Monthly Archives: October 2006

Voting

Voting is going on in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today.  With the time change they are likely half done by now.

Patrick and I were discussing this last evening.  He says it is hard to choose between a liar and a thief.  So much is just about the pursuit of power rather than the best interest of the country. 

Pray for the people of that country and that God will cause something good to come of these elections.  Pray above all for peace and stability.

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Filed under Africa

Learning stuff – about photography

Today was one of those days – spent in a classroom of sorts.  I guess you can call the Top of  the Inn a classroom.  We certainly had nice views but we were busy taking these kind of pictures:

and

and

We learned how to operate our cameras – changing settings to take better close ups and portraits.  And we did a bunch of those kind of shots too – just I’m not sure how happy the subjects would be to see their pictures up on the internet. So all you get is me!

I am excited about learning how to take the pictures of the x-rays.  We always have trouble losing x-rays we send away to the insurance companies so this new skill will be useful.  I learned, too, that I have a really good camera for this type of photo – the favorite of this group of experts.  They should know – the clinical photography dept of the U of Toronto. 

It really was a great course.  Now maybe we just need to get that thinning feature that rumors claim one camera claims to have.  Oh, the instructor did give us some tips for that too. 

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From my journaling practice

The course I am taking right now has me journaling.  I guess this (my blog) is also journaling but with a bit of a different slant.  Journaling is a practice that I have come to enjoy and blogging is a big part of the reason I enjoy it.  I like the sense of interaction with others that blogging gives – when people comment.  But journaling as a practice to reflect on my day and where I have met God through it has become one of the practices I find both enjoyable and useful as a means of spiritual growth.  Paying attention to God.  Reflecting on my response to God in my daily life.  These are things I need to do.

The past couple of weeks the journaling class involved reflecting on a passage of scripture; listening to what God was saying to me through it.  Lectio Divina – I enjoy it and find that if I listen to what God is saying to me then the Word of God comes alive for me. 

What follows is part of that work from the past couple of weeks – and a bit more. (We are encouraged to be very brief in what we share with the other online members of our groups, so this is a bit longer than what I would post for my course.)

In the past couple of weeks my journaling covered everything from Thanksgiving to dealing with a partial shutdown at work due to possible city water contamination.  Plus I had the worst cold I have had all year, my nose and eyes both running!

 

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you,

O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:*

Do not fear for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you;

When you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethopia and Seba in exchange for you.

Because you are precious in my sight, and honored and I love you…

 

The words from the Lectio “You are precious” spoke to me of something I have a hard time really getting.  That fact that God loves me is in my head and nothing much can shake that fact.  But God actually would give whole countries to ransom me?  I am precious to him?  It’s not that I don’t know this just that I have a hard time trusting the reality of it in practice.

 

So this week, God showed up when I was tired and sick and frustrated by many things.  Not quite going through the fire but he showed me his presence.

 

With a bad cold, I had a rough week, carrying on at work in spite of feeling physically tired.  We had to limit our treatment to non-water consuming treatment, extractions among the services we could continue to provide.  I was doing an extraction that was not that difficult but, being sick, was exhausting my physical strength.  As I was doing it I thought, “Oh God, don’t let this one break.  I am too tired.”  And in a moment out it popped.  It felt as if God was saying to me, “I love you.  I hear you.  Let me remind you just how precious you are to me.” 

 

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Busy

Being busy seems to be the bane of my existence.  I bring a lot of the busyness on myself.  Some is just stuff that has to be done – grocery shopping, laundry, food preparation, work.  But then again, some of the things that keep me busy are things I enjoy that I have added on to my already full enough schedule.   What would life be, though, if all it consisted of was the busy work that had to be done.

So, I am learning to play the upright bass (string bass, bass viol, whatever you call it – it is big and non-electric).  I am surprised at how much I have learned so far.  I am participating in the local strings orchestra – which is really way, way above me – and most of the time I am simply lost.  But I am beginning to get it!  I can play the open string notes with enough ease that I can keep up in speed.  Mind you, my bowing is a bit crappy!  Sometimes I am up bowing when I should be down bowing and then there is this sideways sliding thing the bow does when I am not looking – which is a good deal of the time since half the time I am looking a where my fingers should be to be playing the right note.

This weekend I bought a metronome.  My teacher told me I had to get one.  I am surprised at the difference it makes.  It is like having a teacher there telling me to keep up, to play faster and to not lose the beat when I am hunting for the note. 

I also found a book that shows all the fingerings for all the notes.  The first book I bought really only showed the fingerings for D Major and G scales.  There is a lot more than just those two scales to learn.  It also makes more sense to me seeing how all the notes are laid out. 

So I am on my way.  And mostly having a lot of fun.

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Quote from Nouwen

Believing in the Church

The Church is an object of faith. In the Apostles’ Creed we pray: “I believe in God, the Father, … in Jesus Christ, his only Son º in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” We must believe in the Church! The Apostles’ Creed does not say that the Church is an organization that helps us to believe in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No, we are called to believe in the Church with the same faith we believe in God.

Often it seems harder to believe in the Church than to believe in God. But whenever we separate our belief in God from our belief in the Church, we become unbelievers. God has given us the Church as the place where God becomes God-with-us.

This is an interesting quote, especially in light of the fact that many have rejected participation in the organized church, blaming its deficiencies and faults for their decision.  I think one of the things I appreciate about the congregation I am a part of is that most of us know we are imperfect people.  But we have claimed God’s grace.  As we recognize our reliance only on God, we are free to love each other and ourselves as we struggle to let God become God-with-us, making out of us new creations.

 

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I Got Flowers

These flowers came with a special message.

Roses are Red
Advice is free
Grandparents you are
Soon times three
Love ?

A riddle.  All afternoon I have been thinking that I know who the parents to be are.  I called Leo.  He got some flowers too.  Another riddle.  So he called #1 son.  Eric assured him that no they had no such expectations.  That only leaves 6 other children of childbearing age, five of whom we are pretty sure are not planning to do anything like this.  But then again, you never know.  Just unlikely that they would be sending us flowers to celebrate the fact.

So, since we pretty much had it narrowed down, I made a call as soon as I got home and yes!  Dave and Annette have another little one on the way.

Funny, good news coming on the anniversary of Logan’s birth and passing 5 years ago.  That is not meant to be morbid – just a special remembrance for us.

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A Lawyer For Real!

Ten days ago Eric and Leo were in Regina together for a very important event.  Eric’s name was entered into the registry of lawyers for the province.  He has finished his bar course and his year of articling.  Now he has taken his oath and written his name in the register. 

Today we were invited up to the courthouse in PA for the induction ceremony to the court and the welcoming to the law society.  It was an impressive ceremony.  A bit long perhaps but I guess lawyers are known for their ability to ventilate hot air.  Today they had to be in their formal legal dress – robe, black pants, vest, special shirt kind of like a tux shirt (requires cufflinks if you remember what they are) and the tabs (white sort of tie thingies)

It was really pretty good to see one of my kids reach this kind of a milestone.  I will put a set of pictures up on Flikr and link to it here.

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