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Showing posts from February, 2014

Life as an expat

Living in a culture or place different from the one you grew up in is not always easy. Montreal is full of expatriates (ex = out of, patria = fatherland) who are trying to build a new life removed from their place of origin. In reading through the book of Daniel again, I discovered that the stories therein reveal some excellent wisdom for expats of all kinds.

First, a bit about expats. Expatriates are different from immigrants in that they are, for the most part, skilled workers who have been sent by their company to work in another location. Expats can be identified by their loyalties; they are always rooting for their home teams. Just this past week, Canadians living in the USA congregated at Canada House in Washington DC wearing red and white and cheering on the Canadian hockey teams. Many expats can also be identified by the way they talk; their accents give away the fact that they are from somewhere else. For example, if you are North American and say "Rise Up Lights,"…

a few thoughts on WWJD

I have never owned a What Would Jesus Do? bracelet and I probably never will. Don't get me wrong, I think the campaign has its merits, especially if it makes people more thoughtful in their decisions and encourages them to more closely align their lives with the life of Jesus. This was no doubt the intention of Charles M. Sheldon who penned the 1896 novel,In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? and continues to be the objective of subsequent popularisers of the catchy phrase. But to me, the question seems odd. Let me give you an example. Dean has a great deal of knowledge in the area of business and finance, a lot more than I will ever have. However, when I am faced with a financial decision or need business advice, I never ask myself, "What would Dean do?" I just talk to him. I tell him about my situation and express my concerns and fears. We have a conversation about the various options and we work it through together. There is never a hypothetical question with a hypotheti…

I wrote a poem

Around 8 months ago I jotted down the beginnings of a poem. Today I came across the rough draft and thought perhaps it was time to finish it. If I remember correctly, I hastily typed those first words in a rush of joy and exuberance, absolutely besotted with being alive and surrounded by so much goodness. This evening, in a more contemplative state of mind, I edited it and added a final stanza. It is a poem about hope, celebration, gifts, limitations, and sobering gratitude. It is a poem about saying yes to life, all of it.
The Poem of Yes by Matte Downey 
Do you ever just want to write a poem?  Because you want to say something delicious Create something frothy and delightful Mold something with edgy consonants and soothing vowels Paint a picture with adjectives which have the potential to startle the mind and make someone go “Oh!”
Do you ever just want to dance and jump?  Because there’s no good reason for it but jumping is what you do when you’re alive and you have legs And dancing…

the small stuff

If you are like me, you spend a lot of time attending to details and often these time-consuming tasks don't seem to affect much in the grand scheme of life. But they do. Today I wrote a little something for a practical theology blog about finding holiness and inspiration in the details of life. It comes from engaging with Ezekiel 40-43 where we find lots of detailed measurements and instructions for building the temple. Click here to read it.

And enjoy the small stuff of life!