September 30, 2006

Summit Summary

I recall when the word "Summit" conjured up nebulous images of a camping weekend with many wild and fun university students [and also an outdoor adventure/Bible college program]. This was at the beginning of my second year, before I'd ever attended the mysterious weekend. Now, with three Summits under my belt, I knew how to prepare.

Many warm clothes.

I still didn't bring enough. Thank goodness I picked up a sweet orange jacket for $4 at the sally-ann type store in Haliburton. I actually received many compliments on it, and so was glad that I made the slightly risque purchase.

I digress. I must say that I quite enjoyed the staff side of Summit. I drove up in my nice quiet car instead of a wild-crazy bus. I slept in an insulated (not heated) room, with an adjoining bathroom. I would like to note that the door on the bathroom stall (which I shared with 3 others) did not have a lock. And when I sat down, my knees touched the door, which means that tall people and boys could not really use this toilet.

I digress again. I liked helping take video footage and registering massive amounts of students in brief amounts of time. And this weekend showed me just how much work goes on behind the scenes that I, as a student, didn't even think of. Or took for granted. Or maybe became annoyed if it wasn't quite perfectly to my satisfaction. I was excited when I realized that this is my job, and that soon, I will know what is going on instead of just being a gopher. Not to knock gophers - Rebecca was the most amazing handout-placer-on-chairs-coordinator that I have seen in a long time.

Last digression, I promise. The one thing that is unfortunate was that I didn't get to connect with half the people I would have liked to. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I left early (ok, so I'm not complaining about the fact that I'm about to sleep in a heated room). But even if I'd stayed, I wouldn't have had the same social time to catch up with old friends and connect with people I sort of know but would like to actually know (who may or may not be reading this blog, and who may or may not include, among others, someone named Aban). But with any changes in life, you gain some and you lose some bonuses. I need to be okay with that.

As I thought about this morning and the session and seminar that I did attend, I was reminded that even though I am no longer a student, I am not above the students. Alex's talk was just as applicable to me and my life today as it would have been a year ago. And then it was good to think about and re-evaluate the cost and characteristics of discipleship. What does it look like to be a disciple of Jesus? Is it worth it? - because the Bible is still relevant to my life. I haven't graduated from that yet! Thank goodness.

September 27, 2006

Friday the Thirteenth

Well, it's tentatively official [is that an oxymoron?]. This nebulous phase of my life affectionately called "support raising" or "ministry partner development" is drawing to a close. Not that I'm done support raising for the rest of my life. But hopefully it will be sometime before it is my full-time job again.

My brother pointed out to me that I am flying to Vancouver on Friday the 13th. Neither of us is superstitious about these things. I was hoping that flights would be cheaper because some people are superstitious and wouldn't fly on that day. No such luck...

For those of you praying-types, I'd love prayer that God will continue to provide the support I need and that He'll increase my faith as I step out into the almost completely unknown.

September 24, 2006

Londonderry Air

I recently went through my London pics to select some of the best to print out and give to Heather as a belated birthday gift (ssshhh, don't tell; she doesn't know yet, and she doesn't read my blog).

I appreciate that these photos are not nebulous. I don't have to explain them in great detail, I don't have to point out every little detail. I don't have to ask if you "get" them. They are concrete things captured at a specific moment in history. But even though they are the same medium, taken by the same person (me), within a span of three days, each one emits a distinct sense/feel.


The British Museum is pretty much the most amazing place. It is a) free b) one of the oldest museums in the world and c) full of remarkable things. Like this ancient pottery. I could have spent days here. But not all day. I prefer short, frequent visits to one extensive tour.


This protest has been going on right outside Westminster and the Parliament buildings for quite awhile. I like that I captured the tailights of cars as they zoomed by. And each time I look, I have to do a double-take to decide if the guy on the right is real or not.

In contrast, doesn't this look like a fairy tale or Chocolat or some Roald Dahl world where the colours are a bit too bright and the "real" is about to collide with the unexplicable?

September 23, 2006

Panic at the Disco

(note: using the band name does not equal a complete endorsement of their music)

Disco-slash-bedroom, that is.

I am sitting on my bed with my computer on my lap (don't worry, it's one of those portable ones...) and I am stuck in a cycle of self-defeating lies and fears. I will attempt to de-nebulous-ize these thoughts:

I can't set a date for my BC departure. Either way I lose. Either:

a) I don't have enough support and can't go and have to push back the date and get stuck in an endless stage of support raising and telling people about what I'm doing and waiting to get connected with new people and wasting my time when I should be doing spiritual things and slowly suffocating and wasting away as my world gets smaller and less settled and yet it's too enclosed and I'm never going to get there because I haven't followed all the rules and done everything right and sometimes I don't do what I know I should do and that's why I'm still here, because if I had called that person I would probably be in BC right now.
or
b) I leave and begin my grown-up life. I'm no longer a student, no longer a child. I'll have to take complete responsibility for myself: everything from buying groceries and RRSPs to choosing a church and planning summer holidays and working and being a spiritual leader and furnishing my room and handling a budget and making new friends and negotiating a new (and large) city and I can't do all that. I am not fully prepared to be autonomous because I'm not yet perfect and when I mess up, who's going to have my back? What about when I miss a payment, or overspend my budget, or make a bad impression, or fail my students, or just want someone to be home when I get there and ask me how my day was?

The rational part of my mind says that these are disproportionate worries and lies, although rooted slightly in truth. My panicky heart says that I'm doomed.

Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

September 21, 2006

No Nebulosity Here

Shelly recently blogged about this site. A solid blog calling young people to live lives of passion and integrity.

Overall, I'm impressed with the blog and the boys. Too bad that they
a) are young.
b) are American.
c) strike me as the type who might track that link back here to see what good-looking Canadians are saying about them...

September 20, 2006

Church Poll

In a few short weeks, I hope to be out in BC, settling into my new life and choosing a church. I am excited for both. However, as I have looked around at churches and talked with friends, my list of "things I like in a church" is getting ridiculously long. So I thought I'd ask - if you were picking from the following list, which 3 characteristics would you choose in a church (assuming sound biblical theology)? OR what vitally important things has my list not included?

- engaging and heartfelt worship music
- culturally relevant outreach programs
- global missions perspective
- solid "careers" group
- service opportunities
- strong community
- emphatic, non-nebulous and applicable preaching
- vibrant children's program (I know I don't have children - if it's trickling down to the kids, I figure it's solid throughout)
- pastor is respected both inside and outside the church
- supportive of my ministry
- close to my home (5 blocks from the BEACH!)
- unified and focused vision for growth/direction
- lots of good-looking men.



I was kidding about the last one. Although I'd be lying to say that I won't notice.

September 19, 2006

6 Months Static

In the process of archiving my old blog, I wandered by to see what nebulous thoughts were hatching six months ago. From March 17, a prayer that I pretty much could have written tonight:

God, I'm so inadequate. I can't do this. I know you are enough, and I know you've called me here. I just...I haven't been faithful. or careful. or even caring! in how I spend my time or in my attitudes or priorities. I know you'll show up - you have promised to be faithful, and I know you desire for people to know You. But I don't want to do this - I don't want people to see me and think I'm so fantastic, to be so impressed, to think I'm something or someone I'm not. I want for you to get all the glory - from my own heart and from others. And I want to give back to you just a fraction of all that you've given me. I know it's not a matter of me being deserving - I never will be. I just want...to want you. To treat you and love you and respect you like you deserve. I want to give you my best, and I haven't. I'm sorry for that. Forgive me. Show me where to go from here.

September 18, 2006

Upstairs in E-Town

Last night, I fell asleep listening to Shane and Shane's Upstairs album. With my eyes closed and the damp seeping in from outside, I could have been back in my mouldy basement bedroom in Edmonton, lying on my air mattress after a late night talk with Meredith about life and Project.

I randomly bought Upstairs at Blessings in Edmonton, because I listened to part of one song and liked the guitar picking, and it was cheaper than bands I had heard of. Two years later, I am surprised the CD still works.

It was my melancholy album for the summer. It played in Meredith's alarm clock player in our tiny room while I fell asleep, while I did laundry or talked to people in our ghetto bathroom. On the computer upstairs while making food in the kitchen. In my discman while bussing it to work (except when I bussed with Karen, in which case we had many fascinating discussions). That doesn't sound like many places, but it is one of 3 albums I played repeatedly (the other two were Kirk Franklin's The Nu Nation Project and Grits The Art of Translation, one for joyful moments and one just for dancing).

I wish I could explain how deeply the lyrics and melodies affected and encouraged me. Edmonton wasn't an easy summer for me. It marked the beginning of a year-long spiritually dry period. And, in hindsight, it also marked the beginning of an intense period of growth. I consider myself an almost completely different person from the day Meredith, Ben and I arrived in Edmonton, took pictures of an exotic bird that turned out to be a magpie, and moved into our houses. I say almost because I think the people who knew me then would recognize me now. Ok, I know they would. But the way I think is different.

I am trying to grasp and then explain the relationship between Upstairs, Edmonton, and my heart. I cannot. What I know is this; listening to the album is the closest I will ever come to travelling back in time. I simultaneously feel peaceful and pained when I hear these words:

put down your paper plate
come to the table made
deep blue china
found on the table by the wine
so fine

it brings out flavor
like You bring out color in life

oh, i miss You so
the feel of forever
oh, that taste i know
it hurts to remember
unfortunately high
ironically dissatisfied
i miss You
i miss You

oh, i miss You so
the feel of forever
oh, that taste i know
it hurts to remember

i had a fleeting thought this morning
and i mentioned you today
it breaks my heart just to know You in part
and not to be with You where You are

(I Miss You)


holy design
this place in time
that i might seek and find my God
my God

Lord i want to yearn for You
i want to burn with passion
over You and only You
Lord i want to yearn

Your joy is mine
yet why am i fine
with all my singing and bringing grain
in light of Him

oh You give life and breath
through Him You give all things
in Him we live and move
that's why i sing
(Yearn)

September 16, 2006

Creative Juice

I haven't done any serious creative writing in a long time. Nothing more than jotting down thoughts here and there, nothing I'm overly proud of. But it's eating at me. I'm falling more in love with the written word and the power therein.

I decided to post a "postcard story" (a story that could fit on a postcard) from a class in 2nd year. Then I worried that I'd already posted it on my old blog, and it would seem really vain or cheezy or like I only have one piece of writing if I posted it again. I didn't post it. But I did find some other blogs and memories I'd forgotten about. I'm glad I found them.

I like the idea that my thoughts are out in cyber-space on a semi-permanent basis. But I have this fear that my site will disappear because I'm not maintaining it and all my thoughts and memories will be gone, and when I'm old and gray and can't remember what life was like when I was twenty-ish, it will be too late to do anything about it. I digress.

Back to Me

Last night I dreamt that you walked away from me. I was lying under a white duvet, & when I rolled over, you weren’t there. The sheets were warm, but cold air seeped in along my side; the firmness of your body had given way to a gaping hole. I could see your white Fruit-of-the-Loom undershirt facing into a startling darkness. I shivered.

What’s wrong? I asked. You mumbled something under your breath, but I didn’t understand.

I called again, but you didn’t answer. I called & called until I didn’t have any voice left. You ignored me. You never turned around, & I watched until the last of you dissolved into black. Then the blackness ate up the bed & the sheets & your pillow & my pillow & maybe even me.


This morning, when I woke up, I squinted into the sunlight. I couldn’t see you, and I rolled over into the hollow you had left behind. You sat on the edge of the bed, leaning over to pull your socks up.

Good morning. My voice croaked, and you acted as if you didn’t hear me.

I was warm, but the air was cold. I leaned over and reached for you, my fingertips grazing your bare back. Finally, you turned to me. You smiled, but I cried. Then you reached over and wiped a tear off my cheek with your thumb.

I wish I hadn’t had that dream. Maybe then I wouldn’t be so afraid every time your back is turned. Maybe then I wouldn’t stop breathing while I wait for you to turn around.

September 15, 2006

Second Cup & Williams Today

Sometimes, after I leave coffee shops, I can't quite tell if I smell like stale smoke or stale coffee. Then I have to change my clothes, because I wouldn't want people thinking I smoke. Or drink coffee.

September 14, 2006

GPL

I spend too much time on blogs. So today, I decided to spend my time well and visited the library instead.

Like Katie, I heart the library.

On my last visit, I picked up a couple of Canadian books: A Complicated Act of Kindness, to which my reaction is mixed; a historical fiction called Elle, which I didn't bother finishing and don't recommend; and A Tourist's Guide to Glengarry, which I thought I'd read since I lived in Edmonton briefly, but didn't manage to finish. I also chatted it up with an old colleague (yes, I worked at the library), and discovered that this past year she attended an Alpha course with the Sally Ann and has met Jesus! She's so excited about her faith and about all that she's learning as she read's God's Word. It was great to see.

Today, I picked out:
Tom Peter's Essentials: Leadership - it's flashy and little and multi-coloured. Must be good. Plus, he's apparently an innovative genius.

Sorry, I Don't Speak French
- how our lack of bilingualism is still a major problem here in Canada. Je suis vraiment excitée de lire cette livre.

I Lie For A Living
- a brief collection of the greatest spies of all times.

Adverbs: A Novel
- by the author of the Lemony Snicket stories, which I haven't read. The inside flap convinced me to pick it up:
Did you know that authors often write the summaries that appear on their book's dust jacket? You might want to think about that the next time you read something like, 'A dazzling page-turner, this novel shows an internationally acclaimed storyteller at the height of his astonishing powers.'
...This novel is about people trying to find love in the ways it is done before the valcano erupts and the miracle ends. Yes, there's a volcano in the novel. In my opinion a volcano automatically makes a story more interesting.
A dazzling page-turner, this novel shows an internationally acclaimed storyteller at the height of his astonishing powers.

September 13, 2006

Oh Google Video...

People think that George Bush isn't funny...

And for those of us who like the beat but not the video for Hips Don't Lie...

Box 'o Books

Back in August, or maybe even July, I sent a box of books ahead of me to Vancouver. Last night, I was thinking of all the things inside that I sort of wish I had with me.


Heart of Darkness - the book that got me thinking about this box. So powerful. So dark. So unfortunately accurate, I think. "The horror, the horror!"


Zoolander - on VHS. With special trailers and funny clips at the end. Conversations like this:

(in a mock interview)
Zoolander: You know, originally, I was hoping the role would go to Will Smith.
Ben Stiller : Will Smith is black, Derek.
Zoolander: So? You've got a problem with that? [makes famous "Black Steel" look]

(during a mock Cribs tour of Zoolander's house)
Zoolander: This is my late dog, Hector. We had him bronzed and put to sleep. I think if I were to do it again, I'd do it the other way around. [makes famous "Black Steel" look]


A Man for All Seasons - the paperback play about Thomas More. I think I could reread this classic right about now. So many great lines in this play too:

More: I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

More: God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind. If He suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can, and, yes, Meg, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for it. But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass. Our natural business lies in escaping.


The Glasgow Bible - with all the bru-ha-ha about Scotland Project starting up, I'm wishing I had this collection of Bible stories in Glaswegian dialect, to brush up on my Scots accent...


my journals - again, thinking about Scotland makes me want to re-read my thoughts from my last trip there...but they are sitting in a box in Vancouver.


Swing Kids - not just a great movie about WWII. With all my spare time, I could probably learn how to swing dance too. "Zeig Heil!"


I've GOT to catch up to that box.

September 12, 2006

Ummm

Back at the beginning of August, someone posted a comment on my old blog, which I haven't really been to lately...but I was there today, and I saw their comment. And since I don't know who you are, "disappointed" - if you still read my blog, I've left you a comment.

That is all. I hope you read this, whoever you are.

Blog Etiquette & Your Privacy

I had a thought last night - what are the rules/acceptable behaviours about posting things that involve others? At what point do I have to get permission or have someone sign a waiver saying I'm allowed to write about them? Where's the "privacy policy" line that is drawn (or is there such a thing)?

Can I write about a conflict with someone, if I don't say who it was with? What about an embarrassing moment? Can I talk about lessons I've learned from others' lives? What about simple memories?

And do the rules change if the person reads the blog? What if they don't read it but mutual friends do? If they don't read it at all, then is me posting about things any different than talking about them behind their backs?

edit: I don't mean this in a creepy way, like I'm about to publicize all my friends' deep secrets on the net. But if I know I'm talking about you and you know I'm talking about you, is it crossing the line even if others don't know I'm talking about you?

September 11, 2006

2072

Someday, when you move into a nursing home, I promise that I'll come and visit. Maybe I won't be driving anymore; I'll ask that nice girl from church to bring me. She's a sweet girl, so I'm sure she will. It'll be nice for her to drive me. I'll sit and look out the window and try not to worry about the traffic. We'll stop by and pick up Dave; he doesn't live too far away, and I know he'll want to see you too.

When we get to your home, the girl from church will hold the door for me and get my walker. I won't walk quite as fast then, but I won't be in such a hurry to get everywhere either. I'll sigh, maybe a bit frustrated that I can't open the door for myself.

Inside, a cheerful woman will be sitting at a desk. We'll tell her that we've come to visit you, and she'll call up to your floor.

"Someone will bring her right down for you. Do you want to wait in there?" She'll motion to the lounge, and we'll make our way over. Me with my walker, Dave holding onto the railing they've got along the wall, and the girl from the church, matching her pace to our snail's crawl.

We'll sit down. Slowly. My knees are stiff, and I drop the last bit of the way into the chair. I can't make as smooth a transition as I used to. The chairs will be fluffy. So big that I almost feel lost. Mind you, I'm not quite as big as I used to be, either. You're a bit bigger than you used to be. But neither of us fits our skin anymore. Even Dave doesn't quite fit. You'd never guess now what a looker he was when we were young.

A nurse will bring you down in your wheelchair. Ever since your fall, you've been pretty slow. Slower even then me. So you don't walk too much. She'll push you into our little circle.

"Ya'll just let someone at the front know when you're done, and I'll come back, ok?"

We'll thank her and say hello to you. Reach over and pat your hand.

"Hello, love. How're you doing?"

"Oh, today's been quite the day. I'm all in a tizzy. I just got back to my room."

"Oh dear. What's happened?"

"There was this program this afternoon. A concert in here. And I knew I shouldn't have come, because it's too much for me. Since my fall...Well, some people can get talked into anything, and the chap down the hall wanted me to come along, so I did. But then everything was going wrong, and so we left. But we were just getting back when he just passed out! I didn't know what to do. I had to get into the room and it took quite a bit of effort. But then I got in and I pulled the rope and they came. And I don't know what's happened, because I just got back to my room and I haven't seen him since. But it was quite frightening. The poor chap; he's had quite a hard life, you know. He's younger than I am, but he's not been well for quite awhile. I'd be surprised if he lives - well, if he lives another two months."

"Oh my, that does sound like quite the excitement."

"I just got back to my room, and I was so tired out. All the excitement! He just passed out, and then I had to pull the rope. And the concert in here; there were people dancing, people older than me, 90 and 100-year olds, dancing like they were 15! I don't know where they get the energy. Mind you, I don't have much of a desire to dance anyway. But I don't know how they do it. It's too much for me, I tell you. I don't think I'll come to a concert again. Especially if the chap that makes me come passes out when we get back!"

"Oh, I think you should try. For as long as you can, at least. It's good to have things to do."

"My son John and Nancy came to visit yesterday. We went out to the place we like to visit. It was a lovely day, but I was so tired out by the end. I think he was too - he's not used to me not being self-sufficient. It was a good visit. We went to the place we like so much."

"John and Nancy - where do they live again?"

"Mmm?"

Dave will ask, a bit louder and slower,
"John and Nancy: where do they live?"

You might pause a bit before you say, "John, yes, my son. And Nancy. Nancy's his wife. They came for a visit yesterday."

We'll nod and pretend that's what we asked you.

"And Ashley came for a visit last week. You remember Ashley?"

I won't quite remember Ashley. But Dave does. You'll prompt me with the house she lived in when we were little, and the time the three of us pretended the teeter-totter on her swing set was a horse. I still don't remember Ashley, but I'll remember the swing set, and that will get us talking about a whole lot of memories and people from back then.

That girl from church will sit and smile and listen. When she doesn't think I notice, I catch her looking out the window. She isn't really paying attention, but she doesn't seem to mind being here. She was so nice, driving right up to the front door so I didn't have to try the steps. But she must not be all that interested in hearing about our lives. Dave will think the same thing.

"Must be a bit boring, hanging out with us old folks, eh?" He'll ask her.

"No, no," She'll reassure us, "I think it's interesting! You've lived through things I've only read about. Like 9/11 and the invention of the computer, and CDs...it's really neat. And each of the people you talk about - their not just a name, but an entire life. It makes me curious about them. Plus, it's neat how you've known each other for so long, but there are still little things that you don't know. Like how Dave has never liked cherries. And things you've forgotten, like Ashley."

Content, we'll return to our conversation. You'll tell us again about your day, and your visit yesterday, and what life is like here. Dave tells you about his family, and we'll talk about how we fill our days.

Before you know it, it'll be time to go. The nice girl will get my walker and help me find the washroom before we leave (even my bladder isn't what it used to be), and while we're gone, you'll have your most lucid moment. You'll ask Dave how his son is doing, what with losing his wife last year and all that sadness. I'm glad you remembered; Dave will be pleased, and he might even mention it on the way back to his son's place. She asked about my son, you know. Wasn't that nice of her? And she remembered! I didn't think she would, since we hadn't even mentioned him today.

After we drop Dave off, the girl will turn to me with a smile.

"Home we go! Did you enjoy your visit?"

"Oh, I did. I'm glad we were able to come. I'm glad you were able to drive. We couldn't have done it without you, you know."

"I know. I was happy to help out."

"Well, thank you. I have a little something for you, just to say thank you..."

I'll put an envelope in her purse. She'll protest of course and say I don't need to do that. I'll say that I know, but I want to. I don't know if I want her to refuse and give it back or not. I'm not rich, but I'm still independent, and I don't want her pity.

I might doze off on the way home. It's been a long day, and even if all I did was sit in the car, it sure tired me out. She'll bring me home though, and once I get there, it'll take me a little while to get out of my nice clothes before I can find a bit of supper and go to bed. I'll enjoy the visit, but I might be glad I only make it twice a year. I won't want to push myself, you know.

September 9, 2006

Brother Lawrence

After years of recommendations, I've finally started reading Practicing the Presence of God, written by a monk in the 17th century, I believe. It's phenomenal. I'm amazed by the heritage of the saints, the people whose footsteps I long to follow.

I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King; touched with a sensible regret I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands, that He may do what He pleases with me. This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favourite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.

He complains much of our blindness; and cries often that we are to be pitied who content ourselves with so little. GOD, saith he, has infinite treasure to bestow, and we take up with a little sensible devotion which passes in a moment. Blind as we are, we hinder GOD, and stop the current of His graces. But when He finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith, He pours into it His graces and favours plentifully; there they flow like a torrent, which, after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course, when it has found a passage, spreads itself with impetuosity and abundance.
Yes, we often stop this torrent, by the little value we set upon it. But let us stop it no more: let us enter into ourselves and break down the bank which hinders it. Let us make way for grace; let us redeem the lost time, for perhaps we have but little left; death follows us close, let us be well prepared for it; for we die but once, and a miscarriage there is irretrievable.
I say again, let us enter into ourselves. The time presses: there is no room for delay; our souls are at stake. I believe you have taken such effectual measures, that you will not be surprised. I commend you for it, it is the one thing necessary: we must, nevertheless, always work at it, because not to advance, in the spiritual life, is to go back. But those who have the gale of the HOLY SPIRIT go forward even in sleep. If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms, let us awake the LORD, who reposes in it, and He will quickly calm the sea.

September 7, 2006

See-Saw

Which is worse? A day that is totally frustrating, or a day that brings you high and drops you low?

I think an up and down day is worse cause it's harder on you. Every time you start looking up, down you go. But then you can't really mope, cause something drops into your lap, and to whine at that moment is just plain ungrateful!

good things
- meeting with Heather R
- 2 unexpected supporters!
- two more appts made!
- ulti game is AMAZING - taking it to a whole new level. we play a chinch and a wedge. we cut, we throw, we catch hammers (I don't, obviously), we come back and win 16-15.
- I have a place to live in Vancouver [this isn't today, but it's sooooo good it counts]

bad things
- I don't get to meet with Kelly V, because my car won't start
- car still won't start and is back in the garage (it was there yesterday to replace the fan belt)
- I messed up a bill payment and spent 1.5 hours talking to 4 different representatives in 3 different calls to try clearing it up. end result; i have to sort it out with my old roommate instead of the company
- people I've been calling for 2 weeks still aren't home


At the end of the day, I'd say this was actually pretty balanced. But the highs were so high and the lows were so low that it makes me tired all over. So off to sleepland I go...

September 6, 2006

Revisiting

Revisiting my childhood, as I look around my friend's house out in the country, where we climbed trees, rode her horse, played with her gorgeous homemade dollhouse, swam, read, played Dutch Blitz, cooked, and generally were little girls.

Revisiting high school, when I walk into someone's house and see the giraffe mask given to me by a high school friend and sold by me at our church's recent Community Day garage sale.

Revisiting my first missions trip when I walked by The Rainforest Cafe where Heather and my family saw me off on a school bus to Florida for "The Lord's Bootcamp."

Revisiting my uni days (not so long ago) as I walk through Yorkdale Mall. Last time I was there was with a bunch of students, just after Christmas, looking for people to talk to about God and Jesus...that was the day I realized that this ministry is what I want to do, what God has gifted me to do.

Revisiting my visit to Lyds in early August, as I walk on the U of T campus with a friend who's just starting nursing.

Revisiting LAST NIGHT as I try to think of the fastest way off the 401 in a traffic jam...

addition: Revisiting first year, as I hang out in the newly renovated Red Papaya, where the food is still delicious and only slightly more expensive than when I checked out the new Vietnamese-Thai place four years ago!

End of Night Thoughts

I like driving by myself at night and listening to good tunes on the radio. I'm a station hopper. Tonight, on the way home from Lyd's b-day bash (gooooo, Lyds!) I sang along with:

Sweetest Thing [classic.]
Where Do You Go (My Lovely)? [as if! I haven't heard this one in years!]
Girl, Put Your Records On [I like this.]
Can I Go Nowhere With You? [A current favourite. Best line: "I'm so cheap, I might as well be free."]
You and Me [Ooh, Sarah, another sappy one to add to your list!]
500 Miles [Sarah, OUR song. Keep it off your list.]

I think there were others. But it is late and I forget. My other end of night thoughts will have to wait.

September 4, 2006

OED - I Am A Nerd

One of the many wonderful things I learned in History of the English Language with Professor SDP is the mighty power of the Oxford English Dictionary. Not only does it offer definitions, it also gives the etymology (history) and examples, pronunciation key, quotations, AND date chart! There's also a wonderful feature: "Lost for Words" - you click on it and are taken to a random entry for your perusing delight! Tonight, I came across these words (yes, I'm reading the dictionary for fun). I dare you to try using them sometime this week.
{I've had to edit some of the fascinating content because the fonts don't show up unless you're in Mozilla. Go Mozilla.}

chiliagon:

A plane figure with a thousand angles.

1692
NORRIS Curs. Refl. 27 A Chiliagon, whose Angles we cannot represent in a distinct view, but may clearly understand it. 1724 WATTS Logic I. iii. §4 (1822) 46 When we speak of a chiliagonum. 1818 HALLAM Mid. Ages IV. iii, He brings forward, as a great discovery, the equality of the angles of a chiliagon to 1996 right angles.


dandilly
[app. a deriv. of DANDLE v.]

A. adj. Petted, spoiled by being made too much of. Jamieson also gives the meaning ‘Celebrated’. B. n. A pet, a darling.

1500-20 DUNBAR Schir, it remembir 62, I wes inowth on nureiss kne, [cald] Dandely, bischop, dandely. 1697 CLELAND Poems 76 (Jam.) The fate of some [that] were once Dandillies, Might teach the younger stags and fillies, Not for to trample poor cart-horse. 17.. in R. Jamieson Pop. Songs (1806) I. 324 (Jam.) And he has married a dandily wife, She wadna shape, nor yet wad she sew. a1808 ROSS Songs 145 (Jam.) The dandilly toast of the parish Is woo'd and married and a'. 1818 SCOTT Br. Lamm. xxxiv, Yon dandilly maiden..a' glistenin' wi' goud and jewels.

Marital Food for Thought

I am not into boy-bashing. I am not pointing fingers and laying blame. I think we need to be careful not to just read stats/theories, say "Yup, it's true," and expect things to be different.That is my disclaimer.

I just skimmed a couple of fascinating articles that my friend had up on her blog. They are both about marriage, specifically male reluctance toward marriage. They are controversial.
Reflecting on the Mystery of Marriage
Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend

Here are the most thought-provoking passages:
Mystery of Marriage

Singleness is not a sin, but deliberate singleness on the part of those who know they have not been given the gift of celibacy is, at best, a neglect of a Christian responsibility. The problem may be simple sloth, personal immaturity, a fear of commitment, or an unbalanced priority given to work and profession. On the part of men, it may also take the shape of a refusal to grow up and take the lead in courtship. There are countless Christian women who are prayerfully waiting for Christian men to grow up and take the lead. What are these guys waiting for?

The delay of marriage has caused any number of ills in the larger society, and in the church. Honesty compels us to admit that this is indeed tied to levels of sexual promiscuity and frustration, even as it means that many persons are now marrying well into their adult years, missing the opportunity of growing together as a young couple, and putting parenthood potentially at risk.

It should be clear that when I spoke of a pattern of sin in the delay of marriage, I was certainly not attributing that sin to them. To the contrary, as one who believes wholeheartedly in the biblical pattern of complementarity and in the male responsibility to lead, I charge young men with far greater responsibility for this failure. The extension of a "boy culture" into the 20s and 30s, along with a sense of uncertainty about the true nature of male leadership, has led many young men to focus on career, friends, sports, and any number of other satisfactions when they should be preparing themselves for marriage and taking responsibility to grow up, be the man, and show God's glory as husband and father.

Stop Test-Driving
So your goal should not be to date her long enough until you're confident marriage won't be hard, but to date her just long enough to discern if you're willing to love her sacrificially, and if she's willing to respond to that kind of love.

Remember that to commit does not mean to settle.

Does this mean you should just "settle" for the first Christian woman who comes along? No, not at all. You should be making this decision in light of the qualities held out in Scripture for a godly wife, and you should marry the godliest, most fruitful, most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you.

But you also need to be aware that you live in a culture that says the ultimate good in life is to always keep your options open, and that any commitment is inevitably "settling" for less than you could have tomorrow. You must reject that kind of thinking for the worldly garbage that it is. Did Jesus Christ settle for the church? No, he loved the church, and gave his life as a ransom for her (Mark 10:45).

If you're intrigued (or still reading), these articles are relevant/interesting too.
Why College Men Aren't Ready To Marry
Why College Women Aren't Ready to Marry

September 2, 2006

Magic Show

Jamie and Jen are two of the funniest people that I know. Watch this video - a live performance at Staff Conference '06. Due to Vanessa's brilliant videography, you might want to turn your laptop sideways for improved viewing, if you happen to be on a laptop.

ed note: Vanessa is right. Much better footage here. Also, watch the other clips. Especially Shirley. And Leonard getting his head cut off. You're right, Karen, he does survive.