Art

Arrival & Ellen Davis' Five Prophetic Perspectives

With laughter and the sharing of this week's events the tribe settled into our living room last night as we prepared to venture into the imaginative world of a good movie called Arrival. Snacks and drinks in hand, I love how the stories of film, fictional or otherwise, seem to stretch deep into the connective tissues of transcendent truths and the practicalities of today's eminence.

Recently I've begun reading Ellen Davis' book 'Biblical Prophecy: Perspectives for Christian Theology, Discipleship, and Ministry'. While for years I thought of the prophet as someone who spoke for God; it was in her first chapter that she opened me...

'Silence' ~ Stepping Onto A Faith Of Kenosis

(Spoiler Alert: This post contains depictions and stories from the film 'Silence'.)

It has been some time since I was this hungry to see an upcoming film. For the last month I have been excitedly waiting for the movie 'Silence' to be released with more then an eager imagination to engage the story and dramatic scenes of cultural and religious reflection. With such an internal build up, it was ironic as we sat in the theatre following the show and I shared with my wife and friends that it was not at all what I had expected.

Don't get me wrong, the movie was brilliant and it is easily one of my favourites to date. I can't wait to be able to read the book this summer. But I had expected it to be an emotional rollercoaster for me and instead of pulling out the kleenex box I had tucked in my backpack (all while under the loving mockery of my wife), I found myself engrossed...

Who am I?

who-am-i.jpg

Who am I? I am a man of Authenticity, What you see is what you get; More so I am the same in public as I am alone, And visa versa.

Who am I?

I am a man of Honesty, So much so it can get me in trouble; My life is an open book, One which I freely share in the hopes to inspire.

Who am I?

I am a man of Integrity, My word is my bond; Even greater to me are the words of action, Everything I do is meant with purpose and a sense of personal moral ethic.

Who am I?

I am a man of Justice, I seek it in everyone and in everything; My heart breaks to the point of physical pain and tears, At the smallest witnessing of prejudice, bias, or inequality to our relationship with truth.

Who am I?

I am a man of Love, In the eternal agape sense anyways; I love life, people, animals, adventure, And the wonder of all miraculous moments when this amazing gift returns!

Who am I?

I am a man of Faith, Convicted strongly in my relationship with God; Through the Truth of Jesus’ eternal presence, In my heart, soul, and wellbeing.

Who am I?

I am a man of creativity, I let my imagination drift with the realities around me; So as to bring life to grips with Truth, And freedom of expression to redemption in righteous relationships with God, my wife, and those who journey with me.

Who am I?

I am a Husband, Married to my wife as one flesh; I can do nothing apart from her blessing, As she becomes the greatest of blessings throughout my life.

Who am I?

I am a Pastor, Not one by earthly titles, status, or appointment; But by example, presence, and character, Which only the Holy Spirit might bless and sustain.

Who am I?

I am Incomplete, Journeying through my destiny in search of my fate; One which only God can complete, And measure by standards of his grace, love, and acceptance.

[audio=http://justwondering.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/01-this-is-who-i-am.mp3]

For Such A Time As This... I Have Arrived

TimeCheck it out for yourself: Ecclesiastes 3

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

Time. It is a perplexity of life and something which we seem to never escape. In honesty, I had thought of many things I might want to share with regards to my thoughts of time and the way in which we treat it. Ways which seem to treat time as though we poses it and have the right to use it as we see fit to our own desires. I think often of the statement "Don't waste my time!"

Likewise, we never seem to exist in the moment of time which we are currently in. When we are at church we are thinking about what we will do when we get home. When we are at home we are thinking about what we will do when we are at work. When we are at work we are thinking about what it will be like to be on vacation. The dichotomy we create between what our bodies are doing and what our minds are doing develops such a rift that I wonder if we ever really truly arrive in the moment to which we are presently in.

It was when I was in this thought pattern that a friend of Bonnie's and mine wrote an email to us that just seemed to strike right at this thought of time and our inability to see the whole picture to which God was present and aware of. We met Katie about five years ago as she lived in a group home here in the SE side of Calgary while adjusting to living with MS. She has since become a good friend of ours and in many ways an inspiration to following Jesus. A part of the Center Street Church community, Katie is greatly involved with social activism and fights for many of the rights for the disabled community here in Calgary and Alberta. She also is a very talented creative arts painter and promotes her work on her website www.oralart.ca/.

In any sense I felt moved by the timing of her email and wanted to share it with you as part of my devotional to Ecclesiastes 3 and For Such A Time As This... I Have Arrived.

When do you know that you have arrived? Have you arrived when you get married and move into the house of your dreams? Have you arrived when you have your first child? Have you arrived when you get the perfect career and have assured your security? When you have grown old and actualized all of your goals?

I started taking my trip on a bright red, reliable and strong bicycle to get to the ends of the earth and find adventure. I soon came across a Village of Fatigue and crossed over a bridge of Uncertainty. I came upon a dirt road that led to many scary turns and frightening hills. I had to get off my bicycle and I had to stop in a worrisome and unpredictable city called Exacerbation.

My tires started to go flat and I had to lay my bicycle down since my kickstand broke off while navigating around a rock of Depression. While momentarily stationary, I found a place to live, found some work, got a cat, and found love but I never found rest or a sense of direction.

Overnight, my bicycle was stolen, my house burned down, the business went into receivership, my cat died and my boyfriend left me. In desperation, I caught a bus that ended up on the road that was muddied and impassable. It eventually crashed in Suicide Gulch and I became broken. I was lost.

While in the hospital, I was introduced to a wonderful Man [Jesus] who tried to comfort me and heal my wounds. He became my new Map Reader. The road continued to be long and hard and my pain continued. We were unable to find a place to convalesce. There was an Apartment of Despair, a Townhouse of Inequity, and finally a House of Horrors.

We continued to reach dead ends but I think that my misplaced self-reliance kept grabbing the map out of the Man's hands. I needed to follow. His acute navigational skills found me in a House of Care with a backyard that stretched out for miles. The old house still needs some major renovations but I was safe. In the backyard, I was planted in enriched soil, grew strong roots, and was sheltered from unpredictable storms. My many gardeners fed, watered and pruned me and soon I was able to learn some gardening skills of my own.

I was able to plant bright, sweet smelling flowers of fun, excitement, confidence, perseverance and gratitude. I spread grass seeds of hope that grows lush and green every year, provides comfort when I lie down and its fragrance reassures me. At times though, I still feel sad and grievous when some of the blooms fail to open but I am optimistic some will thrive in the next season.

I grew trees that scattered pollen of awareness that attached themselves to anyone who was willing to listen. I started to paint fences of isolation, with my art, to inspire and motivate those who were weary.

With a convicted spirit, I took the harvest of my garden and shared it with others who were able to change the landscape, pave roads that were once unsafe, to find those lost on their journey and to relieve them of their heavy loads.

I have a new bicycle now. It sits in a sturdy bike rack called trust and I take side trips to build my character. It's a bicycle built for two because my Map Reader needs a comfortable place to sit. My journey is over and I am now on a mission. I have finally found a new Place -- in my heart -- called Joy and Contentment. I have arrived.

A Voyage Through Space

Recently while trying to recover from surgery I spent some time on NASA's Website looking at the many pictures in there archives. I was blown away by there beauty as I strayed off in my own day dreams. I have always been fascinated by the idea of space travel and seeing all of the wonders of God's creation! Anyway, I thought I would share some of those beautiful pictures with you.

[wpvideo ZLlrDFfX w=400]

Shake Hands with the Devil: Movie Night

Expressions of Courage

“How many lives can be saved in a fight against indifference when your only weapon is the courage to stand alone.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaHAXnOGj9k]

Shake HandsYou are not alone in the search for global justice! Tonight is a time to gather and find inspiration as we watch the film 'Shake Hands with the Devil'; a true story about the Canadian Lieutenant General Romeo A. Dallaire and his experiences in Rwanda, Africa. Following the film will be a short presentation from Ricot Leon regarding his 'Heart for Home' and the dream he has to bring hope to the nation of Haiti. Popcorn and refreshments will be provided.

There is no official cost however; we ask that you might make a donation of any amount to 'Heart for Home' in the effort of supporting there work in building the hopes and dreams of the Haitian people.  Together we can all find courage, strength, hope, and the ability to take a stand and make a difference in the world today!

Place: Oak Park Church - #11263 Oakfield Drive S.W. Calgary, Alberta

Day & Time: Saturday, March 8th, 2008 @ 6:30 pm - 10 pm

For more about the film visit: www.shakehandswiththedevilthemovie.com/.

For more about Ricot Leon and 'Heart for Home' visit: www.heartforhome.wordpress.com/

Thank you for your interest and support. If you would like any more information please email erik@ecfcommunity.org.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zoz6dXVNQIA]

Mouth Painting Expressions

A good friend of Bonnie's and mine has recently taken up the practice of mouth painting. No... it is not painting pictures with your mouth nor is it pictures of peoples mouths. Ha, ha! Katie deals with the effects of having Multiple Sclerosis (MS for short) and as a result has for a couple years now been unable to use her arms and hands as effectively. That does not stop her from expressing the "Artist" (French ascent intended now!!!) that she is becoming!

"Fun in the Sun"

Fun in the Sun

"Little Black Dress"

Little Black Dress

"Little Black Purse"

Little Black Purse