Thursday, December 15, 2005
"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."
Saturday, December 10, 2005
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, November 14, 2005
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
My question to you: “how does one get over writer’s block?”
Saturday, October 01, 2005
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
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
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
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
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
The following are the names that were nominated:
5. Felix (as in the cat)
13. 'My Little Pony'
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.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
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
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
Sunday, July 24, 2005
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
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
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
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
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
My score was 9 out of 11, how did you do?
Sunday, June 19, 2005
“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
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
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
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,
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Thursday, April 07, 2005
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sunday, March 13, 2005
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
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
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 requires grace and strength. I hope that I will process both.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Thanks Robin for all the work you've done to create and mantaining the site!
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
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
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.