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.