Monthly Archives: November 2011

As Though

Much of our life is lived in a state of being called, “as though.”  Some have extreme imagination.  Others have acute disappointment.  Still others live oblivious to what happens around them.

As though we could change!

For centuries, perhaps even millenia, the human race has wondered what would happen if . . .

Working with drugs and alcohol addictions counselors, the recovery rate is low, the kill rate is high!  Watching the current global greed, the recovery rate is low, the kill rate is high!  Remembrance Day just reminds us that the recovery rate is low, the kill rate is high!

But what if we lived as though we were dead?  What if we lived as though we could not change ourselves?  What if we lived only through one who lives because he showed that in his death there was a power to bring life?

The constant lifting of dead limbs, dead dreams and dead desires into dynamic action comes when we are willing to live as though Jesus lived in us.  Not in the sense of “maybe”, but in the Biblical sense of confidence – an assurance that when we place our trust in Jesus to live through us we inherit a new life.  And now we live “as though!”

Pondering church leadership!

The other day I sat down with my mind!  Sometimes that can be a dangerous event! 

In the midst of my pondering, I started to think about being a pastor in a church over the past decades.  Let me try this out on you —

In the 1950’s – 60’s a pastor was steered by the expectation that the pastor did it all.  As such, the pastor had to rush to visit people to find out what was expected.  The result of this leadership style was the sense of being overwhelmed.  You could never please everyone.

The 1970’s – 80’s turned to the social sciences to help understand a pastor’s role.  The Church Growth movement pushed for excellence and extreme production.  Church services and programs became the focus.  A pastor was judged on the production of the programs.

The 1990’s and 2000’s pushed the pastor to turn inward.  This was cloaked in an increase in books and literature about “leadership.”  Leaders could personally test their own vision and giftedness.  In the end, the corporate culture (the church) was molded to suit the pastor’s vision.

Now, these are huge generalities.  In one sense all of these approaches will make for a good leader.  But concentrating on only one causes imbalance.  I sense that the swing is now heading back to being with the people, for the people and discerning what the people want from their leader.

Any comments?

Food Habits

I’m about to have a final dessert for the evening.

Cottage Cheese and Brown Sugar!!

Now, for most the mixture looks like mud warmed up . . . or a dampened pig sty.  Personally I’m reminded of a caramel latte (which I never drink) seated in front of an appreciative Starbucks customer! 

Of course, the reason I eat this delectable morsel is my mother’s coaching.  When I was young we would consider this a delicacy – eaten every once in a while.  Not often, just often enough. 

My father ate tomatoes with sugar (I’ve never quite succumbed!).  Cheese Whiz on celery was a great late night snack.  Or lunch hour with pickle and cheese sandwiches.

My wife has now had me eating her culinary delights for over 35 years.  My tastes have broadened and I must say I enjoy all sorts of food.

But she still won’t eat cottage cheese and brown sugar.  That heavenly dish may have to wait to be shared with her until we reach heaven.  But until then, off to the great comfort food of the ages!!!

Piling up

One upon another.

That’s the way life has been these last few days.  Today culminated with the funeral of Gordon Verhaeghe.  What a joyous time of celebration. 

And tonight I fell asleep as we slowed down – watching a bit of TV and drifting off into the blackness of rest.

Today’s quote – from Promise Keeper’s daily devotional:

You become a champion by fighting one more round. When things are tough, you fight one more round.—James Corbett (heavyweight boxer)

Passing over!

Yesterday we dropped by at lunch to congratulate him on his 84th birthday – he really enjoyed his day and thanked God that he had been able to live that long!!  Today, he would have said he had graduated to a better place!  We dropped by to see his wife, Elsie, and offered our condolences shortly after his passing, and I’ll be involved in his funeral expected later this week.

Gordon Verhaeghe liked to fondly tell of the double date he went on with mom and dad and his girlfriend, Elsie, back before either couple were married.  I also understand that he helped dad and some others shingle the church parsonage back in the ’50’s.  Gordon and Elsie kept track with mom and dad over the years, and were glad to see us return to Kindersley six years ago to continue the relationship.

Gordon was a rather blustery person with a heart of gold.  Even these past few years, with compounding health problems and his memory starting to escape him, he kept me on my toes!!  He liked to provoke a response with questions that were always off the wall!  But when you got past the rather different way he looked at things, you saw a man who loved others and would do anything for you. 

I will miss him!

Paul’s story

Yes, not long ago (let’s say 2,000 years ago) a young man became a model.  Not for GQ but for Christianity today!!

The story of Paul has been a part of my reading these past few weeks.  I’m constantly amazed at his patience and resilience.  His physical endurance was amazing – apparently bow legged, with eyes that may not have been the best.  At best he appears to have been small, but a huge personality.

And so, I’m examining the man for my own life’s sake.  How can I live a life that reflects his reflection – that reflects His reflection?  Paul said, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

Reading Paul’s story let’s me get some very tangible approaches to Christian living.  I’m not so much concerned with traveling the world – but that wherever I travel I carry the image of Christ with me.  What are your immediate reflections on who this man was?  Have you heard about him, studied him, sought to understand him?  Let me know!

The touch of fall – or is that winter?

With our awakening this morning, the outside appeared to be somewhat cool.  And appearances are sometimes deceiving.  The guess was that it was a mere degree or two below freezing. 

The reliable thermometer showed at least ten degrees below freezing.

Now, in this country, a few degrees can make your day.  You feel as though the day is brighter, lighter and warmer (or cooler – depending on which perspective of the thermometer you are using).  The world can gain life, or lose it’s glimmer.   By degrees!!

And so today we donned our coats – which are now switching to winter attire instead of fall coverings.  We had gloves handy and trusted our car to have a warm heater working.

And still, the touch was there.  A bit cool, but a sure sign that in a few months we will feel a new touch.  The touch of spring that leads to summer.

Hope never dies!!

That KJV thing!

I’m still trying to reconcile a copyright on a 400 year old document.  In my mind I understand the idea of protecting the words and their integrity.  In my heart I’m wondering why the text cannot be freed and speak for itself. 

Imagine if the original Greek manuscript of the New Testament were copyrighted.  Each scribal error would be considered a breaking of copyright – in fact, just copying the original text would have been morally wrong. 

If we had the copyright act transported back to the New Testament times there would have been very few copies available.  All copies would have to have been approved by the original writers – many of whom died without explicit details given as to whether a copy could be made of their writings – although the authors did approve of circulating the original manuscripts.

Personally, I think the integrity of the KJV has withstood millions of copies being made.  In fact, the mere fact that it is one of the most well known English books in the world is testament to extreme copying.  My question?  How many copies were prepared with the express permission of the British monarchy?  Were the rest of the copies bootlegged?  Should they be rounded up and burned as illegal contraband?  OR . . . is there something about the message that far surpasses the matter of control of paper and ink??