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Showing posts from October, 2014

work and pray

Last weekend I organized and participated in a women's retreat. For those of you who know me, you know that I am not particularly fond of all-women events, but this turned out to be a lovely, restful, rejuvenating, and fun time. Ten of us spent two days at a quaint bed and breakfast in Magog, and there was plenty of free time to relax, read, take a walk around town, sit on the porch in the sun, chat with a friend, or go on a hike to a local lookout point. Each evening we gathered together to pray for each other, and these were precious times of laughter, honesty, and encouraging one other.

On Saturday afternoon we all piled into cars and headed to a nearby monastery, Saint-Benoit-du-Lac which is a Benedictine abbey situated on Lake Memphremagog. The abbey is remote, nestled in the countryside and at this time of year, surrounded by bright, colourful foliage. We wandered around the grounds in the cool fall air, bought cheese, honey, chocolate, and apple sauce in their shop, then a…

the first class

I have been trying to finish chapter two of my thesis (the rough draft is complete, thanks for asking) and also prepare for a class I am teaching tonight. As well, I had to plan a presentation I will be giving next week and write an abstract to be circulated ahead of time. And did I mention a house guest last week and a run of conference calls and evening meetings? Several times a year things clump up like this (hence no blog last week), but I no longer get all that stressed about it. In the journey of life, sometimes we sprint, sometimes we jog, sometimes we stand and wait, sometimes we sit down, sometimes we lie down and rest. One needs to be okay with different paces at different times.

What I love is being able to get into the zone when things get crazy busy. Instead of feeling stress or pressure, I find excitement building, I feel positive adrenaline coursing through my blood, and I revel in working with increased focus. Today, as I write in my home office there are two carpente…

Power and Jealousy: Names of God Part 4

Here is a summary of the talk I gave in our faith community on Sunday, October 5.

Power and jealousy: these are not really popular concepts in our culture. We have seen too much abuse of power, I suspect, and jealousy (the green-eyed monster according to Shakespeare) is something we all want to avoid. But despite the fact that these two words leave us with negative or at least mixed feelings, we find them associated with the name of God in the Hebrew Bible, so let's take a little closer look at them.

Power (El Shaddai):
Edward Abbey says, "Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best." That's a pretty negative view of power. Ghandi presented a more nuanced view. He said that, "Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective than the one derived from fear of punishment." Power in itself is not evil or corrupt; the motivation behi…