Archive for February, 2012

Robert’s rules

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I’ve been sitting at home preparing for my July adventure!  I’ve been asked to moderate the Assembly of our denomination – to take place in Winnipeg.

The last Assembly, two years ago, was described as business lite.  The moderator felt there was not much to do, and what was done, was done decently and in order.

Which is exactly what Robert’s rules are about.  We follow ways in which people can discuss issues and make a decision. 

Might be interesting this time around.  We will be voting on a president and the contentious issue of ordination of women will probably arise. 

Should by interesting – which means I’d better be prepared!

One of those great quotes

Monday, February 27th, 2012

How’s this for an unknown, or unknowable quote!

It’s impossible to prove that something has no effect  – Professor Malcolm Sperrin

Taken from a BBC report of Monday, 21 May 2007, 10:58 – Wifi health fears are unproven.

With quotes like this, I’m not sure what you can prove!!

How to fix a flat roof leak!

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

What a fun conversation!

Our church has a flat roof leak.  Not unlike a million other steel buildings with flat roofs.  Was it an original design flaw (our building and a myriad others in the area all started with leaks)?  Was it a lack of proper maintenance (something most of us have never heard of – the idea of a steel roof was that it would remain permanent over time)?  Was it the wind and weathering of the prairies (that one explains old wrinkled prairie-ites gazing at the roof thinking weather could never affect steel, as though ageing never affects us)?

Well, at the table we let the imagination go.

Why worry about fixing the current roof.  Just build over top.  Maybe put a garden up there to absorb water.  How about a roof that has great design patterns that invite conversation.  Maybe use a dome to cover the whole building.

By the time a few minutes passed I was into all sorts of options.  How do you think we could fix a flat roof leak?

Grace

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

In the last few days I’ve been impressed by the depressing action of those who are low on forgiveness and high on condemnation.  People’s lives and loves can be broken by not being able to forgive, which results in separation and all that entails.  There is no grace!

So, divorce can cause bankruptcy, family relationships can be ruptured, a simple disagreement rises to block the sun. 

Many years ago I sat in a lecture series by a leading academic.  We spent the better part of hours looking at, dissecting and reassembling the word “grace”.  At the time I thought a dictionary definition, those one or two sentences, would have been sufficient.

I’m coming to wonder!  Wonder that people can be less than graceful.  Wonder that those definitions just scratch the itch.  Wonder that the complexity of human life can miss such a simple explosive truth.

As I watch the lives around me, grace is taking on the picture of a rope tossed to drowning people.  Those thrashing in the waters of bitterness are so busy trying to strengthen their swimming skills so they don’t drown, they fail to see that they could just grab the rope and be lifted out of the water.  But, of course, grabbing the rope means leaving behind all the great survival exercises they have learned, and instead learning one exercise, that of merely grabbing, trusting and hanging on for dear life!

What pictures of grace do you see?

Culture picture

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Once in a while I see a quote that just strikes me as a great picture.  I picture this quote related to the current North America trend towards less than moral life, more than expected selfishness, and people who proclaim that bad is good.

Try this out!

From Rick Warren –  “You know that the sun is setting on a culture when small men cast long shadows”.

When math was king

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I enjoyed math in my teens.  Still do.

When I sit with friends and we are figuring out the cost of a meal, or the number of chairs in a stack, or . . . It’s kind of a contest on my part to see how quickly I can figure that out.

I loved being able to count to 100 when I was in grade school.  I took extra math classes in my final years of high school.  I figured . . . and that was the fun part.

I still find that I dumb down math figures just to satisfy the general thought that rounded off numbers are easier to convey to someone. 

This afternoon I was doing some banking.  After I completed the banking I was ready to tell my wife that we had about $250 available in the account.  Of course, I had in the back of my mind that it was $253.71 (if I remember correctly – of course, old age is playing havoc on my memory!).

And so, in the midst of living with approximations in life, I still like to know the actual figure.  I guess math still lives as king!!

Puttering away the day!

Monday, February 20th, 2012

When I started using the term “to putter” signifying a time of rest in my day(s), I didn’t realize how much that truth sticks!

I grew up watching older men go to the Co-op for coffee, then wander around town and finally end up home for a leisurely evening.  This was their retirement routine.  Others just started a gardening habit, or began to do woodwork.  They had no reason to stress over time.  Slow but sure became their motto!

I’ve been thinking, why not start the “stressless” sessions early.  Maybe just putter away at things on a day off.  Feel like you don’t have to be anywhere.  Pick up a project and stick with it – slowly, methodically, without the intent of billing the hours of labour to anyone!  And maybe spend a few more minutes cleaning up and enjoying the air!  Breathe!!

Today I’ve been puttering.  Winding up some cords so they look nice, leisurely looking through inconsequential internet sites, and now typing up this blog!  My pulse is slow – which is always a good sign (of course, if there is no pulse, that’s another thing!!).  My stress is low.

And so, until tomorrow, my your putter be great and your stress low!!

The weather is delightful!

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

I’ve tried to stay away from commenting on our weather.  But, the accumulation of above average temperatures and below normal precipitation has begun to take their toll!

In my lifetime – the greatest part spent in Saskatchewan – I have never seen such weather.  My elders comment in the same vein.  Youth, in their inexperience, have the same sense.

This has meant dry skin and the use of moisturizers.  This has meant very little snow shoveling and less exercise than usual.  This has meant people have attended more activities when another year would have seen storms and blizzards.

The adjustment has not been hard to take.  As a matter of fact, and even a matter of some fancy, we seem to be a bit more lively.  Of course, there has been an earlier onset of asthma attacks.  But in reality, even the sufferers have enjoyed the weather.

And so, for those who are looking out the window right now, “isn’t the weather delightful!”

Derailed?

Friday, February 17th, 2012

I’ve noticed these last few days that a vision can be sidetracked by the unexpected.  Even when the unexpected has no particular velcro that would attach to you. 

Unless we allow the unexpected to become a full blown ghost that wraps its illusions around you!

As I talked this over in a side conversation with a colleague he made as side remark.  “Don’t let this derail your vision for what you want for the people you serve.”

Now, all this sounds rather abstract.  To me it is very real.  As I rode my bike this morning, I was talking to God.  The conversation cleared my head.  What I’ve been working towards is worth continuing the race. 

That doesn’t mean that the unexpected is ignored.  Just put into perspective.

Why your week goes fast!

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Well, it’s not because the clock speeds up.  So far we have fairly standard hours and minutes around the world.  Otherwise stock markets, and shopping and family meals would collapse (OK, maybe they are collapsing, but it’s not because time has changed – maybe “times” have changed!!).

This week we entered one of those periods where our daytimers (now called schedulers . . .) showed little blank space.  An annual meeting, our local manor birthday party, children’s activities and appointments peeked out at us.  And in between we took some rest time (we seem to still be recuperating from our “retreat”, which was restful but brought us back to lots of activity!).

Now, I like busyness.  But combined with the need for rest and the inevitable “one more thing”, busyness can turn into restlessness.  Right now we are pulling on the reins and trusting that our week slows down.  I know there are others that are in the same boat (OK, I switched metaphors – hopefully you are able to keep up!).

May you have a day of rest in the midst of your week as well!!