Monday, February 28, 2011

Love Languages

this has been an old discussion for Wendy and i but it has been a fruitful one for me of late. we have known that we are VERY different from each other for a long time but this formally pointed out to me some of the stuff between us that drives us both nuts.

love languages are the ways that each of us uses to express love. you should go check out an assessment tool for this very thing so that you can understand a little of your own language. seriously, it's fun and it'll only take a few minutes.

for Wendy if you want show her love you need to do things for her, show in your actions and in your gifts that you have put some forethought into what you're doing to provide her with something that she likes or needs. for Wendy the phrase "actions speak louder than words" is a very powerful phrase that she relies on.

for Ian if you want to show your love for him you express it verbally or a simple touch is enough to reach him. my best relationships in life are those that encourage me, value me, protect me. my powerful phrase that speaks to me is "words are important".

doing stuff for Ian or giving him a gift does not reach his heart. saying "i love you" or "i'm proud of you" doesn't get nearly as deep into Wendy's heart as dusting the house would get. Ian is weak in Wendy's love language and Wendy is stronger in Ian's language than Ian is in Wendy's but it is still not as fluent in it as Ian needs.

it's frustrating. i don't mean to sound like i'm downgrading anyone's attempt to love the other because i do know that we love each other. it's just hard to speak in a second language.

there's also a language of apology that you can look into on the same link ... and of course i've learned that i naturally prefer an apology language that annoys the heck out of my dear wife. my thoughts when i learned this were "of course i'd choose the apology style that irritates my wife the most, that's just how my life has been going lately." pardon me for a second there, that's just my Major Depressive Disorder speaking.

there are ramifications for me across the board within this discussion ... like what do i do with friendships that feed me by speaking in my own love language? how do i learn to be more fluent in a second love language? i've often wondered what is with this deep inner need for affirmation, and i'm now realizing that is the way that i express love and that is how i want to be loved.

that's just a corner of my struggle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


i've been reading this blog ever since she posted a comment on my own blog. recently she wrote a blog post that could be viewed as dark but as one who is amidst some dark times himself i found some significant hope lost in her words. i have been wanting to leave a message for Lutestring on her blog but she doesn't seem to leave an option for comments. it is my hope that she'll read these words and take some hope along her journey.
Lutestring, you give me hope to continue and i want you to be encouraged to do the same. i know little of your story but i want to say that your story is important and your words do speak to me.
blessings on your journey my friend and thank you for the bright light that i know you are, even when you think that things are darkest.

you are important.

keep on.

John 14:6

i have been thinking a LOT about this very topic for a long time now and i can't believe how easy the solution to my questions were laid out for me in this video. i'm very thankful for the very simple thought that someone has finally laid out for us in these few minutes.
seriously, this has changed some things for me ... and the answer is so very obvious that i can't believe i didn't come to this place before.

h/t to Jesus or Squirrel?

and it's educational too

h/t to The Thinklings

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

on the road to Notre Dame de Lourdes

my buddy Lyle the baker called me up yesterday to ask if i'd like to join him on a road trip today. he owns an organic bakery that finds local ingredients for everything they make and he had to take a 2 hour trip to Notre Dame de Lourdes for sunflower seeds that will be pressed into oil for their bakery. i have the week off, i really love Lyle and i had stuff to discuss with him so i jumped at the chance to spend some time with one of the people i love best around me.
here is what the road looked like as we travelled to a sleepy prairie town.

we drove along small town highways and conversed on deep subjects like i can with few people in this world. i wept a little, he wept a little, and we kept on travelling as we concentrated on the road directly in front of us.
that pic doesnt do the journey justice. there were occasions where we could not see more than a hundred feet in front of us or so ... and yet i was not nervous about the journey at all because we were safely secured in the cab of a Peterbilt truck and my driver knew the road on which we travelled. the wind howled and blew snow over the road the whole way there and back. there were occasions where clouds of snow obscured the road completely and yet none of this snow was falling down from the skies, it was all being blown at us sideways, trying to knock us from our perch and offcourse. it was perilous when taken on its own and yet there was no peril for me in the journey whatsoever. we concentrated on the hundred feet in front of us and eventually we had put in a full day's work and worry, only to return home safe.

as i sat securely in the cab i couldn't get away from the idea that i need to concentrate on the hundred feet in front of me in other areas of my life right now. things are dark and dreary, they're perilous and i have no idea how things will turn out for me. i weep on the journey and i mourn those things that i've lost or those things that should've been. i resent and rail against God for those bruises and flesh wounds that should not be as they are.
but i am safe in the cab of a Peterbilt truck, and my driver knows the way there. it's ok to weep and mourn. it's ok to rail against God. it's ok to question why things are the way they are. i just need to concentrate on the next hundred feet and trust that my driver knows the way. someone that i know has walked here before ... and i am not lost amidst the blustering wind that can knock me on my ass. i am safe.
that is the truth of Christ that i dwelled on today. i still have no answers for the blustering wind and the freezing cold that is coming my way

but i am not alone, i am safe.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ephesians 4:14

i'm feeling like i'm tossed about by every emotional wind and wave. there's so little steadfastness, my purposes seem all over the map and i sit in a pool of worry about where my life is going.
i realize i'm taking that verse a little out of context because it's actually talking about people who change their views with every new doctrine that comes along, and that isn't the case for me right now. however, i do feel tossed about by every new thought or sometimes an old thought, sometimes it's a new circumstance or an old argument. definitely tossed about though. definitely tossed about.
i think about things that i should not be considering. i worry about things that have always remained steadfast in my life. i consider drastic changes that scare the hell out of me and i toss around simple questions that turn my world on its ear.
i learned a buddhist meditative prayer this week that i'm quite enjoying.

May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I be at ease.
May I be free from harm.

then you draw the circle wider.

May we be happy.
May we be healthy.
May we be at ease.
May we be free from harm.

and you can make the circle as wide as you want as you consider the journey of those around you. i find it ironic that i can dwell on such a peaceful meditation at a time when i'm amidst a storm.

i remain your tossed about friend, desperately plotting hope.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Naked Spirituality

the Refreshing Winds Conference has featured Brian McLaren who really managed to reach me on several levels yesterday. i told him so after i wept my way through Stage 3 of his presentation from Naked Spirituality. that's the name of his next book which will come out for sale in a month. as far as i know i won't have to actually buy the book because he's essentially gone through his presentation of the book over the course of this weekend. odds are good that i'll buy this book anyway (when it comes out) because i see plenty of other folks around me that could benefit from these words too.
the following is a quote that Brian put on his website and it is my hope that it'll whet your appetite for this book yourself. it speaks to the trend that many in western culture are moving away from traditional church organizations because they don't believe that the traditional church has efficacy so they seek for God elsewhere. we're all in a search for God in various areas of our lives.

Fourth, spiritual people seek practical ways to nourish that sense of integration and communion. It might be meditating, hiking on a wilderness trail, volunteering at a soup kitchen, doing yoga, going to art galleries, participating in festivals, or going on pilgrimages. It might be fasting, feasting or having deep talks with a few friends. Whatever the specifics, spiritual people have – or at least wish they had – some set of moves, rhythms, habits or practices, that to some degree at least, keep them from sleep-walking or going on auto-pilot, so they live with a greater sensitivity to the sacred aliveness and meaning that surround them. (Brian D. McLaren, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in Twelve Simple Words. HarperOne, 2011, Chapter 2)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Plotting Hope

the Refreshing Winds conference has begun here in Winnipeg and that means that Brian McLaren and Steve Bell are the keynote guys for the conference. i don't want to sound too enthusiastic but these are 2 guys that have rocked my world in the last couple years so i've been more than a little bit excited that i could take part in this conference and listen to these guys.
it's ... a little bit of hero worship i suppose and i don't want to be like that at all but i just had to get Brian to sign my copy of "A New Kind of Christianity" for me. that book has caused me to think of my own theology a little differently and reinforced some things that i was already thinking in my own theology. i almost didn't go to ask him to sign it actually because it felt lame to stand there and to ask the question but my dear friend Laura encouraged me that it wasn't lame and then she stood with me as we both shook Bryan's hand and made some small talk about Winnipeg weather.
at any rate, Bryan wrote: To Ian, Plotting Hope, Brian McLaren. he writes that in every book i suspect, because my friend Sue also got him to sign hers and he wrote the same thing.
Hope has been a bit of a key word for me of late. it has been a big prayer for me personally but also as i pray for Wendy. hope is key in healing and we've waited a long time for resolution of medical ills for her. that remains as my daily prayer for her and for us.
some days i find it and some days i don't.
i guess maybe i'm plotting hope too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

you are perfect

one of the blogs i'm following linked to another blog that i'm now also following. you guys know me, music speaks to me. i think the title might seem a bit raunchy but this is the non-offensive version ... and i loved it.

to all women in my life and especially to my dear one, i love you and you are perfect.