Snowfall

November 27, 2006

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John Daker

November 25, 2006

I remember seeing this about a year ago. Cracked me up good.

Don’t know about his choice of songs (they don’t seem to flow), but I like his suit and tie!

Some background info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Daker

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concrete park

November 21, 2006

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The Concord Pacific neighbourhood community (er…what do you call this place?) is a cold and dreary place. Even the green space feels fake, engineered. The precision planted trees, the designer lamp posts the concrete picnic table…just didn’t sense any homey-ness. The yellow beach chairs (bolted into concrete) seemed out of place.

Maybe I’ll visit in the summer.

[last photo above: Jo waited and studied in the car while I shot the photos; thanks Jo!]

The title of this post comes from an earlier post of mine reflecting on a passage by Nouwen in his book, In the Name of Jesus.

I’m tracking-back, because in that post, my friend left a question (as a comment) that has found a home in my head for a couple of months. A question I left unanswered.

In the post, I reflected on a thought by Nouwen who said that the Christian leader is not about upward mobility, but about downward mobility. What Nouwen is saying, as I understood it is, “Don’t simply stop at looking to climb the ladder…but look to climb down it.”

My friend asked, “So what does this look like?”

I started a reply, but I erased it after half a paragraph because I realized I didn’t know exactly what that looked like. That was odd. I realized what Nouwen was saying, but I couldn’t define it, picture it, see it–especially as it plays out in my life. My friend didn’t ask me how it looked in my life…but I eventually took it as a question about my life. The question went unanswered.

But today I came across “a conversation” with an old theologian that has helped me at least to give frame to what this downard mobility idea might look like.
He was asked…

Q: God has led you through many triumphs and trials. What have you learned about knowing His works and ways? What have you discovered about God that still thrills your soul?

His answer was…

A: I realize that all of my Christian life from beginning to end is His gift of grace. I’m still a sinner and I can only live by being forgiven by the mercy of God day to day. That has become a bigger and bigger thought for me. As I look over the 62 years I’ve been a Christian, one of the great things that God has been teaching me the whole time from start to finish—and is teaching me still—is that Christians grow down, downward into humility rather than upward into any form of achievement or success. If God gives achievement and success, those are His gifts and we should be thankful. But, if we are going to talk about growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ that all of us are called to pursue, the thing to grasp is that growing in grace, growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, is growing downward into humility in which one claims less and less for oneself. We become more insistent in saying, “Look, it’s entirely God’s grace to me. It isn’t in the least my effort, my volunteering, my performance. Anything that I’ve managed to do right is by His grace.”

This helped.

What does the downward mobility of a Christian leader (for any Christian!) look like?  Humility.  That is it.  Giving God glory for everything for it is entirely his grace on us.

All praise goes to God, because “all…life from beginning to end is His gift of grace.”

And who is this downward growing theologian? J.I. Packer, who knows a thing or two about knowing God.

over the rhine over at regent

November 16, 2006

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at over the rhine

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Spent a splendid evening Wednesday with Jo taking in the songs of the couple-group, Over the Rhine. Their sound, jo says (because I’m not musically attuned in any way), is some blues, some folk and that may very well be right. I say, just good. =)

Looking forward to their Christmas album, Snow Angels.

Here’s a review of their most recent album that got me (more) interested in the group.

[That yellow tint in the last photo is there because there were yellow spotlights in the chapel]

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[click photo above to see “notes” about all the items]

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Slept in, missed chiropractor appointment, ate lunch at Wazube’s with Jo at 3pm (she had breakfast), drank hot chocolate, went into a crafts store, bought a coffee press, looked at vellum at a scrapbooking place in my neighbourhood by the starbucks, got Christmas blend, watched L’Enfant (redemptive), learned to sing “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts,” and snapped a corner of my messy desk (above).

One Month Banquet

November 14, 2006

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[edit: added “notes” to this photo directly above.]

[third photo from top taken by Helen]

A waiter finds out why his friends at work don’t like the “Chrstian Table.”

As a Christian: ouch.

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Heard this from a wise friend recently.

Rings true for me too.

The gospel is stirring anew for me…for some reason.

And I’m thankful.