Monday, October 16, 2006

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"it seems rather over due"

...and you're thinking,
yea you haven't posted in months . You are so single minded!
This delayed entry is a post full of things rather overdue.

When I saw the above picture I told Char that I would use on a post when my relational status had changed from single. It just looked so cute and stereotypical for twitterpated fools, so there it is picturing to the world the fireworks in my heart (note the little one in the right bottom corner, a pink heart, how appropriate).

However when I said that, I did not have any one in mind, in fact I had gotten used to the idea of the single life and had started thinking about adventures I could take when I had graduated (or at least what to do with myself when I had no particular attachments). It came rather as a surprise to my heart, not only because I grown accustomed to my state, but also because it was something I thought God had denied long ago never to be revived again.

I like surprises.

Rejecting singlehood is not exactly what seems overdue however, but perhaps finally working things out with the one that I rejected it for. And none were surprised. But you have all heard about that. What else is overdue?

Graduation. It's coming in 6 months, and I can say that I've never looked forward to it more than I do now. Being in school is hard for me this year. Last semester held the finishing blow on my academic heart and now I have no desire for homework, classes, or assignments. My love of learning has been numbed, at least in a formal way, and while I've always been easily distracted, now there is no studiousness left to hold me to my assignments. This numbness tells me that my tired brain thinketh that graduation is rather overdue.

Besides those overdue items, life has been all right, hectic though. I've been keeping up substantial hours at work, so between that and school... less spare time than I'd like is left. It's been good living with Amy, she Ashley and I have been scheming and dreaming with a book I found.
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mwa ha haa, soon I will be consuming all your old t-shirts and wearing them as skirts and using them to make bags. Anyhow I have a greek assignment due tomorrow... maybe if I walk towards where my books are I it might be done soonish. Here's hoping I post with something else before another two months is up!
Thanks for sticking with me.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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the little albino by gilad

snubbed, snobbed, and coolness factors

I don't think I've ever been snobbed by a farm kid was the first thought that occurred to me.
Then I realized that was a lie, I had been snobbed by farm kids plenty of times. Perhaps I should explain what I mean by snobbed. It is not snubbed, that is a completely intentional slight by people who deeply and truly snobs. snobbed is what otherwise cordial individuals do in a moment of snobbery. Something we've all done in order to seem cool.
The other night I was snobbed by a farm girl once again, it's nothing that's going cause my life to come crashing down like a burning aircraft in sky. And nothing that'll stop me from getting excited to pet a cow in the future (or any other animal for that matter), or from playing 'hey cow' every time I drive by a pasture. I live in the country, not on a farm nor in the city, so I regularly get snobbed on by both parties. I think I'm getting used to it. It does, however, cause my mind to go hmph, and wonder at the silliness that we all commit from time to time or, more often, time and time again.
Please, do me a favour, the next time you hear me snob someone for the sake of looking cool- because I've done it, I do it, and it will inevitably happen again- nudge me and whisper, "jo, don't snob others, it's just not cool."
I'll try to do the same for you.

But speaking of things that are no longer cool, (because somewhere along the line soccer "became the new baseball") I went out and bought a new baseball glove today. Now I just need to find someone else who likes to throw around a baseball. What is more embarassing though, is the ball that I bought to go with it. I went to the bin of hardballs and saw one that was beige compared to the rest of the white balls. I will buy you because you are beige I said in my mind to the little ball, and proceeded to the cashier. Yes I picked a ball because of it's colour, just be glad I do not do this with every purchase decision that I make, but the story gets better. When I got there the cashier had to call up the sports department to get the price on it and as she's reading out the info that's printed on the ball I realized that I had picked out a t-ball instead a hardball. It was actually printed in large letters on the side of the ball.
For those of you who missed out on the baseball-is-cool phase of life a t-ball is a softer ball made for little kids so they don't hurt themselves, usually placed on a stationary stick so the kid can hit it easily instead of having to aim a flying ball. Anyhow I brought it over to Joe's Place and Joe got so excited about it that I'm going to swap him for one of his hardballs. It'll be put to better use with his little girl and perhaps even with some of the teens here who aren't as catch-savy as this former baseball star. (you'll note that I played on a girls team with the longest losing streak in the area... still, I wasn't terrible.)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

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coming                                and                   going         by dmack
My roommate is moving out. It's not that she doesn't like me, she's going back to Ontario. Our flat has been a bit chaotic, and I had to go buy a new can opener. (Ha, I know this sounds so girly or momish, but that is seriously the best can opener, cuts through metal like buttah.)
My house will once again quiet, another roommate come and gone, and we never did get to fixing the kitchen (It's had wallpaper that looks like it belongs in a child's bedroom since we moved in, white with multi-coloured hearts all over it). I like her, I'll miss her.
She heads out Sunday afternoon, and after that I'll start slowly moving into the smaller bedroom and finaggling with the furniture to make it work for a new roommate. Amy is moving in with me in the fall, I'm excited for that, I like her.
So. If you're calling me, call my cell, I've disconnected the landline. And this also means that I won't frequenting the net as much at least for the next 2 months. It was short lived, but blissful. And pray for me and pray for Amy, we have moving and finaggling to do and transition is tiring. Exciting but tiring.

Friday, June 30, 2006

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holy light by gilad

absence makes the heart grow fonder

It is no mystery that God's thoughts to us are a mystery. And no secret that we are constantly trying to divulge the understanding of those mysteries. Have you ever wondered if God allowed something, let a person choose a path because it avoided a choice of worst disaster?

Of course you have. Everyone has. Even the biggest pessimist has a spot of optimist pondering, even if it is only a momentary flicker.
What I wonder right now is if we can consent to that idea, even for a flicker, can we consider that God may let us walk on paths that are likely to destroy us. Maybe He lets us because He wants us to choose, maybe He guides us to it because he has a plan we don't understand. But in either case the strange thought that occurs to me is that optimism can be the worst attitude in those situations.

There is a wonderous paradox about humanity that I wonder gets lost in our optimism. It is the challenges that create beauty and depth. It is the things that should break us that are what make us alive. We want life to be beautiful, we want everything to be good and peaceful, so we try to find it at every moment. Are we trying too hard? Are we just tiring ourselves out?

Many who study the Bible debate exactly how it is that man is created in God's image. A thought that wanders in and out of my head is that perhaps it is in paradox that we are like God. God who is the Three and One, who is the epitome of the beauty we seek and also the so fearsome that we cannot bear to behold all of His glory. But then again we can see this touch of paradox throughout all of God's creation, throughout all of nature. We idealize it, take pictures, paint it, admire it for the beauty and wonder that it contains. A mountainscape, a forest, a dessert, any sea, lake or river. We focus on the beauty and forget the disaster and periliousness that those things so easily contain. Get lost in a forest, or try to climb a mountain unprepared, you risk death; those who know what they are doing in a forest or on a mountain know that they are putting themselves on the line.

Whether we choose our own disaster or are bound to a path may be a mystery we never completely understand, but wherever we may walk, like a phoenix from the ashes, God raises beauty from disaster. Whether we fail miserably now, or succeed by whoevers' terms, we're told the story ends the same. God conquers all. Enjoy disaster, let satan have his destruction, because as Jesus us showed us there is something significantly more triumphant from admitting circumstances aren't ideal and surviving it than having been spared from or finding the bright side of circumstance.

Monday, June 26, 2006

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dead fruit by coxi

"You don't make Christianity look good, you make rock look worse"
Hank Hill

Something can be labelled "Christian" and not be true or good...

It is possible for music to be labelled Christian and be terrible music. It could lack creativity and inspiration. The lyrics could be recycled cliches. That "Christian" band could actually be giving Jesus a bad name because they aren't a great band. It is possible for a movie to be a "Christian" movie and to be a terrible movie. It may actually descrate the art form in its quality and storytelling and craft. Just because it is Christian book by a Christian author and it was purchased in a Christian bookstore doesn't mean it is all true or good or beautiful. A Christian political group puts me in an awkward position: What if I disagree with them? Am I less of a Christian? What if I am convinced the "Christian" thing to do is to vote the exact opposite?

Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective

Thank you Rob Bell.
(From his book Velvet Elvis)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

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from the book of wisdom by gilad

Bandaid solutions

We keep writing to solve our problems. We write to share the burden. To talk about problems. We keep writing to better life. We write to fill the gaps. To better our minds. We keep writing as a path to guide our souls. We write to evangelize. To deepen spiritual our spiritual lives.

Writing, writing, writing. We keep reading books searching to identify, searching for solutions. We expand our crusade into other medias, maybe for those of us who are too busy, or too lazy to read. We search for in tv programs, help-groups, and even in church do we provide a format for easy steps to following God and overcoming problems. We create programs, make videos, if you have a problem there's some one out there that you've never met who knows exactly what you've been through. Except they don't know you. As much as you may feel like the people around you don't understand you, or what you're going through, some person writing a book who's never seen your face can't hold a candle to knowing you.

For all the gloriousness of the North American lifestyle there are gaps in our lives. There are things that we're just not doing right and we're filling it with newer shinier things, we're filling it with a brand new program, a book, video series. We create things to create community, we create things to fix broken families, we create things to tell others about God, we create things to fill the inadequacies that we don't like. But for all of our honest efforts we're not doing much good, while we keep ploughing foward we don't realize what we leave behind. While we are creating to try and control our downfalls, to make life as bright and shiny as we dream it to be, to reach utopia, we loose the beauty of disaster.

You may find it ironic that I write to say this. I have no problem with books and inspiration writing. I love C.S. Lewis I do not have a vengence against media... I use msn and email to talk to friends that I can't see. I do have a problem with trying to create community, but I'll admit that I for some reason hang out with a group of people get together to read a 'motivational' book so that we can be a 'community'. The problem is that we rely on these methods, we rely on these modes of connecting, we rely on our own institutions, instead of the institutions that have already been created. We don't want to hear wisdom from our parents, we don't want community with the annoying little kids who aren't as mature as we are. We want to hang out with people who know what we're going through, so we create youth groups and college and career, we create small groups and kids clubs. There we can identify and choose to be held accountable with others. Heaven forbid that we be forced to identify with the senile old man or our little brother.

Friday, June 09, 2006

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hide n seek by gilad
you can stop holding your breath...
well I can't say that I've had a desperate longing to have the internet at my fingertips, I've actually enjoyed the break from having a computer constantly on in my bedroom. But since the internet is cheap in the jaw and checking my email once a day for a few minutes at home sure beats spending 2 hours at Joe's trying to blog and reply to emails every week I am back in action with the internet at home. Really you've only had to bear with my absence for 2 months.
that's all I really have to say. just hello and it's good to be back after a lil' vacation.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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time shift by ssilence

it's just a piece of glass

well, I started working the grave shift at Smitty's. This work out very well...or it could be very bad. We'll find out after a week or two.

But as promised I have something more substantive for you.

Have you ever noticed how dependant we are on mirrors?
We mount them in every bathroom, most usually find them in hallways or entryways.
We spend countless hours staring at ourselves in them.
And when we come acrossa bathroom that doesn't have a mirror or find ourselves without a bedroom mirror, we find it odd, even annoying.

I like mirrors. I like how they can make my little living room look larger by it's wide reflection. (We have a hot full length mirror in our living/dining room that we fixed up from Joe's Place) I love the crazy things that we can do with them. Place two mirrors across from each other and the world between becomes endless within their frames.

But I do wish I'd spend less time in front of the mirror looking at myself.

This is in no way intended to be a revolutionary thought, but:
people for thousands of years (no exaggeration) have lived out their daily lives without having to look in a mirror. Let alone needing to look into one every time they go to the bathroom.

How did we develop this bizarre dependency on a peice of glass?

If I was perhaps more over-zealous I might go take down the mirrors out of my bathroom and bedroom. Actually I wouldn't put it past myself, except that it might bug Juliana, and really it is I that is the problem, us that is the problem, not the glass.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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the cherry tree by gwarf

Outside my childhood bedroom there grew a lilac bush. Hundreds of tiny purple flowers on each branch from which comes the most intoxicating scent my nose has ever encountered. They come and fade too quickly, but they always come back again. Above is not a picture of lilacs, not in the least but I don't have a picture of lilacs...

Moose Jaw is covered in lilacs, at least in my corner of Moose Jaw. And it occurred to me today as I was dazzled by all the purple and white, that Lilacs are indeed my favourite flower. When the question of what one's favourite flower is comes around somehow my mind searches through what would be found on the shelves of a florist shop rather than spanning the selection that nature holds. Perhaps because when we think of favourite flowers we think of it in terms of what we would like someone to buy for us. I looked to what man has tamed and mass produced rather than to all that God has created. Then again perhaps attempting to narrow one specific choice from all the variety is equally ill-focused rather than enjoying all flowers.

I still like Lilacs a lot

(but I wouldn't be disappointed if I was given a dozen roses, or oriental lilies, or calla lilies, or daisies... so I wouldn't be disappointed if I was given flowers, although I might be slightly bewildered if I was given a bunch of thistles.)

To answer a few questions that I've been asked. I'm working at Smitty's, and ... well I forgot the rest of the questions I was asked. Anyhow. I'm going home to sew myself a new shirt. I'll have something to feast your minds upon soon, I promise.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

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vitamine c by coxi

life in the jaw

I've lived in Moose Jaw a month and a half and summer is on the way. Today I submitted the post work on my mod. I'm free! really FREE! Let the summer begin!

To celebrate my new found freedom I finally cleaned my car. It was kinda gross. I vaccuumed, and I washed the inside and washed the outside... Subulba is as hot as a rusty subaru loyale is ever going to get.

I've also been sick, actually I've been fighting some infections this past semester, but the doctor put me on anti-biotics these past two weeks, and after visiting him again today a more different kind of anti-biotics for these upcoming weeks. This posts art piece is to celebrate the getting better process.

Work is going good. I made tips for the first time on Wednesday.

So that's a little update. Now that I've got a little more time perhaps I will post a fantastic rant someday soon.

Monday, April 17, 2006

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standing still by gilad


A friend last week was talking about feeling lonely, and I don't know why but it surprised me. Surprised that anyone could feel lonely with people always around them. Perhaps I banked a little too much on having a roommate who was excited to hang out and do roommate things together. Perhaps I hoped too much that the problem these past couple years was the lack of roommate closeness. But somehow I managed to elude the memory that the alienation that I live with, doesn't come and go with more or less people. Doesn't even come and go with the "right kind of people"; people I "feel" comfortable with.

But how could I have forgotten? How did I manage to dilute myself to thinking that a lack of presence was to blame? Maybe I just didn't want to face the fact that it is always there. It does not matter how long I have known someone, or how often I hang out with them. I cannot fight being an outsider, never completely being a part, it never leaves. People have told me that everyone goes through these feelings, everyone feels lonely, everyone feels like they don't belong.
This is crap.
This isn't just lonliness.
This is always being the odd one out. You've seen it. You've said it. I don't quite fit. Perhaps this is why I try so hard to make thing in my life inclusive, on trying to share with as many as I can. Because standing on the outside blows, I don't want anyone to feel this; but then again perhaps I'm just trying to buy my own way in by including others.

Doesn't it seem strange? Or just to ironic? that a girl who seems to engage with others easily, talks too much, and is willing to discuss all matter of things iwth interest feels like an outsider to every group of friends she's ever had?
Don't tell me I'm not alone.
Telling someone who always feels on the outside that they should take comfort that there are others like her is like telling introverts they should band together so they can talk about how they feel. But I guess there's another answer isn't there?
It's my fault.
I've chosen this.
If I just try harder.
Yea, I've heard that in my own head a million times, and I've heard it from others enough times. Maybe I am the problem. Maybe it's a mental disorder. Maybe it's because I am just as weird and crazy as people joke that I am.
You may be thinking that you were more right then you knew when you told me so. You may be just rolling your eyes. Even if you hadn't said it'd still be there, it'd sill be true.
So I guess I lied to my friend in a way, by being surprised by lonliness. It was unintentional. Lonliness is a side-effect of alienation, sometimes it bugs you, sometime it doesn't. Right now, it's bugging me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

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listen by ciril

Do we actually read and listen to the things about us, or merely look at and hear words? While some of us emphasize the message behind the medium, quite often the only thing that we can do, and perhaps are hard pressed to admit, is listen to words like notes in a song for the only thing we can understand from them is that they are sound. Or look at them like art on the wall for the only thing we can know for sure is that they are visible. We judge their form and function and are so focused on how they fit together that what those words were really meant to say to you are a mystery lost upon most.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

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sensing by garrit
fragrant future

how often have we tasted something completely new? On one hand we have a most wide variety of cultural dishes and international foods, especially in Canada where people cling to national backgrounds and the favorite foods that come from them. Then again, on the other hand, most of what we have in North America sugared modifications and usually what is *new* is just different blends of familiar flavours.
I was in the grocery store last week and found a fruit called a pummelo, it looks like a giantic grapefruit. I cracked it open, peeled off chunk after chunck of yellow skin, and pulled away the spongey cushion. And as I did an entirely new scent, and some pummelo juice, met my nose. The fruit was like a grapefruit, only it was sweet. But the smell, the smell was wonderful
. It was fragrent like flowery perfume, with no alcohol base to tint the flavour. It overtook my nose, it overtook my senses, charging a new path in the memory banks of my brain. I do not know how long I stood there sniffing the rind of this fruit, but I do know the scent was all over my hands. I kept sniffing them wondering if I could buy this fruit and use it instead of perfume.

I move tomorrow. The next few weeks will be a little wonky as I finish up the semester, and my house is a disaster (so many things to take care of and clean up!). Although it is not a stark change into something completely unknown, life is going to look very different. It will the opposite from last summer, where I spent many hours in solitude, to being closer to more of my friends than I ever have been outside of school. I have no intention of keeping an internet connection. I did that last summer, but now it is more indefinate. I think I will like the break from it being so readily available; it is an easy distraction. And I will still have access at other places (so write emails, all of you!!). I'm not completely done with Briercrest, but my connection with it will certainly be less prevalent since I won't be living in the school's back yard. Those are just a few distinctions.

If you've known me very long than you have more than likely heard me protest against the idea of changing one's surroundings in order to deal with challenges or disasters that face us. It's an understandable and easy reaction to want to be rid of anything that reminds us of less than favourable circumstances, and in our society we can easily change, easily avoid, those things; I think it is the ease with which this can be done is what bothers me. That same changability that rightfully removes a women from an abusive husband allows a worker or friend from resolving conflict. If less of us are forced to 'buck up', so to speak, less of us will. Granted we can't take every bull by the horns, there are things we just need to walk away from. But perhaps I am just inexperienced at life and conflict and truly dispairing situations to speak on the subject.
In any case, all that is leading up to the thought that I am leaving here with a heart that is slightly more resolved in some of the conflicts that have arisen. Although circumstances may not be rectified, I am relieved to be released from some of my own 'demons', faults, and failures before facing a new adventure. Before letting something else completely suffuse my senses.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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the meeting point by gilad

when all is said and done

A friend recently asked me what I want from the 80-100 years of my life, and I couldn't readily give him an answer. Perhaps it is God's hard work upon my heart to take one day at a time. Perhaps it is because my mind thinks of 60 years down the road as too far away to even imagine what could happen within it. But when I think of what I want from the time that I will spend on earth my mind finds it difficult to pinpoint what I could culminate from all of this. There is so much to want, so much to focus our lives at working at. It does not have to be a profession, although it is tempting to think of it that way. When one speaks of what we are going to make of ourselves it is tempting to think of a profession to devote ourselves to. But life is more than that, and I think many people realize that hopefully sooner rather than later.

There was once a time when we could say that our profession was who we were, you were a blacksmith, farmer, lawmaker or keeper; a seamstress, midwife, or basket weaver. Though this was their unchanging designation, it was not all a person was. They were still, father, mother, child, neighbour, and friend. The blacksmith could still be described as whether or not he was an honourable man, or discerning father. The seamstress could still be deemed a loving woman, or a keen mother. Now we still easily define ourselves by our occupations, but it seems to be less of a consistent standing. All this rambling to say, whatever occupation befalls us, whether we are devoted to just one, or whether it is ever changing, there is more that defines us.

When you think about what you want from life over the 80 years that you will be here what do you think of? Do you think about what your schooling has trained you for? Do you think about having a family? Buying a car, a house, a nice backyard? I thought about it... I'd like a backyard, a backyard with people, people I can't get rid of, people who drive me nuts. I've thought about those options. The image of becoming an old women with grandchildren, all their friends, and the neighbourhood kids to bake cookies for, resounds favourably in my mind. But really I cannot hope for then more than what I hope for now (ok I am already baking cookies for all the neighbourhood kids, or at least the boys next door. In fact now that I think of it, my life is filled with people who drive me nuts, people I can't get rid of. I do my best to return the favour), but more to the point, that what I hope for would be closer to what the aged philosophers would have called a happy life. Whether I die today, or 60 years from now, what I want from life is have left behind a trace of God's grace. Whether my years here have turned out tragedies or blissful existence the day I die I hope to leave here having followed God. This I would hope would bleed into every aspect of my existence.

Good Bible College student answer, right? Bah. I suppose that is why the answer can't really be given until after I die. I can give the good answers all I want, anyone can aspire to speak the answers that we like to hear, but is seemingly impossible to live up to. We become tired of such answers, much like many of you have probably become tired reading this. We all say a lot, trying to talk ourselves to the answers, but it's mostly things we’ve heard before. I'd be surprised if a quarter of the people who view my posts actually read beyond the first few lines. I doubt I've said anything much different than what I've said before, and I know I cannot have said anything different than anyone has said before. But there it is; when I die you'll be able to test and verify whether I have lived what I hoped to get... or give... from my time here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

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words by ssilence

Trailer talk

I am taking down the quote wall as I'm slowly cleaning up and cleaning out my house. I thought I would post the quotes for all to enjoy, especially those who used to frequent the quote wall here and the fridge next door. There are some from past years... I'm trying to remember more of them but I'm having trouble, so if you can remember one that I have forgotten drop a comment and add to the collection! (or if I've quoted it wrong, correct me!) (especially quotes like Nolan's quote about being the emperor of hell...)

(the lack of backstory makes some of these funnier, and slightly questionable... if curious as to context leave a message and I will explain)

You don't make Christianity look good, you make rock look worse. ~Hank Hill

Screwing... is what I do. ~Tony Creech

It's ok to be girly, it's not ok to be stupid. ~jo

He's all Kant, all the time. ~Tim Hildebrand

I hope he marries someone twice his size who beats him regularily. ~overheard by Eric while sitting in class

When you see a yak in love coming straight at you, you better run man, I mean you better run! ~Cupid

I may be weird, but I'm not a pervert. ~Vickie

It's fagificient! ~jo in a dyslexic reference to June Ann's rainbow head scarf

You! You look militant! What size are your feet? ~Joe Dueck

I'm going to go back to smashing my nuts with a hammer. ~Adam

Corruption keeps us safe and warm. ~some texan politian in Syriana

The most beautiful part of my body is my lower intestine. ~jo

There's nothing like looking when you want to find something. ~Gimli

Girls are all nurses at heart, they need a project to work on. So guys, if you want to get a girl, be damaged. ~Chuck Keim

If I were gay, I could do better then you! ~Terry to Eric

If I had boobs I'd use them for good. ~Barnd

You could never be butch, you're estrongen embodied. ~Bekah to jo

You're going to shoot a lobster with an airsoft gun!?! ~ sarah? to curtis? i can't quite remember

Freedom defined is freedom denied. ~Emma Goldman or Red Emma
(written on my wall by mysterious hitchikers that Dezzie and Carlyle picked up)

There ain't no such creature. ~Joel From (you have to know him for that to be funny)

Just give me an axe, I'll prove my womanly worth! ~jo

Hey, do you sew? ~Eric's famous icebreaker line

Apples huh? ~Ed's famous icebreaker line

Long lineup for the milk eh? ~ Someone else's famous icebreaker line (Andrew?)

Parents who try to raise perfect children are certain to raise neurotics." R. Greenleaf

Kissing a man without a mustache is like eating an egg without salt. ~Rudyard Kipling

I just realized that that's not a shirt. ~jo to Curtis in reference to his hairy chest
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virginal white embrace by niko schroth

a holier language?
*warning: this post contains explicit language not suitable for persons with sensitive ears...

The issue of language seems to have become an issue not only between Christians and non-Christian , but also as an issue amongst believers. Perhaps its always been an issue among us and it I am just slow to realize it, but it had always been impressed upon me that there is a proper, a holier, way for Christians to speak and that swearing was disapproved of by God.
Over the years I've heard people give testimonies as to their effect on the unbelievers around them. Excited over the fact that others will cease swearing in their presence, often said to be brought on by respect, many use this as an example of God impacting the unbelievers around them. We seem to pride ourselves on "clean speech" using verses like Mark 7:20-23 as Scriptural proof: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from the inside and make a man 'unclean.''' (lewdness means obsolete: evil, wicked, sexually unchaste or licentious.)
We equate using cusswords as being unclean, equate it as not having control of their tongues ( James 3), we equate it with not being able to control our temper. While cursing is used in cases of letting anger control us, it does not necessarily mean it is a uncontrolled tongue. A man who can cease swearing in the presence of disapproving Christian man is controlling his tongue, he only selects the time when he chooses to cease. I wonder if perhaps our Christian impressions on language is rather a matter of refined and unrefined; of proper language as an issue of 'proper people' not proper Christians. Perhaps we are just being pompous fools.
Over the years that I've worked in different drop-in centres with teens I've noted, and have heard it discussed, that the kids may stop swearing, and perhaps they respect us, but as to the deeper impact made on the lives around us, well perhaps it is only their habits that are being shaped, and not their hearts and not their minds, and not their souls.
I'm not vindicating swearing. I'm not saying that we should all start trying to identify with the unbelievers we've isolated from us with our speech by cussing like sailors. What I'm saying is let's stop fooling ourselves, let's stop being snobs. We could begin by identify the stupidity of Christianese. Part of what some have termed Christianese is safetied swearing. I know it is not only Christians who do this, but perhaps they need to think about this as well. We use shoot or sugar, instead of shit. Flipping, Freaking, or even effing instead of fuck. And what is it that makes crap a more appropriate swear word? Some have caught on that this does not make us better, we're swearing just like everyone else, we yell them out when we've stubbed our toe or are frustrated; we're just using nicer words.
I repeat I am not vindicating swearing, I want us to cease thinking of inner purity and righteousness in such shallow, superficial terms. I find that we can express ourselves in better terms than swearing every other syllable, although sometimes a word is just appropriate (such as the word ass when describing my friend Adam, even he has admitted this... on several occasions).
Sometime ago I realized this, and began to stop caring, stop being prudish about language, and I will guiltily admit that there are few things so amusing as watching a friend's face when an innocent, childlike, girl tells him he's bullshitting her, in a Bible College bookstore. My fun has been had, I've learned to let go of Christianese, I've learned how to, appropriately, not give a damn. Now for the sake of finding a better language, I think perhaps it is time to rein it in, now that I'm not a snob.
Perhaps we as Christians do not need to use language carefully, not because it is indication of being pure, but because we should seek to actually attempt solve the anger, lust, the slander, and arrogance in our hearts, to actually control our tongues, to actually seek how to express to one another in clear words what we mean and what we feel.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

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SimpliCity by gilad

something new
I've finally finished the brunt of my tough papers and assignments. A few things are left before the end, but a brake from the mandate of assignments is long overdue, since I have been unceasingly working from the beginning of the semester. Granted I've had days of funtimes and moments of bliss, but there was always homework waiting for me at the back of my mind.

While these large assignments are done and sitting here waiting to be handed in I am beginning to prepare for something new. I'm indulging my obsession (like many people) in Jack Johnson's music (and some Ben Harper) and dance-cleaning the house while singing about banana pancakes. The much needed cleaning of my house and some more packing of my belongings.

I have too much stuff. I'm working on slowly packing and analyzing what I can get rid of as I prepare to move. I'm really excited, Juliana and I have found a cute little apartment at the top of a 3 story house and unless something unexpected comes up we are set on it. Most people progress, or at least aspire to, into having more space, a larger house, a bigger backyard. Me? I am moving into a place much... much, smaller. Although I am moving up from a trailer to an actual apartment; that's a step up in some people's minds. I am more than ok with this, I love the little place we are going to move into and having a smaller space will help me in the endless battle over consuming more things than I need. It gives me a chance to downsize and simplify.

This could be a whole new experience for me. I've never lived in a city. Believe it or not, Caronport is the largest town I've lived in yet. I think I'll be ok, Moose Jaw (when the roads aren't covered in ice) is a nice little town with a decent amount of good looking parks. We also have a porch off the backside of our apartment, large enough to fit a patio set out there. Anyhow I'll stop rambling, I did have a deeper post in the works, but I have yet to finish it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

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by luke flaming

antsyily sitting still

have you ever watched a movie where they film time passing artistically? where a character will stay in one place, but the world will spin by them, or perhaps the camera will settle on a frame of scenery and the sun will flick by, or the grass and flowers will grow and die with rapid speed. I woke up this morning with the sun and sat here in this desk, and now I am watching the sun set from the same spot.
Soon this paper will be done, soon I will make it through the onslaught of work that I have... soon.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

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winter's edge II by aquapell

breath of relief

one of the most simple heartening things I think will never get old is coming outside at a time that for months dusk has already set in (such as coming out from work), and finding the sky still alight with yellow-white sunshine. No matter what seems to be going on, watching winter slowly break before your eyes holds the encouragement that sunnier days are coming.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

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the end is nigh by firedraik

adventures in wonderland

The winter wonderland that Saskatchewan is today that is. It's about time that I wrote a post that is of lighter matter... well, at least it is something outside of my head and the things of life that it turns on.

I, perhaps foolishly, decided to make a trip into town today. My back tire is leaking air, and leaking quickly enough. I thought I should get in and get the leak soon, since I'm planning on going on a trip later this weekend.
The weather didn't look pleasant, but I thought it couldn't be anything compared to what I drove through on Monday, and figured I'd be fine.

I wasn't 5 minutes out of Caronport when my car hit a patch of road that seemed to be a little slicker than the rest (which is humorous because the entire road was a sheet of ice). After fish tailing only slightly my car slid right off the road and ploughed straight through a stop sign that was on one the grid roads. My white car was stuck in the middle of a snowy feild of grass, and besides the fact that it was camoflauged it was also hidden behind the only hilly formation in all of Saskatchewan. I couldn't seem to rock my car out of the spot and no one was going to come rescue me. I ran out to check my car, the only damage is a slight dent on the top of my car where the stop sign came down on it. I can't say as much for the stop sign.

So I began to walk. You'll remember the roads were completely covered in ice. Everything was completely covered in ice. Out on those roads the word traction had certainly not been heard... The only thing those roads heard was the sound of the wind ripping its ways towards Manitoba. This was even more of a combatible force than the ice; it blew at me, trying to rip my scarf and coat away. It wasn't until after the icy cold had left its imprint throughout my entire being before someone dared to slow on the icepatch to pick me up; I think perhaps the wind was trying to teach me a lesson for being out on those roads.

The wondefully kind and friendly beautiful, incredibly appreciated lady that picked me up was also from Caronport and drove me back. Where I called the tow truck and ventured out to retrieve my Subulba. My friend Amy named the car sulbulba. She thought of it because she claims my car sounds like his pod racer. My apologies to anyone who isn't a geek and does not understand... go watch Star Wars: Episode One. Back to Sulbulba. Who with some skill was retrieved out of the ditch and none the worse for wear.

This would be a great time to close off and tell you that I'll laugh about it later. Oh I'll laugh later, and you'll be laughing too when I tell you that wasn't the last time I slid off the road. It was my record time for the day, maybe a minute and half later, I flew off the road again. The stop signs learned from their mistakes though and managed to stay out of my way.

Don't get too concerned. The tow truck wasn't far behind me. The lovely understanding fantasticly great gentlemen managed to get my car out again and told me a trick to driving my car out of a ditch, when it is not drastically stuck. This time I was much closer to a turn about in the road so I could manage to get to the other side of the highway to go home. I drove on the shoulder all the way home, with my four ways on, for there was snow, some semblance of traction to get me back to Caronport.

I have thought, what a waste of a perfectly good afternoon. It has occurred to me that I don't have much money to begin with, I can't really afford to be driving into ditches... but, in all honesty the thing that I should let have prevelance in my mind is a thankfulness that this didn't turn out worse. It was fairly fortunate for all that all this didn't cause a larger disaster. My only regret is that I didn't get to take the stop sign home as a souvenir. Maybe I'll find it when I go back to town in a day or two.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

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growing imagination by gilad

mirror image

I am often told, at least more often then I would like to hear, that I shouldn't care what other people think of me. It is said when someone can see that I concern myself with an opinion outside of my own, when I stop consider what I look like from the outside looking on. It is true, what has been said, that I should not care what others think. However, most often when this general and vague platitude is spoken again, what is not realized, or considered, is that I actually don't care what others think. I care about what someone thinks. Other people, they are vague and lacking concrete quality, who are other people? It is impossible to to actually care what other people think, because they, especially in modern North America, all think something different. Other people are the general populous who think to each his own, they think everyone is entitled to their own truth, and many of them would like to think that their truth is always right.

I care what someone thinks, someone who is my friend, someone who is a classmate or co-worker, who is a family member or wisened elder; someone who isn't a vague generality standing at a distance, judging life around them with a telescope, or perhaps the world weekly news. I care what someone thinks, not because they might not like me, but because they might be right, their qualms might be valid, might be true. Someone may have an appropriate concern or reflection of me.

Most often when we say we shouldn't care what people around us think, it is said because they might think critical, negetive, perhaps even judgemental. But if I truly didn't care what someone, what anyone, thinks of me, then I guess I would not care that people think that I'm encouraging, that I might do somthing well, something right or good, I would not care that someone, many ones, think I'm beautiful. And that would be a shame. But whether thinking well or scrutinizing faults, I'd rather it'd be someone than anyone. I'd rather listen to a person that spends time with me than other people who represent the idea that there might be objection or misunderstanding about who I am or what I've done.

When we gaze into a mirror we see there our features reflected back, we get a good idea of what we look like to others, we get a better idea of the bigger picture, a whole picture of what we look like. Much like a mirror, others words will reflect back to us a picture of ourselves; a picture of our character, of our personality, with their words we can scrutinize closer aspects, or get a larger picture. And also as when we look into a mirror we have a tendency to focus on the blemishes, on the things that we consider faults and flaws. We don't like seeing them, we don't like anyone else to see them, and try to hide them, fearing their existance might make us less of a person, or perhaps less likely to be appreciated or accepted.

There is a difficulty with my analogy perhaps, but everything has it downfalls, and every comparison has its shortcomings when compared to reality. Not all someone's, although they may see us in a clearer light than others, have a clear reflection of who we are, sometimes they cannot see the whole picture, the other aspects that bring things into perspective, or perhaps they just have a distorted view. Distorted by person preceptions, by a certain outlook on life, or even unfortunately by bitterness. Sometimes surveying the variety of opinions about ourselves can seem more like walking through a fun house at a carnival, but bent mirrors are less amusing outside of the circus.

I care what someone thinks. There is a possibility of that care being misused and causing disaster is quite possible; but most things in life are like that. In any case, appropriately kept in check, I believe it to be an admirable and vaulable asset. In a society that has in recent years percieved every person as their own island I think we are beginning to realize that often we cannot get an adequate idea of our features just by feeling for the distinctions ourselves (at least those of us without increased touch capacities due to loss of sight). And hopefully soon we will see that someone having a criticism of us will not make us less of a person, or less acceptable, just not perfect. Hopefully soon we will take in stride the things about us that are admirable, and also cherish the things that are critized. We may never perfect them this side of heaven, but perhaps it will keep us in a sober humility.

Friday, February 10, 2006

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starfish foureyes

Sweet Cuppin' Cakes!
I got tagged for a questionairre, which is a more fun version of the mass ones that are forwarded quarterly...

Four jobs you've had in your life:
1) student manager in a cafeteria
2) Youth Intern for Youth For Christ
3) Hydroponics Lettuce Greenhouse worker
4) Various positions within the Archibald Library (circulation, shelving, book covering...)

Four movies you could watch over and over again (not to be confused with favourite movies):
1) Contact
2) While You Were Sleeping
3) The Princess Bride
4) Beauty and the Beast
(and a future movie which I think I'll be able to watch over and over again: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe)

Four TV shows you love(d) to watch (among many others):
1) X Files
2) Star Trek (excluding Deep Space Nine, sorry just can't stand it)
3) Scrubs
4) Corner Gas

Four places you've lived:
1) Glencoe, On (only until I was 3)
2) Kerwood, On
3) Lewis Apt, Caronport, Sk
4) Ipanema, Caronport, Sk (otherwise known as Spruce St.)

Four places you've been on vacation to:
1) New York City
2) Quebec
3) Florida
4) Frankenmuth

Four places you would rather be (or where you'll like to visit?):
1) The Carribean with Captain Jack Sparrow
2) Studying at Oxford? (under the tutilage of C.S. Lewis)
3) India would be cool
4) The Park in Moose Jaw, eating lunch and playing frisbee (the negetive weather and wind chill make it difficult)

Four of your favourite foods:
1) Marzipan, or other pastries made with almond paste
2) No Peak Chicken
3) Pita's
4) Fresh Baked Bread

Four websites you visit daily:
(well we'll say most frequented websites)
1)Deviant Art
3)Foamy, at ill will press
4)Comedy Central, where I catch the best Daily Show clips

Four CDs you're digging right now:
(and once again modified, we'll expand it to artists)
1) Jack Johnson... yea I don't care that its girly cute music
2) Eric Clapton
3) Switchfoot
4) The Peter Pan Soundtrack (like the latest Peter Pan)

Four tagged:
1) Kara
2) Char
3) Crystal
4) Chan

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

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the journey by ciril


The issue of choice has popped up here and there in my posts over the past months, and maybe have snubbed choice as being only a negative thing. I like choice; really who doesn't? I like choosing between the strawberry alberto shampoo, or the cherry almond kids shampoo, from the hundreds of other, lesser, hair products. I like choosing the Nintendo DS over PSP. I like being able to choose to eat pizza tonight and eat donairs tomorrow... I like choosing which guy I like, or the romantic line of thinking of choosing to love who I like, choosing to marry because of love. I like being able to choose becoming a better person. I like thinking that I have chosen to follow God. Of course thinking that I choose whatever I have, whatever I am, becomes shaky ground when life gets tough. When I choose all of this the person I have to blame the most for when things go wrong is me. We could try to blame someone else, but if we think about the fact that we wanted to choose, than the only person to blame for that choice is us right? Sure we didn't intend for our choices to lead us to certain places or for those unexpected surprises, but no one can plan for those, you can only plan for what you know of. Only choose from what you know of.

If you think I'm saying we shouldn't have choice so we don't have to blame ourselves. Relax. That's not what I'm saying. I'm just thinking maybe we've over-glorified choice. You know you really like something so you treat it like it's the shiznit, like there's nothing that could ever go wrong with it. Like that guy or girl you think is really amazing. And even though they are probably pretty great, you really don't pay attention to things about them that might drive you nuts; you just go on and on about all the things that are fantastic about them. I wonder if we've done that with choice, just thought about all the great things about it so we've ignored the down-sides, or even ignored the fact that sometimes we really don't have a choice (or maybe not as much choice as we think we do). Do we really get to choose the life that we have? Or do we get to choose to do the best (or the worst) with what we are handed?

Maybe that's why people so many debate continuously about fate and freedom, we have all this choice available, but we don't really know where our choices will take us. Whether we choose for ourselves or someone else chooses for us, whether we intended something to happen or if it just befell us, life is still a mystery. We plot and plan our lives away, fill our minds with all the great choices we have, and then what is left to live of it?

Maybe that's partially why God has worked so hard on my heart to let go of always having some big dream, a scheme, a set idea of where I'm headed, because life is going to come anyway. He's got a plan, and it's really good, so i should just wait and walk and be amazed. There's nothing wrong with dreams, I'm still a dreamer. There's nothing wrong with thinking about the future, but there's comes a point when one has to live with where they are and what they have. I don't have to spend all my time dreaming up a life, I already have one, I can spend my dreaming skills on other things (such as blog posts, ha).

cum-patire is a latin word I stumbled upon my readings last semester, it means to suffer with. The author was writing of how a group makes a choice together, or will help one of their own make a choice. Maybe we've got enough problems of our own to think about, and perhaps if we think about suffering with someone as primarily, or as only, as emotional we'll only wear ourselves out. But perhaps suffering isn't just emotion, perhaps we could lend our brains, lend our hands. Many of us do, many of choose us to. There's nothing wrong with choice, but maybe we need to let go of the liberty of choosing which kind of cola we prefer to lend our life to those who didn't choose what befell them. Then again maybe it's just me, maybe I just think about myself too much, and I do.

So, I may not choose to suffer with you, I may not choose to be your friend, I may not want to do certain things that I know I should, but I will none the less. If you don't like it, tough, I'm going to love you anyhow. You may say I've chosen to do what is good despite my emotions, you may say that I am only nit-picking on terminology, but it's a thought. We really like our choice, and we don't like to give that up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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grey vision by severin m. koller

when it fades to grey

"Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit wine and abolish women?" Martin Luther

I really haven't been in a blogging mood, sorry 'bout that, maybe I've been rambling on too much in conversation so that I haven't got anything left to say here, maybe. Then again the amount of reading and assignments have kept me with my nose stuck in a book these past weeks. Since reading is the thing that has been keeping me most busy, I thought I'd share something I read, that actually came along just as I was thinking about the nature of balance.

These days there much propaganda about "living a balanced healthy life", which is good, but can become a point of obsession. Maybe from studying history, maybe from studying at Briercrest, or maybe just from reflection on the lives around me (or my life), more likely from all, I've seen many revolt to extremes, and many shaken from what they thought was a black and white understanding to questioning how they think about certain things.

It is well accepted that balance requires a little give from both sides, but it could also be that balance means rejecting extremities, I don't think balance necessarily signifies a balance of good and evil (acutally it is more like a balance between two possible evils), and don't think the middle ground is always in the middle... or the mean of two extremes as Aristotle would phrase it:

...let us consider this, that it is the nature of such things to be destroyed by defect and excess, as we see in the case of strength and of health...; both excessive and defective exercise destroys the strength, and similarily drink or food which is above or below a certain amount destroys the health, while that which is proportionate both produces and increases and preserves it. So too is it, then, in the case of temperance and ourage and the other excellences. For the man who flies from and fears everything and does not stand his ground against anything becomes a coward, and the man who fears nothing at all but goes to meet every danger becomes rash; and similarily the man who indulges in every pleasure and abstains from none becomes self-indulgent, while the man who shuns every pleasure, as boors do, becomes in a way insensible; temperance and courage, then, are destroyed by excess and defect, and preserved by the man.

...Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect; and again it is a mean because the vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while excellence both finds and chooses that which is intermediate. Hence in respect of its substance and the account which states its essence is mean, with regard to what is best and right it is an extreme. ...

That moral excellence is a mean, then, and in what sense it is so, and that it is a mean between two vices, the one involving excess, the other deficiency, and that it is such because its characteris to aim at what is intermediate in passions and in actions, has been sufficiently stated. Hence it is no easy task to be good. For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle,... anyone can get angry--that is easy--or to give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right aim, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; that is why goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics