Monday, February 27, 2006

Shaking Off The Dust

Today I was talking to a friend who has been feeling a lot of pressure lately. It has been coming from all sides and he is really wanting a respite. He said to me that it seems he is in the middle of that verse in Hebrews, you know the one. It says

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb 12:27 (KJV) Courtesy of

As soon as he said this I got this picture of someone hanging onto something like it was their last breath and being shaken violently all over. It seemed like it wasn't them being shaken, but the object they were clinging to. Then it came to mind that the verse he was referring to came just before the one that says,

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:28 (KJV) courtesy of

So then if the kingdom within us cannot be moved then all we have to do to stop the shaking is let go. Let go of all the stuff that is shaking. Let go and grab hold of the kingdom.
Ever notice how a worrisome thought will slide in through the backdoor of a good day and all you have to do to draw in a bank of clouds is to take hold of that thought. Then as you sit down at the table with it, maybe sharing a coffee and a bagel, you notice that the clouds are now raining down. So you ask your thought's friends to come in before they get soaked and the next thing you know a hurricane is filling the horizon of that beautiful day. At this point you have the choice of heading to the storm shelter with your new buds to wait out the 'storm that never ends' or to see the reality of what is happening and kick them out. The amazing thing is that when you kick them out the clouds show themselves for what they are, momentary vapours. Light afflictions I think Paul called them. All we have to do to start the shaking is take hold of them because they are shaking and will never stop. All we have to do to stop it is let go.
AAaaaaaahhhhhhhh, doesn't that feel so much better???

Doin' What We Should

This weekend was a one day affair since I had to work Saturday to make up for a sick day so I was pretty fried at the end of it all. The kids were happy to have me home on Sunday afternoon and were rarely more than 10 feet away.
As I finally took an opportunity to sit down on the couch, Ethan and Sammy, my two boys, took the opportunity to join me. Their idea of relaxing was to try and coax me into a wrestle session. When I tried to tell them I was too tired they just kept poking and prodding so my wife came to the rescue.
"Boys, daddy is tired and just wants to sit with you guys."
To which Sammy replied," But mommy, we're boys, and boys play with dads."
The irrefutable logic of a four year old wins out again.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Little Sensitive, Eh?

So I wake up this morning with the usual load of stuff on my mind when this thought comes gently surfing in regarding my identity. Normally this would be the wrecking ball that would send my thoughts crashing down and leave me sifting through the mental debris for the rest off the day. The difference today was the authour of those thoughts. You see if the horned wonder delivers my morning mail it can set a rather dark tone for the day. He never really seems to be in a sunshiny mood. Go figure. If my Father, contrarily, tosses me the morning paper it reads quite differently all day. In fact it is the one newspaper guaranteed to ward off a rainy day.
So this morning Dad asks me why it is that sometimes it can be so easy to be expecting a podium performance for Dad of the Year and the next time to be wondering when social services is going to bash down the door. This is only one context and you can fill in whatever burning contradiction you like, they all fit. Now, before I could leap off on a tangent and start berating and bashing, Dad decided to answer His own question which is the really cool thing about letting Him do the asking.
The gist of what God said is that we as human beings are photosensitive. Not photogenic, photosensitive which means:

pho·to·sen·si·tive adj.

1. Sensitive or responsive to light or other radiant energy.
2. Abnormally sensitive or reactive to light.

Source: The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Both of the definitions are applicable to this blog. I especially like the 'radiant energy' part. You see, plants are photosensitive in a more dramatic fashion than we are due to the fact that they produce food through the radiant energy of the sun. This is purely physical though. Conversely, we humans are dramatically photosensitive in the spirit. This is due to the fact that we produce food through the radiant energy of the Son. The food we produce is called the fruit of the Spirit and in the spirit it is quite edible. If you doubt this just try being loving around a person, particularly a child, who is unloved or feels unlovable. You will most likely feel almost immediately overwhelmed by their appetite. They are feeding in their spirit from the fruit God has produced in you. Your reaction in this situation will of course depend on whether or not you are still planted in a window where the Son is shining. Problem I find is that I can get away from that window and start thinking that that strange glow is actually coming from me. It is truly amazing how quickly that glow gets chewed away as people around me try to take a bite. Then I tend to bite back. As I am chewing on a mouthful of my fellow man (this dish most often consists of my wife and kids due to exposure) I am overcome with the realisation that this does not taste at all like what I was just eating a little while ago. Then I have a choice to make, I can try to take a bite from someone else in hopes that they are more tasty or I can go back to what I know satisfies.
The best thing about going back to the source is that it not only satisfies me, but it also allows people to take a bite of me and get a taste of what I am eating. So when someone comes at me with anger there is a soft response, like Jesus gives me. When they come with hurt there is compassion, like Jesus gives me. When they come with violence there is forgivness, like Jesus gives me. You get the point.
So I have discovered today that I am not really as messed as I thought I was. Just like a plant without sunlight turns rather pathetic looking and over time begins to decay in a most unsightly manner, so to I become quite an eyesore when I am out of the Sonlight for any length of time. So if anyone out there finds in me a lack of yumminess, please be kind enough to point me in the direction of the nearest window. 谢谢你.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Winner By A Landslide!!!

Wow, this has been a long time in coming. It was in the early summer of 1999 in Saskatoon that my wife and I joined a prayer group gathered at the Peace Flame in Rotary Park. This park was part of the Meewasin Park area which takes up the urban stretch of the South Saskatchewan River on both banks. The park and its Sask Energy powered flame were erected as part of a world wide movement for a man made peace.

The picture here is of the rededication in 2002 which begs the question,"Why is it being rededicated?". For that we return to the above mentioned group gathered around this flame's original home.
A lady in our group came to us with the story of this monument to man's efforts to make peace for himself which was perched above the river near Broadway Bridge. The bridge name was apt for it is the broad way of man's efforts which leads to destruction. This lady informed us that this was a pagan altar right in our own city and that we needed to pray against this thing. At first I thought this was pretty flaky, but figured that it couldn't hurt. As the morning wore on I became more convinced of the truth of what my sister was saying. We gathered and prayed that God would remove this thing from our community. At that precise moment.......nothing happened, and we got in our cars and went home.
It was two months later on August 11 that the answer came. There was a subsidence on the riverbank that the geotech engineers missed which caused the flame to slowly begin lurching towards the river along with other sections of the surrounding banks. Crews were dispatched to rescue the fallen symbol and the names of those who donated towards its erection which were inscribed on 400 paving bricks. God answered. The real question is, did we listen?
When I excitedly shared this story with my pastor so that he could relay it to the 'troops' for their encouragement the story came over the mike that this may have been an answer to back to our regularly scheduled program. I shared the story with my dad hoping to perhaps blow some faith on his incredulous view of God.

His response was,"Yeah, well, you know son they'll just rebuild it somewhere else..blah blah blah.". The fact of the matter is that they did rebuild it somewhere else, and again it begs the question, WHY?

I think most of the answer lies in a testimony I just finished reading in 'Stories from the Front Lines' by Jane Rumph. On pages 210-212 she relates the story of some World Vision workers at the Adama Project in Ethiopia. The people of the village the workers were ministering in had a worship attachment to a certain large riverside tree. The workers recognised that this attachment would make a full turnabout for the people impossible and began to pray against it. Over the course of 6 months the tree withered, died and one morning toppled over completely. The response from the villagers was....this may have been an answer to prayer.....YYYyyyyaaaawwnnn....Yeah, well, you know son they'll just replant it somewhere else..blah blah blah...NO. Their response was emphatically

Your God has done this! Your God has dried up the tree! It's because of the power of your prayers!
(page 212)

Hmmmm, you think this is why this village in Ethiopia experienced a transformation an we are still yawning our way through life wondering why our nation remains unimpacted for Christ. We really don't expect much else, do we??

Monday, February 13, 2006

Because I Can

I just had to blog this. It has been a while since I first saw this on a billboard and now as I drive to the bridge from the westside I am accosted yet again by this flagrant excess. The sign is advertising for Woodland Hills, where the homes start at $1 million.

Of course as I peer past the billboard and across the lake I see the downtown core of Kelowna which is plagued with a homelessness and crime rate which is far in excess of its diminutive size. It also makes sense that no one is advertising low cost housing projects for zealous developers when our horizon is filled with view-guzzling monstrosities. There are no signs stating that there are huge opportunities for humanitarian aid right here where you could take an easy drive to a place where people need help. No need to bother with the pesky details of shipping costs and antagonistic governments. Nobody seems to want to tell the rich who are flocking here that they may also add to this community 'because they can'.
The shame of it all is only really seen when looked at through the inside of the funeral home, or from the beautiful Okanagan sunshine glinting off a highly polished tombstone. Unfortunately for all of us, that is when it is too late.
The best thing though is that there is One who is not afraid to confront this in all of us. It may be a big billboard or a sad stare, but the question is, will we hear? I hope I do.