Monday, December 29, 2008

Now that the bloom is off the poinsettia

Song for the Day After Christmas
Terry S Taylor
Fa la la la Fa la la la
Here's a song, here's a gift for the day after Christmas
When the presents have been opened and your spirit has crashed
When all the colored lights are turned off and the yule log is an ember
and you've returned that crap to KMart and the tree is in the trash

You've got to hold on hold on to the season's inspiration
More than a sweet memory, more than yuletide cheer
He's the Son, He's the one, He's the wondrous incarnation
Makes each day a little holiday, makes holy each New Year
Fa la la la Fa la la la

Now the Christmas snow is melting and the mundane days they roll by
and the silent night's been silenced and the angel choir is gone
You'll still hear them singing if you will only listen
they sing every day it's Christmas, it's Christmas all year long

You've got to hold on hold on to the season's inspiration
More than a sweet memory, more than yuletide cheer
He's the Son, He's the one, He's the wondrous incarnation
Makes each day a little holiday, makes holy each New Year
Fa la la la Fa la la la

Baby Jesus is now boxed up and the wise men not so smart
All they can do is hibernate and dream there in the dark
of the countless trips to Bethlehem and one they'll make again
But most time they spend in boxes where the starlight can't get in

Here's a song, here's a gift for the day after Christmas
When the credit card's been maxed out and the bills are piling high
When the children are less grateful and the wife is tired and worried
Nat King Cole's worn out his welcome and you're fat on pumpkin pie

You've got to hold on hold on to the season's inspiration
More than a sweet memory, more than yuletide cheer
He's the Son, He's the one, He's the wondrous incarnation
Makes each day a little holiday, makes holy each New Year
Makes each day a little holiday, makes holy each New Year
Fa la la la Fa la la la

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First Coming

I;ve been following Charlie Lowell's (Jars of Clay)blog of Advent Poetry lately. I saw this one on there a few days ago and since I've always been intrigued with Madeleine L'Engle, and the words here are really great, I thought I'd pass it along to the few who are here.

First Coming
by Madeleine L’Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine. He did not wait

till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Speech, Part 4

I saw William Young, the writer of The Shack on 100 Huntley Street last night. It made the story more meaningful and more understandable in terms of its controversial elements. He certainly came across as a person with the true meaning and depth of Christianity, and more importantly what it means to be a Christian, as a genuine concern for him.

But, that is not what this post is about.

I’ve noticed that there is no difference in the Christian community and the rest of our society with regard to things like gossip. I don’t know why gossip and gluttony are both ignored.
What is gossip? “Idle talk about the personal or private affairs of others.”
Most of the stuff we talk about are the private affairs of others. We’re spreading them for what reason? Most people gossip because we like to spread salacious dirt on others. It starts early in life. We tend to carry on. It is a struggle to not do the same. There is a definite line between gossip and passing on needed information.

A co-worker said once, “do you care about me enough to tell me to stop gossiping?”

We think we can say things because we have freedom of speech. Show me that phrase in the Bible, “freedom of speech!” We need to think the opposite. We need to think of the freedom to remain silent.

The truth in love is a terrific thought. We need to ensure we use both.

In our home, we've been really convicted over the past several months over watching shows on tv that bring criticism to our lips. Shows that make us judge others and their talents or ideas of fashion. There are so many designed today to make us shake our heads at the foibles and missteps of others that it makes me stop looking at myself and what I should be doing to make things better where I can actually make a difference.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Speech, Part 3

Matthew 10:19 “But when they deliver you up do not worry about what you should speak. For it will be given told you in that hour what you should speak: for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

1 Peter 2:1, 2 “Therefore laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”

Col 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Matt 12:35-37 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”

Ps 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”

Col 3:9 “do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”

1 John 3:18 “My little children let us not love in word or in tongue but in deed and in truth.”
... sometimes we only do love in words! Sickening to have people throw words at us, hoping they will stand alone. These words end up hurting more than helping because we know they are not true.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Speech, Part 3

1 Peter 2:1
“Lay aside all … evil speaking...”

Matthew 12:35-37 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”

Notice the progression, and that it starts with what is inside. A good man, has good treasure, and therefore, good comes out of him. Conversely, an evil man has evil treasure in his heart and therefore, it is evil that comes from him.
Notice the message in these verses though, we see things in terms of evil and good and indifferent, or as we call it at times, amoral. God calls us to a higher calling then we ever imagine for ourselves. God knows that our conscience will get us for the blatant ones. The higher law, the greater expectation is here focusing on the flippant, wasted, thoughtless words we often throw out.

I’ve been challenged over the past several months with the verse, 2 Corinthians 10:5, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” This has been very helpful as it is connected to words. A few people speak without thinking. That is a disease that I don’t know how to cure. Most of us have some filter at work that enables us to stop our mouth before the words come out. Whether we use this filter or not is another question. It is in capturing these thoughts that we can control our words.

Where are we losing out in our battle with words?
The foyer?
With the people we love?
Behind someone’s back?

Speech, part 2

“People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid.” -Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, December 12, 2008

Everybody's Talking... Is Anyone Saying Anything?

Its obviously Christmas, everything is too busy. I took an intentional break from this blog for a while, because it really does take up too much of my time.

Here are a couple of vaguely related thoughts.


Britney, I'm sorry for the lies we told
We took you into our arms, then left you cold
Britney, I'm sorry for this cruel, cruel world
We sell the beauty but destroy the girl

Britney, I'm sorry for your broken heart
We stood aside and watched you fall apart
I'm sorry we told you fame would fill you up
And money moves the man, so drink the cup

I know loves goes around the world, we know
And you never see it coming back
But I can see it coming back for you
It's coming back for you

Britney, I'm sorry for the stones we throw
We tear you down just so we can watch the show
Britney, I'm sorry for the words we say
We point the finger as you fall from grace

Britney, I do believe that love has come
Here for the broken, here for the ones like us
-Bebo Norman

Matthew 10:19
“But when they deliver you up do not worry about what you should speak. For it will be given told you in that hour what you should speak: for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


There is nothing like half baked proroguies to turn your stomach.

Unless its coalition stew.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Suffice it to say...

that there is a post for today, but it got filed under, "Better left unpublished".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


We may not be able to remember with our minds, but we all must remember with our hearts today.

This day reminds us of hope and sacrifice, of joy and loss.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I can't think straight let alone post

I've got an abscess. Great fun stuff. No posting today, nothing at all interesting at least. Let this just be a cry for prayer for relief from this aching face. I'm used to the people on the other side of my facing getting all the pain...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Graham

90 years young today.

Billy Graham

from the album "Outdoor Elvis"
Words and Music by Camarillo Eddy
©1989 Broken Songs

i don't know about those other guys
there's somethin' in the back of their eyes
but billy, you're the man
who don't use slight of hand
ain't wearin' no disguise
i love you, billy

i love the simple things you say
and you never seem to get in the way
no one is quite like you
compassionate and true
"just as i am", i say
i love you, billy

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Death and other enemies

I've been surrounded by death lately.

Makes me want to spit, spit out things I shouldn't say. It makes me want to despise God and or what He is doing. Just this week a ten year old boy and his younger brother lost their dad. Yesterday, a family finds out that their fifteen year old will not be coming home, his body discovered in a field not far from our house.

My first instinct is to scream out "WHY"? I was pointed to Psalm 17 this week though, and realized that David says the same thing. But he doesn't stop there.
He rants, he wails, but he also grabs onto the reality of God's goodness.

Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you. Even when its so dark. And its hard to focus when you're staring at the dark.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Shack, part 4

The Shack's number one redeeming quality, along with its intriguing story, is that when you are done, you know God loves you. See, what I didn't like in the book, the knocks on the Scripture and heaven, and the humanizing of God, I blame all that on the author. What was good, I believe, brings glory to God. As a writer who could ask for more? Let God be God and every man a liar.

God is working good through evil. Hope.

God gives us thing we need hether we deserve it or not. Grace.

"I'm especially fond of that one." Love.

"I never get tired of looking at that." Wonder.

Here are just four beautiful things in The Shack.

Here ends my ideas. Up next, Velvet Elvis.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Obama

I sure hope all you fear-mongers aren't right. I sure hope that America doesn't become a Muslim dictatorship. I sure hope that now that Dr MLK Jr.'s dream has come true we don't see the Confederate flag flying in the new Republic of Deep South. I sure hope that the terrorists don't take over the White House. I mean, just tonight I heard that there were hidden secret things happening behind the scenes so that the Democrats would get in and Obama, who is really a Muslim, dontcha know, would get in and kill even more babies...

Okay, we all know that there is more to these elections than meets the eye, but do we have to resort to all this stuff? Do we all know the real behind the scenes stuff? Isn't there a reason it happens behind the scenes? How can we make wild rash statements and expect people to take us seriously. If you don't like President Obama, vote him out next time... if there is still a democracy by then...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sugar or Vinegar?

Having just been to a seminar where one presenter lambasted everyone and everything outside his ideals, and read another blog where, to score points, the writer’s sarcasm moved from clever to spiteful, I read Sunday afternoon this interesting point about an absolute favourite of mine. If you haven’t tried to read Chesterton, please do. You can go online, right now and find his stuff out there to read.

P.J. Kavanagh
The Bodley Head G.K. Chesterton 1985
pg xxiii.

“But what is most remarkable about Chesterton, considering what a battler he was, is not his enmity but his lack of it. It is astonishing how few enemies he made, if he made any. It was always to be seen that it was the idea he hated, not the man. The man he enjoyed; and if he could, liked. The more one reads Chesterton, and thinks about him, the more it becomes clear, quite apart from his views, how extraordinarily ‘Christian’ he was, in the everyday use of that word. He approaches most people’s idea of a good man. His brother made many enemies, so did Belloc, who gloried in doing so: “There is something sundering about Hilary’s quarrels,” Chesterton was heard to murmur, sadly. His were not like that. Indeed, Belloc regarded this as a weakness in him, and was wrong, because Chesterton’s lack of interest in drawing an individual’s blood on particular issues keeps the issues clearer, makes them remain of interest to us.
Those he argued with remained his friends. H.G. Wells hearing after his death of some secret kindness Chesterton had done him, said he was not surprised: ‘I have never known a man so steadily true to form as GKC.’ People who worked for him loved him, and stayed…”

Why can't we be more like that bird?

I’ve still got a couple of other thoughts on The Shack coming too…

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yule never guess what we did today...

November 14th is traditionally our first day of Christmas.

Today being the 1st... well, lets just say we got out Bing, Kenny and Dolly, Oak Ridge Boys, Vanessa Williams, even a new Johnny Cash... that's right, the Christmas music came out. The inlaws Christmas tree is now up.

Before you label us as crazy, they are heading out for a few days and so they thought they'd get it up so it would be up when they got back.

I love Christmas. I'm sure if you look here you'll see some pictures eventually, but I don't do pictures... not well anyway.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What in the name of America was I just watching?

I just sat through the Barack Obama Show. Made for tv. Schtick politics. Kitsch for Americans. If Hallmark had made one of their made-for- tv movies and had just one voice half shouting over mellow dramatic music, they would have been derided in the post broadcast summary. This was so blatantly feel-good, so heart string tugging, so well, bad, that I could hardly believe that a sophisticated party like the Democrats would allow this to go out over the air! What in the world could they have hoped to gain from this? One thing I have been trying to do with this blog is to assume that the people reading are intelligent. I just watched the Democratic Party tell the voting public that they think they don’t think they can see through cheesy music and feel good sound-bites and photo-op pictures. And I wanted this to be good.

See, I’m kind of cheering for Obama, as a Canadian. I want to vote conservative here, but I want to watch carefully and see what voting liberal might do at such a perilous time.
I also want America to have graduated to being the kind of place where he can win. There have been enough clips of Republican supporters showing their ignorance and bigotry regarding just his name to make me want Obama to win.

I just don’t get what they had to gain by airing this stuff tonight. There have been no polls I have seen or heard that made it likely he would not win. Now I’d vote against him just because he treated me so ignorantly.

I don’t know what to think. We just watched the Canadian election go through smear ads and sadly they seem to have worked. I just don’t know how some publicity people can sleep at night seeing what they have done, manipulated the public for their own good. When will substance win again? Has it ever? Can someone remind me?

Now come on Rays! Redeem the tv night!

The Clown in the Belfrey, Part 2

One of the stories that Buechner tells in The Clown in the Belfrey goes something like this. One Sunday, while taking communion, Buechner could hear the priest saying “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven” as he approached him. As each person was approached this same phrase repeated, “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven, the body of Christ, the bread of heaven.” As the priest came to Buechner, the priest added, “the body of Christ, Freddy, the bread of heaven”.

Buechner says that for the first time, the words of Christ, “this is my body which is broken for you” came to life for him. He wasn’t even called Frederick, Mr Buechner, even Fred, no, he was Freddy, his own most personal name. The “you” part of Christ’s words took on reality.

Can you hear him? Christ wants to meet with you. As we worship Him, take great joy in knowing that He wants to meet with you!

Genesis 3 tells us the most powerful thought that even after we had sinned and destroyed our relationship with Him, He came and looked for Adam and Eve. He didn’t say, “you broke it, you fix it.”

Matthew 1:23 says Jesus is “Immanuel, God with us.”

Revelation 21 says that Jesus current occupation of preparing a place for us will be completed, soon the relationship will be fully restored. Let’s rejoice that He wants “me” here. This personal relationship is wanted by our Father in heaven. It is not about me then, it is about His desire to have us with Him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've been reading more Frederick Buechner lately. I must say, that in spite of his crassness, sometimes even because of it, I really enjoy reading his stuff. Lately its been the Book of Bebb... now there is a character for the ages! Most recently its a little collection of his shorter stuff called "The Clown in the Belfry" which is basically about faith and fiction.

One paragraph in particular really struck me with the idea of 'story'. He suggests that the reasons the parables of Jesus are so poignant is that they are our stories too. At any given reading we can relate to any of the characters within those stories. Sometimes we're the prodigal, sometimes, the father, sometimes the older brother, sometimes even the pigs. He thinks we over annalyze them and tear the beauty out by ignoring that sometimes Jesus just told the story and let it speak for itself.

I know this is not about The Shack, but its where I'm at today, what I'm thinking about.

He also says, "if today is the first day of the rest of our life, we are also at the end of the last stage of our life". What must I put away in order to move on with the rest of my life?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Shack, Part 3

As far as I can tell, The Shack is a book intending to help people answer the most common complaint God "has" to face. If He is good and loving, why does He allow evil?

Basically, the book revolves around the main character trying to come to grips with a family tragedy and God comes near to him, invites him on a real spiritual retreat. God proceeds to tear down all his preconceived ideas about who He is and the way things are to be.

Does the author do a good job of this goal, to defend God? I think he does. Whether God wanted defending, I don't know. That isn't really the question I suppose. God does come out as the good "guy" in the end. All the way through, God moves closer to what we would like Him to be.

That is the problem some have with the novel though, at times it was for me too. Is God becoming who we want Him to be, or does He just exist, outside our ideals? I'm not suggesting that the writer wanted to "dumb God down" for us. I don't think he has an inferior god to the one of the Bible. I think he truly wants us to see a part of God that many in the church may see as over-played already (Is it possible to over-play a part so beautiful?), His love. The writer is searching out the alienated, the fatherless and downtrodden, to point out that God is not a cosmic kill-joy. He really does love.

Is part of His character down-played in the book? Yes. Is there a danger in taking this book as a commentary on Scripture or the nature of God? Yes. Let us not forget that this is a novel and treat it as we would any other work of fiction. Use what is good for our own enjoyment and even betterment, and leave the rest as poetic licence.

God, of course, was there before us, and will remain, unchanged, after we've moved on.

Young ends up with a god who is deeply human. This is not God as Jesus either. This is God the Father. He talks like us, even less like some of us who try so hard to be pharasaical, er, um pious I mean. This was likely my most troubling point. Can God be this human? I think that as far as the Trinity is concerned, we know that He did. Jesus came here, God with human skin. The many appearances of God in the Old Testament are usually explained as being pre-incarnation (before birth) appearances of Jesus. I wonder about Moses in the crack in the rock. Was that Jesus? It doesn't appear to be so. How do we explain that? This may mean that God does make physical appearances, but it raises still another issue. Why doesn't the main character fall down in reverence in His presence? That side of God is missing, though the author is not really aiming at disclosing that side of Him. We'd give that kind of freedom to a theologian writing about the justice or love of God. Perhaps there is room for that freedom in a novel as well.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When you've got to play tag...

My wife tagged me in her blog to repost this...

How exactly do you say "no"???

1. Where is your cell phone? pursed
2. Your significant other? terrifiyummywonderfuliscious
3. Your hair? Going
4. Your mother? loves
5. Your father? example
6. Your favorite thing? numerous
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream/goal? "Well-done"
10. The room you're in? orange-carpeted
11. Your fear? lupuslipophobia
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Here
14. What you're not? complete
15. Muffins? carrot
16. One of your wish list items? HolyGhostBuilding
17. Where you grew up? Bancroft
19. What are you wearing? j's
20. Your TV? humming
21. Your pet? peeves
22. Your computer? ubiquitous
23. Your life? lively
24. Your mood? pensive
25. Missing someone? Bronwyn
26. Your car? rolled
27. Something you're not wearing? halo
28. Favorite Store? Chapters
29. Your summer? anticipated
30. Your favorite color? seven
31. When is the last time you laughed? ce soir
32. Last time you cried? ... hmmmmm,
33. Who will/would re-post this? you
34. Four places I go over and over? crazy, Kleinburg, Timmy's, Hillside
35. Four people you email over and over? Sabrina, myself, principal, DAmessagboard
36. Four of my favorite foods? breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks
37. Four places I would rather be right now? Bed, Cuba, upstairs, Heaven

Someone else edited out the ones missing, not me...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Shack, Part 2

Here there be dragons.
In His presence is fulness of joy.

Maybe this song doesn't obviously draw out the book, if you haven't read it.
If you have read and you don't know the song, well, be blessed!

If you know both the song and the book, all the better!

If you know the song, the book and the Author of the story, you're already blessed, this is just a reminder!!

The Author of the Story
from the album "Mr Buechner's Dream"
Music by Daniel Amos,
Words by T.S. Taylor
©2001 Zoom Daddy/BMI

She had one foot on the ground
And one foot in the air
(it seemed) the world held her cold hand
While the angels brushed her hair

"But that's how it has to end
On this side of glory,
Some wounds will never mend,"
Says the author of the story

I held one hand in the fire
And lifted one hand towards the sky
But the busy world still turned
And the angels passed me by

Sometimes there seems to be
No author of the story
These thoughts occur to me
On this side of glory

And I kissed the Lamb of God
And my fingers found the wounds
And the angels moved the stone
And I searched the vacant room

That's how it all begins
On this side of glory
"and you'll see her shine again,"
Said the author of the story

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Shack by William P. Young, Part 1

Let me start by saying that likely everything that there is to be said about this book has been said. Just click here and look at the number of hits you get! I haven't seen too much that is both sympathetic and cautious. I'm going to try to go for that. This can not be done in one post. Bear with me. Please. Or don't. Come back later. But do come back.

First off, as a story, this is a good one. It stands as good literature. Plot-wise, it kind of fits in with a "The Five People you Meet in Heaven" genre of books, though definitely more Christian. I don't remember reading much backlash about that book though, after all the positive press that Mitch Albom got with "Tuesday's With Morrie" and the "heretical" stuff in "Five People". Maybe the point there was that that book wasn't published as a "Christian" book...whatever that means.

For some of the early pages of the encounters with God, there is a sense of pushing the envelope, pushing to feel something pushing back. I know the feeling, I feel like doing it sometimes when I type here. Sometimes we just want to see if anyone is there, if anyone cares whether we are right or wrong. Sometimes we just put out a thought or an opinion to see if we can raise a rash. A modern poet has said,

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
Trent Reznor

I’ve been thinking more and more about blogging and why people do it. I’m sure some of it is pride and some of it is to try to feel. A famous writer once said, “You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment.”

If we send things out, do they bounce back, like sonar? Is there an echo out there? If there is, then somewhere out there in the darkness is something solid, something to tell me there is more than "me."

Are we alone?
Are the things we feel normal?
Am I normal?
Does anyone care?
Why do I hurt?

I think that this helps me understand William Young and also leads to why he wrote this book in the first place.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Overheard in the schoolyard...part 3

In the world of extremely funny, yet unimportant, yet infinitely telling stories I bring you this...

Apparently Tina Turner


Aretha Franklin

are in a tiff...

Apparently, and I have to take the published media's word for this, Tina Turner was called "The Queen" when introduced by Beyonce at the Grammys. Aretha, the so-called "Queen of Soul", released a statement the day after the Grammys in which she said, "I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé, however, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy."

Now, we have to assume that since Franklin released this, she meant it to sound the way it does. We have to assume she wanted to sound like this label was an afront to her own "title". We also have to assume that she didn't mind if that meant people would look at her as childish and intimidated by a gushing fellow entertainer.

If that was the end of the story, there would be no post, but in light of last week's political posts and "the rest of the story" that has since arisen, I just couldn't resist!

Ms Turner did not have a pithy comeback at the time, but I guess, having a while to consider what to say, she came up with a real zinger! She told USA Today, "Aretha has always been like that. We've always accepted that from her. She's the queen of soul, and I'm the queen of rock 'n' roll. There were so many kings and queens there that night. Her ego must be so big to think she was the only one. That's how queens are!"

And as all good arguments go, or royal wranglings, (I half expect Henry VIII to pop up and put us out of our misery here) there is still more. Ms Franklin now has put out her rebuttal to the rebuttal. Again, this is intentionally being published. Someone told her this was a good idea to publish this. "I have always appreciated what Tina Turner has to offer and had quietly cheered her on after Ike and her subsequent success. However, with respect to her statement concerning my ego ...("that's how queens are") clearly she was talking about herself as she described herself as the 'Queen of Rock' and saying 'that's what Queens do' — particularly since she does not have a clue as to who I am in view of the fact that we have never met.

"I never figured her to resort to tacky press just to sell a few tickets. I understand and I know that the concert market is down where ticket sales are concerned. I really had put her in a different class — higher than that.
Finally, no one has been more gracious or complimentary to their peers than I have and I am confident and secure enough to do so, unlike some others. I wish Ms. Turner all the best, as I always have. Perhaps one day we will meet."

I could comment, but... do I really need to?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let me take a minute here...

I just want to praise my wife.

She does it all.

She needs to take it easy.

Have a great weekend, my love.

See you Sunday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Overheard in the schoolyard... part 2

Okay, I wrote this post yesterday, (as most of my posts are not spontaneous, but tend to exist in some form or another on the old laptop for a few days before they ever appear here)but perhaps now it is put into a new light. I guess there was far more pressure on Stephane than just as it pertained to his party.

Obviously bad timing for Stephane Dion. He's obviously still sore from the ATV interview just a couple of days ago. The feeling is understandable.

How does this public reaction stand him in good standing with the public? He has had hours to prepare himself for that walk. He's got handlers, people who are there to help him put his best foot forward. Instead of walking out and saying, "Candians have spoken they've chosen Conservative, but they've asked us to be the Opposition, to make them accountable. We accept." He says, "Stay away from me. Do you know why I'm pouting?"

Once bitten twice shy is understandable, but this is still a man who wants to be Prime Minister.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So, what have we learned?

In the soon to become immortal words of the CIA directors from "Burn After Reading..."

"What have we learned from all this?"

" I don't know, sir. Not to do it again. Whatever we did."

Good-bye election. Hello status-quo. We've re-arranged the furniture. Does it make the place look less cluttered? Or are those deck chairs we're shuffling and this is the Titanic?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Overheard in the schoolyard...

“You don’t have a plan.”
“No, you don’t have a plan…”

Oh, no wait, that was Stephen and Stéphane.

I just couldn’t resist… its so juicy… don’t these people get it, we’re not idiots? This is not 1917 anymore? People actually get to hear from them and the things they say have to have some merit? This is not a partisan post, I think someone who can have a plan and not knock the others so pointlessly could start a revolution… wait, didn’t I blog about this in my last posting?

Hands up if you're tired of negative advertising. Hands up if you don't really know if people know what they are going to do, let alone what their opponents are up to. Hands up if schoolyard politics are out of date, out of style and out of class.

Hands up if you want to see someone who stands for something, not against something. John Tory tried that last time, in Ontario. It didn't work. Let's give someone a chance who tries that tactic.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I hope you all had a tremendous weekend. We sure did. It was great to see those of you that we did. For the rest of you... sorry for our loss.
Back tomorrow...if the river don't rise.

Friday, October 10, 2008

We Need a Saviour

I saw that our local Christian station is going to be playing the "classic" MW Smith song "We Need a Saviour" in their upcoming retro show. Now, normally that wouldn't make me pause, though its one of the few MWS songs I'm familiar enough with to like.

What it made me think of though was that we have this world that really needs a saviour. Sadly, Revelation tells us that its a saviour from peace on earth. Right about now, the media is trying to play things calmly, yet the quotes from "experts" (the old saying goes that if you stretch all the economists end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion) seem to be saying that the co-ordinated effort of the world banks to lower interest rates simultanteously was a great thing. People like to think that everyone else is just as helpless as they feel. They also want to know that there is a higher power, unified in doing us all good. From that, you can see that if one person stepped forward to rescue us from financial uncertainty that we would follow almost unconditionally.

Sadly, like the ancient Jews, we are looking in the wrong direction. Our Saviour still hangs on a cross, dying to be noticed. Meanwhile we stare at the stock market

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Political Ideals

Let me begin with a wee thought. This post is one sided. That is because I've lived my whole thinking life on the other side. This post in no way assumes a new way of anything. Just a few questions. And, as Mr Robert Zimmerman has said... the only way to answer these questions is to ask them in the first place.

Who should I vote for?

Why did Christ ask the church to care for the fatherless and widows? Was it because it is our job or because he wants us to make sure they get taken care of? If the church can’t or won’t do the job, should I now support those who can and will? In our society, that is the government. Should I now support those who support the needy?

All my life, I’ve believed that big government is bad government. All my life I’ve believed that I know what to do with my money better than a government could. Have I been wrong? Is it possible that aiding the government to better meet the needs of the needy is what I should really be doing?

Why does the political party that most consciously supports the needy also have the least desirable social standings on other moral issues? Is there a middle ground? Can we have it both ways?

Oh, Robert Zimmerman is Bob Dylan, in case you might have wondered why I'm quoting him. Some are likely still wondering why.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Many of you have likely heard of this movie. Its a new "Documentary" in a post-modern sort of way. As the title implies, it ridicules religion. Now, Monty Python did a great job of that in "The Life of Brian" and everyone knows that our relligiosity deserves a good dressing down from time to time, so don't get me wrong. I used to really like Bill Maher, meaning I used to watch his talk show a few years ago. With that in mind it was disappointing to hear that this was his choice of ways to depict his ideas.

This post is not about the movie.

This post is a reminder to us as believers.

This post is a reminder that giving press, however limited is only stirring up what Maher and his like are wanting. Ignore it and it will go away. Sadly it will likely harm a few people. Most of those will already agree with him in the first place. That is God's problem, not mine. I'm sure that I can do more good by living out my "religiosity" in a loving, relelvent, honest, gracious way than I can by lambasting "Religulous".

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Plastic, Part 5 (and final)

Well, we sat through The Graduate last Friday night, and though I had an immediate idea of where this was going to head, its taken me all this week to formulate this post.

This is a movie that leaves you with little doubt at the end that this was a well crafted, well made, highly effective movie. The sound, the Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, the camera angles, cuts and moments of visual impact are truly terrific, reason enough to make it into the top 100.

Notice that I still haven’t said that I enjoyed it. “Terrific” is the route word of terror, if not the other way around is it not? “Highly effective” are positive terms when the message is positive. When the message is pessimistic, hopeless, even, highly effective means it tugs you violently in those directions also. It also leaves you with more than a little doubt that what was just fed to you was a piece of post-modernism, at its earliest stages. From the cross symbolism, to the calloused view of marriage, to the fairly realistic view of our own superficial times, this movie opens up a fairly nauseating can of worms.

The dialogue itself is quite telling. In one note-worthy moment, the protagonist, Ben, tells his father, “I’m worried about my future.” “About what?” his father replies. “I want my life to be…” but he’s cut off by his mother who comes in the room and a whole new conversation begins. The father never does go back to the original conversation and a life that could have been given some direction is lost. Even an affirming word that it was a noble intention to make his life worth something to society, to humanity, would likely have spared the son from the empty existence he soon adopts. Instead, swept up in the party for their son which is about to begin, the moment is lost and so is he. In their selfish interest to show off their award-winning athletic son, they ignore his needs.

Another quietly telling moment occurs when the young man stands back to hold a hotel door open for a progression of older, well-dressed, obviously rich and successful people. These people all ignore him, none even looking him in the eye, and they certainly do not acknowledge that he’s holding the door for them. He stands back with a quiet smile on his face and carries on as though that is always the way it is in his life. The older people have no time or place for him.

As Ben faces an uncertain future, he becomes less and less focused as the summer rolls along. His father approaches him one day as he floats lazily in the pool. “What are you doing?” his father asks. “I’m drifting,” he responds. Rather than noticing the obvious double meaning, his father ignores the anchorless existence of his son. When nothing is given to him of worth, the only thing he can do is drift. He lives in a loveless, religion-less, charity-less, world of self-absorbed, task-driven people.

Eventually, the son’s choices lead to a life of detachment, and though attempts are made to re-connect to people, they all fail. Unable to talk, unable to listen, unable to love, only to feel and to react, his life becomes empty and sad. The only advice he is given in the whole movie, that I can recall, is when a friend at his party pulls him aside and confidently, yet strikingly tells him that he has “one word” for him…pregnant pause for dramatic effect for both the young man and the audience… the one word is uttered… “Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics.”

Plastic surgery ( click here to see how you can even have plastic surgery and pay with plastic! ) is a good place to jump to. If we don’t like or don’t have the real thing, we turn it into plastic. Have you seen those fake neon palm trees lately? We have plastic fruit, plastic flowers, plastic toy sharks to make up for real ones, plastic Christmas trees, and even plastic caskets to bury ourselves in should we crash that plastic car. (Doesn't plastic casket sound like a good name for a band?)

The word implies to many people "fake". Fake is usually a bad thing. Faking income has led to bank collapse. Faking injury has led to higher insurance claims. Faking offense has led to more guilt. Faking qualifications has led to people doing jobs they are not qualified for. Faking our assignments have led to inflated opinions and over-qualifying. Faking knowledge has led to us having some of our pollitical leaders we have. Faking life must be the worst faking of all. Chasing after false importance. Pursuing fame. Finding our own glory in our children. Pushing our children toward false, over-valued things. We seem to want a plastic world for ourselves, one in which we end up with nothing really mattering to us, nothing can dent us, nothing can bend us, nothing can help us to really feel, to really love, to really desire forgiveness and restitution, we simply pretend that everything is fine. In this I see a parallel with Edward Scissorhands and this movie. I also see a supreme work that is needed, might I say a Supreme work. We can have real life, abundant life Jesus called it, but we must put away what the world is selling us as important. This is true for all of us. Not just those who are un-believers, but for true believers too. The world and its system is so wrapped up in who we are that we may even miss out that it has us (see The Matrix as a movie example of this, and my life as a practical example).
Anyway, it seems I could go on, but this post must be getting long by now! I leave you with one word, are you listening??????


Plastic, Part 4

The Sound of Silence
Simon and Garfunkel

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

Fools said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperd in the sounds of silence.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Plastic, Part 3

Snow in a Can
The Swirling Eddies

vegetables in a bottle, fruit in a gum
liquid cheese in dispensers, janitor in a drum
better health in a packet, spring in a soap
the world in a box and a t.v. remote

candles for romance, canned music for mood
sex in a pill, and tan in a tube
for winter a heater, for summer a fan
instant coffee and cameras, sea-monkeys and tang

is just some of the stuff which i think is grand
alternative crab meat makes me one happy man
santa ana’s at christmas won’t ruin my plans
i got a video fireplace and snow in a can

abracadabra, alakazam
flip a switch and it’s snowin’ at disneyland
they got apples in shampoo
like pearls in a clam
they got pigs in a blanket
and snow in a can

sounds of nature on tape such as rivers and rain
paint by numbers and duraflame
pre-fab houses and astro yards
collagen lips and credit cards
complimentary peanuts, friendly skies,
comfort foods
happy meals, smart marts and
sensible shoes
honest work, hope chests
the lay of the land
fantasy baseball and denny’s grand slam

is just some of the stuff which i think is grand
alternative crab meat makes me one happy man
santa ana’s at Christmas won’t ruin my plans
I got a video fireplace and snow in a can

abracadabra and alakazam
flip a switch and it’s snowin’ at disneyland
they got apples in shampoo
like pearls in a clam
they got pigs in a blanket
and snow in a can

snow in a can snow in a can
apples in shampoo and snow in a can
just some of the stuff which i think is grand
pigs in a blanket and snow in a can

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Plastic Part 2

Plastic is Forever

Sam Phillips

My t.v. doesn’t listen when I give it pieces of my mind
It keeps making everything the same size
Pain is pleasure when its televised

Plastic is forever

Artificial florists
Sell you flowers that will never die
They cut down the real forests
For paper petals engraved with borrowed lies

Monday, September 29, 2008

Plastic, Part 1

Big Yellow Taxi

Joni Mitchell

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Dont it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Dont it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer
Put away that d.d.t. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The 3000 hits club

Pete Rose 4256
Ty Cobb 4191
Hank Aaron 3,771
Stan Musial 3,630
Tris Speaker 3,514
Carl Yastrzemski 3,419
Cap Anson 3,418
Honus Wagner 3,415
Paul Molitor 3,319
Eddie Collins 3,315
Willie Mays 3,283
Eddie Murray 3,255
Nap Lajoie 3,242
Cal Ripken, Jr. 3,184
George Brett 3,154
Paul Waner 3,152
Robin Yount 3,142
Tony Gwynn 3,141
Dave Winfield 3,110
Craig Biggio 3,060
Rickey Henderson 3,055
Rod Carew 3,053
Lou Brock 3,023
Rafael Palmeiro 3,020
Wade Boggs 3,010
Al Kaline 3,007
Roberto Clemente 3,000

and the newest member...

Inside Out 3,000

That's right... Inside Out has 3000 hits. Can we become first ballot hall of famers?

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Cash Cow

I insert this today to remind myself, that in spite of the times, the pressures, the ideals, I must not be consumed.

Cash Cow

([Act One)
Move in closer...
Move in closer to the...
Move in closer to the middle of the frame
(Act Two)
It was a morning just like any other morning
In the Sinai desert, 1200 B.C.
It glistened, it glowed, it rose from the gold of the children of Israel
...and most of the adults
The cash cow!
The golden cash cow had a body like the great cows of ancient Egypt
And a face like the face of Robert Tilton
...without the horns
And through the centuries is has roamed the earth
Like a ravenous bovine
Seeking whom it may lick
Cash cow!
From the valley of the shadow of the outlet mall
To customized petwear boutique
From the trailer of the fry chef
To the palace of the sheik
The cash cow lurks
Who loves you, baby?
Who'll give you good credit?
Who says you'll regret it?
Who loves you, baby?
Who'll give you good credit?
Who says you'll regret it?
I was in love and I needed the money
And then I needed more money
I was filthy rich and all I wanted was love
...and a little more money
Woe to you, proud mortal
Secure in your modest digs
You think you're immune?
You, who couldn't finger said cow in a police line-up with the three little pigs!
Cash cow!
Master of disguises!
Who's gonna change shape at will?
Who's the eye on the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill?
Who loves power lunchin' from Spago to Sizzler?
Cash cow comin' to get ya
Cuz you think this is stupid, don't you?
The cash cow will not be mocked!
The cash cow's planning a coup!
The cash cow chews cud bigger than you!
Woe, woe, woe to you
Who blow off this warning
Perhaps you've already been licked
I, too, was hypnotized
By those big cow eyes
The last time I uttered those three little words
"I deserve better!"
(Act Three - instrumental)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Raging Bull

The story of Jake LaMotta. Jake seems to be obsessed with being the best boxer. He also becomes obsessed with Vicki, a young girl from his neighbourhood. Jake is married, though badly, and in spite of that he pursues Vicki, eventually marrying her. Even married, he remains obsessed. He must control her, he must know what she is doing, even when he’s not around. LaMotta follows these two obsessions through the movie.

Fittingly, he quotes from “On the Waterfront” in the closing moments, with a flat interpretation of Brando’s famous “I coulda been someone, I coulda been a contender” lines. This reminds us of the way LaMotta could have turned out if he had been willing to both work within the parameters of the boxing world, and also not thrown fights for his own personal gain.

I wasn’t sure when the movie was over what I was supposed to feel. There is never an attempt to make LaMotta likeable or honourable. Tough perhaps, but worthy of respect, no. I only felt bad that LaMotta turned out like he did, a washed up, almost was who is more famous for being depicted in this movie than for anything he actually accomplished in his life. Sadly, since this is based on his autobiography, (though some important details were changed for the movie) this is not just a movie but someone’s life. Perhaps that is what made it arrive on AFI’s top 100 list. As a work of fiction it wouldn’t work, as a biography, it makes it more dramatic.

This movie is way too gritty for my tastes. The language is over the top in its presentation of the 1940’s. Of course, the boxing world may have been that raw, but personally I felt the language made this movie painful to watch, not just gritty and honest.

This movie makes me now want to finish watching “On the Waterfront”. We own it, but the DVD has a flaw in it that makes it quit working about 2/3 of the way through. I want to see how that film plays out Brando’s comeback from a has-been boxer to life on the docks battling union corruption. That movie at least had some redemption available for the character.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I wrote this little monologue back a couple of years ago for a school Easter presentation. I don't know what made me think of Barrabas in the jail, its been a few years ago since I wrote it.

I was a good kid. I really was. Everyone thought I'd grow up to work in the temple. I was a really
good student too. Smart. That's the word everyone used. Teachers, parents, other kids. Smart.
Its good to be smart, but its hard too…

I remember when it changed though. I was in Grade 5 and Jonas moved to town. He was different. He always said stuff like, "I don't know why we have to keep doing this stuff. It hasn't worked for 600 years…"

I liked Jonas. He had a way with words that made people listen to him and I listened. I was getting tired of doing the right thing all the time. I wanted something exciting in my life. Jonas brought excitement. Sometimes we'd tip over market stalls just to hear the owners yell. Sometimes we'd scare people into thinking we had leprosy. Sometimes we'd just sit around and make up things to do, crazy things, things we'd never follow through on…

When we were all done school, Jonas and I decided we wanted out of our little town. We headed
north, far from the Roman headquarters. And we did what we wanted. Jonas had started to come up with his own ideas about the way people should be governed and it had nothing to do with Rome, priests, God…

We started out small in our law breaking, but then Jonas came up with his plan. The government was wasting money he said. He was going to take back what was stolen from him… I didn’t think that people would end up dead, though. I didn’t think this was where I was headed way back in Grade 5.

So far I’ve done a lot of blaming other people and my circumstances for why I’m here. I don’t want you to get me wrong. I’m guilty. I took a bunch of guys and got the job done. I knew it was illegal. I knew it was against everything I’d been taught and I did it anyway. That’s how I ended up in jail and how my story started to get out.

One day when I was sitting there, sitting there, like every other day in that damp wet filthy stone cell, I heard a noise like I’d never heard in my whole time in prison. There’d been crowds outside before, there was always something going on. This was different though. This was something huge. There was a lot of shouting. I wondered to myself if they’d finally taken Jonas, though he’d always sworn that they’d never take him alive. Suddenly I heard something that made my blood run cold. It was my name.


Well now, what do they want with me? Then it happened again, louder than before and this time it brought a chill to me because immediately after the chant I heard the words I’d dreaded since my trial…


So it had come to this. My life which was so full of potential was now going to end like this. At the hands of the people I’d come to hate, for doing something that every civilized nation everywhere declared was wrong. I was going to die and I deserved it…

The next few minutes were the longest ones of my life. Shouting from the end of the long dark hallway, keys rattling, soldiers laughing, all added up to one sad funeral song to me. I didn’t know what to do. I stood to my feet knowing that I could do nothing now. Mercy had passed me by. As I had let it pass by for those now dead in my past…

Dragged from the cell, shoved to the ground, prodded with the blunt end of spears by soldiers too eager to use the sharp end. Led to the end of that long hallway, out into the cool night air, only to hear the last words I’d ever expected… “GET OUT OF HERE.”

Get out of here? I staggered, nearly falling. I turned to look at my tormenters. There had to be some cruel joke coming next. I slowly backed away. The soldiers didn’t even watch me go, they hurried away, back to the party or whatever was going on in the meeting place where the crowd was.

I was stunned, more stunned than the day I’d been arrested, more stunned than the day the Roman governor Pilate had pronounced me guilty.
“Get out of here”… the words echoed around me. How could this be?

Who is being crucified then? How could it be? Why was my name called out?
I had to find out.
I hurried up to the crowd, I didn’t care that I didn’t smell very good. I didn’t care that I was covered in dirt and cobwebs. I asked the first person I saw what was going on.

“Where have you been?” he asked. I didn’t answer, just waited for a response.
“It’s Jesus,” he said. He’s going to be killed. I guess the priests have had enough of his teachings.
“Why were they yelling, ‘Barabbas’, then?” I asked.
“We wanted Pilate to let Barabbas go free,” he replied. Pilate said, ‘Jesus or Barabbas goes free,’ and we chose Barabbas.”
“What? You let Barabbas go free? Why? What has this Jesus done wrong?”
“Um… I don’t really know…I think he’s really bad though… I really don’t know, I know the priests want him dead.”

I wandered away in shock. Someone else was dying when it should have been me.
Why? Why not me.
This man’s death was giving me life. I was determined to use it for something good.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rear Window

In “Rear Window”, we have another matching of Jimmy Stewart with Alfred Hitchcock. They did four or five together. ( I just finished reading Jimmy Stewart’s biography last week and I don’t remember if there was a fifth one…Vertigo, Rope, Anatomy of a Murder, Rear Window and ? Someone feel free to remind me! Comments are always welcome.)

With Rear Window we have an interesting shooting style. The whole movie takes place through Stewart’s window, give or take a few clips when he goes out that same window at the end of the movie, or within his small apartment. Hitchcock gives an interview in the edition of the dvd we watched and he says that the idea was to basically look at Jimmy Stewart, then show what he is looking at, then shoot his reaction to that sight.

Without giving away plot details, the movie itself plays as a very modern tale. We’ve got people peering into the lives of others with very little intention of getting involved. One neighbour even cries out, in the middle of the movie, that the people living around their courtyard are not neighbours, because neighbours care about each other. It strikes me as having a lot to do with a tremendous book I read last summer called, “The Safest Place on Earth“, by Larry Crabb.(Larry Crabb wrote the book who’s title I borrowed for this blog.) In that book, Crabb describes our typical church life as being a bunch of people sitting so they can’t really interact with each other…at least he picks on that aspect of a traditional service as an example. From that position he says that we need to circle up, turn our chairs toward one another, find people who we can connect with and form spiritual bonds with each other. Risk, become vulnerable, be real, and enjoy other people’s humanness and God at work through them as well.

Suffice it to say, when Stewart and his friends in “Rear Window” attempt to interact, they do find real hurt, real pain, real humanness, and solve a crime in the mean time. When you do the same in your spiritual life, you find all of those things too, give or take the crime. You also find real joy, real community, real love, real honesty, real Christianity.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Funniest thing I've read in a while

Hand Soap bottle
Our bathroom

“Entice your senses with the aromatic blend of Jasmine and the delicately sweet, floral notes of Orange Blossom.
The creamy formula envelops your hands in a delightful bouquet while thoroughly cleansing your skin. Your hands are left feeling clean, soft and freshly scented.”

Great stuff. Which senses are we enticing when it is aromatic, because it seems there is more than one. Since smell and taste go together, I guess its taste!
Why are the words Jasmine and Orange Blossom capitalized? Are they song titles? People? Townships?

Why would I be “enticed” to buy soap that is delicately sweet, more than soap that is just orange- blossom scented?

Who talks about “floral notes”, let alone cares to be thinking about them when reading the back of a soap dispenser?

Who reads the back of a soap dispenser?

Notice that it is not the creamy soap, but the formula, which happens to be creamy, that envelops your hands.

This is what happens when you let the same person who writes for Hallmark write for your soap dispenser labels. “aromatic”, “entice”, “delicately sweet floral notes”, “creamy formula envelops”, “delightful bouquet”, “freshly scented”.

Notice that your hands feel - not smell, but feel freshly scented.

Why is it written like this? Is this a rarity? Is there more of this stuff out there?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And now a word from my friend Derri

Here's a clip from my friend Derri of The Lost Dogs and the choir (capitals omitted on purpose).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The funniest thing I’ve read recently...

Grocery store parking lot, Ottawa:

“We regret, but we are not responsible for damage or loss suffered to your vehicle while parked in this lot.”

Really? You regret it? Then you won’t mind making restitution for the damage caused. You don’t regret it, you are glad you’re not. You went to your lawyer to make sure you weren’t before you put up the sign.

Is this not symptomatic of the way we live? We politely avoid responsibility. We attempt to maintain a modicum of humility while at the same time we want to avoid blame. Without doubt, this is as human- as like me- as you can get.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


First off, its the movie, not the disease...

At first, I couldn’t understand why this movie was on the top 100 list, especially since it made number 9 on the updated, 2007 list. Of course, this is Alfred Hitchcock so it is definitely a psychological thriller, but the strange behaviour of Madeline definitely made this a classic. The title even, "Vertigo", is barely central to the plot, then suddenly it appears. The nature of mental illness and love and acute melancholia and a guilty conscience are at the heart of this amazingly gripping movie. The deeper in you go, the more it makes you say, “What is going on?” Then you remember that it is Alfred Hitchcock and you wonder why you didn’t see it coming.

It is said that a majority of people in mental institutes are in because of guilt. Without fully thinking that thought through as it applies to this movie, I believe this is related. I’ve only seen a couple of other Hitchcock movies, but in those the plots were similar to each other. In “The Birds”, “Psycho”, and “North by Northwest”, the plot revolves around a strange occurrence which seems plausible, but involved something stalking someone else. In Vertigo, the scenario seems implausible, but you soon believe that it is real.

After a while, as the facets of the diamond are polished up, the reality appears, this is a great movie!

The most startling thing about this movie is the way that Scotty begins to obsess over his lost love and works to replace her by dressing up a passer-by to look like her. You feel a queasiness, being fully aware that this man is not well. What is even more shocking than his requests of his new love is that, though she knows it is not healthy, and that he is pursuing a love from the past, she goes along with it to be with him. She plays a character and falls for him, while he falls for the character, not her.

So what do we do with this? “It’s just a movie,” we say, and trudge on. I wonder though. Do I expect my wife to turn into what I want her to be? Do I love her for who she is? Can we say we truly love if we want them to change? As years go by in any relationship, new secret rooms are opened up to us, either revealed or discovered. How we handle these revelations speaks loudly to the depth and commitment of our love. Will we grow and continue to love or will we expect things to change in our partner?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School!

Maybe back to blogging too? I've been putting stuff down all summer, but dial up internet does not make it too fun. I know, cut and paste, but anyway... maybe now I'll get at it. Thanks for still checking in!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Godfather

So we finally watched The Godfather a couple of nights ago. What a fun, great movie... well, disturbing might be another word to add to that description, but we both really enjoyed it.
Probably the acting was what made it so good. That and feeling like I knew the culture slightly.
What really struck me was how like the church this could be. People can look after one another. Don't say anything about your family, family comes first. Look out for one another. Don't be surprised when you are asked for a favour. Respect and expect respect.
Of course there is also fear, murder and unfaithfulness, and, though I've just finished reading "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown about 20 minutes ago, that should not be what the church looks like and I know it, so don't shoot me... Wait, maybe a bad use of the language there. At any rate, I'd say if your tolerance for blood and gangster movies is pretty good (remember this movie was made in 1972, a pretty strong point in American film making, but a gritty time too), then you should love this movie. I know its alway number one or two on most "Best of" lists, its number three on ours down this page somewhere. Not too bloody, language is pretty good, all in all a great classic

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just to let you know

I'm still alive. We currently don't have internet at home, new computer doesn't come with a modem, apparently! (Everyone must have high speed???) Anyway. School's out, summer's in. Having a great time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It is my dear wife's birthday today. She'll never tell you how old she is, but let's just say, she's around 25!

I love you, dear!

I hope you have an awesome day. Congratulations on arriving at this esteemed age!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Whether tis better...?

Win or participate?

As a Christian school we often debate about what is the Christian view on sport. Is it cowardly to try to be inclusive and let all play, winning being a possible side line?

As a coach, is it okay to try to win?

What about the kids?

What about those who compete to win and are held back by those less dedicated or skilled? Is it fair to them to learn to lose, so that others will learn to compete, to be team members, to have fun?

If the Christian school teaches our students to lose, who will teach them to win? There are lots who will be willing to take on people who just want to win. Politics, terrorists, Al Davis...

How do you win with class? We can all paint on a smile, clap appropriately, say nice things, like, "Good effort", or "Nice try," but who teaches us to win with class, if all we ever do is lose?

Is it about competing, then? Just compete and see what happens? We obviously can't do anything about another team better prepared or better skilled. Do we just do our best then? Is it okay to add strategy that only leads to winning then(Intentional walks, traps, delay of game tactics, taking a knee)? If it is just about competing, then some of these things would have to be eliminated. Is there any point in talking strategy, making plays, practicing our own skills, if its just about participation?

Should winning be a goal? If we don't try to win, are we cheating our students out of the joy of seeing hard work pay off with favourable results? How do we demonstrate to our students that its okay to want to win, that its okay to feel bad when we don't, that sometimes we fail because others fail, that sometimes we succeed through no skill of our own? Sports. There are so many lessons.

As a coach, sometimes I feel pressure to win. Our school tries to focus on fewer sports in order to see better results (read that as win) in those areas. We even won two tournaments this year. A first since I've been at this school. That puts pressure on me to have them succeed. Often I feel like my lack of experience or know-how may lead to less favourable results than I would like. Should I feel that pressure? Should I be getting myself better skilled, paying big bucks and getting certified so that we can be even more successful?

I wonder if Christians have lost their desire to succeed. Are we content with being beaten? With coming last, but being nice about it? We start our own leagues and labels and movie companies, etc, but why? So we don't have to compete with bigger dollars, more creative, less scrupulous people? How do I teach my students to rise above if I don't want to myself??

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


(see #48 below)

Does this movie ring true? I’m not talking about giant sharks eating whole fishing boats. I’m talking human decisions. I thought the giant mechanical sharks were quite believable except for one moment when the thing jumps on the boat. Otherwise it was really terrific for 1975.

The issue for me is more about whether the actions of the characters are true. Would a politician and a physician intentionally stand silent? Would a police officer allow themselves to be quieted into no action? Would a parent let their child go to swimming knowing what they know?

I found that all in all, the politician’s stance was believable. His job was at stake. If the beaches were empty, then his job would be gone. He could easily convince himself that there was no shark, or that it was a freak, once in a lifetime event.

As far as the medical examiner was concerned, I didn’t see how he could be silenced into changing his report, and the movie doesn’t even try to convince us. He just does, it’s implied that there is intimidation or something, but we’re never really let in on it.

The policeman I found the hardest to believe of all. He has so little to lose, especially as a parent. Why he allows the events to be worked out the way they do is bizarre. I appreciate his efforts to bring down the shark later, but even then, his aversion to water is ignored and he just heads out to sea.

Why does this movie stand up so well as a classic then? I guess it’s the music. Duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh. I mean you still hear that familiar theme today to imply impending disaster. I think the randomness of the attack is fairly well designed too. With so many potential victims, except for the boat captain, you can’t really anticipate who is going to be next. I also think the first time you see the unbelievable shark glide by underwater you realize that it is a bigger problem being faced than you ever expected.

Fun movie, I suppose. I think I still prefer "The Birds".

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The American Film Institute top 100 list

Sabrina and I decided a couple of years back to see if we could round up and watch the top 100 movies as voted on by the American Film Institute(1997 list). Oh, American films only on the list... Its a great list. We're avoiding a few of them, well, Sabrina is avoiding them, but since we have to see them together...our rules, (individually we've seen some of these not checked off, but we want to see them together.) After watching the first 20 or so, I decided that I wanted to make something of it, not just sit through them, so that's where some of these blogs come from and hence, why I'm suddenly writing about a thirty or eighty year old movie. we've seen 41/100 as of July 1, 2008
another update, I think we're at 49 as of August 20th
a third update...51 as of Oct 10, though I think I've miscounted at some point...
a fourth update... 55 as of April 6, 2009
a fifth update... 59 as of October 18th, 2009
1.CITIZEN KANE (1941) √
2.CASABLANCA (1942) √
3.GODFATHER, THE (1972)√
6.WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939) √
7.GRADUATE, THE (1967) √
10.SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) √
14.SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) √
15.STAR WARS (1977) √
16.ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) √
17.AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951) √
18.PSYCHO (1960)
19.CHINATOWN (1974) √
21.GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940) √
22.2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
24.RAGING BULL (1980) √
26.DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) √
27.BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
28.APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) √
31.ANNIE HALL (1977) √
33.HIGH NOON (1952)
39.DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) √
42.REAR WINDOW (1954) √
43.KING KONG (1933) √
47.TAXI DRIVER (1976)
48.JAWS (1975)√
53.AMADEUS (1984) √
55.SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965) √
56.M*A*S*H(1970) √
57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
58.FANTASIA (1940) √
61.VERTIGO (1958) √
62.TOOTSIE (1982)
63.STAGECOACH (1939)
66.NETWORK (1976)
69.SHANE (1953)
71.FORREST GUMP (1994) √
72.BEN-HUR (1959) √
74.GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)
76.CITY LIGHTS (1931) √
78.ROCKY (1976) √
79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978) √
80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
81.MODERN TIMES (1936)
82.GIANT (1956)
83.PLATOON (1986)
84.FARGO (1996) √
85.DUCK SOUP (1933)
88.EASY RIDER (1969)
89.PATTON (1970) √
90.JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927)
91.MY FAIR LADY (1964) √
92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A(1951)
93.APARTMENT, THE (1960)
94.GOODFELLAS (1990) √
95.PULP FICTION (1994)
96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956) √
97.BRINGING UP BABY (1938) √
98.UNFORGIVEN (1992) √

Annie Hall says WHAT???

First off, I know this review is 30 years late. Sadly however, the movie is still relevant to today’s pop culture. What we have here is basically a view of the world that says love is good, but how we go about it doesn’t necessarily have goodness to it. Woody Allen, a name that today means “laughingstock”, at the time meant “relevant”. No body is laughing at the message of Annie Hall, even though the delivery may have been humourous. This is black comedy though. Laughing because it hurts, its better than crying perhaps…

What seems to be missing in this movie is the Midwest. New York is portrayed as hard working, serious, sad even. California is portrayed as partying, laid back and foolish. Into these two settings we have our main characters trying to establish their relationship. The only real mention of any middle ground is to mock Annie’s Wisconsin upbringing, that things neat and peachy are outdated. From this we get the idea that ideal relationships, happy endings, and improving conditions between spouses and lovers is not really something modern Americans should think is possible. Either live morosely, expecting the worst, or live uncaringly with whatever the outcome is.

I want something more. I’m living something more. Is there foolishness and sadness? Yes. But is there hope and progress and joy and real love? Absolutely. Annie Hall, there is a better way.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I actually had a parent tell me a few days ago that their child was entitled to a party. Two times. They compared it to having a birthday cake at a birthday party. “Who cares whether they’ll eat it or not, a party has a cake”. “My child will have a party.”

I wonder what that means to someone in Somalia watching their child die of starvation? I wonder if they feel like their child is entitled to a graduation party? I wonder if education is more important than the party? I had a different parent come to see me about that same time, for the first time all year. To discuss academic concerns? No, and there are a few things that could have been discussed. They came to discuss a party. I wonder why I struggle at times with getting students to take any learning process seriously at all? If graduation from school is more important than school itself, what kind of message am I fighting against when I try to get them to put out any effort.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Forgiveness part 2

This concludes my previous post of a few days ago...

With great regret, I can honestly say that at times I have found myself the offended and was unwilling to respond with forgiveness right away. We need to feel vindicated. We want to be heard, but even more we want others to know the depth of our pain. Forgiveness implies that we are leaving behind the weight of what we’ve been carrying based on that offence. We want to drop it. We don’t want the bitterness and anger and sadness and strain that that unforgiving spirit brings us.

Here are a couple of related thoughts. Is your complaint you are bringing about your brother worthy of having them removed from fellowship in the local church? Some may be saying “if its Mrs So-and-So, or old Mr Kadidlehopper, then yes, yes, yes! I’ve had to put up with their foolishness for 60 years.” Don’t forget that God’s had to put up with your foolishness for 70 years, or 26 or 53, or 36 and ¾ to the day, in my case!

Secondly, is refusing to fix something worthy of having yourself removed from the local church? I heard someone this week say, “if he was more thick-skinned he wouldn’t be complaining.” I thought that was an interesting thought. But it avoids the issue. This person was being accused of something, and they came up with fault for the other person to avoid that they had offended. Obviously developing thick skin is a valuable tool. But our job as offending party is to acknowledge our offence and make things right.

Is there ever a time when someone is too petty and hard to deal with, that no matter what there will be something wrong no matter what? Likely. Perhaps you’re saying, “Yes, it’s so and so over there!” Perhaps someone is saying it about you. The exceptions do not negate the rule. The exceptions make the rule even more important. By bringing private grievances before other witnesses, it allows the pettiness to be exposed.

How many times must I forgive? Until 70 times 7! Keeping track means you are not really forgiving. I mean, Jewish tradition said three times. Peter was stretching it to say 7. Jesus was saying, “If you’re keeping count, you’re not forgiving. Not the way God has forgiven you.” Here is where we come back to humility. Its not about me anymore, its about Christ. It’s about living life like Him. To truly follow Him in this area, we must forgive.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


We are currently internetless. This is very hard to do. I think it would be easier to go without a phone. Hopefully in the next few days we'll have dial up of some kind... oh, we've moved in case you didn't know. You'll have to check my good wife's blog, at some point I'm sure she'll have pictures up and such.

Anyway, I had to preach this Sunday, the following is where I was coming from, I'll post the rest later. Too much of a good thing...or bad thing, you know.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of forgiveness lately, I believe God allows us to deal with certain areas, think about and practice certain things for a season. Forgiveness has been it for the past couple of months.

One of the most celebrated movies of 1992 was called Unforgiven. I saw it for the first time about a month ago. In it the hero, played by Clint Eastwood faces the consequences of his past and is faced with his unpayable debt to society. He has killed and even though in the wild west, his past is excused, he is still marked a killer. He can not be forgiven and forgotten. Worse still for the character is that he can not forgive himself. He lives on with the guilt of who he has been and who he remains being.

Recently I heard that David Berkowitz, the notorious New York City Son of Sam murderer had given his life to Christ and one of his victim’s mothers had forgiven him. Stories like that are not extremely rare, but still refreshing and inspiring when you hear them.

I’ve also been inspired lately by the ease with which our boys utter the phrase, “I forgive you.” No hesitation, no grudges, no debating, or explaining how they’ve been hurt, just “I forgive you.” How does their father get to be like his sons?

A couple of weeks ago at the junior youth group we help lead in Kleinburg, we were watching a video clip from Rob Bell about forgiveness, and how you never know when you are having your last chance to make things right. One of my favourite song writers, Mark Heard put it this way, “Nobody gets the second chance, to be the friend they were meant to be.”

Personally, I’ve also been struggling with my own inability to forgive in a truly Christ-like manner. I find it so easy to expect forgiveness, its been easy to learn to say “I’m sorry,” or “I was wrong”. The struggle for me is not in those phrases, its in forgiving. In the phrase, “I forgive you.”

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma

Just a short quick note to let you know that I had a great day reminiscing about you today. Happy Birthday, hard to believe you're 97. You barely seem 80 to me. I hope someday I'm as gracious as you.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A pretty powerful video

We've been pretty busy... too busy to stop and think most days... moving and all. But I saw this video today and thought I'd add it. I used to really like Russ Taff and think that his story here is so honest and such a testimony to the power of a real Jesus to change lives today.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I've noticed my lazy parenting skills recently. Its so easy to get frustrated with boys who are not behaving or heading toward potential problems from across the room. Next thing I know I'm raising my voice or getting one of them in trouble when I know that I could have prevented things by being near. I know this because when I stand up or begin to move in their direction, suddenly misbehaviours cease! Does my moving toward them indicate vengeance or punishment, not necessarily. It should indicate a desire to direct, protect and guide.

So then I was thinking about God.

God reminds me in 2 Timothy 3:16 that scripture is useful for teaching, correcting, training, and rebuking.

God came near to me, not so that I would be afraid, not to impress me with how awesome and big He is, not to get me in trouble but to show me love.
Think of the curtain in the temple at Jesus' death. The Bible tells us that it was ripped in two from top to bottom. We now have access to God, to that holiest of all places. And yet, I was thinking in terms of God and His movement toward us. He stepped out. He drew near. He made Himself known to us. He got tired of yelling at us from across the room and came near to us.

Hebrews tells us, chapter 9 I believe, that Jesus entered that true holiest of all holy places by going directly to the throneroom of God. Not just the earthly, symbolic separation has been torn down, but the real separation has been removed also. We now have access by grace, to come boldly before our God and see Him for who He is. What a comfort that is.

Revelation 5 reminds us of that in visual form too. The Lamb, from the midst of the throne opens the book and reveals the book of life. God, Himself, opens the way for us, when we couldn't do it.

So, now that God has gotten up and made His way across the room to us, what are we going to do?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Choose an Identity

Those words, “choose an identity”, appear as you sign in to add comments to these blog postings. (Of course, you can always sign in anonymously and you are strongly encouraged to comment, just so I know who is checking this out!) Anyway, it got me thinking, again, about the internet and its anonymity.

Choose. You decide, who do you want to be? Do you like the real you? If not, be someone else. Does the rest of the world not understand you, be someone else. Be ornery, or nice. Be kind or spiteful. Be true or false. Be old, or young. Be male, or female. Be who you want to be, no one else knows… no one’s looking but God.

Of course, the anonymity also gives us the opportunity to say things and be misrepresented that we never would were we communicating face to face. The lack of accountability and the fact that the people who read what we write likely don’t know us, makes it easy to adopt a hard stance on an issue or with an individual. It also gives free reign to “free speech” advocates to abuse the intention of whoever came up with that term in the first place. Rather than speech seasoned with salt, we dump on the whole box.

Kierkegaard said, “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” And the man has a point. If we’d utilize the latter, the first would be less needed. Editing is a great option for email and posting on the internet. Asking a second opinion about a choice of words is not only a good idea, it’s wise. It took me a couple of years to realize that I was both allowing myself to get caught up emotionally in other people’s poor use of the internet and was baiting, or flaming in net terms, at times. Hopefully once we understand these things we can learn to get positive results out of the exchange of thoughts, ideas and opinions rather than anger and further polarizing that occurs at times.

Monday, March 31, 2008

2008 Washington Nationals

I wanted to post this before the season started, but I forgot, even though I typed it out at the end of last week. Now that the season is two games old and "we" are already 2-0, I don't want people thinking that any positivity in the following is based on those two wins. Of course, hope always springs eternal, and those of us who followed these fellas back when they were the Expos know not to give our hearts away to them so soon.

What I expect to see this year:
Surprising starting pitching.
Ryan Zimmerman is a year older and should be better.
Dmitri Young was good, but a healthy Nick Johnson is better. Plus trading Young should bring back some good player for the future.
The outfield is far better subtracting Ryan Church and adding Lastings Milledge.
The catching combination of Paul LoDuca and Johnny Estrada are way better than Schneider and Flores were last year.
The infield has lots of depth. The outfield has lots of potential, if not overpowering.
Of course pitching will be an issue this year, as for most teams. Depth wise, there just isn’t a lot there as far as stars or even potential stars. There should be serviceable guys to hold them in games, but won’t be too many days of shut outs and amazing stats at the end of the season. There seem to be good players on the horizon, as far as minor leaguers, but Nationals fans must be starting to feel like its time to start seeing the results of the rebuilding process. If we don’t, then its not rebuilding, it’s just fallen into ruins.

I expect 3rd place, likely 4th, but nearly a .500 team should be not just hoped for but expected.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Life Lessons from Unforgiven

Unforgiven was an Oscar winning movie when it came out 15 years ago or so. I finally saw it this weekend and found it quite thought provoking.

Among its issues were forgiveness (obviously), guns, duty and valour, law and the beauty of living in a world governed by it.

I don't like movies like this, in general, I mean, too much violence, too much senselessness, but... at the same time, there is a lot to be said for what is being presented here.

It was an interesting weekend, I sat in on a riding meeting for a certain political party. One of the issues raised was guns and the "right" to bare arms. To me it was as disturbing to hear the conversation go on (unargued, might I add) as it was to think of what would happen if they were wrong. I don't see the American system of gun ownership being particularly great, and yet here were people openly advocating that we go that way. Perhaps it is the joy of living in rural Ontario, as opposed to a little closer to Jane and Finch, (notorious gang hot spot in Toronto) as my school is.

The gun culture of Unforgiven makes a stark comparison. The only guy we see who is not carrying a weapon is often displayed as mercenary and weak. Those who carry guns though end up dead, all but two, and even then they claim to be either dead or dying.

Sanctity of human life was brought up at the political meeting. I sat wondering what that meant to them. Does that mean that human life is important, sacred even (whatever that means)? Or does it mean that God gives it and takes it on His terms? If its the last, I'm with them. Yet, at the same time, adopting a gun culture in which you're allowed to carry a concealed weapon or at least have one for self-defense does not extend the idea that human life is sacred. It simply says that my life is sacred, and the life of someone threatening me or my property is not. The idea that guns cure anything is pretty risky. I know guns don't kill people, people kill people. I know that the government has no right to ______ (fill in the blank yourself). Do we really know what we're asking for though?

Watch Unforgiven if you dare, and think carefully.

Feel free to comment below. I'd be interested in hearing a dissenting view.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Ten Commandments

We watched The Ten Commandments over Easter. Apparently its the Easter movie, according to tv... and since culture takes their direction from tv... that's the law! Anyway.

If this is what Easter is about, then we miss the message. Easter is not about the law, about freedom from slavery, about Moses. It blows past that and goes so much deeper.

The movie itself is a loose adaptation of the Biblical account. It takes some necessary licence with the story, filling in dialogue and plot points for instance. But it also takes unnecessary turns as well. Its one thing to assume things and skip over things for the sake of time, another to say that something happens that didn't.

Now you can say, its a movie, who really cares what they did. Go ahead, I'll give you a second to actually say that... time's up. But. If movies are modern literature, then we must be very careful that we don't let our movies that tell Bible stories become our Bible. (See VeggieTales!) We must turn to the Word itself, see what it says, see how the movie varies from the written account and not the other way around.

And, since we're talking interpretation here. This movie presents as its central theme that the story of Moses is about people bowing to God's laws and not man's. That no one has the right to take away our freedom. Is this a modern reading? An American reading? A satanic influence? We have to be careful that we don't take minor life lessons that can be learned and make them the story. We have to read the Moses account and see what God is doing, not a humanity thing. God rescued his people from slavery. He presents the law to them so that they can have freedom from death. He offers freedom and life to all who trust and obey. Blood sacrifice was the only way to avoid death in Egypt, and a blood sacrifice is the only hope for me today. Praise God for Easter and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Leadership and Integrity

I've been thinking about how hard it is for some of us to live up to the standard we place on others.

As a teacher its so hard to hold up your students to a standard that we wouldn't want to be held up against.

As a parent it hurts so badly when you are disciplining your child for something you know they've done in imitation of you.

As a citizen, I struggle with the loathing I have toward politicians when I am doing the same or worse at home.

I make fun of gluttony and gossiping in others and do it myself without a second thought.

I say one thing in one situation but in another I am either more honest or more polite.

I aim to please and try to do it with as little effort as possible.

I was struck by a line in a novel I was reading today, struck me between the eyes"Its refreshing to see someone who still takes pride in their work". (David Baldacci, Hour Game)

Where is the integrity of my generation? Cash deals. A wink and a nod. Familia. Instant millionaires. Insider trading. Hidden microphones. Keeping private property of our friends, in case we need it in court some day. Breaking contracts. Being surprised when others won't break theirs. I wonder at Mr Spitzer and his ilk, and then wonder at the darkness in my own heart. I wonder where I get to break out from this.

Is this why Christ died? That I can continue in sin? God forbid. How can I, who am dead to my sin, live any longer in it? That's supposed to be a rhetorical question, but sadly, I can answer it by saying.

"Just watch me."

Where Have all the Good People Gone?
Sam Roberts

Oh the Milky Way has gone a little sour
The leaves dried and the flower fell away
I’ve been sitting, I’ve been waiting for a sign
Inhuman beings taking up all of my time

Want to leave but I’ve got to stay
And I’m wondering more everyday
Montreal to Hong Kong
Where have all the good people gone?
Traffic jam but I’m on the shoulder
Took ten cops to pull me over
Bangkok to Babylon
Where have all the good people gone?

I haven’t met a friend in a long long while
They don’t shake my head but they check my style
The modern world is a cold cold world
And all I meet are cold cold girls

Wanna leave but I got to stay
And I’m wondering more every day
Montreal to Hong Kong
Where have all the good people gone?
Traffic jam but I’m on the shoulder
Took ten cops to pull me over
Bangkok to Babylon
Where have all the good people gone?

And it’s always the same
We all just turn away
We are stealing from ourselves
We are feeding off ourselves
But we were born in the flames
We need a cool breeze and a summer rain
We are stealing from ourselves
We are feeding off ourselves

In the middle of Easter, I want to break free and live free in light of what Christ has won for me. Can I? Dare I say it... "just watch me?"