Thursday, December 15, 2005

Close to Home

I saw this CS Lewis quote today. It was me:

"all this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
i never had a selfless thought since i was born.
i am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
i want god, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

peace, reassurance, pleasure, are the goals i seek.
i cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
i talk of love - a scholar's parrot may talk greek
-but, self-imprisoned, always end where i begin."

Ouch

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I Will Never…

When I was a child my parents had phrases that annoyed me. I thought they were so silly or stupid. And as they would say these things I would think "when I grow up I will never…!" It was a lie. I have turned into my parents. When I am with children I find the same "annoying" words slipping from my mouth.

Today one of my preschool students wouldn’t eat and just like my dad I said, "Eat up, it helps you grow big and strong…" and I stopped myself before adding "…and it puts hair on your chest." but I thought it. (In Dad’s world everything good for you puts hair on your chest.)

Is anyone else turning into their parents?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Finished

These are the final ten books read of the 50 book challenge (and the peasants rejoice) yeah to be done in seven months and a week. JK Rowling helped because I became addicted and spent all my free time reading about Harry’s adventures. I did enjoy most of CS Lewis’ space trilogy. Thanks Robin for continually suggesting them, Perelandra really made me think. Though I wasn’t a fan of That Hideous Strength. I think it’s my least favourite Lewis book of all times.

41) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets –JK Rowling
42) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban –JK Rowling
43) Perelandra –CS Lewis
44) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire –JK Rowling
45) That Hideous Strength
46) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -JK Rowling
47) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince -JK Rowling
48) Pride and Prejudice –Jane Austin
49) The Princess and the Goblin –George Macdonald
50) Do Fish Know They’re Wet? –Tom Neven

After a good talk with a dear friend. We’ve decided to read Captivating together. I’ll be reading it slower this time so a few reflections and thoughts might make it onto here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Harder then No

Remember as a kid wanting to go to a friends house or eating just one more cookie and mom saying firmly "NO!" No was a disappointing answer. Still is, doesn’t matter who says no a boss, life, God. No means we don’t get our way, depending on the desire/dream it might even be depressing.

I thought that having God or life say no was the hardest thing, the whole process of letting go and moving on. I was wrong. The unknown is harder then a "known no". With a "no" you do have a chance to move on. With an unknown you have no clue. Life and the future are a mystery. It means waiting…and waiting…and waiting. I am not good at waiting. Patience is not a virtue I possess.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Beauty of Endurance

Long distance running has become one of the most spiritual things in my life. It has been teaching me the beauty of endurance. There are these moments of insight that would not happen from a sprint. Running helps clear my head, and show me the world from a different perceptive. The lessons seem to change each time I run. It’s hard to express, but then as a friend recently pointed out the things in life that matter the most are the hardest to explain.

This past month I’ve had a hard time running constantly (poop on allergies, asthma, illness and cold weather). This week has been the first time I’ve been out regularly. Last night’s run was hard, harder then hard -it was brutal! My throat and lungs felt like fire. In agony I repeated asked myself why was I doing this? Why was I purposefully causing myself pain?

The answer came in the finial 50 meters. Not sure where the energy came from but I was able to "kick it" the last bit…not a full out sprint, but I felt like I was flying. It was a beautiful moment. It was freedom. I felt truly alive, fully awake, refreshed and new. As I ended the thought hit me "This is why I run. The pain and sacrifice is worth the freedom." Seems a truth that passes just running, into every area of my life.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Out of the Loop

I wouldn’t call myself musical. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, can’t play an instrument. I never really know what’s going on in the music world. Yet music is still a large part of my life. There is always some song running through my head on automatic repeat. Sadly right now it is normally "I’m a little teapot" or some other pre-school song. I catch myself writing little tunes. Nothing fancy mined you, they are a preschool level. The latest song is "up the stairs we go we go, up the stairs we go" never going to be a top ten. But my students like it.

All that to say I like music. But I really feel out of the music loop, I have no idea who’s new, what’s popular or good, especially what in relationship to worship. I feel a need to branch out and learn new music-band-song-type-stuff but not sure where to start. Anyone got suggestions?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Words of Wisdom

"Pride comes before the fall --then there's puking"
-Ken, my first youth pastor

Monday, November 14, 2005

10 To Go

So this was what I was reading last month. There are a few still be added. I am a bookworm.

26 Pocket Full of Rye –Agatha Christy
27 A Boy Called It –Dave Pelzer
28 Lost Boy –Dave Pelzer
29 A Man Called Dave –Dave Pelzer
30 Mere Christianity –C.S. Lewis
31 At the Back of the North Wind –George MacDonald
32 A murder is announced –Agatha Christy
33 The Summons –John Gresham
34 Wind –Calvin Miller
35 Shade –Calvin Miller
36 The Broker –John Gresham
37 Out of the Silent Planet –CS Lewis
38 The Story of Doctor Dolittle –Hugh Lofting
39 Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone –JK Rowling
40 Perelandra –CS Lewis

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Hindrances

aka Community part 3

We have a hard time defining an “ideal Christian fellowhip” because we recognise that this world is a mess. It has been ingrained in our minds that we can not obtain “perfection”…it is impossible (at least this on this side of life). What hinders us from having deep, honest, trusting fellowship? The Fall? The fact that sin entered the world and marred everything that was good. The world is not as it should be therefore our relationships are not what they were meant to be.

It is true…but it is such a broad sweeping statement. Is it possible to go deeper? What hinders good fellowship? I realise as I ask this it might be painful, because I must look in the mirror to see what keeps me from reaching out in love.

The great hindrances are: my own fears. Fear hinders me back from trusting. Fear to impress hinders me from admitting weaknesses and areas I struggle in. Fear keeps me from reaching out to others because it is a risk; there is a chance that I could be hurt. The heart of all my fears is selfishness. What do you think are the greatest hindrances…or could add?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Grand Opening

There are those who read this blog who have been a little upset with me. I can understand their frustration. I have been living in Osaka for two and half months and yet not a single blog has been about my time here. Till recently the most exciting entries have been regarding fish and books. I would be miffed too.

Well, be miffed no longer. There is a enter blog devoted to this year in Japan. It is full of thoughts, touristy sight-seeing days, cultural oberstavtions, my own culture shock and experiences, plus pictures and super cool "Word Ups".

That’s right, the Top Secret Blog is open to public viewing:
Melvin and My Adventures in Japan

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Half Birthday

I am exactly 24 and a half today, in six months I will be 25. Life seems to be going faster now. I have six months to reach my goal of running in a 10-km race. That is starting to look more and more like a reality. This week I’ve been running 5-km. Wonder what else will happen between now and April. Everything seems is unknown. Maybe I’ll be fluent in Japanese, that seems highly unlikely. My only hope at this moment is that I will be closer to God. In the next moment my goals might be more selfish and self-seeking. But for now I desire a hunger for God.

In other news....start the countdown on Oct 30th the top secret blog will be unveiled. Yes, just four days till the grand opening.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Maybe…

The responses to "The Ideal" has caused me rethink my first question. Originally I was asking what is the ideal community would be. Perhaps what I am truly seeking are the principles that should be at the core of Christian fellowship/community/church.

Having an idea of what Christian fellowship should look like would give us a guideline to strive for, not that we could ever reach it on this side. Yet, outside appearance can be fake and not a true representation of the heart of the matter. It is the core values and principles that motivate seen actions.

The easy answer could be love. The highest value of Christian community should be love. But what does that mean? I hear "its all about love" (and yes i have Dave Klob singing 'its all about love, all about love' going through my head right now) but what does that mean? What does that mean for small groups, a Sunday school class, a D-group, a church body?

I find it hard to define love. Such a small word means so many different things depending on its use. For this situation, I would like to suggest: desiring the best for others, seeking unity, and enjoying being together, crying together, laughing together, and food -Eating food together is very important! Sharing coffee, pizza, cookies…pie. mmmm pie. I am hungry now. I am going to go find something to munch on. What would you add or change to this definition of love?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Ideal

I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head lately about community, fellowship, and what the body of church is and should look like. A recent conversation started the all pondering (and yes Jen, I have even mused). During the talk I reflected on my experience as a youth in the Church, saying: "Everyone was too busy telling us the rules and trying to prove they were good little followers that too few would be real enough to show clay feet…we all need to see more followers of Christ without masks." And later "There are just too few examples of communities being love in action." My own harsh judgements* has left me struggling with more questions then I have answers for. The more I reflect on the subject the more the topic seems to grow. But I have been able boiled my thoughts down to the four questions. I hope to look at each question individually. My questions are:

1) What is the ideal community?
2) What are the flaws or things that hinder the ideal?
3) What would this community look like when considering the flaws and the messy world we live in?
4) How do we make this practical community a reality?

Currently my thought of what the church should be (or the ideal community) is: "People coming along beside each of other to walk in the mud and filth that comes of living in this very fallen, messy world and helping restore us as we live with the consequences of our choices"
How would you define the perfect/ideal Christian community?

*I realise that both statements are sweeping and stereotypical and not a 100% true for every church or Christian. Nor was my overall experience in the church as a teen negative; if it was I probably would not be where I am now.

Monday, October 17, 2005

And the goo comes out

I like goo -when its not my brain transforming into goo.

With this hatred for brain-goo, I am determined to battle my writer's block. It might be a nasty war. With much toil, tears, and sweat (I thank Winston Churchill for the inspiration). But I will fight no matter the cost. The only thing that makes me a little said is that I think it will mean death to my procrastination…and I like procrastinating.

The battle plan is a combination of of everyones suggestions, so thank you friends. First, there will be a set deadline for each week. Right now it will be Monday, before I go to bed. I give Robin White permission to kick my butt if I am late, since it was his suggestion for the deadline. I also am going to try and publish on Thursdays…not as set deadline. We’ll see how that goes. Second, I will just write, and hope that it’s somewhat understandable. Last, a notebook/journal. I do find it easier to write in a book then to type while my eyes glaze over from the computer screen. The challenge with the notebook is that most of my thoughts seem to come to me while I am out running. Makes it hard to write them down. We'll see how it goes

So there is my strategy, let the war begin.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Speechless

I seem to be suffering from a serious bout of writer’s block, or something of that nature. Over the past two months every time I’ve sat down to write my mind goes blank. Blank mind = no blogging. It is not that I don’t have any thoughts. I’ve been contemplating a few different issues like Christian community, temptation, and art of eating of sushi. I would love to share my thoughts and hear others opinions. But as soon as I sit in front of the computer everything goes to goo. I’ve tried to type nothing seems to fit or sound right, (again it all turns to goo). It is frustrating. I am sure not just for me. You the readers have had to put up with the dull news about my fish and reading habits, which are okay subjects when mixed with other stuff. But a steady diet of just that is not stew –its pathetic.

My question to you: “how does one get over writer’s block?”

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tragedy Strikes –again

Honey committed suicide.

Honey and the three remaining fish were in a bowl waiting to return to a freshly cleaned tank. The fish tank was in process of being cleaned and I was in class when the stupid fish jumped out of the bowl and under my bed. It was a sad thing.

Now there is only Godzilla, Sushi, and Bookshelf.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Roots

I am a nomad. All my life I’ve been moving from one place to the next with no real place to call my hometown. The question "where are you from?" has always frustrated/confused me since I’m not too sure what to say. The place I was born? Where I lived the longest? Where I am living at the time…which often didn’t feel like home. This whole situation makes me feel like I have no roots. Most friends are in and out of my life within three years. And with all the moving I’ve lost contact with so many friends. It’s the norm of me.

My joy is that twice in the past two months I have reconnected with two long-lost friends. The first is my dear friend Anna. In elementary school we were the best of friends, inseparable. We shared a love for books and my little ponys. Great times. I was able to call her just before coming to Japan. It was so good to reconnect, we share so many of the same struggles and thoughts because of being "military brats". Anna put it best when she said, "Hurray! I'm not a freak! Well, alright, I am a freak, but I'm not alone. Which is really what matters." The other friend is from high school, Brian. It’s been five years since we last talked. Crazy cause at one time we shared everything.

Funny how life goes, these were both two of my strongest friendships ever. And yet I lost them both. Why do we do that, lose connection with best friends…people who become apart of our community? Whatever the reason I am glad both are back in my life. They are the closest I come to having roots.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Renewed Goal

Earlier this year I bravely announced that I would run a 10-km race before I turned 25. For awhile I was very faithful to my running regime, that was till May. For a variety of reasons I just stopped. In shame and guilt I thought for sure it would be possible for me to reach my goal. How was I going to find a race while in Japan? It would be impossible.

Or so I thought. I recently learned of a 10-km race that will be happening in February in the next city over. Tiffany and Steve (a couple from Manitoba who are also teaching at Grace) said they would run the race with me. We went for our first run tonight. We’re starting out slow; Tiffany and I ran for 10 minutes (Steve went longer). And with that the training begins….again.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Half Way There

I have reached the half-way point in the 50 book challenge. (And William, to answer your question, "why not 50 movies" because the point is to have a challenge, something that would take an effort to achieve.) These are the latest books to be added to the read list:

18 Salamandastron – Brian Jacques
19 Mariel of Redwall –Brian Jacques
20 Skipping Christmas –John Grisham
21 The Old Man and the Sea –Ernest Hemingway
22 Crazymakers –not sure of authors
23 The Grime Grotto –Lemony Snicket
24 Angels and Demons –Dan Brown
25 Captivating – John and Stasi Eldredge

I have about eight months to reading the remaining 25 books, but the challenge has become harder now that I am in Japan for two reasons. First I have less time to read with the adjusting to a new culture, teaching, preparing lessons and building relationships. Second English books seem to be very rare. I think I am going to have to become very familiar with online shopping.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Named at last

The fish have all lived for a week and seem to be doing well. It's time to give them names. It was a hard process. After all the votes were considered the names are; drum roll please...

Honey and Fluffy are the two white fish. I realize that Honey was not on the original list but it allows me to walk into the apartment and say "Honey, I'm home."

Godzilla, Jaws, Sushi and Bookself are the other fishes names going from smallest to largest. Sorry William, I could not bring myself to call a fish "My Little Pony"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Let The Voting Begin

I have six new fish, who all managed to last the first night. And the peasants rejoiced! It seems important to give them each a name so that if one does suddenly die the poor fish could have a proper burial.

The following are the names that were nominated:
1. Yoshi
2. Baka
3. Bookshelf
4. Phishee-Swah
5. Felix (as in the cat)
6. Kingyo
7. Godzilla
8. Steve
9. Fluffy
10. Star
11. Jaws
12. Gill
13. 'My Little Pony'
14. Ally
15. Bob
16. Sushi

How the voting will work is that person can post the two names they are most in favour of. After the votes and my personal opinion are considered the new names will be announced. Oh, two of the fish are white and are the type that look like they want to kiss. The remaining four are those tiny ones that have blue stripes that look like they are glowing.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Nameless Fish

Yesterday I bought three goldfish and two small snails to make my apartment a little more homey. Sadly two of the fish did not make it through the night. The remaining fish is doing well, connent to swim laps around the aquariemu. The only delema now is that he is a nameless.

I am taking nominations of decent fish names. Please feel free to post a suggestion. After a week or so I'll give instructions on how the finially voting will be done. And then fish will have a name (provided that he lives that long).

Monday, August 15, 2005

I Made It

Konnichiwa (Hello) ! I am really in Japan. Part of me feels like I am living in a dream world! Everything has felt like a blur the last few days. Yesterday morning I preached at the Grace fellowship/Bible study service. And last night we had a welcome/farewell party. The couple who has been teaching here this past year are leaving on Wed. The evening was overwhelming with so many new faces and names.

Steph, I agree Pokeys are very good, Robin introduced me to them. Speaking of Robin I feel like i am living in his legacey...or at least getting all his hand me downs. I have his former apartment, his cell phone and his bike.

Word of the day: Arigatou -means thank you and was my first Japanese word.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Leaving on a Jet Plane

These are my last hours at home. One sleep and i will be gone. We are staying the night in Halifax then tomorrow at 6:40 i begin the 19hr journey to Osaka, Japan (it's 17hr in the air and a two hour layover in Vancouvar). Its been a mad house this week getting everything ready to go. I am sure that i forgot to pack something. And it looks like we are heading out the door. My next post will come from Japan.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gone Fishn'

I am heading to Caton’s Island today and will be there till Friday. It’s one of the Blazer camps (ages 10 to 12) and I have the privilege of being the chapel speaker. One this side of camp I feel crazy-nervous. It’s like the nervousness of the first time I ever preached to the power of 10! Last I heard there was over 120 kids expected. I’d appreciate any prayers for the camp and the kids with week…and the speaking, really appreciate prayers for the speaking and speaker, like the grace that I am not boring or a heretic. Thanks.

A Japan update: I sent off my visa application last week. A thought hit me as I sent the documents -even though everything is set and the tickets bought I might not actually make it. The people processing the app could reject it. It was a scary realisation, not sure what I would do if they say "no Japan for you". But if all goes well I’ll be flying out of Halifax August 10th (only 16 sleeps).

Friday, July 22, 2005

Maple, eh!

I had a chocolate craving. So in an adventurous moment I decided to try the new Caramilk Maple. I am a good Canadian, I like maple! Maple is great on pancakes and in leaf shaped cookies. But maple does not belong in a chocolate bar! Maybe it’s an acquired taste. But I just wasn't a fan, learn from my misfortune and stay away from maple chocolate.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bookworm

About fourteen weeks ago I silently accepted the popular book reading challenge: to read 50 books in a year (works out to be about a book a week). My decision was really inspired by Sarah and Robin and their announcements to being apart of this growing force. So this is what I've read since the challenge began back in April.

1 God in the Alley –Greg Paul
2 Last Juror –John Grisham
3 Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography
4 The Bad Beginning –Lemony Snicket
5 The Reptile Room –Lemony Snicket
6 The Wide Window –Lemony Snicket
7 The Miserable Mill –Lemony Snicket
8 The Austere Academy –Lemony Snicket
9 The Ersatz Elevator –Lemony Snicket
10 The Vile Village –Lemony Snicket
11 The Hostile Hospital –Lemony Snicket
12 The Carnivorous Carnival –Lemony Snicket
13 The Slippery Slope –Lemony Snicket
14 The Da Vinci Code –Dan Brown
15 Cracking Da Vinci’s Code –James L. Garlow and Peter Jones
16 What’s so amazing about Grace? –Phillip Yancey
17 Monster –Frank Peretti

Next on my list is something by CS Lewis, maybe Mere Christianity. After that I am not really sure. Do you have a good suggestion, something that you would recomment?

Monday, July 11, 2005

New Life

Driving home from youth group tonight I was overcome with a thought. The kids (teens, youth, young adults, sr. high –what should I call them?) have saved my faith. For awhile it has seemed that my faith and spiritual walk were stale and stagnant. Basic Christian disciplines were a continual trial. Prayer and bible reading went from challenging, to dry, to sporadic, to non-existent.

It wasn’t that my beliefs hadn’t changed. There was just no life or action to the belief. There was no need. I woke each day, made pizzas, and came home…to do stuff -very mundane life.

Then in enters the teens with their frustrating, soul searching, desiring deep real answer, truth-hunting, questions. Questions that can’t be just fluffed through; each question required me devout time and energy. As I sought out each answer I found myself praying for the upcoming lesson and the praying for other things. And I’ve been pouring over my bible again. Their questions have brought a renewed life and sense of adventure to my spiritual journey. They say that the mind goes if its not used…the same is true for spiritual vitality. So if any of the teens read this –thank you

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Apologetics, Da Vinci, and Rules Revisited

Still thinking about Wesleyan’s rule on movie theatres, when mom first showed me the passage I asked the same question as Ryan “when was this published?” But there was no date. I decided to seek out the answer by asking my pastor. He’s not sure of the publishing date, but believes no theaters is still a rule…but it’s just not followed. (I can’t state either way cause I didn’t take His and Diss). He thinks Peoples' anit-theater thoughts changed when it became possible to watch the VHS at home (or Bata does anyone remember Bata). So if Wesleyans break this rule why is it still in the books?

On a more personal note: I’ve been helping with my church’s youth group. It’s been wonderful; a great group of kids…full of hard questions. Some have been “where did God come from” and “what happens to babies when they die”. It’s caused me to refresh my apologetics knowledge. This Sunday’s topic is “Can we trust the Bible?”.

In the same vein as apologetics, over this past week I’ve had different people ask me about my thoughts on the Da Vinci Code. At the time I really didn’t have any comments because I had too little information. Wasn’t even 100% sure what the book was about. So I stopped by the library and began reading, I’m about 100 pages in. It’s still too early in the book to have a comment, but that’s what’s going on in my world.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eating Habits

We know the proper Etiquette for our culture but what about those from other countries. This international table manners quiz was past on to me.

http://www.fekids.com/img/kln/flash/DontGrossOutTheWorld.swf

My score was 9 out of 11, how did you do?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Wesleyan membership

Two more are being added to the ranks of the Wesleyan church. Tomorrow my parents are becoming members of New Hope Wesleyan Church. As part of the whole membership process the pastor asked them to read Connecting To Christ: Belonging (printed by Wesleyan Publishing House.) There was one section under leisure that stood out to my mom and raised questions:

“It will also involve witnessing against social evils but appropriate forms of influence the refusal to participate in social dancing, the refusal to patronize the motion picture theatre (cinema), together with other commercial ventures as they feature the cheap, the violent or the sensual and pornographic…” p.128-129

Are good Wesleyan’s expected to stay away from movies? If that is true, it would seem like the ‘powers that be’ are regulating holiness…Also puts a lot of pressure to live up to an outside standard. Not sure what the authors or churches intended. Anyone willing to make a comment or make this seem not so legalistic?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Inconsistency

Nothing in my life has order. There is no routine or pattern to my days. Just simple randomness dictates each hour and minute and it has been like that since my return from China.

It is not just my regular blogging that has suffered but every aspect of my life; going to the gym, going for a run, daily time with God (Scripture and prayer), brushing my teeth –actually not brushing my teeth that is still consistent daily thing.

I find getting into routine the hardest thing. Not really sure what to do to jump back into life. I’ve tried to do lists but they didn’t really help. Any suggestions? I mean the things missing in my life are important.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Something

I was mesmerized by the boiling oil deep frying fries at work. Being back at work makes me feel like last month never happened. But it did, I’m still recovering from April being whirlwind month of activity.

China was very china-ish. I have so many great amazing things that happened and stories to tell. But as soon as some one asks about the experience I am not sure exactly which story to tell…and end up with a lame “it was good!”

Tuesday the 26th I arrived back into Canada and turned 24. Was able to celebrate with some of my favourite people with ice cream cake –yum! And then that weekend was graduation.

Lee-Ann was my escort to the grad banquet. She was cute with her little fluffy red hair that had just started to go back in. These last two weeks she’s been an intensive chemo treatment and all her hair came out again. The treatment went well but it’s left her blood counts super low. She was given a blood transfusion yesterday and currently has no immune system. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Please remain seated and keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times…

This is it. There are no more sleeps. The whole journey began today. I am in Buffalo right now, we fly out tomorrow but we won’t actually arrive in China till Tuesday. But I board the first plane today and that is enough for me. I am not exactly sure of my thoughts or feelings at this time. We just finished packing some resources in our bags, that was cool.

You know that moment on a roller coaster when the car are climbing the very first hill and all you can hear is the click…click…click. In those few seconds your mind is filled with hope and dread. you start to wonder what you were thinking when you agreed to be strapped into the seat. Well that is the closest to where I am at right now. Even with all the anxiety they cause I love roller coasters…and this is going to be a far greater adventure.

See you on the other side,
Elizabeth

Sunday, April 10, 2005

1 Sleep

The lack of countdown for sleeps 3 and 2 was due to the increased busyness of past few days. But the time not spent on writting posts was put to writing papers...and on Thursday I finished my last assignment for ministry to preschooler. Meaning I finished my last Bethany class. I'm Done! All done! Completion…it doesn’t feel real. But it is and there has been great rejoicing.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

4 Sleeps

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
-William Shakespeare

If I was not called Liz would I still be Liz? Hmmm…something to ponder. Sam, my boss at the pizza place looked at me today and asked, “Liz, what is wrong with Elizabeth? Why are you Liz not Elizabeth?” To which I really didn’t have an explanation since I never really thought that much about it. My friends in jr. high called me Liz and that’s just what I am called. Sam then continued, “Elizabeth is classy. What is Liz? Liz is nothing, it is no respect. I shall no longer call you Liz, you are Elizabeth. That is much nicer!. You couldn’t be a doctor Liz. You have gone to college, you are smart, you are Elizabeth”

He was true to his word, for the rest of the day I heard “Elizabeth”. At first I felt like I was in trouble. But I got use to it. And Elizabeth has a good meaning "give or consecrated to God". I like Elizabeth, and its more mature. So should I transition to being called Elizabeth?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

5 Sleeps

I’ve been looking forward to watching Doctor Who tonight, but it didn’t happen. Instead I had the joy of watching a Barbie movie with my dear sister. I think this was the 12th time watching the Princess and the Pauper. I was a little disappointed; I was looking forward to watching “living plastic people” attempting to take-over/destroy the world. Oh, what we do for those we love.

Joyful news…by my calculations there I just need $200 (Canadian) for the upcoming mission trip to China. Which is a good thing, since we are leaving very soon, only 5 sleeps to go.

6 Sleeps

I was mistaken for a 16 year-old. 16! Six-freakn-teen years old! That is eight years younger then I actually am! I know I should be grateful, there are many women in the world who desire to look 8 years younger. And maybe someday I’ll be glad for it. But that day has not yet come. I would like to look my age, or at least like I am old enough to get into bars, not that I would go to a bars…cause I don’t. I just that’s an age associated with “adulthood” or maturity. And I am tired of looking like a little girl…frustration.

In other news, I became a human IV pole today. Normally my sisters feeding tube is hooked up to the machine and feeding stuff between 7pm and 7am…while she sleeps. But Lee-Ann has a deep sedate tomorrow (the chemo treatment will be injected into her spinal fluid), which means she can’t have anything to “eat” after 12am. So the feeding began some time this afternoon. Any time Lee-Ann wanted to move, like play in a different area, go upstairs, etc. we got to follow her around like a live IV pole. It was an experience.

For anyone interested: Tomorrow is the season permier of Docter Who on CBC @ 8pm.

Monday, April 04, 2005

7 Sleeps

To China I go (which is in Asia) in just one week. Wow can’t believe its that soon, especially since I still need about $800. At first my question about having to raise support was “will God provide”. The question has been transformed to “how will God provide”. God is so amazing when he moves. Today two different sources provided $600, I was in shock or maybe just awe to see God's hand moving. God is so awesome.

Lee-Ann got to visit the hospital again tonight, nothing so serious. Her feeding tube came out so it was best to take her to the IWK in Halifax.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

8 Sleeps

Tears fell from my eyes today; I cried much…the dozen onions I cut for work were directly related to my high water level. Other than that I had a good shift. I’ve learned a few more pizza girl skills this week like putting pizza in the oven and stretching the dough. Sadly we don’t do the cool flip the dough in the air. Maybe that’s a good thing, I could see myself sticking it to the ceiling of having the dough land on my head.

Lee-Ann thought it would be a good for a “spot of tea”. So mommy, Lee-Ann and I had a tea party, not just any tea party a real tea party with Mom’s grown-up tea set. Lee-Ann thought that was the neatest thing…using real dishes. Juice was used for the tea, sugar, and cream. It was actually fun. We spoke in out best British accents (which were pretty pathetic, but we tried) and nibbled on crackers while Lee-Ann poured the “tea”.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

9 Sleeps

Lee-Ann came home from the hospital today. She is her still her normal cheerful four year old self, not phased at all by a tube coming from her nose. Well maybe a little, I was about to hug her and she put up hands up and said, “Zizzy be careful of my feeding tube.” (And sister is the only one with the right to call me Zizzy). It is good to have her home. Other praise her blood counts are all good so she will be able to continue treatment on Tuesday.

Just 9 sleeps to China, Asia (not considering naps or insomnia). Things seem to be coming together. Today my passport arrived with my Chinese visa…its pretty and has an image of the Great Wall. It is hard to believe at times that I am really going to be in China, nervous and excited all bundled into one.

Friday, April 01, 2005

10 Sleeps

Last day of March…last days always make me sad. There will never be another March 2005. I know its true of every day and we should always live to the fullest each and every day...yada, yada, yada…it just seems to hit me as more of a reality some times. This is one of those times.

Lee-Ann is doing well; she should be out of the hospital tomorrow by noon. Both she and dad are looking forward to leaving; the hospital gets old and boring very fast.

The countdown has begun...in just 10 sleeps the journey to China will begin.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sister

Lee-Ann went back to the hospital today to get a feeding tube. She and dad should be at the IWK for about four days while they learn how to care and clean for the tube. I talked to her on the phone tonight she said it hurt at first, and they made her take a yucky pill…but it doesn’t hurt now. She is a trooper.

Overall she is doing really well. For those who might not know she was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2004, a month later she was in remission. Thankful the cancer has remained in remission. She still in treatment and has a year and a half to go still. The phase she is in right now is an intensive…it’s been hard on her little body. She was sick almost twice a day for almost two weeks and she lost .8kg in four days. The chemo has also limited her desire to eat, which is why the feeding. Thank you everyone for your prayers

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Humbled

Life working at a pizza is similar to most fast food places; there are orders to take and make, floors to mop, tables to clear, dishes to wash…and of course customers that try your patience and grace. This week two ladies came in that fit this description. The way they talked to me was rude and snobby, it took everything in my powers to smile and be pleasant.

The next day was a rough; I messed up three order, I was slow, and my boss gave me a look that said “can you do anything right”. In the midst of this crazy day the same two ladies walked up to the cash…and I said nasty things in my head about them. I didn't take their orders but I did put the remains of their meal in a to-go box. As I helped them they thanked me and praised the meal…I was so humbled and felt put in my place. To top it they left me a two dollar tip, a very rare occurrence.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Anticipation

Saw a commercial for the new Doctor Who, CBC is will start airing the remake on April 5th. Their ad for it looks average. As a child my dad and I would regularly watch Doctor Who (most of my childhood nightmares were a direct result of the show, it was great). My love for sci-fi was birthed from episodes of the good doc and original Star Trek. For that reason alone I am looking forward to watching it, but somehow I think I am going to be disappointed.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Where's the grace?

A recent discussion has got me struggling. It was an average conversation with a self proclaimed “spiritual but anti-organised religious person”. She shared her frustrations and the problems as she sees with the church and Christians. Her thoughts were nothing new but they hit hard. It was issues like hypocrisy in the church; the pain Christians have called with gossip and slander.

It reminded me of listening to dc talk’s Jesus Freak as a teen, "The greatest cause of atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, but walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable"

Her accusations were hard to swallow because they are true. It is the reality that she has met those how claim the name of Christian but not met the grace of Christ.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Tongue Fast

The evening service tonight was part of a series on the tongue; each week we have been challenged to take a “tongue fast”. The fast is to abstain from areas that our tongue gets us into trouble. Tonight was specifically slander, gossip, and betraying trust. Ouch, definitely got a big “C” of convictions tonight.

Sins of the tongue get overlooked and undermined; slander, gossip and betraying trust are a cancer in the church. How often has someone been torn down confidences been broken in the name of prayer support? Maybe its more than a tongue issue…rather a love issue.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Passport Woes

January 2004 I was present my first passport, I was so excited at the thought of filling with exotic stamps. And with my absolute hatred, I would even go as far as to say deep loathing for paper I thought “sweet, I don’t have to go through this process for five years!”

How wrong I was. Sadly a month into my internship my original passport was damaged. Just a note to passport holders: passports do not like to be washed and dried” This began a four month drama full of dashed hopes, tears, and much more paper work then applying for a passport (detest paper work).

I was very thankful to have the replacement passport in my hand. Only, this week I learned that the passport does not have the newest security measures…so to travel I need a new passport. Started the filling out of paper work today, yuck!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Endurance

Starting something and keeping on going are two very different things; each with their unique challenges. One needs the motivation to "just do it" (thank you nike) the other requires the persistence of endurance. I have a dream of running a 10 km race before I turn 25 (only a year and two months away) so yesterday I begin training. Starting was fairly easy...finishing will be another story. I know there will be dark, cold days when the last thing I want to do is run a few miles. This dream, any dream for that matter, requires endurance.

Endurance requires grace and strength. I hope that I will process both.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Site Update

It is hard to believe that in just five days Selinda and I will have been back in Canada for three months. Our internship was a filled with adventures, struggles and joy. It definitely stretched my worldview and me. If you are intrested, the website has just been updated with pictures and videos from our five months on the other side of the ocean:

http://homepage.mac.com/robinwhite/selliz/index.htm

Thanks Robin for all the work you've done to create and mantaining the site!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Transitions

I am horrible at making omelettes. They start out fine but what ends up on the plate is more of a glorified scrambled thing. There is this delicate moment in the middle of the process when everything falls apart leaving me with egg-mush. It’s all about the transition if you want a prefect omelette; opening my eyes to what a challenge transitions can be. Life is full of transitions and changes; takes patience and care to navigate through them. I am in that “post-Bethany-pre-whatever-I-am-going-to-do-with-my-life”. The future is unknown. What ever it holds I doubt it what I expect. I might end up with egg-mush.

My Cousin Bill’s advice is: “Put a little butter in the pan, it helps the omelette to stop sticking and flip over better. And a sturdy spatula”

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Conforming

I have succumed to the peer-pressure, jumped on the band wagon and entered the world of blogs; after all "everyone was doing it". Is this just a case of conforming? In this situation I don't think so. But it makes me think of all the times my decisions or choices are based on a desire to meet others expectations or in an attempt to earn their appreciation and respect. I confess it is a powerful motivation at times.

Gives me a greater respect for the man Jesus was. Everyone wanted him to fit into their molds. Yet He never conformed to the desires of the crowds, the religious experts and leaders, or even his friends. He knew who he was and God's plan for His life -and he lived it. Just another way I want to be more like Jesus.