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Showing posts from July, 2008

delay

I am supposed to be outside right now. This morning, I did all my correspondence and inside work, then started to get ready to head outside on a grand walk to run a lot of errands, buy some food, check out a new hairdresser and maybe even the library. As I looked at my grocery list, I decided I would need my backpack to carry the milk and orange juice, so I scooped a sleeping feline off my black canvas bag and was annoyed to find it covered in cat fur. Egads, these cats need to pick a different spot to sleep than on my backpack! I began to brush and wipe and clean the stubbornly sticky tufts of brown fur off the bag and was starting to get slightly disgusted with how slow and unproductive I can be sometimes when I heard the light patter and then the pounding torrent of water on the roof. At that moment, I thanked God for Jazz and fur and slowness. Here I sit inside and dry instead of being caught unaware in the rain, far from any shelter.

The best plans of man (and woman and cat) are s…

intervention

One of the most mesmerising television shows I have ever watched is Intervention. A camera crew follows an addict around and you see all the destructive patterns they engage in. You sometimes see bravado, sometimes anger and bitterness, often hopelessness displayed in these poor ones souls as they shoot substances into their veins, drink their way into oblivion, or inhale smoke to alter their reality. They are trapped. They cannot help themselves. Things get desperate enough that the family and friends decide that an intervention is necessary. This means that the family makes a break; they stop making it easy for the addict to continue in their current lifestyle; they stop enabling the destructive behaviour. The handouts, the free food and board, the open door and welcoming arms, the acceptance of abusive behaviour, and the guilt gifts all stop.

It is tough stuff, letting someone you love suffer dire consequences for their bad choices. But bailing them out of trouble time after time d…

nice girls finish last

I have another confession to make. I sometimes find group dynamics challenging. There have been times in the past few weeks when I have just wanted to cry or slap someone or scream out loud or perhaps most cowardly of all, slink quietly away so that no one would notice. And this was in a small group of people that I would call my friends. Why?

For the most part, I am a nice person, a quiet person, a patient person. I am not an extrovert and seldom naturally command the attention in a room. In fact, I sometimes feel quite inadequate and invisible when trying to be a leader or when I interact in a group. And yet, I know that who I am and what I have to say or contribute is often very valuable. But I usually will not force my voice to be heard, nor do something to make my presence acknowledged. I prefer it when people willingly listen and engage with me and offer their attention because they want to, not because I demand it. I detest manipulation and coercion and try not to participate in…

humble beginnings

Last night I finished reading Anne Rice's book, Christ the Lord - Out of Egypt. For those of you unfamiliar with her, she is the author of some 27 well-researched historical fiction books with usually dark supernatural elements, her most famous one being Interview With The Vampire which was made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Her author's note at the end of the book I just read is almost as revelatory as the story itself. After being raised a devout Catholic, then becoming an atheist for most of her adult life, she began to research the historical Jesus and was challenged to dedicate the remainder of her writing career to him. She had an epiphany that this story, this man, this God, was the one she had been looking for all along. As she says in an interview, she now lives in the light.

It is a very restrained book and I took my time reading it, not wanting to race through the pages lest I miss some nuance, some fresh way of seeing things, in the telling of thi…

pick me

I began reading the book of Hosea this week. I couldn't help but think that this was not how Hosea had pictured his life would turn out. What young man dreams about growing up and marrying a prostitute? Who wants to love someone who will toss that love aside lightly time after time? Why would one run after an adulterous and unfaithful partner and take them back? If God had posted this assignment on http://www.monster.com/ would you have signed up for it? Yes, please, pick me! I want to be used and rejected and hurt in a relationship. Surely, anyone knows that these are just not good boundaries. This kind of depraved and uncivil behaviour is more than enough reason for divorce. And it seems to be a waste of a perfectly good man. Surely he could have married a beautiful girl who loved him dearly, appreciated his dedication and good character, and returned his affection. Isn't that what each of us wants? Isn't that what we deserve if we live right?

And yet, God invited him to…

the point

There are some things I don't understand in life. Okay, there are a lot of things I don't understand in life. Every day I lack understanding about something and for the most part, I think we all get used to this feeling. We accept odd patterns of behaviour and ways of being because they become familiar, not necessarily because things are as they should be.

Dean has been sick for 10 days. It is not a good thing. He was flat on the couch for 2 days and then got a bit better and now has the energy to go to work but not much else. He can't eat much of anything because his digestive system just rejects most food (yes, it comes out either one end or the other in case you must know). It is just some silly stomach virus but it is going on way too long and I don't know why. I don't understand.

Yesterday I prayed, "God, if there is some particular purpose that you have in Dean being sick, then we embrace it and co-operate with what you are doing. But if there is no purpo…

3 blog time stealers

Things have a been a bit slow in my blog-world lately because my usual schedule has been disrupted by wonderful but time-consuming events. ONE: I opened my first exhibit of photos this week. It is kind of a strange sensation to see ones art displayed in a public setting and have people study it up close and offer their comments. I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction of all and am always amazed by the wonderful support of the folks in our church group and my friends from all walks of life. One of them even compared the dilapidated old stone church basement with fluorescent lighting where the exhibit is being held to the humble beginnings of some famous artist whose name I can't remember right now. I like the concept of humble beginnings because it is something Jesus loves as well. And beauty shows well in humble beginnings. TWO: I have been helping a far-off friend search for an apartment in Montreal. She emails me the details of a place she is interested in and I go sc…

lesson from Daniel

I am reading the book of Daniel. It is depressing. Daniel does everything right. His integrity knows no bounds. He stands up to the kings of his day and tells them horrible news and defies their direct orders (respectfully, of course) and what happens? He gets promoted! Usually after he faces some horrible crisis and certain death, that's true, but even then he doesn't freak out. He knows his life is in good hands. Kings die and get murdered and pass on but Daniel stays, a highly respected man of incredible insight and wisdom who puts everyone else to shame. A man who is so squeaky clean that no one can find any fault in him except that he is loyal to God. And he doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks of him. He knows he is with God and that is all that matters.

I squished my finger under a box of cat litter today. It was pretty traumatic. For a brief moment, I wasn't sure if I would retain full use of it in a meaningful way. Thankfully, the throbbing stopped a minute…

the middle

Last night we walked around the Jazz Festival and saw a very cool band called Naturally 7. They use only their voices and if you weren't seeing seven guys in front of you with nothing but microphones, you would swear there was a full band playing with drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and even strings, a horn section or a DJ at times. Amazing what can be done with the human voice.

I saw a preview for a new reality TV show called The Singing Office where a quasi-famous host surprises people in an office and asks them to sing. Some results are bad, some are surprisingly good. They take a few of these people, give them some vocal coaching and choreography help, and then bring them back to do a little performance for their colleagues. A silly little premise and a not-so-original concept, but it inspired me. If someone walked up to me and stuck a microphone in my face and said, "Sing!" what would come out? One of my old favorite songs or something new and original? A tune I can&#…