Archive for March, 2015

The good side

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Today I was trimming my beard. 

This is a new activity for me.  I notice things as I peer into the mirror.  Particularly that the hair on one side of my head is straight.  On the other side the fulness of the follicles is noticeable (OK, I used the alliteration for emphasis, even though the strict word definition doesn’t quite hold up the illustration – if you get this, welcome to the geek world of grammar and lexicography!).

I mentioned this to my wife.  Something about how one side made me look much younger than the other.

She made the point – somewhat nicely.

“You’re still old.  Doesn’t matter which side you look at!”

Small Steps

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Clocking the moments can be helpful.  As each second ticks by we have an opportunity to move in a direction we desire.  Or not!

The thing about close examination of each step is that we can become discouraged with our own progress, realizing we have no other path to explore – our rut is so deep we need help to see another side.

That’s where small steps become important.  If we could just climb a little bit up the wall of our ruts, we might arise enough to see another path.  If we could just invite another to walk with us whose sightline is greater than ours, we might be encouraged with hope.

When we become obsessed with the realization of how wrong things are going, we can become as obsessed with measuring how wrong things are going.  We may not know how to change things, but somehow we figure if we know how wrong things are, that will lead us to the next step.

Not so.  Measurement is best used when there is a direction we are headed.  When we are not experiencing a new direction or guidance, constant measurement merely plunges us into despair. 

A good argument for finding a companion who can be our director or guide!  These people can be live and living but even dead guys can be helpful.

Set your steps today to find or strengthen your direction!

Your own voice

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Yesterday was an opportunity not often afforded to me.  I met with a friend from a few years ago.  We talked of the varied paths we have both taken.

A theme continued to run through the conversation.  As we age, we have taken bits and pieces of others thoughts, actions and opinions.  For better or worse, our own lives have been a copy of the original – in fact, we could often be seen as mere footnotes of another.

Now we are both looking for our own voices.  We desire to be original for the sake of others.  There is a contribution that each of us has to this world.  Big or small, in the spotlight or in a dim light, we are models as well.

There is a bridge that is crossed (perhaps more than once) when we realize God has gifted us for the sake of others.  We cross from knowledge seekers to wisdom givers.  Not for our own sake, but for the sake of others.

Our voice rings in harmony with others, but we also solo – a glorious voice for God’s kingdom and all who dwell therein.

The test that was

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Well, I wore a Holtor monitor for 24 hours.  I’m about to have the wires released from my body.  My heart feels fine.

I guess that’s why we monitor and test and check things out.  I’m trusting the return of the monitor will show that my heart is in good shape.

A way to check life (before death) is a good thing.  Diagnosis for illness is helpful and if we find that we are normal . . . all the better.

Elimination

Monday, March 16th, 2015

A large part of diagnosis is testing and checking and asking and listening.  Today I continue with testing.  My doctor has been following my progress over the past few months – I had an undiagnosed tiredness, cough, stomach problems and who knows what else.

We began with the simple bloodwork, an xray and ultrasound and today I will get a Holtor monitor to check my heart.  Family genetics play a part.  We have heart problems and cancer in the background.

Better to work through elimination than through surprise – I’m thankful for preventative medicine.

Two days at home

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

When I began my ministry, one of the greatest desires was to serve others.  I had been typed in various surveys and inventories as one who shows mercy, organizes and leads.

The biggest problem with this?  A martyr complex can arise.  A sense of indispensability overcomes common sense.  The pull to burn out is way too easy.

In this last while I have been working on taking rest days! 

I used to think one day of rest was sufficient (and perhaps in my twenties this was true).  I did read in the Bible that priests were good to go hard at their work until they were 50.  At that point they became the gatekeepers for the building (OK, that’s a little simplified, but the carries the basic idea).  There was a recognition that the hard work was too much for an “older” person. 

And now I find that one day of rest is a good start, two days are better.  And so, two days at home doing something other than work has been good for me.

What is rolling around my brain

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

An article on our fame-shame culture struck me recently.  I’m still looking through it (in the latest issue of Christianity Today – Andy Crouch).

For a long time our society worked off the idea that what was right was what we should do.  Our laws governed our land.  As other cultures have continued to enter our land, our laws changed.  And we even run different laws in different parts of the country, or related to different cultural groups.

So, what really is governing our land.  The authority no longer seems to be in the hands of the laws makers, but more in the judgments of those who make the exceptions to the laws.

If the law is not longer the standard, then another “law” must prevail.  I would tend to think that the new law, when best administered, is grace.  When poorly and inappropriately used, this new law shames people into obedience.

The start of some thoughts.

The missing months

Friday, March 13th, 2015

In 2005 I was challenged to write a blog.  Blogs were just beginning to be popular, and many were writing but few were sticking.  I decided to write a blog only if I kept it up.

These past few months have seen me re-evaluate many areas of my life.  I’m looking into the final sprint, where my strength will be weaker and my dreams greater. 

Coming to the end of years does not mean coming to the end of days.  The reality is that what can be accomplished must be measured.

And so, I’ve been living in reality as colds, flu, hopes, emotions and sick days bring a close consciousness to my mind and body.

I hope in the next while to relate some of the thoughts of these missing months in this blog.  Perhaps I’m not alone!

Progressive conservative

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

In a past day and age, Canada had a political party called the progressive conservatives.  Sounds like an oxymoron – a cluster of words that are the opposite of each other.

I’ve been thinking on that over these past few months.  In times of transition, there is a tendency to jettison both approaches.

“Let’s be conservative,” you may say.  At first that sounds great – a return to the good old days.  But were the good old days what got you into a situation that has been exhausting and difficult?

“Let’s be progressive,” you may say.  At first that sound great – a forward momentum into the future.  But has dreaming a new reality brought you the stability to be able to live with wellness?

So, what if we combined both? 

Balancing

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

I am still in the midst of the balancing act.  Thankfully today’s balancing is not tipping me too much!!

When I was young, I enjoyed the pictures of high wire actors crossing Niagara Falls.  Without a net.  Nerves of steel! 

Now-a-days, we tend to just have nerves.  And our balancing acts are not so much about physical feats of bravery, but mental feats of cowardice.  Fear is a plunger – right to the bottom!  We tend to lose perspective and move into a lose-based approach to life.

In the midst of much transition lately, I am trying to find balance that allays fear and pushes me forward into vision for the future.

One day at a time! 

Not a bad motto for today.