God has imprinted the image of the good things of His own nature on creation. But sin, in spreading out over the divine likeness, has caused this good to disappear, covering it with shameful garments. But if by life rightly led, you wash away the mud that has been put on your heart, the Godlike beauty will again shine our in you.

– Gregory of Nyssa

Running instead of fighting

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need

– Bonnie Tyler

I don’t need a hero or a white knight, but lately I’ve been wondering – “where have all the good men gone?”.  Where did the men who stood before God, family and friends looking at their wives and said that they would love, honour and cherish.  The way Jesus did for his followers and his bride.

I think that much of this year has involved with dealing with men in the church who have, or are in the process of, abandoning their wives, their ministry and all for self-focused desires.

Where are the real men of the church?  The ones willing to say that they need help to pull through and be vulnerable enough to admit their life is in chaos?  What has happened?

[I’m still pondering this thought and struggle…more thoughts to come.]

Medley Prayer Update 10.1

We are nearing the end of our first week of campers here at Medley.  We have been blessed with 88 campers ranging in age from 6 to 15.  Our staff are working together very well – it is exciting and encouraging to be part of a team like this.  Some of the campers this past week have challenged some of us while others have kept us laughing throughout the week.
One of the highlights for the past week, was one camper approaching Liz Harding after Chapel was over and said, “That was the first time I’ve ever prayed.”  Comments like those remind us why we are here and do what we do.
We are already preparing for next week to welcome Junior Teen I campers.  That age group brings a whole new dynamic and enthusiasm to the camp.
A few of us are battling colds right now, myself included.  Praise God, there have been no hospital runs this week – may next week hold the same.
Thank you for praying for us, we really appreciate the support.

realities i’m learning

i think over my thirty years, i’ve learned that:

– no matter how old you are, there will always be someone older who thinks you’re just a young kid.
– many leaders are very insecure, some just don’t realize it.
– having a passion for something and being released to pursue that passion is very difficult (relating to the above).
– our heart, mind and mouth are not always in unison.
– we spend a lot of time defending what we believe rather than following who we believe in.
– the church will never be good enough for everyone.
– i love Jesus but many times i’m embarrassed to be associated with other believers.
– truth can be relative and not many want to be related to it.

meeting bernice

wednesday night contained one of those moments in time that you know will stick with you.  it was the night of the first storm of the season to hit saint john, hilary was working and i met someone new.  as i left my office, driving on the snow covered roads, i decided to head over to hilary’s store in case they decided to close early.  the place was quiet, a few regulars around, so i offered to help give the café area a thorough cleaning.  early on, a noticed a two women come into the store, one needing to use the phone to call her ride.  i didn’t pay much more attention to their interactions.

about two hours passed, i was scrubbing the floors (the song from cinderella popped in my head) and i noticed the same older woman outside the café area in the lobby of the mall.  i asked hilary what the story was with her.  all she remember from earlier was that she was waiting for a ride.  i cohereced hilary to go check on her.  a few minutes later, hilary comes back and had found out that she was waiting for her daughter to come pick her up, from sussex.  her daughter didn’t have a cell phone, neither did this woman.  as the store was about to be locked down for the night, we got a snack and a tea for her.  i went out to chat with her while the store was being locked up.

she was one of these people that for whatever reason i couldn’t ignore.  between hilary and i, we only 75¢ (sad, i know), we left it with her and my cell number.  i told her to call no matter what time and we’d do what we could to help out.  she said ‘thank you’.  we left, i felt bad leaving, but knew that we couldn’t do much more at that point, as far as she knew her ride was coming but didn’t have any way to contact them.

within about an hour, my cell phone rang, hilary ran to answer it and i started getting ready.  the security guards let her use their cell to phone sussex to see if anything happened.  turned out that they had turned back a few hours earlier.  hilary and i said that we’d get her home, and sent off a few texts asking for prayer.  we went back to pick her up, i realized i didn’t even know her name and yet was preparing to drive to sussex in the midst of a storm.  the snow had stopped and it actually looked fairly decent out.  we hit the highway and i felt confident that we’d be good to go, so long as we took our time.  we had some random chit-chat to get to know each other and then the freezing rain started, almost as if a bucket was being poured onto the road.  we were approaching my boss’ house who had offered to put her up for the night and i knew we couldn’t drive much further.

we arrived, had tea together and i said that i’d be back by 9am to finish the journey.  i laid in bed most of the night, not fully understanding the situation.  all evening i kept hearing in the back of my head “i was naked and you clothed me, hungry and fed me, in need and you helped me” and “what ever you did to the least of these you did unto  me”.  i didn’t sleep much, and was up and out in plenty of time.  we finished the journey to sussex on clean highways.  she directed me to her door.  when i pulled in the driveway, we both said ‘thank you’ to each other and she got out.

that was the end of my journey with bernice.  a very gentle older woman.  i sat in a parking lot for a few minutes, pondering what had just happened. a call a friend on the way back and shared the story.  she suggested it was one of those situations that God puts in our paths.

i have no idea if we’ll ever meet again…

happy 40th!

happy 40th birthday to sesame street!  i can remember many a day learning to count, with the Count; that we’re supposed to share; that there really is a monster living in the garbage can; and that no one really questioned the relationship between Bert & Ernie – as far as I knew, they were brothers.

random tid-bit about s.s.: bob the music teacher is the only ‘human’ who has been part of the cast since the first show.

anyone remember ‘teeny little superguy’?