Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Let Go or Prepare for Interruption

One of the speakers at YC this weekend was Ed Weiss from "Reachout Youth ministries." While I didn't get to hear him speak, the write up for one of his sessions resonated with the way life has been for me in the past little while...

"A lot of times you need to make a mess before you can make something clean. When Jesus saw that the temple had been defiled he made a mess to make it clean. I believe God wants to redress us for a new season in our lives but first we need to shed some of our existing behavioral strategies and belief systems. We can either let go or prepare for a divine interruption."

This season of my life has been difficult in many ways, more than I would care to admit. Sometimes I am angry - at God, at community, at myself, at the church - yet I can look at it and know that God is preparing me and refining me for something, I don't know what, even while he uses me along the way. He has to be. I am not the same as I was. He continues to shape me and make me more like himself. I live in a dichotomy of living in today but living for tomorrow. Odd. I want to see the picture of what the new season will look like and yet I'm learning to let go. Learning to trust that God's got it in his control. Learning that sometimes being angry is okay. Learning that it's true - what doesn't kill me does make me stronger - and God knows what the limit is.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

On being worshippers

"I feel as though we're like this landing strip in the desert for our great, incredible God to arrive on; a way for Him to come into people's lives"

Chris Tomlin, describing his latest album's metaphorical moniker (Arriving) inspired in part by Isaiah 40.

"Those that wait on the Lord..."

"...they shall inherit the earth." Psalm 37:9

Henri Nouwen writes about the spirituality of waiting on God and calls it active waiting. He talks about anticipating what God is going to do as we wait for Him to answer or act. It's a worshipful experience.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

What does it mean to actively wait on the Lord in my life?

This morning in my reading, I found this little piece:

"Waiting upon the Lord" is an expression that rends to sound comtemplative and introspective. Actually it's a summons to serve. Servants "wait" on their masters, and "waiters" serve their customers.

Waiting becomes more about God than about me. Waiting becomes the means by which I serve and, therefore, worship. Waiting becomes living. That's the kind of waiting I want to do. As I wait on God for all things, I choose to serve Him, to be active before and for Him, and to anticipate what He's got in store.

It brings a whole new way of looking at the often quoted verse from Isaiah. "Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint." (Isaiah 40:31). It's not just about curling up and peacefully resting but about getting on with what He's got in store. In my service of Him, we will be renewed. By living lives waiting on God, I am restored. By looking to His needs instead of mine, I find life.

Hurry up and wait!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ever felt this way?

YC 2006: Go Tell The World

That's where I'll be this weekend - manning the ABC booth in the Agricom at YC in Edmonton.

This year boasts a serious line up of artists including bands like Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, Hawk Nelson, Chris Tomlin and Thousand Foot Krutch. I'm most excited about Chris Tomlin. One day I want to sing with him. Perhaps that's a silly dream but it's mine! It probably won't be this weekend but I'll be glad to see him live and in concert. Most of the time I'll be at my booth but one of the perks is that I do get to see the evening concerts. Should be a good weekend.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Loving the May Long Weekend

I love the long weekend in May. Not only does it bring three days off, it's the weekend for family camp at Pine Lake Christian Camp. It was a weekend that didn't disappoint.

It's funny, I avoided family camp for a long time because I always felt out of place because I don't have a family to go to and I didn't grow up going to Pine Lake. This year was my second year to go. I was wrong all those years - I do have family there. It's different. I still feel that I don't exactly fit and that I'm not I'm not part of the crowd but it's family none the less. I don't know how to describe it. Maybe this is like being an adopted part of the family and it takes some time to adjust. I don't know. I do know that every year I get to know a few people a little bit better.

Some highlights. Lots of Canasta games with Curt Lammiman for a partner...and winning. They say I can't call myself a rookie anymore. Steve McMillan sharing about "learning to speak words of life." All the little people. I love kids. There's a reason that Jesus tells us to come to him like a little child. Seriously, watching some of them sing the kids' songs at our worship times WAS a highlight. "hip, hip, hippopotamus..." Three women sleeping in a two man tent. Good food - thanks, Pappa Jim...mmm. Wonderful weather. I'm burned bright red but, man, was it beautiful! Visiting with all kinds of great people, young and old. Hours of baseball in the field...and winning. Highlights of the game could include Evan getting hit in the head thanks to Lane, Brad throwing his glove into Jason's midsection, Kevin Anderson's home run, Chad's antics at the pitching mound. Getting the reports that Edmonton won the first two games of the series against Aneheim - although if anything would have tempted me to stay away from camp it would have been knowing I was going to miss those two games. Seriously torn! Having a chance to relax, smile, and laugh. There really were a lot of good moments. Maybe this year I'll go to September's family camp too!

Part of what has "motivated" me to go to camp for the last two years is being asked to lead music for worship. I would have gone this year anyway but having a chance to serve made it even better. I was incredibly nervous going out. I just don't do it enough to be really comfortable, I guess. Here's the thing though. The minute I prayed with the team and stepped up to my keyboard, it was like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I haven't felt that at ease about doing something like that in a long time. I think somewhere through the weekend, I was encouraged by almost every person there. It was like everything just worked - my voice, our team, my fingers on the keyboard, song choices - to bring people into His presence. He was clearly in that place. I'm amazed at how God seems to step in and work through our weaknesses at every turn and how He equips us for the things He desires for us to be a part of. I know He did both through me this weekend...and I am thankful. Plus, I had a great team...thanks guys!

One of the songs we sang was one that Steve suggested I use as a theme song for the weekend. I'm sure glad he did. It's amazing and in so many ways became my personal theme song for the weekend.

What Can I Do

V1. When I see the beauty of a sunset's glory
Amazing artistry a cross the evening sky
When I feel the mystery of a distant galaxy
It awes and humbles me to be loved by a God so high

Chorus. What can I do but thank you
What can I do but give my life to you
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
What can I do but praise you
Everyday make everything I do
A hallelujah, a hallelujah, hallelujah

V2. When I hear the story of a God of mercy
Who shared humanity and suffered by our side
Of the cross they nailed you to that could not hold you
Now you're making all things new by the power of your risen life

(go here to listen to "What Can I Do?" Paul Baloche. )

I have so much more that I could say and pictures that I probably should post but the season finale of 24 just started. I can't really think of a better way to finish off a long weekend than with Jack Bauer. Plus, let's be honest, I've probably written enough already.

Current Read

With One Voice: Discovering Christ's Song in Our Worship, Reggie Kidd

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Confessions of a smiling Oiler Fan

Yes indeed, I am a happy woman. Enough people have asked me how I feel today so I figured I might as well put it out there. After a 14 year "drought," us Edmonton fans have something to be excited about. Here's where the confession comes in. I still feel like I'm living in a bit of a surreal dream and each game I'm afraid I'm going to wake up. When they were down against San Jose 2 games to none, I was afraid I had! I mean, I remember the glory days in the '80's when we were a force to be reckoned with but I also remember years of disappointment. I will always love the boys in blue but sometimes it was sad. Even this season! We barely made the playoffs. Now look!!!

Scrappy, physical defense. So much so that San Jose players were afraid of playing Torres. At least that's what I read in an article yesterday. Ryan Smith throwing himself in front of pucks, leading the way for all sorts of players to do the same thing. Pronger throwing himself into players. I'd get out of the way if 44 was coming crashing into me! He's a big boy. Fast offence. Did anyone count the breakaways last night? That would be 7. That's right. Guys at the end of shifts still finding that last burst of speed. And the goaltending. Admittedly, that was one of our biggest problems for the last several seasons. I questioned Roloson in the regular season but the guy was a brick wall last night. Very impressive.

My confession is that when they made the playoffs, I didn't think I'd see this from them but I sure am happy about it. Apparently there's other Edmonton fans feeling the same way.

Did anyone see the signs that the fans at home were holding up? Things like 'sharks drown in Oil' and my personal favorite, 'the chee choo train has been derailed.' Love it.

I can't wait to see what they do against the Ducks!

What is Wisdom Anyway?

I wrote this article for one of my admissions newsletters today and as I got re-reading it thought that it would be worth posting here too. It could have been a lot longer if I could have included all the reasons why I am thankful for the example of wisdom that I have but, alas, there's only so much room in a newsletter.

Since our theme this year is "pursue wisdom, I've been doing a lot of
thinking about what that means. What is wisdom anyway? Is that some adjective
reserved for describing that old guy sitting in the back row of the church who
seems to have a story about everything and remember more random facts than I even knew existed? Perhaps.

When I look at Scripture, there are a lot of people described as wise,
both godly and ungodly figures. The men in Pharaoh's Egyptian court were
described as wise men. That didn't turn out so well for them, did it? Worldly
wisdom at it's best was not enough.

Perhaps being wise isn't just about being smart. The whole book of
Proverbs is dedicated to describing godly wisdom. David, in all his fumbling and
failing, could be described as wise. Solomon was described as the wisest of men
because he "feared God."

I think of my Grandmother. In my mind, she is my living picture of what
wisdom looks like.

My Grandmother is 80 years old this year and has lived
through much. With my grandfather, she farmed, raised five boys, loves 15
grandchildren and has been blessed to see three great-grandchildren come
into the world. That alone has to say something.

I often say that everything I know comes from Grandma. Some of it is
knowledge about "stuff." She knows more about a lot of things than I can ever
imagine knowing. I often smile when I'm in the kitchen and remember some little
trick and realize (again) that it was Grandma that taught it to me. More than
that, however, is what Grandma has taught me about life.

A year ago, almost to the day, my Grandma had a massive heart attack.
Our whole family, four generations worth, sat in the hospital together
loving, laughing, crying, praying, and reminiscing. It struck me again how each
one of us has stories of how we are better because of who Grandma is.

The day she gained consciousness (which wasn't supposed to happen, by
the way), I remember sitting with her, holding her hand and sharing with her
what was new with me. I remember her looking at me with tears in her eyes as she
told me that she was proud of me and reminded me to always put Jesus first.

Grandma's always been this way. When I ask her how she is, she says,
"The Lord has given me another day and I'm going to be thankful," (or something to that affect) and I can tell that she means it.

That, in my mind, is the wisdom that I want to pursue. I don't need to
know everything about everything but I want to learn to live well in the fear of
the Lord.

Signs of the Times

I stumbled upon this website of fun church signs as I was working on stuff in my office today. Definitely worth a smile!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Too much clutter!

As there very likely will be a move in my near future, I've been thinking a lot about all the "stuff" I've collected while I've been living in this house - the longest time in one location since moving to Calgary in '97 - and how I'm really not looking forward to packing it all. Just clutter.

It seems I'm not the only one thinking about clutter. I found a great post on my friend, Tim's, blog (he'll link to another blog - oh the fun of technology!) about clutter, both physical and not in both our personal lives and the church.

Book Talk

As an avid reader, I love recommendations on good books, finding new authors, wandering in bookstores or searching through amazon's catalogue, hearing what books have affected those around me and how, and, honestly, reading just about anything I can get my hands on.

Today, doing my typical morning reading, I found two articles in Relevant Magazine that talk about books. Book Chat lets us hear from McLaren, Kimball and Dreher and give them an opportunity to talk about writing and books that impacted their lives.

Judging a Book By it's Gender talks about what kind of books we read. What kind of issues matter only to women? What kind of things matter only to men? It's an interesting question...perhaps I'll have to do some "research" of my own on this one.

Monday, May 15, 2006

To the Least of These

"Jesus' call on us is, among other things, to serve the least of these, to care for the least of these. You can't do that in the abstract." ~Rose Marie Berger~

I have a friend of mine who does this every day as he works with the homeles of downtown Calgary at the drop in center. He teaches them, values them, cares for them, and helps them get on their feet again as he is able. He is serving the least of those among us, the ones our mayor calls a "blithe on society" when few others will.

I wish I was more like that.

I justify it by saying that I'm not wired that way but that's not right. I am wired that way if I'm wired to love like Jesus loves.

I understand that not everyone can stand in the gap for the homeless. Each of us has a role to play. I'm inspired by my friend though. Inspired to care more and to do what I can. I want to be more compassionate and loving. I want to be less cynical about the reasons the people that live on the street are in the situation they are. I want to, at the very least, consistently remember that they are not a blithe on society but that each one is a unique, God created individual who is loved by the king the same as I am. I may not be called to work in a shelter but I may be called to stand in the gap in other ways. Am I ready? Am I ready to love those around me inspite of circumstances, color, gender, financial status, or any other distinction that would make someone different from me? I want to love people the way that Jesus loves them and I want to learn to find ways to make it tangible. I want to love the "least of these" in my circle of influence.

I want to be wired that way.

Monday Morning Wake Up

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Brian McLaren on the DaVinci Code

I've got some pretty strong opinions on the DaVinci code and the hype surrounding it right now. I've also got some pretty strong opinions on how the Church could and should handle it to actually benefit the kingdom. Maybe one day I'll write down all my opinions but for today, at the risk of getting too preachy, let me just link to an article of an interview with church planter, pastor and writer Brian McLaren.

By the way, I enjoyed the book, found it a great read, and look forward to seeing the movie. I just hope that Tom Hanks doesn't let me down.

The Way I See It

I love good quotes - they bring me inspiration - and I love Starbucks - one of the few city things I enjoy indulging in.One of the things I've enjoyed about Starbucks is the quotes on the cup. I can enjoy a warm treat AND be inspired. Now that's a good day. It's like the best of both worlds. Since I'm currently on a once a month limit as "inspired" by my budget, I found a new way to enjoy their quotes. They post the quotes on the Starbucks website, the Way I See It.

Beyond the top 40.

One of my (many) goals for the summer is to broaden my musical horizons beyond the top 40 type stuff that you hear on the radio and get into some of the less popular, lesser known, but potentially more artistic and more talented stuff. Thanks to one of my students (and friend), I'm on my way. He introduced me to Dallas Green (acoustic guitar driven) and Damien Rice one our way home from Pine Lake last night. Exactly the kind of thing that I'm looking for.

I can't wait to find out what's next...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Proud to be a northern girl

Okay, so someone from Yellowknife would call me a southern girl but all these Calgary folks I hang out with consider me a northern girl and today I've got more reason to be proud.

At the risk of spouting off too much Oiler propaganda, let me just point out that that was one heck of hockey game last night. I had decided halfway through the SECOND OVERTIME that win or lose, I was a proud hockey fan. They played incredible - they schooled the sharks, quite frankly - and deserved the win. Then, in the third overtime, they did! That's even better. That's as close to the glory days of the Oilers of old that I've seen. I love it.

Craig McTavish, if you're reading this, sign Dwayne Roloson.

Hats off to Toskala who nearly stood on his head. That's some serious goaltending.

Now all I ask is this: next time, can we do it before 1 am?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When you're weary...

I have one of those flip calendars with an inspirational thought for the day. This is my thought for today. Somehow it seems incredibly appropriate today.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Jesus understands weariness. As a small ship crosses Galilee, and a strom's fury terrifies His companions, Jesus sleeps.

His physical frame is worn and His stamina spent from ministering to multitudes. So worn and weary is He tht even the crashing of the waves...and the shrieking of the winds do not awaken Him.

If you've ver felt so tired you couldn't take another step, and if you've wondered whether God knew that feelilng, here's your answer: There is One who not only knows your weariness but who says, "I'll walk the next step with you because I've been where you are...and further."

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Little More From Ortberg

From "God is Closer Than You Think"

On our task as His kids...

Our task, in order to stay in the flow of God's presence, is to pay attention. to refuse the blindness that comes with self-preoccupation. To allow the God who is in us to point to and rejoice in his presence all around us. to ask him to keep us from sleep walking through his world; to refuse to give in to a pace of life that reduces his handiwork to a blur. (pg 145)

On our desires...

The capacity for desire is itself a gift from God. His original plan was that our desires be strong and passionate - and coincide perfectly with his will for us. But because our desires have been poisoned by sin, they are not fully reliable guides. We have always to be willing to sacrifice less worthy desires for greater ones. (pg 148)

On seeing His kingdom come...

God doesn't reveal himself to us just to make us happy or to deliver us from loneliness. He also comes to us so that we can in turn be conduits of his presence to other people He invites us to join him in making things down here the way they are up there. (pg 176)

Then Ortberg ask his readers to ask:
  1. Where do I want to see God's presence and power break into my world?
  2. Where would I especially like God to use me to make things down here run the way they do up there?

That's a lot of what I've been thinking about as I look for my purpose and my next steps and as Journey begins to develop further. Steve started preaching about 'kingdom reign' over a year ago at Oak Park. It's a statement that captured what I was already convicted about at that point and put wheels on it. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. What part do I play in the kingdom? How can I share His kingdom? How can I join God is what he's doing in the world?

This story caught my attention in a big way...

"God, make up there come down here." Three women from the church I serve prayed this prayer one day. They were on a women's retreat, but they were playing hooky from a session that was being taught by my wife, and they started dreaming together about being "kingdom-bringers." Eventually they came to one of our pastors, called "J.D.," and told him about their dreams.

"What do you want to do?" he asked. They told him they wanted to save all the babies in Africa.

J.D. told them that was kind of big for a starter project, so would they be willing to begin by trying to spend a day helping out an under-resourced school?

So the women started to pray: "God, make up there come down here for this little school in East Palo Alto." ...Palo Alto is the home of Stanford University and Silicon Valley; it was listed recently in Forbes magazine as the number one area in the world to live in if you want to get rich. East Palo Alto is an under-resourced community right next door; a few years ago it led the nation in murders per capita.

This group of women schemed and prayed and planned and came up with a challenge: How about having one thousand people from our church give up a day to plant trees and tile floors and paint murals at this school?

I didn't think there was any way we could get a thousand people to do this, but I said I would announce it and see what happens. We ended up having to cut off the sign-ups at twelve hundred people because we couldn't handle any more volunteers.

The best part was watching God present and at work in ways none of us could have planned.

A young coed was visiting our church from college and heard about this plan. Not only did she want to come, but when she went back to school and told her sorority, they wanted to come too. So we ended up with over a thousand people from our church-and thirty sorority sisters. This meant that scores of single young males suddenly felt God prompting them to serve also.

Some people were talking to an East Palo Alto city official about this at a Starbucks, and he told the store manager, "You ought to donate enough coffee for all these people on Saturday morning."

And the Starbucks guy said, "Okay."

The city official decided to go for broke: "You ought to deliver it too."

And the Starbucks guy said, "Okay."

The three women went to Home Depot. They had no titles or credentials, just a conviction that God would help them bring up there to down here. They told the Home Depot guy what they were up to, and then said: "We need $10,000 worth of equipment. We don't have any money for this-you ought to just donate it."

And the Home Depot guy said, "Okay."

So they got $10,000 worth of material free.

They were talking to a woman who doesn't attend the church. By now you can fill in the conversational details by yourself: the school ended up getting $20,000 worth of playground material for free.

For a whole day there was music blaring and balloons flying and five-year-olds serving next to eighty-five-year-olds and people working together from churches of every stripe and ethnicity. It was the single most joyous day I have seen a church have. Those of us who served were blessed far beyond those we offered services to. And it was because of a single prayer: "Help us make up there come down here."

These three women have actually adopted a mission statement for their friendship that leaves the mission statements I have seen for most churches and corporations all behind: "To identify our neighbors' greatest needs, and surprise our church into hilarious giving by providing impact-full, totally happenin' and celebratory opportunities to serve." (pg 177)

Three women. A big prayer. The kingdom came down.

Current Read

Hy Brasil, Margaret Elphinstone

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Complete chaos or a well oiled machine?

That was my question after watching the Ottawa-Buffalo game last night. It was insane. All the goals I saw in the 7-6 Buffalo victory was highlight reel material. It was just amazing. The passes were incredible. It was plays, not random jabbing away at the pucks or the players. Both goalies nearly stood on their heads even though the stats won't show it. Then there were two goals in the last two minutes of the third period to send it into overtime and then the winning goal for Buffalo came 18 seconds in after the Senator's defencemen fanned on a pass to turn it over. Crazy. There were moments it looked like it was complete chaos but maybe that was just because the plays were so intricately planned and executed...maybe.

If that's what the second round of playoff hockey is going to look like, I'm in...except for the blown up TV. I just need to keep hanging out with friends who also love hockey and are willing to take pity on me!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

In a cloud of smoke and burnt wires

So I can't think of anything I've ever actually blown up before. My dad was a science teacher and he blew stuff up. My brother was, well, a boy (need I say more) and he blew stuff up. My mom tried to light the BBQ once without lifting the top and there was a fairly good sized explosion but I don't think I've ever blown anything up. Hairdryers have quite working and I've burned stuff in garbage barrels that probably shouldn't but I don't remember that they blew up.

Today I blew something up.

I was sitting on my couch watching what apparently was some explosive news coverage. The TV sort of fizzled once, shorted twice and then sort of exploded. No more TV for me. I'd forgotten how disgusting the smell of burnt plastic is. My house reeks.

This could be a good thing. Perhaps this is God's way of telling me to find something to do other than watch TV. Could it have been another day? I want to watch the O.C today. Plus, who can afford to buy a new one? And, seriously, how do I get out that smell!



Ijust got an email from some friends of mine in Abbotsford announcing the arrival of their little boy. Yay! Here's what it says:

We are delighted to announce the arrival of Josiah Johannes Prang! Josiah which means "God Heals" was Israel's youngest King and it is our prayer that our son will also live with the passion and humility to seek God's will in this day and age to bring about positive change. Johannes is Cliff's middle name as he was named after his father and opa. Cliff affectionately calls him Jo-Jo.
He joined us at 9:37PM on April 25th. He was 9 lbs, 5 oz and 56 cm long – apparently these measurements surpass the average newborn, so we’re very proud to already have an "exceptional" child.

Things didn’t quite start as we had anticipated (i.e. he was 11 days overdue and I had to have my labor induced), but 11 hours after it began, we witnessed a miracle which eclipsed any expectations or hopes we had. It’s still so hard to believe that we are parents – we’re both pretty blown away that "we have a son".

Thank you so much for your love and prayers. The outpouring of support for us over the past weeks has been overwhelming and we’re so blessed to have amazing friends and family such as yourselves. We look forward to introducing Josiah to you soon – if you’re in the area, please feel free to give us a call and we’d love to have you over.

We give glory to God for His amazing gift of life and ask that you join us in praying that we are able to raise this beautiful child in a way that is honoring to Him.
Much love,
Cliff and Sharalee

Who says that miracles don't happen!? God is good.

For the record, I don't normally post emails that people send me. I do try to respect people's privacy and such. This was just so darn exciting!!!

Another band fundraiser

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


That's the only call the Calgary Flames will be making for a while and I'm a happy lady! Considering I live in Calgary, I probably shouldn't gloat quite so much but, seriously, this is for all the times in the last season Calgary fans mocked me. We're going to the second round - 'we' being the Oilers - and the Flames are going golfing. This is what I've been hoping for since Monday's game. I know there were a lot of Edmonton fans looking forward to the rebirth of the Battle of Alberta but somehow this is even more satisfying!!

I even wore my lady ducks t-shirt today. It really has nothing to do with Anaheim but at least it had a duck on it.

Now on to eat some shark. Bring it on San Jose!

Monday, May 01, 2006

To the class of 2006!

At ABC, we spent the weekend celebrating the accomplishments of our students both by presenting awards and granting certificates, diplomas and degrees to those that had earned them.

I felt like such a mother hen. I was so incredibly proud of them - busting my buttons, so to speak. If I never have children of my own, I can say that I've had a whole college full of students to love and care for.

We followed that off with a student & staff BBQ and yearbook signing along with the first student vs. alumni game we've been able to have in years. Of course the alumni came out on top. It was a great weekend- a long weekend - and I'm tired!

I'll post some pictures and then it's off to watch 24 (my fav!!) and go to bed.

Me and the girls...see, this is why I feel like the mother hen around this place!!

The ABC choir

The worship team for at the Banquet. I played the piano but was a little bit camera shy!

Celebrating is a family affair. There's 3 generations in this picture!

The People Who Shape Our World

Who do you think of when you hear that statement? It's interesting how we decide and define who is influential.

Time Magazine lists their top 100 people based on those "whose power, talent or moral example is transforming our world."

It's an interesting list. There's quite a few that I don't even know and several that I was surprised to see there. Obviously I know who's influential!

Current Read

God is Closer Than You Think, John Ortberg

Frederick Buechner writes, "There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not...because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." How close has God come? So close that, as Thomas a Kempis put it, "every creature will be to you a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine." So close that, in the words of Jean Pierre de Caussade, "each moment is a revelation from God. " So close that he can flow in and through your life from one moment to the next like a river. So close that your heart will be beating with life because Someone is walking around in there. God is closer than you think. (pg. 23)

"Sitting at Jesus' feet" does not mean passively waiting. Often Jesus' desire for us is that we will be active, choosing, risking, stretching and doing. But it does mean recognizing that he is present here and now, and we don't have to pretend we control the universe anymore. (pg. 61)

...try to arrange-as early as you can after you wake up-to have just a few minutes alone with God. Do three things:

1. Acknowledge your dependence on God. I won't live through this day banking on my own strength and power.

2. Tell God about your concerns for the day, and ask him to identify and remove any fear in you. I often do this with my calendar for the day open before me.

3. Renew your invitation for God to spend the day with you.

As the psalmist wrote, "In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (pg. 75)

Wings for dinner tonight...mmmmmm

Yes, I am a happy woman. You see, Edmonton beat Detroit tonight, 4-3, with some near miraculous third period play to take the series 4-2. On to round two!!

Let me just say that I love Hemsky!

Check here for game summary and stats.

Now just one more hurdle...we need Anaheim to beat Calgary 'cause I don't think my poor heart could handle the stress of the Battle of Alberta. Remember, I live in Calgary and flames fans are incorrigible!!! I never thought I'd be cheering for the ducks...plus, it would be great to see the flames out in the first round as my boys advance.