Archive for May, 2014

The sounds of summer

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

As I sit here this morning, a song bird chirps outside the window.  A spider crawls across the floor (where did it come from??), and the sun reflects off a blue sky.

These are things to be thankful for.  I can arise and go out into the outdoors.  I can enjoy a walk across grass and pavement.  This evening I will join others in a Barbeque hosted in a farm yard.  And throughout the day I will venture into nature that God has created.

Not so for all others.  In the hospital lately,  I have visited those whose extent of movement is up and down a hallway – if they can even get out of bed.  Others are living such busy lives that they will miss today’s beauty. 

And so, in thankfulness to the God of creation, I take a moment right now to stop and lift praise to God.

So begins my day!

On educational institutions

Friday, May 30th, 2014

So, I was thinking about what we do in our post secondary education.

I spent eight years in post-secondary education.  I have seen curriculum revisions.  I have prepared accreditation reports, I have watched faculty agonize over what to teach.  Out of this I have sympathy for teachers who are trying to figure out what to teach.

Then I ran across the following quote, which seems to place liberal arts post secondary institutions in a fossilized position:

Perishing communities (and ideas) produce historians and sociologists and academic conferences. Flourishing communities produce preachers, missionaries and prayer meetings.

Actually, from the day a flourishing community begins they create records (history) and ways of doing things (structure) and enthusiasm (which is measurable). 

I think problems arise when you are studying the movement more than being the movement – you are in trouble. 

Nevertheless, a word to the wise.  Where are your efforts going in your own personal life, in the life of your marriage, in your church, in your community?  If you are sitting back and analyzing and never participating, you are in trouble!

The subjunctive

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

I never thought the English language, per se, would be a great teacher of philosophy.  Perhaps I was wrong.

I was watching a video (click on this to link to the video) by Phuc Tran on the subjunctive use in the English language.  He makes several interesting points – some of which  I am still working through.  Here are some of the thoughts that I wandered away with!

There is a dark side to the subjunctive – that use of English which lets you think about what could happened.  On the far side of that is what should have happened, what we wish would have happened.  We become guilty and depressed.  Accepting things for what they are – the indicativeness of our lives (indicated by the indicative in the English language) – is the first step to overcoming depression and anxiety.

We can be creative or mired in regret when we live in the subjunctive.  The indicative does not allow us to imagine at all, but it does allow us to talk about ourselves and our experiences in real terms.

A quote for today

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

From some recent readings:

The greatness of one’s life is seen in both the blemishes and the beauty.

The sacred is always full of scars.

Playing with wood

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Yesterday I took some time to create some drawer/pullouts for our kitchen cupboards.

It has been a while since I have played with wood.  I had forgotten how much fun there is in that. 

My experience with wood for furniture’s sake goes back almost 30 years.  One summer my brother and I  made various pieces of art.  At least we like to think so!  No money in it, but lots of fun, hard work and learning.

After that I would spend a few days each year just making or restoring furniture.  With our move to Kindersley and a senior pastorate, my time was redirected.  Not much time for playing with wood.

At the moment we are remodelling our kitchen.  In doing so, I volunteered to work on some custom made shelving.  My volunteering was partly motivated by money.  But secretly this was a return to just doing something with my hands.

And fun it has been.  Another few hours to go and I hope to see the fruit of my labours completed. 

Red on Top

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Yesterday I was exposed to the sun – particularly the top of my head.

The result?

A red top!

The opportunity was given to me to attend an outdoor parade of a local group here in town.  The chairs were comfortable and the company pleasing.  The refreshments following were welcoming!

I sat and enjoyed the presentation.  Along with a well thought out program, and as minor adjustments happened, as wind blew disrupting papers and as uniform changes occurred, the waiting time in the sun caused sunburn.

I’m one for whom most sunburn does not result in peeling.  I have been thankful for that over the years.

This morning I’m sensing a tingling.

We’ll see how long I will be red on top, or what the consequences may be!!

Waking to summer

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Someone jokingly said that our summer would be 10 days long.

With the winter stretching into May, and a sense that weather patterns are changing, there may be some truth to that saying!  Or, we may be in for hot weather and a drought (another prediction I have recently heard).

The last few days have seen weather that could be considered hot.  For me that means stretching above the 25 degree Celcius mark.  I drove to Rosetown yesterday, enjoyed a seminar on conflict (not sure how you enjoy that?), and then headed out to my car.

The inside was sweltering.  As I basked in the warmth, I started the car and headed out to the highway towards home.  A few blocks later I checked to be sure the air conditioning was on.  A few minutes later, as I headed down paved highway, I turned the fan on full blast. 

And this morning, as the clock ticks past the 6:00 hour, the sun is shining on the houses across the street.  The air is fairly still.  And the forecast is again for hot weather.

God gives green grass to view, and abundant air to breathe and a sky that expands my horizons.  I have family and friends blessing my days, and rest and refreshment in my evenings. 

This is the day that God has made, I will rejoice and be thankful in it.


Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Rural Church Pastors’ Network.

Today is another chance to get together with other rural church pastors.  We’ll meet in Rosetown and talk about the perennial problem of conflict.  We’ll also eat a meal together and enjoy a bit of banter over the foibles of being a rural church pastor.

There is something about these gatherings that is both attractive and distractive.  When you get to the gathering, you realize how much interaction is helpful in balancing your own life.  Things that seem big become smaller.  Problems that had no solution can be compared to other’s approaches.

Meanwhile, in the business of life, another meeting distracts from already ongoing projects.  Just as painting a room all in one day, or having the alternative of stretching it over a few days – I would choose one day.   Some Pastors will not be able to attend today because of those projects which need attention and are best achieved in a continuous manner.

Well, off to Rosetown – on a highway down a rural corridor of fields and cattle.  Oh, and then there is the occasional town as well!!

A measure for success

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

I was reading an article, or was it a blog post, or perhaps someone mentioned this thought.

When you climb the ladder of success, first ask what the final rung is.

I guess most of us are like the person who puts their ladder up.  We have never checked to see where the final rung lands.  We trust that whatever is holding the ladder will remain firm.

If not, we could be in trouble.

As middle age approaches, many people are getting close to the top (or are at least hoping to get close).  One day they take a look and wonder what’s holding them up.

Money and power are fleeting.  I’ve seen in a number of places that things such as wisdom, rest, family, . . . the opposite of striving.

Perhaps Jesus has something to say to us when he mentions that people who are busy and stressed can come to him and find rest.  Not a bad final rung!

Personal retreat and remembrance

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Saturday was the 2nd anniversary of Jill’s death.

I spent time with my daughter and her family.  This was a good thing, helping myself and my daughter process our memories.

As well, I took off a few days just for a personal retreat.  I have returned refreshed and ready to head into new adventures.

Thanks for your prayers and support.  Thanks also to God for his working in my life – opening up new imaginations and affirming the work he has done to this point.