Monthly Archives: March 2006

Reflection on Psalm 75

I thank you Lord

For you are very near.   Ps.75:1 (NLT)

 

Why did you choose to

Love me so intensely?

It is easier to imagine

A distant God; fierce and cold.

But you break in on me;

Interrupt my isolation.

Longing, like a deep sigh,

Sends me seeking you.

 

I am used to distance.

I guard the space

That insulates my life.

Calloused skin adds

Thickness.  Insensibility

Sets in to match my blindness

And my deafened ears

Till I am self contained.

 

I know I am not worthy of

A God who’d choose

To wrap himself in

Human cells and sinews

Just so I could know,

Or begin to know,

How much I am

Desired.  Delighted in.

 

My God. Incarnate Gift.

Beloved One. Gentle Saviour.

The mystery of your love

Tears off my wraps of

False protection. 

I thank you Lord.

Teach me to sense again

That you are very near.

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What I learned in church today

No, I guess it may just have all kind of come together this morning.  God has been teaching me some of this stuff over a fair stretch of time with a bit more intensity in the last few weeks.

 

This morning I led the kids in their time together after the morning worship service.  We heard the story of how God protected this guy, Moses, as a small baby, being a child of the wrong race in a society out to get rid of children like him.  

 

It just happened that Moses was also talked about in the sermon – a man of faith.  

 

I guess all those things that happened to Moses were in preparation for the role God had for him.  Being protected from birth – being raised by his mother who must have said more than a few prayers over his little head – learning the inside workings of the pharaohs court, trying violence as a way of freeing his people, failing and fleeing, learning to live as a nomad sheepherder (that was good training) then finally hearing God’s voice and becoming a leader in spite of being stammering and reluctant.  I’m glad God chose to call into service people with flaws.  Maybe there are no humans without flaws anyway.  I find it hopeful that God could take this guy who was living a pretty ordinary nomad shepherd life and make him the leader he needed, transforming Moses into the person he needed him to be.  So, as Moses followed God’s instructions, as he grew in faith, he became the great leader that God wanted him to be.

 

It struck me that God wants us to be healthy; whole people.  Not just healthy in our spiritual aspects, but healthy in all of our many facets.  If we want to know God, if we want to hear his direction for our life, he will move us towards wholeness.  So as I come closer to him, instead of becoming only more “spiritual” and satisfied with that, he also shows me other aspects of my life that need to become healthier – things that make up my psyche where I need to become more healthy mentally and lifestyle things that would lead me towards better physical health.  I don’t know if I will ever arrive at that place of health that he desires for me, in this life – not likely.  I seem to have all these obstacles that I put up to run around, and I love chocolate far too much and procrastinate way too easily, but it is good to realize that complete health is God’s wish for me and that he will keep on working with me to move me in that direction.  

 

I think that if I can follow God like this that God will bring about healthy changes in me.  Then, like Moses in faith following God, he can move me towards the places he wants me to go, to do the work he has for me to do. 

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Stressing

The next couple of weeks are going to be so busy.  I have found that over the last week I have had little time or inspiration for blogging or even for reading some of my favorite blogs. 

Just too much going on.

My Auntie to move and things to do for her.  Children needing my timeand a place to hang out.  Grandchildren needing babysitting.  Committees needing work. 

Sometimes it gets to be almost too much.

Thanks friends who take the time to pray with me and for me.  As witness to the power that God has in providing strength for the day – I am still in one piece.  I still make it to work in the morning and through the day.  I am still sane – I think. 

But I may lay off this blogging for a bit – a week or two.  We will see I guess.  Sometimes this place acts as my stress reliever too.

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Road warnings

Late yesterday afternoon, Sara and I headed down to Saskatoon.  She and I needed to be at a parnet/teen meeting getting ready for her trip to California for the Easter break with Youth For Christ.  Since Sara has been little, visiting Disneyland has been one of her dreams.  Since it was never high on our agenda for vacation spots, I am glad she can finally go.  She has no friends who have decided to go along with her; it’s fairly expensive, but has has been working with this trip in mind.  I think she will do well in the friend making department – she is one of the nicest kids I know.(even if I do say so myself)

Anyway – those roads to Saskatoon!  Not bad from PA to Duck Lake.  Then they became snow and ICE covered for major stretches.  Slow driving – 60 to 80 kph most of the way.  And back over the same roads at night.  I hope it wams up enough to melt that stuff off the roads soon.  Leo drives the same roads today. 

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The Table

Last week at our small group we gathered around a small table and were invited to bring whatever we had and, figuratively, place it on that table in front of God.  The time we spent praying together was very good.  As I went home from there, I was struck by the reality that I did not put much on the table.  A few things, but I did not want to monopolise the time with my own stuff.  I could have filled that table; heaped stuff on there till the table broke! In fact sometimes the problems are a bit like the snow we have been having lately – it just keeps coming.  You shovel and clear a path and before morning it is all filled up again.  No end it seems. 

 

But, you know how it is; politeness keeps us from unloading all our stuff in front of others.  Some reservation is likely the proper thing to do under the circumstances.  But not as far as what we put on the table before God.  We won’t run out of time or burden him by spending long periods of time telling him the details of our life where we need him to work.  He is a very gracious host. 

 

As a result of the time we spent together last Wednesday, I went home and wrote.  Poetry seemed the only way to express some of the things I felt.

 

The Table

 

The table waits. In linen

A long expanse of pure white

And all around

A ragtag crowd clutches

Great green garbage bags

Bulging with broken goods. 

We’ve come in hope.

There was a promise; this stuff

Could be exchanged here

For better things.

 

We are afraid.

We thought it was a yard sale.

He said to bring whatever we had,

That we could leave it here,

Our junk,

And get stuff remade like new,

For nothing.

The spotless white linen

Will be spoiled

By what I’ve brought.

.

I have a heart dripping

With brokenness.

It’s sure to stain.

There are words oily with

The dark lubrication of half truths.

Here are puzzles with no picture guide,

Missing pieces.  Dust gatherers.

There are rags infected

By disease awaiting cures

Hope having died in little steps.

 

Jesus, how dare I

Soil your table with such filth?

How can I spread such piles

Of worthless junk before you?

I should have brought my finest stuff

But had none.

You say, “Don’t worry,

The invitation stands. Come. 

Give me your broken stuff”

 So here I am.  Here is everything I am.

 

 

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A long time ago…

Actually 57 years ago today, a bit before this picture was taken, I was born.  I think this picture was taken sometime in the late spring or early summer back in 1949.  I was born in Saskatoon and this picture was taken on my grandparent’s farm north of Prince Albert, I think.  My dad was a student in Saskatoon at the time, at Luther Seminary, I believe.  I am in my mom’s arms, my dad is holding my brother who was just a year old. 

I have been celebrating this birthday since Friday when Leo took me out for supper at Amy’s.  Over the weekend we have done various family things, including the dinner with my aunt on Sunday.  Tonight Sara “cooked” supper.  She ordered Chinese food from Star House.  That is her idea of cooking.  Funny, my boys can all cook.  My girls are best at take out food.  Anyway, we had fun and the food was great.

Some of my special gifts – several books: The Renovare Study Bible, The Genesee Diary by Nouwen and a gift certificate for another book.  Also Iona’s Open Sky CD, chocolate and some ear rings.  And a beautiful  photo of an Orchis rotundifolia (round leaved orchid) from Alberta by Michelle.  I even got a slobbery kiss from my grandson.  A good day except that I ate too much good stuff.

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On rescuing people.

Yesterday it snowed most of the day.  They say that we could get more snow still, but today has been precipitationless pretty much.  Randall has been lamenting the snow and Lauralea has been shovelling far too much.  Since my son’s business usually does the snow clearing, I had a brilliant idea.  I would do Lauralea a favor and ask my son (the one that hung around at my house  yesterday, snowbound – not the one who owns the business) to take the bobcat for a little detour by the Friesen’s when he cleared the church lot.  He went by the church lot and found it has been cleared already – some generous person with large equipment? had gotten there first.  So he got ready to drive the bobcat by the Friesen house. 

On the way the bobcat caught on fire.  No idea what did it but it went up in smoke.  Firetrucks and all!  Toast.  Now dead.

Sorry Lauralea.  I tried. 

A snowblower is rising towards the top of my list of things I would like for Christmas.  A nice one with an electric start.  Not too heavy since in all likelihood it is me that will be pushing it.

 

We have had enough snow for now. 

 

Second rescue – we took my aunt out of the hospital for a trip to church.  This is the first time out since she broke her hip.  She is doing remarkably well in physical healing.  She was able to manage in her walker quite well although linoleum floors are easier than even short pile carpet.  Mentally she has lost some ground.  She is not as oriented to place and time as she was before going into hospital.  But she has no trouble remembering the people around her that love her so much.  She had a good time at church.  After, we took her for lunch and fed her non-hospital food.  I think we gave her a good work-out.  She went back to the hospital and was ready for a nap.

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