Lenten Journey
February 19, 2010

I’ve decided that my Lenten journey this year will be to read at least one book each week during Lent that will in some way broaden my understanding of my faith. Last night I read the first book of this season.

First the lead in…

I regularly (when I don’t forget my appointments or have them preempted by travel) visit my Massage Therapist. This is a regular part of my wellness routine. It is further enhanced by the fact that my Therapist is also my daughter-in-law.

Not only are her massages beneficial to my sense of well-being but it is also a time when she and I have a chance to talk about the things that are important to us; family, mutual friends, our community and life in general.

During my most recent visit to her clinic, She shared with me the title of a book she had just read and without giving away too much information sufficiently piqued my interest that I asked to borrow the story. Yesterday, she dropped the book and a flower off to “Sanctuary” and I sat down in the late afternoon to begin my read.

The book “have a little faith: a true story” by Mitch Albom ISBN:978-0-7868-6872-8 is more of an eight-year journal that started with Mitch Albom, a journalist, being asked by the Rabbi, from his youth neighbourhood, to “…write his [the Rabbi’s] eulogy.” The author agrees on the condition that he gets to know his teacher better. What started as a two or three-week project lasted eight years and turned into a precious friendship and ultimately the eulogy.

In getting to know his Rabbi, the author questions his own existence and beliefs. In doing so, he champions a Christian Mission in Detroit led by Pastor Henry Covington and learns some valuable lessons about himself, his beliefs and about judging others.

Each reader will take from the stories those gems that are pertinent. While many features of the story reinforced my faith beliefs one quote stands out as significant: “Did you ever hear a sermon that felt as if it were being screamed into you ear alone? When that happens, it usually has more to do with you than the preacher.”

Last night at the Ash Wednesday service, David’s message fit this quote. Part of my lenten journey is to discern what it is that God is calling me to do now.  GB

Some days are just fraught with frustration…
August 23, 2008

Isn’t there a Murphy’s Law about when you are already really, really busy that a thousand other things will need your immediate attention? This week has been much like that so if there isn’t a Murphy’s Law about it there certainly should be one.

Joy and I have been busy all week preparing a wedding feast. We are well organized and have everything mostly ready for the event tomorrow but there have been so many interruptions that have drawn us away from the task at hand. Some of the interruptions are quite delightful; one never really minds when grandchildren appear and need a hug and a snack on their way to another great adventure. Aidan and Tannon frequently stop in on their way to their Grandma’s and Grandpa’s home (maternal grandparents live on the same street as we) or to the park at the end of the street. Three days ago Cloudia and her friend Hanna with Abby and Morgan in tow stopped in for a bathroom break, hugs and snack on their way to the park. Those are the good breaks. They refresh us and enliven us and bring considerable laughter to our home and to our lives.

It is the phone calls with blank air when one stops to answer a call while in the midst of putting a spice rub on pork tenderloin or seeding and chopping a dozen tomatoes. I am hoping that we can mitigate some of those annoying calls when the Canadian “Do Not Call Registry” is up and running. I am not certain about its effectiveness because our Federal Parliament does not have the political will to put any real teeth into it. But we will give it a try and then begin our own form of harassment to have it made into something worthwhile. Note to self: Think of creative ways to harass federal MPs  over lousy Do Not Call Registry*Grin*

More than that is the anxiety we have been feeling over getting the meal ready and dealing with the problems with our church’s manse. The church had the manse fixed up last summer and then we rented it in December. Our tenant left at the end of June and now we  are preparing the manse for the arrival of our Intern Minister. Much of last summer’s work has had to be redone. So we have been arranging for cleaners to come in and for the heating people to service the furnace and clean the ducts. In the process of getting this done we have been anticipating having to do the painting ourselves. That really means getting a group of our congregation together (in summertime) to do the painting. We have one week and also have another meal to cater on Wednesday next week.

The good news is that the painting contractor called to say he has finished a job elsewhere and “…if we still want him to paint the manse he is available…”. Now I am not prone to running about kissing people without at least more than a passing acquaintance but let me tell you, I came  close at this call. We inspected the house, accepted the price, chose the paint and the painting will be all done tomorrow. Yesssssss! *Big sighs of relief*

That’s the good news! Isn’t is strange how there is always a flip side? Yesterday I spoke to the cleaners. They are a diligent crew and do excellent work but our meeting was a litany of things they were struggling with: there is a hole in the toilet bowl so when one flushes the water rises above the hole and goes–you guessed it–on the floor. Now I know why the rags were wrapped around the toilet bowl when our tenant left. So we need to replace the toilet. When any of the hot water taps are turned on rust comes out. The water lines are copper and don’t rust. The culprit, a crack in the liner of the hot water tank. We need to replace the hot water tank. And speaking of toilets we may not be able to do much with the one in the basement. Anyone out there know any good plumbers that have time on their hands?

Then the other shoe fell. They have cleaned the carpets and they look great! It is the smell of the dog urine that they are having difficulty removing. So they are going to try some other things but if it doesn’t work then the carpets may have to be removed… Arggghhhhhhhhh! Livingroom, hallway and three bedrooms. Be still George. Note to self: Check blood pressure; have large drink; check blood pressure; have another large drink; forget blood pressure; hae nuthr dink…

A  r r u u u   u g   g    g h   hhhhhhhh hhhhh!                       GRB