Monday, January 31, 2011

Micah 6:8

act justly

love mercy

walk humbly with your God.

if i ever get a handle on this for my life then i figure i'll be in a pretty good space.

Friday, January 21, 2011

bus etiquette

- ALWAYS give the old lady with 3 shopping bags your seat

- don't sit on the aisle leaving an opening on the window. you may be 3 bills wide in which case there probably isn't room for me to sit next to you anyway so don't make it obvious that NOBODY will be sitting next to you.

- think about showering, or at least wearing deodorant. i live in the gentrified section of town but it's still really hard to get the smell of hippie out of your clothes after you spend 20 minutes standing with someone's pit right by your nose.

- if your stop is next and a bunch of people are getting on the bus you might as well vacate your seat so that someone can take a load off for an extra 30 seconds.

- if someone with some obvious mental health issues or a drunk guy is getting in your face you probably don't want to push his buttons. "What, you talking to me Rain Man?" or "Honest Occifer, I'm not as think as you drunk I am" probably will only get you a punch in the face or thrown off the bus and a long walk home.

- the lady with 3 kids and a stoller gets the front section ... deal with it, and while you're at it you should also lift that section's seat so that the stroller has somewhere to park.

- what's the point in getting on the bus just to get off again 200 yards later at the next stop? you're 14 years old and the walk for 90 seconds certainly wouldn't kill you. also why do you need to yell your greeting from the front to your buddy sitting in the back corner? seriously, a wave gets the same thing done and you don't disturb the 20 people you go past to see your friend who you were just in English class with last period.

- please Mr Driver, don't drive like you can smell your smoke break in 4 stops. that's a school zone you're speeding through.

- while i'm talking about the driver, does your road rage really do something for you? besides give everyone an ulcer i mean?

- requesting a stop is an art form. don't ring the bell too early, that's a sign of your anxiety and don't ring it too late, then you're just being a jerk.

- it's ok to people watch but don't be too obvious, that's creepy. let your imagination create all sorts of storylines in your head but don't tell them to the actual people because if you're right then you go from imaginative quirky guy to stalker in 2 seconds flat.

- try to be a little friendly if you can. it's hard enough for anyone to choose to sit beside a 200 lb man but nobody's sitting next to a scowling 200 lb man.

- if your neighbour is on the bus you might as well chat since you're going to see him out cutting his lawn or shovelling snow soon anyway.

did i forget anything? any gems you want to add? go ahead and express yourself in the comments.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ian, you're NEVER alone

i was 10 years old and we went to a zoo somewhere. we were on vacation and i don't remember where we were ... i only remember that i REALLY wanted to see the monkeys. i remember talking to my brother and sister of my desire to go find the monkeys in this massive zoo and just sit and watch their antics. off we all went stolling and soon i decided that we weren't getting to where i wanted to get to so i would just go find the monkeys on my own. i ran and turned and turned again until i had no idea where i was or where i was going.

so now i was a young lad lost in a zoo in a strange city and i was completely alone. it was then that i realized the precarious place that i was in. i started to wander even more, i turned left, i turned right, i just wandered around this maze of animals, cages and park-like enclosures. i had no idea where i was and where everyone else had gone to.

i walked into a clearing in the trees, there was no path or trail that i was following. in fact i was walking through plants and scrub that was nearly as tall as me since i was never very big until 14 with my first big growth spurt. by this time i was crying and walking and hoping to find my own way. it was at that moment that i heard a voice behind me asking me where i was going. i turned to see someone who worked at the zoo questioning me about why i was walking in the middle of the bush. i explained to this guide that i had been looking for the monkeys but now i can't find anyone and i don't know where i am. i remember my guide walking with me back to civilization and we soon walked into a clearing in the middle of the park where i quickly saw my family.

that innocuous story was one of the memories i meandered through when i was trying to pray through some of my fears. i sat with a couple men of God who i love and respect recently and i asked Jesus what he wanted me to know about this memory. i felt the overwhelming affirmation that "Ian, you're NEVER alone". as i revisited the memory Jesus became the guide who led me back to the safe place. He put his arm on my shoulder and walked me home. i later asked Him why it is that i feel like a failure when i'm alone but the answer to that question is another story.

that's part of the earth-shattering experience that is Emmanuel Prayers for me recently. it may seem like those experiences are very basic but just because you've heard and know that Jesus is with you doesn't mean that your really KNOW it. there are other memories around these themes that i'm still chewing on but this story was enough that i could process some of my abandoment/lost/failure feelings without embarrassing myself or someone else by putting it down on cyber paper.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the Emmanuel Prayer

our church community has a very strong prayer ministry that uses Theophostic (from greek for God and Light) prayers that have been helping me. i won't pretend to try and tell you how it all works or even what is involved other than to say that it involves inviting Jesus into a traumatic or difficult memory and asking him what He wants you to know about that situation.

i've looked at various memories of mine recently and have been trying to deal with feelings of inadequacy, competency, abandonment and the fear and anxiety this creates in me. i mention it because it has been very helpful as i try to process all the things i need to be working on in my life.

i highly recommend it but i also want you to get some help in doing it. there's a link to my church community if you're curious on the right and you can find out a little more about us. you won't find any information about the Emmanuel prayer or Theophostic prayer but something could be found by contacting i suppose.

blessings friends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

what's out there?

it's been forever since i did one of these but there really is some cool stuff out there.

Brian McLaren highlighted a report indicating that world hunger is best cured by small scale agriculture instead of industrial farming. that means more of a move toward local food projects. it makes me all that much more happy about programs that give a farmer a goat instead of relying so much on international aid funds.

22 words notes that scientists are close to being able to clone a woolly mammoth and perhaps within 4 years they'd have a baby mammoth. apparently they haven't had viable nuclei to make the cloning possible but it's thought they can get there now. how cool would that be? to bring back an extinct species? what's that do for the young earth believer amongst us? i'm still unsure of where i stand there myself.

two spaces or one after a period? i for one have always put two spaces after a period when i type but that's only because it was drilled into my head in typing class. i really don't see what all the fuss is about but some of those one spacers can be pretty militant about it, including the editor for the other website i write for.

Jamie the very worst missionary might just be the coolest missionary i've ever heard of. she gets into some trouble because she isn't afraid to be frank and to say things that some of the prim and proper have some trouble with and that's probably why i like her so much. there are very few masks being worn where she's living and i like that.

things heard in worship today

man, i love my church community

Thursday, January 6, 2011

God is LOVE

the story is told of a counselor who is working with a mother who imagines that she is sitting beside the throne of God at the time when her drug dealing, no interest in God wayward son comes before judgment. the counselor asks the woman what she wants to do in that moment as her son is to be judged by God. the woman replies that she would wrap her arms around her son and hold him in that moment. the counselor then asks her what she imagines God would do in that moment and the woman reveals that God is love so God would be right there wrapping both of them in his arms before the throne.

the point is ... God loves you AT LEAST as much as the person who loves you MOST in this world.

that has been a comforting thought for me over the last 24 hours.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pacing the Cage

there are points in the lyrics where i'm definitely thinking of Wendy much more than myself since she's just so much more determined, ethical, and a bright star than i am.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

nothing much to say

i'm feeling a bit dry and stressed. maybe like Elijah i wait for dry bones to dance.




with the hope of the dance once again.

the best i can hope for is that the flicker of hope will one day again burst into flame.

and these dry bones wait.