Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hockey Day in Canada

this post is not about hockey so don't just ignore it and move on to something else.

Saturday was Hockey Day in Canada so there were hockey stories and NHL games all day and evening on the CBC. for a guy like me i was in my glory. i LOVE Hockey Day in Canada. i just do.
Jen is one of my wife's best friends and Jen's "boyfriend" is David Francey who wrote and performed the unofficial theme song of Hockey Day in Canada. as far as i know Jen has never met David Francey but she calls him her boyfriend because she LOOOOOOOVES him. i'm not sure how her husband feels about this whole thing and i don't know if i have the jam to ask.
this song and this video pretty much completely represents the hockey culture in Canada. it truly is completely loved.
David Francey won a Juno award for this album.

Friday, January 29, 2010

sick day

in the midst of the confusion and anxiety in my life i decided to take the day off. i'm going to clean up at home, maybe call a buddy and see if he wants to go for coffee and chat ... and just hang out. we have plans to go to a friend's place this evening and play games, that'll be loads of fun i suspect and i'm hoping that we can just BE instead of worrying about the path we're going on.

pray for me. pray for Wendy. we each need it and we collectively need it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the centre of the gospel

h/t to holy heteroclite

what is the gospel? when i think of the answer to that question i start talking about salvation by faith in the sacrifice of Christ ... but that's wrong. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that i don't believe in that i'm saying that the gospel is about the Kingdom of God.

when Jesus began preaching the gospel in Matthew 4 what did He say was the reason they should repent? He said they should repent because the Kingdom of Heaven was near. Matthew was Jewish so he wouldn't have said the Kingdom of God, rather he went with the more Jewish approach of Kingdom of Heaven but let me assure you, the reason for the gospel is the fact that the Kingdom is near.

let me quote someone who's quoting someone else. i got this info on the link above but i just think this entire post by Dave is MONEY.

"..the Gospel is not that Jesus died on the cross for your sins so you can go to heaven when you die, but that the Gospel that Jesus preached was the Gospel of the Kingdom. When you say this to people they look at you like you’re insane. ‘Of course the Gospel is that you can go to heaven when you die’, they say. But the Gospel isn’t a one-time event, it’s a daily participation with Christ in the Kingdom life.”
Interview with Dallas Willard in RELEVANT Magazine

doesn't that hit home? we have to get away from this one time, fire insurance, i've said the prayer now leave me alone mentality that pervades the Christian church. the gospel isn't about a Four Spiritual Laws tract and the emotional high that you get from feeling forgiven. the gospel is about living the Kingdom of God ... every freaking day.

the centre of the gospel is not about entering the Kingdom when we die, it's about living the Kingdom now ... while we're alive.

Monday, January 25, 2010

the year of the Lord's favour

thanks to Trey Morgan for the germination of this post.

i keep looking around my church gathering and i only see how homogenous we are. we're very white, very well educated, very middle class, and very much out of touch with the immediate community right around us. our church community meets in the middle of one of the poorest neighbourhoods in all of this wonderfully blessed land and yet ... we're ... out of touch with that.

a friend died over New Year's this year. E was wracked with addiction, and she seldom hung on to housing for more than a couple months at a time. she was visibly different than me because she was a visible minority and i am not but several times when i saw her (most of the time she sat in front of the grocery store with a hat in front of her) she made sure to tell me that she loved me. yes she had a massive crush on me but it was always flattering. she died when she tried to sleep one off in a bus shack during a -30 C cold snap.

she came into our worship space once and i happened to see her. i greeted her and welcomed her and i even told her that she was welcome to stay for our common meal time after the service. she didn't show up. as i sat in worship yesterday i thought of her because i had only just learned of her death two days prior. i thought of her when she came to visit our community.

are we welcoming to the other? are we scared of a face that is unlike our own? do we not say what we could say because she had a tattoo on her chin or her hair is neon blue and that's just so unlike the people i know?

Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from Isaiah saying "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19). all i could think about was, "but she's dead God, what am i supposed to do with that?". i didn't hear the homily yesterday as i grieved for E and prayed for the poor, the addicted, the oppressed, the prisoner, the blind and i prayed for me.

why don't we welcome the other? Jesus gravitated to the other, and i do not. not nearly enough anyway.

is this the year of the Lord's favour? she's dead and i don't know what i'm supposed to do with that.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

big game today

i make no bones about it, i watch sports. sorry if you think that it's not a very spiritual pursuit but some would say that the spiritual zeal that many (including me i suppose) put into their blogs is just another form of fanaticism.
today is a big day for one of my teams and consequently for me too. one of "my" teams has not been to a championship game of any sort since the '93 Blue Jays became the repeat World Series Champions. that's a long wait for me; a long wait just to get to SEE one of my teams in a championship game, to say nothing of actually WINNING a championship game.
i became a New Orleans Saints fan a decade ago now after they traded their entire draft in order to select Ricky Williams in 1999. it didn't work out so very well for them since Ricky had a plethora of issues over that time but when it happened i thought, "well, that takes guts so that's now my team". i hate bandwagon, fair weather fans so i wanted to take a team as "my" team that wasn't anywhere near the top of their game and i wanted to stay with them until they did get to the top of the game. it's been a decade that i've been watching and cheering for the Saints and it could very be that things start heading in their direction today.
the Saints have had a great season getting into December undefeated, becoming the #1 seed in the NFC, best offense in the entire league, an unsuspecting defense and a playoff win over the Cardinals to get to the NFC Championship against the Minnesota Vikings today. i live north of Minnesota so i'm surrounded by Vikings fans and i'm the only Saints fan i know up here.
who will win? well, the Saints are favoured but only barely. the Saints play at home where they're very tough to beat but unfortunately this season has shown that you can run the ball on the Saints and the Vikings have one of the most scary running backs in the league in Adrian Peterson. i'm picking the Saints to win but i'm also a believer. when i look at all that the city of New Orleans has had to endure over the last 5 years then i think that if you can't cheer for the Saints in this game then you have no HEART whatsoever.


Friday, January 22, 2010

what's out there?

10 types of Leaf fans. you may not be as crazy for hockey as i am but it's my blog so i'll cry if i want to.

jonny baker puts up some really good stuff on a regular occasion. that's where i found this.

this is a funny little site that you might have some fun wasting some time at.

a labyrynth in the snow and i love me the labyrynths.

i was blown away by some of the thought, art and professionalism put out on this blog. i wish i were this artsy.

you can find a lot more of some thought provoking stuff over at naked pastor but this one really resonated with me.

this tune got stuck in my head this morning

i woke up with this tune in my head this morning. a friend told me recently that you can get rid of any song stuck in your head just by standing and singing the national anthem out loud. if i hear that then i'll know you've been reading my blog. this song is actually a haunting revenge song that is just plain beautifully done. once you get to the section where the girls sing "FIND HIM!" you'll be hooked, i know i was.

a smile, a nod and a wink to Dana at Of Wool and Water. keep up the great stuff. love it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

i was miserable

i was miserable yesterday. i just felt like complete crap and several times i had the thought that i should just go home. i didn't though, i slugged it out. i had to deal with a difficult guy on the phone yesterday too ... but i managed to hold my frustration and figure out how to help him as best as i could.
we had discussed some difficult things in Seed Group the night before. really difficult things that i'm not going to go into here but i was having some real emotional difficulty and significant worry centered around the situation we talked about. its good to talk about those sorts of things but i find it very hard to talk about and more hard to know what i should do.
i went home from work at the end of the day and i shared with a member of our community who i just happened to meet on the bus that it was my plan to fall asleep in bed as the hockey game played. so i went home, i puttered around a bit, i ate supper which Wendy graciously made for me, i watched tv til the hockey game started and i started watching the game. the 1st intermission came and i did the dishes then had a shower so that by the mid-point of the game i was ready for bed and in bed waiting for the end of the day. it wasn't even 8 o'clock yet and i was in bed.
the hockey game ended in a shutout in favour of my Leafs so i was happy as i dozed off shortly after 10. Wendy went to a meeting so i was groggy when she came home but i remember going downstairs to turn the heat down overnight and i'm pretty sure i was asleep again before my head hit the pillow.
i woke this morning in a much better mood but it's amazing what an actual night's sleep can do for you. you should try that if you can. the situations haven't changed, i'm still worried and anxious about my issues but at least i'm well rested and the Leafs got a win. that's enough for now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

what's out there?

i've been thinking for quite a while now that a "what's out there?" is pretty much overdo so here ya go.

i've been reading more from a couple guys from the Victoria area whose blogs i found. mission is the point of impact. that was phenomenal. "We can spend a lot of time and effort trying convince people there was an impact...or we can live like there was, filling the impression it left. Mysteriously, when one takes less convincing."

have you seen Avatar? i did. another blog that i read actually referenced "A Canticle for Leibowitz" when he listed some thoughts about the movie and never having found anyone else who had actually read that book i was impressed by the thought. there's some good thoughts here.

pray for the country of Haiti. as if extreme poverty wasnt enough here's some hardship. one blog i found is drumming up some support to help World Vision help people in Haiti. Wendy and i support 2 kids through World Vision so i've known to be a decent agency.

maybe you don't like World Vision but do you have any issues with the Red Cross? give this idea a go then but i think it might only be for our American friends.

i've never met Everett ... but i like him. recently he's doing a series on why he's getting a tattoo and its got me thinking about getting one of my own. there are at least 3 posts to see and the link only takes you to the first one so keep exploring. i've been considering getting a wedding ring tattoo, any thoughts out there? really, any thoughts?

i've linked to this one before but i laughed out loud when i read this post at How to Write Badly Well since it's a pet peeve of mine when people use big words unnecessarily so they can sound all smarty-pants or whatever.

and that's just what i could find today. i'm sure there's stuff that i neglected over the last month or so that it has been since the last linkage.
be blessed my friends.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

as the people were filled with expectation

that was a curious beginning to the gospel reading from Luke 3 today. it continued to say that many questioned in their hearts about John and now there was this wild man yelling at the world from the desert. Isaiah had proclaimed that one would make straight the path and now one was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

the people were filled with expectation

imagine the questions fired John's way. imagine the pressure they were under. the history weighed down on them all and now this wild man was doing something that looked like it might actually be something.

he just looked them in the eye and said, "i'm not the one you're looking for". "i'm not worthy of your adoration ... but you should get baptized anyway". finally the day came that the one who John wasn't worthy to undo his sandal would come and be proclaimed as the Son of God.

John wasn't the one they were looking for but the expectation was met by the one who came afterward.

listen to the words sent to Titus.

"The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
For when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the fat map

This is written by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein:

"In 2006, the World Food Program produced, but never publicly released, a map charting food consumption. Dubbed the “Fat Map,” it shows where the world’s calories go. Nations grow or shrink based on how much the average person eats. Depending on your perspective, it maps starvation or overeating.

The mis-distribution of food goes deeper than even the “Fat Map” implies. In India, for example, more than 300 million overweight people coexist with another 300 million who starve. Chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease that often stem from overeating are growing at a far faster rate in developing countries than in the more prosperous West. In my own region, the Middle East, obesity is skyrocketing, especially among young people.In 2007-2008, a global food crisis surprised us as prices soared. But would the crisis have been as severe if we were not so accustomed to wasting the food we have?

Globally we are moving to an "energy morality" with young people lobbying against wasting energy -- yet there is no "food morality" even though food is organic energy. We sit by and watch each other overeat and discard food without a thought. Extravagant overindulgence is viewed as hospitality and many assume that being a good parent requires that we force feed those we love."

"We pay dearly for this overconsumption. Recent calculations set obesity-related health spending just in the United States at $150-$200 billion -- more than all foreign aid worldwide. The cost of extra medical care for the obese runs as high as $1400 per person annually. Over 2 billion people do not earn that much in a year."

Would cutting overeating and waste really change the contours of the "Fat Map"? Not by itself. The UN estimates we need $30 billion more invested in agriculture yearly. But each of us can consume more wisely and donate food we now waste to a food bank or charity. If it makes sense to save energy, why throw away billions of dollars worth of food and overeat until it endangers our health and our future?

h/t to Brian Heasley

Thursday, January 7, 2010

she's the big 4-0 today

wow, did i ever get this wrong. i thought about it afterward and not only is she not 40, she's actually 42. where is my head?

ignore the two geeky pics on top and cast your eyes on the one at the bottom. that one at the bottom is of me and my little sis. we're at camp and i think she's about 14 or so, maybe 15.

she was always more mature than me even though she was never older than me. she was pensive but if you got past it she was and is a ton of fun. that's not to say that i don't like pensive because i'm much more pensive as an adult, she got to it much faster than i ever did though.

Happy 40th my dear little sister Tammy. BB. TK. you were always there for me and the many km's that separate us never take away from the fact that i love you.
may all your years be as fabulous as your best years.