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Showing posts from December, 2012

questions without answers

Some days I wake up with questions floating around in my head.  This morning was one of them.  I wondered why God does not communicate more clearly.  If he is so interested in a relationship with humanity, why all the mystery?  Why does he remain so hidden?  This lack of directness means that many people misinterpret who he is or what he is saying.  Many people don't think he communicates at all and take that as an indication of his absence.  Faith in God contains a good many question marks.

Perhaps the question bubbled up because I am reading a book (fiction) about a missionary family in the Congo in the 60s who use the Bible (and their North American version of God) as a sledgehammer to force certain cultural behaviours on the Africans.  It is quite disturbing.  If God spoke more clearly and regularly about his intentions, couldn't that kind of abuse of power be avoided?  Perhaps my question stems from the fact that I live in a secular, pluralistic society where faith in th…

do we need another hero?

One of the essays I wrote for a playwriting class this term was on the concept of "hero."  This morning I read about a teacher who stood between a killer and her students and saved the lives of the young ones.  The word used to describe her was "hero."  In the face of so much bad news in the past few days, her story of bravery is being disseminated by many people who are encouraged to find hope in a dark place.  Me too.   

So what exactly is a hero?  The working definition I came up with is this:  someone who is relevant to our context (we can identify with them in some way) who exemplifies our best intentions or capabilities (we admire their courage and bravery).  In other words, heroes are examples of humanity at its finest.

Now take a look at Hebrews 11, a chapter of the New Testament filled with names of historical characters who are praised for their faith, "heroes of faith" if you will.  And in this list we find examples like the generous Abel and…

book review: Keeping the Feast

I just finished savouring Milton Brasher-Cunnningham's tasty book, Keeping the Feast.  In the preface, he identifies his "hunger to be connected" as a driving force in his life, and this does indeed seem to be the glue (or should I say, gravy) that holds the book together.  Milton connects food to fostering community and relates both of these elements to celebrating the "Meal That Matters Most," the Lord's Supper.  And he manages to do it with a light touch, making this an easy read but one that will stick with you for some time. 

Milton is a multi-talented man (chef, teacher, minister, writer, small urban farmer, and musician) and his writing reflects his varied experiences and skills.  He manages to combine a lot of good elements in this slim volume.  Like a well-crafted meal, each chapter begins with an appetizing poem, then he spends some time serving up meaty thoughts cut into bite-size stories and sprinkled with thought-provoking observations, and h…

a visit to the vet

Today was Jazz's annual trip to the vet.  It went pretty much like it always does.  She starts to moan and hiss the minute I put her in the pet carrier (we don't use the word cage). There is loud meowing throughout the 10 minute drive, her face pressed defiantly against the wire mesh door.  The minute we get into the vet's office, the demeanour changes: she gets quiet and squishes her body against the back of the carrier.  Anytime anyone comes near her, she growls.  Today a big, leggy, brown dog bounded up to her cage to say hello and he got a death-glare.  It is always this way.  Anyone, human or animal, who stops by to say hi and remark on her beauty gets the same treatment.  Growl.  Hiss.  Death-glare.  

And then it is time to go into the small examination room.  I open the traveling compartment and there appears to be no cat inside!  She has pressed herself against the side of the carrier, determined to avoid all contact with the examining table.  I hold the carrier u…