Wednesday, June 30, 2010

horrific tales of sex slavery

via Glocal Christianity

Matt Stone in the above link quotes Proverbs 29:7 in his post about this issue

"The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern."

and he made some simple suggestions for how to combat this too.

"Here are some simple actions you can do:

•Get informed
•Buy fair trade
•Write to your MP
•Join an action group
•Tell your friends

Help these kids by doing what you can. Pass it on."

i personally have had no experience with this being an issue whatsoever but i have seen and heard similar stories of disenfranchised women and children here in Canada who have been forced into a life on the streets. i do not know how to respond except i do know that i cannot be silent.

no one should be taken advantage of. no woman, no child should have to endure the ravages of our brothers, our fathers, our sons. it's just wrong and it must stop.

i cannot be silent about it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

juuuuuuuust a bit outside

i umpire baseball and this is a pic of what my mask looks like, kind of. take a look at the section below the chin. that protuding wire might've saved my life yesterday. a ball actually richocheted off the catcher, hit that throat protector and then glanced off the side of my neck. it was actually a bit scary ... although it didn't hit me really hard after 2 richochets ... but nevertheless, i don't ever want to be hit in the neck or throat area by anyone who can throw up toward 70 mph.

i'm fine. come to think of it, i wasn't even panicked about it enough to think about it after the game. i never did tell Wendy about it. honey, if you're reading this now then just realize that i remain as stupid as i was BEFORE i was hit in the head. i have good gear protecting me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me and my love

19 years. i hesitated to mention it at work because when you work with some 20-somethings then they really look at you wide-eyed when you tell them that you've hung out with the same person exclusively for 19 years. one 23 yr old paused, chuckled and then congratulated me.

at any rate honey, i love you. you're my best friend and i'll always be the anchor that weighs you down.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

i've always been too short to dunk

and yet this past Sunday was my first dunk. David took the plunge and he allowed me to help bless him on his journey.
the sacramental journey is seen in particular rituals for me. baptism and the eucharist are two major ones in my journey. they're just so powerful and they speak to the heart of those who take part, even if you're just watching and blessing.

the baptism was to be during our Sunday morning service that we have every year during our Father's Day camping weekend. on Saturday evening we have the baptisees tell some of their story. here's what David said:

I`ve only had any real Faith for the last two years, before then
i did`nt think much of it until i went to pioneer (camp) for a weekend
and was sitting there watching birds on the lake and the sunset
i realized, this is what there is and it is awesome.
The next time i had a spirtual growth spirt was at pioneer and
seeing the awesomeness again while canoeing and walking
around the island.
I`ve been growing spirtually ever since then and decided to
get baptized.

(back to me now)
it was truly a blessing to help David on his journey. from my beginnings in Grain of Wheat i've known that i'd be attached to this kid. the first summer we were in GoW we decided to take a road trip to Ontario and David and his family decided to travel with us in their van. David was about 4 or so ... and ... well i guess we got a bit attached. it has been regular contact since then and we particularly like to go to the movies together.

that's him standing and in the middle.

that's him again second from the right and that's me on the right.

dead to sin

and alive to Christ

no we didn't hold him under extra time to be sure that it "took". welcome my brother.

the grace of the eucharist.

and with that i had the privilege of blessing our little brother. i'm really proud of you David.

Wendy's Words of Wisdom

"Hey Numnutz, how ya doing?"

- said to me right after my vasectomy

Friday, June 18, 2010

where i am right now

the stress is palpable right now. Wendy has been in the hospital for 3 1/2 weeks and it's been hard for her. i'm not going to go into it because i won't be broadcasting her business out here like that.
work has been very understanding but the fact that i have a tonne of sick time banked makes it easy for my supervisor to tell me not to worry about it. it has meant that i work through my lunch and then go pick up Wendy for her series of medical regimen of appts every afternoon. that's something good for her so i don't mind all the chaffeurring required of me.
Wendy and i spent a couple hours together including an hour strolling the neighbourhood while i sucked on a Slurpee and we sauntered our way back to the hospital. we did that while it threatened rain the entire time but thankfully we stayed dry.
the extra stress has meant that i decided i couldn't work a baseball game last night and the assigner was a bit annoyed that i decided this, until i told him what was preventing me from doing this sort of thing. he understood.
D is getting baptized this weekend and he asked me to join him in the lake with him while he gets dunked. he's such a big kid and the woman who is baptizing him is about 2/3rds his size so maybe she'll need some help pulling him back up. i've often joked that we should be leave him under an extra second just to make sure that the baptism "takes" ... but that's just cruel right? blessings on you D. you're a good kid who is going to be a great man of God. i love you and it's an extreme pleasure to join you as you make this huge step forward in your christian walk alongside Jesus.
the LA Lakers are NBA champs and i couldn't care less.
there were HUGE losses at the World Cup over the last couple days and today Serbia (who i have in the pool) beat Germany to get in solid line for a 2nd round spot. i'm not worried about Spain but i'm definitely worried for France and maybe even Germany.

my favourite Narnia book

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

via Waving or Drowning?

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010

for most sports fans in this world this event is bigger than any other event that happens. every 4 years fans of the beautiful game come together to find out who has the most beautiful game.
an interesting note is that the World Cup has never been held in Africa before so this is certainly a significant thing for Africa in general and South Africa in particular.

at work i run a pool in which 23 people joined and we all picked a team. i ended up with 14th pick so ... i probably won't be winning the pool. for this month though i'll be a special fan of SERBIA. i actually think it was significant that i still got Serbia at the 14th pick because i really believe that they have a good shot at the 2nd round and from there the surprises can just happen all the time.

well, i must be looking onward toward the first of many GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALS.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

just watch the drummer ... if you can

sure hope this works.

a quote from Oscar Romero

“We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.”

Oscar Romero, Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

h/t to Of life, laughter and liturgy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wendy's words of wisdom

if you loan somebody $20 and then never see them again, it was probably worth it.

this very thing happened to me once. i don't have any ill will for the guy after the fact and i don't miss the 20 bucks either.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

British Petroleum

h/t to waiting for the day

Litany for Gaza

In the early morning, on May 31, 2010, Israeli forces intercepted a flotilla of 6 ships bound for the Gaza Strip, carrying nearly 700 people and a cargo of medical supplies, pre-fabricated homes, building supplies, and educational materials. The ships were attempting to break the internationally condemned Israeli blockade that, since June 2007, has prevented virtually all people and goods from entering or exiting the Gaza Strip (with the exception of insufficient humanitarian supplies and some aid workers). As the Israeli forces boarded the ships, at least 9 flotilla participants were killed while nearly 60 participants and 10 soldiers were injured. Eventually, all the ships were rerouted and the flotilla participants were arrested or deported. The siege on Gaza continues.

Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem will hold a day of fasting and prayer on Monday, June 7, for the members of the flotilla, the people of Gaza, and for peace in Palestine and Israel. This litany is offered as a resource for individuals and congregations to adapt and use, in part or in whole. We encourage pastors to use the litany in their Sunday services.


Eternal God, arbiter of justice and champion of peace, reach into the deep pit of violence, despair, and ruthlessness that shapes the lives of so many in Palestine and Israel. The nations are in an uproar, kingdoms totter, people cry out.

You, O God, are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Grant, O God, healing to the men and women injured during the Israeli military assault. Bring grace and consolation to those who mourn the dead.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.

God who has proclaimed release to the captives and freedom to the oppressed, may all who have been taken prisoner for their involvement in the flotilla return safely home. We remember these and others who are unjustly detained.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, who has sent me to proclaim release to the captives…and to let the oppressed go free.

Lord of all, make known to all in Palestine and Israel that your love extends to all people, that might is not right, that fear begets fear, that love conquers all. Give hope to the many who, in love, speak and act boldly for justice.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

God of Justice, we pray that the nations of the world will no longer stand idly by, but uphold the rights of the oppressed in Gaza, the West Bank, and around the globe . We, the peoples of many lands, “reaffirm [our] faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” [UN Charter: Preamble]

Your judgements are just, O Lord, you will hold all nations accountable for what they have done, and also for what they have left undone.

God who offers life in abundance, break the chains of injustice that shackle the people of Gaza. May the blockade that limits food and medicine, toys and cement, culture and trade, friendships and families be swiftly ended. May the people of Gaza and of the West Bank be brought together in unity.

They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. For like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. [Isaiah 65]

God of equity, who knows no distinction between race or creed or colour, help us to be ever impatient in our encounter with injustice and abuse. As ambassadors for Christ, do not allow our hearts to be hardened, but let us live your message of justice, peace and reconciliation. We remember the words of your prophet: “The effect of justice will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” [Isaiah 32:16-18]
God, in your grace, transform the world.

h/t to Waving or Drowning

Friday, June 4, 2010

i just felt sick for him

i'm an amateur umpire. i ump baseball games all summer long (almost always its teenager's games) so i know a little bit about this sort of scenario.

a perfect game is very rare. it happens when a pitcher goes a full 9 innings and nobody gets on base in any way. no walks, no hits, no errors. 27 batters and 27 outs. there have only been 20 perfect games in Major League Baseball in over 100 years of baseball. that's millions of professional baseball games.

Armando Galaraga was on his 27th batter when he got a ground ball to the 1st baseman who flipped the ball to Galaraga to make the out at first base. the guy was obviously out and yet Jim Joyce the umpire at 1st base called him safe. no more perfect game even though it WAS a perfect game.

i had an experience like that. i was the base ump at a Western Canadian Bantam (age 15-16) Championships when i absolutely and completely KICKED a call. it was a routine play at 1st base but for some stupid reason i never saw that the 1st baseman didn't catch the ball. the runner hit 1st and was standing on 2nd base when i turned to him and told him that he was out. what i saw was simply that the 1st baseman made the play and the guy was out ... but what really happened was that the first baseman never caught the ball. the guy just stared at me in disbelief as i stole his single away from him.

just watch a place explode around your ears when something like that happens. spectators walked clear down the length of the ballpark to tell me how i got that one wrong in the height of "i told you so" behaviour (because everybody LOVES an i-told-you-so-er). it was a great example of the lack of grace and forgiveness in this world. i didn't have the benefit of instant replay, unless you count the instant replay of multiple voices in my ear telling me how much of an idiot i was.

Jim Joyce got torn several strips off him by players, managers and fans and he stood there and took it all. once the game ended he went inside, took a look at replays and realized that what he was sure that he saw was not at all what happened. he immediately went to the Tigers clubhouse to apologize in person to Galaraga and all the Tigers for his mistake.

the next day Jim Joyce went back to work in the same ballpark with the same two teams playing in front of him. this time though he was the home plate umpire. when he came out ... he was cheered ... he was forgiven ... because he had made amends. Armando Galaraga came out to represent the Tigers at the pre-game meeting with the umpires and Jim Joyce wiped away tears for his mistake and for the forgiveness that guys like Galaraga could show to him. the biggest moment of Galaraga's career turned into the biggest moment of Jim Joyce's career and somehow both were redeemed by the moment together the next day.

i still regret my own error on my day ... but my umpire supervisor still believed in me and in fact he sent me out to do the Peewee (aged 13-14) Final as my very next game. to get assigned to any Final is a plum for these tournaments and to get a plate in a Final is a special honour. i guess in a way, i was redeemed too. i had a great game in the Final and moments like a blown call would be enough to cause someone to quit such things, but i didn't.

redemption is a beautiful thing. right Mr. Joyce?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

this is just a thought for Lisa

i've been thinking about Lisa because she is between jobs right now and ... part of my job is to help people find jobs ... so i began to think about what i knew of Lisa and what she could possibly do. i then thought of Food Grains Bank of Canada and i don't if its worth anything to you but they do have an Alberta Chapter. i have no idea if they're looking for anybody though ... just thought i'd mention them to you.

so i went exploring a bit on their website ... and they don't seem to be advertising for anything right now but that doesn't mean that a resume sent in to the right people would be a waste of time. you can contact them at if you like.

below you'll see a vid of Food Grains Staff and actually there are 4 people who attend our church community seen in that video. they are:

Jim Cornelius - Executive Director
James Kornelson - Public Engagement Coordinator
Stu Clark - Senior Policy Advisor (and also Grain of Wheat Servant Leader)
Dave Colvinson - Youth Engagement Coordinator

and the music was written by Mike Janzen who has 2 siblings attending our church community and is the fab piano guy of Steve Bell who also has strong connections to Grain of Wheat.

anyway, i don't know what that's worth to you but i've been thinking about this and how i could go about mentioning something like this to you. if you want a reference i know a couple people here.

building community

i've been reading some of your blogs. yes its true.
some of you folks are hill-hairy-ass. yes its true.
not as hill-hairy-ass as me but still hill-hairy-ass.

can you believe i just said ass 4 times? yes its true. given the fact that things get a bit wacky in my life sometimes then i'm surprised that the air around me isn't a lot bluer than it is sometimes (well actually, i've never been a huge swear word guy).

i read some of your blogs because ... i'm building my own little community and as i progress in my life i'm realizing the importance of community.
community is the reason we came to Winnipeg. we joined a church community that became and remains the best church experience of our adult lives. we sought out a place where we could live more honestly and then we tried to be honest about it all.

so i'm building more community so that i can continue to try to live more honestly. i read your blogs because i'm hoping to share in your journey and know of what pains you. then i hope that as i spill my own pain out that someone reads and understands. i'm even ok if nobody understands because i know its cathartic to process the things that happen to me.

pour it out on your own pages. soak it in when you're on mine. say something. build one another up or just say a little prayer.

be blessed. i know i am.