Monthly Archives: May 2012

Empty Nests and Cat Ladies

I was sitting on the couch this morning, alone in the house with my dog.  It isn’t that I am never alone, but with one child moved out, one daughter about to graduate from high school, and one entering grade 11 it occurred that this may be a little taste of the eventual empty nest.  Changes are on the way.  As I thought this I was glad to have my little lap dog to cuddle and talk to (better than talking to myself) and that led me to think of…

I have lots planned for my future after the kids have moved out.  I don’t expect to have much more time alone at home than I have now other than evenings, but there is definitely some appeal to having little furry ‘children’ to look after and who may always be happy to see you (at least in the kitchen near their food dishes).  We have a human need for companionship and for those without an available human, pets fill the gap.

One companion we can always count on, even when the cats are ignoring us, is the Holy Spirit, and God’s is always eager for us to talk with him! 

Cristians are like Dandelions!


Our minister talked about dandelions in her children’s story. She told the kids that she has heard that Christians are like dandelions. They bow down when the mower goes over them and then stand right back up!

I’m sure there are many people who might consider us to be weeds, popping up all over even where we weren’t planted. Rooted in God, we can survive many types of mowing and then just continue to grow.

Spread your seeds, and show your sunny face to someone this week!

God The Creator Said It Was Very Good!

The meaning of the word ‘good’ has shifted somewhat over the years.  Sadly, these days it has been greatly downgraded in our quest for excellence.  With parents and children saying of a competition that all they can do is give 110% and see what happens is it any wonder that telling someone their work is good, or that they are good, seems lackluster at best?

I started thinking about the topic this morning when once again reading from Walter Brueggemann’s book on Genesis (by the way, I’m still in the creation section and expect to be there for some time having to pause to reflect and digest every couple paragraphs).  Having looked at Sabbath the part I read today was looking at two theologies of creation’s relationship with God; one of vast separation due largely to our failure to be faithful, and the other as a continuing part of bringing about his vision.  The difference seems to hinge on what we think God meant in declaring creation, “very good.”

As per the 110% effort, there is a tendency to feel that being told, “it is good,” is only part of the statement that then ends with, “but it could be better!”  Setting that part aside, let’s look at our other associations with the word good.  If we were at church and I said, “What is the opposite of evil?” you would likely respond, “Good.”  We tell our children to have fun, and be good when we drop them off at activities.  When we say that someone is a good person, we mean a moral and kind natured person.

God didn’t find a world and judge it to be good and I can’t imagine in what way a pine tree or a rock could be considered morally good or evil.  Like an artist he brought the whole of creation out of nothing with his creativity.  He saw it all before it was.  Then when he, “committed it to canvas” he stood back and viewed his work and it was good work.  It was beautiful and matched his vision perfectly.

Check out Brueggemann, Walter, Genesis. Interpretation A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. John Knox Press; Atlanta 1982

Brueggemann makes reference to the work of Westermann in Blessing in the Bible and the Life of the Church 1978

Time Out/ Penalty or Prize?

If you are a parent or a teacher you may have a certain image of what it means to say, “time out!”  This is a phrase that has come into use in a major way in child discipline.  Often misused, time out is a way of separating the child from the situation which is causing a problem and to give time for all to calm down.

Do you remember back when calling, “time out!” meant a break, a respite in the midst of heavy action in order to catch one’s breath, help an injured kid, clarify rules and the like?  Time out was the saviour of many smaller children about to be run over by a big kid in a game of tag!  It was a way of calling a stop when play started to really hurt, physically or emotionally.

In hockey, and some other sports, we have two uses of time outs.  The first is calling “Time” which is like the old style, giving a breather and a chance for the coach to set plays.  Coaches are very strategic in their use of time outs in the game.  The other is actually called a penalty, in hockey served in the time out chair called the penalty bench.  This is an enforced time away from the game, a consequence of some illegal action, a punishment.

Next time you feel the pressure building up and the high-speed tether-ball headed toward your face, call a time out, step back and recover your wits before entering into the game renewed! 

Far From Singing In The Rain!

The other day I was out for groceries.  When I parked, not particularly near the store, it was overcast but fairly nice out.  When I was finished and ready to go out to the car it was pouring rain!  I looked in my cart and noticed boxed goods near the tops of the bags.  I considered for a moment whether I could wait it out in the store.  I did actually have a raincoat on, so I put up my hood, zipped up my purse, and headed out into the rain.  Having set my course I kept my head down to keep my hood from blowing off and made a quick bee-line for my car.  My coat had done a lovely job of keeping my hair and upper body completely dry but was, of course, now dripping with water as I climbed into the car.  

Driving home I noticed how other people were reacting to the rain.  There were some people making a quick dash, heads and shoulders bowed down.  There were many like me with raincoats or umbrellas, not in quite the same hurry as the dashers but mostly hunched against the rain regardless of their protection.  I also noticed some of the people who clearly had to go someplace and had only their feet for transportation.  Resigned to their fates, they just walked along getting wet as if nothing at all was happening.  Most wearing tshirts or sweaters of one kind or another, they didn’t even hunch their shoulders.  They were already wet, they had farther to go, why fight it?

None of these people were dancing or singing in the rain!  The ultimate statement of contentment or happiness, it seems, would be finding even a rainy day sunny (emotionally).  We have had a fair number of rainy days in our area lately.  A friend of mine this morning had, “Rain, rain go away. Only come back between midnight and six, then stay sunny all day.” as her facebook status.  I smiled as I read it, echoing the sentiment in my mind.  

If you don’t feel like singing and dancing on your next rainy day, take a cue from the little kids in this old McDonald’s commercial…



Dinner and Blog Entry in 35 Minutes or Less!

It is a Saturday evening and my family have not yet had supper.  I was upstairs surfing the web on my laptop, my spouse and one child were downstairs watching Green Lantern and the fourth of the household is out.  Sorry…I left out the dog who is sitting on the back of the couch watching the world go by.  When the movie came to an end we decided we should get supper.  On went the oven and in went a frozen tortierre (a kind of French Canadian meat pie).  I set the timer and now have just about 30 minutes to wait for supper.

This kind of quick cook meal is, unfortunately, all too common in our household!  I don’t  even think it is because we are so busy, I was just killing time with the surfing, I could have chosen to put together a homemade and balanced meal.  I didn’t!

I wonder if anyone has done studies to see if people of my vintage (the end of the baby boom) are more or less likely to make meals like our parents did?  OK, like our mothers did! Don’t get me wrong, I love food!  I’m just not very keen to go to the thought, planning, and execution involved in meals like Mum makes.  We will have some raw veggies with the pie and perhaps end up with a yogurt or fruit .

The other thing I wonder, or have a sneaking suspicion about, is whether that desired convenience, and the tidiness of no mess from preparation is what my generation wants from everything in our lives.  Even more-so, what have we set our kids up to expect?  We want to believe in something, but it has to be tied up in a neat little package which doesn’t leave us with any issues or controversies.  I have some acquaintances who have chosen atheism for their parcel, with its nice neat there is no God answer to all questions.  

I have chosen Christianity despite its confusing divisions of denominations, worship styles, and ways of interpreting the Bible.  Our nice neat package?  Um…a rather messy crucifixion and a controversial rising from the dead.  We are very good at making a mess of things, but through Christ’s death and resurrection our package has been prepared!

Glory glory, hallelujah, He reigns! /Repetive and Annoying or Just Enough To Sink In ?

I am waiting to pick my daughter from an activity and to help time pass more pleasantly I am listening to The Message on Sirius XM radio. The last song had little in the way of lyrics other than, Glory glory, hallelujah, He reins!”. This is a very important message without doubt but to me I have to think that they need to go into more depth than that. If the message is important then we should be giving more background rather than just a worship statement and the great truth of the reign of Christ.

I think I am missing something. This song is upbeat and catchy and just might get some people repeating those words who have never heard them. Maybe it can get them curious for more of the story! We know that the more times a connection is repeated in our brains, the better we will remember. So go ahead and sing those repetitive songs and be ready to lead people deeper if they ask!