Help Needed – With Love

Sometimes it is so obvious that God is moving that it is almost frightening. It is sort of like being invited into an event that is already orchestrated, being told where to stand, what to do. It is evident that what is happening is not being done on my own initiative.  At the same time my role seems to be vital to the event. Although the opening of the outreach centre for Gateway is still pending, waiting for the nod from the health board, it seems as if this is going to happen. It makes me wonder, “Why me, God? I am not really the best qualified person for a job like this. Don’t you think a social worker or an addictions worker would be better equipped?” Maybe it is because I am available and can see the needs. Maybe God just wants to show up in ways that are definitely not dependant on my adequacy for the job. I know already that I will have to rely on the wisdom and grace of God to run this drop in centre. I want it to be a place where some of the neediest in our city will encounter the love of Christ. But that is in itself a huge responsibility and necessitates my reliance on God for help. Which in turn means that I have to spend time with God listening to God. Already there are demands on my time that encroach on that time so I need to make it one of my highest priorities.

One of the realities of helping people, of loving them enough to want to help them, is that they make demands on my time – rides, a need to talk, sick people to visit, financial help needed, driver’s lesson practice. I think these are tasks I have been called to help with. Of course I can’t take care of everyone’s needs so I need discernment and wisdom on what to do. I think that setting appropriate boundaries is going to be a challenge – setting boundaries on what I can do without setting boundaries on the love of God that I reflect. I suppose part of this will be directing these folk to agencies and other people who want to step in and help too. It was a good reminder reading the account of Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18 that others need to be enlisted to help.

So, God, give me wisdom and an ability to discern where to use my time and resources and lots of love for the people I will meet and send others also gifted with love to join me in this work.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Ministry, Reflections, The Gate

We Begin Again

I need to take up journaling again. Studies done, there will be time for reflection on the day’s events – and time to write these reflections down.

I am beginning to read a book by Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women. In the introduction she tells the story of prayer books being found during the renovation of an ancient convent. She speaks of the image of a woman with a book of prayer in hand, of this being a way for these medieval women to participate in the Word and pass the Word on to others. I like that image. I do pray that my study of the Word will allow me to participate in the work of God in the world, passing onto others the good news that God actually wants to be involved in our daily lives.

The author goes on to state that prayer was “intertwined” with the “daily life (of these women) and with significant events such as giving birth and entering into death. She believes that “We have struggled to know our lives as sacred texts, to perceive the ways that God has written God’s own story within us, to understand how the Word still seeks to take flesh in and through us.” Perhaps in returning to my blog as journal, I may share some of the text of my life’s journey so that others can see ways in which the Word is taking flesh in me.

Most of my life I consider rather routine and mundane till others point out the amazing places this journey of participating in the Word has taken me. God still continues to allow me breath to continue the journey and as I begin to enter into a new phase of that journey and the challenges that will come, I know I will need all the strength God will give me. By sharing this part of my journey, may you also develop eyes to see God in the places you go.


Filed under Day to Day, Devotional Reading, Quotes, Reading, Reflections

Christ is Risen

And very early in the morning . . .

Gateway Covenant Church and friends gather on the river bank – or wherever we can in that direction as snow permits – and we remember and begin the celebration of this glorious event.

And then we come inside to enjoy the warmth and breakfast.  I must go and begin the preparations.

Happy and Blessed Easter

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Filed under church, Easter

Two More to Go

Tonight I e-mailed off my final paper in Church History I.  Greek final was written on Monday and so half of my classes are now finished for this semester.  It feels good.

Of course I am still finishing up the last two of my online classes.  Two research papers, one book review and one final exam.  That is still enough to keep me glued to the books for the next three weeks.

Out of my reading tonight comes this quote from Basil of Caesarea:

” A single plant, a blade of grass is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in the contemplation of the skill which produced it”


Hoping we begin to see some blades of grass soon – although there is a marvelous lot of wonder to be seen in ice-coated branches.

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Filed under Quotes, seminary experiences, Studying

Nine more days – but who’s counting

These days I practically live in my carrel at the library.  Although, truth be told, I went out this morning to a seminary women’ brunch and had some great conversation and some very delicious cinnamon buns. So it is not all, 100% work.  I still eat and do laundry too.

But, things are coming down to the wire.  In nine days I write my Greek final.  I’m almost past caring how I do – but if you know me you know that means I still care way too much.

I turned in my next to last Church History I essay and today I completed a good chunk of my research paper for that class. My essay was on the devotio moderna and the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life.  Such a fascinating group of people – spanned about 300 years. Died out with the Reformation and with the printing press since they mostly earned their living by copying books. Their raparia were journals they kept of devotional sayings and of how they lived out their faith in the midst of daily life trying to imitate the early church. Most people have heard of The Imitation of Christ – this is the group out of which came such writings.

Now I’m on to the Christological controversy between Nestorius and Cyril.  Poor Nestorius was likely more misunderstood than a real heretic.  And Cyril was more a bully than a saint I’m afraid. Hope I can wrap this one up by Monday.

Then with a deadline of May 9,  I will only have 2 book reviews, 1 ten page essay, 1 more twelve page research paper and one more final and this year will be done!

Hoping it doesn’t finish me off.


Filed under seminary experiences, Studying, Theology, Writings

Black and White – Winter is still here.

I just set a new header picture and realize it looks very stark – black and white – winter is still here.  It is not a black and white picture just the world is black and white since the last snowfall.  Before it was beginning to feel and look like spring – streets mostly melted clear and the ground showing through the ice.  Winter seems to have set in again.  This is Saskatchewan I guess.

I have been spending a huge amount of time in the Archibald Library.  Last night I was there till it closed at ten.  My head was so tired by the time I got home.  Sometimes in spite of being so tired it is hard to sleep and that was the case last night.  Had to wake up in time for an on-line class; which I did.  But as the discussion with the prof went on, I realized how much I still need to learn – all about how Luther and Calvin and the Anabaptists and the Catholics understood justification, and the sacraments and the idea of free will.  Very heady stuff.  Made my head spin anyway.

Then back to the library to slog away at my Greek exegesis paper.  Till 6.

But since it is Friday (isn’t this the day one is supposed to let loose and have fun?) I spent the evening doing something I consider fun.  I went back to the library to read some of my poetry in an evening event designed to showcase the writing arts.  Shared my reflection on Psalm 62:9, which you can read below.  Its not new but it makes me want to be done all this studying so I can get back to doing things I love.  Well, I do love studying a bit.  I guess.

Psalm 62:9 (NLT)

From the greatest to the lowliest –
All are nothing in his sight.
If you weigh them on the scales,
They are lighter than a puff of air.

Small Breaths

A puff of air
No more,
Scarcely even a breath,
Our days are nothing.
We are born.
We live,
Hardly even a small breath
Exhaled quickly
For the Divine.
Then we are still.

Yet, he esteems
Us; small
Breaths. Gathering us he
Raises a current.
Zephyrs trusted
To carry
Gossamer seeds. Moving them
To good soil;
O Breath of God
Your breath in us.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, seminary experiences, Studying, Writings


I look outside my window and snow is falling. Inside I sit in my room between my desk and the small table I brought to supplement working space. I am studying for a quiz today in Greek. Principle parts. I do not like principle parts. They are the first person forms of the most common forms of the Greek verbs. I have gone over and over them and y would think that they would stick. But they do not. At least not very well.

Last night I took a break.  St Aiden’s, where I attend church while down south here, had an evening of story and song.  The “Inklings” they call it although the setting is not very pubish.  I volunteered to read a couple of my poems.  Then I also realized that Bob Currie, Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate was also reading a poem.(He is a regular member at St Aiden’s) a bit intimidating to read one of my amateur efforts in front of him.  But he gave me a thumbs up after the first one so I guess I passed that test.

Not quite as much fun studying for the Greek quiz today.  I would rather be in front of my fireplace at home with a cup of hot chocolate reading a good book – in English.

Instead – well it is strong coffee, no fireplace and Greek verbs.

Almost done for this semester though. Final exam on Thursday afternoon. Then it is home to my fireplace and Christmas preparations.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Studying