I think I am back in this space because it seems a more appropriate space than Facebook. Facebook would be Ok since what I will say won’t be long and maybe not terribly profound except to those who know how to read between my lines.
I have been up in Edmonton leading in a small retreat for the women of Sanctuary Covenant Church – Friday evening through tonight. No sleepovers. Just meeting at the house; Sanctuary Place. Sharing in study and meals. Together in the presence of God, listening to him as we shared stories and considered how we could draw closer to God and to each other, how we could deepen our relationships so that we could also help those hovering on the peripheries of the circle join us in our journey deeper into God. (Thanks Randall for reminding me of the great way a wheel can be useful to illustrate this)
And for me it was a weekend of experiencing the presence of God. God the creator of words was there as we shared and he was sufficient – well, actually way more than sufficient. Exodus 4:10-12.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
I decided about a month ago that I simply had to get in shape. Sitting in front of a computer studying or going out for “coffee” with the women I have been caring about in Edmonton has not been good for my waist line or for my physical condition. I was basically getting fat and lazy. I think that a person actually loses energy as one does less and then it becomes a vicious cycle.
So, anyway, I joined Curves. An exercise place for women.
This week I have managed to go four times. I wonder if my body is getting in better shape?
Did you know that all of their exercise machines have little chips readers that set the machine’s resistance on an individual basis? So as I go around this little computer chip is my personal slave driver telling me to go harder, faster, harder, more repetitions. A virtual slave driver. And I pay for this.
What have I come to!
Tonight I have very sore feet. I have no idea if I have lost an ounce of weight but I do believe I feel more energetic.
But it hurts.
Thank God for ibuprofen.
Seems about time to see if this blog can find new life. I wonder if things have shifted enough in how I use my time to allow me time to do some reflecting in this space. Not sure anyone reads this anymore but mostly this is for me anyway.
I checked outside first thing this morning. Snow again in the night. Quite a lot.
Winter came early this year. Now here it is, Advent already.
I seem to have expectations about Advent that are out of sync with the culture around me. I wish I knew if this was a good or bad thing. I love Christmas but it seems as if for most people Advent is simply a hurtling into Christmas. As if now we are in for it in earnest so lets start the decorating and presents buying; lets get the latest decorations and put them up quickly before this season passes.
There is a part of me that wants to do this too but am I just succumbing to the pressure of my consumerist culture?
The other part of me screams, “WAIT!” Advent is a time to wait. But nobody seems to want to wait. Including Christians. They want to leave behind the purple of Advent and rush towards decorations – red and green and gold and all the sparkly things, the glitter and lights.
It seems to me, and I may be wrong – as I usually seem to be – that we need to wait. We need to consider the reasons for the waiting. The whole universe waited for millennia till God sent his own son. Then his presence was among us – he became one of us – was born, grew up in a human family, taught, was misunderstood, died, conquered evil and rose to offer us life too. And now we wait for him again. We need to remember that we are waiting people – waiting for our hope of a new creation, new life and freedom. And while we wait we have his presence with us. He did not leave us alone to wait in the dark.
There is so much we can learn if we take the time to wait. A baby will arrive in good time. Then we will celebrate!
I spent the day (well most of it) yesterday helping a friend move. J is one of the women at Sanctuary Covenant where I am finishing up my pastoral internship. Like many of the women who worship with us, she is single and has health issues that keep her from working a full time job. When an emergency arose in her life, she panicked and moved out of town to a situation that was way less than ideal. Of course circumstances change and they did quickly – thanks be to God! and she is back in the city now able to move into a new suite.
Yesterday was moving day. I never thought that this would be part of my job description. I had much loftier ambitions for the women – spending time in Bible studies and prayer together. Did not think that in many instances I would be the answer God was sending them.
I was not alone in this endeavour. I have never seen men with trucks who so fully embodied the command to go the extra mile for someone in need. They did so without any sense of obligation, did the job with cheerful spirits and gave freely of their time and fuel to drive the 150 or so Kms to get the job done. A banker,an administrator, a student and a pastor all working together to help.
And I have to say, she needed to get her stuff out of there. the “friend” that gave her a place to stay (charging rent of course) had the most filthy place – full of pet urine and feces, full of junk and boxes, full of nastiness. No place for a human to stay! We will never let her return to such horrid circumstances.
At the evening service last night here at the ECC Annual Meeting the speaker spoke of how we must respond to the needs in the Congo. The Covenant has launched a project called Congo Kids powered by World Vision. Hoping to make an impact on the lives of kids in the area of the Congo known as the Nord Ubangi – the area I used to live in.
The needs of this extremely poor country are huge. This could make an impact. They are hoping to have water points in Gemena within 500 M of every home. No more walking all the way to Bokonzo to get drinking water for Pascaline, who did this for Willadeen and myself while we stayed there.
Water towers at Bokonzo.
The Canada Covenant is launching its own part of this project. This will happen in October so watch for it and think seriously about sponsoring a child from this project through World Vision. The money you give for support will go to development of the whole community in which the child lives.