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Showing posts from October, 2011

subsume

We saw the band Mumford & Sons last night.  A real treat!  Those boys play hard, put everything they have into their music, graciously deal with each other, the audience, and their fellow musicians, and write some of the most insightful and profound songs I have heard in a long time.

I was one in a crowd of about 10,000 and we chose to buy general admission tickets on the floor instead of reserved seats further away.  The great thing about general admission is that you can decide your location.  The bad thing is that you have to get there early and stand for a few hours before the band plays.  Also, as the floor fills up, you have to deal with all the people who start to infringe on the space you thought you had claimed for yourself.  I am also not one of the tall people, so standing, general admission gigs are not ideal for me. 

I positioned myself as best I could with Dean right behind me, but at the last minute a tall guy and his girlfriend parked themselves right in front of…

tour guide

We had some good friends from Tennessee visit us this past week.  They were only here for a short time, so that meant some tough decisions had to be made.   What did I want them to see in Montreal, remember about Montreal, know about Montreal, experience in Montreal?  It was tempting to make a list of every significant sight to see and experience to be had and try to get through as many as possible, but I resisted.  Instead, I wanted my friends to experience what I knew to be the richness of life in Montreal.  This meant that we leisurely enjoyed the day, took time to eat desserts and drink yummy drinks, sauntered into small shops and wandered along the water, talked to strangers and took silly pictures, drove slowly along narrow streets, stood and marveled at beautiful structures and artwork, spent some time in contemplation at a religious site, enjoyed pleasant and meaningful conversation over dinner as savoury, Greek dishes appeared in succession at our table, and stood in the dar…

I don't want to be taller

I don't own a pair of high heels.  I did try to wear them for a bit back when I was doing my first degree, but after a few months of tottering about, I pulled them off my feet one frosty spring morning and walked barefoot back to my dorm room, never to embrace the style again.  Whenever I see women in heels (especially those spiky, skinny ones that are sure to get caught in a grate or sidewalk crack or street sewer cover), I wonder how they do it.  I know that some women claim that they can be comfortable, and fashion sense insists that heels make the female leg look great, but I am not convinced.  I think my legs look great just as they are.  I don't need to be taller, either.  I do need to be able to walk safely (and occasionally break into a run) without fear or fatigue.  Silly me - I believe I can look good without 3-6 inches of scaffolding strapped to my foot.

Heels are not evil, don't get me wrong, but they speak to me of the not-so-subtle pressure out there to look…

gleaning

Dean has been talking about generous living lately.  He is much better at it than I am.  For one thing, he understands the concept of 'gleaning.'  This is related to a farming practice in which the farmer deliberately leaves a bit of the harvest out on the field for folks down on their luck to 'glean' or pick up in order to feed their families.  You find it figuring prominently in the biblical story of Ruth.  The basic principle is that we do not try to wring the last bit of value out of our resources, livelihoods, or transactions, but make sure we leave something behind for someone else.  Dean compares it to the contemporary practice of tipping in a restaurant. Leave something behind - something good and substantial - not just leftovers that are hardly worth scraping off the ground. 

Another place that I find myself thinking in terms of 'gleaning' is when I am selling or buying something that involves negotiation.  I always try to leave the other person with…

the stages of a cold

I have been living with a stupid, nasty cold for 10 days now.  I suppose the fact that it is still partying in my body means that it is perhaps not so stupid and in fact pretty smart.  But I still maintain that is it nasty!  Whatever the case, over the course of the last week and a half I have observed a few different stages that I have gone through with this cold.

1. Denial.  It is just a wee scratchy throat.  It will probably be gone by morning. I'll just ignore it.
2. More Denial.  It's been a few days and I am starting to cough, so I think that's a sign that it is almost over.  I am sure I will feel much better tomorrow.  And besides, I can pretty much function as normal.
3. Impatience.  Why is this taking so long?  It's been a week and I should be feeling better!  It is interfering with my life.  (At this point I started asking for helpful suggestions to get rid of the thing).
4. Anger.  Okay, that's it!  I have had enough.  This sucker is done! (I bought cou…

day off

Something I read awhile back has made me rethink my idea of what constitutes a 'day off.'  Here is the quote from Douglas Steere:  "A day off...is a bastard Sabbath." [1]  What he means is that a day off is not a legitimate sabbath.  'Not working' does not constitute what God had in mind when he initiated a day of rest.  So what does it mean to keep a sabbath, and to keep it holy?  Steere suggests that it is much more than a day of 'not doing.'  It is a day of getting ourselves out of the way.  Embracing silence, embracing prayer. 

This quote of Steere's is taken from Eugene Peterson's book, The Pastor.  Peterson goes on to describe how his interaction with Steere initiated a change in how he and his family took a day off during the week.  "We deliberately separated ourselves from the workweek .. .and gave ourselves to being present to what God has done and is doing, this creation in which we have been set down and this salvation in whi…