Denver Tired

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck.
So. Tired.
I recall waking in the wee small hours needing a glass of water, and it was only 12:48am.
I am in rough shape. I admit it.
Work has been hard core since I got back from holidays in early November. And now we are done our Annual meeting, (which was awesome by the way. God awesome.) Now my schedule is urgent meeting clear for the first time in months. So that is great.

This is a reset time for me, this midwinter pastors week. So I'm trying to reset myself. Trying to balance self alone time along with connecting with people time.

Today is walking and napping time. Doing some reading of poetry and some praying, which is alike and for my spirit.

And God is close and looking out for me, and pushing me when it starts to get too much about me.

I just need a lot from this week and today is a dodgy start, physically at least.

So I'm done my coffee and croissant and the sun is out and warm so I'm off to walk a couple miles downtown, including a stop at a bookstore for a good book of poetry.

Let's see what Denver has to show me.

Should we be praying for sick people to be made well?

You know the church's history of praying for healing for people has been a bit of a come and go thing over the past 2000 years. There are seasons where we practice it well and then there are seasons of quiet. We see seasons of incredible miracles and then we see nothing for a hundred or so years. While that may be a part of our past story, there is biblical reason to believe that it can be a helpful part of our ministries today, if we will have the courage to try.

I think some of us are generally afraid of the whole topic, so we end up saying that those sorts of things were for the early days of the church and are not for today.
I also think that we see the things we have simple faith to see.

During the past two weeks we tackled the difficult topic of Healing in the church and we explored some reasons why we may not see the answers we are looking for. It's certainly not the definitive piece on healing, but it's a good place to start looking at these things and perhaps to be challenged about our own thinking on it.

Part One: Praying for healing, an Overview

Part Two: What Happens When We're Not Healed?

...each day has enough troubles of its own.

Look, we made it through the week.
I'll admit, at the start I wasn't sure how it would go. But at the start of the week, during prayer at our staff meeting, we talked about what it would look like to only pray for the needs of the day. Then to do that each day, and to not pray for the future, which may not in the long run, even need prayer.

So we tried that. And I tried that with my schedule.
It's sort of what I do anyway, but this week I was more intentional about it. And it was a better week.
Each day was to focus on the work of that day, and for the most part we made it through.

There was a dodgy bit on Thursday when I was in Leduc in the morning for a pastors meeting, then got over to Camrose, then another stop on a call, and to the office to get the Annual Report done. The close bit was to get the services ready for the care homes in the evening. That one was a little close for comfort, but there was grace to get it done. And the services were a joy and blessing, as they usually are, because the people there are grateful.

Today was a church families event in the morning, then a birthday party for a family in the afternoon. We came home to the reality that there was a few free hours for the first time this week.

I lay down on the couch, and too quickly fell asleep, hard I guess. Herself had to wake me three hours later to eat a late supper.

Tomorrow is worship, and I'm talking about some biblical reasons why people are not healed when we pray for it. I'm getting some good interest in it, and people are looking for answers, so it will be a good day, I'm praying.

So we made it through the week, and I'm pretty thankful, I feel pretty blessed.

Night.




On A Wednesday

And just like that it's 4C outside!
Snow is melting, sun is shinning, birds are singing.
And I'm off to prison...

for the afternoon that is.
:)

Here we go. It's going to be one of those weeks.

Work today is a long day. Started at 5:30 am and will end sometime tonight after 10 pm. Staff meetings, prep for three board meetings tonight, and you get the idea.

Tomorrow I'm in the prison and hopefully writing the Annual Reports, and company for supper, then Thursday it's area pastors meeting in the morning and doing the care home worship services in the evening with the prep work going on in between.

Friday I'm hoping for a visit or two, and doing all the Sunday prep stuff, and then Saturday we are trying something new, a Discipling our Children roundtable at the church.

Sunday looks like part two of my talk on prayer and why sometimes healing doesn't happen like we want. Sunday evening is Staff Christmas Party time, a little late but in place none the less.

So that's the week then.
They happen, but they're not all that healthy to be honest.

Perhaps it's an opportunity to grow a bit in boundary management, and focusing on the real values and people, in spite of a nasty calendar. Perhaps its a chance to learn to rest after a crazy week. Perhaps.


Micah's Turn

CLBI Team East Asia

And so it is that our fourth and last child Micah, is off to see the world.
It's a part of his discipleship leadership training second year at CLBI, and so he and three other students have been assigned to head to East Asia, and do some work there connected with their training. The four have had to get there themselves and will connect there with an organization that will help them get settled in a hotel.

This photo was taken Wednesday morning early at the airport when we saw them off, and word came late last night that they did arrive in the right city.

So this is our final child who has made the world a little smaller for our family.
Amazing really.

Anyway he is there for the next month, so if you are so inclined, save a thought for him will you?



Farmers and the Internet

The story of having internet in a field is a complex thing, full of heartache and surprise.

In a recent conversation at a christmas party, one of the local farmers was asking about our internet provider and I told him that we had pretty much been without for at least a month, and before that it was only good for checking email, if you had 20 minutes. He told us of his equal frustration with their provider (a company we are considering if ours is unable to improve.)

He told us that it worked well in the mornings when no one else was on it, but by 3 pm and the weekends, it was pretty much unusable. Harrumph. Unusable.

Then a third farmer chimed in with his company, (our second choice for internet if ours is gone). More of the same frustrations. Pay through the nose with very little to show for it. Useless.

Our conclusion was that in a day and age when they could get a car on the moon for driving around in, and yes, I know we dated ourselves there, why can't we get a decent internet here?

Oh and our city friends and family regale us with speeds in excess of 10 and 20 Mbps, but us country bumpkins are living in the wild west of the internet when any yahoo with an internet connection will set up a local company to sell a connection to.

And so it is the trade off. Live in the country and enjoy the peace and quiet.

My work does require a fairly regular video link up, and people from here and there send me links to youtube to check this out or "What do I think of this or that video" sorts of things. I just apologize now and say that we don't presently have internet, but I say "Presently" because I don't want them to think we live that far back in time.

I think Lauralea and I have adapted reasonably well, given there are no more real Skype calls with the kids and grandkids. And things like that. Our provider is in the process of moving their tower so we might see an improvement which would be wonderful. But we are being patient, or trying to be anyways.

Right now when we need to get our email or do a post like this, we hook up the cell phone and use it as a hotspot. It's a bit of work, but we don't use it for video or those sorts of things. For that you pay by the Gigabyte.  The other thing that we do is to get to an occasional internet cafe and do our hard up and downloading there. That helps with big things like uploading photos etc.

But I notice I've not read a few blogs or the like in months. It feels like a distance has opened up between us and internet friends, people out there in the real world. My world gets smaller, my understanding is shifting, it's an interesting phenomenon but kind of discouraging.


But it is life in a field.
There are other workers out there in more difficult places, doing work. Sometimes discouraged by the daily challenges they face. It is what it is.

For now we delay video meetings, skype, videos, streaming radio, movies, and like that.

As I said, it is a complex thing, and at least for now I can easily relate to those farmers who have the same problems.

Course, one of the farmers told me about a small box that John Deer was adding to it's tractors which would create a wifi hotspot all around the tractor. He was thinking how he could just put that baby into his living room.

Ah where there's a will there is a way.





EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Isaiah 60

1 “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.
For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you.
2 Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you.
3 All nations will come to your light;
mighty kings will come to see your radiance.

4 “Look and see, for everyone is coming home!
Your sons are coming from distant lands;
your little daughters will be carried home.
5 Your eyes will shine,
and your heart will thrill with joy,
for merchants from around the world will come to you.
They will bring you the wealth of many lands.
6 Vast caravans of camels will converge on you,
the camels of Midian and Ephah.
The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense
and will come worshiping the LORD.

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This is yet to be completed and the Second Advent of Christ is yet to come.
And so we live, not yet there but not here either.
We live in the in-between world for now.
And our security is found in the One who will accomplish these amazing things.