Father’s Day Sunday, Jun 17 2007 

When Father’s Day comes around my thoughts always reflect back on the dad in my life.  In my young years of growing up, I didn’t much appreciate who he was and what he stood for, but as I have moved along in my maturity and age I am embracing more and more of what he was so much a part of.  As I have been doing alot of reading on “kingdom work” and being “missional” in how we live, I realize how blessed I am to have been raised in an environment where this was actually just the way my dad lived, and I can look back and see a picture of what kingdom and missional living is all about, as I have a living example to relate to.  Dad’s spirituality was how he lived and was interwoven into everything he did.  I realize that as I teach and speak to people, so much of my theology was developed from what dad taught at the breakfast table every morning, and the Sunday School classes he taught for years, and which I attended.  I never thought it out of the ordinary that dad never used a book to follow when he taught, it just came out of him.  I can remember him sitting with his open Bible on Sunday mornings, and sitting with his eyes closed, and now I know he was reflecting on Scripture and what it would mean for each of us in a practical way in our lives.  He would talk about a Scriptural principle and then he would say, “Now how do we live?” Good question…how does this relate to our ordinary life that we live every day.  Now if dad was reading this, he would probably be somewhat embarrassed by my words, but that is the influence he has been on my life.  He continues to mentor me and I ponder over and over the many things I learned from him over the years, and only now I am beginning to understand them and make them part of my life.  As you can see, I am a slow learner.  Hopefully somehow along the way these same principles are being passed on to the people around me.  My dad had no idea how his life would influence the people around him, he just lived his life the best way he knew how, loving God, loving his family…not perfectly but still loving them…loving his neighbour…and hopefully loving himself and embracing the person God created him to be…thanks dad…your influence continues to change me.

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Update Friday, Jun 8 2007 

Life is going along with a few bumps and grinds. As I was pulling weeds at the church today I was thinking about how weeds are like sin in our life. If we ignore them they grow big and take over the good stuff in our lives. But if we pull them out by the root when they are small and if we do this consistently, the good shrubs and growth around us grows with vigor and with health. As we liken this to our lives we need to keep short accounts of the junk in our lives and make sure we get to the root of it so it won’t grow again. If we just cut off the top the root grows again and we have to deal with it all over again. My lesson today from pulling weeds by the roots. I also keep thinking and singing about “This is my Father’s World” and we have a responsibility to keep it in good health and to keep it healthy and green. Just some of my thoughts from today.

Reaching out to our Innermost Self… Tuesday, Feb 13 2007 

I have been reading Henri Nouwen’s book “Reaching out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life”.  The first movement is from loneliness to solitude.  I have been reflecting on the whole loneliness issue as Tamara and I were talking about it a few days ago.  As I was reading this afternoon, I came across the following written by Henri Nouwen, and it has given me a very different perspective of loneliness.  Here is what he says…

“But what then can we do with our essential aloneness which so often breaks into our consciousness as the experience of a desperate sense of loneliness?…Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude.  To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.  This requires not only courage but also a strong faith.  As hard as it is to believe that the dry desolate desert can yield endless varieties of flowers, it is equally hard to imagine that our loneliness is hiding unknown beauty.  The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.

…Often we go to good men and women with our problems in the secret hope that they will take our burden away from us and free us from our loneliness.  Frequently the temporary relief they offer only leads to a stronger recurrence of the same pains when we are again by ourselves.  But sometimes we meet and hear that exceptional person who says:  “Do not run, but be quiet and silent.  Listen attentively to your own struggle.  The answer to your question is hidden in your own heart.””

I kind of look at it like this…when we move to embracing our loneliness and moving it to a releasing solitude, we become our own best friend!

Just some thoughts Thursday, Jan 25 2007 

Over the past while I have been doing some soul searching on what lies ahead for me.  I turned 59 in December which means I am now in my 60th year and I am reflecting on what the next 10 years could hold for me. Who do I want to become? Where am I  heading?  Who am I at my core and what do I want to show forth from my life?  I am thinking I am going to need some silence and solitude to do some deep reflecting on who I am right now and where I sense God wanting to lead me and ultimately change me.  I am not sure what that looks like, but I am contemplating what the next few months could look and feel like.  As I have said to Jerry, and some other close friends, I feel my shallowness and I don’t want to stay there.  I want my relationship with God to move forward and I have a discontent within my core that I believe is leading me to something new.  I am afraid and I am excited.  I just read an excerpt from a book by Allan Hirsch “The Forgotten Ways:Reactivating the missional church”…lots of food for thought. 

The words that have been resonating in my innermost being are “Be still and know that I am God” and “…in quietness and confidence shall be your strength”.  The words that particularly draw me are “be still” and “in quietness”.  There is always so much activity; things to do; places to go; people to talk with; causes to be fight; the words “still” and “quiet” do not come up in those activities.  Holy Spirit guide me is my prayer.

“The arms of the Father are open wide and all are welcome to come in” Thursday, Dec 7 2006 

As I have met with different people this week, I again realize that life isn’t always easy and people experience so much hurt and pain in their lives…but what is always so amazing and is so encouraging is how even in the pain and hurt of these experiences they have experienced the all consuming and sustaining love of our all loving Heavenly Father.

“The arms of the Father are open wide and all are welcome to come in”

Silent Retreat Thursday, Nov 16 2006 

My Silent Directed Retreat was amazing! The Spiritual Director I had was so awesome! I will definitely do it again only I will do it for a longer period of time. I would like to work my way up to a 30 day retreat sometime in the future. The setting was at Queen’s House of Retreats which is so quiet and has so many nooks for one to sit and reflect. Certainly refreshing to my inner being!

We are off to Canmore for two weeks. We have been offerred a place to stay for a couple of weeks so are heading out tomorrow morning. My sister Joanne and her husband Dwight will be joining us the first week, and hopefully my good friend Kelly will come for the following week. It will be much relaxing, reading, doing coffee, visiting, playing cards/games, and anything else that doesn’t take much energy. Probably a couple of trips into Calgary as well, but all in all a relaxing time!

Spiritual Direction Thursday, Nov 9 2006 

Have had a terrible chest cold which is finally running its course! My cough still sounds awful, but I actually feel pretty good.

Have a busy weekend ahead of me. I taught a class of 22 last Saturday and am doing followup on the people who attended. I am going to my first Silent Directed Retreat this coming week. I will be receiving spiritual direction during this retreat, but otherwise I will be on my own with designated readings, prayer. I am looking forward to it. It will be a new experience.