Monthly Archives: January 2004

Sleep Learning

Randall in his comments on my blog yesterday is worried I might have slept through so much of the lecture yesterday that I might have missed a crucial point in the knowledge I should have learned.  Don’t you know, Randall, that years of dosing in church have trained me to absorb knowledge even while in a state of somnolence!  I didn’t actually sleep, just struggled hard to keep the head from nodding and the eyes from closing. 

The lecturer, Dr. Miles, gave us lots of sites to pick up knowledge from like www.LearnDigital.net  And he really was a good lecturer. 

They also kept the room temperature just above freezing so that helped to keep us awake.

After the lecture, I joined my daughter at the Pacific Gallery for soup and a sandwich – and a stroll through the little gallery there.  Saw a few pieces af art that I would love to own.  Alas, post-Christmas, pre-tax and the finances I know I have to deal with helped me to resist.

 

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CE course

I am off to learn more today – Oral diseases.  So off I go to Saskatoon.  This course given by the RU Hospital Dental Department and the S’toon Dental Society has turned out to be one of the best of the year.  It usually brings new and useful information to us and I am hoping that this is the case since I have got to leave now to get there for the 7:30 start.

We stayed up too late watching  The Pianist last night.  It is a powerful and moving film and for me this was the second time I watched it.  I probably would do it again.

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Thinking …

Who is Jesus Christ?

Leighton over at The Heresy  asked the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” a few days ago.  I know that, theologically speaking, he has a lot more training than I do and there is no way that what I say here begins to scratch the surface of this question.  But I think that what he was asking relates to our trying to put Jesus into a mould we have created that is not really who Jesus is.  We try to shape Jesus to fit our world and wishes rather than acknowledge that he is God and let his power and teachings shape us to be people fit for his kingdom.

His question made me think more about a question that I sometimes wonder about.  How can we comprehend who God is? 

Just thinking about the vastness of the universe as I looked up into a clear sky – the God I know made all this and set it in motion.  How can I possibly “know” him?  My mind can hardly comprehend the little part of the world I can see and the world of the very large (space and all that is out there) and in contrast the very small (the structure of the atom) is so complex that it is beyond my scope of knowledge.  Just as my eyes can’t see far into the universe by looking up into the sky, my mind is limited and has a hard time understanding much about God.

When I start to think about how complex God’s relationships are with us, I realize even more how little I understand.  What I know about God from my trying to figure him out is almost nothing.   Oh, I know there are nice theological answers because I am not the only one who has asked questions about God, but the answers still are mostly beyond my ability to fathom.  It’s as if my mind can follow the logic of the theological answers just so far and then my finite mind switches off and the questions are all there again.  Really logical thinkers may not have this problem but my mind just doesn’t operate very well this way.  I understand mystical thinking a lot easier.  It lets me accept the unknowable.

One thing that makes God knowable to me is the person of Jesus Christ.  Who is he?   He is God.  What I know about God I know through him.  Through him I see the love of God which really did come down to my level.  I begin to understand the reality of a God who interacts with me, not just a far off uninvolved god.  He is my God, involved with me, who chose to live in human skin like mine in this world which he created, just so that he could show me a glimpse into his kingdom and provide me with the means to live in that kingdom too.  I think this is what is meant by Jesus being my intercessor – my go between – between my humanity and God’s holiness.

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Cold diamonds

Although today was lacking in sunshine there was nothing drab about todays special beauty in soft grey and white.  Everything was coated in hoarfrost.  The cold plucks the moisture out of the air and quick freezes it onto everything.  Nature is transformed as if diamond encrusted.  Maybe this is one of God’s treats for those of us brave enough to live in the cold north.  I will post some more pictures on my fotolog over the next few days.

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Long day today

It was a long day at work today and then I had some running to do before a church board meeting.  I’m pooped!  Hope I can actually get myself to bed a bit earlier tonight.

One of my staff came in yesterday with a back spasm of some sort and couldn’t sit to work.  Today she called and she can’t get out of a semi- reclining position.  She will not likely be at work tomorrow.  Makes it hard for my other assistant since it is hard to cancel patients at the last minute especially when they come from a long distance.  We have a lot of patients who fly down from the north and they are usually already in town for the appointment – so no changing them.  Today we kept up OK but we were both tired by the end of the day. 

Right after work I had been requested to bring a sub to my daughter who would be reffing a soccer game.  since she was at the soccer centre form mid afternoon, I thought she had better eat sometime before her game later on.  So then I had to get something for the other daughter too. 

Leo had the job of picking our kitten up from the vets.  Poor little thing lost some essential tomcat parts today.  This act on our part will probably extend his life considerably.  With only three legs he doesn’t stand a fighting chance against a four legged Tom.  And if he starts to spray around my house, he won’t stand a chance against me!


Our last meeting of this years deacon board was held tonight.  We are having a weekend of discussions and brainstorming with our conference superintendant around the concept of change and changing structures.  I sort of feel very unprepared for the weekend.  It just seems to have come up so fast when it always seemed so far off in the future before Christmas.  We have got to make our structures less cumbersome.  We are wearing ourselves out trying to keep old stuff happening. We need new ways that are easier to manage in our busy lives.  And we need younger people to take over some stuff and do it their way.  We need a lot of prayer happening over the next couple of weeks as we come up to this and to our annual meeting with all the election of church officers, etc.  We really need God to be there.  I hope he’ll come.

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Leighton asks …

Leighton over at The Heresy is asking the question “Who is Jesus Christ?”.  Today I was thinking about a related question.  How can we comprehend who God is? 

Just thinking about the vastness of the universe as I looked up into the sky when it cleared this afternoon.  The God I know made all this and set it in motion.  How can I possibly “know” him?  My mind can hardly comprehend the little part of the world I can see and the world of the very large (space and all that is out there) and in contrast the very small (the structure of the atom) is so complex that it is beyond my scope of knowledge.

Then when I start to think about how complex God’s relationships are with us, I realize how little I understand.  What I know about God from my trying to figure him out is almost nothing.  My why questions don’t have answers that make much sense.  Like why would God want to love us in the first place.  Why create such a flawed creature as man?  And then why try to save us from our own rebelliousness.  Oh I know there are nice theological answers because I am not the only one who has asked these questions.  but the answers still are mostly beyond my ability to fathom.

The one thing that makes God knowable to us, I believe, is the person of Jesus Christ.  Who is he?  He is our link to God.  He is God.  What we know about God we know through him.  Through him we see the love of God which really did come down to our level.  We see how real God is.  He is our God, involved with us, living in our skin and walking in our shoes so that he could show us how God wants us to live. 

There are lots of gods that are complex and their followers do not understand them either.  But most are either just very “spiritual ” humans revered by their followers and elevated to god status or at the other extreme are spirits that their followers have to placate or win over by worship so that they can be manipulated into granting a desire.

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Church for Twentysomethings

In the most recent issue of Relevant, Issue 6, Cameron Strang talks about finding relevant churches to attend.  They don’t seem to have any relevant churches in Canada – which is too bad.  Anyway, he suggests that maybe the twentysomethings should begin to attend and get plugged into churches in order to be instruments of change.  He states: “Why?  Because we don’t have all the answers.  Because it’s biblical.  And because maybe we can be instruments of change there.  If we’re not trying to serve and make a difference, why are we complaining about the state of “irrelevant” churches today?

As our church approaches it’s annual meeting (we are a congregational church so need the involvment of members), I wish we had more twentysomethings who were there to be instruments of change.  I wish we had more in this age group who were not afraid of teaching us how to do “church ” in a way that would be relevant to their peers. And we have to face it, those who need God most desperately are not the few kids who continue to put up with our “modern” systems but the huge numbers of young people who no longer find anything about our church organization that appeals to them.  The really horrible thing is that these kids do not just drop church but they also lose sight of the relevance of their faith and begin to search in other places that only lead them into lies and half truths. 

And if we older adults have caused even one of these young ones to stumble, to be fed up with our hypocrisy and lose faith, we are to be pitied because we are condemming ourselves.

In Luke 17:2 Jesus said, “It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck than to face the punishment in store for harming one of these little ones.” 

If we really want a powerful faith that makes a difference in our lives, in the lives of our children and in the communities we live in, we had better not turn away the generation of children that are now becoming adults and thinking through their faith. 

I know I have made mistakes with my own kids.  But I know my deep desire to see God become the center of their lives has led me to try to look at life more from their perspective.  And I know that if I am going to see God make a differnce in their lives then I have to be flexible, I have to throw away some of my preconceived notions of what right behaviour is, I have to let God work in his own way in them and not expect them to turn out looking like me.  God forbid!  I think the whole objective, after all, is to get them looking more like Him. 

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