Archive for August, 2014

A sermon illustration

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

On Friday I awakened and put my glasses on.  Although cataract surgery has increased my long distance ability, I still need lenses for the up close work.

As I slipped the glasses on, I immediately felt disoriented.  As though one eye was telling me the door knob was close, and the other eye saying that I was seeing it from a distance!!

I quickly took the glasses off, went looking for another older pair (which didn’t really give me much better sight – the lenses were an old prescription).  At least now I could continue the day.

Except in a short while I began to wonder what had happened.  I decided to contact my optometrist.  He was able to get me in within the hour. 

I entered the office with some very real questions in mind.  Was there a physical problem, was there a problem with the glasses, had a meteor fallen from the sky and affected the light waves of the universe (OK, the last one didn’t really cross my mind until now!).

As I sat down with the optometrist, he asked a few questions and then requested that I put on the pair of glasses.  His response was immediate!

“You are missing your lens for your right eye.”

Some days you just fees dumb! 

Other days you realize that you can go around thinking everything is as it should be, and you have lost the lens to your life.  Retrieving the lens certainly helps to get things back into focus!

Into this day

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

As my work week begins (OK, a pastor is never really off), I am hoping to work on the hard work of starting a new role here at the Kindersley Alliance Church.

Actually, next week is the starting date, but I’m in preparation mode (which is not a bad thing). 

As my mind has twirled around and looked at new avenues, I sense a new approach to things. 

I’ve married into a family that lives in the unexpected timeframe.  Yesterday is not what was necessarily planned (and planning is not bad, in fact the family plans well).  But in the case where things must change, they change (which is frequently the case). 

Will I learn to live happily with this approach?  I hope so.  Seems stress could be a lot less in this world where we have more than enough stress!

And so, off to plan with the plan in mind that the plan may not happen!

With the Grandkids

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Despite the rain – which cancelled out a drive by of classic cars – we enjoyed an afternoon and supper time with our my daughter, her husband and the grandkids yesterday.

They are active, those grandkids.  They had been to Ontario to visit relatives recently – so they were storytellers to the greatest degree!  And they are always full of questions.

I’m “grandpa with the moustache”.  What a great phrase!  So I keep my moustache for that reason.

I’m also a bit of a storyteller when I’m around the grandkids!  I get them to see things in a new light.  At least that’s what I figure is what I’m doing when their mom looks at me in that sort of way that questions the veracity of what I just said.

And so, a good time had by all.

For the past

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

I remember.

And that is good.

God calls us to look back.  To see what has upheld our days in times of weakness.  To rehearse what has brought us great joy in times of excitement.

In approaching days where doubt is overwhelming, a return to faith and faithfulness can be the best antidote.

To my friends who this week struggled, may you remember the past!

The symbols of change

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

In the next few days, I am moving from being a senior pastor to being an associate pastor – all in the same institution.  The transition has not been easy, nor should I expect that it would be.

I am coming to recognize the power of symbols to solidify change. 

Yesterday I moved into a new office space.  Newly painted, newly arranged, just plain new. 

Our church secretary and I had to work out the intercom on the phone.  We had known it existed but had not had to use it.  The old (senior) office was mere meters away – the new one is more than a yell’s throw away.

I reduced my library to a few shelves.  The remaining volumes are designed to assist with my new responsibilities (which are still somewhat in flux).

My files are being culled.  I expect the next few weeks will see much in the way of shredding. 

My mind is being reset.  I can’t help but be confronted with a new life every time I walk into my office.  Which means I’m focusing on the important (at least I hope so).  Not a bad thing.

Reentry

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

This week has been one of switching office space at the church.  With a change in responsibilities (I move from Senior Pastor to Associate Pastor as of September 3rd) has also come a symbolic change in space!

The painting 0f my new office was done yesterday – I helped to break down the office in the previous days.  And, no, I did not do the painting!

Today I will try to complete the changeover – still a few things to move.

In the midst of this I am also trying to understand rest and replenishment.  Our holiday season had some days of rest, but with a funeral attached to the last week, a number of my resources were given to arrangements and dealing with grief and mourning.

And so, today will be a continued day of work.  While that will be the center of activity, I’m also praying for restoration, refreshment and replenishment (the three “R’s” of health in our society of busyness and stress!).

The holiday past

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Well, we are now home!

If I could have planned this holiday, I think I would not have.

On second thought, having gone through the last three weeks – I couldn’t have planned a better holiday.

I had opportunity to work with my wife, assisting her in her chosen career of house painting.  I was given time at a cabin to rest.  I spent time with family – learning new family history while helping to arrange a funeral.

Was this all rest?  No.  There were times where I felt exhausted.

Was this all happiness and good times?  No.  The funeral of a sister-in-law I had known for decades can be draining.

How will I express my thoughts on holidays when I am asked?  I think I will talk of family bonding, of service and of pleasure.  Of a new view into the life of others.  And of God’s grace in planning what I could never have planned!