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Showing posts from July, 2007

the day that was

Today was a good day. I went to see The Simpsons movie with someone I really like and could feel him close to me and hear him laugh and it made me happy, I sat in my hammock and thought, " I LOVE summer!", I watched my friend open an eagerly awaited gift and get all engrossed in it, I was able to help another friend far away make contact with someone who could answer her questions, I ironed enough shirts and pants to last 2 episodes of home improvement shows, I emailed someone I have never met and made arrangements to have them stay at my house, I cried twice over nothing at all because it was just one of those things and managed not too take it all that seriously, I dreamt about Jack DeVries who was an old man in a mental home who needed a friend so I went to visit him and brought him a few gifts, I took all the garbage out of my house, and I remembered the words that Jesus spoke to me on Sunday, "Why are you discouraged, little one? Keep your eyes on me and you will a…

fantasyland

I went on a roller coaster last night called "Goliath." Dean convinced me to get in line and I spent the whole 10 minutes plodding along and whining, saying I didn't want to do it. In no time at all we were strapped into a row of seats and the girl beside me said, "I changed my mind, I don't want to do this anymore," and I replied, "Me too!" As the roller coaster began its chug up the steep incline, I could feel all the blood draining from my face and I began to pray. I really hate the sensation of fear and how it cripples me. When we crested the top of the first peak, everything stopped for a second and then we were plummeting towards the ground totally weightless at an alarmingly steep angle (I actually think it was no angle at all, just straight DOWN!). At some point in the latter part of this dive, something in my mind embraced reality and realised that this was just a ride, and in an instant the fear vanished and was replaced with delight. I …

the fast

Monday was a fasting day for our church. I usually restrict my diet to liquids during a fast, but this day turned out differently. What is a fast really, but something you give up because you have a tendency to turn to it for comfort instead of relying on God to sustain you. Usually this involves food, but Isaiah 58 clearly points out that fasting is not merely a ritual involving food, but an opening of our hearts to God's heart. I spent much of the day in a hospital waiting room and doing various errands with a friend. We visited some kind people (grandparents of my friend) and I felt I should accept any offer of their hospitality as refusing food from them would have been rude and pretentious (at least in my mind). When we finally arrived home after a long day at the mercy of the medicare system, my friend prepared a wonderful salad for me and I ate it with relish as my energy was dipping quite low. I wondered if I should be feeling guilty while all my fellow fasters were going w…

leaning learning

There are some things in life that I just cannot explain. Call them miracles, call them God showing his love and kindness to us, call them the natural outworkings of basic life principles such as sowing and reaping or pride and humility - it really does not matter to me. All I know is that at least three times in my life, God has intervened and instantly freed me from addictions, destructive patterns, and painful memories. I still feel the vestiges of familiar tendencies on the rare occasion, but the impulse, the devastating ravage of emotions, that seemingly helpless downward spiral, and the desire to even head in those bad directions are gone, totally gone. I wish I could point to something I did, or find a convenient 5-step process that made all the difference, or tell you that someone prayed for me, but in all honesty, I just cried out to God over and over again and submitted myself to him as best as I could. And one morning, or make that one morning and two evenings, these things…

sitting up straight

This is me after my haircut today. Yes, I am obsessed with hair which is probably why lopping off of a good portion of it (just over 8 inches this time) is healthy for me and my sense of identity. I have been trying to stand and sit straight for the past week. Not as easy as it sounds. My osteopath suggested that some of my shoulder issues might be more easily resolved if I took more care with my posture. Yes, I am a notorious sloucher. Part of it is because whenever I am cold, my whole body tries to curl up into itself. Another factor is that when I am tired, I just tend to sag all over the furniture I am sitting on. Nevertheless, I believe the major reason for slouching is that I don't like to thrust my shoulders back and chest out. My osteophath told me that breasts are something God gave us and we should not try to hide them. The same could probably be said in some way about how I view my long hair - I hide behind it in some way, trying to cover those things I am not quite com…

the box

Last night over ribs and beers (okay, I was having neither ribs nor a beer, but that's beside the point), several of us were having a little talk as we ate a meal after church. One person was saying that as she was thinking of thinking outside the box, she realised that there is NO box. These boxes are all fabrications of our mind. Two other people argued that there are certain laws (like gravity) and structures that are necessary for us to survive and be safe. Guess which side of the arguement I fell on? The NO BOX one, of course. My example is Jesus in all things, and he certainly was able to rise above the laws of the known universe (see walking on the water and raising folks from the dead) when he saw fit for they were subject to him, they served him. And he did not seem to hold that much esteem for the religious structures in place, not even familial ones (remember the 'hate your mother and father and follow me' part?). We have indeed perceived many structures …

know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em

I have been playing poker quite a bit with my friends lately and one would think that I should be getting better at it, but sadly, too often I can be read like a book and so can my strategy and my cards.
I made some bad decisions this week. One of them was opening my mouth when I should have kept it shut. We all (at least I assume we all do) have this dialogue inside our heads that tries to figure out what is going on in our lives, or work through choices, or resolve issues, or explain feelings, or analyse situations, or think and plan ahead. This week, when someone asked what was going on with me, I proceeded to verbalise that internal dialogue and as soon as I did, I realised that it was the least helpful, gracious or appropriate thing I could have done.
A few years ago, I worked at a job with a meeting planning company whose controller was a no-nonsense, abrupt, and by reputation unpleasant at times, person to work for. She called me one day to ask me to extend my contract with the…

oh look....

This is Jaclyn (and me). No, we are not sisters, nor related in any way and have not known each other for very long, but we are at home with each other even though we grew up half a world away. We can laugh and cry and get silly and cook and clean and paint and make mistakes in each other's presence and occasionally dress the same by coincidence and all of it only makes our friendship sweeter.

Jaclyn is a miracle. She is the only child her mother managed to carry to full term, and perhaps that has something to do with her determination and commitment. She is not a dabbler. She is not indecisive. She is willing to try anything that rings true and is a willing servant, living with conviction and confidence and a sense of fun. She is a woman of her word and has no falseness or pretence about her. She does not run from a challenge and never complains about hardship. She is real and I really like her.

Here we are pretending to be models and pointing uber excitedly at nothing w…

separation and air

I have become aware in the past week of how much I still separate the spiritual or sacred from the physical or secular spaces in my life; but I am learning. I offered to pray for someone last night and they were eating dessert at the moment so they said, "Just wait till I finish." I asked, "Why? We can't talk to God while we eat? " So we prayed for her while we licked ice cream and Jesus came with his presence and compassion and healing. What is this mentality that we must be at a certain place at a certain time in a certain frame of mind with a certain group doing a certain thing and not doing other things before God will make himself known to us or we can come before him? I will pray while walking, driving, eating, laughing, crying, shopping, in a movie, with friends, alone, on the phone, in the shower, in the middle of a noisy bar, during a conversation, half-asleep, while reading, while watching television, while in the bathroom, and while cleaning the toil…

right now

These are today's pictures from a quick walk around my house as a few drops came down and the wind blew. Why wait for sunshine to take pictures? Why wait for dry grass to take a walk? Why wait for perfect calm to snap a photo? Perfect circumstances will never happen. Don't let that stop you from doing the things that are important and beautiful and right now. And that's all for today. I have house guests and they must be enjoyed. What must you enjoy right now?

take a load off....

No, you have not just stumbled into a Dutch website selling wooden shoes. These are clogs my friend bought while in Amsterdam and I think they are the most colourful, if noisy, footwear!


Last night at home group (well, it wasn't in a home, it was in the Forum amusement complex where we have been meeting lately as suitable homes are scarce to come by right now), I read from Matthew 23 about the Pharisees who loaded down the followers of God with bundles of rules. Yep, I can see those patterns in myself as well. Coming from a tradition that tends towards legalism, I still struggle with demanding consistent commitment to certain activities as evidence of a godly life. It really puts everything backwards, you know. I see someone who appears to struggle with consistency in their life and start to get annoyed and want to tell them to get their act together, when in fact, I don't know the whole story. When I did take the time to ask God for his perspective on things in one instan…

take me to your leader

We went to Ottawa on July 1 to catch some of the Canada Day celebrations. Here is our Prime Minister delivering his address to the crowd. Thanks to Andreas, my new friend from BC, for the use of this picture since I forgot my camera at home; plus he is just a lot taller than I am and actually managed to get shots of something other than the backs of people's heads. Yep, we were that close!This afternoon I had another one of those interesting phone calls that only church administrators seem to get. A man called me to ask if our church was holy because he was looking for a holy church. I wasn't sure what he was looking for (what does holiness look like at first glance?). I suspect that though he will find our variegated group is far from perfect, he will be able to see Jesus and His holiness if he looks, because we make it a point to invite Jesus into our midst to change us and make us more like him.Since I refused to give him a straight answer he asked if the pastor was a holy …