Thursday, July 29, 2010

the bet that never was

i was 15 and "good looking" (at least she thought so) ... but incredibly naive. i wanted to be liked so much so that when a girl was saying she was into me then i actually believed her. if i was into her in return then i'd reciprocate and if i wasn't into her then i was nice about it by remaining polite and cordial whenever i dealt with her.

i don't blame my little sister at all for what her friend did, not in the least. in fact i have hesitated to tell this story because i do not want my sister to feel responsible for how it affected me after the fact. my sister's closest friend at the time was Kim. she was a pretty young thing who later went on to do a little bit of modelling with her shock of red hair and her tall, slim stature. Kim liked me and i had no real feelings for Kim in any way. she was young and the feelings just weren't there for her. i suspect that the fact that i didn't reciprocate in her feelings of infatuation injured her in some way. i was cordial and polite but the heart wants what it wants ... and she wanted me while i didn't want her.

along came Roxy. she was Kim's cousin and she lived out of town but she came visiting her cousin for a couple of weeks in the height of the summer before my grade 11 year. i was bursting with pubescant hormones and i wanted to be liked. Kim had declared her love for me and i had done nothing about that except to be polite and keep my distance. Roxy was a different story. i liked Roxy and i wanted to get to know her better. we spent most of a week and a half dancing and flirting around the possibility of being more than just friends. i was giddy with the idea that she was pretty and she very much wanted to hang around with me. we talked and talked and we flirted shamelessly together as we sunned ourselves in the park alongside the St Lawrence River. the park was beautiful, the weather was beautiful and she was beautiful. i would have done all that i could to remain in those moments, to stay there in the park and lay our towels next to each other so that we could sun ourselves and talk about life.

but i was 15. and shy. and i was slow to make my move.

finally the time came that i wanted to express my desires for her. oh, to kiss her and to hold her hand as we lay in the sun. i wanted to invite her roller skating with me on the coming Friday evening, because that's what you do when you're 15 and it's the early 80's.

i think i've repressed the experience because i honestly don't remember the exact nature of how she crushed my soul. seriously, i don't remember. i do remember that i took her hand as we walked home from the park and by the end of that evening she had made it clear that all the flirting and her obvious ploys from the past week had meant something other than what she was saying and doing over that time. i do remember that by the next morning she was "into" my buddy Paul and i don't for a moment blame Paul for being an innocent bystander in the least.

she left town within days of her crushing my life and all i ever heard from or about her was in a letter that she sent Paul about a month later. she never expressed any "bet" that she had with Kim about whether or not she could get me to fall for her and Kim never mentioned it to me either, but i knew. i was still naive and i didn't figure it out until much, much later but eventually, i knew.

it's only a broken heart. it's only a scar now. i learned that you can't trust everyone and someone who is scorned can inflict their own little damage amidst their hurt so that they want you to hurt too. Kim moved away from town and i didn't hear much about her over the coming few years. she dated Brian for a bit before she left and they seemed very happy together. Roxy sent a couple letters to Paul and he showed me the papers but not close enough to actually read them. we were buddies so he played it cool with me, he knew my pain and we never really discussed what she had to say much. i'm very glad that nothing came together between them since i had come to the conclusion that she was very much bad news in general for guys like me and Paul is most definitely a guy like me. eventually Paul would stand up with me at my wedding and i was an usher at his. eventually we both found women who could hold our hearts gently and lovingly. he's a good man and a good friend.

i fight the urge to have ill will for Roxy to this day, simply because nobody wants to be used like that. i have no proof that Roxy tried to prove to Kim that i could be had, that i was not so untouchable and above it all. i don't think i ever was so untouchable and i didn't realize that i had hurt Kim so much so that i in turn needed to be hurt too. we were all just kids and we didn't realize that all the hormones rushing through our bodies should include a dose of pain too. rejection is painful, even when you're nice about it. i caused pain and in my own turn i felt it too.

i was the object of a bet gone bad. a bet i can never prove existed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jane Austin's Fight Club

yes, it's exactly what you think it is. i thought my buddy Craig might enjoy this one.

via 22 words

do you really believe in prayer?

i did a homily at worship last year where that was the main question. it has been a struggle for me because i want so much for freedom to serve and be all that we can be as we try to minister in the place where we are. yesterday in worship the gospel reading was from Luke 11.

Luk 11:5 And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves;

Luk 11:6 'for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him';

Luk 11:7 "and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you'?

Luk 11:8 "I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Luk 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Luk 11:10 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Luk 11:11 "If a son asks for bread [fn] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

Luk 11:12 "Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

Luk 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

i dreamed about this passage last night. it was in our scripture readings yesterday at worship and it gave me pause. do i really believe this?
i have no trouble with the metaphor of going to a neighbour's house to ask for a favour, no trouble with that at all, that's what i believe the body of Christ should be about. we need to support each other and help where we can ... but this passage of scripture isn't talking about that.
contextually the disciples are asking about how they are to pray and Jesus tells them but then he adds all this stuff about asking God and receiving; seeking and finding; knocking and answering. do i really believe in that?
is prayer like going to your buddy's house and asking for bread because you have none at home to feed your guest? if it were then why would we still struggle with infirmity even though we beg God for relief? why do we struggle with depression even though my heart's desire is that those i love would be happy and healthy?

i just had to re-read the passage. when i've read this passage in the past i've always heard "if we know how to give good gifts to our children how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to you" ... but it doesn't say that.
it doesn't say that.
it says "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him".
i've been praying and asking and seeking and knocking with the expectation that i'd be receiving and finding and getting doors opened into what i've been praying for. i've been expecting specifics as i've prayed and i should've just realized what the good gifts i should be expecting.

how much more will your Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

not how much more will the Father make you happy and healthy and rich and secure. not how much more will the Father give you your heart's desire and make you a king among men.

now i still want what my heart's desire wants but i need to change my focus. i've been asking for health and happiness and i've been receiving an extra helping of the Holy Spirit. now THAT is cool. i'm still struggling with what i struggle with but the Spirit is a presence who buttresses and builds up. i may not be getting the answers that i have been expecting to get but the Spirit is alongside and without and within while she does her glorious work in my life.

yeah, the Father knows what he's doing ... and i believe in prayer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hungry for Change?

ok so it seems that the embed isn't working, probably EVERYTHING i did to set it up. check out the link below.

this is a trailer for Food Inc. which is a coming documentary due out this summer apparently. you can see more here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The War Prayer

From Wikipedia

This piece was left unpublished by Mark Twain at his death, largely due to pressure from his family, who feared that the story would be considered sacrilegious. Twain's publisher and other friends also discouraged him from publishing it. According to one account, his illustrator Dan Beard asked him if he would publish it regardless, and Twain replied "No, I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead." Mindful of public reaction, he considered that he had a family to support, and did not want to be seen as a lunatic or fanatic.

via Hackman's Musings

i was just plain blown away by this that i didn't change a single thing that i saw in Hackman's post. i had never heard this story or Twain's sentiments about it. there is truth in the phrase that "onlye dead men can tell the truth in this world", perhaps it should be "dead men or lunatics" though.

Monday, July 19, 2010

12 innings

the last baseball game of my season was yesterday. it was a Semi-Final at the Manitoba Provincial Bantam AA Championships. Dauphin MB played Stonewall MB and it was just shy of 30 degrees outside while i worked the plate for the game. with that sort of temperature you don't want to be out there for a long time, especially wearing 15 lbs of extra equipment. however ... the game was tied after the regulation 7 innings so we kept going til we had a winner. i was about ready to fall over from heat stroke after 7 but we weren't done.

Dauphin scored 2 in the 9th but Stonewall came right back and got 2 of their own in the 9th, so we kept going. finally an overthrow in the 12th meant a run scored for Stonewall and the game ended 7-6. i was grateful for a cold beverage when it was all done and i couldn't shake a headache the rest of the night. yes, i believe i had a touch of heat stroke after it all. i even took the next day off so that i could allow my headache to go away and for my legs to not be so wobbly whenever i tried to do something.

neither team liked my strike zone after about the 4th inning. there was way too much complaining about the inconsistency of it all but that just says to me that they don't understand that i'm not going to give them low AND outside although i might be willing to give them outside alone so long as it isn't LOW; or i might be willing to give them inside if the ball is moving toward the corner but not if they just throw it inside and expect a strike call. i was accused of "squeezing" pitchers, meaning i made the strike zone tighter as the game went on and i was flat out called inconsistent on more than one occasion. let me just tell you, that ain't cool to be calling an umpire.

i get it though. it's a stressful situation and nobody likes to lose. nobody got thrown out of the game and i just don't want to be a deciding factor in the course of the game. in the end i only regret 2 pitches out of the several hundred i saw and neither of those pitches affected the outcome of the game. that's pretty good in my books.

well, that's my baseball season. i .. am ... outa here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

looking forward to ...

i'm looking forward to this evening because there's nothing on the schedule. i'm feeling really tired all this week and i'd like to just chill with Wendy for the evening, watch a Doctor Who online and maybe The Mentalist before bedtime comes early. it may also be nice to sit down with the guitar and chillax for a bit. the more i think of that the more i'd like that to happen.

i have the Bantam AA Provincial baseball championships this weekend. that'll mean that i'm scheduled to work a game on Friday evening and then i'll have two more games on Saturday. if i'm deemed good enough over the course of the weekend i may be eligible for a playoff assignment or maybe more than one but i probably won't hear about that until Saturday evening sometime. at any rate i can't be available for a Sunday morning game since i have to lead communion on Sunday ... wait, maybe i have to read scripture ... i can't remember actually but both are too important to miss anyway so if i'm offered an assignment on Sunday morning i'll be turning it down. any way i slice it though it should be a fun weekend.

Wendy and i will be performing the ceremony at Wendy's sister's wedding next month. Wendy is more than a little bit apprehensive about it since neither of us has done a wedding other than our own i suppose and let's be honest, i had very little to add to the discussion when we were making arrangements for our own wedding. at any rate, Wendy's nervous about it and the situation goes pretty deep and personal for her related to some ongoing health issues. we're both looking forward to it though, pray for us about that one, especially Wendy.

that wedding next month will mean that i'll get to vacation and make the rounds to see my family for that 2 wk period we'll be in Ontario. that'll be nice. i'm also hoping i can go see the Jays play a couple games. they play the Yankees and then the Tigers while i'm down there. i'm more than a little bit sure that i'll drag siblings, or nephews, or parents or someone along so that i can go see some ball. yes i am that shallow.

some changes at work have meant that my time is bit more freed up to do some other things so i'm planning to spend an afternoon a week working on some other projects. it'll mean expanding my talents and getting some key people noticing that i'm capable of doing more than the exemplary job that i already do. well, at least they seem to believe that i do exemplary work, sometimes i wonder about that.

at any rate, it's an ongoing theme for me today. i'm looking forward to these things.

Conversation at work

M: Hey Ian, how you doing? Did you have a good weekend?

Ian: Yeah, i did. i went to a wedding, i love weddings.

M: Really? why?


Ian: Well, because they remind me of my own wedding.

M: Oh, that's exactly why i DON'T love weddings.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

apparently ...

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

via The Boy with the Thorn in His Side

you might want to give this a try. i submitted 4 blog posts that i had written and i came out like Stephen King three times (and James Joyce the other time). you may not like Stephen King at all but there's no doubting that he's VERY descriptive and he tells a great tale.
give it a whirl.

Doctor Who

i'm a sci-fi guy and the Doctor is right up there amongst my favourite characters in all of sci-fi. last night Wendy and i watched an episode of Doctor Who online while i did some laundry.

we came to the conclusion that if you combine the sounds made by our fridge and our dryer you'd get pretty close to the sounds of the TARDIS as it's about to land. first of all, that's very cool. secondly, i think we're in trouble with the appliances in the house.

any one up for a Doctor Who marathon? just come over to the house and bring your laundry.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Maddie's corner

i stole this idea from Donald Miller.

i've decided to let someone else write my blog today. she's a member of the family. she's my dog. here ya go.

hello there. you don't know me, my name is Maddie and i'm a member of the family along with the food guy and the lounge in the back yard girl. i call them that because it's the guy that i love who always feeds me and it's the girl that i love that goes into the back yard with me and let's me relax on the cool grass with her on a regular basis. they're pretty cool, for people. i especially like to smell them. actually i sneak up on them and smell them, i don't think the girl likes that very much but i still know she loves me.

i'm told that i'm named after an author, someone named Madeleine L'Engle but i don't know who that is. what i do know is that when there's a certain lilt in either of my people's voices that means that there's some food ready for me or we're going for a stroll or we're going to hang out in the back yard for awhile. when they're relaxing in the basement i come up on the guy and i put my head on his chest while he lays on the couch. that's my way of saying, "is it suppertime YET? seems like FOREVER since i last ate". i'm actually really good at telling time. seriously, they feed me at the same time every day and i'm regularly there reminding the food guy what time it is whenever it gets close to suppertime.

i was born in March of 2000. my people didn't know exactly what day it was so they just picked a day. they picked St. Patrick's Day actually so that means we celebrate my birthday at the same time as that little holiday. no green beer for me though, i've never touched the stuff.

i was actually at someone else's place before i came to where i've been since. i was young but i remember chewing on a cell phone (which was delicious by the way) and next thing i know i was at some restaurant and my girl was there looking at me. i heard her asking my boy if i wanted to rescue a dog before it got sent to the pound (whatever that is) and the boy sure seemed ecstatic to see me. i remember the boy and i went for a walk and i didn't feel like walking with this guy so i just sat down in the middle of the sidewalk, refusing to move. my boy looked at me with the love that i've come to get used to by now and he just scooped me up under his arm and walked me back to see my girl. i guess he liked me because they put me in their car and took me to what i now call home.

it was hard to get used to being there at first. i really missed my mom and they wouldn't let me sleep anywhere i chose or do my business wherever i wanted. i figured it out though, they set a great spot for me to sleep and they provided this cool little dog run for me to do what i needed to do in private. the first few nights were hard but they put a hot water bottle wrapped up in some of my boy's clothes so that i had something warm to cuddle up to that smelled like my people. that was very cool of them, it was one of the first times that i figured out that they really did love me.

i've had some dog friends over the years. there was Emma and Blue ... i haven't seen them in years actually; there was Waggles and Sassy ... it's been a long time since i've seen them too, and right now my best friend is Tessa. Tessa lives next door with her girl. Tessa's girl is especially nice to me and i like her a lot too. Tessa and i play in my back yard. we run together and wrestle, we chase the ball and i try to steal it from her or she tries to steal it from me. Tessa's bigger than me but i'm wiry and quick so if i get cornered i just give her the old head fake or i just jump right over top of her. it's not bad for a 10 year old if i do say so myself. i like running and playing. i have a lot of fun in soft snow, particularly if its a full snowbank that i can jump around in. i like just about any dog and any of their people that i come across.

in the mornings my guy comes downstairs and makes his lunch for wherever he goes off to everyday, but he also feeds me my breakfast and then after he's done all his stuff ... we get to go for a WALK! i just love this time of day. i get to go out and sniff everything in the world as we wander around the neighbourhood. i don't like it when we head toward the busy street and i especially haven't liked the couple times my guy has left me tied up outside the bakery while he went to get some bread. the smells were wonderful but the anxiety of wondering if i'd be alone forever was too much to bear. thankfully my guy returned for me and he smelled like the bakery as he carried a bag full of great smelling stuff too. i do get excited about walks though. i pull too hard on the leash as i can't wait to smell what the next tree will have around it. i especially like it when BOTH my girl and guy go for walks with me. i like to walk between them and laugh as we have the best time. another favourite activity is when my people come home at the same time because that means that we're likely to all hang out together after that. it usually happens on Sundays when we have our morning routine and then they go out for a couple of hours. right around noon they both return and it's exciting to see them. we have this door with a window about at the height of my people's heads and when they come home together i like to jump in the air so that i can look through the window and see them in the doorway. they often tell me that they like to see that and they seem pretty pleased with me in those times.

i'm a really good watchdog. this one time someone broke the glass in the front door and was about to reach into the house when i decided to let them know that i was there. all i did was bark but they sure got out of there fast. that was a good feeling because i knew i was contributing and i was earning my keep. there was another incident where someone came into the backyard and stole my guy's bike. i was barking but it was too late, the bike was gone and i couldn't get through the patio door to get at these guys. i think my guy was sad at losing his bike but he gave me a scritch between the ears anyway (i like it when he does that). when he scritches my ears i like to work my leg to pretend that i'm actually doing the scritching myself. my guy likes watching me pretend to scritch while he does the scritching.

i'm gonna tell you a secret. i like to behave like a cat. it freaks my guy out and it gets me a little extra attention from him. i stretch like a cat, i rub up against them or a table like a cat would do. sometimes my guy just stares at me and says something like "i'm not a cat person, so we have to change that behaviour", he never has though. i'm also afraid of loud noises (like a cat would be) like arguments, thunderstorms, garbage trucks, buses and i don't like it when my guy carries around the broom or the vacuum cleaner. i'm sure i'll be fine and whenever i've asked for some comforting then someone has stepped forward to help me. i've even gone so far as to try to sneak into their bedroom during a thunderstorm; i just don't want to be alone. usually my guy comes downstairs with me and he sleeps on the couch while i try to stay close to him. i like that about him.

well, it's hard to type when you don't have digits to put along home row so i suppose i should stop. i just wanted to tell you folks a bit about my life. i love my people and they love me. they say that i'm therapeutic for them but i just think that we're a family.

Monday, July 5, 2010

feeling like Job lately

i don't know if i can express this very well. i think i'm a bit depressed and that's affecting how i view my world. i tried to explain how i'm feeling to a buddy of mine as we journeyed toward the movie theater last night and i'm not sure i did very well as i drove. by the way, we saw Robin Hood and the only good thing about it was that there were some decent fight scenes but quite frankly the storyline was rather weak. i was hoping for a Gladiator type epic story and i got a confusing "lambs to lions" story that didn't really fit the tale much at all.

anywho ...

i've been feeling like Job lately. i have no interest in cursing God but ... i can't praise him either. i sat in worship yesterday and we had 3 worship songs to start the service and i couldn't bring myself to sing a single word. i just kept thinking, am i supposed to thank God for this? really?

i realize that it's not about whether or not i deserve what's going on around me. that's not the point. Jesus said there would be troubles, there would be persecution, there would be pain. i just want to see more contentment with my life. i just want health for my love. i just want to be able to minister together as i have believed that God wants for us. and it's not like that. so am i supposed to thank God for this? i can't. perhaps ... i won't.

that doesn't mean that i still won't be helping fellow travellers on the path. i'll continue to bless and try to encourage but i do that because i believe it to be right. i served communion yesterday even though i didn't feel like i could worship ... but i could bless. we pray a blessing over whoever doesn't want the elements for communion and it has been a continual blessing for me to be able to bless little ones brought before me or not so little ones who just wanted to be blessed. i could do that and i enjoy that. there's life for me there.

and yet i can't thank God for my predicament. maybe i'm just a touch sad but i think i do have a right to be a little sad. life has been a struggle for us and i'm not seeing a lot of light in that area of our life.

i will not curse God ... but i can't praise him either ... right now.