Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not that I'm out to get anyone...

Ever have one of those days where you're not sure which way is up?

I've had a few lately...and decided to share this upside-down-ness with one of my colleagues. Myself and a friend took some time after school the other night and turned every poster and bulletin board in his classroom upside-down.

We offered to help clean it up after school...we're not COMPLETELY heartless!
And we kept the Canadian flag right-side up.
Good citizens, indeed!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Dutch-Italian-Ukranian...and all those...Job

So there it was.
The coldest night of the year.
Not so much Bruce Cockburn's rendition,
but Winnipeg at its finest.

And the 3 cars lined themselves up.
First in the alley.
Weapons of TP and water in hand.
Then in front of Mac's.
Because really,
what else is there to do
on the coldest night of the year
than go for slurpees?
Especially in Manitoba.

So Bruce,
and Hugh and his island chain,
and all those fine cast members
who got to drive Austin Minis -
to you I say, "Amen."

"You need three at least."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

An a-choir-ed appreciation...

Well, it's official.
I love listening to the concert choir.
In large parts of myself,
I can't listen to music that is "choir-y".
Yeah, so I don't really know how to describe that differently.
But Dordt's concert choir was here tonight,
and they seem to have the same full sound
whenever I hear them.
Different voices every time,
but somehow the same, full sound.

I was disappointed at first that they weren't singing the "classics" -
or perhaps just the "classics" from my years at Dordt.

I wanted to hear "This Is My Father's World" and "Abide with Me".
The truth, however, is that they had two other songs
that struck not only a chord
but a heart-string.

Their version of "My God How Wonderful Thou Art"
was incredibly powerful.
It also had a most delightful paradox in its text.

The part that usually goes, "your endless wisdom, boundless power, and awesome purity" had the word "awful" in place of "awesome". And it filled that line with new meaning.
When do we use "awful" as a positive descriptor?
Never, I'd be tempted to say.
And that's what got me.
It's so awesome - we are full of wonder at His purity - full of awe, as it were.
Awful indeed.

"And You have stooped,
to ask of me,
the love of my poor heart."

Wonderful indeed.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Clearing up confusion...

In case there was any confusion...
because I confused myself
into thinking that the last title should have been about hockey
but it was about a frozen lake.
There are some correlations I could make
between hockey and faith, too,
but not for now.

However, in hockey news -
besides the fact that the Oilers are not doing so hot -
the college hockey team that my brother coaches
was just ranked 4th in their division of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
For the record,
I'm pretty proud.

Go Blades!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

On the ice as in life?

There's nothing quite like being out "there".
"There" being someplace where it seems like time stops,
worries disappear,
God is big
bringer of peace to my soul
full of love for little me
and I am humbled and so wonderfully not the focus.
The silence swallows me up
and I am overcome by awe
at the expanse of the sky
the brightness of the moon
and the incredible reminders
that I am in His presence...
not just "there"
but sometimes I need "there" to remind me.

I found myself at Bird Lake for awhile last week
and discovered the rest my heart and soul needed.
Peace that seems so much easier to grab hold of when I'm surrounded by quiet and creation, and this time, surrounded by what seemed to be infinite amounts of fresh, deep snow.

The evening we were there, a few of us decided to walk across the lake.
Despite the concern of others
and the few spots of slushy snow along the way
we trudged through the knee-high (for me, anyway) snow
guided by the incredible light of the moon
tried, but failed, to call wolves and moose
and arrived on the other side.

Along the way we held a short discussion about wanting to see how much pressure it would take to actually break the ice and fall through.
Interestingly, we had 3 different ideas.
One of us wanted to find a slushy spot and jump as hard as possible to see if it would really break the ice.
One of us thought it would be fun and would gladly observe and encourage someone else to try the aforementioned approach, but would be too scared to actually try it on our own.
The third of us thought they would be gung ho to watch or partake, but would first go and get the necessary rope and safety equipment necessary to ensure that if the ice cracked there would be a rescue system in place.

As we sat with our feet on the coffee table and sang,

me, with boldness in my heart -
"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love..."
I couldn't help but ask,

"What does my faith look like?"
I reflected a few times over how each of our approaches to the ice reflect different approaches that we as individuals, but also each of us within
different situations, take as we encounter God and put (or don't put) our trust in Him.

Sometimes "wandering" is not remembering how much God loves me, but going out and trying to jump through the ice when deep inside I know it's not the brightest idea.
Sometimes "wandering" is trusting God to take care as long as it's not me in the situation. My faith falls short when I'm the one being asked to jump on the ice as opposed to my adventurous friend.
Sometimes "wandering" is not trusting enough, but making sure all the right safety measures are in place before taking that leap "of faith" (or is it?).

On the other side, sometimes faith is jumping - not knowing if the ice is strong enough or not, but trusting that God will hold us.
Or faith is trusting that God is immeasurably able to do more than we ask or imagine, but not feeling called to follow Him in a certain area. And in turn, entrusting loved ones to His care as they answer calls that seem crazy, but nudges from the Holy Spirit nonetheless.
Or faith might be using what we have and what we know to serve and live lives that are indeed holy and pleasing, and that acknowledge the God given talents and wisdom we have.

That's a lot of hmm.
And a lot of asking God where I've wandered.
And then a lot of asking Him to help me trust -
when I feel secure
when I feel called
and even, or maybe especially, when I don't
or I'm not sure if I do.
When the ice seems thin and slushy
my question really ought to be,
"Am I trusting that God is bigger than me
and do I really believe
that He is holding me in His hands?"

They're good hands to be in.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The deep stuff...

So after being told "enough of the deep stuff", I decided to take a momentary detour away from "the deep stuff" as it were into...well...the deep stuff. (Sorry, Mel...)

Here is indeed the deep stuff that we woke up to on Dec. 31 resulting in no church, lots of shovelling, fun driving, and a postponed trip to the cabin.

Upon leaving our New Year's event, I could not resist jumping into the mid-thigh snow pile along the driveway and making the first snow angel of 2007. I had to take a few swings to get myself out of the leg-holes and onto my back, and I understand that my landing held a resemblance to a cannonball in the deep end as all the powder went flying up.

What followed was a day and a half out at Bird Lake - walking in "the deep stuff", diving in "the deep stuff", falling in "the deep stuff", being pushed into "the deep stuff", shovelling "the deep stuff", and moaning about how tired I was from trying to keep up with my long-legged friends whilst trudging through "the deep stuff".

Did I mention that I love winter?
What loveliness!