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Showing posts from June, 2007

the substitute

This is a picture I took while driving home yesterday. Totally amazing crazy sky! I just set the camera on the steering wheel and clicked away, hoping something cool would come of it.After I got home from my interesting day yesterday, I stayed up till 1:30 am getting things ready for my house guest. The alarm went off at 6:21 am this morning for me to get him from the airport. We stopped on the way home to get cappuccinos and donuts. Bad move! I crashed hard a few hours later and decided that caffeine is more foe than friend, especially on an empty stomach and after you have been off it for awhile and should never be mixed with sugar....ewwwww.I think perhaps it is a cheap substitute for passion and courage and maybe even commitment as well. Certainly it is a poor attempt at adrenaline (which after all is only meant for special occasions, or it ceases to be special or effective). I would rather work on developing and maturing these traits in my life than rely on artificial stimulus.…

a day when things didn't turn out quite like I thought

Today was filled with things that did not go as planned.1. I got a late start so didn't stop at the mall to do a few errands like I had planned to before heading downtown to pick up something from my doctor's office and a futon from my friend for my spare bedroom.2. The traffic was horrible and a trip that normally takes 35 minutes took me 75. I decided to take side roads for half of the way downtown.3. When I finally found a parking spot and took the elevator to my doctor's office, it was closed (despite hours posted that they were open on Fridays).4. I spent 4 hours helping my friend move some of her stuff into a storage unit and an hour and a half after I had planned to leave, we spent 5 minutes loading the futon into my car.5. I stopped at the mall on the way home to do my errands and went to 2 jewellers who refused to touch my watch (they said it was difficult to open). At the third bijoux repair place was a young girl named Chantal who just took my watch, popped off …

the green hairdresser

I went to the hairdresser today. Since my regular hairdresser was unavailable, I took an appointment with Veronique, the new girl, who was obviously the latest apprentice. By the end of the hour that I spent there, I was thinking that perhaps Veronique should be pursuing something else in life besides being a hairdresser. Don't worry, the end result was quite good, but I got the feeling that she really didn't like hair at all. She pulled and yanked at my locks, then gave them a rather warmer than usual (almost shockingly hot) wash, after which she attempted a scalp massage which ended up feeling more like an encounter in a vice.I managed never to complain, yelp or exclaim and even gave her a small tip for her services (after all, she was just learning and charged me less than I normally paid), but I doubt how successful she will ever be in that line of work. You see, Veronique does not "get" hair. She treats it like a dead thing, something to be mangled and manhandle…

timberrrrrrrrrr

Yesterday morning I heard buzzing noises outside my house. I went to the front door and saw that my neighbour across the street was having some trees removed by a man with a chainsaw. My heart leapt! I needed some trees removed as well but hadn't known where to start as I wanted someone who knew what they were doing to fell them. I ran outside in my workout gear and glasses (not at my most attractive, I admit) and asked the friendly neighbour if I could borrow her chainsaw guy for a few minutes. She asked Dean (yes, his name was Dean) and he said sure. Ten minutes later he had felled my two dead birch trees and never left a mark on my lawn or hardly a footprint in my flowerbeds! Amazing what a little power tool in the hands of an expert can do! Now I shall plant something ALIVE in their place. I have collected odds and ends of furniture throughout the past few years as people give me stuff and I can't bear to throw out an old chair because I think I might use it somewhere, oh a…

4 steps to walking on water

These are the notes from the talk I gave at church last night from the story of Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33).


1. Recognise Jesus. Often our tendency is to be fearful in tough or uncomfortable situations, but it is hard to recognise Jesus when you are afraid, because fear blinds us spiritually. Let us repent for living fearfully.


2. Desire to be where Jesus is. Peter did not ask Jesus to come into the boat, he asked to be were Jesus was, doing what Jesus was doing. Be available and willing to move. Jesus must always be our example, not what other people are doing around us. Let us repent for the tendency to stay where we are.


3. Wait for Jesus' invitation. Don't get ahead of God. Don't venture out on your own. Wait. Wait. Wait on God. Trust God's timing. Respond immediately when you hear him call you or feel the urging of the Holy Spirit. Do not hesitate. Let us repent for impatience and ask God what his invitation is to us today.


4. Step out on the word…

here, near and far

There are 3 elements in this photo I took in South Africa in January of 2006. It reminded me of life perspectives when I saw it today.

The field I am standing in (close):

I am in my office blogging while I wait for supper to cook. It is 11:15 pm, rather late, I know, but this is what the past few weeks have been like as I work on a long list of things to do before July 1, most of them home improvement related. Today I mowed the lawn, put together a new bureau for our bedroom (the assembly must be worth the same as the materials, I am sure of it), rearranged the furniture, and tidied up my kitchen which had been neglected for a bit. I still have a message to prepare for church tomorrow but I think that will wait til the morning.

The foothills (just ahead, close enough to see clearly): Beginning June 30, there will be quite a few people coming through my home, some just for a brief night between flights, some for a week to visit and tour Montreal, some for a month or two or more as t…

deeee--lite

God has been speaking to me today about delight. My ponderances often turn to trying to sort out the mysteries of faith and life. Too often I trudge through my tasks looking only for completion. My prayers are frequently sprinkled with yearnings and cries and questions.

Let today be a day in which I delight in this God who has found me and makes every little thing about my life a joyous gift.

Here are a few suggestions to get in the mode of delight:
1. Eat something most yummy (see the picture of my homemade blueberry pie and ice cream), preferably something you took the time to make yourself.
2. Get into a room alone, turn up the music, and DANCE till feeling silly feels normal.
3. Make someone laugh.
4. Read Phillipans 4:4 (in the amplified version preferably) as loudly as you would yell at a soccer match.
5. Go up to several people that you know and whisper in their ear a secret about how you have always admired them for a certain thing.
6. Ask someone to tickle you and giggle …

it is a man thing

God is a Father. That is not too popular a statement in these days of inclusivity and tolerance. Some people like to refer to the ultimate deity as she or perhaps the politcally correct "he/she." Personally, I refer to someone in the way they refer to themselves. It is somewhat arrogant to do anything else, I think. Yes, God's character includes both femininity and masculinity, but he consistently refers to himself as a Father, the masculine family figure, so there must be a reason for this because God makes no choices lightly or randomly.

A few days ago as I was washing the bathroom floor, the following thoughts hit me out of nowhere.

God portrays himself as a male authority figure because this relates to us in a particular way, especially in areas of identity and worth. Girls get their sense of value from their father and further on in life, they look to men to validate and protect them (I am referring to a healthy validation here). Men look to their fathers to instill …

my habitat and me

I am listening to my bug zapper doing its work outside as I write this. We have a lot of mosquitoes in our yard due to being on the edge of a bush and having some standing water to the rear of our property. Some thoughtful friends gave Dean a bug zapper for his birthday and we installed it today. The world is a friendly place at times for us humans, but at other times, it seems rather hostile and we must protect ourselves from it. Shelter is one of the primary needs of people in intemperate climates and we spend most of our income on our elaborate shelters. I am spending a month improving my shelter because we deem it a worthy investment. What does God deem a worthy investment? What does he choose to spend himself on? Jesus spent himself on mankind, not because mankind is the central figure of history and had to be redeemed in order for the story to end well, but because God IS and his character will always shine through, no matter how we distort it or mar our godly image. God so love…

I LOVE THIS JOB!

Closet update: I installed the shelf today and now have a fully functioning small walk-in closet. Don't talk to me about the number of times I plastered and sanded and painted - I have discovered that I am not the best plasterer ever and will gladly hire a professional for any project that is not the inside of an unlit storage closet (a.k.a. people will actually see it in daylight). Job Update: I am currently reading through the book of Job in the Bible and wow - I like it! I am sure the translation (Peterson's The Message) has something to do with it and also, I guess I am seeing and understanding and able to hear things that I could not at other times in my life. It really is not the wretched and pitiful tale that we have made it out to be: that of a man suffering while God stands back and encourages the devil to take his best shot. To me, at least at this reading, it is a story that calls for our idea of God to be enlarged. Job's trouble is not his awful circumstances - …

stopovers and such

This is the t-shirt my friend, Dan, was wearing yesterday. He had just flown back to Canada from South Africa and had a brief stopover in Switzerland where he picked up this fine souvenir for himself and some fine dark chocolate for me (well, his mom did, but I'll give him some credit here). A lot of my friends are in transition of some sort right now. I personally love transition and get all adrenalised at the thought of entering some new phase of life or moving somewhere or travelling or well, anything new and different makes me jump up and down (unless, of course, it is a sad situation). Things for me are more about preparation than transition right now, which is not as exciting but very necessary. I will be having quite a few people in my home this summer and to that end, I am preparing and updating and furnishing the living quarters downstairs. It is just hard work, really, and the thing that keeps me motivated is that in 3 weeks I will be sitting down there with friends …

my unperfect life

Someone disappointed me this weekend. Somehow, after all this time living this life, it still shocked, surprised and offended me. I know my reaction was not a perfect one - silly how I can have an imperfect reaction to an imperfect world and think it is somehow justified or right or will work for me in some way just like expecting two wrongs to make a right. And oh yes, I feel somewhat excused from being part of the overall problem since I am only reacting and I did not actually DO anything.
Sigh. This persistent need for someone to recognise my value is so misplaced at times, and I don't know if the answer is to let it all go or to lovingly communicate to a person how their actions have hurt me and my ability to trust them. Any scenario I go through in my mind regarding the latter confrontation always end up in a mess, so maybe the best thing is just to let it go and realise that God is much better at teaching people and maturing them than I am since his motives are never personal…

homeless church

This is a picture of my newly renovated home...NOT! This is another view of the church in Ste-Marthe which is just beautiful from so many angles.
Well, patching and painting is still an ongoing project at my house and I am getting tired of it ( I hate sanding and I suck at plastering) as you can tell, so let's talk about something more interesting.
Wednesday night we had a homeless home group. The home where we usually meet was not available, so we hung out downtown. God has been challenging me to let go of my expectations of what church looks like and what constitutes a healthy and growing group of people who follow God. One of the things I don't like about what we do is that we hole ourselves up in a room and do all our spiritual exercises behind closed doors as if they were a secret. It is a comfortable yet not altogether healthy way of thinking. In the progressive revelation of the character and nature of God and his interaction with human beings (that would be the Bible), w…

do over

I tried something. I did it as best I could. I thought I was done. Then I saw it in the light and it was obvious that I did not do a very good job. So I read instructions. I got better tools. I got more materials. I will try again tomorrow. Thank God for do overs. This is a photo taken on a sunny autumn day in September 2006.

windy

I was inside all day painting and patching up the holes in my garage (finding studs can be a tricky business and the sometimes the only way to do so is to make a bunch of holes). I also finally got to an organisation project for the church which I had been meaning to do for awhile. It was a good day to stay inside as a thunderstorm and intermittent rain lashed against my windows for much of it. I finally went for a walk after 10 pm to get the mail and WOW found the wind wicked and cold!I don't complain much about weather - what's the point, really? But if anything gets to me, it is severe wind. I guess I have too many memories of riding my bicycle home against a strong prairie wind which often rendered any attempt at pedaling against the stubborn invisible force slower than just getting off and walking my bike.There is nothing as frustrating as being prevented from getting where you are going by some force that you can do nothing about, especially since you cannot see it, nor …

the coming and the doing

Yesterday in church, while I was attempting to make the announcements while lying on the floor (don't ask, I do have silly ideas sometimes), I felt overwhelmed by God's presence and began to weep. I didn't know what to do except pay attention to what he was doing and not leave the place I was in, so I did just that and Dean managed to handle the announcements himself for the most part and I hope the visitors weren't too freaked out.The thing God kept saying over and over to me was, "Come, come, come! You choose to do everything else first, you go lots of places, you turn to many people and things before me, but I am here, waiting. Come! I want you to come to me, I am here for you!" It is true. When I get a rather large list of things I need to accomplish or I am surrounded by activity, I start down the busy road and before I know it, the day is pretty much over and I have yet to connect with God.Today, the day after God asked me to "Come," my tasks …

the hidden places

I am in the middle of another home improvement project. Yesterday I was sanding the walls I had taped and plastered and ended up all white and powdery from head to toe. Hmmm...safety glasses might have been a good idea.I am making a functional bedroom closet out of a miscellaneous storage space that houses ducts and an air exchanger. This means I have to finish the walls, paint, and install a hanging rod and shelf. Now I had never taped and plastered drywall joints before, but I thought that a small walk-in closet might be just the place to develop this skill. Sanding removes any mistakes you might make, right? I admit, it is not the prettiest plaster job I have ever seen, but after a quick second coat today, another round of sanding (does one just put on the old clothes you wore to sand the last time or do you put on clean clothes for every new work day? Where is that book on sanding etiquette?) and a coat of primer and paint, I think it will look fabulous. I realise that hardly anyo…