Internet Nana

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The internet pipes aligned this afternoon for the first time in weeks and we were able to get a connection with the granddaughters in Wisconsin. What a treat.

After a nice long visit which included virtual tickling one another, and explaining why she had been drawing on her arm, she was excited about doing some book reading with nana. They get the same book on each end of the line, and then read them.

It's a pretty cool use of technology and moments are shared over the wires.


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It could go on for hours, but finally she asks for just one more, and of course she chooses the longest book on the shelf.

This little girl is growing up so quickly, its fun when we can spend a little time with her.




A Tuesday in October

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It’s early morning prayer here today and so I walked over to the church in the dark and made coffee and heated the water for the guys who wanted tea. There were seven of us there today, and it was good. We laugh and talk and check up on how each other is doing. And we pray. It’s a challenging time to pray but what’s surprising is that God is up at 6:30 am Mountain Standard Time.

So I’m at my desk early, and it’s a mess. The past few weeks have been stressful at work as we help the congregation discern some possible changes in space and building, so my clean study hasn’t been near the top of my list.

Now that piece of church life is done and so I look at my piles on my desk and I’m making appointments to connect with people again. I have about a week until our holidays finally start and so I am putting myself in a tight place again.

Holidays will be good. They have been delayed this year, mainly so we could be around to help the church process these things, but they are much needed now. I can tell that because my patience level is now down to a thin membrane that is holding, but rest is needed. I told the guys this morning that I expect to be sitting in my lawn chair in the front yard next week with a cool drink in my hand, so the weather better hold.

The sun is coming up over the horizon now so I’ll check if we have internet now, and if so then we’ll post this. This day is full of board and deacon and staff meetings so we better get at it.

Just a day in the life of a pastor.



Looking West


Living in the grey

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Harvest Rain


The grey here is almost real.
I think that sometimes the grey creeps into my life too easily. Except that I love the grey places. I welcome the grey. I can go into the grey and find real beauty.
Yes there is a strong black and a white on both ends of life, but in between are so many levels of grey.

The grey of an inmate in prison who gets caught between administering bodies, caught with no hope and no help.
They grey of the elderly who long for some simple companionship who see a visit from a guy like me as a highlight to their week.
How about the grey of a loved one who's life became so bad that the only way out they saw was suicide, in spite of their 13 and 15 year old kids.
Or the grey of a young high school student struggling with their sexual identity.

Yes we go into the grey to help and to care for the ones who live there. We try to bring a bit of light and maybe a bit of hope to some grey stories.

That's what my last few weeks have been about, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Into the Grey Havens.



I wouldn't make a great farmer

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This week has been a very busy week as we make plans for autumn and work with the church here to discern it's future building needs. Along with that and almost on cue, the septic system here blew out and so there have been people here for two days trying to make it all happy again.

But yeah, busy. So here I am at my office on a Saturday with no sermon in the works yet. Tomorrow is tricky because its our Start Up Sunday with classes for everyone and communion and a bbq lunch, so there isn't a lot of time for a 45 minute or even a 25 minute sermon. I'm half thinking and half praying for inspiration.


Prairies. Early harvest.


But the office windows are open and I can hear the hard work going on out there in the local fields. The combines are running and harvest is underway here. It always makes the locals a bit jittery as they wait to get out there and harvest what they can get. That can make the community kind of jumpy and act out in certain ways. It's an added stress to the already many stresses that make up farming life.

Some have had serious hail damage and have lost so much, others have had sudden rain, lots of rain, and while they wait to go, the neighbour who had no rain is out there harvesting a good dry crop.

I'd be freaking out too if I was a farmer. I wouldn't be able to rest until the crop was all in, and that would probably mean from the time I put the seed in the ground till the time I got the crop off I'd be a mess. Yeah, I'd be a lousy farmer that way.  Lot's of pressure and dependence on external uncontrollable things like the weather.

So I'm trying to take the things they would normally be expected to do here at church, and do them instead. I can give lots of energy and time to rewriting drafts and thinking through processes etc. Hopefully that frees them to focus on fields and crops and like that.

Ah the combines are growing quieter now, must be moving on to another field.

These are the rhythms of life in a field and in a church. Both require patience and good timing. The better you are at those things, the better the crop that is harvested.
I suppose that goes for work in a field or in a church.



Sudden Storm

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Sudden Storm

A sudden storm comes late in the summer.
A phone call changes everything.
Lost and found loved ones, life changes.
Death creates a storm that rages all around us.
People die, and the world goes on.

Feels surreal. Feels empty.
There is a space now, where there was a person.
Memories remain, dreams are lost, 
I never expected it.
This sudden storm.