Walking to work

Sunrise through the window

Back to work this morning.

It's been a gorgeous few days, but today it's all downhill as the temperature started at +2 and will drop all day long.

It's a weird christmas as family come and go and we will be celebrating Christmas on different days throughout the week. But we are trying to adapt and keep up. For Lauralea its mostly meant cooking and cleaning and entertaining, but we are glad to spend some time with family again.


David Francey

One of my favourite Canadian songwriters, David Francey.
I first heard of him on CBC radio and this morning I heard a recent interview with him while I was washing up.
His story is inspiring if only from the fact that the first 49 years of his life were spent living a regular life as a carpenter. Then at 50ish he changed careers and started singing for his work.

As I say, inspiring.




Here he is singing a favourite.


Save a kind word

I am,

Very.
Nearly.
Done.

The past week is taking it's toll.
I guess there was a lot of stressful pieces this week, and I am trying to hang on till after tonight.

The last formal piece of service, Christmas Eve. Readings, carols, candles, and tired old me.

I think I can make it into tonight but with sickness all around and people dropping like flies, with equipment that is failing and stressing me out, and thoughts not coming together, with a nasty wind that I've heard is making the road dangerous, I am limping, nay dragging towards the goal line.

I think I am getting short with my family and my co-workers, I think I am anyway, so that's sort of my gage of where things are at. Family goes first, then the people I work with. So if you like them, pray for me.

:)

It's not as hostage-y as that sounds but yeah, that could help things along.

Maybe I'll go find something to eat.
That could help things out too.

Carry on, but if you pass a dude lying face down on the ground passed out, it might be me.
Save a kind word.



Christmas Light

So much of Christmas, the highs and the lows, are about relationships.
And the ultimate relationship, God with mankind.

I like how Coldplay makes me think of my relationships, especially at this time of the year.
Thought is required, hearts engaged, choices made.
Especially if love is to last a lifetime.

Make wise choices to love well, and you can be rewarded.





A Gentle Advent

Wednesday before the week before Christmas, and I'm in my office working away.

It's kinda cold in here now because the window replacement guys came to swap out a broken window, and in the end it didn't fit so they put the old one back in for now. Besides that, it is cooling off out there today. It's overcast and the temperature is dropping as the day progresses.

I'm about to leave for town to visit some of the people who can't get out of their homes these days, but the roads and weather should be alright.

All morning I've been working on our Carol Service for this Sunday. It's where we tell some of the stories of the christmas carols and we sing them together. It's a fun day but requires a good deal of gathering and rewriting the stories of the songs, so we can enjoy the morning in worship together. I've done the work so if any of you want the printed service complete with the stories, just let me know and you can use them. No sense in reinventing the wheel.

This Christmas has been surprisingly still. I don't know if it's my Christmas Miracle or what, but it seems quieter and feels a better pace than it normally does. I like this sort of Advent. I usually try to do some volunteering in the community and this years work has finally fallen into place. I'll be doing that this week too, but it's good and blessed work.

Then this Friday at our home is the usual cider and cookies, or party at the pastors place. So if you are in the area, come by for a warm cup of fun and a cookie or eight. From three till nine pm. All are welcome.

Saturday Hillary arrives home and then off we go into the Christmas week activities.

All that to say that things are ok, and Advent has been particularly good to me this year so far. I like that, and I like the space it's created for me to be praying for those of you who are having tough going this year. You are being prayed for and Father God is close.

But for now, I'm off to town.

Blessings from the temperature dropping Field.

When does an ordinary life become extraordinary?

The angel in a visitation with Mary, said;

'You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. '  Luke 1:31-33

A poem reads;


There were safer places

more comfortable places

palaces and wealthy places

Yet you chose a daughter of the soil

Who would have otherwise

lived a good and honest life

grown and harvested crops

cooked and washed and cared for others

and been forgotten

to be your temporary home

to be exalted for all time

Marys response to the angel was:
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. 
From now on all generations will call me blessed.

When does an ordinary life become extraordinary 

When does a mundane day become revolutionary

When does a moment in time change history?


When God enters in

and forgives sin

And allows us to begin again


When we in humble submission repeat Those words of Mary

‘I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you say’


That miracle of new birth is played out again and again in regular peoples hearts. For whenever we welcome Christ into our lives, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the mundane becomes revolutionary, and our story is changed, forever.


Robbed

Yesterday morning was about driving to town for a Doctors appointment, and while Lauralea was in seeing her Doctor, I went and had the oil changed in the car.  Then the morning took a turn and the rest of the time ended up at our bank, because as it turned out, we were robbed.

Trying to pay for the oil change was difficult because the machine kept saying our card was cancelled. That never happens, so off we went to the bank.

The bank informed us that my card had possibly been skimmed at some local business that had been identified as a problem business and could I check my account to see if it was alright. I looked over the print out and saw that on Wednesday, somebody had withdrawn everything out of our account except for $15. I felt a little uncomfortable then.

We sat down to wait to talk with a higher up official at the bank, and more thoughts came rushing at me. It was just under $300 that had been stolen and our account was that low because of travel on our sabbatical and the work we had just had done on the car. It's never that low and could have been in the thousands of dollars.

And the theft came on Wednesday. On Thursday I did a quick deposit of my paycheque without checking the balances and that loss would have been significantly more than the $300.

Whew.

We met with a helpful young lady there and received a new card and talked about our travel to the States a bit. She didn't know the offending shop but because we had been in the states and how the cash was withdrawn, she wondered if the card info had been skimmed while we were there.

She helped us make application to ask the bank to replace the loss which was our only real option I suppose. Paperwork and unknowing for a day or three.

I'm pretty careful when using those things. If it's a portable cashpoint I'll check out the little unit for anything out of place. I cover when I enter my pin and I have a few buttons it looks like I press if you can even see past my covering hand. But this time somebody caught me, good.

It could have been so much worse, thousands of dollars worse. But as it was, we were going to be able to absorb that loss.

But it changed the tone of the day a bit. More vulnerable, more cautious. Glad that a gun wasn't stuck in my ribs, but finding a few of the same resulting feelings.

It helps, I was told, if you change your pin number every few months. I'll do that now.

It's an odd theft and some say that it's victimless. I'm not sure about that at all. I felt a bit victimized, although not as much as if it had happened on a street somewhere.  And someone was going to have to absorb the loss, either us or perhaps our bank. There were victims.

But I guess this is the wave of the future. The banks and lending companies are doing amazing things with early warning systems and alerts, but we will have to be on top of these things too and be responsible caretakers of our money.

The lady from the bank called me last night and informed me that the bank had found on our behalf and was willing to cover our loss and that the money had been added to our account. I genuinely thanked her for that.

So that's what it's like to be robbed in the 21st century.