Sunday, November 30, 2014

Aging, is it a good thing?

I'm 46, in my mind I don't feel 46. If I'm walking through a mall I'll encounter people and I'll see someone and I'll think, geez look at that old guy and then the realization comes that he's very close to my own age. Then I'll think, how can that be? Where did all the time go? I've been robbed!! Who is this middle aged man I see in the mirror?

Anyway, there are pros and cons to everything. I have very little to complain about. My health is good. I have a good vocation. I have been traveling several times the last couple of years. I have very little overhead and live a simple home life. My stress levels are always good. I love my imperfect church. I love my imperfect family. I love my imperfect life.

On some levels I wish I had a larger circle of close friends. On the other hand I do not like to be committed to so many activities that I don't have sufficient downtime. I enjoy alone time, and I mean enjoy it. If I don't have time to zone out and ponder then I am not happy. I guess that's to ages advantage, not trying to be something I'm not.

I am no longer trying to fit into a box that's not me, that I don't fit into. At one time if I caught a displeased look from a person I used to explain my actions and justify what I was doing in some vain attempt to please and/or impress other people. For the most part what other people think or don't think of your actions means nothing and comes to nothing. Most people have a slightly better attention span than a Nat and even if you did explain a situation they would only remember their first impression of the situation anyways so your words are wasted. So I save my breath now unless I am asked questions and someone is actually interested in hearing what I have to say. Discretion really is the better part of Valour!

So age has its advantages. Or at least I feel that way. I take more pleasure away from the simple things. I am not living my life in a way to please others. I am trying to live a God honouring life even if I do fall short from time to time. In certain ways I probably play it safe too much. However taking chances can have dire consequences. I believe I have a level of wisdom(not trying to be boastful because I know I have a lot still to learn) that age has afforded me. I have peace in my soul.

Now that being said. I have a lot of life left to live. I need to keep striving for more knowledge. I need to utilize the gifts God has given me for his purposes. I need to keep setting goals. I need to get a deeper connection to Jesus(10 years in and really I've barely scratched the surface). With wisdom and knowledge I do need to keep putting myself out there. Playing it safe is not what those of great faith do.

However levels of contentment and satisfaction are not necessarily bad things. Being happy is good. In fact in Ecclesiastes it is written: Being happy in your lot is a gift of God. So thank you Father for the gift my life is and thank you also for the adventures that await me. Even the ones I may not enjoy at the time.


Monday, November 3, 2014

My rant for tonight

I wrote the following to a popular local news program. I am so tired of being pigeon-holed as some right wing dullard.

As a Christian I am a little offended at us always being painted with a big C conservative brush. I have never voted for a PC, Socred, BC Liberal, Reform or Conservative candidate in my life. Jesus was not a right wing thinker. Just read the accounts of his life and his words. In fact the early Church, or The Way as it was referred to, was more left leaning than anything else IMO. Let me remind people that Tommy Douglas was a Baptist preacher before he became a left wing political icon.

Unfortunately the Right wing movement has swept up a lot of Christians and a lot of Ministries in its whirlwind. I get offended by my own Church at times too. I am a Christian but very much still an individual however I do believe Gay/Lesbian living is sin. I am also against abortion. Killing a baby is killing a baby no matter how you want to portray it. These are sins according to the Bible. In this post modern world that we live in such notions are portrayed as antiquated or old fashioned or whatever other catch phrase is popular this week. They are sin just as much as murder and gambling and drunkenness and promiscuity and theft and and and.

There are many Churches today that have taken a poor stance on some of the above. They are picking and choosing what to follow from the scriptures. It is easy to be led astray. The world has a lot of influences and pop culture that says:

You deserve it
It isn't hurting anyone
Just a little is okay
This is how I am oriented

I am also not condemning others for their sinful acts. We all fall down, we all can get back up again. I am sure in my Church family there are people living in sin. There is room in heaven for us all if we accept that fact. However if my Church was run by leaders who were openly living a sinful lifestyle I would have to find a new Church. Nobody in my Church is perfect but we are striving for perfection. Grace and love are more powerful than judging and condemnation. My love is imperfect but Jesus has so much love that he loves everyone and loves everyone equally. However living in sin and teaching others to do likewise is terrible and has consequences for the teacher as well as the student.

I believe the tide has turned. People judge the Church and Christians much more so than the other way around. The whole case against allowing Trinity Western University to have a Law school is not based on Law but on personal feelings. You would think Lawyers would be more objective but I guess people are people.

I am not telling people how to live their lives in my day to day life. I work under, with and over people with radically different views but am not their morality monitor. That is one of the things I truly cherish about being a Canadian. I am free to live my life the way I desire to with very few limitations.

That's my rant for today. Thanks for reading it through and God Bless.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hit the road...Jack!

This is more of a journal entry than a life lesson I think. I haven't written it yet so you never know but that is how I feel. Read on at your own peril :)

In less than a week I will be going on what likely will be an epic road trip. At least that is my hope. I am looking forward to an adventure. The idea first spawned a couple of months back. You see I've lived in BC my entire life but have never ventured very far north. I'm a city dweller through and through but have an appreciation for natural beauty. I realize driving on the highway north will barely scratch the surface of what really is up there but it is what it is. I have never back packed in my life, other than the heading up well beaten trails I'm not a hiker. I prefer to stay in Hotels rather than tents.

Anyways, since the idea hit me I've started making plans. I knew I had 2 weeks off in July months ago and didn't want to waste it hanging around home. I wanted to do something home grown. Spend some money where I make it. Also being it is summer time the temperatures up north are going to be hot. I like it warm. I would never consider a trip like this anytime of year but now. If I go somewhere in the winter for leisure it either going to be big city or tropical and by air.

So I have been making plans. Checking out possible routes(really there only is one route) and destinations for stop overs. I figured out a round trip which takes me into northern Alberta because I have no desire to retrace my route back. Also I have been looking for attractions to view along the way. I am leaving room in my travel for unexpected treasures. I'm going to do a fair bit of driving each day but don't want to simply blow through the province but actually take it in. It is not a commute but rather a journey. It may be my one and only time to do this so I want to do it right. I left the possibility open that someone could join my on this adventure but it appears this is going to be mine to do alone, well, me and Jesus, which is fine with me. This way I won't have anyone else's agenda clogging up my plan.

Other than a couple of nights in the Yukon I haven't booked my hotels. I'll take my chances. I have my hotel app and if need be I have a car I can stretch out in and will bring provisions including a sleeping bag and pillows just in case. Also it is a very sparsely populated area so in case of emergency supplies will be on hand. I have a great and reliable car but anything can happen. I must be ready for the unexpected. My car is in the shop right now getting the once over as a precaution.

I have calculated my route. It is going to be over 5000 KM of driving. I'll be gone a minimum of 11 and up  to a maximum of 14 days. Assuming every goes according to plan.

Earlier this year while I was out of town working I started getting this bucket list mentality that really never was part of me before. While I was in Southern Ontario I did basically every thing I ever wanted to do there with my very limited free time. Something to do with age I think. I am fit and able to do everything now but at 46 I realize my full capability could reduce in the years to come. I mean God forbid because I know many 80 year old's that are still very able and am hopeful to be one of those but I can't guarantee that. Also it is a feeling of carpe diem. Of seizing the opportunity when it is available. When I'm available. Of not living in regret of what I could have/should have done but actually doing it. It is something God has really instilled in me of late. Some things come around again but some things are now or never. I desire to live in the now but not in a reckless manner. I believe God has some kind of mission in store for me along the way. I don't necessarily mean on this trip but I don't dismiss that possibility either.

It is exciting to have stuff to look forward to. Upon returning I promise to post about it.

 Have a great day, don't let it slip away but grab a hold of it!!


Edit: It seems upon my return I totally forgot my promise. The trip was epic and well worth it. My planning paid and I had a fantastic time. Maybe someday I will post about my experience but no promises :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Grace, peace and love. When did they become bad things to aspire to?

In fact you could add a few sub-traits to that list. Obedience, humility, temperance, kindness, respect, etc.

I am growing increasing tired of being slammed for my Christian beliefs. Truthfully for the most part it happens online as people seem a lot braver to berate those with different beliefs from behind their laptop keyboard. People post half truths or things that are totally incorrect and when I point out the flaw in their logic I get attacked. If I say anything about creation the evolution theorist mock me even though it takes a lot of faith to believe the myth that they do. Far more than becoming a Christ follower in my opinion.

I understand what is behind it. People don't want to face up to the reality that their sins will be reckoned one day. It is easier to say there is no God and we are all some cosmic accident. That way you live however you want to with no transcendental consequences. You have no one to answer to but to yourself. I tired of living that way.

God interceded on my behalf. He was calling me for a long time but I wasn't listening. I had the odd(and common) notion that IF indeed there was a God he would know that my good outweighed my bad therefore I could just live as I wanted. Truth is I wasn't that good. I wasn't a murderer or a rapist. I didn't rob banks or snatch purses but I was pretty selfish. I succumbed to fits of rage especially on the road. I cheated and I lied. The bad side of that scale was getting mighty weighty indeed. I cannot think of any truly good acts I was doing that didn't benefit me in some way and that was the only motivation that permitted me to do any good. What's in it for me.

Now I will boast about all the good acts I do... or maybe not :)

Anyway, I made the choice to follow Jesus. I really had no idea what all that would entail. I've given a lot of things up but have received much more.

Grace, when people are critical and attack I resist returning the favour. I am not saying it is always easy and 100% of the time I am successful but more times than not I withstand the attack with God's help. It has opened doors that otherwise would have remained closed. Often leading to opportunities to advance the Gospel which I really love. Grace has been shown to me many times and the least I can do is pay it forward.

Peace, my life is far from perfect but I am content. Of course I desire more out of life and have goals to achieve. I can strive for more without being unhappy where I am. I think back to how I was 10 years ago and my life was full of angst. I was bitter and felt so hard done by. I didn't accept what is, I only wanted what I wanted and if I didn't get it then it was unfair. Sometimes stopping to smell the Roses is a good thing. And good things come to those that wait. Peace offers you a lot of patience.

Love, I love people that don't love me. It is easy to love those that endear themselves to you. Those that are refined and well spoken. Those that have high position and nice clothes. What about the street person who hasn't had a bath in a week. Trust me, it can be difficult but in an Agape way I love those people. The grumpy and hard headed customer service rep at a store can be a challenge but I choose to love that person. Love doesn't mean to agree with or to succumb to but it does mean to treat them as you would like to be treated. I don't return the favour with the cyber bully and hurl insults. I speak the truth in love and ignore some of the derogatory commentary just there to try to disrupt my peace. It feels so good to not sink into the muck and mire. That's what love can do. Love is utterly lovely.

I am far from perfect and my propensity to sin confounds me still. I really thought by now I'd be pretty close to perfect but it seems that goal is a ways down the road. However my temperance has come a long way. I get angry when the situation calls for it. Anger is okay to feel in the right situation however what you do with that anger is often where people get it wrong. If you can keep it in perspective and display it in an appropriate manner the situation can be resolved but a blow up yelling match solves nothing. I do good because it is good and not for personal gain. It often does lead to gains in one way or another but that is not my premise. I respect those in high position but also those in low position. It is not just something reserved for the important. Kindness and respect are inseparable. You can't truly be kind without respecting the person. Obedience is rarely a blind commodity but at times that is a must. I am a faithful servant of God but also my employer and my family and my friends. After what I've just said I don't think I can say anything about humility :)

It all started with Grace, Peace and Love. Not mine but God's on me. He forgave me, the chief of all sinners. His peace fell on me like a warm blanket and let me tell you I was cold. He showed me love in a way I could hardly fathom and still can barely grasp.

Cyber bullies and mockers beware. My God will combat you with his grace, peace and love wrapped up in me. BRING IT!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I am like the English language

The thing that I love about the English language is all the times it borrows from other languages. That is what makes it so vast and also so difficult to learn but also makes it highly descriptive and fun.

I like to borrow from others when I see something that works better than my way. Friends, enemies, acquaintances, employees, employers, love interests, family and total strangers have taught me lessons. The way I handle money, the way I handle difficult decisions, they way I cut the grass. You name a situation and I can think of how I've adapted others techniques into how I do things. You can also learn how not to do things by watching others. Of course some things I've learned from schooling and others from reading but the most valuable classroom has been the world around me.

Thank you world, you've allowed me to use you to become more complete!

So don't assume you have the best way of doing things. Be open minded and let the people around you make you better.


The triangle

I'm back!

I came across a conversation recently. One guy was talking to another about a triangle. As I approached and listened he was explaining that life is like a triangle. He went on to explain his analogy. If your life is 80 years then the first 40 are going up and the next 40 are going down.

What a terribly negative way to look at things. The first thing I said was you can take off the first 20 years as simply development years and that would bring it up to 50 years as the tipping point. Then he interjected saying he was in jail from 20 to 30 so I said then your life really started at 30 making the tipping point 55. We left it at that.

I've pondered it for several days on and off. Personally my life didn't start until I became a Christian at 36 and, in reality, my life began then. At that point is when truly the development years started all over again.I am still in the development stage almost 10 years later. I actually don't see my personal development, or evolution if you like, stopping any time soon. Every day I am changing and growing.

Anyways, the triangle doesn't have to be an isosceles with even sides. If indeed my life is a triangle mine is highly irregular and I believe in the end it will be a quick drop off. If indeed it is a triangle at all. I hope my life is just a straight line going up forever. Whether that be at 80 or 90 or 100!

What is your life? Is it irregular? I sure hope so!