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Showing posts from March, 2009

the two i's

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Green Online Worship Values Course with Dan Wilt

Intimacy and integrity are funny things (laugh here if you like). Yes, of course, I want them in my life. In fact, the best thing in the whole world is to have a friend who totally knows you, can be counted on to be totally dependable in every situation, and does not change their affection for you no matter what. I would like to be that kind of a friend, too, and so I try. I work on my relationship skills, letting people into my life and inviting people on the fringe to get closer. I am not naturally gifted at people skills, especially in group settings, so these things require some concerted and conscious effort on my part, but I work at them. It is worth it.

I am perhaps a bit better at living life in a consistent and unhidden way. Sharing my life lessons and journey is not that hard; being there for people is a bit more challenging…

can I borrow your pen?

This is from the brief talk I did on Sunday night which arose from thoughts I had on the subway that morning. Just as a side note, I handed out pens to every person in the room present. You might want to have a pen in your hand as you read this.

I have been thinking about authority this past weekend, mostly because some things happened in the past few days that put me in an uncomfortable position, and when I asked God about it, he showed me that I had given my authority away. I mulled the word "authority" over in my mind a bit and realised that it contained the word "author." [1] An author is one who writes or creates a story. He controls what happens in each scene. We have this author-ity in our own lives. We write what happens. We create our life story. We each have our own pen.

Now, some people may try to grab the pen out of your hands and write what they want to see take place in your life. That's not a good thing. They have no right to do that. Don't let…

Walking Prayer

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt

I love some of the prayers of the saints that have gone before us. They carry a rhythm, beauty, maturity, and depth that I often lack. They say what I have inside my heart but sometimes can find no adequate words for. They remind me of truths and needs that I have forgotten or neglected. I have long loved the prayer called St. Patrick's Breastplate but I have always found it difficult to keep all the words straight. So, I decided to put together some of my most favourite prayers of the saints into a rhythmic melody much like a chant, but with a modern twist. This song is primarily a memory aid for me, and if it is helpful to anyone else's conversation with God, that's a bonus. I meant it as a tool that I could use to keep my mind turning to God as I walk throughout my day. I wrote it in what I hope is a comfortable walking…

hypodermic

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt

Have you ever heard a song or watched a movie or gazed at a painting or let your eyes wander over a sculpture or felt a drumbeat deep in your chest and for some unexplainable reason, you felt like you were in love? We have been discussing the role of art and music in worship this week and from the many stories that people posted, I could see that each person, at some point, has been deeply moved by some simple creative offering by another member of the human race.
Some of these works of art were complex and masterful, some were simple and childlike, others were works in process or centuries old. The creative power of a human soul turned towards God catches us in places where we are not guarded and it pricks us. It gets under our skin before we even realise that we have been invaded and spreads its strong emotion and enlarging vision t…

picture taking

I have been told that I have the ability to see things in a unique way, which is why I can take some fine pictures. I am able to blot out all the busyness around me in order to see an important and interesting part of life. And by taking a picture of it, I am able to single out these rare moments and show others the things that capture me, that grab my attention, that speak to me of beauty and strength and life. Dean was speaking this past Sunday at our gathering about using the gift God has given you, and one of the verses he read struck me right in the solar plexus: "...some of us recognize when God's Spirit is present." from I Corinthians 12:10, The Message. Most of the other translations of this particular passage in scripture say something about the discerning of spirits, but phrased like this, I saw it in a new and very relevant way. Yes, I have the ability to see God in situations. I can feel him very near in a tangible way at times; I can sense when ther…

do over

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt

This week we have been studying baptism and the Eucharist. If there is one thing that I don't like about baptism, it is that you only do it once. You can take the bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus every day of your life if you want to, but baptism is pretty much a one time deal. And I sometimes wish that I could do it again. Not that there was anything wrong with my first time, a pouring of water over my head at a Mennonite church, but a lot has transpired since then. At times, I seem like such a different person. I have given up many old habits and come alive to lots of new ones. I have corrected my course a few times on this journey with or "into" Jesus. Every day I die to some fear or ignorance and find myself discovering new life in truth and love.
Yes, baptism symbolises that choice of dying to self and living …

let us pray

This past weekend we took in the annual Nuit Blanche which Montreal puts on: festivities and cultural events all the night long and free breakfast at 5 am if you stay up the whole night. We made it till 2 am, taking in the fireworks, winter bar (a tent erected outside with tables, chairs, beer, loud music, lights, and hockey on big tv screens), the ice slide (see picture above), and numerous shows and museums which were all free that night. Other than getting really cold because I was way under-dressed for the walk outdoors, it was a fun time. Who else would stage an all-nighter on the town in the middle of winter than those crazy Montreal folks? I love this city!I read an interesting article on prayer today while I was at the hairdresser (an interesting setting to be doing Theology homework). The writer presented two different views of prayer and ultimately, of God. The first was that a perfect being with a perfect purpose and perfect power to accomplish that purpose cannot be influe…