Friday, February 26, 2010

wearing my Canada jersey at work today

Ziggy Palffy? really? who wears a Ziggy Palffy Team Slovakia jersey at their workplace in Winnipeg Manitoba? well, i have 1 co-worker who wo-manned up and REPRESENTED today. there were sloughs of Canadian jerseys trolling around the office today and there was a lone Ziggy Palffy fan mixed in amongst them. Canada plays Slovakia for the chance to enter the Gold medal game at the Olympics tonight at 830 CST.

so i went to talk to her. i'm a big puck fan and i couldn't just ignore a complete oddity like this one.

"y'know Ziggy will actually be playing in that game", i said to her.

"really? i don't even know who he is but that's my team."

"oh, well he will be in that game but the guys you'll want to watch as a Slovakia fan would be Gaborik, Hossa and Jaroslav Halak. i'm most nervous about Halak having a great game and spoiling things for Canada."

"well, i'll probably watch a little at the beginning and then tune in for the end."

"oh ... well don't watch the end, you're not going to like the end."


the passive aggressive me

yes Mr Bus Driver, that was me waving at you as you drove right past me standing at the bus stop. it's only -30 so i'll just run through the shopping mall under Portage and Main St so that i can get to the next bus stop and try to catch you there. i'm sure that my heavy winter boots won't slow me down too much and the 3 layers of clothing won't cause me to smell too badly by the time i catch up to you.

and yes i saw that you saw me. why is it that you were driving in the wrong lane anyway? and why is it that you didn't just stop so that i could jump in, i'm sure i could ask the one car who was between us to stop so that i could run on to the bus and get home 15 minutes earlier than otherwise.


maybe i should just get the bike back out but then i'd have to brave the same roads as you and i've already seen that it's not very accomodating out there.

at least you could've apologized when i saw you the very next day in the very same place. you didn't apologize ... but you did stop.

spring can't get here soon enough so that i can change my commuting habits.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


i say a LOT that there is not nearly enough validation in society. i had my performance appraisal at work this week (it went amazingly well thank you very much) and i reinforced that we can't have an environment where "i'll let you know if anything is wrong". not only are you required to tell people when something is wrong but you should also be telling them when they're doing it RIGHT.

a kind word of encouragement goes a LOOOOOOOOOONG way and face it, you're going to need that person down the road so ... help them along the path.

h/t to of Wool and Water. that was flipping amazing Dana, thank you.


"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

- Brian McLaren

i really want to read A New Kind of Christianity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a Lenten season

i'm not at all ready for Lent. it's a "sober" time, a time to reflect and to reach into depths that i'm not sure i have anymore (i'll point out that this is called SHALLOWfrozenwater).

i'm not sure what to do with my desire not to cut anything short in my life. in fact Wendy was saying yesterday that she feels so backward all the time that she should have a piece of chocolate EVERY day during Lent. that's how i feel too. i want everyday to be a feast day and i think i'll encourage Wendy to be doing that for the season.

for much of the last year i haven't given blood like has been my practice (i did go once) and the reason has been an emotional one. i've been feeling dry with little reserves and i haven't felt like i can afford to lose anything, not even a pint of blood even though in a physical sense there is no danger whatsoever. i do want to encourage anyone reading to give blood, it's a wonderful practice that brings life to any recipient. i just can't do that right now. i can't give anything up. that's also why i'm not giving anything up for Lent. i'll still be praying and i fast in my own way but i won't be dropping anything from my diet over this period. i also don't think i'm being anti-Lent, i'm one of the most sober people i know. i'm almost ascetic for much of the year and Wendy is pure ascetic.

our Lenten practice should be prayer, so pray my friends. lock yourselves away and seek God out. you WILL find Him. you WILL. if i were to give up coffee or something for 40 days or become vegan for a season then i'd certainly be miserable but i also think that i'd be no more closer to God.
Lent is about seeking God, that's what i'll be doing.

and now for your further enjoyment, you'll love this.

h/t to Ironic Catholic although i actually found it at Fellowship of the Travelling SmartyPants

or if you completely disagree with me above then let me encourage you to do something like this.

Forty Days of Water from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.

the good old days

they don't exist.

as i travelled to work this morning i passed thousands of folks who were doing the same. some were the unwashed masses and others were the washed masses but in the end, we're all the same. folks walked and bussed or drove their little economy vehicle as they meandered along to continue their lives. it struck me that everyone is so obviously struggling with life just as i am, perhaps more. every second person is worried about how to pay the rent or the mortgage, how to get food for the day and find a little leisure time before they curl up ... perhaps for the last time.
i then think of years ago and many times i see our struggle (mine and Wendy's) as being something that i don't want to go back to. we had our share of great times, don't get me wrong, and we're REALLY fortunate and blessed to have the life that we share ... but something still pokes at me.

life is hard.

it was hard years ago when i struggled with a $9/hr job and we tried our best to meet the rent on a monthly basis but it's still hard when i have an unbelievably well paying job and our mortgage is paid off. i think of those times and i realize that we never could've succeeded like we have today when we were stuck where we were then.

as i get older i get more nostalgic. i long for a simpler time but i also realize that the simpler time was such a long time ago that i can't really see it any longer. reminiscing is important to seniors (no i'm not a senior thank you very much) but the more i think about it the more that i see that the good old days weren't all that good. in many ways these days are loads better and than i stop and think HOLY CRAP, these days are BETTER? life is hard.
there have been some mountaintop moments and there have been some pretty deep valleys. metaphorically a valley is supposed to be a beautiful place but emotionally it's not for me. i'm also afraid of heights (a bit) so it's weird that i consider a mountaintop a lifegiving place. nevertheless, we came through and we've gotten to where we are now. i'm relatively healthy (although under too much stress and probably a bit depressed) and i'm still here. i have no way to discern how in the world Paul was ever content in whatever circumstance he was in because i find contentment a constant struggle.

today is Wendy's birthday and i never know what i can do to bring her happiness. i got her a present, but it had to be ordered and it won't be coming in by today. i will be heading down to Tall Grass Prairie Bread Co (owned by dear friends and prayer mentors Lyle and Kathy, and Paul and Tabitha) to get some of their KICK-ASS chocolate cake and lemon poppyseed cake for Wendy as well as a slice of carrot cake for me but that doesn't seem like much.

i long for contentment. i long for my wife's contentment. the Psalmist is now ringing in my head and i realize that i'm longing for God. i will find Him because He's all around me. i'll see Him where i look and i fully expect to see Him in my loved one's face when i see her.

i still have all my anxieties and worries about it all, because life is very much hard, but i can still see God. i have no desire for the "good old days" whenever that was but i still want today and i'm still desiring tomorrow. God is there and that is the contentment i need right now.

oh my, Lent starts tomorrow. i'm already planning a post about that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

a childlike faith

i was thinking of going outside and doing this VERY thing yesterday evening. i just like pic and the words that come along with it

a childlike faith

Thursday, February 11, 2010

when you run out of things to blog

h/t to of Wool and Water and then later from of all the liars

Bold the ones that make you happy or smile.

1. Laughing so hard your face hurts.

2. Completing a successful project with a good friend.

3. Lying in bed and listening to the rain outside.

4. A bubble bath.

5. Seeing someone you love do something outstanding.

6. Making the winning score.

7. Being told you did an excellent job by your peers.

8. Sledding down a hill during a big snow storm.

9. Hitting the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

10. Running your best time.

11. Hugging your dad or mom.

12. When your sibling says they love you.

13. When your dog jumps around because it’s happy to see you.

14. Finishing a good book.

15. Having flowers sent to you.

16. A clear day at the beach.

17. An unexpected present.

18. A surprise visit from a friend.

19. Seeing a falling star.

20. A beautiful sunset.

21. Finding a nest of baby bunnies.

22. Listening to music.

23. Solving a problem.

24. A hot air balloon ride.

25. Your favorite meal.

26. A new hobby.

27. A long distance call from a friend.

28. A hug.

29. Eating pizza.

30. A long, hot shower.

31. A spider web with dew on it in the early morning sun.

32. Reading under an electric blanket on a cold, rainy day.

33. Getting your driver’s license.

34. Having your face licked by a puppy.

35. A wedding.

36. A newborn baby.

37. Swimming the last lap.

38. Christmas carols.

39. Good grades.

40. Giving someone something they’ve always wanted.

41. Your team winning.

42. Watching a child open presents.

43. New pencils, supplies, and clothes on the first day of school.

44. Your first solo bike ride.

45. Chili dogs.

46. A kitten.

47. Climbing trees.

48. Watching the moon.

49. Running in the autumn leaves.

50. Relaxing with Saturday morning cartoons.

51. Playing the piano.

52. Sailing.

53. Dancing.

54. Fixing something that’s been broken.

55. Creavitity.

56. Football.

57. Slumber parties.

58. Friends.

59. Having someone tell you their most valuable secrets.

60. Colors.

61. Frisbees.

62. Being appreciated.

63. The first week of school.

64. The last week of school.

65. A great idea.

66. Plunging your hot body into a cool pool.

67. A thunderstorm.

68. Making someone laugh.

69. Walking on the beach.

70. Decorating a Christmaschanukah bush.

71. A job well done.

72. The quiet after a snow fall.

73. Making someone smile.

74. Singing.

75. A letter from a friend.

76. Hearing someone say, “I love you”.

77. Holding hands.

78. The first spring flower.

79. Loving yourself.

81. Breakfast in bed.

82. Snuggling.

83. The soft skin of a baby.

84. Having a wish come true.

85. Driving for the first time in your first car.

86. Getting an A on a test you thought you failed.

87. Finding out your crush likes you back.

88. Your first paycheck.

89. Your pet coming in your bed to sleep with you.

90. Getting a gift you’ve always wanted.

91. Riding a horse.

92. Riding on a Ferris wheel.

93. Rollercoasters.

94. Making something outstanding.

95. Walking on a cool autumn day.

96. Having a three hour long phone conversation with a best friend.

97. Having your plans turn out perfect.

98. Seeing your favorite item on sale for extremely cheap.

99. Being around optimistic people.

100. Seeing someone smile when they see you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Disclaimer - in this post i call the author of the book of Hebrews with a feminine personal pronoun because nobody has a clue who wrote the book and it could very well have been Priscilla. i also just want to mess with your heads.

do you have heroes? i do. first of all, i LOVE the tv show Heroes but that's not what this is about. this is about Hebrews 11 and 12.

the writer of the book of Hebrews (whoever she was) spends all of Chapter 11 talking about saints gone by who shone as bright lights of faith for those of us still around. she writes that Abel was commended as a righteous man, Enoch was taken up by God, Noah became an heir of faith, Abraham obeyed and made himself and his sons heirs of that same faith, Isaac blessed Esau and Jacob by faith, Jacob blessed his sons, Moses' parents hid him because he was no ordinary child and by faith Moses refused to be known as the son of Pharoah's daughter. by faith walls fell and Rahab welcomed spies ... and what more can be said? she (the writer of Hebrews) hadn't even gotten into Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets who ...

"33 through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground."

it's at this point that i get a bit stoked. we come upon a curious phrase in Hebrews 12:1.

"therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses"

contextually she's talking about the heroes of chapter 11 and she's talking about how they surround us like a cloud. she may only be talking about how their example of faith surrounds us to show us how it's done but i prefer to think of it in a more blessed Saint approach. i picture warriors of faith who surround us, who see us and cheer us on in the race. they yell that they're at the finish line and they can see us nearing the end of the race.

that to me is cool. very cool.

my grandfather lived in a very simple and conservative religious tradition. their community didn't believe in much of anything that was outside their tradition in fact. they didn't even have a musical instrument in their worship space (and still don't) because the most holy part of worship would be accapella voices lifted in song.

i get that. i respect that.

and yet, my grandfather did some pretty amazing things in light of that tradition. you see, his eldest son (my father) became a music teacher for his entire career. he played numerous musical instruments and taught lessons to people over the course of his entire career. imagine the grief my grandfather got on the day that he brought an old pump organ into his home so that his eldest son could play and sing in the familial home. imagine the grief, because there was a LOT of it.

this wasn't in their tradition. this was wrong. dare i say it but wasn't this sinful?

my grandfather is one of my heroes of faith. he taught his son that it's ok to dream and in turn his son taught his grandson to dream in his own right. i once heard that he was worried about my theology since i chose a Bible College that leaned in a different direction than one that leaned toward his theology. he never mentioned it to me though. he was always supportive. he cheered.

he's been gone for about a decade now, and he's still cheering. he's a good man. a man of faith. a man who takes chances. a man who dreams. i can still hear him.

that is a hero.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

SuperBowl XLIV

the game happens tomorrow night ... so i'll be a bit busy.

i would LOVE it to happen that way. WHODAT!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

things you can't do if you're not in a pool

there are couple things here that made me laugh out loud

h/t to Tyler Stanton

Holy CRAP! a talking snake!

why wasn't this Eve's reaction? seriously.

interesting that the reaction of some people is that animals must've been able to talk up until Genesis 11 when the Tower of Babel came along or perhaps until Noah and the ark. i read that stuff and just blinked undeterminedly. really? some people actually think the snake talked?

the first 5 books of the Bible are believed to be written by Moses (traditionally anyway) ... and ... well he's a bit removed from creation. he'd only have oral accounts of history as handed down from parent to child for millenia. and Moses wasn't even trained on Hebrew history, he was educated in an Egyptian court. who says that Genesis doesn't have an Egyptian slant for the creation of the world? could be, animals talked in Egyptian mythology didn't they?

the snake didn't talk. there was no literal snake at all. it was history's way of bringing its own self to life by justifying its own existance.

does that change faith? uh, no it doesn't. we needed to know what sin was and how it got there and that's how we ended up with Adam and Eve. we needed to know who to blame for this mess so we blamed a snake, a woman and a man. from our concept of sin we came to a realization that we needed redemption and eventually we come to faith in a redeemer.

the snake didn't talk. there wasn't even a snake whatsoever.

and it doesn't matter ... we're still sinners. we're still foolish people who believe we know better than God and who do what we want even when we know better. i am not a heretic for saying this and i'm also not quite the liberal theologian you think i am. i believe in some things in a literal sense, i just don't see how Moses could lay out the story of the fall of humankind without relying on the oral tradition that was handed down from parent to child. lots of creation stories talk of fantastical things but they're also just trying to make a point.

Holy CRAP! a talking snake! i'm still chuckling.