There was a hawk perched on top of the church sign when I drove up early Sunday morning to prepare for worship. My first thought was, “oh, cool, a hawk.” And I dutifully took out my phone to take a picture. A closer inspection, however, yielded a less photogenic image than I had hoped. There was a long stringy thread of entrails—maybe a quarter meter or so?—hanging from the hawk’s talons, swinging in front of the sign, perilously close to the words “Pastor Ryan Dueck.” I pondered the potential trauma of that sight for an unsuspecting churchgoer as they rounded the corner looking for some Sunday morning inspiration. Read more
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about beauty. This is perhaps a strange thing to be thinking about in a year as ugly as 2020 has been and may yet be. I could catalogue all the ways that 2020 has under-performed but this is hardly necessary, right? You’re all sentient beings and have likely been tethered to your screens just like everyone else during this pandemic. And at any rate, one gets tired of obsessing and complaining about ugliness after a while. There is a seemingly limitless supply of it and the outrage/fear/anxiety machine of the internet keeps it ever before us. Perhaps some more pleasant fare will be welcome.
The end of summer (sadly) draws nigh and, like many, I have spent these dwindling days of August attempting to tidy up the clutter, whether it’s physical, mental, or spiritual in nature. I’ve tried to achieve a bit of focus, clarity, and equilibrium before September arrives This has meant tackling my physical desk, rearranging unread books and recycling correspondence that has been rendered irrelevant by inattention, and trying to wrest a bit of order out of the chaos of random files and documents on my computer’s desktop. Things need to be put in their proper place, after all. Here are a few bits and pieces whose proper place is, evidently, another “miscellany” post. Read more
Earlier this week, Canada’s top military man, Gen. Tom Lawson said a very, very bad thing in an interview about sexual misconduct in the Canadian military. He said that sexual harassment remains an issue in the military due to “biological wiring.” Oh dear. Read more
A few days after Nelson Mandela’s December 5 passing, I checked out his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom from the local library. This morning, I turned the last page. The book was, of course, inspiring, illuminating, heartbreaking, stunning, rage inducing, hopeful, profound and a whole host of other superlatives. Given the subject matter and the nature of the story, how could it not be? Read more
I distinctly remember the first time I heard about the work of A Rocha, a Christian conservation and stewardship organization that began in Portugal through the work of Peter and Miranda Harris, and has since branched out around the world. I was sitting in a first year Christian Thought and Culture class at Regent College in 2005 and Peter Harris was lecturing on creation care. Read more
If I ever do bite the bullet and buy a PVR it will almost be exclusively due to my hatred of television commercials. The prospect of skipping over every moronic attempt to sell me something is a delicious one indeed. But I’m also cheap. What to do? Such are the weighty conundrums of my life.
Anyway, I usually try to hit the mute button when the commercials come on, but I was a little slow on the draw the other night while the kids and I were watching the hockey game. And once this commercial started, well, there was no way the kids were letting me mute it. This comes to us courtesy of People for Good: Read more
I finished Marilynne Robinson’s excellent book When I Was a Child I Read Books over the course of a weekend trip to Edmonton. Amidst a wonderful collection of very stimulating essays, one in particular stood out, and I wanted to record a few of the more interesting passages here. The essay is called “The Human Spirit and the Good Society” and deals with the perennially contentious issue of human nature. What does it mean to be a human being? What, if anything is a human being for? What are our origins and our destiny? Amidst the many competing religious and secular narratives out there, and all of the possibilities these narratives open and close for us, where do we go to hear the truth about these vital questions? Which narratives do we trust to describe us to ourselves. Read more
This past weekend was spent camping, hiking, relaxing, playing, and worshiping in the stunning beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Time away is good for many things—to clear the head, to unplug, to read, reflect, refocus. It’s also a wonderful time for un-agenda’d conversation around the fire, along the trail, and over meals. Read more
Mondays are usually pretty quiet for me, and I’m especially appreciative of this one after a very busy weekend. Lots of activity usually means lots to reflect upon when the pace slows down—at least for me. A few mostly unrelated thoughts, then, for a Monday morning… Read more