Monday, March 29, 2010

i'm on vacation

hello all from the west coast. i'm visiting family in Victoria British Columbia and this is the first time i've been this far west. flying over the mountains was very cool by the way i just wish ... we weren't so far above the mountains as we went over them. wouldn't it be cool to see the peaks up close as you flew over them? sorta like you were in the movies and trying to get through the pass unnoticed. not too close but ... close.

i've been a bit stressed so i'm hoping that this time off gives me an opportunity to recharge. it'll be good to chill for awhile.

it's seriously weird ... i think about you. i know that you're reading this and most of you have never met me but i've thought a lot recently about the people that are picking up the stuff i'm putting down. i've been thinking that it'd be nice to know more about the folks that are reading this. i can only glean so much by reading what you write on your own blogs, if even you do that and allow me to check out your own blog. at any rate, tell me more about you. comment.

discuss amongst yourselves. here, i'll get you started, "the Industrial Revolution was neither Industrial nor a Revolution". now i'm feeling all verklempt. (you get that reference right? that's Mike Myers on SNL)

i do think about the people that visit this little corner of the interweb. i do want to hear from others who come from a visit. i'd like to know more about people who show up. i'd like to visit your little blog too and get a little look into your soul (if you'll let me).

build one another up. be blessed my friends.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wendy's Words of wisdom

"A little cleavage can be a sexy thing ... but BUTT cleavage is never a sexy thing."

are you as tired of seeing the cracks of people who are trying to wear hip hugging jeans? that's a cheque your ass can't cash. literally. how many times have you seen someone stand up on the bus and their first move is to pull up their pants? if you've seen it once you've seen it too many times.

say no to crack.

seriously, pull up your pants. and while you're at it turn your hat back around.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

we rented 2012

interesting flick actually. i think Wendy hated it.

Woody Harrelson in the crazy guy cameo role. sweet.
i love most John Cusack movies.
Danny Glover as the President. he doesn't go on the "ark", no politicians make it on to the ark and some a$$ of a bureaucrat speaks for the US? it'd never happen. never happen. there's no way that they'd completely suspend their constitution so that some a$$hat would lead their nation like that. what President wouldn't continue to lead his nation?
they crammed so much science into it in an attempt to create a story line but they just plain lost me. i had to watch it a 2nd time just to catch the nuances and it's not like this is such a classic that it demands to be seen more than once.
Tibetan welder figures out a way to sneak people on the ark and that ends up saving everyone since the right people are in the right place to clear the hydraulic problem that inevitably comes about.
the new North Pole after the earth shifts on its axis is somewhere in Wisconsin. some might argue that Wisconsin is already a veritable wasteland, why do you think they are known for beer in Milwaukee? there's nothing else to do there but drink beer.
they build the arks at the roof of the world (near Everest) so that they can ride the killer wave that's demolishing the rest of the world.
Russian dude behaves like a tool for 2 hours, deserts his girlfriend rather than take her with him and then redeems himself by getting his two sons on the ark with a selfless act. unfortunately the 2 sons are also tools but the selfless act turns them into nice kids in their grief. whatever.
the plane scenes as they fly out whatever city their trying to get out of were WAY cool. i'd hate to think that something didn't blow up right and then they have to go and do another take (that was a joke people).
"like this cup you are full of your own wisdom and speculations, to see the light of true wisdom you must first empty your cup." the master Tibetan monk sure looked like the Dalai Lama. it wasn't but that's exactly what they were going for.
the new homeland is Southern Africa. interesting in light of how the world has neglected Africa for so long and then it's the cradle of the new civilization.
it's not like the movie is supposed to be that believable anyway. disaster movies are supposed to be fun. i'm not sure i want to go into the actual 2012 though.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Handsome Men's Club

yeah, i'm not getting in this club anytime soon either. i can think of a couple names that should've been in there though.

h/t to tyler stanton

Thursday, March 18, 2010

bridge burners

a young lady sat next to a young gentleman on the bus this morning. i remembered thinking that they made for a cute couple as they chatted together. they knew each other previously, that was obvious. they chatted and i went back to focusing on the tunes coming out of my mp3. eventually she got to her stop and i heard her say as she left the bus "oh, we don't speak anymore ... at all". how sad is that?

i've had previous conversations with people where i heard "i just can't get along with him at all. he just behaved like a bastard and we just don't get along". she was talking about her brother. i stop. i pause. how can this be?

i once had my softball team completely implode because someone didn't call someone else and they sat at the ballpark waiting for the start of a cancelled game. it became a bunch of pointing fingers and the end of what i think is still a fractured relationship.

what do you mean, you don't speak? what do you mean you just can't get along? are you kidding me that you think so and so is a such and such over a message that you say you never got?
are your relationships so unimportant to you?

when i've been invested in these relationships myself i remember encouraging those involved to reconcile. i did my peacemaker role as best i could. i do this because i must. i do this because we as followers of Christ are to be in the business of reconciliation.

but he was a bastard Ian! so are you sometimes.
but they forgot me Ian! forgive them.
but i just don't like her ... at all. well, that doesn't make you look very appealing either my friend.

it's amazingly common that we are a people of bridge burners nowadays but let me point out that there will come a time where your need will make it so that you'll need to cross that bridge but you won't be able to. put your torch away and repair your broken relationships.

we're to be in the business of forgiveness
even if we don't feel like it
even if they don't deserve it

you don't deserve it either but you're still forgiven.

if i poked at a nerve then forgive me but don't come anywhere near my bridge with that torch. you'll need to deal with me because i'm not going to write you off. even if you're being annoying.

God give me strength.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

daylight savings time

i'm always tired for a couple days after daylight savings time. i didn't notice it on Sunday morning but ... i slept in. i did notice on Monday but i still managed to get through my day. today i'm just beat. coffee isn't helping.

i suppose the good news is that i'll be on vacation in just under a couple weeks from now but still, i'm finding it tough slugging today.

my wife pointed out that i have to renew my driver's license too so that'll mean that i can't go volunteer at the men's drop-in today. bit of a bummer.

pray for me. i'm tired and i'm finding that some of my responsibilities are just grating on my nerves.

i started to learn a new tune on my guitar yesterday, i'm excited about that. i can't find an embed to throw on here so you'll have to make do with a URL of David Francey.

Monday, March 15, 2010

teenage affluenza

this will blow you away. i saw a sponsorship to the 40 hr famine from 2007 and let me just say that is a phenomenal program that i encourage anyone who can to take part in.

h/t to holy heteroclete

Friday, March 12, 2010

for Wendy

this is sort of a repost, sort of.

she said that she was so tired that we were going out for a burger. we NEVER go out for a burger so she must be exhausted.

i wrapped my arms around her and said that i'm not letting go. of course eventually i had to let go but a part of me is still there with my arms wrapped around her.

Lord protect my love.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Better than a Hallelujah

the time was that i liked Amy Grant's music ... but i've really gotten away from it. really gotten away. i inwardly groaned when i saw a vid for one of her new tunes but i thought, "aw just shut up and listen to the tune". it was wonderful and it hit me right where i was.
one of my "issues" with christian music was the insistence that worship music is the way to go and if i'm not "worshipping" then what's the point? well, for me right now i'm more about the lamentations and the pouring out of my heart and life and that is worship in its own way. for much of the past ... oh i don't know ... 20 years? i've wanted a more practical approach to my faith and i don't really like much of the christian music that i hear. well, Amy found herself a tune (written by Chapin Harper and Sara Hart) that works for her and it works for me too.

check out the lyrics.

Better than a Hallelujah

God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves the drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out.

our church community's winter retreat is this weekend and then Wendy and i stay up at the camp for a couple days together so you won't see anything here until the middle of next week at the earliest. in the meantime, blessings on your journey my friends.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

oh, to touch God

ignore the fact that this is supposed to be an ad for a plastic surgeon, i'm just going to take it out of context and move on.

h/t to peter rollins through holy heteroclete

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

i got an award!

wow, i've been nominated for an award ... by a person that i didn't even know was reading my blog. i've been reading Dana's blog Of Wool and Water for probably a couple months after she was linked to by another of my fave blogs.

i've got to say that she really inspires me pretty regularly and well ... she's just a cutie.

Here are the rules:

•Be polite, say thank you to the blogger that gave this to you & give 'em a linkback.

•Pass it on to about fifteen other beautiful bloggers that you've recently discovered.

•Link 'em.

•Notify 'em.

•Say seven things about yourself.

ok, so here goes.

My favorites right now include:

Dana at Of Wool and Water beautiful and sweet on a daily basis. thank you Dana.
Al at Al's Musings sometimes pushes my buttons but also sometimes i'm a jerk who needs his boundaries pushed out.
Everett at A Guide to a Satisfying Life is a guy i'd love to meet in real life. there's only an entire continent separating us geographically, that's not too far is it?
Down Goes Brown is a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey blog. the language can be a bit "adult" sometimes, be forewarned.
Abraham at Downhill Both Ways writes beautifully of everyday happenings. very cool.
The Thinklings have a nice mix of cultural savvy, theological knowledge and rubber to asphalt approach that i like.
Mike Todd at Waving or Drowning has inpired me on several levels for close to a year now.
i'm still getting to know Matt at The Church of No people but so far i'm liking the experience.
Jesus or Squirrel , now that place can push your boundaries sometimes
The Fellowship of the Travelling Smarty Pants is a blog written by several contributors and it's pretty ingenious sometimes.
tyler stanton is hilarious

and now, more than 7 things about myself:

i love Wendy and she loves me.
i'm the biggest hockey and baseball fan you know. it gets me in some trouble on those days when i pay WAY too much attention to such things.
i officiate baseball and football although i never really played either game except recreationally after the age of 12.
my dog's name is Maddie and we named her after my wife's favourite author Madeline L'Engle. the dog seems to behave like a cat and i have no idea how she got those habits.
i'm learning the guitar and i have a couple tunes that i LOVE to play. it inspires me.
i bike to work as soon as the snow and ice leaves the road, until then i'm on the bus so that i can work on being green.
we moved to Winnipeg the same summer that the NHL hockey team left town. i fought the move at every turn and now that i'm buried in our church community (the only real reason we moved here) i can't think of living anywhere else. i still want NHL hockey to come back to town though.
i'm a welfare worker and feel really fulfilled in that job, it's a nice niche for me.
i haven't been sleeping well lately. stress.
i've known some dark days but i was loved back into the light.
i love Christmas.
i say some REALLY stupid things sometimes.
powerful influences over my lifetime include: Jesus, Mom and Dad, Wendy, Mrs. Cathcart (my Sunday School teacher as a child), Glenn Shantz (former employer), Larry Norman, Bob Dylan, Mark Heard, Steve Taylor, Bruce Cockburn, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Wendall Clark (favourite Toronto Maple Leaf), Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Terry Pratchett and Monty Python.

Monday, March 1, 2010

things you can't do when you're not a dog

i laughed so much i was crying.

h/t to tyler stanton

a new low

i've written on my hockey blog that i could never buy a Slap Chop just because of how smarmy Vince is. but this made me laugh ... out loud.

the place of Judas

that's him, 4th from the left (traditionally). his head is in the shadows and he's clutching a money bag. i've been in some conversations where Judas was painted as pure evil and i've read some historical novels that played up on the idea that he was a zealot (Iscariot means "dagger carrier" apparently) who was only trying to bring about the kingdom through violent means. it's an interesting discussion i think and it has ramifications in all sorts of other areas of theology.

was he at the table for the Lord's Supper? yes he was.
was he baptized and therefore a believer? yes he was.
did he travel as one of the 12 and do all the things they did? yes he did.

how does that affect our views of the sacraments? how does that affect our view of salvation? how does that change our views of theology altogether?

i don't claim to have the answers except to say that he was there, he believed, he did the things that all the disciples did, he betrayed and he ended up "in the place where he belonged" in the end.

i came upon these thoughts after a "Definitely NOT Sunday School" discussion at our church community yesterday. we've been discussing communion and trying to discern whether we should/want to open the table so that anyone and everyone can partake. the ones that we are most concerned about are the children amongst us since we would like to include them in the grace offered in the eucharist. we discussed a lot of church history and how the Lord's Table has always been linked to baptism since the Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve) in 95 CE. perhaps we have wrongly done so however, and i argue that we have the example of Judas to say that perhaps we should go another way. i hate that i have the example of Judas however so let's throw Peter into the same boat since he took part in the sacraments also and still denied Christ. i suspect that many of us can relate to Peter much more easily than we can relate to Judas anyway.

the word Eucharist is taken from a greek root word (charis) meaning grace. i've long thought that there is something very transformative in the Lord's Table, that it's more than a declaration of faith like baptism is. i'll argue that grace is imparted to the individual when they take this bread and take this wine. if a person is baptized and declaring themselves to be following Christ then the grace is apparent and transformative whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. but what of the "outsider"? what of the person who is on the road toward Christ but just starting out on the journey? what if they take the bread and wine and that in itself is an act of faith? this person is not baptized like the Didache and church history demands of us but still ... do they believe? do they have faith? does their faith save them? of course it does.

when John Wesley trolled the fields of Britain preaching and teaching, did he bother to question every one of the thousands who came his way to ask if they were baptized, washed in the blood of the lamb and worthy to partake of the grace being offered to them in the eucharist? uh, no he didn't. first of all, there were thousands of people showing up at these things. thousands of "seekers" who weren't necessarily baptized even as infants. yet they came and they believed. they called that the Great Awakening in Britain for a reason; people were waking up to ways of faith.

ok, so i come back to Judas (and Peter too). Jesus knew he would betray him ... and yet he offered him the eucharist; he knew he would deny him and yet, he offered him the eucharist. grace was offered to the outsider and Peter accepted it. now i should point out that Judas took it too but i don't want to get into what i believe about where Judas ended up other than agreeing with the early church that "he ended up where he belonged". so grace redeemed Peter but it was offered to both.

what if grace is offered to every outsider? is baptism a necessary prerequisite? Jesus offered it to someone he KNEW would betray him and another he KNEW would deny him. what if grace is offered to every visitor to our gatherings and every child, even when we don't know where they stand in their journey with God? isn't the act of asking for grace an act of faith? i suppose in the case of a child they may just be asking for a piece of bread and a sip of grape juice but perhaps this too is an act of faith and if it isn't then we don't hurt them by giving them good things.

we do the church an injustice with all inquisitions around worthiness at the table, and don't get me started on 1 Corinthians because the context of the discussion of worthiness has nothing to do with personal sin like we so often argue for it. if someone is coming into the Lord's Table and eating all the bread or drinking all the wine then you probably have a problem that 1 Corinthians can help you with but worrying about whether you're a good enough Christian before you take part in the grace offered at the table isn't the point whatsoever. grace is a product of faith and you should view the table as a birthright and not an obligation.

ok i threw that last bit in for free (wait, it's ALL free) but i got away from my argument for a second there. the point is that the outsider who reaches out in faith should be afforded grace that the eucharist offers to them. if Christ can offer grace to someone like Judas then i certainly have no business questioning where someone else is with regard to their own walk of faith.

there is real power in the phrases "This is the body of Christ, broken for you" and "This is the blood of Christ, shed for you" when you offer it to your neighbour. they're transforming phrases that change whole lives. they move mountains of unbelief and they bring souls rushing to the Creator of all things as they reach out in faith toward common elements and eternal concepts.

i personally have struggled with what my choice will be as we discuss communion in our circle. i'm pleased that things are coming together for me as i try to figure out what i believe in this area. i believe the outsider MUST be included, because they may accept their own act of faith and do great things with it as God works miracles in a heart.

He's still working miracles in hearts, including mine.