Life's bowl

A picture is worth a thousand words!  So what words are in this picture??

If you look on a kitchen countertop you may find a bowl turned upside down.  A melmac bowl, a term that is year’s old and no longer used. 

An inheritance from my grandmother.  From almost thirty years ago.  One that has lasted the years.  Of all the things we may inherit, I’m inclined to enjoy the daily reminders.  Those ordinary items that remind me day by day of those that have had an effect on my life.

Grandma lent us her house when we first got married.  She raised nine children.  Carried plowshares across fields to town to be fixed.  Had that quiet kind of approach to life you love to be around.  And every time her husband would tease us and start to joke with the grandkids we’d hear “Now, Carl!” and we all knew we were in for a good time!!

Grandparentitis

We are going to be grandparents.  End of October.

So, I’m practicing.  Last night we had a famiiy group over that had an 8 month old.  So I held her for a bit while the mother ate (high chairs are good for a few minutes, then there is always the inevitable desire to escape – that’s where another set of hands is good to have around.)

                                                               

The week before, we were with a young couple in a restaurant.  They had an infant less than a year old.  He was rather cute (rather photgenic if you ask me!).   I grabbed him (OK, so mom let me gently lift the young man) and held him.  It’s just plain fun!

Of course, I’d like to think I’m still young enough to be a father!  But I have to accept reality!  At 52 (which I hit on Wednesday), I’m no longer what I used to be.  And maybe there is some good to that. 

The kids go home at night.  I go home at night.  I sleep – and they . . .

 

Bumper stickers

An author proclaimed he disliked bumper sticker theology.

That’s where someone writes something in a short sentence summing up myriads of thought and consideration over centuries of discussion and debate. 

I love bumper stickers.  I have a feeling this author did too!  His article was full of pithy sayings.  “We don’t live to survive, or even thrive, but to serve.”  Not bad.

But here is the one that really struck me.  “Let’s die facing the right direction.”  Never in retreat, always in advance.  That’s how I want to live! 

The preceding comments brought to inspired by the latest Promise Keepers book The Awakening Experience.  [Which book is not on a Canadian website – you have to phone 1-888-901-9700]

Koinonia

Here’s a word for you!

I love to play with words.  Once in a while one comes along that is hard to define.  So you look it up in etymological dictionaries.  They give great background and history for words.  Or you go to lectures and listen to great academic explanations.

And sometimes the word pops up in popular language of certain subcultures.  I was a part of an age specific class called a “koinonia” group.  And we had “koinonia fellowships”. 

All well and good!

But today I’m reading my Arndt and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, second edition, p. 438.

Koinonia a favorite expression for the marital relationship as the most intimate between human beings.

We generally translate this word as . . . fellowship.  Kind of puts a new light on our Sunday potlucks!

Backups and Friends

Computer programming is fun!

And dangerous!  Yesterday I tried a little updating on this blog.  Of course, I violated the cardinal rule of computer programming.  Always have a backup. 

When I was finished, the site had errors and much more!  No blog!

So I phoned my friend and he restored the original (which he had put together for me)! 

Friends are great – we need them!!

So you saw the file name?

You guessed it, Dejan!

I was filling my car and emptying my wallet.  The gas pump was playing soothing music. 

I’m thrown back to yesteryear.  I remember sitting by a rail way track as the “100 car” train went by. 

Got out of the car and heard the click, click, click.  There was no way to cross the track.  The most important meeting had to wait.

This is the moment in time when life stops.  Just me, the sky and the train!  I look around and see the world. 

The world that I’ve shut out. 

In our busy-ness we miss the cricket, and the waving grain, and the petite blue flowers, and the color of the gravel supporting the darkened wood ties that hold the thin steel line supporting the round discs holding the boxes of freight on their way to who knows what earthly destination.

The sound of peace and calm.

Until the price on the pump proved well able to overcome my enjoyment!!

New Kid on the block

Well, this was my first chance to meet all the ministerial in town.

And to meet the local politician, Jason Dearborn.

All the emotions of being just new.  Not wanting to talk – but feeling like something needs to be said.  Wanting to take in the local customs, wondering where they came from.  Eating a high cholesterol breakfast, and watching my waistline grow.

The group is from various backgrounds and persuasions.  They will not agree on everything.  The question is to see where we can agree.

What comes next in the spiritual life of our town?  Certainly this group will have an impact.

Churchless Faith

Every once in awhile an article pushes you to think.

What is churchless faith?  Almost sounds like an oxymoron, two words put together that are opposites.

Which brings up the other word – ecclesiology!  That is merely the study of the “church”.  The question is not whether people can believe in something.  But whether they can do this without the “institutional church”.  Or, the “local church”.

Lately I have come across seniors who are close to me. They have been a part of a church for decades, but are now not connected.  And a good friend who has been a mentor to me.  Part of a church even in the tumultuous 60’s and 70’s.  Now no longer attends.

I’m curious.  What are the reasons?  What alternate communities are people forming to take the place of the “local/institutional church”?

Talking Time

Today my wife, Jill, and I speak.

At a group called XYZ – the seniors of the community from various churches and backgrounds.  We’ll discuss the past 25 years.  That’s when we left Kindersley for other callings.  Amazing how time has its own voice. 

Whispering sickness and parenting.  Yelling finances and fights.  Soothing relationships and responsibilities.  [There is the literary coming out in me – I’m not sure you know what I’m talking about, but it sure sounds good!]

This last week I put 2 + 2 together while reading.  25 years was the time from the beginning of the biblical Saul/Paul’s Christian life to the time he wrote a book to people in Philippi where he said, “To me, to live is Christ” and “I have not attained, neither am I perfect, but I press on.” 

At around the same time Paul was writing a group in Ephesus and commending them for doing the same thing.  25 or 30 years later another letter was written to that church by John.  In Revelation he says to those people “You have done well in certain areas, but you have lost your first love.”

How 25 years can change our lives!  I want my journey to be one of striving not losing!