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Showing posts from June, 2008

confession from the bed

I judge people. I was sitting on my bed on Sunday afternoon, having just read some of the book of Daniel, and I started to confess this. God, I go around judging people. Yep, that's what I do. That's what I did this weekend. I judge people. I don't like it, it doesn't help anyone, but there you have it. I am a wanna-be judge. And God asked me, Do you know why you do this? hmmm, well, okay, why do I do that which I am not proud of?

There are certain things that are very important to me. They are emphases in my life that I believe God has put there. One of them is faithfulness. Another is truth. I love these things and have worked hard to grow and mature in them in my life. I am constantly aware of how important these things are, how vital they are to God's character and therefore, to mine. But, alas, because I have invested so much in pursing these precious traits, when I encounter someone who treats them lightly, who does not hold them with the same regard as I do, …

scale

Since we have downsized, scale has become an important dimension in my life. We have been shopping for a dining room table and chairs and I quickly realised that no matter how much I liked the furniture, if it was too big or too small or too wide or too long, it would not work well. And we are determined to work well in this space - to work with it and not against it. That being said, we must pay attention to dimensions and scale and proportion and adjust our expectations and wants accordingly.

The hind feet of my brain start to fidget every time I think about these things, so I know there is something important to be learned here, to be aware of. I know too many people who have crammed their small spaces full of stuff, either things too large or just too much. It makes one confused and unsettled when you walk in the room. Overly large items make a space seem smaller than it really is. Too small furniture and the room dwarfs you with its cavernous echoes and feels empty and bare.

I thin…

invitation

God has been telling me that he is a God of invitation. I keep hearing this over and over from different sources. I have been reading through the Old Testament again and frankly, have never seen much invitation there. Lots of judgments, warnings, commandments, and visions, but very little invitation. But I decided to change my perspective and look at the character of God as he is revealed in the Old Testament through the eyes of invitation. Wow, that does change everything! Here are eight invitations that I found just this week and they so impacted me that I spoke about them on Sunday night at church.

1. PULL UP A CHAIR. Don't stay on the outskirts, just watching. Come in. Participate. Engage. Be more than an observer in the back row. Pull up a seat at the table, be a part of something, join the family meal. Be present. (I invited everyone to pull up a chair and sit around a large table.)

2. BURN YOUR PRIDE. Admit that we all need help. We are guilty. Stop justifying or explaining …

overqualified

My friend said something this past week that made me stop and think. She told me that she usually goes for jobs that she is overqualified for, because she knows she can get hired for them and easily do them. Then, after a few months, she is bored and quits. She said that it was time to change this pattern in her life and take more risks.

I rudely interrupted her as she was telling me about her current job situation, because it just sounded so much like me! I do the same thing. In a competitive job market, it is easier to go for the safe job. Less rejection, less compensation, less stimulation, but oh, so much easier and quicker to acquire. But in the end, she is right, we never last too long at these jobs.

When will we finally just give up trying to do everything else and go for those things that God has made us to do and put some sweat into learning them.

I am rebuked and challenged. Thanks, Awa.

These are the bananas on my kitchen counter on their way to being overipe and qualified for…

meet

I have been thinking. Something about the way we do our "meetings" as a church group seems strangely out of date and irrelevant and counterproductive, and we are one of the more contemporary and relevant churches in this city. Some say the space we are in is not so good. Some say the day and time might be an issue. Some say we are too much unto ourselves and not global enough. I don't know. There is some truth in all of those concerns, but they also carry some hint of excuses. I don't know exactly what we can change, but I do know that just tweaking the location or the time or putting out more info about other ministries is not addressing the core issues. And I don't even know what the core issues are. One thing I do know is that deliberate gatherings to learn, pray, worship, be changed and turn ourselves to God with vulnerability in the presence of others are very important. But, hmmm, beyond that, I don't know exactly what it should look like at this point…

the happiest girl in the world

Have you ever had a day where you feel like the happiest person in the world? Despite having a dream this morning about being shot in the neck (don't worry, I survived just fine and it was sort of a heroic moment), today was one of those days. I don't know where this sensation of "wow, everything is soooo good at this moment" comes from. If I did, I would certainly tap it at the source, bottle it, keep a good supply on hand for those "other" days, and of course, hand cases of the stuff out freely. I certainly cannot manufacture it, though I believe I can place myself in its path to a certain extent.

Simple things shine and sparkle with glittery life-dust on days like this. I did my workout for the first time in our new place, and it gave me the greatest pleasure to move and stretch and jump around and punch the air after a 2-week hiatus due to moving. I walked to the bank after lunch and had to express myself out loud, "I love being able to walk to stu…

box collectors anonymous

I have a problem with boxes. At least I did. I like to keep boxes. I have saved the box for almost every small appliance, set of dishes, electronic device, or gift that has come through our abode. So when moving time comes around, I just stuff everything back in the box that it came in, and I am virtually packed! When it is time to mail the Christmas gifts to my family in another province, I have a ready supply of gift boxes and a sturdy box to ship it all off in. One time, we brought a television in for a repair a few years after we bought it, and the service guy was totally impressed when we showed up with it carefully packed in the original box. I have always thought this to be a worthy, wise, and forward-looking habit. This box habit. This box addiction. This inability to throw away packing materials.

Until this move. You see, I have nowhere to store boxes anymore. Earlier this week I was slightly freaking out, enough for Dean to call me several times a day from work to see how I w…

with me

We moved on Saturday. Three men and a 26-foot truck pulled up to our house at 3:30 pm and loaded up every last one of our earthly possessions. I jammed cleaning supplies, propane tanks, a few fragile things, and two stressed felines into my car and we all said goodbye to the crooked little house in St. Lazare.

As I drove off, I tried to look for everything that I loved about living in this place so that I could remember it with thankfulness one more time. Things like the waist-high lilac bushes I had planted almost two years ago which were just starting to flower for the first time. The patch of bush right next door which housed bunnies and the occasional fox. My hairdresser and the car wash guys and the garden centre folks and the local mechanic who all managed to make me feel like I was the most important person in their day in that typical, small-town, unhurried fashion. The Wal-mart just seven minutes from my house were I could buy everything from cheese curds to cat litter.

As I w…

yellow

I spent all day packing up my kitchen. A good friend of mine came over and I guess in reality, did most of the work because she does not get distracted as easily as I do. I suppose I should change that first sentence to read: my friend spent all day packing up my kitchen and cleaning it while I tossed a few items in boxes, ate cherries and thought about what I still needed to do, took phone calls, sold a dishwasher, dehumidifier, and futon frame and helped load them into various vehicles, and gave the cats a dose of catnip.

Thank God for friends who don't demand that your strengths be the same as their strengths. Thank God for bringing people to my house to buy my stuff and in the process, letting me see a glimpse of their life and pray for them. Thank God for good days like today.

We just had a light supper so now Dean and I are going to load up the car with important stuff (the Xbox 360, the plasma tv, and the stereo) and take a run to our new place.

This is yellow, near and far, …

trip

I just came back from 4 days of much sitting. There were two 10 hour drives and then 2.5 days of meetings squished in between them. Toss into the mix 2 short bunk beds and a few short nights and a silly sore throat this morning and no protein powder left in the house....well, you can perhaps see that things are not running at optimum performance today.

Actually, we had a fabulous trip to New Brunswick but it seems that today all I can write about are the tedious or annoying parts. Come on, soul, remember those things that made the past 4 days rich. What about all that glorious undivided attention from Dean? What about meeting up with old and new friends and talking and laughing and listening to bad jokes over yummy french toast or scalloped potatoes all served by the sweetest lady at the cafeteria? What about sharing the story of God's goodness in our lives these past few crazy months and hearing the echo of this come alive in others as well? What about hitting the Dairy Queen en …