Saturday, 30 January 2010

winter sunset

Breathing in a winter sunset
Filling up my lungs with light
The world has stopped for half an instant
Showing off to my delight

Stilled, the trees repose in splendor
Laid against a pale blue sky
Clouds caressed with rosy fingers
Melt into an orb of fire

A dozen shades of white are playing
Hide and seek through field and glen
Crisp and clean, the snow a canvas
For the thoughts of God to men

Breathing in the crystal silence
Just before the nightshades fall
My heart has stopped for half an instant
Hushed to hear the winter’s call


Sunday, 17 January 2010

God welcomes you...

In keeping with the ecumenical spirit, follow this link for a reading from the Iona Community in Scotland. A good reminder that God's arms are always opened wide to welcome us.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Tonight we attended an ecumenical service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It was held at St. Dunstan's Basilica in Charlottetown, a beautiful Roman Catholic Church. Church unity is very much on my heart, and so I always love opportunities to gather and worship and pray with people from other churches.

It's been 100 years since the Edinburgh Conference in 1910, and this year's theme was chosen by Scotland: "You are witnesses of these things" from Luke 24. (For more information, see the World Council of Churches website.) Our very own Pastor Phil Taylor from Calvary Church presented the message. He spoke about what kind of witnesses we need to be. He said our witness must be based in personal experience with Jesus, must flow out of our character and lives, must be current and relevant, and must be united.

What struck me most during the service was the closing prayer of commitment, and I wanted to share it here.

"Take us from where we are, to where you want us to be;
make us not merely guardians of a heritage,
but living signs of your coming Kingdom;
fire us with passion for justice and peace between all people;
fill us with that faith, hope and love which embody the Gospel;
and through the power of the Holy Spirit make us one.
That the world may believe, that your name may be enthroned in our nation,
that your church may more effectively be your body,
we commit ourselves to love you, serve you,
and follow you as pilgrims not strangers."

(ACTS commitment. Taken from the Inaugural Service of
Action of Churches Together in Scotland)


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Lady Wisdom's Invitation

Meet me at the birth of the world, among the seven pillars of an ancient house. Enter through a door of holy trembling, beneath the verdant tree. The table is set.


Book List 2009

Here it is, a list of the books I got around to reading in 2009:

The Shack - William Paul Young
The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Vol. IV
A Tangled Web - L.M. Montgomery
Heaven's Calling - Leanne Payne
Listening Prayer - Leanne Payne
The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson
The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery, Vol. V
The Scarlet Thread - Francine Rivers
Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings - Mary Henley Rubio
The Practice of the Presence of God - Brother Lawrence
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mrs. Mike - Benedict & Nancy Freedman
Evangeline - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Secret Garden* - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Late Nights on Air - Elizabeth Hay
After Many Days - L.M. Montgomery
No Great Mischief - Alistair Macleod
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger
Surprised by Hope - N.T. Wright
A Highland Christmas - M.C. Beaton
Anne of Green Gables* - L.M. Montgomery
Advent Readings from Iona

* books I re-read for fun

25 in all. Of course, there were many others I started and never finished, or have started and mean to finish in 2010! I tried to read more fiction this year, simply because I haven't read it in a long time. My theology count is a little low (recovery from MTS mode?), but there are many theological books I've skipped around in. Maybe I'll make a theological hopscotch list later.


kyrie eleison

I prayed, Lord have mercy.

And mercy came in common ways.

It came in a brand new pair of binoculars, opened before Christmas and remembered for the trip. It came in the winter stillness of tiny Ajax Forest Park. It came in tracking a grey squirrel to its nest. It came in the discovery of a white breasted nuthatch, high in a tree. It came in hearing "Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella" by the UBC Singers on CBC radio.

It came in a well-worn hymnbook, and in the soaring harmonies of "O Holy Night." It came in half an hour's pleasant conversation with family. It came in a gentle snowfall on the first day of the year. It came in a plain white envelope, in a perfect pot of gravy, in the dark mesmerizing fury of a winter storm.

God moves in merciful ways, half hidden in the snow, but nonetheless accessible to listening ears, open eyes. His ways are higher. Yet he leaves a trail through the park for us to follow, graceful footprints in the snow.

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