Monday, January 31, 2005

Sermon Yesterday

Yesterday I took my turn to preach. The text was Phil. 2:13-18. I applied it entirely to our congregation's visioning process while acknowledging that Paul did not write to the Philippians, saying, "Now as you embark on your visioning process, bearing in mind the definition which I prophesy George Barna will give c. 1940 years from now, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, etc. etc."

I derived four adverbs from the text which generally apply to how we are to live and suggested that they have particular application to this process: Seriously, Joyfully, Respectfully (for each other and for our past) and Evangelistically (ie holding out the "word of life"). In order to have us practise speaking words of life to one another (rather than words of death such as "I don't know why I bother with you) I solicited ideas from the congregation to put on an overhead of life-giving phrases paraphrasing (briefly) the Good News. Then we "passed the Peace" by moving about the room speaking these phrases to each other (sometimes with hugs). That was how we ended the sermon.

However, the effect produced by saying to one another "There is always hope." or "You are pardoned" wasn't exactly what I intended. (Try it out in your imagination and you'll see.)

But some people did say "I love you" to me, which was very heartening. And I managed to say it back. Something about my life has conditioned me to be very guarded about speaking those words, justifying my stinginess by pointing to those who abuse the phrase in order to gain selfish ends.

I wish I could more freely wear my heart on my sleeve. I could take a page out of others' books by "lightening" that (possibly heavy) phrase by adapting it to "I love ya" or "love yuh" to emphasize the unconditional friendliness of the phrase when best spoken.

Oddly enough my last two sermons have *not* produced the usual after-effect in me of self-criticism "That really sucked!!!" which almost cripples me. This time, even though, for time's sake, I ended up skipping over an illustration re. Respect for the Past based on my life at Camp Dorion and didn't explain the "Passing the Peace" as well as I could have, I managed to escape tormenting myself and felt fairly satisfied. Maybe I am actually growing.

Right now coincidentally I'm listening to U2's "All I Want is You" which produces the same wrenching effect in me that it produces in many other people, because I am not just all brain, puns and punctuation.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Yesterday I ran into both of the Jennifer Mayos I know: the younger one at Intercity and the other in Stupidstore. These two do not know each other.

It reminds me of the time that I introduced two second cousins who were sitting next to each other at the Rocky Horror Show, though they had never met. (Both had been campers at Camp Dorion and one was in a play with me at that time.)

Also yesterday in Sstore I came up behind of the stage crew from "Hound" and spoke her name. Another young lady nearby turned and said hi and then realized she didn't know me.

No, their names were Kristie, not Bort.

Friday, January 28, 2005

More Bass stuff

My joke re. bass playing has more to do with the supposed ease with which one can learn to plunk along on the root note, than the bass being a subset of a guitar.

In fact, once I heard or read a bass player insisting that it's not a "bass guitar" (which would be that big guitar in a Mexican Mariachi band), but a(n) "(electric) bass".

Despite hearing plenty of other bass players speak otherwise, I do tend to think that the bass is *not* a subset of the guitar (especially since four lowest strings of a guitar are *not* always tuned the "bass" way). Thus I continue to avoid saying "bass guitar", which I think, in fact, shows my actual respect for bass players.

One could argue that it is played like a guitar and usually looks like one -- but consider:

In terms of musical *role* in a band, it took over from the upright bass in early rock and roll bands (such as the Comets, the Crickets and Elvis's band).

I had some other supporting arguments, but they have evaporated for now.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Bass thoughts

Last night I played bass at "Deeper Water" at St. Luke's. Probably the last time I played bass publicly was at Dorion Bible Camp in 2001 and even then only briefly.

But it all came back to me pretty quickly. After all, I do play guitar.

That's for you, Robin.


The other day at breakfast Jim from was telling us of
his frustrations in trying to make arrangements for his organization
to respond to an invitation to help in Indonesia.

This led to his recounting an imaginary(?) conversation with a
typical North American:

"I'm having a terrible day! My car has broken down."

"You have a car?!"

"So I can't get to work."

"You have a part-time job?!!"

"Yeah, so I'm stuck at home."

"You have a home!!!?"

He actually did say "part-time" which made me wonder if he had me
in mind. If so, point well-taken.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Spontaneous lame joke

It snowed last night but much ploughing has been done already and so I was a bit annoyed as I drove up May St. today. A fellow who looked like a bum was walking towards me on the road, despite the fact that the sidewalk had been cleared. "Why isn't this guy walking on the sidewalk?" I asked myself.

"Because he's a street person." my brain replied.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Impossibilities??? or...just bumps on the road?

When I went around to the Autoplus garage (right near Fr. John's where I was staying in Schreiber) c. 10 am my car was already running. They didn't even charge me any labour. I gather that it started quite easily after a night in the warmth. There was gas in the oil and so they did change the oil, but St. John's Anglican had already volunteered to pay for that. (Thank you.) Autoplus (Mike and Joey -- who looks like a short Eugene Levy) recommended that I change the sparkplugs.

Drove to town without incident. After unloading my stuff at home (with car running) and phoning Eric, I went to Canadian Liar and bought plugs and a gapper. (I did stop the car and it started easily.) Then over to Baileys'. Thank you Eric for helping me gap and change my plugs.

Then to Joe's Auto. The block heater is located in a very inaccessible place and so if it needed changing, it couldn't be done until a couple of days later (if at all). But it seems that the only problem was the plug itself. I haven't tried starting my car yet, but both Joe and I could hear the heater sizzling. Thank you Joe for changing the plug for cost.

However, Joe also disovered a coolant leak around some sort of sensor which his parts supplier didn't have. So he put a plug in the hole and gave me the sensor to take to the Dealer (or the Stealer as Paul Jansen says) for a replacement. Probably this sensor tells the fan when to come on. So this is not an immediate concern, but I do need to sort it out before the next heat wave.

So do I have these ongoing problems because of my sins? Or is Satan attacking me because I am doing God's will? Don't we (especially as Christian orgaizations with our lofty aims and beliefs) tend to see others in the first category and ourselves in the second?

And then there are the various happy circumstances which help me through these problems (St. John's Anglican's and Joe's generosity and availability). Is this God "sending Lisa to save me from the moth He sent"?

Or is it possible (he asks rhetorically) that many of our problems are a result of planning / management / foresight weaknesses through which God can teach us (to make better plans/choices in the future) and Satan can discourage us? This necessitates admitting that we are in the picture, too, not just God or Satan.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Stuck in Schreiber

I am so glad that our Father in Heaven tells of His love in the book He has given.
Wonderful things in the Bible I see. This is the dearest that Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me. Jesus loves even me.

Over the last few days of dealing with much snow and frozen door locks and multiple instances of car boosts (and buying a new battery) for some reason this song has been going through my brain -- and *without* irony. (It alternates with the Triplets from Belleville theme song.)

I am stuck in Schreiber overnight as my car waits in a heated bay for the mechanics. CAA was not able to start it (new battery and all) and apparently the sparkplugs will have to dry out.

Father John Sovereign years ago before in his previous life as a contractor lent me a truck of his for a month. Tonight he is lending me his house (with satellite TV) while he goes to ThBay and I wait for my car. This means I wont make it back in time to meet with (who has returned to the blogging world) but other than that I am not that greatly inconvenienced by this.

This morning I sang "40" by those 4 Irish multimillionaires and preached the sermon here at St. John's Anglican. I closed with the song above, because mainly I wanted to emphasize the love of God for us. At the times when I felt I was floundering in my speech (as I often do when I preach) for encouragement I looked at the attentive smile of the woman whose wig-wearing is connected to her flight to Hamilton tomorrow for medical tests. This puts my minor aggravations with the weather in perspective. (However, recently Ive wondered if maybe I *should* consider that job posting in balmy BC.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Kuch kuch hota hai

Had an Indian Night last night. Oh, I know the best way to avoid confusion in this context: "An India Night". There you go.

I don't know the name of every food we ate, but it was all good. Funny, though: the "non-bread" sure looked and tasted like bread to me.

Then all of us (Tim, Miriam, Eric, Erica, Travis, Sylvia, Robert, Diana and I) watched the Bollywood film "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai". I believe that the title means "something happens", that is, if you stare meaningfully at each other, sing and dance enough apparently "something" will happen.

I was faintly annoyed: so this guy has a beautiful best friend in college (he just can't tell because she wears overalls and keeps her hair short), but marries his beautiful girlfriend (who dies shortly after bearing their child). Then after that he ends up with his beautiful best friend (after, what was it, 14 chances to catch on that she is beautiful and loves him). Hey, buddy, share the wealth!

BTW my car door is thawed and did not catch on fire.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Frozen Car

I am sitting upstairs by my bedroom window blogging while a space heater is attempting to thaw my frozen car door.

That's "thaw", not "unthaw". "Unthaw" = "freeze".

I'm a bit paranoid about such things and so I'm keeping an eye on it, fearing it might catch on fire or be stolen by some alleywalker lusting after a space heater.

I do have several which I bought at thrift stores intending to donate and so I suppose I won't miss this one. But I'd prefer the theft scenario over the fire scenario.

My pastor drove across town last night to get me to the small gathering at Tim and Miriam's in order to play "Greedy" (dice game), Spoons (I won, yeah!), Charades and children's Simpsons Dominos. Got to bed at 0530hrs?

Heater is still there. Not on fire. That suggests a Strong Bad quote. Can you guess which one?

New Year's Eve: '04/'05