Sunday, June 28, 2009

what's out there?

i read a quote from Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli that made me laugh out loud. i love it when that happens.

this link made me think of a quote from our Definitely not Sunday School class quoting an author i don't remember, " the 2 best prayers i know are 'thank you thank you thank you' and 'help me help me help me'".

one of the most emergent minds i've found in my blog travels has been an emergent kiwi that regularly makes me think. in this post he talks about the packaging of the emergent church and it made me think. "Or should we be more honest. Is authentic actually a legitimation for being slack? If the medium is the message, then the packaging should never be ignored." i find comfort in the "authenticity" of my church community, love it actually. i just wonder about those whom we don't reach because of the "packaging" of our community. surely professionalism can be authentic too?
there's a followup post to check out too so dig a little deeper on the site.

definitely take 3 mins for this one. LOVED. IT.

Brother Maynard has let the cat out of the bag. i for one have really enjoyed his blog and now i can keep an eye out for him on the street.

how can ... ? excellent questions and a great answer. the answer is love, it's always love.

i'm a bit in a funk ... ok, more than a bit ... i got halfway through reading this and i know i had to link to it here. it just spoke right to the mess that is life sometimes and the pain that i have to wade through. "grin and bear it maybe, but real joy? yes my friend, joy."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

10 text commandments

i found this on
10 commandments
If God sent txt msg
1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg's
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
ttyl, JHWH.
ps. wwjd?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

anxiety is a constant companion for some of us

12% of Canadians struggle with an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. i'm part of that 1/8th of society.
it has been a rough month for me. there has been some extra stressors of late and i suppose i don't help my own situation by choosing to wade out into issues that are anxiety provoking for anyone. i'm married (nuff said) but i should point out here that most of my anxiety in this area is self-imposed. i'm a welfare worker so ... i sometimes get folks with few options get a little upset with their situation and project some of that stuff onto the person standing in front of them. i officiate baseball and football, it's baseball season right now, and when you officiate "somebody" is mad at you every few seconds.
today i resented people calling me at work. these people need my help and i actually sat there and resented their need. in truth i was battling anxiety in calling people back. would i be able to diffuse someone who's standing on the edge of financial cliff? what if my own emotions make it so that i can't really reach and help someone effectively?
i was watching a sitcom recently and the guy sat in a shrink's office talking about why he was acting out emotionally. he phrased it that there was a possum or a raccoon sitting on his chest. no, just a raccoon, i don't know why i said possum. i get that, except it feels like it might be a porcupine sitting on my chest. it feels sticky anyway.
i'll be ok. honest. i'm talking about it. i'm getting some help and i don't think i'm anywhere near a ledge. i'm pretty much "uncomfortable" with heights anyway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shut your piehole

except i said it ... mean.
ok, actually i was pretty respectful and i didn't actually say the words that make up the title of this post. by the end of the game my umpire partner and i had treated coaches and players MUCH more respectfully than we were being treated.

it is clearly written in the rules that you cannot argue a judgment call with an umpire ... so don't.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

what's out there?

naked pastor is a great site that runs cartoons out there for us to see. it's family friendly so don't worry.

this was a great article about the nouveau poor that i found REALLY interesting.

the irreligious canuck has got me interested in a certain book called The Tangible Kingdom. he has a really good breakdown and an interesting vid to check out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

what's out there?

- a post about community. i get this and i agree pretty strongly

- i'm not a big guy for quantum theory but Kester Brewin spoke simply enough about quantum theory and theology that even i was able to stay with him. it's a 5 part post so keep reading.

- a friend from my hockey blog (thank you Joel) pointed me in the direction of an interesting read. i'm still getting used to it but go check out the irreligious canuck.

- Wendy and i are planning the Little Sing and Play in our community for tomorrow night. it's simple EVERYONE is invited to the worship space and bring your instrument because we're spending the evening playing songs together. i'm hoping it's a blast.

- i've been reading Jordon Cooper's blog. he's in Saskatchewan and he works at a Salvation Army there. i have HUGE respect for that sort of work since i see the disadvantaged everyday. he posted a vid that just makes you stop for a second. oh yeah, and there was an interesting discussion about Kobe on his blog too.

- i made a trade in my baseball pool today. i traded Pablo Sandoval for Jermaine Dye and Bengie Molina (i tried to link to the trade page but got an error message, sorry). i'll lose on some avg but i should really increase my power options a lot. i tried to get some speed out of the deal too but the other guy wasn't budging.

what kind of name is shallowfrozenwater anyway?

i'm not a songwriter but i know a bunch of them. i suppose i'm creative in my own way but a few years back Steve Bell led a songwriter's circle at a local university here in Winnipeg. by the way go check out that link that i fired up there, he offers a free download of "Praise the Father" off that site and that is a song written by another friend and member of our church community off of a CD of tunes written solely by him too. that friend is Gord Johnson, the CD is Devotion and the voice, production and much of the guitar work is Steve Bell who is also a friend, although after all these years i'm still not sure that Steve knows my name. he's not a jerk about it though and he meets a LOT of people so i usually tell him my name again and again. Steve used to attend our church community, his manager still does and Gord still does too. anyway, i love Steve Bell's music and i got my wife a copy of Devotion for Christmas this year that she now plays Honey along with the CD as she listens to it.

here's a sample of Steve although he's not doing a Gord song.

ironic that Steve sings about deepness and i talk about shallowness here, but i do that on purpose.

anyway, Steve was doing a songwriter's circle at a local university a couple years back when i mentioned a song idea to him. i had never been able to follow through with the concept because i've just never honed those skills over the years. i've taken a crapload of music courses and i've learned theory out the wazoo but the practical implications of the theory have escaped me since i don't play piano, am just learning guitar and i don't have perfect pitch so that i hear whole symphonies in my head. don't get me wrong, i've written little ditties but they've always been sophomoric and quickly shelved.
i'm self-aware enough to realize that i'm fairly shallow in terms of my own interests. i'm self-absorbed and i like what i like. it's pointless not to say anything other than "it is what it is". i can change but in many situations i'm not sure that i WANT to change too much. i like watching and playing hockey, i like watching and umping baseball and football. these are not the things of the deep soul but they are where i reside. and yet ... God uses me.
i think of a shallow pool of water and then i picture whatever incarnation of God i choose to dwell on as he wades in shallow water. there is huge blessing for me in the picture. there is a lack of depth and yet God wades in my life and uses me anyway. as for the frozen part of me, there are lots of frozen parts in me. i'm slow to change. i long for depth but i also realize that i'm just a puddle. the Spirit brings rain that adds to my depth and that in itself is a blessing.
so Steve never did use the idea for a song, and why would he anyway? it's not earth shattering but it means something to me so i do what i can with what i've been given. there is joy there and God blesses me within it. bless you too, you little puddles.

i'm going to close this with another vid of Steve Bell. he has had some involvement with the FoodGrains Bank (which also has some heavy involvement from other friends and members of our church community) and it starts to address food issues that are global issues. i've been thinking a lot about this sort of thing trying to determine what i could do locally on this issue and i've started to volunteer at a drop-in supper for men on the fringes of society; the poor, the street-person, the disadvantaged. i've already started to develop some good friendships there and we talk about food issues, health issues, employment issues, and spiritual issues. there's depth there. well, depth is relative anyway and when you're admittedly not as deep to begin with then other depth is still depth. i recently read Shane Claiborne's "Jesus for President" and it spurred me on to do more local things to try and affect some change.
blessings on your journey, puddle.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Acts 15

i was reading a post from one of my links about the emerging(ent) church and he mentioned in passing the importance of Acts 15 to the early church. it occurred to me that our church community is having an Acts 15 moment right now. in quick review Acts 15 is the Council of Jerusalem where Paul argues that the church is about freedom and Jewish law should not be imposed on the Gentiles in any form. he had to cross tongues with many leaders in the early church and eventually gained the support of Peter (after his Cornelius vision).
there is a bit of a "schism" after this and Paul and Barnabas break some new ground based on the freedom of grace amongst the Gentiles. the church of the time now changes drastically with this chapter in Acts. the church becomes a church and no longer just a Jewish sect. i say that by no means intending to distance myself from Jews because Jesus is a Jew, i only mean to say that the freedom gained for believers in Acts 15 has rolled out over the centuries so that grace continues to be paramount and law ... is not.

our community struggles with what we have called the "Ways to belong" discussion. some would very much like to allow for more to "belong" in our circle in the various ways that their lives dictate they can belong. we are very intentional, we are very accountable, and we have a high standard of behaviour. we ask that our members commit to the group and then live out that commitment. that usually means that the discussion boils down to, "where is so-and-so? i haven't seen him, he hasn't been part of this discussion and he needs to be." i fully believe that we should honour our commitments, make sure you hear that. honour our commitments.
what about the couple who is being called to live and work on a farm out of town? they have a special connection to the land and they believe that God is calling them to life there that is freeing and helpful for them. are they less members of our community because they cannot be present for our discussion? no they are not. they still attend all that they CAN attend.
what about families with young kids? at least one of two parents can't be present for all discussions that happen within our membership, does that make them less members of the whole because they cannot take part in all of the discussion? no it doesn't.
what about the guy who works evenings? he can't attend and be part of the discussion but does that make him less a member of the whole? no it doesn't.
what about anyone who has any priority that gets in the way of attending? is even a superficial priority, still a priority? yes it is. does that make him less a member of the whole? no it doesn't. who decides priorities in the individual's life? the individual does. i suppose that the whole can certainly remind the individual of the commitment and ask they decide between what is superficial and what is living intentionally amongst the whole ... but in the end, the individual prioritizes.

it's astounding to me that this discussion has come down to attendance. where is the freedom? where is grace? on a regular basis we ask the membership to commit to one another and part of that commitment is to take part. if we WANT to take part but we CANNOT take part the choices either become to LIE about our commitment and then do as we can, or we have to somehow "step back" from our commitment in order to be honest with what we perceive is possible in our lives. essentially we demand that the individual lie to himself and to the whole in order to maintain their membership so that the rest can feel better about accountability to one another.

i find little freedom in the rules. i suspect that Paul and Peter didn't find freedom there either. let's be honest about our commitment to one another and be who we can be as members of the body of Christ without losing "other" priorities. we are a group who are very intentional, very intense. we are conscienable and purposeful. we also need to be honest about what we can add given the reality of our life situations. that does not take away from membership within the whole, its intent is to be more inclusive, more freeing to contribute where we can contribute. it does not hurt the whole to say that we cannot contribute in a certain area of our lives together, we just get to relax into our situation and contribute where we CAN contribute.
grace is what matters. practicing love, grace and forgiveness within the body of Christ is what matters. we have to allow people to add what they can, where they can and we cannot force a commitment that their lives will not allow them to follow through on. it'll only cause lying, guilt and resentment as we inevitably fall short and see one another fall short.

we're having our own little Council of Jerusalem. blessings on you as we struggle at this thing together.