Lauralea's on the phone with Graham Kerr

Uh yeah that's what I said, Graham Kerr.

He emailed her, with his own cell phone number, asked her to give him a call when she had a moment.

Yeah, first name basis with the celebs around here, uh huh.

What's been funnier is watching her screw up the courage to call him and fuss about it.

(I think she did her hair first...)

So, now she's talking with him like an old friend from out of town, comparing receipies, strategies for diabetic cooking.

She's still nervous though, keeps clearing her throat...

I told her to say hi from me, a fan from his Galloping Gourmet days. But I don't think that's at the top of her list right now.

She's having a right good old visit now.

But she will post on it when she's come down off the call. (She seems to be saying "Oh thank you" alot)

Cool day indeed.

Lauralea.ca and her cooking blog, lauraleacooks.com

Check em out.

Prayer Service for George Goulet

Wednesday night at 7 pm at the Prince Albert Apostolic Church (1779-15th Street West) there will be a public wake for George Goulet.

George lived in and belonged to Prince Albert in ways that are not always easy to understand, but he was a part of us. And though his life was not always wonderful or his choices ones we might agree with, he loved Jesus.

We invite you to attend this memorial and to say thank you to God for George.

And so it goes, and so it goes...

And so at 4:35 this afternoon little Olivia Kate Vandersluys entered this world.

A blessed package of joy in a bit of a dreary day.

May God bless you little Olivia with a long, full, and blessed life on this orb. And when you are done here may you find an eternity of joy knowing your Creator, and those who walked through life with you.

Mom and dad are doing well, but especially mom.

Congratulations Vandersluys's.

(Oh, and it's ok if Dixie misses tomorrow on the drums!)

Robert Webber Dead

Via Jamie
Dear friends,

Bob Webber died Friday at 6:10 PM (Eastern time) in his wife, Joanne's arms, after his 8 month battle with pancreatic cancer.

A public memorial service in the Chicago-area is being planned, details will be posted on Northern Seminary's website: www.seminary.edu.

Please keep Joanne and the family in your prayers.

"Depart, O Christian soul, out of this world; in the name of God the Father Almighty who created you; in the name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you; in the name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you. May your rest be this day in peace, and your dwelling place in the Paradise of God. Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Bob. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen."

I have appreciated Bob's writings and work for a long time.
This is sad news.

Thank you Father for the gifts you gave to us through your servant Bob.

George

I actually have been waiting for the call that finally came this afternoon. It came in the form of a visit of a distant relative looking for information on how to contact my friend's children. It seems that he was found dead in his apartment today.

Life was anything but easy for him. He grew up with a severe learning disability, FAS, and was in foster homes all his life. He had an addiction to alcohol that more often than not he lost the battle to.

He rarely had any food and was on a form of social assistance that would help keep him in a derelict cold messy apartment where he could sleep.

He was a friendly guy mostly, but he got beat up a lot. He was rolled often as people took what little he had.

He had an approach to life that was pretty easy going. One day he would have money to live on and the next he would have nothing, but tomorrow was always a new day. He would do odd jobs for people who would give him some cash, and he would collect bottles and get some money together, and he would hit the road and hitch-hike to some distant province to "visit" friends. But he would always find his way back home, to Prince Albert.

And he had faith. Faith in God, faith in Jesus Christ. He would always ask me to keep him in my prayers and we would pray together.

After a particularly long drunk or after he had been beaten up again, in frustration he would sob at me "How long will this keep going on?" Both his questions and my responses always spoke to the eternal "How long," rather than some temporal answer. I would answer "I don't know George, I just don't know," and I would think but on that day you will be free of the addictions that torture you, and the limitations that have ruled your life and you shall be free indeed.

I am glad that day came sooner for him than later. I think it shows how much his God loved him.

George Goulet, today you shall be with your God in paradise. Enjoy.

I will miss you.

I see the light

I think its fair to say that last weekend was a satisfying accomplishment. We did something well, and our efforts and approach have been affirmed and encouraged by many emails and calls. Yeah, it feels good to be a success at something. Really.

And before this weekend was Easter, and before Easter was some board work for the Covenant Bible College, and before that was something else, I forget now what it was. But before that was Christmas and all that Jazz.

This week as I've been trying to change gears just a bit, I've realized a few things.

I realized that it's next to impossible to shift gears from 5th gear straight down to first. Things like sprockets and gears and such get sheared off and ground away. It just happens so you gotta treat life with a little respect is all.

I also realized how much I miss recording my ongoing story here. Not just blathering on into the ether, but actually thinking through my day, my life, in bite sized chunks, and writing some of it down. It helps me to live in the present you know? It helps me to enjoy the now, and not bemoan the past or cheer for the future. And that is one of the benefits of keeping some kind of a record. It just forces you to sit down and think about your day and life and the good and bad.  It is a spiritual discipline of sorts, and I've missed it.

So next I gotta get to work on my passport so I can get to Chicago for class this summer. Then next week I have to be in Calgary for some meetings. After which I need to complete a couple of major assignments for my class due mid May...

But I am closer to the finish line than I was a week ago. And that's alright. It's not like a lot of time was wasted, and much good has been accomplished. But it will be good to see a break.

So it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train.

The Evangelical Covenant Church

continues to grow at an astounding rate:
The growth of the ECC continues on the same solid trajectory. Based on the November attendance survey, on any given weekend 166,000 people are worshipping in ECC congregations. This is a 3.1 percent increase. In the past ten years the ECC has grown by 56 percent. The total constituency of the ECC (those who would claim an ECC congregation as their church) is in excess of 250,000. Fully 22 percent of ECC congregations are ethnic or multi-ethnic.
If these trends continue, by the year 2020 the ECC will roughly be 275,000 in attendance in 1,100 churches, 36 percent of which will be ethnic and multi-ethnic. ECC and conference leadership will soon begin to look at these growth points with regard to structural capacity issues, leadership development, ECC identity and cohesion, and so on.

I've been doing this gig long enough to know that numbers are not all it's about. Like I've said before we could probably offer free beer and pizza after each service and see the numbers increase.

What I like seeing is that this historically white bunch of folks is growing mostly from our ethnic and multi-ethnic churches. Presently we see that 22 percent of the churches are churches of more colour. That is expected to increase to 36 percent by 2020.

Cool.

You can read more of the latest report here.

Ok, well the other thing I can do from my pergola?

I can phone my siblings via Skype and check on my mom who had surgery today.

Now that is just sweet.

Oh, and there was a small complication with my mom, but all should be well and she should be ok.

Backyard Blogging

First there was the internet, available via the phone line in a corner of my basement.

Then there came the internet on it's own highspeed cable directly into my house.

Finally there came the internet on the wings of WiFi, available anywhere in my house.

Now, for the first time ever, the internet, available on the wings of WiFi, in my back yard, sitting on my swinging couch.

Isn't it cool being a part of a technological revolution?

Oh yes it is.

Now where's that G&T?

Getting ready for Sabbatical

I wanted a Hammock last summer.

In fact, I've wanted a hammock as long as I have been a home-owner, longer even.

You know, some place relaxing outdoors to while away the warm summer minutes between supper and my evening meetings.

Well, I never got one, mainly because I didn't have two strong sturdy trees to hang it between, so that I wouldn't break the trees with my person. Oh, and I hate sap falling on me too.

So, I've pretty much given up the whole nap outside thing.

Until this week.

Lauralea and I were at a store earlier this week picking up a few things, and we walked through their summer furniture section and we saw and tried out one of those covered swinging couch things.

And I was hooked.

Lauralea has wanted one for a long time, but cheap me didn't. Winter and all and only using it a few months a year...

Then I sat down on it. Not bad at all.

Then I pushed the back down and laid down on it.

Ah, there, that's it. I was into this.

After I woke up and we left the store, we agreed on the idea.

And, after checking the numbers and dealing with the luxury guilt, we got one yesterday.

The guys and I got it set up and I put a rather ugly tarp over the pergola, to offer some shade and protection from the weather and flying beer bottles from the neighbours, and we were in business.

Tonight seems to be a night free of professional activities, well except for all my homework, so I think I shall find my way out there, and watch the evening pass by.

Hey, maybe I could drag the TV out there and watch the NHL Playoffs while reclining on my new hide-a-bed, covered, outdoor couch!

Bring on the summer.

When sickness comes to stay.

Hey, remember last weekend when I had that cold/flu thing?

Yeah, that thing.

Well, now Lauralea has it.

This has been such an evil year for us, cold and flu wise. I honestly don't remember a worse winter for the two of us catching and being so sick.

Kinda takes the wind out of the sails.

You begin to just exist.

First big task, get out of bed.

Second huge and overwhelming task, brush your teeth.

And so it goes, until you drag your sorry self to bed to lay awake coughing all night long.

You want to be well and do all those things you have planned to do.

You remember what it was like to be well, and you just wish you could be there without this thing to carry around too.

You feel the pressure of life because there are things expected of you, by others and by yourself.

But you can't, because you are sick.

And so it's emotionally overwhelming too.

I think that's probably what my dad felt like during the last few years of his life.

Happy Birthday Lauralea

Well, today marked the completion of Lauralea's 44th year on this ball of fun. Or is it the end of the 43rd... I forget. Grandpa would know.

So we hopped into the Velvet Fog and took Hillary home to Saskatoon, then we hit McNally Robinson book store and Starbucks and a Lucky Dollar that sells Mennonite farmer Sausage.

Kind of a low key Birthday, but then again I think we are both a little low key these days. She has caught my sickness and now we are both coughing and hurting with sore throats. Yumm.

And we are still trying to catch up on our sleep, but that might just take some time.

This is always the fun part of year for me, because its the time that she is older than I am. She is 44 and I am a mere baby of 43, and she doesn't forget it!

Interesting to think that I have been with her longer than anyone else on the globe. I'm thinking on the fly here, and the meds are kicking in, but her and I started dating 24 years ago, when we were 19. Her parents had her around till she was 18, maybe 19. But I've been around for 24 years, 21 of those married.

Sheesh, that's some responsibility. To be with someone and to hold back their hair when they throw up and bail them out when the police call late at night. To hold their hands and reach for the things on the top shelf that they can't reach themselves.

That's some realization there...

Course that means she's looked after me the same amount of time.

(But, if you subtract the time during which she was under anaesthetic for various surgery's and C-Sections, and you consider that I have never been under, then one could conclude that I have taken care of her more actual time than she has me.)

But, I digress.

Happy Birthday beautiful. Here's to another 44. (And hey, if you're lucky maybe I'll have a few surgery's and you can catch up!)

My Theology on Automobiles



So, yesterday The Velvet Fog turned over 370002 Kms.

And yes, I have been carrying around the camera so that I could get a picture of four zero's, except that Laurealea took the van on a "Small errand" and I missed the money shot.

I am still impressed with this 1988 Voyager SE MiniVan. She takes a licking and keeps moving.

And I call her the Velvet Fog because we are committed to an ever decreasing Mosquito population, and I'm doing my part.

I would prefer to have a more environmentally friendly car and that's where I am headed.

But I was thinking the other day about my automobile use during my life time.

I've never been one to be agitated about my ride, as long as it gets me from here to there. And I think it's fair to say that I am hopelessly loyal to whatever I am driving at the time. My dad would say that the cheapest car you can have is the one you already own.

And I absolutely cringe at the fact that any car I purchase begins to loose value almost immediately. That just strikes me as a bizarre purchase. I don't know why.

So, early on in my driving life, God and I kinda had a talk. I asked him to take care of the car details because mainly I am not good at buying or selling cars. I really hate all that back and forth stuff and did I get a good deal and will it die when I drive it off the lot, kinds of things.

Then, for the most part, I left it in his hands.

Since then I have owned a total of six cars. That's 21 years worth of owning cars.

Four of those cars have been gifts to me.

For some of the people who gave them, they clearly felt "Led" to give them to me, and for others it was probably a gift of generosity that led them to give the cars to us.

Two of the cars I purchased.

The first one was me feeling rushed or pushing things, so that I could get a new vehicle for a move we needed to make. In frustration I borrowed the money and bought the car. After having it checked out, we got it and it turned out to be a real piece of... lemon. I spent double or triple on that car than the original cost, because of repairs.

The second one was the van we now own, and has been a much better experience for us. Probably because we prayed much about it, found peace about it, were not in a rush for it, and God really led us to it. We are its second owner and have enjoyed having it, a lot.

I think all the money we have ever spent purchasing vehicles comes to just under $5000, so its not like it has broken us financially.

But usually, when the cars start to go south, I start to talk to God about our need. And I am willing to purchase them if need be. I mean, God is well able to give me the money to pay for the cars too, far be it from me to corner him.

I've been talking to him about the Velvet Fog this winter and spring. We are going to have to get something a bit more reliable and, well, warm for the winter.

But this week, with those zero's, that was a big occasion for her, for us. I've been hoping she would see that day. And yesterday she did.

And I wasn't there to celebrate with her.

I suppose I'm glad that only comes once every ten years

It's over.

And it was good.

The people of Gateway Covenant Church really stepped up and together created a smooth running, hospitable, caring space where people could meet, and God could care for his own.

This was the meeting where we as a church voted to close the Covenant Bible College. In the end it was a formality, but the significance of it was not lost on anyone. We took our time with that, and it was the overarching story of the weekend.

In spite of this, or more likely because of this, the worship was sweet and the presence of God was clear. People did a lot of individual talking and checking up with one another.

We heard the shocking details of God's amazing provision for some of our brothers as they connected with the Evangelical Covenant church in the Congo. ( I stayed at Rogers house last summer while in class at North Park)
We heard of successful and failed church plants.

We heard of churches being revitalized.

We saw new people moving forward into different aspects of ministry.

We saw how God is at work in Haiti. And in the inner city in Winnipeg.

We saw how God has been transforming the last CBC Class as they came and worshipped with us, leading us again into God's story.

But perhaps the best time for me was the Cafe.

The music was great with both nights being a very different flavour. Blues and Smooth Jazz. And the space it created for people to connect and visit and relax and enjoy, was just what I had envisioned it to be.

After the emotional demands of the weekend, I wanted a space where people could just be for a while. A place where they could sit and find their bearings again, and find rest, and a bit of healing in care and conversations with friends.

That really was my desire for the whole weekend. That we might be able to provide a place where people could find healing and rest for their souls, after the emotional tumult of the weekend, and spring.

And, it seems, that's how it went.

So thanks again Gateway for your hard work. Especially Janet and Dave and Mary Jane.

And thank you Canadian conference for coming up here and letting us care for you a bit.

Nearly all done

Just finishing up at my office for the evening. As I allow my eyes to glance at that corner I see what I don't want to see, it's 2:22 am.

But I think I'm done, and ready for tomorrow.

Tonight was the Banquet and the last CBC Concert, and the Cafe Randall smooth jazz night. We only got done with the music at 12 pm, and it was sweet tonight. Like good medicine.

Anyway, this place has done itself proud, and I am proud of these people. They produced an amazing weekend.

It seems like months ago when I arrived here at 7 am this morning. And yes I'm tired, but good tired. Like you put effort and work into something and it works. That's a good feeling.

Anyway, I'm off home and to bed for a couple hours sleep.

Night.

Hey, keep up to date

on the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada.

It's happening real life, here in Prince Albert.

Follow online, here.

Beyond Great...

about five notches beyond great.

The Blues band that came in tonight to "Entertain" at Cafe Randall was amazing, sweet, and simply beyond great.

They so exceeded our expectations and hopes, by notches and notches.

It all came together so well. The food, the drinks, and best of all, the music.

A night to remember.

I don't think I've ever been to an Annual Meeting that's been so much fun.

I'm going home now, with the blue haze lingering around my head.

I gotta be back here in 7 hours.

Note to self...

Remember to make a note to self next time you eat beets and forget the next day.

Blogging from my cell

I might have some weird moments this weekend where I might blog from my cell phone.

The title for those incoming posts usually is (null), and the category is "Cell Phone Blogging."

Just so you know.

The calm before the storm?

It's suddenly quiet around here, and by here I mean my office.
The constant ongoing nose of people and sound checks and people asking me questions I don't know the answers to. The 40 to 50 emails a day have slowed to their regular 20.
People are arriving and things are going ahead. The first meeting is tonight's worship gathering.

Then, tomorrow hits and we go full steam. From 8 am tomorrow till tomorrow night at 1 am we go hard.

Saturday will look like 7 am till 1 am Sunday.

And Sunday?

I expect I'll be here by 8 am. Who knows when we'll get home.

I think it's funner to go to these things than it is to host them.

April 18. Plus 24.

We'll do it all
Everything
On our own


We don't need
Anything
Or anyone



If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
and just forget the world?



I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel



Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough



If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
and just forget the world?



Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life



Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads



I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own



If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
and just forget the world?



Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life



All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes,
they're all I can see



I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things
will never change for us at all



If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
and just forget the world?



The Kiss






(Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol)


She's just totally owning this Diabetes thing

I mean, just look at the figuring out she has to do for one lousy cake thing.

But she does it and she knows what she's doing.

Totally.

Amazing.

"Art Art, help me Art"

Sorry, thats an old family joke up there in the title, but I couldn't resist...

Well, it's late and I'm ready to go home.

As part of the conference slash shriners convention that we are running here this weekend, I came up with a brainwave to celebrate the diverse creativity we have running through this bunch of people. So I solicited their self made pieces of art to hang on the walls for the weekend.

We got nearly 25 wonderful pieces. Oil and silk and watercolours and photo's and each one is touched with the hand of the Creator. Creativity is overlooked by churches today as a possible way to worship and express one's gifts and devotion to God.

The walls look amazing.

But I didn't think what it would be like hanging 25 pieces of art without putting a hole through the paint.

Sheesh.

Thanks to a friends help, we are done, and I am done for.

Off to home and to bed, perchance to sleep.

Huston, we have ignition

Well, I believe that is our last three hour planning meeting before the people start pouring in to Prince Albert from across Canada and parts of the US.

This week and weekend Gateway Covenant Church is hosting the 103 Annual Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada. There's going to be a ton of people in and out of here these days, and it's going to be crazy, but good.

I'm working hard to get Cafe Randall up and running with live bands for Friday and Saturday nights which should be a blast.

Jordon Cooper is coming up on Friday to do a workshop called "Off the Edge, - A look at the discontinuitous path as the church moves from a worldview shaped by Christendom to a world where the church is no longer on the radar of three quarters of Canadians." Some of you who read this space may be interested in it.

We also have a workshop by Greg Glatz from SpiritVenture Ministries on "The Wine Lover’s Guide to the Gospel: Lambrusco-Style Leadership for the 21st Century - It's time to move beyond the old-wine/old wineskins approach to leadership. One of the world's most-overlooked wines offers refreshing, new images for experienced and emerging leaders."
Our speaker for the weekend, John Mohan is the Executive Director of Siloam Mission, a Christian humanitarian agency that has served Winnipeg’s inner city with meals, clothing, counseling, and support services since 1987.
So hey, if you are in the area and want to drop in, do that.

If you want to get into one of the workshops, shoot me an email so that we can be aware of your coming, just to make sure there are enough seats.

Mean time, hold your breath, here comes the week.

No man is an island

God help us all.

.


.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


John Donne

Wanna be a pastor?

Todd Rhoades, a leadership development guy writes:
Forty-eight percent of them think their work is hazardous to their family well-being. Another 45.5 percent will experience a burnout or a depression that will make them leave their jobs. And 70 percent say their self-esteem is lower now than when they started their position. They have the second-highest divorce rate among professions.

They are pastors.

Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are the president of the United States, a university president, a CEO of a hospital and ... a pastor.

And fellow Covenant pastor Eugene Cho writes:
-80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with spouse and that ministry has a negative effect on their family.
-40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner once a month.
-33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
-75% report they’ve had significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
-58% of pastors indicate that their spouse needs to work either part time or full time to supplement the family income.
-56% of pastors’ wives say they have no close friends.
Pastors who work fewer than 50 hrs/week are 35% more likely to be terminated.
-40% of pastors considered leaving the pastorate in the past three months.

Those statistics don't surprise me at all.

Something is broken in the way we do this pastoring thing.

Cafe Randall

What? You have some free time next Friday or Saturday night?

and you like the Blues, and a bit of Jazz?

Then come by the church basement, and enjoy some amazing music, great coffee, and good company.

(Click to view)

The good, the bad, and the busy

Sunday night. I feel like I've been waiting all evening just to be able to go to bed. Now here it is and I'm writing.

Physically I feel like I've been in a fight, and I just didn't know enough to stay down. Sore sore throat, so tired that when I lay down I can't sleep, and a nasty headache that has lingered since last night.

And Lauralea and I had a real beauty of a misunderstanding too. And by misunderstanding I mean argument, fight, yeah, misunderstanding. And even though it was mostly a miscommunication, it still takes time to get past it. I notice that it takes so much longer when we are tired, emotionally and physically.

I had been doing well this week, so today surprises me.

This week the church I care for has been deciding to get me into a Sabbatical for a time this summer. That has actually been making my days lighter and much more hopeful.

It will be good for both me and the church, and I surely hope it will be enough to restore my soul.

Anyway, that's for this summer.

For now, this week, we are hosting the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada, which we've been preparing for this year. It will be very busy and crazy, but it should be a good time.

So, there you go. Some good, some bad, and some busy.

Nite.

It's just a freakin hamburger

I had a breakfast meeting this morning at an eating establishment that shall remain nameless. How about we just make up a name and call it Hay and BubbleU.

Instead of having the regular eggs thing or perhaps some manner of sandwich named an Egger, I decided to test their commitment to providing their main attraction, even during breakfast hours. So I quietly ordered a “P*** Burger.”

I did this quietly so as to not arouse the attention of the many people in the place to look at the looser who doesn't know that Burgers aren't for breakfast.

Then the lady behind the counter proceeded to tell me, in a needlessly loud voice that it would take at least 15 minutes right and did I know that?

I responded just above a whisper that I indeed did know that, and thank you.

She turned around and yelled back into the kitchen that she needed a burger. Then she turned to a coworker with, I swear (If I was a swearing man) a half smirk on her face, and repeated my order at full volume to the coworker.

Then, in her determined voice she returned to me and asked loudly if I would like cheese on that. Again trying to not bring attention to myself and my order, indicated that no cheese or onions would be necessary.

And finally she in her fullest voice began to summarize my order, item by item.

I tried with no success to cut her short by replying quickly, “Yes please, yes please, yes please.”

Sigh.

While standing there I had a flashback to the first time I purchased condoms. Or the time I bought “Feminine products,” and the clerk waved it around and asked for help with a price on these name brand products.

Lord just let me melt away.

I'd go the whole wide world

She sleeps silently beside me but I can't sleep tonight. There is a song going through my head over and over and I need to exercise it, so that I might be able to sleep too.

It's the song from Stranger than Fiction, where the character Will Ferrell portrays only knows one song on the guitar. And as it happens, it's the one SHE knows as well.

Ah, there it is.

WRECKLESS ERIC's The Whole Wide World
When I was a young boy
My mama said to me
There's only one girl in the world for you
And she probably lives in Tahiti

I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world
Just to find her
I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world
Find out where they hide her

That helps.
The music in that movie was as well done as the film. I may have to get the soundtrack I think.

Lying in bed I can tell that spring has come because in a fit of weather induced madness, I tore down the plastic layer we keep on the window for winter.

And tonight as we lie there in the darkness, the blind is up and the window is wide open. The cool night breeze fills the room with a feeling of freshness.

She taught me the simple joys of sleeping beneath quilts with a cool breeze blowing over me.
I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world
Just to find her
I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world
Find out where they hide her

What does the summer hold for us? Rest? Renewed hope?

New adventures to experience? New places to explore?

We'll see.

For now I'm going back to the warm bed, and the cool breeze that fills our room.
I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world
Just to find her
I'd go the whole wide world
I'd go the whole wide world
Find out where they hide her

Night.

And good night to WRECKLESS ERIC, where ever he is.
Thanks for the tune in my head.

Lookin H.O.T.

When I left home this morning there was fresh snow on the ground so I wore my winter parka and off I went.

Now it's like +10 out there and the morning snow is gone. But I still have my parka on.

I look like such a pretard.

17

So my eldest son Thomas turns 17 today.

I don't know why but 15 and 16 were pretty much steady as she goes birthdays for him, but this 17 seems to be a big deal for me, if not for him.

Wow, he's been "with the family" for seventeen years now. That's a good chunk of time.

I found this video clip of his birthday four years ago, when he turned 13.

He still has the childlike nature, and the smile, but he's like, a man now.




Happy Birthday Thomas

Well, I think we now know

what she was all about.

First one side, then the other.

I always figured Stronach could prove her intentions by how she lived out her choices.

Now we know.

Kodak - Winds of Change

Apparently Kodak released this commercial for internal use only.

But it's too good to limit it to employees, so they've released it to the public.

It's great. Go take a look.

And you can laugh out loud, it's ok.

For reasons that will come out in the days ahead,

tonight I feel more hopeful than I have for a long long time.

In fact, I honestly can't remember...

Nope. Can't.

It's really quite good, for Lauralea and myself, hope wise.

More to follow.

Woooo Hoooo

Big, huge thanks to the individual who dropped off a DVD of "Stranger Than Fiction," and that sweet licorous-y tasting Italian treat, Sambuca.

That's love in any language baby.

:)

Getting on with a changed life

We made it back home in fine, turkey stuffed fashion.

It was a good day to be together again.

And tonight, Johanna is somewhere in Minnesota.

Hillary is at her home, packing an apartment of stuff to leave here as she moves on with the rest of her life.

Micah is staying at Mom's for a couple of nights.

And Thomas is downstairs.

And I miss my dad.

My siblings are changing, mostly for the better it seems.

And Mom is trying to get on with life.

But it really is all different, without dad.

I mean, that's just obvious, but its also about not having a suffering, physically broken individual in the house who is in constant need of care and attention.

That's all so different too.

Anyway, just feels a bit melancholic is all.

And I am TIRED, so I'm off to bed.

Night.

(null)

Visiting With Mom And Eating A Huge Turkey. happy Easter

Sunrise Service 2007

Another good time out by the river, by 25 hearty souls.

It's good to worship God with the Sun warming your face and the sound of the geese in the background as the story of creation is read again.

Gives it all a more realistic feel.

And the cold on the skin, talk about realistic...

Thanks Loretta for taking the pictures this year. They are great.

(Click to enlarge)



Yes it was cold.



Fire coming from my mouth.



And the Sun nicely warms the faces.

When "After" never comes

It's late already.

Well, late for a night in which I need to be up by 5:30 the next morning.

Tomorrow is our Sunrise Service, down by the river. And it looks like tonight is suppose to reach a balmy -18C, so by morning the snow we'll be worshipping on should be a nice crispy hard frozen kind of snow.

That's all ok though. I always enjoy the hearty souls who get out there and start the day by saying Thanks to God together.

Then its off to our regular 10 am service where we will party like its 0033 AD.

:)

Easter is to pastors kind of like "Back to School" is to people in retail. It's crazy busy and there is so much to remember and do, and even a few hours off are not really off, because hey, people always have questions.

And so has this year gone too.

Being sick the week before had it's perks. My head was unable to be involved in the planning and activity of it, so most of the work was done this past week.

The extra services are nearly completed and I've been at it most of the day today, trying to be ready for tomorrow.

It feels like much has been done too, and at least I have that sense of accomplishment. That's a good thing.

But I've been putting off some heavy planning things I need to be involved in for our National Annual Convention which we are hosting this year, in just a few weeks.

I've been saying I'll get to it after Easter.

Well, tomorrow is Easter, and Monday it's After Easter. So I will need to hit the ground running.

And I have been saying that after the Annual Meeting, then I will get to the course work and passport work and financing work to try to get caught up on my certificate program.

Well, right after the meetings in Calgary, the week after the Annual meeting.

I think its simply a case of a perfect storm arising on the horrorizon.

:)

Planets aligning and pieces falling into place for me to be busy. Too busy.

Too busy.

Those are the wrong words for any pastor to utter.

To be too busy frightens away those who need attention. Those who need to be cared for.

Some people like their pastors to be busy. Makes them feel like they are getting their money's worth.

But a pastor shouldn't be "Too busy."

Then the ones who need care don't call, because they don't want to be a problem, or add to the busyness.

The quiet and meek ones don't call, because they're shy.

And you loose the sensitivity to those voices.

This needs to be re-thought through.

I need to get un-busy.

I want to be un-busy.

What steps will I take along this growth curve?

And how shall I take her with me.

Living in a world where "After" never comes.

Multi Multi Multi Multi Multi Tasking

Ok, so a few moments ago I was;

...

Working on the service for tomorrow,

MSN-ing with Hillary, talking her around a major University Exam stress

on the Cell phone with Lauralea who needs me to stop at the store for some sugar,

trying to leave the office to get Micah up to his youth meeting,

on the office phone with some guy who actually wanted me to call long distance and tell the person there to phone him at 763-****.

Sheesh.

Multi tasking, my left butt cheek.

I can do 1, maybe 2 things well, but 5 at the same time?

Not a chance.

Flavours of worship

This morning I went to church, and Lauralea went to church, to mark Good Friday. The unique thing was that we went to different churches.

We have had a growing desire among our church friends for a different option to the  rah rah, couple of churches gather together in the city to Celebrate Good Friday.

I am all about the "churches gathering together" thing, but more and more the joint service has been more of a "Celebration," than anything else. A big worship party, somewhat overshadowing the whole day of death thing.

And my heart struggles to be in it. And I feel guilty about that too.

So we give the people a couple of joint church options. There are a couple of other community churches doing group services too. Some are much more reflective and take the time to consider Christ's death.
I go to the one, and Lauralea goes to the other one, so that our bases are kind of covered.

But more and more I find the service I attend, just a struggle to attend. And again, I feel guilty for feeling that way.

I hope I'm not becoming an old fart. An old judgemental fart who boycotts the service just because it isn't done the way I like it. There are already too many of those out there I'm afraid.

But, I have a year to think some of those things through now.

We'll see what next year brings.

Scent of Heaven

She


has a beef curry cooking in the kitchen, and does it ever smell good.

T.G.I.G.F





O Love Divine, what hast Thou done!
Thee immortal God hath died for me!
The Father’s co-eternal Son
Bore all my sins upon the tree;


Thee immortal God for me hath died!
My Lord, my Love is crucified!
Behold Him, all ye that pass by,

The bleeding Prince of Life and Peace!


Come, see, ye worms, your Maker die,
And say, was ever grief like His?
Come, feel with me His blood applied:
My Lord, my Love is crucified!


John and Charles Wesley


Classic FM Hall of Fame

One of the pleasures I've come to anticipate on the Easter long weekend, is the gathering of the top Classical music pieces of the past year over on ClassicFM.

Each year they take the weekend to play the top voted pieces in their Hall of Fame.

From Friday morning till Monday evening, from 9am till 9pm, Classic FM will play the increasingly more popular pieces of Classical music.

It's always fun to listen to and follow along, especially as they get closer to Monday night.

So, this weekend if you have a bit of time to just sit and be still, crank up the ole Classic FM and have a listen.

(Note: In order to listen they now require a postal code to confirm you are from Great Britain, or that your relatives once came from there, or at the very least, that you can speak English. Try using the code from Classic FM itself,    WC2H 7LA )

Enjoy.

13 Wonderfully Amazing Things

Via. Toni.

Here is a little page that will, if you were a child of the 60's, blow your mind.

Enjoy the ride.
The horizon problem

OUR universe appears to be unfathomably uniform. Look across space from one edge of the visible universe to the other, and you'll see that the microwave background radiation filling the cosmos is at the same temperature everywhere. That may not seem surprising until you consider that the two edges are nearly 28 billion light years apart and our universe is only 14 billion years old.

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so there is no way heat radiation could have travelled between the two horizons to even out the hot and cold spots created in the big bang and leave the thermal equilibrium we see now.

This "horizon problem" is a big headache for cosmologists, so big that they have come up with some pretty wild solutions. "Inflation", for example.

You can solve the horizon problem by having the universe expand ultra-fast for a time, just after the big bang, blowing up by a factor of 1050 in 10-33 seconds. But is that just wishful thinking? "Inflation would be an explanation if it occurred," says University of Cambridge astronomer Martin Rees. The trouble is that no one knows what could have made that happen.

So, in effect, inflation solves one mystery only to invoke another. A variation in the speed of light could also solve the horizon problem - but this too is impotent in the face of the question "why?" In scientific terms, the uniform temperature of the background radiation remains an anomaly.

13 tense days completed

I was watching Al Jazeera English Television tonight and the news carried the "great and generous" story of the Iranian President pardoning and releasing the British sailors.

The news also interpreted the "grateful" words of the pardoned sailors, who were said to be saying thanks and expressing their apologies to the Iranian president.

Everybody's spinning in circles these days.

Micah's Band playing O Canada



At the Juno Cup.

This picture was in the paper this morning.

Micah is just right of center, just above halfway.

His Trumpet is hidden by the girl in front of him.

(Click to enlarge)

And so it goes

In every heart there is a room,
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past,
Until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones,
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much,
My silence is my self defense

And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
It's just as well for all I've seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

W. M. Joel

Liberated Games

Ever wanted to play or to re-play those old games you started with back when the internet was nothing but a thumb sucking baby?

Well now you can.

liberatedgames.org

Carries all the games that are now available for a free download.

Use them, guilt free.

And enjoy.

I hate that I line up for it

Let it be duly noted that I do not purchase Tim Horton's tea for the opportunity to be made richer by "Rolling Up The Rim" to win a prize, mainly because with all the tea I have consumed this year I have yet to win anything, let alone a cookie or another tea.

No, the reason I occasionally stop in there, and either get into the drive-thru line up which is ten to twelve cars deep, or stand in the counter line up which stretches through the building and out the door onto the front side walk, is because no other place makes good strong tea like they do.

Simple really.

(null)

Sitting In Line Ups Waiting For Teachers For Parent Teachers Interviews At St.marys.

(null)

Just Hanging Out With Lauralea, Using Up Gift Certificates At Star Bucks.

How do you go from

to 

Check this page out.

Winter is back

This winter thing continues to drag on here in Prince Albert.

It's snowing out there, again. And the temperature is -8C.

It's suppose to go down to the minus teens and twenties this week during the nights.

I just really hope it warms up before the Sunday morning Sunrise service out by the river.

That could be really harsh, sitting there in lawn chairs, up to our knees in snow with the wind and falling snow whipping at our faces.

Happy Spring.

Open Wide...

They say that dreams can sometimes tell what's going on inside someone's head or perhaps even their heart. Or it means you're pregnant. Since we have settled that question with a clear NO, it seems that my emotional well being is shuffling around in a hospital in Saskatoon.

Last night I had an ongoing nightmare that would wake me up, then I'd go back to sleep, and continue the dream. That alone was weird.

In the dream I was so tired, and wanted to talk with a Dr. about getting some rest, so I went down to the hospital to chat with a Doctor. Before I knew what was happening, I was admitted on a 21 day certificate, for evaluation.

They took my clothes and gave me hospital pajamas to wear, and I was a little freaked out by my loss of choice and even my willingness to be admitted. They assigned me a bed and they had to send a rather large orderly to have a "Chat" with me about taking my meds and how it was his job to get me to take them. I enquired about their name and what they were to do, but he wouldn't tell me because that would weaken his position.

Against my wishes I began to take the meds. Big phosphorus horse pills that would make me foam at the mouth.

I knew it was Saturday and I knew I had to lead the service the following day, at church, but I couldn't get out of there. In defeat I had to call Lauralea and get her to call the church chairman and tell them I was in the hospital, embarrassed about telling them which part of the hospital I was in.
It was a really fearful time in there. I began to doubt my own mental health, and to question whether I was indeed as needy of being seperated from the world as they seemed to think I should be.

This fear of loss of personal control eventually woke me up in a sweat.

I was able to get back to sleep after a bit, and found myself back in the ward.

The shuffling around in hospital PJ's continued, and I began to get a few letters, from Lauralea. But it seemed they had taken my glasses because I had difficulty reading them except for bringing them up close to my face.

I felt so lonely and filled with self doubt, about my abilities and my emotional health.

It was very frightening, and I woke up again.

If this keeps up I'm going to have to start my own category on "Dreams."

April fools

Well, it took me a couple of hours to figure out that Gmail had a great joke going.

Paper Mail.

They would send you through regular mail, any email, on paper, that you want to get a hard copy of.

I kinda thought it was cool, for a while.

But then the date dawned on me, and there you go, April Fools.

Below is a copy of their information page with all the data on the "Cool idea."

It was a good one. Nice job Google.

(Click to enlarge)