Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quick Update

Well - it's the night before the MLA Breakfast. It's going to be a great morning and we are all looking forward to enjoying it. We've had an excellent response from friends and MLA's so I'm very pleased. My hope is to do a follow up post after the fact with some photos as well so watch for that over the next few days.

It's been a while since an update so here's the latest for those of you that long for family details but don't bother with my spiritual insights...

We went to Kamloops on the weekend. I was speaking in Logan Lake on Sunday morning so I brought the boys with me and they had a dental visit on Friday afternoon. Tyler was done in about 3 minutes as his ortho work is going very well. Zack is making amazing progress but has required more work. He spent 3 hours in the dentists chair, most of it waiting. He had 7 (yup 7) needles as he had to have some gum surgery. I'm really proud of him! It will be worth it later on when he has movie star teeth.

We stayed with our friends in Kamloops and the boys had a ton of fun seeing their buddies. They were up until 1 AM and awake before 6 to play their computer games and just laugh and talk. We are always treated like gold by this family and this time had the added bonus of grandparents there as well. It was a full house, but we had an awesome time.

Sunday morning I was in Logan Lake with the boys. This church has been so good to us and very supportive and generous. The pastor took me over and showed me the most amazing missions table I've ever seen, and what really made it special was it was all about what I'm doing. It was really pretty cool.

We made a pitstop in Abbotsford for gas and quick break. On the way to the ferry I really began to feel very tired. I love to drive and even on a very long trip, it's very rare that Barb does more than a very little bit of driving, but I would have gladly let her drive home from the ferry. On Monday morning, it was apparent that we had some kind of bug and Barb, Tyler and I were all under the weather. I worked from home a bit but took about 3 naps just to make it through the day. Monday night Zack had a baseball game but it was pouring rain. I was on for field prep so with a lot of help from some other parents we got the field dragged, raked, lined and ready, only to be told that we had to move to another field. After we moved, that one was prepped and then the game was called.... I was home by 6:20, asleep by 6:30 and didn't wake up until 7 AM on Tuesday.

So there you go BD (and everyone else...) I've given you the scoop on the Kamloops weekend... :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Catching Up

Well - here' s the latest from the past few days. After about 14 days without a real break, I took Friday and Saturday off. Day 1 was okay (although I did sneak a bit of work in when Barb wasn't looking...) Saturday was a different story. The problem on running on adrenaline and caffeine is that when you slow down, you crash. Crashing for me usually involves being grumpy and negative. None of this is a good thing for anyone around me so Barb gently suggested that I take a nap in the afternoon. After about 10 minutes she came upstairs and told me (ever so sweetly and yet so very pointedly...) that I needed to get it together and that being grumpy wasn't fair to anyone around me.

The thing with Barb is that she has a wonderful way of getting her message through to me without raising her voice or making a scene. This time was no exception and after about an hour of solitude and rest, I was a much happier boy.

I read a book a few years ago. It was called 'The Contemplative Pastor'. I didn't like it at all but it was exactly what I needed. The author talked about 'the rythmn of the Sabbath'. The idea is that we are made to need a rest every 6 days. When we fail to honor the Sabbath in our lives, we begin to 'wobble' physically, emotionally and spiritually. While it' possible to keep going, our creativity, productivity and general effectiveness starts to decline dramatically and continues to do so the longer we go without a rest. Relationships begin to suffer and we make poor choices all because we fail to rest and be refreshed. These are the consequences of sin, as we fail to honor the Sabbath in our lives. Given enough neglect, we crash and burn and God often provides us with an 'enforced Sabbath' to give us time to properly recover be renewed.

It feels funny to be thinking like this and yet I know that failing to permit myself a Sabbath rest, caused me to be spinning my wheels for most of last week, not to mention the fact that I took out my fatigue on those who are closest to me. Needless to say, I've been making ammends today and it's been much better for everyone around me.

So... while I'm not about to start taking an obligatory nap on Sunday afternoons, I'm learning my lesson about the need to take care of myself while I seek to care for other people.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Long and Winding Road

Last night after baseball, Zack and I took the scenic way home and explored a new road. We didn't know where it would take us. It was long, windy and narrow. So windy and narrow in fact that I began to feel a bit queasy on the return trip. I asked Zack how he was feeling and he said he was fine.

We continued to drive. I even slowed down and when we finally came back to the wider and straighter road, I thought all would be well. It was, until we went down the winding road that is our street. As we got closer to our house, I thought I'd be able to make it and as soon as I got out of the car my stomach would settle down.

When I pulled up in front of our house, it was apparent that things were not going to settle down until there was a general 'evacuation' of my swirling stomach. I took 3 steps, believing that this too shall pass when all of a sudden things began to pass. Zack ran to the house to get Barb while I continued the process of 'evacuation'.

I'm sure there is a spiritual lesson in here somewhere, but for now, I don't think I've ever met anyone who has made themselves carsick before...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tony Blair Does God...

From Reuters:

Tony Blair's spokesman once said "We don't do God." He certainly does now.

The former British prime minister has gone public over his beliefs in a major speech on faith, saying religion had to be rescued from extremism in an era of growing globalization.
Speaking in Westminster Cathedral recently against a noisy backdrop of anti-Iraq war protesters, Blair launched an impassioned defence of religion.

Blair, who converted to Catholicism last year after stepping down as prime minister, rejected the notion that religion was divisive, irrational and harmful, and argued "faith can transform and humanize the impersonal forces of globalization."

"For religion to be a positive force for good, it must be rescued not simply from extremism -- faith as a means of exclusion -- but also from irrelevance," he added. Politicians in the United States speak openly about religious faith but Blair has admitted that if you do so in Britain "frankly people do think you are a nutter (crazy)."

When Blair was once pressed in an interview about his beliefs, his press spokesman Alastair Campbell interrupted and said, 'We don't do God.' But Blair, now working as a Middle East peace envoy and seeking international consensus on global warming, did concede religion and politics could be uncomfortable bedfellows as leaders who talk about their faith "may be considered weird."

The worst danger, he said in his speech, was that "you are somehow messianically trying to co-opt God to bestow a divine legitimacy on your politics."

Tim here: - Don't you just love it when a former world leader suddenly discovers that there's room for the King of Kings in his own life and work?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It starts when???

I left my office yesterday afternoon and went straight to the airport to catch my flight to Victoria. I was on a mission. I was going to a conference and could hardly wait to get there. Everything went smoothly. My WestJet flight had satellite TV and I watched TSN most of the way to Calgary. I got my car rental and headed north to Red Deer. I hadn't eaten since breakfast so I decided to get something to eat and then go to the evening meeting. I had a fantastic dinner, watched a bit of the Blue Jays game and then decided I should get going.

When I found Word of Life Church, I thought it was kind of strange that the parking lot wasn't very full, but then again, I'd never been there before so I wasn't sure what to expect. When I got inside, it seemed pretty quiet for a conference and the people who were in the foyer were just kind of standing around. I actually met a guy that I've known for a few years. When I asked him when the conference was starting (because I thought maybe I was early...) he told me it started... are you ready for this... NEXT week.

I kind of hoped that 'Prank Patrol' or one of those other TV shows was doing this to me as a practical joke, but no... this was all my doing. What do you do when you show up a week early to a conference?

I didn't know yesterday, but I do today. You turn around and find a hotel close to the airport.

My next step was to call Barb and tell her. She laughed, her sister laughed and all of my kids laughed. Are you laughing too?

Prayer Bulletin

John Les resigned as Solicitor General last Friday afternoon. He is the subject of a police investigation dating back to his time as the Mayor of Chilliwack. In a media scrum, he admitted that being investigated by the police isn't any fun. It probably isn't which is why we need to pray for him. He apparently heard the news of the investigation when he came into his house after doing some yard work on Friday afternoon and in that brief instant, a nightmare began.

Politics aside, Mr. Les remains a person and in spite of a very brave front, this must be very hard on him and his family both personally and professionally. I'm asking our prayer partners from across the province to remember him as they pray.

Additionally, the Hon. John van Dongen has assumed the role of acting Solicitor General as of Tuesday. This is a huge responsibility and one with high expectations. Within an hour of his appointment, he was being asked questions in Question Period about the actions of a Crown Corporation that falls under his jurisdiction.

Please make it a point to pray for Mr. van Dongen as he assumes his new role.