Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Back pounding 101

Listen, I know I abandoned you all this summer, but I'm here again and I'm posting and...and...and...nobody has dropped in to say, "welcome back, heather"!
So before you fall all over yourselves trying to make up the silence with your inevitable fawning, may I remind you that I can always disappear again! Umm...right... so yeah...where is everyone?

30 Days of Nothing

Here's the gist of the project that Tonia from Intent (hat tip: Allthings2all) has started to help her family combat the dangers of consumerism. Buy nothing except the basic necessities for the month of September and send saved money to a charity.
The goal of this month-long fast is to break the grip of materialism in our hearts and minds. We want to live in gratitude, not discontent; and we want to live with awareness of the great responsibility our affluence has laid on our shoulders.
Speaking strictly about myself and the effects that things have on me I can say the following:
It certainly isn't wrong to have money to buy the extras, however when I use our money to buy into the lie that happiness means more stuff, then I certainly have lost sight of the kingdom of God.
But, oh how deceptive my own heart is in that it not only blinds me into not seeing my greediness, but when it is seen for what it is I then seek to justify it by any number of ways. God could take it all away, but unless He changes the heart, our desires to rebuild will only drag us back.

*note: link for Allthings2all is not working. The blogsite is

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"So what have you been reading lately?"...

I'm so glad you asked.
Last week I took my father-in-law to several used bookstores in the city and at the first one I found a copy of this book, Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur. I have already read Elisabeth Elliot's biography of Amy Carmichael, A Chance to Die and have started rereading it again.
I just finished Noel Piper's book, Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God. This book highlights five well known women and their service to the Lord. I will be looking to get their own individual stories as the little snippets weren't nearly enough. It's hard to say which story was the most poignant as they all struck my heart in some form or another. Four of the women's stories were new to me and at times their experiences took my breath away. If you can read this, you should.
I just recently borrowed The Christ of the Covenants from our church's seminary library. It was recommended to me by a Reformed Baptist on the Derek Webb forum as a good explanation of Covenant Theology(CT). I'm only in the first chapter as this is not a book that I can read in bed at night as my eyes grow heavy and my mind becomes dull. CT is new territory for me and it's important that I take my time to take in as much as possible.
A few other books that I have started by haven't made much headway on are The Pilgrim's Progress in Modern English and Don't Know Much About History. I also usually have children's literature book on the go and this past Saturday I picked up a copy of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator for a quarter at a yard sale.

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Little Nico

After several weeks of looking for a free cat to adopt, a friend of mine called to say that she had a friend with a four week old kitten who they couldn't keep due to allergies. Was I interested? I said absolutely. So on Saturday, we headed over to look at the cat and this little face was instantly a keeper.
So after spending two nights with us, little Nico(nee-co) seems to be adjusting quite well to his new life. He is litter trained and I have not found any messes yet. He is extremely playful and jumps out to attack anything and everything. He has taken to Seth's toys like they are his own and it's very funny to see a little kitty playing amongst the trucks, cars and parking garages, etc. His purring is like a low rumble and causes his whole frame to vibrate. What a neat design from his Creator.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I read this Fox News column several weeks ago and I thought, "yeah, what's with people anyway?".
Columnist Mike Straka turned to his keyboard several weeks ago to offer up this rant on recent customer dis-service encounters. I have had several hum-dingers myself recently as I shop in the great metropolis of Ottawa. And as I've been left shaking my head, sometimes visibly, I think, how much can a person be expected to take before the last poor sap just gets an earful. Now, as a Christian, I need to rein in this urge to verbally lash out at incompetence. But seriously, why aren't people being trained in performing even the most basic acts of customer service? Why for instance, when I was attempting to purchase an item at a Canadian retail icon, was the teenager unable to translate my question about the sale price into one of action? Which was namely, call someone who knows something, don't just let me figure this one out on my own. Or the girl at the same store who when asked where a certain product was located, gestured down towards several aisles and gave out a number like a bingo announcer. As my small son and I trudged along, I thought, "I hope she's right, cause if I can't find it, chances are I won't find her again". Now before I get accused of being cynical or worse, pessamistic, just think about the last time you needed assistance in store larger than your bedroom and were completely satisfied with the ease at which you found both your product and it's sales team? It's not as common as we think or we wouldn't be so surprised and grateful when the service is outstanding.
The best places to go I have learned are the smaller, locally owned stores where they actually care if you say you will be back. When we lived in Fredericton, there were several small stores that valued my business and I knew it. Finding places like that have been harder, but I will persevere, if for no other reason than to keep my santification process from being a complete train wreck.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Alternative "Evangelization"

Several weeks ago as I was exiting a large grocery store downtown, I was handed this flyer promoting healthy living by an older Asian woman . I didn't have time to look at it until I came home. The pathetic clipart animals and their manipulative messages at the top made me laugh and shake my head in wonder. After doing some online research, I found the flyer connected to a sect of Buddahists who practice the Quan Yin Method,which is Meditation on the Inner Light and Sound, as taught by Supreme Master Ching Hai. If you spend even a little time reading the articles and links, you will find that this religion is inclusive, meaning anyone of any religion can participate. What is left out is that their beliefs, not surprisingly, directly oppose Christianity and our God. So really, if you do hold to other religious beliefs, you ultimately will not be able to practice their forms of Meditation and thus achieve their stated goal of an "omnipresent" being capable of relieving global suffering without leaving your home.
Later as I thought about this flyer, I found myself comparing it to some of the gospel tracts I have seen over the years. The corny quotient for some, leaves one wondering, is it wrong to be embarrassed by such a low-minded pitch? I have certainly experienced embarrassment over some tracts, followed by guilt that I should have that attitude towards an evangelistic tool. Without making this an attempt to explain away my feelings, I will say that our presentation of the gospel in any medium should contain both integrity in method and relevancy in content. Sharing the gospel requires discernment and an understanding of the seriousness of the topic, no matter the target audience. This flyer like some evangelistic tools fail in both categories making them difficult to be successful. Thankfully, it is God who is responsible for turning hearts to Him and not the gimmickry so prevalent in our culture today.