Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2007

mosaic

Today we visited Saint Joseph's Oratory on Mont Royal. I have always loved the atmosphere of this large catholic church with its history of healing and the humble manner of its founder, Brother Andre.

My favourite part of the interior of the building is the mosaic mural at the front that rises in an arch to a great height. When you get up close, you can see the thousands of tiny coloured mosaic pieces which were hand-placed to form words and pictures. This has always reminded me of the creative nature of God. He knows the masterpiece he is creating and knows where to place each piece and what colour works in each part of the picture.

I am a small mosaic in the hand of the artist.

something I wrote to God

I don't understand how you are - how you intertwine yourself with me
How being together becomes one and one becomes many

Explosions and kisses
Solitude and big worlds crammed with souls
Near and far
Rest and work
It is all the same where you are

You come to me and I go to you
These hands of yours are bigger than I ever imagined Can we be friends for a very long time? Your company never gets old

I still have to much to learn and so much to tell you Let everyday be a day with you That would be enough to last forever

Photo taken in New Brunswick a few years ago in November.

lesson from Joash

I have been reading the story of Joash in the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 24). He started his reign when he was the 7 years old and did what was right in God's eyes as long as Jehoida the priest was there to mentor him. He was determined to renovate the temple and collected money from all the people who willingly gave what they had to restore it. I often heard this story in Sunday School and vividly remember the picture of a giant chest outside the temple with people tossing gold coins into it. One thing we were never told as impressionable children was the end of Joash's story. After Jehoida the priest died, things fell apart. Joash listened to some bad advice and neglected the temple, instead taking up with the cult of sex goddesses. When Jehoida's son tried to tell him this was a bad idea, Joash, had him murdered! It is no surprise that a year later Joash's army was wiped out and Joash was killed by some of his own servants. Turning your back on God brings one to a …

the real thing

This is a picture of the dessert I ordered at Juliette & Chocolate on my birthday last year. I am not a huge chocolate fan, but this dish was absolutely one of the best I have ever tasted. Real chocolate, real cream, real sugar, real everything. No one at this place seems to have heard of carrageanan or milk solids or artificial flavouring or hydrogenated vegetable oil or disodium guanylate of any of the other additives and substitutes that most manufacturers put into foods to make them tasty and rich and thick and long-lasting and as close to the real thing as they can get without actually being the real thing.

Purity and wholesomeness are rare when low cost and limited time and shelf longevity and ease of mass production and the necessity of repeat business are your focus. But when something is good, you don't need to improve on it, market it, or repeat it. You just need to enjoy it and make sure you do not dilute its goodness.

And God saw everything he had made and beh…

again

This was the view from the skating area at the Old Port today. I went downtown with a friend who is here from Australia and it was a joy to see her delight in typical Canadian winter scenes and pastimes. It helped me see the familiar sights through fresh eyes again.Mark Twain said, "Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it."Having grown up in a very religious community and having read and been taught the Bible my whole life, I find that sometimes the biblical words and stories and concepts have been heard so often before that I fail to wonder and marvel and embrace and search out anew the truths found therein. Just because you have seen it before doesn't mean you noticed everything there was to see. Just because you have heard it before doesn't mean you know what it really means. Just because you have talked to someone over and over again does not mean …

moving

Don't stand still. Keep on moving. Let HIM move you. Don't be a stick in the mud. Unfurl your sail. Let HIM move you. Open wide. Spread your wings. Let HIM move you. Be deeply moved, be stirred, let your heart be touched, let stone become warm flesh. Let HIM move you. He is unshakeable, unmoveable, unchanging. He is a rock of depth and a point of navigation. Let HIM move you. Raise your hands and feet and mind and heart and time in surrender and let HIM move you.

things I want

This is a picture I took of one of my friends' plants beside the pool after a summer rain. I like pools and sometimes wish I had one so that I could learn to swim properly, but it is nice to have friends that let you come over to use theirs and offer free swimming lessons as well! On Saturday, I spent several hours online and on the phone trying to get tickets to see The Police when they come to Montreal in July. It was something Dean really wanted to go to and another friend had asked me to get him a ticket as well, so I thought it would be a rather simple thing to call the box office or go online and purchase a few tickets of my choice. How wrong was I! The Police have not played together in ages, so the concerts were selling out very fast. After the first hour of not being able to log onto the ticket site, I realised that all my efforts might be in vain. However, I determined not to get all stressed out about it and continued to click and wait and dial the constantly busy box of…

the unexpected way

One of my friends was asked to speak at a local youth group meeting and she asked if I would be willing to accompany her to play for worship as well as tell a story about letting God guide me. I said, "Sure," and then she also mentioned that she would like to get a list of all the people in the youth group so that we could pray for them ahead of time and get some insight or words from God for them. It sounded like a great idea, so I again said, "Sure." The meeting was scheduled for Friday night and as Friday afternoon wore on, that same old fear started to rise (my friend was actually speaking about fears that night, so it was apropros) that I would have no idea what to do and be of no help to anyone. I had not spent any time praying for the youth until that afternoon and actually dreaded looking at the list of names. Finally, I overcame my procrastination and laid the list on the table in front of me. I stared at the words and wondered what I had been thinking in s…

sssnooooooooow

This afternoon, I spent 1.5 hours shovelling the lovely precipita-tion we know as snow. It was so windy that I could only shovel in one direction if I wanted to make any progress at all. My nephew insisted that this was a good workout and he is correct, though I prefer a warm basement or gym and not -20 degree (-33 with windchill) weather. After it was done, I couldn't help but look outside every 20 minutes or so, admiring the fine job I did that made room for 3 cars. I spent most of my day in preparation mode today (we have weekend guests) and though everything I did will probably have to be done again within a few days, I try never to begrudge it, for one of the greatest privileges I have is preparing for people who come to my home. Jesus said he was going to prepare a home for us, and the least I can do is follow his example for those he brings my way. What are you preparing for?

clean teeth

This afternoon I had a dentist appoint-ment and all went well and I came out of the office with clean and bright and healthy teeth. Then I went grocery shopping. There is something about freshly cleaned teeth that makes you hesitant to buy any food that is bad for you, especially anything sugary and sticky. When I got home, lunch was chosen from foods that would not contribute to tartar and cavities.

There is something about being in the presence of God that makes the decaying and filthy tempations of this world just not that enticing. Being clean is a great feeling, and having your guilt removed and your sin erased is a state I want to stay in. Let me make choices tnat promote good dental and spiritual health.

This is a picture of a tree on the Cal State campus in Berkeley, California, taken in January 2007.

lesson from the cable car

January 29, 2007 (date of photo)

This is a cable car in San Francisco, the only USA National Landmark that moves. While I was taking my ride in one from the Powell street BART station to Fisherman's Wharf, I heard one of the brake-men explaining the technology to another train rider. There is a cable running underneath the street that is always in motion. The driver engages a clamp that grabs the cable when he wants the car to move forward and disengages the clamp when he wants to stop (braking where necessary and with all the hills in San Francisco, that is pretty much everytime he wants to stop). While walking any of the streets that still have cable car runs, one can hear the moving cable as a constant hum underneath you and it took me awhile to figure out what that rumble was.To me, this is a somewhat rough but amazing picture of the Spirit of God. He is always moving and if you know what to listen for, you can hear his rumbling and humming, but you can't see him. However, …

the tendency to lean

I need to go out and buy a shovel. It snowed a bit last night and the wind has been blowing, in fact it blew so much in the last few weeks that it snatched our last shovel right off the porch and into a parallel universe, at least that's where I assume it is since all my trudging through the snow and peering into neighbours' yards has yielded no glimpse of the tool. Like cat fur, snow accummulates and if one does not stay on top of clearing it, things can get mighty unpleasant for everyone involved, including the cars. Today is also cleaning day where the aforementioned cat fur and dirt which have moved from their respective locations (on the cat or outside in the yard) must again be shown their proper places. I do not enjoy the constant maintenance and cleaning of things - it seems such a total waste of time. But other repetitive patterns like eating and going to the bathroom and working out and showering and sleeping seem altogether enjoyable most of the time. What is the dif…

here is a poem I wrote in French class today...

Mon amour s'appelle le soleil
Il a chaud
Il est brillant
Il allume ma vie


Mon amour s'appelle la nuit
Elle est mystérieuse et se cache
Elle est mon repos et silence
Elle couvre mes secrets


Mon amour s'appelle le vent
Il me chatouille
Il me donne un petit coup de coude
Il me touche sans dérangement
Son souffle est toujours près moi, chuchotant mon nom

Mon amour s'appelle la nourriture de mon âme

And a little picture to go with the romantic mood...a doorway in San Francisco, January, 2007.

irrational FEARS

I was thinking today about fears and how many irrational ones I have had and still sometimes let visit my brain for varying periods of time. -- Oh, this is a picture of one of the myriad of seagulls on the fishing pier in San Francisco on a rainy, overcast Friday (January 26, 2007) and has nothing to do with this post, unless of course you have a phobia about seagulls. -- Let me list a few of these irrational fears because doing that always seems to solidify their ludicrousality (not sure that is a word, but it sounds rather daunting so let me make up another one to go with it) and phantomise their power to grip me.

1. I will never have another creative idea after this one.
2. Some of my best friends will stop liking me for no particular reason.
3. I have no idea what I am doing and someday someone other than me will realise that.
4. I will go over to someone's house and the only thing they offer me to eat will be seafood and other things that make me gag.
5. When I get on stage in a …

cold wind and thank you's

This photo was taken a few years ago on a cold and blustery winter day, much like today. It is minus 18 here now and the wind makes it feel much colder. However, I am in a thankful mood and here are some of the things I am thankful for:
1. All winter wear is on sale so I managed to get 2 pairs of warm gloves for $3.48 (great for me as I always tend to lose a glove or two every year);
2. The heating bill came and though it is outrageously high, it is less than last year (yeah!), our house is nice and warm, and we have enough money to pay for it;
3. My cold is almost gone. I caught the wickedest vile head congestion virus in California that affected my hearing and produced vast amounts of mucus, but the cough and kleenex count are way down today. Breathing is fun again, though holding my head upside down for extended periods of time is not a good idea yet.
4. Dean and I went to see a silly little film today, Night at the Museum, and enjoyed each others' company, popcorn, and some light …

driving

January 30, 2007. This is taken while we (my friend Lucy and I) were driving across the Bay Bridge on our way to drinks and a light dinner atop the Marriott overlooking the city of San Francisco before I headed off to the airport back to Montreal. Sigh. Life seems so much more exciting when you are traveling - each moment is new and unknown and for me at least, it is easy to have faith and great expectations for God to clearly direct you and show you new things and perhaps more importantly, I am willing to rely on him more! Back at home, however, the everyday grind seems to deflate some of my ability to be wide open to God as I just tend to get on with stuff that needs doing, which is no one's fault but my own, I know. Today a friend told me that the everyday stuff gets hum drum only when you do not love what you are doing. So, let me be a lover of whatever place, time, job (thing to do), and people that God puts in front of me. Yes, every day can be an adventure with God, becaus…

sights of SF

There are 3 things of interest in this first picture: the sea lions, pier 39 and the city scape of San Francisco. This was taken from the boat as we were leaving the harbour for our cruise of the Bay on Monday, January 29, 2007. The sea lions get quite vocal at times and while some thought they were begging for food, I don't think they were addressing humans at all - they seemed to be talking amongst themselves. They like to hang out at Pier 39 because there are plenty of fish in the shallow waters and the harbour offers protection from rough water.
The second picture was taken on the one-hour boat tour just before we went under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was really the only magnificently sunny and clear day I had while I was in the San Francisco area, and I was grateful for a chance to remove my jacket and use my sunglasses. I did not complain about the wet weather as my friends said they really needed the rain so who was I to demand personal comfort instead of eco-balance? Never…

trees are important

This picture was taken on my walk through Cal State University in Berkeley on Tuesday, January 30, where there are a group of students protesting the removal of a section of oak trees in order to build a new gym facility. Some of them have built platforms and are actually living in the branches in makeshift shelters. It is amazing to me the various causes that people will get behind and pursue with a zeal that makes many of us uncomfortable. What is worthy of my public protest? What would I live in a tree for? What would I lose my so-called respectability for? I used to be quite the religious zealot (with judgmental tendencies often masquerading as zeal), going around telling people Christian rock music was an oxymoron and the celebration of Christmas by giving gifts might steal your soul (I even renamed it "Gift-mas"). Zeal without wisdom and love is a fire that can easily bring destruction to the very causes it means to spread and the people that encounter it. Thank God t…