Places Where One Can’t Find Access

Like at home.

And at work.

Yep. Got home and found out that my Rogers DSL wasn’t working.
Thought – ok – I’ll head to the church and check my email there.

Nope. Sympatico hi-speed was down.

So, I’ve borrowed a connection. I’m posting here to say, “AAAAugh” and “I don’t know when I’ll be posting next” and “If you’ve emailed me, I’ll try to get ahold of you this week.”

Love and hugs – Richard.

*mumble, grumble, grumble, mumble, etc. etc. etc.*

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It’s Been a Day

One that I’m not quite sure how to describe… or even if I can.

Its been tense – then relaxed – then really tense… then really relaxed… then fun… then slightly frustrating… then relatively relaxed.

Now I’m bored.

The hotel is ok… but the internet connection is sloooooow. Agonizingly slow.

Think maple syrup in February slow.

Part of me would love to watch a movie…. perhaps “Sahara”, knowing its something that Shannon and Iwouldn’t watch together. But I really don’t want to pay Theatre prices for a movie that I could get at the corner store for a couple of bucks.

Yeah, its been a day.

I head back to work on Sunday… and my week is filling up fast – especially because I have to be at a meeting in Dorval on Monday evening.

I know… I could start workin on next Sunday’s service!

Preplanning… wow!

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The Place One Finds Access

are interesting.

I’m sitting at YVR. (The airport in Vancouver.) I’m waiting for my flight to Winipeg, watching people as they wander along.

I considered pulling out my clie and plunking away, but the access fees are crazy! However, in a little corner of the airport there’s an internet post. Yep. 20 minutes for $1(CAD).

So I’m going to surf for a while.

Wander.

Think.

Pray.

Not about the flight, but about all of the things that have been happening in my life.
Don’t worry – they’re good things.
Just a lot, all at once.

Yesterday, I had lunch with Lisa (of getyergoat) and Mike (of Waving not Drowning). (I don’t have the urls in my head and this crazy browser doesn’t allow multiple screens.)

I had such a great time. We sat and ate (and ate and ate) and laughed and attempted to explore some deep theological concepts.

I’ll tell you… I’m kind of envious of Mike. He’s starting a Masters programme at Regents College, out on the campus of the University of British Columbia. I’m back to missing the formal programmes for learning.

Sick puppy, eh?

Oh, well… I *know* that there are a lot more courses I could do at BCOU. I could upgrade the Diploma in Management to a Bachelor’s degree, if I wanted to.

And there are a couple of really interesting courses in the upgrade – ones I wouldn’t mind taking.

Yeah.

Lots of possibilities.

Shannon and Rowan have got a couple of more days with Jan. They head out on Friday. I’ll meet up with them in Toronto… I hope that I’ll be able to be on the same flight home with them. If not, I can wait at the London Airport.

We’ve had such a good break. Lots to do… as well as lots of sleep. Its bee so much cooler here than in St. Marys – I’ve been able to breath again.

And it was nice to attend worship at West Point Gray United Church.
The minister there, Cheryl, and I spent sometime talking about future possibilities.
I really appreciated that. I felt like I was able to get much head clear (ok, clearer) about appropriate and inappropriate directions.

And so it goes.

Well… they’re nearly ready to board the flight. If I can find access close to the hotel in Winnipeg, I’ll post again.

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This Has Got to Be

pure luck!

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammatical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They’re just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

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Exciting Happenings

Part the First
Being in Vancouver is wonderful. For the second time in my life, I had the chance to meet a fellow “God-blogger” Lisa Alexander od Get Yer Goat. She and Shannon and Rowan and I headed out for a meal together a couple of nights ago. She is a wonderful person – engaging and excited about life, the universe and everything. I am really glad we had a chance to meet her.

Part the Second
Lisa has set up a chance for us to have lunch with another blogger… Mike Todd. That will be a great ending to a great trip.

Part the Third
Yes… I said end. A really wonderful opportunity has come up that means I’m going to be flying out of Vancouver a couple of days earlier than I expected. Shannon and Rown will be staying with Jan until Friday. I’ll be heading out on Wednesday.

Your good thoughts, hopes, and prayers that I might remain wide open to the guidance and direction of the Divine would be greatly appreciated. The next two weeks are going to be a roller coaster ride!

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Tears and Psalms of Grief

in memory of our beloved brother in Christ. Brother Roger of the Taize Community.

His desire – and ability – to share his understanding of the Good News has made a huge difference in the lives of women and men worldwide.

Prayers for the Taize community… for all those who have been toched by this tragidy… a for the woman who committed the attack.

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To the Museum

This morning I visited two of my long-standing favourite places… Future Shop and Chapters.

Then, my most-wonderful-mother-in-law took the three of us to the Rodin exhibit at the gallery.

I really like Rodin’s work. The rough edges remind me of who I am… not completely formed.

There is one of his works that I’ve wanted to see “in the flesh” for many years – The Fallen Caryatid. Actually, the quote in the link was the first place I heard of Rodin.

Jubal Harshaw was right… there is a great deal of beauty in her impossible struggle.

Already a great day… and it wasn’t even half over!

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A Few Quotes to Ponder

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is facism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of themost completely controlled and dominated governments in the world – no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men. (Woodrow Wilson)

Allow the President to invade a neighbouring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a porpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure… if, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, “I see no probability of the British invading us.” But he will say to you, “Be silent. I can see it, if you don’t” (Abraham Lincoln)

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Hiroshima. Ngasaki. August 5, 1945

From an article in the Aug. 2005 issue of Common Ground entitled “Peace among religions and nations” by Joy Kogawa – a Vancouver writer:

There is something surreal about the Christian calandar and the dates of war atrocities. Was it a deliberately conscious act to drop the world’s first atomic bomb on the Day of Transfiguration, the day when Christ’s face became “glistering white?” The word for transfiguration in Japanese hen-yo-bo, also means disfiguration, I’m told.

…later…

Rev. George Zabelka was the Catholic chaplain on Tinian Island [the launch point for the nuclear bombers] at the time, and as he put it, “the last possible official spokesman for the Church before the fire of hell was let loose…” He lived to regret his approval of the actions that day. “There is no state of corporate evil that is not the result of personal sinfulness,” he said in an interview in 1984. “In August of 1945, I as a Christian and as a priest, served not as an agent of reconciliation vut as an instrument of retaliations, revenge and homicide… “

I find it difficult to either condemn or support the military decisions to drop the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

I don’t know the motivations or the reasoning of the time.

It was done.

Many – many – people died.

But there are some powerful things in Fr. Zabelka’s words. Some important things for “ministers of the faith” to contemplate.

What would I have done?
How much of a differece would it be if I were a chaplain than a simple congregational pastor?

Am I prepared to accept when I have done wrong as a minister? If not, why not?

For Father Zabelka, it was an act of mercy and grace that, in his old age, he was able to make a pilgrimage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to his Calvaries. He wished to look into the faces of the bomb victims ans say, “Brother, forgive me for bringing you death instead of fullness of life. Sister, forgive me forbringing of misery instead of mercy.”

Amen.

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What to do during Holy-days

1. Sleep. (I’m sure that part of it is simply jet-lag… but I’m sleeping nearly 10 hours a night. Soundly. Catching up on my sleep debt, that’s for sure!)
2. Playing tourist. Today we headed out to an historic village – Burnaby, BC, circa 1925. I often go to these places thinking, “Oh, well… the things we do for family.” (Shannon loves these settings.) I am almost always surprised how much I get from them! Yesterday, we headed to the beach. Wednesday… ok… I can’t remember – but I know I had fun.
3. Listen to my daughter laugh. Listen to her “baba” (grandmother) laugh. Listen to Shannon laugh. Join in.
4. Read. So far, I think I’m up to three “mind expanding” books and four “mind candy” books.
4a. Visit bookstores. Camelot Books (a used bookstore), the Book Warehouse (a discount bookstore), White Dwarf (a priemier Speculative Fiction bookstore)… tomorrow its Banyan Books (a wide-ranging spirituality bookstore)… and Chapters (so I can pick up the latest Linux mag from the UK). WOO-HOO!
5. Work on responding to email. I’ll get there, folks… but I’m having to work on my handheld. I can’t get the laptop to connect to the network. grrrrrr.
6. In general, let every breath be a prayer of thanksgiving.

Holy-days.

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Windows! bleh. bleh. bleh.

I’m working on Jan’s machine.

Catastrophic crash. Windows will not boot.

Pull out my handy-dandy copy of Knoppix 3.9

Ok. I have an OS.

Try and find the hard drive. There it is! Won’t mount… Partition table is scrambled.

– testdisk

read error.
read error.

read error.

Now I’m trying to re-bulid the data using a pattern recognition tool… shoving stuff onto my USB keydrive until I can strot it out and rebuild here datafiles.

Stupid backup programme that crashes in the middle of a stupid backup. But not a simple crash – NO, OF COURSE NOT! One that causes the drive head to bash against the sector containing the partition / FAT tables.

blehBlehBLEH

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“Joy to the Fishies”

in the deep blue sea.
Joy to you and me.”

Rowan enjoyed the Vancouver aquarium… the dolphins, the sea lion, the seals, the otters, the baluga, the various and sundry fish and butterflies and alligigators and…

oh, yeah… Shannon, Jan and I enjoyed ourselves, too.

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Welcome to the Wonderful World

of Infinity.

I’m on the flight from T.O. to Vancouver. Rown is zonked out in the seat(s) beside us. We’re both pearshed.

So I’m listening to peter mananka, while reading Brian Clegg’s “Infinity: the quest to think the unthinkable.”

Some interesting quotes so far:

“Although there is no science more abstract than mathematice, when it comes to infinity, it has proved hard to keep spiritual considerations out of the equation. When human beings contemplatew the infinite, it is almost impossible to avoid things theological, whether in an attempt to disprove or prove the existence of something more, something greater then the physical universe.”

…or, how about this quote of Richard Feynman, speaking to a non-technical audience:

“It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see, my physics students dont’ understand it either. That’s because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.”

There are many days when I think that latter quote expresses well much of the work I do.

“A real problem with infinity has always been getting through the dense undergrowth of symbols and jargon that mathematitians throw up. The jargon is there for a very good reason. It’s not practical to handle the subject without some use of these near-magical incantations. But it is very possible to make them transparent enough that they don’t get in the way. We may then open up clear views on this most remarkable of mathematical creature – a concept that goes far beyond sheer numbers, forcing us to question our understanding of reality.”

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On the Plane

The first leg of our trip has begun. Up at 5am… a ride to the airport… and on to a Dash 8 (series 100) for a 40 minute hop from London to Toronto. A short wait and then it’s the next leg – Vancouver.

Kat and a friend are going to stay at the house and take care of it for us.

I am *so* ready for this holiday.

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Today…

a) get my car’s Driveclean test done. (9am)
b) finish preparing for the first funeral
c) first funeral (11am)
d) finish preparing for the second funeral
e) second funeral (1pm)
f) finish preparing for the third funeral
g) third funeral (3pm)
h) make sure that the bulletin is ready for tomorrow
i) tidy up administrator’s office (’cause I’ve been using it all week), so that she’s not extremely upset with me when she gets back from holidays
j) make sure that the person covering for me knows their covering for me
k) change the message on the answering machine

j) help Shannon pack
k) sleep….

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You Know You’re About to Go on Holiday in Three Days When

… the hospital calls… followed by… the funeral director…
followed by… the funeral director for another family… followed by…
the realization that you’re booked to do two worship services at area seniors’ complexes.

And there’s that wedding tomorrow night.

*chuckle* I’m going to be going on this holiday needing it.

Sadly, it means I’m going to miss the Celtic Roots Fest. Sorrow.

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A Call to Worship / Prayer of Approach

… based on Matthew 6:25-34

(I just got a call, asking me to put together a call & prayer for a group “who likes to make noise”. They need it for this afternoon. This is what came out.)

Leader divides worshipping community into three groups and instructs each group that they are to repeat their phrase until they are told to stop.

Group 1: “Hungry, hungry, food, food.”
Group 2: “Warp. Weave. Work. Worry.”
Group 3: “Lift. Carry. No rest.”

(Worship leader invites Group 1 to start.
Approximately 10 seconds later, worship leader invites Group 2 to start.
Approximately 10 seconds later, worship leader invites Group 3 to start.
Let the cacaphony build and then…)

One: STOP!
All: NO!
One: Why not?
Group 1: We need food.
Group 2: We need clothing.
Group 3: The work never ends.
One: “Is not life more important than food,
and the body more important than clothes?”
All: What?
One: “Who of you by worrying
can add a single hour to their life?”
All: But how shall we live?
One: “Seek first God’s reign and God’s righteousness!”
All: And then?
One: “God will give you the things you need!”
All: Seek God’s reign?
One: Seek God’s reign.
All: Learn God’s righteousness?
One: Learn God’s righteousness.
All: Stop and be?
One: Stop and be… with God!
All: Holy One,
help us to be who you created us to be.
Help us to stop – to be with you
and to be with each other.
Open our lives to your love,
and to the knowledge that you are with us,
in this time and in the time to come.
Amen!

I love writing!

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