Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Again, I'm settled into a living room at a friends house, some wine has been poured, and Che Part One: The Argentine begins to play. Many years have passed since I had last seen Che in film. Then, the film had ended with him deciding that he would not continue on his journey with Alberto. His heart had been changed at the sight of injustice throughout South America, as the indigenous and the peasantry were exploited by the empires of colonialism, and the rich, corrupt landowners in each country. It seemed that borders did not isolate the problem within certain nations. This film begins in conversation with a young Fidel Castro about the need to overthrow Batista in Cuba.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
And what, might you ask, does that have to do with my anxieties? Well, he talks about praying the psalms and reading scripture in morning (not my favourite time of day), emphasizing that, "For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day's work. At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it." The new dawn bore significance because God had stayed the darkness (Remember, the darkness was frightening before we had streetlights), fulfilling his promise. Ah, what rich metaphor!
I'm not sure about you, but my morning usually consists of stumbling out of bed, grumpy because I'm having to get out of bed, and hoping my house mate Susan is gone to work so I can go downstairs in my boxers to check my email and watch SportsCentre on TSN. Before I have time to catch my breath for the day, I'm rushing a shower, grabbing a granola bar, answering emails from staff and students, and running late. This is progress.
Earlier today, I was reading an article in one of the school newspapers at U of T that was discussing the future of education in the next 30 years. There was talk of Sony's application for a patent involving sending information straight to one's brain, effectively eliminating the need to listen to a lecture. This is progress.
So here's the truth. When I look at how obsessed our culture, our humanity, seems to be with progess I feel a little sick, a little anxious, and my heart gets a little rattled (literally). It makes me want to be a Luddite, though I don't hate technology. It's not that technology is bad, but the places it takes us haunt me. And yes, I realize I am a bit of a hypocrite blogging about this on my MacBook.
I really want to have a simplistic relationship with this world, so that I can gather in and appreciate the grand gestures of a creator that sustains it (and us). It's difficult in an era of instant-messaging-satellite-television-web-surfing to keep it simple, or get back to the slower paced things in life. This is why I absolutely love using my typewriter and writing letters to people. There is this element of long-suffering and patient longing as you wait for the post office to send your letter to its recipient, and for a reply-letter to be sent. The same goes for the warm embrace between friends who have shared words in ink, and have waited for the moment when they can have fellowship together in person. There is joy unspeakable in that wait, that anticipation, that our age does not know. When I write a letter, whether by pen or typewritten, it is an expression of my love and care for the person I'm sending it to. I want them to know that they are worth every long moment invested into the creation of that letter; it has not been an email sent quickly with little thought, but the exact opposite. I guess, essentially, I'm wanting to imitate a creator that desires relationship with a humanity that often can't see him past the glow of the neon gods they're [we're] worshipping: Our progress.
I am really anxious about our culture not because technology is evil, but because it feels like we lose God, and each other, the more we let it run our lives, and buy into its false promises of progress. Sounds more like regression to me.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Octoberand the trees are stripped bareof all they wear.Why do I care?Octoberand kingdoms rise,and kingdoms fall,but you go on,and on.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
I've been pounding away on my typewriter over the past couple of days. The back porch seems to be the best place to work thus far - save for the motion-sensor lights that don't sense my movement at the patio table, but I digress.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
But the whole scene, which had turned so ugly, was stopped in a most unexpected manner. The elder suddenly rose from his place. Alyosha, who had almost completely lost his head from fear for him and for all of them, had just time enough to support his arm. The elder stepped towards Dmitri Fyodorovich and, having come close to him, knelt before him. Alyosha thought for a moment that he had fallen from weakness, but it was something else. Kneeling in front of Dmitri Fyodorovich, the elder bowed down at his feet with a full, distinct, conscious bow, and even touched the floor with his forehead. Alyosha was so amazed that he failed to support him as he got to his feet. A weak smile barely glimmered on his lips."Forgive me! Forgive me, all of you!" he said, bowing on all sides to his guests.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
So after my Newfoundland adventure, I made my way to Ontario Pioneer Camp (OPC).
(Note: you will be asked for a financial gift later on – be prepared)
(Also, I forgot to take pictures, so I can only share stories)
OPC has been a home away from home to me for the past four summers, though this summer was a bit different. Instead of going up in an official capacity, I was helping with the Leaders In Training program in a behind-the-scenes way. I helped set up rooms in the evenings for the interactive “Faithfully Improvising the Christian Story” teaching sessions in the mornings, and helped run audio/video on some mornings (I was working with my new supervisor Nicky who was one of the teachers); I filled in for small group leaders on their days off by sitting in on small group discussions and room groups before the LITs went to bed; I ran a couple sessions on understanding World Religions and a crash course in Church history and our Christian family tree; as well, there were a plethora of errands to do in town, and I often went.
I absolutely love serving the staff and campers of this program, especially because I believe so much in what’s taking place. Teenagers are seeing their understandings of faith stretched and grown as many people give up their summers to care for and mentor them. Many who have never heard of the Kingdom of God get their first glimpse and are transformed. Some LITs began to wonder what it would look like for a divided body of Christ to one day be restored. Others began to see new dreams form around what it means to care for people in their high schools - wondering aloud where their gifts and their communities needs intersect.
An unfortunate tendency amidst the busyness of life is that many dreams that I feel God has laid on my heart get lost in the clutter, so I was excited to see some of my own Kingdom dreams rekindled while at OPC. Some of them are directly tied to Inter-Varsity’s goal of graduating Extraordinary Kingdom Leaders – many of whom I interacted with at LIT. Others were around developing intentional living environments in which life together is celebrated, and the gospel can be lived out amongst those who cherish it and those who have never known it. I’m glad I got a chance to introduce teenagers to faithful improvisers life Henri Nouwen and Jean Vanier, and that those introductions were a catalyst for much inside of me.
So here’s where I am after reflecting upon my time at camp:
I was unable to commit to an actual position at camp this summer because my own funding is not fully in place, which would free me up to partner more with camp (I’ve raised well over half of my budget, but was still short). It was sort of a fluke that I was able to go for a week. Though I am incredibly grateful for that week, it was difficult not being able to be around for more time, and though I enjoyed filling in where needed, I really missed being able to connect more with LITs in ways that official roles allow. This is not a sob story. Instead, I feel more dedicated than ever to develop my support base so that I can commit more time to developing kingdom leaders on campus throughout the year, and at camp in the summers. This excites me, especially because this work/calling/vocation/desire is so closely linked with who I feel God has made me to be!
So don’t be surprised if you hear from me in the upcoming weeks and months about partnering with this ministry! Or if this post compels you, you can donate here!
God is good. Oh so good.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
You might be wondering about where I've been recently. July has been a quiet month on the blog front; however, the month has been extremely busy and exciting!
I spent close to a week in Newfoundland at a friend's wedding, and the spent a couple of days travelling around the island. Great province!
I flew in and got my hotel room at 2am on a Friday morning, and within 7 hours was on my way up Gros Morne Mountain. I have now climbed 2 mountains in my life: Grouse Mountain in B.C., and Gros Morne Mountain in Newfoundland. The wedding the next day was fun to film (my weekend occupation), and the week after was filled with tons of sight seeing around the province.
Some of the highlights:
All in all, it was a fantastic-though-brief vacation, and I can only hope I get to go back and explore the province even more some day soon. I flew home to Toronto and was in my home at 10:30pm Wednesday night, started laundry, went to sleep at midnight, woke up at 7am, had a breakfast meeting at 8am, then finished laundry and packed my bags and left for Ontario Pioneer Camp at 10:30am.
Stay tuned for the second part of my update!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
When our house signed up for phone/internet/cable recently, we received some free "on demand" rentals - one of which we used last night to watch JCVD. I'm not sure we would have gone out of our way to rent it, but at least with a free rental you can take a risk. I won't lie though, I have not-so-secretly wanted to watch this film since I first saw the trailer, and I heard it got good reviews at TIFF.
So we watched, and to my surprise I only had one major complaint: our on demand provider only offered a dubbed version. I will say this once and for all:
To me, there is nothing I hate more in the cinematic world than a dubbed film. Give me subtitles or give me nothing.
It wasn't the best film I've seen (it wasn't supposed to be), but it was more than expected. When you thought it would be stunts and action, it was quiet introspection on the ugly side of international fame and glory. When you thought it was quiet and morose, it sandwiches you with offbeat and inglorious action. I will give Van Damme credit - he managed to poke fun at his entire canon, spoof himself, and pull off his greatest acting effort in... well... ever.
Amidst the slow moving chaos of the film, Van Damme is elevated above set - out of scene and in front of the camera - and gives a fantastic monologue on all the roads his life has taken, and the different realms of brokenness each led to. He acknowledges that this is a film, and the reason we're watching is because of his former stardom, and his crash and burn. For a moment I thought I was watching Liv Ullman's Alma in Bergman's Vargtimmen - speaking beyond the scope of the camera.
Here's something I never thought I would write: Van Damme was moving and poignant as he spoke about how he became addicted to drugs (because he loved a woman who did them), and how much he's lost to women and multiple marriages (each one took a different part of him). I'll let others decide if he's waxing biographical or hamming it up for the lens.
I think the following people would enjoy this film:
1. Andrew Chambers, Lars Janssen, and Mark Wierzbicki (ol' Central folk).
2. Jeff Biggs
3. Anyone who enjoys film for film's sake.
Here's something else I never thought I would write: a blog post about Jean Claude Van Damme.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
"I have been away from God for a large part of my life, so I remember his absence. No, that’s the wrong way to say it. He wasn’t absent, I was. I had gone into exile of my own free will. I meandered through all sorts of philosophies, surrogate enlightenments, adventures of the mind, socialism, existentialism, psychoanalysis (another ersatz religion). Some of these I won’t deny or badmouth. I’m happy to have been there—and back."Check out his fantastic article on belief here.
Much like many of the scenes in Genesis, I think the whole escape/deliverance from Egypt would make for a spectacular film (Prince of Egypt = watered down for kids; The Ten Commandments = admittedly more of an anti-communist/pro-American agenda than an accurate one). Interacting with all the murdering, slaughtering, and pestilence makes me openly wonder if we get this right by watering it down for children. Should we not let kids read it until they’re older, or tell them what the text is really saying? That will be a conversation I’ll save until I’m a papa I guess.
Alright, so I’m sucked into the story at the beginning because it’s all being masterfully told when lined up with Genesis. Joseph does some great things while in Egypt, but his consolidation of all the land for Pharaoh sets up some power struggles generations later (slavery). It’s bad times for the Hebrews, even though they keep growing and growing and growing in size, like the stars in the sky (cough cough, Abe). By the time they leave, I’m thinking this is some pretty epic story telling.
THEN I get to the laws. The ten commandments serve as a good refresher, but then I start reading into some of the later laws and man I was getting angry, frustrated, and down right irritated. Slaves are still allowed, and have little rights. Women have little rights and are often used as vessels for growing a man’s family/workforce. Gross. Patriarchy is reigning supreme, and it’s unsettling. Once again, does anyone remember the beginning of Genesis? Also, the way the law is dictated, it sometimes seems like the line between God and human commanding gets blurred. It’s unsettling because this stuff is pretty foundational to many people’s beliefs, and I’m not enjoying the read.
BUT, I remind myself, I need to look at these laws through the lens of what the rest of the world was like. In a polytheistic world where innumerable gods means innumerable views of ethics, morality, justice, a law is being set up that – though many parts make 21st century Dave cringe, it probably would have been freeing to Hebrews hearing it. One God is laying it down in ways that show up the other nations and their god-kings.
So while there is slavery still, freedom is granted after six years penalty free. So while there is patriarchy still, a man can’t forsake his wife of old for the next desirable wife he takes on (On this note, while polygamy seems permitted here, there has yet to be an example of a polygamous context that sees healthy relationship [Is there ever?]. One man + one woman = one flesh; one man + many women = hatred, resentment, deceit, jealousy, etc.). So while putting people to death is allowed, a measure of justice is produced that introduces consequences into society. It’s not the ideal, but lets remember that we keep choosing out of the ideal, so this seems to be the band aid solution until something brings the ideal back to the forefront.
Perhaps 21st century B.C.E. Dave would love this law (is it 21st B.C.E.? I don’t know), but I’m uneasy if it remained as is.
If you are an engineer, you might enjoy the final part of book with all the instructions on what to build. For me, it was tedious and undesirable to read. Except the narrative gem in chapter 35 on vision, willingness, and generosity.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. While Moses got the tablets on the mountain, the people made a golden calf (reverting back to their polytheistic ways again), and Moses leads a group of people on a slaughtering purge of the unfaithful. Brothers kill brothers. Lots of blood. Thousands die.
But seriously, things are looking better…
Monday, June 22, 2009
I've just begun a journey into the depths of Hebrew scriptures today, as I endeavour to read the entire Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/whatever you may want to call it, this summer. Today I started and finished Genesis. I've studied parts of Genesis before, but today's reading was more to soak in the bigger story rather than glean all the intricacies (for that in itself could take an entire summer). Now I'm not going to commit to writing a blog for every book that I read, but I thought today's reading was worthy of reflection for the following reason: Anyone who thinks the bible isn't scandalous is ridiculous, and really should give this a read before you jump to such conclusions. Here were some interesting things I read about that would make the critical theorists cringe, the bible-thumpers ponder, and the puritans blush:
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Some people might find it odd to have a porcelain dog named Dog. Some might laugh or have disdain toward our camaraderie over the years. Some might even think that his presence where ever I live is the lingering result of childhood sentimentalism, in line with the framed picture of ALF that hangs in my hallway today (and was my first garage sale purchase as a child). This last bunch is the closest to the truth.
There is an interesting story behind Dog's appearance in my life. Dog was not a flea market, garage sale, or Value Village purchase that I've kept by my side as an ongoing, long-winded, joke. No, Dog's origin is far more significant.
Dog came into my life as one of the only remaining memories of my great-grandmother after she died. As awkward and peculiar as Dog might look, Dog is a tie
that links me to the part of my family that came from Waterford, Ontario. Dog may be small and frail, but Dog also has a perma-snarl. If anyone knew my great-grandmother, they'd realize why Dog would be a great link to my fading memories of the small, frail, perma-snarly "Great-Grammy Hyde" before she died.
So why am I telling the story of Dog? Well, the night before I left for a mini-vacation last Saturday morning, someone took Dog. Someone thought Dog needed a vacation. That same someone made a blog about Dog's adventures. I miss Dog, and am eagerly awaiting Dog's return - but in the meantime I will be tracking Dog's moves online.
Please visit dogsvacationblog.wordpress.com, and demand Dog's return!
Friday, June 12, 2009
A few days later I found myself in a heated exchange that was less about me than it was about the brokenness that inhabits our world (side note: I'm so very glad that the gospel trumps patriarchy, though the process of that truth being lived out often seems arduous). In the context the discussion took place, so many of the elements and reactions paralleled the Karamazov's descent into futher brokenness, and I ended up finding myself playing Alyosha. Silently I listened to heated words echoing a dining room, and descended lower and lower into the sadness that marked each opinion. I was being attentive (see earlier post), and the story I kept hearing was heartwrenching. The story is steeped in so much pain, and in all honesty, if there was no gospel to cling to then the arduous road would seem pointless. It is at times like these that, though many tune out when I talk of God, or condescendingly balk at my belief in the resurrection of Christ, I am ever greatful for God's love, God's intent, and God's good news - even when it's hard to see.
There are days in which the hope of God and his kingdom is abundant and apparent. There are days where it seems so far off. There are days when Ecclesiastes does not do justice. Then there are days when you read Dostoevsky, and Dostoevsky reads you.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday started by being chauffered to church (there's a reason for this), enjoying a really nice final service with my church family, followed by an afternoon of bocce ball, and a final small group meeting for the young adults in the evening. All in all it was a fantastic way to end my time at St. John's, and I can't say enough how grateful I am for the people I've met, the hospitality I've felt, and the kingdom experiences I've had there. Transitioning from this community will be extremely difficult, but I feel sent in a very supportive way by them.
Okay, now back to that football game. It was an epic game, the reprecussions of which are still being experienced today. Myself, Jeff (the other male youth leader), and the youth girls decided to take on the youth guys in a game of touch football. The guys came out to an early lead, but I was determined not to let that last too long. On one glorious play, I tracked the eyes of their young quarterback and prepared myself to pick off his faux-Hail-Mary pass. The pass was launched. My eyes never left the ball. I beelined it to the side of the endzone, threw my two hands up in the air, and picked off the football before anyone else had the chance. Immediately I experienced the consequences of running without being aware of the ground around, and collided with a large wooden lawn chair (that had acted as a marker of the endzone). Impact number one took my feet out and propelled me forward. Impact number two was when my face collided with large wooden lawn chair number two. At this point the ball fell helplessly from my hands, and many gasps were heard from the field and from the spectators.
"Wow, that really smarts," I thought as I picked myself up. People came looking to see blood and tears, but I wiped myself off and said I was fine, and returned to play. Then Jeff told me I was bleeding from my mouth, so I decided to rinse my mouth out and then return to the game. While inside the house, I noticed a rather large hole inside my lip where my upper canine tooth very obviously punctured. There was a new, loose, inner lip flap that was sore and bleeding a bit, but it didn't bother me. I returned to play, only to find I had been replaced by a father of one of the youth, so I gladly sat out and allowed my sore body to recover, and for my open wound in my mouth to be 'sterilized' with some red wine (always a good choice).
About 30 minutes later, while chatting with Jeff again over some food, he noticed that there was blood underneath my moustache. It is at this point that we discover that not only did my canine tooth take a chunk of my inner lip out, but it in fact went right through my lip upon impact. Yes, my tooth went right through my lip. The exit wound was luckily small, so it scabbed over and no stitches were needed.
About 15 minutes after that, I mentioned that my feet were starting to get sore. I looked down and saw that my right foot was cut up, and my left foot had ballooned into a purple, swelled-up mass. I had honestly not noticed until that point, and immediately felt the mobility of my left foot rapidly decreasing. Much was made of the injury by all around, with various suggestions on how to treat it. I ended up icing the foot for two hours, and then eventually had it taped up. I would say that the flexibility and mobility of the foot was down to 10% without pain.
About 10 minutes after first noticing the foot, we all realized that I also had cut my forehead in the collision, and so now there is also a minor scab on my forehead near the hairline.
But back to the lip. I became freakshow entertainment for all the youth, as they asked to come see the gaping hole inside my mouth. Many pictures were taken, and many disgusted faces were made.
Again to the foot. I ended up being chauffered to my friends home that evening, and after sleeping that night, woke up with my foot feeling much much better. I would say that flexibility and mobility was back up to 40-50% without pain. After church I was even able to spend the afternoon playing bocce ball, followed by walking around downtown Hamilton, followed by helping my new housemate Fil move his old BBQ down two incredibly long and steep flights of stairs to bring back to Toronto that night. Flexibility went up to about 60% by the end of the night. So I took the tape job off and went to bed.
Right now, I am writing from my bed, with a newly tensored foot after waking up in pain. I think I overexerted myself yesterday and am now paying the consequences. Oh well. It makes for a good story, and tangible proof of the way I've been marked by this Hamilton community I've come to care for so much.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
1. Went to the CN Tower for dinner, despite my intense fear of heights.
2. Watched a thunderstorm pass, and then watched the sunset from the top.
3. Had the Mac staff team offer to buy me Lost Season 5 on DVD if I would lay down on the glass floor face down and look for 5 seconds.
4. Unable to follow through on the offer, but was walked backwards on to the floor by Pete.
5. Went home, changed my pants, and watched Detroit win game one of the Stanley Cup.
Friday, May 29, 2009
1. Watching the Blue Jays end their losing streak
2. Watching the 2nd half of the great Stallone flick "Cobra"
3. Watching Walter Gretzky on the Hour
4. Drinking lots of water and trying to beat a cold that keeps trying to get the best of me.
I will miss Hamilton.
Monday, May 18, 2009
i) the desire to jam as many dreams as possible into a nap.
ii) a morning meal made out of dreams/visions/nightmares, like something from Waking Life.
iii) a disciplined fast of one's dreaming capabilities.
In my case, the third option is the one I'm speaking out of these days. Let me share with you why.
As many people know, I was helping lead an urban partnership in Hamilton last week, in which students spent a week in urban environments hearing and seeing stories of how the kingdom is being lived out in this context. There was an active element to it as we helped serve meals at a drop in, ran a clothing give away, ran after school programs in low-income neighbourhoods, and so forth.
While many of the students were deeply affected by these experiences, for me the most moving moment was hearing a sermon at one of the churches we partnered with. It was the Mother's Day service at this church, but rather than share a message filled with platitudes and exaltations toward the women in our lives, the pastor at this church spoke out of the story of Moses' mother, as she was forced to give up her beloved son. It was a story of pain and brokenness. At the end of the sermon, the pastor asked everyone to pray for mothers who are forced to give up their children, for mothers who take in others' children, and, here's the controversial part, for the Children's Aid Society workers who are often vilified in this community. It was a stunning comment in that community
Afterwards, when chatting with the pastor, he told me he had been crying while prepping the sermon and fighting back tears while speaking, because in that last week there had been a mother in the community who had had her children taken from her for the final time; they were being put up for adoption. This was the wind-knocked-out-of-you-moment of the week for me. What I came to realize is that this man knew his community, and knew them well. In love he stepped down into their pain, and then invited them into something greater, something freeing: forgiveness and love.
I am still unpacking the significance of this interaction, but its applicability became abundantly apparent to me a bit later on. For those who know me, they know I spend the majority of my time dreaming and thinking about big ideas. Unfortunately, I have noticed that because my mind switches into dream-mode at a word's notice, I can often zone out in conversation with someone, and miss out on the experience that is taking place right in front of me. It's rude and offensive to the person who is being vulnerable and open in front of me. What's more unfortunate is that I'm pretty sure this dynamic has shaped the majority of my stay in Hamilton.
Twin this experience with a large measure of anxiety I've had recently in not being able to know what is going to happen next as I move to Toronto. I've found myself dreaming about what it might be like, but this always seems fruitless because those dreams have nothing to root themselves in. I'm not in Toronto yet. The place is still a mystery to me.
So, I've decided to fast from dreaming for a while. I'm going to stop letting my mind run loose, and I'm going to open my ears so I can listen to what's happening in Toronto, what's happening in people's lives, and get to know the city and people who will become a part of my new home. I am going to be attentive. Perhaps when I start to actually know the people and the city, I'll be able to love them in their brokenness, and love them into something greater. I can only hope that others will get to know me and extend the same. Once I know the story, then the dreaming will return, and I hope and believe that those dreams will far surpass the ones I'm laying down.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Here's the scoop thus far for the Urban Partnership:
-great experiences in very different contexts.
-I love Hamilton and all the hope and promise that is hidden only to be revealed (if you go looking for it).
-Heard one of the most moving sermon's of my life on Sunday morning, and I'll most definitely be referencing it as a part of my sermon this upcoming Sunday.
And now for something COMPLETELY different.
Here's my current reading list for the upcoming spring/summer season:
- finish Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
- The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (it's about time)
- The Crack Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald (his notebooks on writing - just picked it up 2 weeks ago!)
Monday, May 4, 2009
So here's where I am now. I never did throw up, though I spent two hours in front of a toilet bowl thinking I would. I've determined that I've got a pretty bad chest cold, with a lot of phlegm in my heavy chest. BUT, as gross as it may sound, things are moving, and the dark heavy stuff is coming out. I think this is incredible because usually it takes days or a week to get to that stuff. My mom always told me once you start getting the dark stuff out, you know you're nearing the end. So perhaps I am getting healed, and prayer is working. Medicine rarely has a strong effect on me, so I'm chalking it up to God's faithfulness to heal that is allowing me to be clear headed right now as I write this. I believe God has been faithful because I went to him believing he could heal me, and I had a pretty rad community of people who felt compelled out of love, and their experience with scripture this week, to lift me up in prayer. Good things are happening.
Alright, tonight we're studying Jesus calming the sea, and the his encounter with Legion. Should be fun! Please pray that I continue to have enough energy to lead the study!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Secondly, mere hours after city/script is over, I will be co-leading the first annual Urban Partnership in Hamilton! I'm excited that my final involvement with the McMaster community will be this week long mission. This has been a dream in the works since before I was involved at McMaster, and the growing excitement of how great it would be to get students to apply what their learning in scripture in an urban context is finally coming to fruition.
Thirdly, when I return from the Urban Partnership I will be preaching at my church for most likely the final time before I move to Toronto. I've got my sermon half done (that half being ideas in my head), so there will be a fair amount of work to do once these two weeks are up and I find myself with 24 hours left before I speak.
Fourthly, the Tuesday after I am helping organize a bachelor party for my good friend Dan.
Fifthly, I am in Dan's wedding the following weekend.
Sixthly, I am going to be in Brantford speaking to my old World Religions class in high school.
Now I must run. See you all later on in the month.
Monday, April 27, 2009
...and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need...In trying to align myself with the sharing=caring tendencies of the early church (and because I'm moving out and don't need it anymore), I'm giving away my 20" TV to whoever wants it and is willing to swing by to pick it up before Thursday.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
If I compiled a list of some of the most beautiful music in the world, this would be near the top, and I'm really thankful that it came over my headphone speakers this afternoon.
I'm curious to know what songs move other people in the same way.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
a) discussion on the desert fathers
b) discussion of Trey Anastasio or Bob Dylan
c) news reports from his side of the kingdom
I always enjoy a good chat with Chris, and this past summer I remember one particular conversation in which he shared with me the awesomeness that was Bob Dylan's "Most Of The Time". I listened to what Chris had to say, thought, "Ok Chris, I believe you that the song is probably very good", and unfortunately never checked it out myself.
..."Most of the Time" is an amazing song. I love how he makes all those absolute statements, and then admits at the end of each string, that they are only true most of the time....
Sunday, April 12, 2009
-I went to the church of my childhood this morning. It was a strangely foreign and familiar place to me.
-I'm so used to 15 minute homilies that the 7 point sermon using 6 different translations was a little hard to swallow.
-I really love that the body of Christ NEEDS crazy charismatics, timid liturgy lovers, devout monks and nuns, and people who struggle to actually believe in Christ in order to actually exist.
-I get a little frustrated when people quit church because of all its problems. There are lots and lots of problems, and lots and lots of idiots, but shouldn't we embrace the Emilio-Estevez-in-mighty-ducks-mantra, "quitters never win, winners never quit"? Also, it's good to remember that we're often the problem and we're also often the idiots.
-I think the body of Christ is like a giant tapestry or mural with all it's contributing parts. With out all the elements in use it fails as a piece of art. Think Sistine Chapel, but with half of it whitewashed.
-Too many people view church as a commodity that can be consumed. "I try to go somewhere where I can be fed." Grow up, grow a pair, and get involved. It is sad how much I feel like I resemble a grade 9 guidance counsellor here (No offence Mr. O'Connor - you were wise beyond your years).
-This body of Christ we get to be a part of is mighty interesting. Thinking of death and resurrection this weekend makes me wonder what the resurrected body will look like. Fascinating.
-Finally, we're so bogged down by bad news these days that we don't know how to receive good news. Sure resurrection sounds far fetched, but it's good news. Is it not the least bit weird that we'd rather not believe in some good news like the resurrection than accept it as the gift that it is?