Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy Birthday Resonate

Resonate turns one today. What a great group of Canadians!
Today we launch our very first issue of the Resonate Journal in which I have an article on the Liminality of the Eucharist. Let me know what you think of my article. Hope to resonate with many of you soon!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Gros cafe avec lait

OK so I walked into a Tim Hortons (yeah I know, horrible coffee but what are you going to do when you are travelling through some of the coffee deserts of Canada) and asked for a coffee with lots of milk. The polite clerk didn't understand me so I tried french for the first time in seriousness. Pardon moi mon francais est terrible, in fact I was almost sure it was non-existant. But as we were driving Sharon and I were trying to stumble through some French. I really need to learn French so this was a boost to my confidence when I clarified me order with "gross cafe avec lait". She smiled wide and said my french was very good - which obviously means you really suck but I appreciate your effort. Hey I felt good anyway.

[note I have even less clue as to how to spell anything in French, please excuse my butchering of the French language]

19 hours on the road...

Wow, that was a crazy drive. Overall emotions stayed under control. I am the worst for travelling - when I get hungry and tired I can easily get angry. We tried some of those energy drinks - Red Bull I think - tastes like cough medicine (yuch!) and you are forever burping up vitamin B6! (gross!). It was some nice to walk into my own house and collapse in my own bed. The kids are grumpy bears today - so please offer up a prayer for peace on our home while we recover.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Going home...

Back to the land of constant Internet access. Back to my own bed. Back to my friends and community. We are all rather homesick at the end of this vacation. We are just packing up the van for an early departure. See you all online when we arrive in Ottawa.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

IP Scarcity...

Only getting scraps of time online. We are all enjoying ourselves. Lots of stuff to do as a family. I'm not sure if I'll get any pics up until we are back in Ottawa.

We spent the day Sunday in Halifax hanging out with Larry and Karen (Metro Vineyard) and then with Joe and Colleen (old friends). Last night we got together with my Buddy Smurf and his wife Lisa and taught them Texas Hold'em. It was lots of fun, everyone played really conservatively and I was the first out (after a long time playing). Today I saw my old friend Ellen, she has a framing store in Truro. It is great to see old friends as well as my family.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Travelling man...

Made it to Grand Falls, NB today. We left home at 5:30AM, made lots of stops and had a pretty good journey so far. Now if only Chelsea will go to sleep. Gotta love free wireless access in hotels though!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

For my friends at kinship...

Here are my girls. Enjoy, see you when I get back.

Getting ready for the big family trip

Hey all, I'll have to post some pics from our trip as we go. We are leaving tomorrow morning at 5AM! I am excited and anxious. Chelsea has been pushing her boundaries a lot lately, and complaining loudly when she can't get her way. That does not bode well, but I am struggling to remain optimistic. Look forward to highlights and reflections as often as we find HOTSPOTS to connect with.

One of Freedom!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Professional Freezie Eater Here...

So the other day I've got my little girls over at a friends house for some outdoor fun and Mari brings out a fist full of huge freezies for us to eat. I watch her cut them open and realize that not everyone is a professional freezie eater like me. Maybe some of you could use a few pointers on the skill of pro-freezie eating.

1. You can tell a pro right away by how they open the freezie. Anyone with real freezie mileage does not need scissors at all. Just bite the edge of the end of the freezie, grasp the plastic end and pull away from the bite with your teeth. Voila a perfectly opened freezie every time - well you will need to practice to get it perfect. I recommend a handful of freezies each day until you master this one.

2. No self-respecting freezie eater needs to smush the freezie before eating. A freezie is by definition frozen. Simply push the frozen part up from the bottom with your thumb and opposed middle finger then simply bite off a bit of sugary goodness. You will need to practice this a lot so as to not bite off too much giving yourself an "ice cream headache" and enough that you do not end up with too much liquid at the end (see point 4 for dealing effectively with the liquid).

3. Professionals do not suck. Sucking takes the flavour out of the freezie and leaves less than flavoured ice - boring. If you need to suck, bite larger chunks and suckle them in your mouth.

4. Sucking out the last of the juice just doesn't work. The middle of the freezie plastic collapses and you end up with more wastage than you need to. Remember this is sugary goodness and must be treated with respect! Rather than suck (see point 3) simply inflate the freezie plastic by blowing into it, and then tip the juice into your awaiting mouth. Just like a pro. This takes a bit of practice, especially if you are in the aweful habit of sucking. Also try not to contact the plastic with your mouth during the tipping process - the sure sign of a novice.

Hope this helps you enjoy one of my favourite summer time treats.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Life in the fastlane...

One of the things I look forward to the most about going Down East for a vacation is the pace of life. Granted it will take pretty much the whole vacation for me to actually slow down, but it is a great exercise. Life in the city is quite a bit different than life in a small town - heck even Halifax is a lot more sane of a pace of life. It seems like everything wants to happen at once in Ottawa.

Now this is really odd because it typically takes at least 30 minutes+ to commute anywhere, but the 45 minute drive to Halifax from Truro was only reserved for special occasions??? But as far as getting things done, when it happens it happens is almost the maritime feel where as in Ottawa everything seems to have an urgent tag attached to it. I do my best to not get caught up in it but the moment I step into my parents house it is like I arrive in a time distortion field. Everything gets done - but it is like time is stretched out there somehow.

When we started to plant Freedom Vineyard, one of our mandates was to create church for busy people. We recognize that there are so many demands on peoples time that church should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. That is why we are not really programme oriented and do a lot of spontaneous community gatherings. We fully expect sporadic attendance and try not to pressure anyone to make every single meeting. Also this is probably why a regular (traditional) Sunday gathering does not serve our community well. Folks who have embraced our community life have expressed how much they appreciate having that extra time on Sunday to just spend with their family - hey if we can do anything to strengthen the bonds of family I think we are doing something worthwhile.

To help this out we gather in two modes. First as a Christian body seeking to unabashedly worship Jesus - which happens in prayer meetings, kinships (small groups), celebrations. And secondly in just being a community that loves hanging out together - poker nights, scrapbooking, tea parties, going to the beach, road trips, RPGs. In both of these settings we attract both Christians and non-Christians. One of my hopes is that our desire to not overwhelm them with more time commitments will make us a safe refuge for folks already overwhelmed by the demands of city life. In fact it seems to be working because when we gather, however we gather, people come because they want to.

OK, got to run and practice slowing down for my vacation.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Planning our vacation...

We are heading to Nova Scotia in a few weeks. Gonna visit my family. The drive to Truro is about 14 hours without kids - we are hoping to make it in two days. There was a great show on CBC this afternoon on how to travel with kids. Lots of wonderful suggestions. We are planning a travelling album - gotta get some film for the old polaroid camera. Also our first day is only to Riviere-du-Loup (about 7 hours driving time) where we plan to relax in a hotel with a pool! Should be lots of fun.

I was busy this afternoon, after the show, making lists of food to take, stuff to pack goodie bags with, items essential to travelling with kids. I warned you I like obsessive compulsive AR stuff. Finding a nice hotel (still have to book it - $135CDN is a bit more than I expected, oh well). Oh and I told the girls that they can each choose a new DVD for the trip but they can't watch it until we get underway. I am hoping though that some of the suggestions will mean less DVD play this time. Movies are better at night when there isn't so much to see and do.

What are some of the things you've done to entertain your young ones on long trips? Leave me a comment, it is exciting to think that this just might be our best family trip yet. Don't worry I'm sure I can find a hotspot down there to keep up on my blogging.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Consider yourself warned......

You know there are a lot of things in my life, a lot that are important to me. My faith and my family are at the top - I have two great kids, a loving wife and an amazing Saviour. But there are other things that occupy my head and heart.

For instance there is the church I am planting - Freedom Vineyard. Especially the community that has gathered in an effort to get closer to God. I love those guys and gals. They encourage me, challenge me, sometimes frustrate me, love me and even at times take care of me. This is another thing in my heart.

I also love friends, I have a lot of friends. Lots at various level of friendship too. Some whom I've only just begun to get to know. Some whom I've known and loved for years. But I love hanging out with my friends.

I love music - well playing music more than listening to it. There is something I find very relaxing to grab my guitar and begin strumming the songs in my heart. I revel in the opportunities I've had, and sometimes still have, to play in bands or perform on stages. I love leading intimate worship in our church. Music is great in my life.

I like games and strategy. I love stories and movies. I like reading and thinking deeply. I love theology and even at times history. I like languages - even though I am not good at them. I love collecting things - but try to limit it for my wife's sanity. But still I have books and stamps and CDs and you name it to organize and enjoy. Oh did I mention I love organizing things (not so much people it is more AR than that). These are things that make up me, things in my head and heart.

OK so you are wondering the point of this post? Well all these things are me and all these things are part of my life story. It is hard for me to spend anytime with anyone and not talk about any and all of these things. Maybe I am just a really public kinda guy - maybe I am not cautious enough with my pearls. Whatever the case - consider yourself warned, this is my blog and I'm apt to shift gears wildly here. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I got to thinking about this word. It is not the easiest concept to get your head around. So I thought it might be fun to explore a bit in my blog. Hope you agree.

The word literally translates from the Greek as memory raised up. So perhaps we could think of it as ubermemory. Or memory that is brought up into focus. But the sense of that word goes beyond simply focusing - but into something more immersive.

One of the ways anemnesis has been explained to me is through the results of an experience of anemnesis. We know it has occurred when the memory we are focusing on has become a part of our own memories. So when you are recounting the story of Jesus feeding 5000, it is told with phrases like, "remember when Jesus had all those hungry people?" We tell it like this because the story is part of our story.

When we use such phrases we are announcing our own conviction that the event actually occurred and that the event had an impact on us even if we were not among those initially impacted by the event. This can happen with any of the narratives we take into our own story of life, but it has a particular place in Christian tradition. The liturgical forms are built to invoke an experience of anemnesis.

The liturgy of the Word is not just a bible exposition, but the retelling of the God story as the story of the people of God. We are drawn into that story and it becomes our story as well. Which is why the primary focus on the epistles in most Protestant churches is disturbing. Not that Paul and the others are not important - but their teaching is all grounded in the story of God, and it is all too easy to miss that story in our search for knowledge.

The liturgy of the Eucharist, and especially the Mass, is so blatantly anemnesis invoking that it should also disturb us when it is paid so little attention in many of our churches. Here our story mingles with the story of Christ in a way that we literally take the story (narrative if you will) into our bodies and are subsumed into the body of Christ. We become what we eat.

I am excited to find movements in the Church today that are restoring the centrality of the gospels in their liturgies. It is so important, even though sometimes it is so hard. We have been following Matthew as of late (Roman Lectionary) and our Wednesday service has fallen on some incredibly difficult narratives. But they are part of the gospel, part of the story, and meant to be part of our story as well. In wrestling through them I have found great reward, and I am sure you will as well.

Just one more note - story is the most powerful means of communication. As a preacher you soon find out that all your brilliant insights are lost, but that goofy story about the washing machine breaking down sticks. You can either be frustrated at this. Or you can recognize the brilliance of God's design. We are built for story. We are built to be part of an unfolding narrative - the History of Salvation. We respond to story. We bring stories into our own narrative (I love the stories of the Kingdom breaking into peoples lives and they all want to bubble right back out of me when I speak). God has made us this way so that we would respond to His invitation into the God Story unfolding through history and drawing us all towards the Son.