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Showing posts from August, 2010

vacation?

Dean and I are on day 4 of our vacation in Manitoba. So far, the days have been full. Hours of travel time, a visit to the farmer's market, shopping for school clothes, reading stories and playing "hide Mr. Lion" with my niece, a brief overnight trip to North Dakota, and much, oh much too much, eating. This afternoon as we were driving into Winnipeg, I asked myself, "Is this really a vacation?" Yes, it is a change of pace, and it is good to see the family, but the list of activities to do and people to see is getting longer, and there are several tasks that I have to keep on top of for school, not to mention some reading and writing that I can't neglect.

The thing that probably bothers me the most is that I am not as joyful, energetic, and passionate about life as I want to be. A vacation sounds exactly like what I need, and yet, I am finding that rest is one of the hardest things to do really well. Spending time with a 2-year-old makes one realise how young…

why theology?

The past week has been a flurry of house guests, meetings, welcoming newcomers to Montreal, and trying to get through some books for my reading course before we leave on vacation. Another thing I did this week was to write a short article answering the question, "Why theology?" In case you have ever wondered why people study theology, here is one person's explanation (that would be me).

The Theology Adventure

Everyone has their own reasons for exploring a discipline. Sometimes classes in a specific genre happen to work out best in your schedule. Or a particular avenue of study may be the most attractive and least painful of your available options. Perhaps you have always had a curiosity about a certain subject and decide to try a class or two to test the waters. There is also the possibility that family and friends influence your decision, offering solicited and no doubt, some unsolicited, advice. Whatever the situation, the best case scenario is that you are in a program …

phone book

I just finished an online spiritual formation course. The final assignment was a creative project based on some concepts we studied over the last 4 weeks. Usually, ideas line up in my brain and eagerly pepper me with scenarios for possible projects. But this week, much to my dismay, everything was silent.On Saturday, I tried to put some ideas down on paper, but after three attempts to come up with something creative (all of them whined about the fact that I was uninspired), I stopped. What do you do when you lack inspiration? Everything seems deflated and limp, void of life. Words fall flat - monotone and without meaning. Music becomes mechanical. I abandoned another idea mid-sentence and scribbled two words beneath the mess: phone book.My lack of inspiration was reminding me of a saying. When something does not hold our interest, we say that it is about as exciting as reading the phone book. On the other hand, it is also said of someone who has great charisma that they can read the p…

sabotage

I am typing this very carefully. Yesterday, I went to see my osteopath because my right arm has been a bit sore and on occasion, I have felt slight tingling in my fingers. Not good. I have been doing a lot of reading and taking notes (typing on my laptop) this summer, so I figured I had better get it checked out.

She worked my arm over real good and then warned me that I was 'this far' (put your forefinger and thumb a few inches apart) from developing tendonitis. Yikes! The cause is my very unergonomic way of sitting at my desk when I am studying. Usually I am so involved in what I am reading or writing that I am not aware of how contorted and tense my body is while I am doing it. My body is probably sending me signals like, "Hey, rest your arms on the desk, stop hunching over, don't twist yourself to one side like that," but I am not listening to the subtle hints.

This morning, in the shower, I was contemplating how to get through a heavy day of reading and writin…

thirsty

This week in my online spiritual formation course, we are talking about the importance of community, and comparing it to the element of water (nurturing, collective, cohesive, running to the lowest places). Here is what I wrote for my assignment.

I often wake up thirsty. There is nothing like the first drink of the day (I am talking orange juice, of course). I love all kinds of drinks: water, chai tea, fizzy diet Dr. pepper, a cold cider, orange juice, wheat beer, green tea, and the occasional cappuccino (all of which have a large element of water in them). Communal life is also something that I thirst for, in the many shapes and forms that it takes.

Two words from Gregg Finley’s talk on things Celtic [1] stood out to me: availability and vulnerability. They apply both to drinking orange juice and to the intentional and interactive elements of being in community.

Availability: do I lie in bed and think about how thirsty I am or do I get up, stumble down the stairs to the kitchen, and ope…

acting again

I used to be an actress. Well, I can still act my way out of a paper bag, but I haven't been doing any drama lately, other than vying for the title of "drama queen" in my own household. Jazz gives me a run for it on most days.

While doing my MA in Theological Studies, the talk of doing a Ph.D. sometimes comes up. Due to the nature of the program at my university, something interdisciplinary would be a very good way to go. If I were going to pursue further studies (nice to dream about it sans all the frustration and hard work), I think I would like to combine drama and theology. I checked it out online last night and what is out there is pretty sad. Most Christian drama is one-dimensional, blunt like a hammer, and not that interesting or relevant or well-written. There is always a badly-hidden agenda, too. Sigh.

Then I found this talk by an acting coach, and my hope was renewed again. Acting, for me, has never been about being a not-so-sneaky tool to present the 4 spiritual…

c+o+n+n+e+c+t

I am currently reading The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. It puts into words so many things I have been thinking about in the past year or two. That church is so much more than a weekly meeting or two. That the lack of enthusiasm people have for church and religion has very little to do with the life-changing adventure of following Jesus. That every aspect of life can be relational (connecting with God and with others) if I look for it. That Church was never meant to "happen" behind closed doors. That helping others (not just watching out for my own interests) is much easier and natural than I thought, yet much more challenging than is comfortable.

This summer, I have been trying to get better at connecting with people outside of my immediate circle of friends (read "comfort zone"). Once a week or so, I make a point of calling someone up that I would not normally hang out with and inviting them to go for a drink. They might be people I have not seen …

inspire (breathe in)

I am doing an online course in spiritual formation. We studied inspiration last week: what breathes life into us? The following is based on an assignment I wrote on that topic.

I love standing outside and watching planes fly overhead (did that 5 minutes ago – YES!!); It makes me think of adventure and being an explorer.
I love walking, running, jumping, and skipping.
I love breathing, stretching, and the feel of clean water on my body.
I especially love mountains and oceans; they make my heart burst with their immensity and raw, unstoppable beauty. I love being small next to them.
I love watching little bugs. Their wee, tiny legs move so fast and they cover so much ground. I love touching soft fur and rough elephant skin.
I love drinking chai tea and sitting close to Dean. Comfort.
I love moments of silence when I am just a part of the universe without trying to impress anyone.
I love time and the splashes of flavour that squirt from it as it passes.
I love being able to hear and see and smell …