This fall – late fall when it gets nice and cold around here – Leo and I are taking a cruise down the “Mexican Riviera”. This is how Leo is using up the backlog of funds he gets to use for continuing education. The group he is a part of is very generous when it comes to these kinds of funds.
Anyway we are in the process of getting things arranged and someone contacted me about signing up for this “Partner Program” which I think is designed to entertain the spouses of the physicians. It costs extra but I decided to check out what they do.
The woman who called me was very pleasant – in fact she made this program sound like it would be a mistake not to spend the mere $400 or so to get involved. But it was all very fuzzy as to what I would be getting so I told her by e-mail that I was in fact looking forward to relaxing and reading, etc but maybe if there were some shore excursions included, then OK I would consider it. This was part of the response from her:
Based on your comments it would seem to me that the partner program might not be for you.
It is designed to align with the physicians program. There will be speakers on topics such as Practice Management, Physicians Health and Wealth Management that our program will have their own sessions.
Another session is entitled “Living the Life You’ve Earned”.
Oh dear, I think we have some major philosophical differences. Don’t think I’ll waste my money on a session so I can learn to “live the life I’ve earned”. It’s all been one great gift so far.
Bob Smiatana has an excellent post in which he comments on George Bush and religion.
He quotes Ann Whitlock “She said she believed Mr Bush was a sincere Christian – but too small-minded.
“God is bigger. He is not your little Texan God.”
He then goes on to ask some pointed questions of us all.
Sara really wanted to go to a party at one of her friends houses. The parents were going to be there and about 15 other teenagers all about 15 years old. Sounded OK till she told me there would be alcohol there. And that the parents were OK with them having alcohol to drink if the kids brought their own.
Now we are not a dry household. But it is one thing to offer my own child a drink under my supervision and another to have them offered or allowed to drink in another person’s home when they are only 15.
So I struggled with what to do. She was open and honest about this with me. She did not intend to drink herself and I trusted her on that. But it bothers me that in order to have a fun party there has to be alcohol served – especially at this age.
So we discussed it and I agonized over it. I am not a very legalistic parent with cut and dried rules. If I was, I wouldn’t have these difficult situations to face. But that just isn’t me so there you are – I had to decide whether she could go or not. And she would have agreed to not go if I absolutely said no.
We came up with a bit of a compromise. She could go but I would set the curfew because I would be picking her up.
She mixed up some concoction she was introduced to in Alberta – 5 Alive and cream soda – and filled her Nalgene bottle.
About an hour before the curfew we had decided on she called me to come and get her. She had been playing soccer half the day and was just too tired to stay out any longer.
The other kids all liked her drink and wanted to know what “alcohol”she had put in it. Cool – cause it was 100% alcohol free. She got a kick out of that!
Sometimes God is just cool the way he looks after situations. And one of her friends has decided that she would like to change “religions” (which I think means churches – to which I doubt she goes much now) and come with Sara to her church. So we’ll see.
Sara was in a soccer tournament for her high school today. They ended up playing the final game against Carlton. Lost 3 -1
It was an interesting cheering game. Can’t yell “kill them” when one of my best friends is sitting behind me on the bleachers – her daughter playing on the other team. And most of the moms I know from Celtic soccer were there. Last weekend we were all cheering our daughters on together as they played on the same team. The pain of that loss was too fresh for us to wish a loss on anyone of the girls. But one team had to win.
Sara and another of her friends were not happy that anyone who wants to play can just join the team from their school – even if they have never played before. It showed when they changed players, pulling off two good defenders for two inexperienced ones. Two goals scored in a few minutes. A bit demoralizing for the girls who play competitively and would like to see their school win for a change.
Sara’s quote of the day ” It’s a Catholic thing. Can’t make any cuts just because they can’t play. Got to let them play cause God loves them all.”
Ran into this interesting entry about a new version of the Bible via Alan. Most interesting comments on this entry too. Can the Bible be true without being inerrant? I think it can and is but then I have been known to interpret parts of this holiest of books as story and literature at times – but always with the understanding that it is full of truth and is inspired writing. Inspired by God who still speaks to us through it.
And I am beginning to look at some of the major questions that plague people searching for the truth, searching for God but not really sure if they believe all they have heard about Jesus. Or can’t understand how we can believe in the God they have seen demonstrated in the Christian church past and present. I hope people will be brave enough to ask questions over coffee after church.
There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that I want to use. He quotes Tennyson “There lives more faith in human doubt believe me, than in half the creeds” Anyone know just where this is from? Think it is from Lewis’ Reflections on the Psalms but are not sure.
Some of the resources I plan to use:
Letters from a Sceptic by Greg and Ed Boyd
Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis
The Jesus I Never Knew by Yancey
A New Kind of Christian and The Story We Find Ourselves In by Brian McClaren
“But Don’t All Religions Lead to God?” by Michael Green
Any other suggestions?
And I guess the most important thing I can really share, firsthand, will be my own faith story and the reality it is for me.
I’m actually rather scared to do this. Why God nudged me to do this I don’t know. I hope he shows up as we do this cause he will have to be there with me. I don’t suppose I have to come up with all the answers – just be willing to let people ask their questions and listen and direct them to places they might find some answers.
This week has gone too quickly. Maybe that is just because I had too much to do.
Tuesday – Worship practice Wednesday – Bible study Thursday – Spoke at a Lutheran Women’s supper Friday – and here we are!
Thursday was an interesting experience. I was asked to be the guest speaker at one of the few meetings this women’s group has during the year. The potluck supper was great as these suppers on the prairies tend to be. Most of the women present were well past me in age – good to feel so young! It seems their women’s group is on the brink of extinction and they don’t understand why none of the younger women want to join them. Same problem the older women’s group in our church is having. We need a major shift in paradigm there and I sure don’t know what the change needs to be. I just know that it has not been a very relevant group for me either. Anyway that is another topic in itself. The thing that would have really gotten to me if I had been a member of their group was the business meeting. Why do there have to be these crazy boring business meetings. And this one was about as formal a meeting as you can get – minutes, regular rules of order motions and very little honest discussion (who wants to stick their neck out after all?) etc.
Then there was me. I felt a bit strange being referred to as the “guest of honor” and the “special speaker” but I really tried to listen to what God wanted me to say. It was pretty similar to what I had previously shared in my own church this summer, but I shared a bit more of my background and my own struggles over the past thirteen years since moving back to Canada. And I shared how real God is to me now and how he called me back to the Congo this summer. It was a good evening for me. I am not really a public speaker. I work better with my hands than I do with my mouth. But this was another of those times when I think God was helping me out. Not that I am afraid to get up in front of people but usually more afraid of not knowing how to say what I want to say. Thursday the words seemed to come – in some semblance of order.
My left index finger had a very pointed encounter with a four year old’s teeth this morning. Right at the first knuckle. You know those little creases that run across the knuckle from side to side? I had a few extra little indentations right there for about an hour – not quite running in line with the other creases which shortly after the incident swelled out of existence.
However, my finger seems to have recovered nicely now. Only a small swollen spot remains. And fortunately it was my left hand – just my mirror holding hand.
Most frustrating thing about my work day was realizing that the wait to get kids done with sedation is presently as long as the wait to get a kid into the OR. Sedation’s big advantage is now reduced to the safety of sedation vs a general anesthetic – that is safety for the children. My fingers are safer when the kids are sleeping. Oh yeah, sedation does have the very large advantage of providing a more smooth transition to having work done in the office without sedation at some time in the future for most kids.