Archive for December, 2011

Practice is now done

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Well, the rehearsals and preparation are behind us.  Tomorrow we hit the road with our Christmas program.

If you are around Kindersley here’s it is:

Kindersley Alliance Church

74 West Road

11:oo am with lunch to follow

ADMISSION is free – and we have some seats still available.  Feel free to drop in!!

Living with other people

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

For Karl Barth, the eye, the ear and the mouth are symbols of our co-humanity.  We are persons, that is, c0-humans, when we can look the other in the eye, when we hear the other, and when we speak to the other.  Most importantly, he adds, it is when we do all this gladly.  Contemporary culture seems to define humanity differently.  The eye becomes a means of detached voyeurism and its primary object is itself – the  fascination with self-discovery.  The ear listens to one’s needs and the mouth becomes the means of satisfying one’s appetites, those tastes , those predilections that the ear determines.  But we don’t do this gladly, we do it desperately . . . because time is short.

Dr. Alan Torrance quoted in Volume 2 of letters of faith through the seasons, edited by James M. Houston, p. 166-167

The program will go on!!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Had a great time tonight going over our Christmas program.  Little details like lighting and blocking and decor and staging.  The chaos is beginning to lift and I’m sure by dress rehearsal on Saturday we will be well on the way!!

What has amazed us is those who say they will be attending.  We had 145 last year at our Christmas program.  This year I suggested we might have 150 – 200.  That was almost a laughable prediction – the 145 last year was the first time we hit that mark in at least seven years.  So we quietly set about food preparations and seating for a lower number. 

Then we began to realize that people were planning on showing up – some who hadn’t been around the church for awhile.  The first tally prior to Sunday put us around the 140 mark.  Today we are at 165 reserved.  And 10 – 15 possibles.  With excitement also comes trepidation.  What if we don’t have enough food?  What if the program doesn’t flow well?  What if . . .

Well, I’m excited!  I can see this happening.  We have great people charged with various areas of responsibility.  This will be more than expected, but sometimes we just have to let God surprise us!!

On Wiccans

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Jill is reading a book called “Wicca’s Charm” by Catherine Edwards Sanders.  Wicca is a religion that is often associated with Witchcraft, but is much broader than that – having an appeal to people with a stress on the supernatural and an ability to let you make up your own religion.  A younger generation has embraced this approach – I remember a 20 something talking about her own background where one phase included being a Wiccan.

Sanders gives the following quote:

Wiccans and orthodox Christians may both agree that the supernatural exists, but I learned from my conversations with Wiccans that,  in their experience, many churches ignore the reality of an unseen world.  Church becomes another boring social exercise, and in our busy lives, who has time for that?  Churches that don’t encourage all the “basics” – forgiveness of sins, a relationship with Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – quickly lose people to alternative religions that do offer supernatural experiences.(p.23)

On the dawn

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

There is a moment each day when it is morning before it is morning.  Darkness hovers over the deep.  Those who wait for the dawn can hear it even before they see it.  At first are only the slight sounds of attunement as a chorus of birds assembles twits and trills, chirps and peeps, and even the occasional squawk.  Slowly they gather into one great concerted song of supplication:  Let it begin! Let us Begin!  May it begin again!

They are of one accord.  They do not take the dawn for granted.  When it  bursts upon them, once again, as on the first day of creation, they give thanks once again for this once only day, to begin.

The birds know, as we sometimes do, that the light does not dawn because of our singing.  We sign because the dawn appears as grace.

From:  Leddy, Mary Jo.  Radical Gratitude.  Orbis Books, 2002.  p. 38-39.

Great Baptismal

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Yesterday was great!  Three of our youth went through a sign of their commitment to Jesus.  Dunking under water! 

This time around I got to sit back and watch.  I help to outline what our associate pastor, Ryan Lee, would walk through (almost swim through!).  On the day of the actual baptisms I watched with excitement as the youth were baptized, and as Ryan baptized them.

The rest of the day I reflected on the impact this will have.  Both on the lives of those baptized – each one emphasized how this was the “next step” – and on the live of the baptizer – as he entered into a new sense of mentoring and influencing others.

God loves us, and this was a clear demonstration by water drenched youth to show who they are in God!

You can hear their testimonies at the church website – under the sermon tab!


Friday, December 9th, 2011

Left at 6:12 this morning, back by 7:30 or so.  Visited with mom over the Christmas lunch – sang a few songs and said good-bye.  Also dropped by the estate house and talked with my sister who takes care of the house.

All in all, a quick day – safe in travel and thankful to God for the time with my mom!

Off to Assiniboia

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Today was a busy day.  In fact, 11 hours straight of activity.  Straight through lunch, out for coffee in the afternoon and an evening supper engagement.  These are days I enjoy.  Doing what I enjoy and being with those I appreciate.

Which makes this time of night a conundrum.  I’m awake from the interaction, but falling asleep from the busyness of this week.  I yawn while quickly putting my mind into action on the upcoming day’s activity.

Which is – head to Assiniboia – a 4 1/2 hour drive one way.  We’ll head out early in the morning and trust to get back early enough in the evening to make sure we can get to sleep on time.

The purpose of trip?  To visit my mother at the Ross Payant home in Assiniboia.  This is a Christmas lunch with program and all.  This is a time to touch base with my mom.  This is a rush to a time of rest with my mother.

Should be good – let’s pray for that!


Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

As a fun part of this advent I am working with an Advent Chain.  In my children’s Sunday School class we prepared paper links with each day representing a day of Advent – beginning on December 1st.

The activities on the chain have included writing Christmas cards, drawing a favourite thing and today’s!!

Play a board game with Jill! 

Now, I’m not a board game player.  So, this is a labor of love.  And actually, after playing our Scrabble game, if was a game of love.  I lost royally!  Both of us had poor hands.  I had next to no consonants, Jill had no vowels.  Between the two of us we could have wailed – separately we were weaklings!

I’m amazed with each new day how much I’m enjoying the tasks put ahead of me.  I’m just not sure what will come tomorrow!!

The best in shopping

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Our town boasts three grocery stores – Extra Foods, Coop Marketplace and Close’s Foods.  I could add Walmart but that’s like saying a putter is a full set of clubs!

Today we hit all the stores.  There is a banquet Jill will cater for our seniors’ group on December 13th.  Then a Christmas program on December 18th with a full meal deal to follow.  And our home pantry needed restocked.

We began before 10:00 am and were home after noon.  The deals had all been scanned in the flyers.  Needed ingredients were listed.  And add to that, shelves were still being stocked.  Two of the four stores we asked floor personnel to find us goods that were not yet shelved.

Now, I like shopping with my wife.  She finds it a bit difficult because I tend to add one or two more items than are on the list.  She cares what we buy, I carry what she cares for, and in the end we care that those we feed will enjoy their culinary treat.

Hope to see some of you over these next few weeks.  Enjoy the food!!