes – and no!  Short kick but maybe not 10 yards.  That could be it.  But you never know.

That’s the story of life.  Never give up!  Have faith!!

The forecast is unbelievable

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

I awoke this morning and checked our weather forecast.

That’s not out of the ordinary.  What is??

We have had some very cold days lately, and lots of snow.  By very cold, I mean down into the -30’s Celcius with the wind chill.  The last few days have crept up to the freezing mark.  And now . . .

Sunday is expected to be 12 degrees above zero!  That is like a warmish spring day.  That’s like a nice fall afternoon.  That’s like unbelievable.

Our streets will run with water for the day.  Snow packs will diminish to snow puddles.  Our cars will be wet with salt and dirt.  Children will splash in puddles and adults will sit and watch.

The best part of it all?  This is a foretaste of spring!  One last day to retain the memory before the chill of winter completely sets in. 

To think – Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent in which we think of “hope”.  The coming again of Jesus.  Perhaps the weather will remind us that we will have hope of a coming again!

Slavery and Manners

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

William Wilberforce is often cited as a leader in the movement against slavery.  Lesser known was his campaign to reform the manners of a society that had become lax, lewd and lascivious (all great words to say that they were more inclined to satisfying their own desires rather than looking out for the good of others).

As I sat over tea today, I entered into a discussion about freedom and boundaries.  Certainly the slave trade was a boundary beyond sense and reason – if we truly take into account the thought that we should “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”  At the same time, to be released from slavery still means that you must work within a culture to enhance the culture and not threaten those who make up the culture.

I think many of us think that getting rid of all rules means we are no longer slaves!  As Wilberforce would have seen, the riddance of slavery (as practiced at that time) was an affront to the “Golden Rule.”  At the same time, unbridled lust and wilful destruction – living without manners – was also an affront to the “Golden Rule.”  Somewhere in between is where a society will be seen as “the good.”

Of course, in the midst of all this discussion, there is a recognition that we tend towards ourselves and not others.  Only a changed heart – one that seeks the good of others and the proper place of our creator – will truly be able to reform a society.  Which is why I keep turning back to Jesus for direction – God as man, God’s change agent for our world.

The expulsive power of a new affection

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Thomas Chalmers is quoted with this tidbit of wisdom.  I’ve been watching a promotional video series on Conflict Resolution with Tim Pollard.  Put out by Peacemaker Ministries, the session I just finished has some great nuggets!

When we experience conflict – go to God first.  That means; in all I do, I do only what would shine a favourable light on God.  If I can’t see God in the mirror, I’m in trouble.

Then, get real with yourself!  We have a great capacity to blame others before we even consider the downside of our own behaviour.  The deeper issue in conflicts are not the symptoms but the cravings that underlay our reactions. 

Whatever craving is not based in God is an idol – another mini god has replaced God!  Sin is what we do when we are not fully satisfied in God.  And so our hearts become idol factories.

What idols rule your heart?  What do you fear?  What do you want the most in life?  What would you sin to obtain?  Have you ever stretched the truth to obtain something? — And here is one of those statements from the video that hit me.  “Your wife and kids know your idols because they’ve seen when you’ve flared up.”

How do you explode an idol factory?  Replace that factory with a much better factory.  Drive our love for the mini god out with a big love for the true God.  If our lives are comprised of an insatiable love for God, then the little loves will shrink into nothingness!

A missed appointment

Monday, November 21st, 2011

A few weeks ago we were looking forward to listening to a group called “Barrage”.  We had heard them earlier in the year – a great fiddle group!  They had given the kind of electric performance that inspired us to want to return.  Not many groups get our second return – this was one!

And then, just a week before the concert we found out the date had been changed.  Our appointment has become a disappointment.  We’ll probably still get together with our friends for supper that evening – but we won’t be able to take in the concert. 

Those of you who are able to attend on Wednesday – check it out for us!!

For the love of snow!

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

I awoke today to a sermon prep day.  That I enjoy!

Another of my enjoyments is shoveling snow.  The exercise is good for me.  But more than that – there is something that was a part of my youth rolled up in each shovel full that I extract from the driveway!  As well, to see a final product – a clean area of the earth!!

So, today I was able to help a few people shovel their snow as well.  I found out one was a new arrival in Kindersley.  Another has lived a long time across the street from the church.  Both appreciated the help.  But more than that, I just enjoyed the lift, stretch and throw.

Tomorrow I will feel well – the exercise has been a good thing for me.  And my mind has been exercised in sermon preparation.  In all a good day!!

Snow fall!

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The day began with a somewhat clear sky but a few crusty kernels of water began to fall in the formation we know as “snow”.  Those few were soon joined with a myriad of others until the whiteness blackened the sky.

Arriving home mid-afternoon I began the shoveling of the walk.  With guests expected later in the evening I figured I could get ahead of myself.  Of course, being ahead meant I soon felt behind because the snow did not stop.

I decided, since I was getting a bit of exercise, I would clean the driveway next door.  Then I would push out a neighbour who got stuck.  Then walk over to a neighbours house and help shovel the driveway. 

Supper felt and tasted good.  Another neighbour was shoveling their walk, so I headed out to help a bit.

All I can say is – I hope our guests arrive soon.  Otherwise I’ll end up shoveling out the whole block!!!

When the average age rises

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I’m hanging around a lot more 90 years olds lately.  Today proclaimed a happy birthday to Don Staples – 89 years young!

I wonder . . .

If the old 18 is now 25, do youth feel they can wait until later to take on responsibility?

If children and youth feel that they will live to 90, do they feel an urge to learn quickly?

If the average age of death was 40 (as compared to the 80’s), would that make a difference?

I wonder . . .