Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reading week

It's reading week.

Every year EBC students and faculty get a week off from classes: once in the fall and once in the spring.

I decided to take my last week of holidays from the church to coincide with my reading week.

Here's what I've been up to:
Cutting firewood
Playing Dora Candyland
Dreaming with Erika about the future
Trying (without much success) to facilitate a group lectio divina reading with my family
Jumping on the trampoline

This past Sunday was the first Sabbath I've had in a long time. I read a bit, played a bit and reflected a lot.

I should see if I can get every Sunday off!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some inspiration, please

Tomorrow is the Canadian Federal Election.

In preparation for our trip to the polls, Erika and I put the kettle on and embarked on an evening of intense conversation.  

We talked about the candidates in our riding, reviewed the "Cole's Notes" version of the party platforms, and chatted about how uninspiring this election has been.

It think clear vision for our nation is lacking.

Vision is powerful.  

When a tribal chief paints a clear picture of the future--with plan for vision implementation--I get excited.

Sadly, the political scene isn't the only place in need of inspiring leadership.  

Friday, October 10, 2008

Next week: Rest

It's been an exceptionally busy week.

Here's what I've been doing:

I taught 3 Bible College classes
I attended an EMCC pastor's retreat (all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday)
I drove 2.5 hours south, just to have an exploratory chat with someone about a PhD program.
I slept away from home 2 nights
I'm preparing to preach this Sunday
I marked 2 group assignments for one of my classes
I cut the grass

If that wasn't enough, here's the icing on the cake:

I witnessed Shawna's kitten get run over by her bus.

I can't wait till next week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Small Gospel

Is our Gospel too small?

That's the question of the day.

As an attendee at the EMCC pastor's retreat, today I've been part of an ongoing discussion about the Gospel.

Two things that have been running through my mind:

1.  Neat, modernist Gospel packages (ie. the wordless book, the 4 spiritual laws...) may have been helpful in the past.  But they are increasingly inadequate for postmodern contexts.

2.  Presenting and embracing the Gospel is costly.  It cost Jesus His life.  It'll cost us our lives as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Other Woman

This evening I went on a date. Erika (my wife) had other plans so I asked her if I could ask another woman.

She agreed.

My companion was beautiful and charming. We talked about her best friend, dating, and our favorite foods.

And before I knew it I told her I loved her.

Maybe it's because she reminded me so much of my wife. Or maybe it's her carefree attitude about the chocolate sauce that landed on her pink dress.

Either way, my daughter makes a great date.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My counselor's latest discovery

Recently, I've had a few of the hardest days of my year.

At first I thought I was losing my mind: small comments seemed to irritate me, my heart felt strangely heavy, and I couldn't focus on simple details.

My counselor suggested that I might be experiencing the initial stages of burn out.

So, I reflected on my current workload and realized that I have no margin.  My time is split between church ministry and teaching.   I'm working 3/4 time as a worship and arts pastor.  Our church is in transition (we lost our lead pastor in the summer) so it means all of us as staff are feeling a bit stretched already.  At the same time I'm teaching 3 Bible College courses: 2 of which I've never taught before.  That means my evenings are consumed with research and class prep. 

I think my counselor is absolutely right.

She's smart.  And very kissable.  That's why I married her.

So, for the rest of the year I'm going to ask for help.  And I'm only going to do what I'm good at.  The rest can wait.    
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