Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stuff and Nonsense

It's sort of like repeating myself-- stuff and nonsense. So much stuff is nonsense! Today I'm working at a coffee shop in the mall. And I am struck by all the stuff. I needed some of it, that's why I'm here today. But I find as I walk around, that much of what is displayed seems rather silly. Inventions to keep us wanting and working and measuring and comparing. And distracted. I think actually, it mostly keeps us distracted, focusing on the here and now, the tangible things that we can get and have and keep, the glitter that distracts us from the needs of people around us and our own need to continually run to God for grace and wisdom and strength. After all, it's much easier to chase something tangible.

Not that I think everything is bad. It isn't. We need things to live, and when you pack up a house you see that you may need a lot of things to live. Pans to cook in, plates to eat off, clothes to wear, blankets to stay warm, chairs to sit in. But as I sit here I am reminded of Michael Card's song about the man who was owned by all he possessed. And I don't want to be that person.

I want to run when things start filling my time and my mind. I was to flee when my days are full of improving my house and fixing my stuff. I want to look around when I see my vision is full so full of the tangible that I can't see the unseen, I can't appreciate the supernatural, I can't fathom a reality beyond my own. I want to stay on a road that takes me where I want to go... and I think that road only stops by the mall occasionally.

Yes, coming to the mall was good for me.... a deep reminder of what really matters. And what doesn't.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Nasty Cold

I thought when the weather turned warm, the colds would be gone. But though I've remained quite healthy through the winter, I have a nasty cold now. When it's warm and sunny. When there are a million things I want to do. When things are busy. When I don't really have time to be down.

All the same, down I am. And I realised there really isn't a good time to get sick. Who has times in life that they don't have much to do or many things to enjoy? Not most of us. And I am no different. But being sick is actually good for me. I am reminded that I am not indispensable. The things I want to do can wait. The things I'd like to do can wait. I really have no choice in the matter, I've been put in my place and it's a very comforting thing when I think a little more. After all, God's got it under control. He doesn't need my striving or trying: He simply wants my obedience and faith. And I believe this lesson is applicable when I am well again (hopefully soon!): I can simply rest in God's leading day by day. And His call on my life is simple, though often impossible. It's a good thing, after all, to be sick for a few days!

Last week Garry had this cold and we were all a bit tired. That's when we got a text from Garry's brother-in-law inviting us for lunch. While Fern & Alan live a few hours away, they were heading to a town closer to us. Without much thought we piled in the car and met them for lunch. It was great to see them, fun to go for a drive, a blessing ordained as just what we needed this weekend!

I think I'm done talking for now, mostly because my head hurts and I can't figure how to string words together anymore. A little more pain killer and back to resting....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Kaleb's week & "Saved"

Some weeks it seems that one or the other of us has a lot of excitement. This was Kaleb's week. Over a year ago, when we were doing relief work in the Philippines, Kaleb started talking about making a short Lego film about a man who is cornered by a sniper. The idea grew into storyboards and soon he was building sets. One set, then another. Months passed an he started editing. A friend agreed to do the soundtrack. Editing continued. It's been over a year, but Kaleb has persevered in this project, and this week he released his film which he titled, "Saved". I've been amazed to watch this film come together, to see the things he's learning and his ability to manipulate shots, lighting, and dialogue. You might enjoy watching this great short film HERE


This week Kaleb also volunteered at Kids Club at our church, a great opportunity to reach out to neighbourhood kids, some of whom do not receive a lot of teaching or attention from their parents. He enjoyed playing games and then being part of the teaching time. Later that evening he attended Youth Group, which was also a new experience. One of the leaders, Adam, was super helpful... and turned out to be a missionary kid himself.

Garry and I enjoyed our week also. This week one of our focuses was the learning environment and how we as staff at a Bible Institute can best help students to thrive in their years of schooling and beyond. As we read through some of the latest research we were reminded of the Bible and the principles that God has impressed on us over the years about the value of community, honesty, and growth. 

This evening we're looking forward to enjoying the musical, "Oliver", put on by Moody. May your weekend also be enjoyable and productive, investing in thing that matter in ways God has gifted YOU!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Black Saturday & Divine Intervention

Here is a short Lego Animation Kaleb did about Easter for a contest. In 20 seconds he tells a story of truth and redemption

Several years ago on this day, Black Saturday, we were on a long trip in the Philippines. Almost no one was on the road, and being new to the country, we wondered why. We were told that most people believed that God was dead every year on Black Saturday. They were afraid to do most anything because there was no God to protect them if things went wrong. The days leading up to Easter are sad days there, days when people pay penance in hard ways and sins are brought to mind.

Here there is little sadness and I haven't seen anyone doing penance (though i'm sure some are). Easter, like Christmas, feels like a buying frenzy. Now it's decorations in spring colors, Easter basket treats, mountains of chocolate, and a million things depicting bunnies and eggs.

It struck me today how lost we are. How desperately in need of grace. Everywhere you go, people are trying to either pay for their sins or forget them. Busyness rules our lives on this side of the world much the way animism does in many places. We worship production and money. We respect people who have it all and emulate those whose lives glitter.

Either way, we are lost. No matter how you cut it, we are in desperate need of divine intervention or we will spend eternity in hell. Easter celebrates that intervention. The God of the Universe paying for our sins so we wouldn't need to and rising again so we could also live in freedom. A relationship with God opened to us so we could find abundance in Him. The power of the resurrection to live lives free of sin and bondage, serving the One who rules over all.

Here is a short (20 sec) animation Kaleb did for an Easter contest

This is a weekend to celebrate paid debts and Light shining in the Darkness. I pray you know the Light and experience His warmth. I trust your faith in Him is deep regardless of the experiences you may be facing.

I pray my faith grows and that I celebrate Easter in spirit and in truth. I pray you do the same.