Archive for August, 2012

The walking trail

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Our town has a unique privilege.

Just on the outskirts is a small dam, called the Motherwell dam.  I sometimes wonder if the name could spell the reason a walking trail around the dam is such a good idea.

Mothers have been known to tell kids to “go for a walk” when they get out of sorts (OK, not when they are toddlers, but sometimes when they are older).  There is a certain wellness that comes from exercise and free thinking. 

I noted that last night as I circled the dam.  You can go at a leisurely pace or a quick trot.  The walk is less than 30 minutes for me.   In that time I was able to clear my head somewhat.  Although situations may not change, our pictures that haunt our heads can change. 

I wonder if I need to walk more often with that thought front and center in my mind, “Since God is for us . . .”.   I have a feeling things would be much better and life, although still filled with disappointments as well as pleasures, would provide a nest for us that was joyful.

Show, Shine and Smoke

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Great combination.  Visit my daughter and her family . . . and go to a car show with smoke!!

Aug 18, 2012 - smoke 003

There really is a car in the middle of the smoke!  You chain down the car to a cement pad, water the pad down, and then let the tires smoke as  you spin the tires.  A bit smelly but rather fun to watch. 

As I stood there, I wondered how you could judge the contest.  After one of two cars the obvious began to appear.  The cars that could rev high and run fast, with exhaust that vented around the wheel wells put on a great show.  The rest . . . well, smoke is fun! 

Aug 18, 2012 - truck almost won And then there is the truck that I almost won as a giveaway.  Me, and 350 others.  Unfortunately only one winner . . . But I did get to stand in front of the truck with my daughter and her family.  Next best thing to winning.

Great day – wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Table Joys

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Three weeks in a row I have sat down on Thursday evening with young adults.  We potluck together.  Tonight was taco night – I supplied the meats.  Others brought a fruit salad (which had pasta as part of the ingredients – marvelous).  Another brought taco shells.  Another brought dilly bars.  Another one or two brought themselves.

Around the table I ask questions.  One about favourite books.  And another about favourite Bible verses.  The rest of the evening is just conversation.  Around a quick game of UNO, or around the dishes, or even setting the table and sitting at table. 

I laughed so hard, as did others, that we were using our napkins as tissue.  I heard some doubts in life and some situations that require God and others.

I wish I could say that this is an answer table.  Where people come to hear and walk away with surety in their lives.  Well, I do trust God to provide.  At the same time we do plan on being together again next Thursday.  In some ways the promise of a future is not a bad thing. 

So, young adults!  6:00 at my house next Thursday.  It’s pasta night!!

On thinking

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I began today with a little thought from A.W. Tozer.  In his devotional thrust he mentions the need to think rightly.

Interestingly, his thoughts headed down a path I should have expected, but almost missed.  As a boomer I tend to be caught in rational thought.  As post-moderns many are caught in unfocused mystery.  Such extremes often leave us wanting to find the radical middle.

Perhaps the in between is thinking God’s thoughts.  Which starts with prayer.  Uninhibited expressions to God.  Unexpected promptings returned by God.  A sense that I will intentionally spend the time. 

  • Spend time lavishly on praise. 
  • Spend time lavishly on heart searching. 
  • Spend time lavishly on meditation. 
  • Spend time lavishly on focusing on Jesus. 
  • Spend time lavishly on returning a heart that wanders too easily. 
  • Spend time lavishly on God.

Petunia Seeds

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

I’m  somewhat new at this flower and planter thing.

This summer one of my friends gave me a planter of petunias and some crawling plants (do you call them vines?).  For the summer they have hung from the front porch.  I faithfully water the pot and watched with amazement when part way through the summer a new species emerged.

Now I watching again in wonder. 

On the petunia stem a new type of pod has begun to emerge.  At first I thought I would just deadhead the pod.  But then I began to examine the pod further.

I call it a pod.  I’m not sure what else to call it.  A tiny beak appears to be situated where a flower should emerge.  I separated the beak on the first pod.  I thought small bugs or aphids were escaping.  The second pod appeared to be the same.  By the third pod a realization overcame me.

These were seeds.  I am naive as to when seeds begin to appear.  I thought maybe in later September.  Of course, harvesters are out in the fields around Kindersley combining peas and lentils and other crops.  Why not petunias seeding at this point in the season?

And so, I brought the seeds inside, placed them on a paper and taped them down (they were so small even a puff of wind could blow them away – and I’m not sure my camera could do them justice).  Just imagine tiny dots situated on a white expanse.  There sit my seeds.    A marvel of nature that from this seed comes such beauty!!

Night of Power

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

I’ve been watching Ramadan with a prayer full eye.  A devotional book has helped me focus those prayers for Muslims around the world.  We do a good thing, and for God’s glory, to pray!

From the devotional for today, I’m reminded that today is the “Night of Power” for Muslims.  Tonight Muslims have the opportunity to stay up in prayer all night.  Prayers offered during this night are believed to be “particularly well received.”  Muhammad was believed to have received his first revelation of the Qur’an during this night.

I wonder if we might adopt some of the fervor and passion of this night ourselves, as Christians.  Perhaps God is calling us to greater prayer – perhaps even a night of prayer.  For ourselves, for others, for a fervor in seeking God!   Perhaps our prayers should also include a prayer for supernatural revelation of Jesus in dreams and visions for Muslims around this world.

Knowing where you are!

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I was reading this morning about a tribe in the African desert.  They supposedly smuggle goods between two opposing countries.  When chased by authorities at night they turn off their headlights and drive unseen into the desert.

The description which I so liked – “A man from this tribe can tell his location by the smell of the sand.”

Now, I live in the Canadian grain belt.  Here we do not so much see sand as gumbo or loam or just plain dirt.  After a rain, you can smell the soil.  And seasoned farmers will also know the land on which they stand.

That knowledge of your location comes from familiarity with the land.  Too often we live nomadic lives, never putting our feet on the soil (or as the old saying goes, our roots into the ground).  Perhaps we would feel more grounded if we spent time in one place.  If we learned what made for a good relationship with those around us.  What caused us to deal with conflict and joy.

In that way we could find our location by the smell of the sand!

When I don’t know

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

This week has been one of those opportunities to turn to God.  There are a lot  of “I don’t knows”.  Mostly as I have been with people and seen the lives we live.

Of no fault of our own, no sin of conscious thought, no desire for evil – and yet people live with cancer, find their bodies and minds are tiring, youth confront a world where opportunities look often like challenging mountains.

I turn to God.  Even this morning.  I turn, not with reluctance but certainly with a sense of unknowing.  And perhaps even expecting that my prayers will not have clear answers.  I pray in faith for healing and for knowledge and for wisdom.  My faith is weak, my experience often clouds my faith. 

On the mountain that stands in contrast to my faith, I see a path that starts up the mountain and I know the map says it reaches the other side.  I lose sight of the path in the low lying clouds, but for each one walking  the path I encourage them to believe that each step has a next step.  Trust the builder of the path and keep walking.

I saw my wife walk part of that path and now walks where I cannot see.  But by faith’s eyes, my vision includes a better day for her.  I wish I was on the other side of the mountain to watch her, but I’m trusting Jesus to do just that.

And here and now, with those who walk with me, I’m trusting Jesus to give you strength, wisdom and a measure of understanding.  God is with you!  God is for you!

Wikipedia and how we understand

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

In this past week I have consulted Wikipedia on a few issues (keeping  in mind that this is not the only source of information).

For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of Wikipedia:  This is, for us older types, what we used to call an encyclopedia.   On the internet you can find wiki sites.  Here anyone (well, almost anyone) can place their knowledge of a subject into a giant database.  Originally anything went.  Except for a few rules – I think maybe even truth was in there, although obscured by the desire to allow diversity (but that’s another day’s discussion on the postmodern age).

Nowadays, when an entry is found lacking, the “stub” is flagged and you can add your helpful information.  You are expected to have foot notes (cross references, articles, etc.) to verify the veracity of the information.  I recently found another “rule”.

If you “list” information, the data is flagged as being “better” understood in prose form.  Narrative has triumphed.  As I was growing up, I loved to listen to lectures that presented point after point.  Often point six was prior to point seven for a reason.  I didn’t need linking narrative.  I could figure it out myself.

Our current society prefers story and that comes in written, visual, dramatic, sensate, verbal, and many other forms.  I appreciate those forms – and I’ve worked in many of them.  But, I’m still a product of a previous age.  Get the information to me quickly, in point form, and I’m good with that.

Although I do enjoy a well written article.  Hopefully whoever edits/revises these Wikipedia articles is a good writer and does not obscure the information or bore us so we don’t even read the information.

What we wear

Friday, August 10th, 2012

A biker came into my office today.  Sporting nice leathers, he mentioned that he sees enough Harley Davidson gear around, he just had to wear Suzuki paraphernalia.

What people wear, and for what reasons! 

Have  you seen some of the Tshirts currently available?  “It’s all about me” seems to be making the rounds.  I like the old saying (at least it’s getting to be old):  been there, done that, got the Tshirt. 

Tshirts do tend to summarize in a small area the large areas of our lives.  What we wear says a lot about who we are. 

And it’s not just the words on a shirt.  Friday I wore a tie to work.  A great reminder that I was headed off to work.  The day was definitely tinged with aspects of life that could have distracted, but I was “tied” to completely to the tasks before me.

There was an old tradition of setting your clothes out the night before.  Not just to make sure they were washed and ironed.  But also to remind us of the opportunities of the coming day.  Not a bad plan!