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Showing posts from December, 2007

the middles

This is how it goes - "it" being any venture that is worthwhile and grand enough to challenge us out of our comfortable lives meandering towards predictable and non-remarkable mediocrity. At the beginning, you get a great vision, you have faith, you exude hope, you are inspired and inspiring, you believe anything is possible, your soul is big and fat and floats above all circumstances, you speak in absolutes, and the goal seems just inches and minutes away.

At the end, when you have finally seen the grand project or journey through to its completion, you are tired, happy, wiser, more humble, thankful, able to see the divine plan and purpose in all the twists and turns you experienced. You are more convinced than ever of the absolutes, your faith is richer and deeper and stronger, and your soul has a solidity that only the practical living out of what you hope in can bring.

Both of these are most satisfying places to dwell, and we love them. As people of faith, these are the ti…

how do you feel?

I'm back! We took a full 4 days off and did important things like eat, sleep, read, play, talk, and give and receive. It is good and necessary to set aside the burden of work and responsibility for a time and simply be. Selah.

Last week I came across a quote on another's blog, and it rang true with me. Here it is:

I have come to believe that it is important to personally learn and to teach people how to feel skillfully. I believe that there is far more information and awareness in feeling than there is in thinking. Certain forms of rational debate can point out the absurdity of different beliefs, but this fails if the person lacks the intelligence to understand the argument. And yet even the most simple can recognize when they have been insulted. And it seems the most simple often understand when they are being loved and how to return love more skillfully than their "intelligent" counterparts. - Richard Harty, www.whatisspiritual.blogspot.com

I am a feeler. I have spent…

this could happen to you

About a week ago, one of my friends, at least I always thought he was my friend, suggested that I should put cameras around my house, videotape my life and sell it as a reality show called, "This Could Happen to You!" After yesterday's incident, I definitely see the brilliance of his idea.

I was doing my kickboxing workout downstairs when the phone rang. It was Dean (husband of the year award-winner) asking me to look up some information for him that he could not access at work due to internet restrictions. I complied, like the good wife I am, and interrupted my exercises to run upstairs to my office. He had me on speaker phone with 3 of his colleagues, so as I was sitting at my computer, searching for a particular Skype identity, I could hear the office banter. I was not having any luck finding the person he needed and we were about to give up when I heard a strange noise coming from the kitchen. It was an odd meowing that was getting more and more intense and turning in…

moved by movies

I watched two movies this past week that brought out some strong emotions in me. When I asked my friends about their opinions, I was surprised to hear that they had not experienced or even seen the same things I had seen. Well, that merited some thought on my part as to what exactly I was responding to, so here are my conclusions. Please be warned that if you have not seen these movies, there might be some spoilers included below.

1. No Country For Old Men. This movie is garnering a lot of attention and nominations for its quirky characters and clever script. I went into it expecting to be intrigued. Halfway though the film, I wondered if I should walk out. I found it altogether too dark and somewhat predictable in that "I've got an awful feeling about this" way. I stayed to the end, which contained a huge dark stain followed by a glimpse of light. I left the theatre bothered, feeling ill at ease. Like I should take some action to make things right, but there was nothing…

wild Bible stories

Today the snow is falling again and I was without any running water when I got up this morning. Interesting stuff. Messes with ones plans for the day. So I am doing a quick blog while I await the return of water for my shower for one cannot venture out into the stores and banks and post offices smelling like yesterday.

Yesterday I was trotting around on my friend, Dave's, blog (http://www.nakedpastor.com/) and saw his latest video conversation with Shane from http://www.fakerepublic.com/. Excellent stuff. Go there right now and watch the fakenaked show part 2. It is about money and marketing and integrity and they toss in a few innapropriate remarks just for good fun. Anyway, that got me onto Shane's website where I came across this fine quote in one of his posts. I asked if I could include it here and he graciously agreed.

i shudder every time i hear the life-giving message of jesus preached as constricting, fear-inducing, death - the dysangel! i despair when the wild word of g…

the power of Mr. Gravel

We were visited by a blizzard yesterday. The snow started to come down in the morning and it did not stop till late at night. About 35 centimetres of it. Mid-afternoon, I decided to take a walk around and snap some photos. It was beautiful and wild and difficult to walk around in (at one point I sunk in up to mid-thigh level) and hard to see through, and I was soon wet and cold and out of battery power. We had a Christmas function downtown that we had to be at around 5 pm which meant we should probably leave by 4 pm to allow for the bad roads. Dean brought out the shovel just after 3:30 and managed to make a minor dent in the heap the city snow plow had deposited at the end our driveway. He came inside after a short while and said there was no way he could clear the massive volume of white. He started my car which was parked outside, and in an attempt to free it from a snowbank, managed to get it good and stuck in the drifts behind it. We really were not going anywhere unless our snow…

inconsistent or what

I have been having a discussion with some friends about the seeming contradictions of God as portrayed in the Bible. The particular story which was the focus of our talk was the one where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. This could be construed as murder, which is strictly forbidden in the commandments which were cited earlier. I must confess, this story has always annoyed me a bit, as Abraham seems to be at the mercy of a God who demands something outrageous one moment, then changes his mind, all because he proved a point or Abraham passed the test or whatever the goal was. I guess we all hate the feeling of being a pawn in some larger game in which we have no control. I know I do. But I must also remember that from the start (that would be Genesis), God insisted that man have the freedom to choose. And choice is what takes us to where we are going.

Anyway, in my friend's living room, while we were talking and venting and in general just being honest about how…

do you believe?

We were talking about music Sunday night and I asked someone what "did it" for them when they listen to music. Interesting melodies, skillful musicians, fun and danceable - there were many answers. I added that I respond most to music when people believe what they are singing or playing. One can be a mediocre musician but if you believe what you are singing, there is an added element of beauty or power that will blow the most amazing technical but detached performance out of the water.

What is believing? I think it is giving yourself over to something, letting that protective wall down that we all use to shield ourselves from really showing who we are, and stepping into something that one cannot totally quantify. And it is a darn hard thing to do! Some days I do not know if I believe anything. There are days, like today, when I feel mediocre about my life and the tasks in front on me and everything I read and write seems flat and lifeless and the only thing my eyes see is the…

I like...

I was just making myself a cup of Chai and thinking about how I like the flavour and smell of vanilla, but others prefer chocolate. We all have different likes and tastes and no one could tell you specifically where they come from. Why do I (the lover of all vegetables) dislike the taste of brussel sprouts and Dean (the detester of most things green) love them? My friends have spent years trying to get me to like sushi, but I just can't do it (deal with it!) There is something creative and unique about our individual tastes. And that's a good thing. If everyone liked the same foods, that would not only be boring, it would mess with our ecosystem, I am sure. I grew up on a farm and know it is important to rotate the crops one grows in order to maintain the stability of the nutrients in the soil, so just producing all corn or all potatoes would eventually impoverish the land. If every man liked the same kind of woman, it would be disastrous for companionship and procreation beca…

time between times

I like moving. I like helping people move. I like looking at apartments and houses. Change excites me. One of my least favourite phrases in the whole world is, "This is as good as it gets." There is such a short-sightedness, false finality, and mediocrity behind those words that I have been known to shout out, "No, it's not! It gets way better than this!" when I hear it. There is a temptation as we acquire bigger and better and more comfortable situations in this life to consider that we have arrived in some way; that the struggle is over, at least in part, and we can relax. Well, rest is a good thing and a very vital part of life, but growth and maturation and development are never over. Not even in heaven! The presence of God is the place where the most exciting developments should be expected, where every day will be filled with wonder as layer after layer of his unfathomable character and glory are revealed to us.

Sunset and sunrise are some of my …

the cheat

I took a placement test today in preparation for another French language course I am planning to take in January. There were four other people in the room taking the same listening test which was meant to assess our competence in French in order to place us in the appropriate level. The instructor had other administrative duties to attend to so she left the room for part of the test. At one point, I heard some talking across from me and looked up to see one woman whispering the answer to another woman. I was rather stunned and hoped my stern glare would squelch the behaviour, but the dishonest woman seemed oblivious to anyone else and all my looks were wasted. I hoped it was just a one-time lapse in judgement, but every time the one woman hesitated, the second one said the answer out loud, loud enough for me and perhaps others to hear. I could hardly believe it! I wondered what part of her mind believed that helping her friend cheat on a placement test would ensure this friend a bette…

whole

For the past few weeks, I have been thinking about and exploring the concept of wholeness. Recently I have become aware just how splintered our lives are: job and family and sacred and secular and rational and emotional and conscious and subconscious and love and passion and obligation and responsibility and pain and pleasure and rest and relaxation. We categorise and compartmentalise and label and organise our entire lives, it seems, in order to fit it all in and make it work, but how many of us feel whole? When I look back at the basic concepts presented at the beginning of time as we know it, the goal was to be whole, to be one, to be in unity- with God first and then with each other. The first splintering took place when the we as humans decided that wholeness was inferior to personal advancement, and we started descending the slippery slope of comparison and competition instead of ascending towards the lofty goals of unison and harmony. Understandable, because unity requires sacr…