Meeting the missing

A few quotes from an obituary!

“. . . three children who may have at times taken the example of their mother’s self-assurance and impulsive contrarianism a bit too close to heart.”

“. . . dislike of plain walls – plain anything – was visceral. All of creation was filigreed and swept through with inexhaustible beauty – to respond to this universe of delights and terrors with a determined plainness was to spit in the Creator’s face.”

“. . . belief that family, with its existential lifeblood of conflict and imperfect reconciliation and yearning for better, was the nearest model we had of humanity’s relationship to its Creator.”

Now that’s a woman you want to meet! Her name was Lois Laverna Reimer (nee Peters), born May 23, 1938 – joined Jesus January 15, 2019. And yes, she was a relative!

Violence, sex and girdles

The armour of God (Ephesians 6) strikes me as most interesting. One of the first phrases is about a girdle around the reproductive organs, composed of truth. BTW: a quick aside – with very few exceptions, the context for this description of armour deals with a male army. I would love to be inclusive, and the principles are transferable – but . . .

Now, at first glance this seems preposterous as armour. Is there an offensive tactical posture that is taken up by having a girdle (the image of violence and sex and girdles may be offensive in and of itself)? What do the organs of reproduction have to do with war?

As I cogitated on this line of inquiry, I came up with the following catch phrase: Embrace your passions with truth. The girdle covers up a vulnerable part of the body, but also keeps the activities of that area of the body within control – there is no place for rape and pillage. A soldier without self control is bound to strike out – quite literally – into a far riskier part of the war than is needed. A soldier without self-control will generate illegitimate ideas that will come back to haunt him/her. A soldier without an effective girdle leaves the sensitive area of the body open for attack

Think on this. If all the soldiers were harmed because they did not wear girdles, then there would be no future generations to fight for.

I know I tend to think outside the box, but perhaps I need to put this back in the box?

Concluding from the News

I’m becoming more aware each day that current news reporting is disseminated with a bias. My son dropped mainstream news when he was in his teens. In my teens I was told that newspapers were prejudiced towards a particular perspective.

Still, I stood with some naivete in the hope that credibility would win out. I still hold to that desire. I desired for news outlets to give both sides (or at least more than one side) to a news event.

Perhaps that is where credibility is being lost in my view. When we carry back (report) a situation to another person, we can merely emphasize our viewpoint. Or we can graciously accept that there are other viewpoints – and include them.

This is where storytelling and reporting differ. Both are essential. A well told story, building upon accepted principles and explained actions, leads to a conclusion. A well reported event, based on a broad understanding and generous sighting of events – helps us glean a conclusion.

Perhaps we have moved from reporting news to having news stories.

Fine . . . as long as we can distinguish between them, and gain our conclusions accordingly.

Mindfulness – Meditation, Concentration and Focus

I mentioned mindfulness meditation to someone the other day. They have greatly benefited from the movement towards disrupting their lives from distractions.

Now, I go back a ways – to the days when Christians were disturbed by Transcendental Meditation. The idea that was most disruptive was that you could look within yourself – abandon yourself to yourself to know yourself. We really were worried about the devil in all this – he would fill our minds with unclean and senseless counsel.

I think we missed something. Abandoning ourselves to ourselves lets us run rampant – we don’t need another “being” to disturb out thoughts about our being. Yes, other beings do play a part, but our self-deception starts down the trail without needing a lot of push from someone else.

So, with the return of mindfulness meditation, and the many branches that come from this idea, I’m once again a bit skeptical and quite optimistic.

Intentionality is the keyword that is being used. To leave this to merely breathing exercises is intentional. I would go a step further. Be intentional about a bigger picture – or more rightly – about God. A flow from the mountain top is much more lively than gathering a bit of dew from the morning sunrise.

Some quotes that hit home

I’m reading . . . short articles in the midst of home renovations.

Here are two quotes you may find interesting – along with the link to the article.

If humans are going to find God, it will not be where he has chosen to hide but where he has chosen to reveal himself. It is not in quantum uncertainty or statistical analysis that God is discovered. We will not find him in a gap but on a cross.

(Shayne Looper)  www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/october-web-only/atheism-where-is-god-physics-revealed-in-christ.html

More people are going to come to Christ today because they know they are broken in need of a healer, than because they know they are sinner in need of a Savior.

Page 45 (Rob Reimer) of Connections online magazine – issuu.com/cmacanada/docs/alliance-connection-fall-2018-pages

Sonrise

I’m looking out my office window as the sun rises.  Later each day, promising winter and then spring.  The colours are beautiful – fall is upon us and the leaves are changing.

I remember yesterday like it was today – oops, a senior’s thing of stringing all of life into one day!

I prayed for good weather when the weather channel was forecasting worse.  We were the hot spot in Saskatchewan.  I’m still trying to figure out if God is laughing at me because I really didn’t think much of that prayer.

I’ve gone completely off a drug I was taking.  I prayed for God’s healing.  I’m still not sure what has happened.  I’m not perfectly healed, but my body is responding is unexpected ways.  Maybe God thinks I’m a bit hilarious for tossing that prayer his way.

I pray in Jesus’ name.  Maybe the Son of God is beginning to rise a bit more in my life.  The colours are beautiful – resurrection is upon us and new life is here.

From yesterday’s observations

A friend mentioned that perhaps Twain’s summary of the Book of Mormon was much like a summary of Plato’s Republic.  At least that is what I took from his words.

Which is in some ways a justification of Socrates idea of precise definition of words and ideas.  Without the full quote (words written out) I’m unable to fully understand in my search for truth and beauty and happiness found in the writings of Twain.

I went looking for a summary of the Book of Mormon by Samuel Clemens – the real Mark Twain (now there is a sentence which needs further clarification – when is another name the real person, or is the pseudonym truly the person themselves?)

The summaries I came across were interesting – none of which glorified the Book of Mormon.  Knowing the writings of Mark Twain, I imagine there is a very well thought out, concise and stinging critique available. 

Just haven’t found it yet. 

I’d love to know if you know what I don’t know which would knowingly assist me in my search.

Plato’s Republic– What is truth?

I’m in the midst of reading Plato’s Republic.  My wife had a copy hanging around and since I had never read the original – although I have read summaries – I thought is was time to digest Socrates’ thoughts as given through Plato.

My first impression was that words and precise meanings are essential for Socrates way of life.  The rhetoric – or arguments – are designed to help the seeker find truth. 

My second impression – as I read along today – is that presuppositions tend to rule our arguments.  We try to prove what we already believe.  Although the seeker must also seek as well as justify their own conclusions, the whole thing tends to come off as manipulation.

At least as Plato writes it.  While Socrates will listen to an argument, sometimes it seems like he goes through a maze of twists and turns to come to the conclusion he may have held in the first place.  Plain and simple, Socrates truth is what he “knows” and what he is willing to understand that does not negate some basic ideas he began with.  A journey of truth seeking starts with some innate “truths”.  At least that is my impression so far.

Which brings me to the question of the day.  If we are seeking truth, the best way to find truth is to start by finding the gem of truth that wholly shines out the essence of truth.  That is not me, or Socrates, or any other human – we do not have a broad enough scope to plumb the depths of truth.  When Jesus (who claims to be the creator and God) says he is the truth, that is a statement that makes sense for those of us who truly seek truth.  And to begin with that gem as our focal point, we then have a pathway to truth.

What is truth is answered by Jesus – in the fullest way possible.

Centering my age

We have a new pastor at the Kindersley Alliance Church.  Peter Ralph, Jr. was installed this morning – he’s now plugged into our congregation and ready to go.

My friend’s son is now my pastor.  The kid from Sunday School and Children’s choir is now our senior pastor!  I can see why we have gone to the moniker – Lead Pastor.

In the past two weeks, two of my friends from my teen years died.  Cancer takes lives – and I’m coming to say that 60 something is young!

I recalled a 1968 event with ease, and the idea that I was around when the Cuban crisis occurred dates me.

A numbing left arm brings to mind immediately a possibility of stroke, instead of the realization that I’ve been working on renovations steadily for the last few months.

My eyes feast on the beauty of my wife, but my willing body would like to respond much more quickly to the stimuli.  I drive with cruise control, not so much to curb my heavy foot but to give my foot a rest.

And so, on September 21, 2018, I limp over another milestone.  I’ll be 65 – still feeling 18 but visiting in my mind the future of being 100. 

I’m glad that my ticket for the future is not yet bought even though I’ve been reading the brochures!