Friday, September 25, 2009

bouncing light


I like the moon. I'm not sure when I started really liking seeing the moon, but I do. The moon reminds me a little bit of life. Forgive me if you've heard me say this before (because I have said this before). The moon, as we know, doesn't produce any light of it's own; but the moon is normally the brightest thing in the night sky. You can see the moon during the day at times too.
It reminds me that I am ordinary, and that there are many other people in this world. There are many people who are more qualified than I am. There are others who are smarter, or more kind or whatever. However, if my life has light in it, the light comes from somewhere else.

I am not really trying to be self deprecating here, nor am I am trying to be unnecessarily humble. It's just that no matter where I am in my life, no matter how well or poorly I'm living my life, the thing I want others to see is Christ.

trees v2
Even if the moon is only a sliver, and the light from the sun is only hitting a tiny bit of it, it's still the brightest thing in the sky. I find that terribly encouraging. That people don't have to see me. They may see the "texture" of my life, they may see the stuff I do that has left a scar, a crater from where through my own choices or just from life, I've taken hits, but the first I hope they see is the light. At first I hope they see I'm not just a big rock floating in space, but that they see the light (try not to linger on the "Doug as a big rock floating in space" image, it's not as compelling as the moon).
The first photograph I took of the moon the other night went all white, the moon's surface was overexposed, as the camera tried to balance the dark sky and the bright moon. So you saw the shape but not the detail. I ended up taking a number of photos until I got the amount of lunar surface texture that I thought looked good. The point is, often you have to really look at the moon to see that texture. Often to really see it you must magnify it.

This post as I think and reread feels a tad more corny then what I usually write about, but I saw the moon the other night and I felt I needed to write about what I thought.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some thoughts about our life these days...

the big move
We're getting ready to move. It's a big thing to do. Packing, taking things apart, sorting, picking up all kinds of heavy things and carrying them about.
Yet, God seems to be caring for us.

Life is tenacious. Grass, growing in a rock, right by swirling water. Often I think I need to be a little more tenacious. Pastoral ministry often has in it challenges. Things that can be hard. And yet it's when things are not hard, that is when things are easy that I find it hardest to be tenacious. As there seems to be no real need to be tenacious, you can just be. I think though, that for us to really do well we need to always be pressing ahead. Especially when things are easy. To teach and prepare, to rally people together, to build up, because when things become difficult, it is so much harder to do those things.

So, let these pictures be a reminder, that even when it's a big job, you still need to take it one step at a time and to be tenacious.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

dark thoughts on a bright day

waterlily 2Yesterday was a beautiful day outside (today too for that matter).

Among other things I went to a presentation yesterday. It was on domestic violence. It shared stories from women who had been battered. By men, claiming to be Christian. It shared the story of a church who's pastor was attacked by a son-in-law. It made my heart hurt. I'm at a loss for words.

My head was spinning so many different directions that I had to go for a walk. So I did, and I prayed and listened to a worship album. I'm still at a loss for words, but I do know this, a marriage should be a safe place.

I am constantly thankful for having a woman that I can stand back to back with and regardless of what the world does, of what anyone else does, she's with me and I'm with her. I want to see her flourish, to grow, to do things that neither one of us thought possible. I have absolutely zero desire to "control" her. I trust her with everything. We disagree at times, we even argue about stuff . But always, always I have felt safe with her and she with me. Without her support I doubt I could pastor at all.

I cannot imagine what life would be like without that kind of support from my spouse. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not feel safe in the relationship that is intended to be a safe point in the craziness of life.

So I walked. I listened and sang along with some worship music (don't worry I wasn't loud enough for anyone else to hear!). God knows that some people are in awful places in life. And yes, God does want his people to do something about it. So what do we do? Well, I am truly not sure, yet. God is leading in some directions these days that are getting me to pray more and more. To seek him more and more.

I have some personal projects in mind that hopefully will help others. People outside my family, outside even my church. Will be earth shattering? Likely not. But you have to start somewhere...

And through it all I am faithful that God will care for us as well. As I walked I saw these lily pads.

Luke 12:27 (New International Version)

27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.(Taken from

A little of Galatians

Galatians 3:23-29 (New Living Translation)

God’s Children through Faith
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.

24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

lurking, moving, and prayer, amongst other things.

So, recently I've not posted much material to the internets. Due largely in part to my inability to articulate anything intelligent. I've been working on some material on prayer in the background recently. Mostly just reading, studying and trying to be more disciplined in praying. To grow and stretch. To become a little more self-aware to things like attitude and how I speak to people (especially the kids).

I've been thinking about what this year will hold, as we begin the first full school year here in this community. Starting a new school year, Owen's in grade 1, Aiden starts grade 2. Olivia will start preschool in a little while. The only thing that stays the same is the amount of change.
One of the challenges for me is to be deliberate about doing things. It's very easy for me to just "let things happen", at times that's a big strength. I can go with the flow much easier than some people, but at other times it means a disproportionate amount of energy is required to get things moving, especially when it comes to internal motivation.

So what? I keep trying to learn. Keep trying to identify the things I'm doing well and the things that need work. To keep in touch with the people in my life: family, friends, church people, people in my community. Also, to grow more and more in those relationships - and in my relationship with God.
My relationship with God is best maintained when I come to him because I want to. And I do. Sometimes life gets in the way. I need to push back. Spending time with God is good. It makes everything else better.
What's the point of this post? Uh, to share what's in my head.