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Posts from the ‘Random Musings’ Category

The Alphabet of Grace

I’ve slowly been acquainting myself with the work of Frederick Buechner over the last couple of weeks. This is partly because it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and partly because my dad had a book of his sermons and meditations lying around and I started reading it as I desperately searched for inspiration prior to speaking at my wife’s grandfather’s funeral back in Alberta this week. My brief exposure to him thus far has proven immensely rewarding (I read a lengthy passage from A Room Called Remember at the funeral) so today I went out and picked up a couple of his books. Read more

The Real Thing

I’m rather loathe to hop on two horses that have been ridden as promiscuously and enthusiastically within some Christian circles as U2 and C.S. Lewis, but coming across both in the same week is bound to be at least somewhat thought-provoking, right? I’ve been a U2 fan for quite a while now—at least since The Joshua Tree was immortalized as my first “secular” music purchase in 1987 (by “secular music purchase” I mean the first cassette tape (!) that was not selected from among the six meager offerings at the local Christian bookstore). While I’m not one of these rabid fans who think that life as we know it began with U2, or that Bono is going to save the world, I do enjoy their music immensely (and I’m not quite as cynical as some re: the perceived endless moralizing of Bono). Read more

New Possibilities

Well, the combination of a bout with the Christmas flu, a trip back to Alberta for the holidays, and a general lack of reading and reflection over the past couple of weeks have conspired to make this a rather barren forum lately. We’ve just arrived back in Vancouver over the weekend and are slowly settling back into our regular routines. For me, this means writing. A lot of writing. I aim to finish my thesis by April at which time we will begin the process of discerning what comes next for us as a family. Read more

The Adopted God

I’ve been reading John Swinton’s Raging with Compassion off and on for the last couple of weeks, and have appreciated his challenge to move past the logical problem of evil in order to focus on active resistance of evil. Swinton is less interested in a series of disembodied arguments about evil than he is in reflecting on how evil can be resisted and transformed within the life and practices of the Christian community—how we can live faithfully in the midst of an ambiguous world where unanswered questions remain as we wait God’s redemption of the whole of creation. Read more

Telling our Story Well

My parents came down for a visit last weekend and left me with some listening material for the frequent drives out to Abbotsford that I am making these days. The Massey Lectures are an annual Canadian event in which a noted scholar gives a series of addresses on some topic of current interest. Among the many notable past Massey lecturers are Noam Chomsky, Jean Vanier, Margaret Visser, John Ralston Saul, and Stephen Lewis. Read more

Noted in Traffic

A few minor irritants to get off my chest, noted in the last couple of weeks spent cycling the streets of Vancouver to and from a library nearby and driving out to Abbotsford to teach twice a week. I find the following three phenomena utterly baffling and I must vent… Read more

I Give Up! (An Utterly Ridiculous Reflection on Bathroom Technology)

I’ve done a lot of traveling over the past couple of weeks. First, it was back to southern Alberta to spend some time with my family, then up to Edmonton for a speaking engagement, then over to Hepburn, SK for a whirlwind visit with my brother and his family, then back to Lethbridge to spend a week with Naomi’s folks, and then, finally, the long trip back to Vancouver. And then, after only a brief period at home, we were off again—this time to Galiano Island to spend a delightful couple of days enjoying the laid-back island life with friends. We just returned tonight and are now going to settle down around home for the month of August (and try to get some of the work done that I have been putting off for most of the month of July!). Read more

A Necessary Lesson

It’s funny the kinds of situations that produce “teachable moments.” I spent a good chunk of today fruitlessly banging my head against the wall, trying to come up with a workable structure for the class that I will be co-teaching this fall at Columbia Bible College. It was a very frustrating day, and on the trip home my mind was filled with misgivings and anxiety about my ability to do the things that are required of me over the next couple of months. Read more

All the Good Music Comes from Across the Pond

Throughout the last week or so I have been making incremental additions to my sad excuse for a music library. One of the occupational hazards of being a student is, obviously, a lack of extra funds to explore and purchase new music. I usually get new music twice a year—July and December, when I get a bit of birthday and Christmas money. And as much as I consider Def Leppard’s greatest hits to be a greatly under-appreciated work here at the dawn of the 21st century, I can only listen to the same songs as I bang away on my keyboard for so long until something gives. Read more

The Force is With Me!

I have a confession to make. Until last week, I had never seen Star Wars.

I’ll give you a moment to get over this shocking bit of news.

How it is, you ask, that I have managed to get this far in life in complete ignorance of such a massive cultural symbol? It is a mystery, to be sure. Read more

One Book Meme

I was made aware of a pretty interesting blog (from my perspective at least) this week when Gil sent me a link to a review of a book I had recently read. It’s pretty heady stuff over there, but I’ve come across a couple of really interesting posts whilst scouring some of the archives. Here‘s one of them. I don’t know if he’s taking a bit of a dig at Richard Dawkins here (I believe he coined the term “meme” to explain how ideas survive by a process of cultural evolution; needless to say, not everyone thinks this is the most plausible way to explain how ideas are transmitted…), but this might be one “meme” that is, at the very least, entertaining, and could be an interesting way to get to know people better. Read more

Naming a Blog

Ever since I entered the weird and wonderful world of blogging I’ve been utterly vexed by my inability to come up with a good name for this site. As fascinating as my name is as a title, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps I might come up with something just a bit snappier and more compelling, a bit more indicative of the kind of stuff people might expect to find here, a bit less dull and unimaginative… Read more

The Faceless Consumer

Don’t ask me what we were thinking, but Naomi, the kids, and I went to the mall yesterday afternoon. I know, it’s a holiday, and in hindsight, we should have realized what an absolute nuthouse Metrotown would be, but we just wanted to return an item and pick up a few books for the kids… Alas. Read more

The School Play

Well, today is a big day for our kids—Nicky in particular. Today, their kindergarten class is putting on two performances of their play entitled “Celebrate You and Me.” Nicky is the emcee for this play, and has been working very hard on his lines for the past couple months. He has something like seven mini-paragraphs that he has to deliver in between each song in the play. Claire also has a speaking part, but it’s “just” the recitation of a tortured excerpt of existential poetry (I’m not kidding!) in the middle of a song about wanting to belong. Read more


Well, I haven’t posted anything for a while here, so I though I would provide a brief update for those who are interested.

I wrote my last exam (!) yesterday afternoon, and am looking forward to a little bit of time off now before I start research on my thesis this summer. It was a very strange feeling walking out of school yesterday knowing that I have likely written my last major exam in this academic journey I began five years ago. My hand is certainly grateful—they still haven’t figured out a way to let us use laptops for exams at Regent, and 27 pages of handwriting leaves the digits feeling a little cramped to put it mildly. It’s a relief to close the chapter of preparing for and worrying about these three hour “information dumps” that are worth such significant portions of final grades… Read more

Lessons in Transit

This morning was a fairly ordinary morning on the bus.

Riding the bus has taken some getting used to for a prairie boy accustomed to wide open spaces, and driving everywhere and anywhere at the drop of a hat. I am not used to having to wait to get anywhere I want to go, and I am certainly not used to being squeezed like cattle into a bus or standing less than a foot away from a total stranger for forty minutes, both of us desperately pretending to look anywhere but at each other. I am not used to standing in the rain on a cold Vancouver morning while three buses blow by because they are full, and I am not used to taking three hours to warm up after the process described above. Read more

Why Blog?

So here goes… the typical “first post” where that pesky question “Why blog?” is usually addressed. For those who know me (and have harassed me to start a blog for some time now), this question becomes even more acute. I have frequently expressed ambivalence toward the whole medium of blogging—you know, typical criticisms such as: Read more