Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Addition to the cake portfolio

Courtney asked me to make a cake for a baby shower. I made it last night after my Christian Horizons shift. I'm happy with it.

As I write, I'm sampling a bit of the extra cake. I experimented with a new recipe, and it has turned out quite well, so I'm putting that aside for Deven & Heather's.

I've got pretty much everything that I'll need together for their cake, and I'm excited, and just a bit nervous. :)


Lately when people ask me "what's new?" all I have to share are things work-related. Life has mostly been consumed with work lately. Here are a few highlights:
  • It took a bit of effort to get caught up after the travels to Thailand and BC, but I'm starting to feel like I've got a handle on things again.
  • PIONEERS Canada Board meeting over the weekend. The first one I've attended, so I took copious notes... throwing most of them away after producing a few pages of minutes. It was actually more interesting than I expected. Despite the fact that it rained during our bbq with them on Friday night, and was beautiful and sunny while we were stuck indoors all day on Saturday, I enjoyed it all. I even got to have breakfast with Dr. Frizen before the meeting, and enjoyed hearing some of his story, and the decades of history he has experienced in mission.
  • A handful of shifts at Christian Horizons have been filling my free time
  • I am about to tackle a major overhaul of our website. It's going to look like a real mess for a few days, but the end result will hopefully be a good improvement. (Click to see mess :) )
All for now. I've got to tackle that website.

(missing from board picture: Dr. David Barker)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Back from Pittsburgh

For the long weekend, I went across the border, and down to Pittsburgh with some of my friends from London. Some of my coworkers were teasing me about going to "Pittsburgh" of all places. I didn't see a lot of the city, but I liked what I did see. We spent most of our time shopping. I bought a LOT more than I intended, and I am still working on rationalizing and justifying all of it. :)
I stayed in the little town of McDonald, Pennsylvania. What a nice name for a town. If only it had that "a" :)
Our group and our host and family at the Olive Garden.
Our group doing a bit of sightseeing in Pittsburgh. I love how I apparently have the plague in this picture. :)
Me with Irene. I feel like I still don't know many people in London, and I have to say that I am so thankful for Irene's friendship. She and Wayne have me over for supper all the time, and have been such encouragements in what otherwise would have been much more lonely years. She's also my artistic friend whose creative touch on things always inspires me to new ideas.
Pittsburgh skyline
Irene and Christian
Eating a massive roast beef sandwich at Primanti Brothers... yes, those are french fries in the sandwich. I had it without coleslaw (yuck!!) and it was pretty good

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pictures from Vancouver

I spent a few days with friends and PI members in Vancouver on my way back from Thailand. It was my first time in British Columbia... and now I am wondering why I live in Ontario? :)

A view from Burnaby
Beautiful mountain views. It seemed like there were always mountains in sight, even in the city they could be seen peeking through, between buildings.
In Stanley Park
Deep Cove
Marie showed me around
An Inukshuk in English Bay ("Now the people will know we were here...":)) The symbol/logo for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
A record of my first time in the Pacific ocean off the Canadian coast. I miss the ocean so much when I am in Ontario. I've been trying to convince Donnie we need to relocate the PIONEERS office in Vancouver. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Pictures from Thailand

It was nice to have travelling companions for once. It made for stimulating conversation during long hours waiting for connecting flights.... ok, we just tried to sleep mostly, and took turns keeping an eye on the bags. Above is Mel in Chicago, and Scott in Tokyo. As for me... well I'm the one with the camera :)
We had an overnight layover in Bangkok, and we took the opportunity to try out "the Atlanta"- a budget hotel with personality (Mel and I paid $20 total for our room for the night)
The foyer of the Atlanta, apparently unchanged since the 1950s. It really is quite a cool place.
We flew to Chiang Mai the next day, a city in Northern Thailand. I don't have many good pictures of Chiang Mai, as most of the time was spent in meetings and etc at the conference. Here is one of a busy night market.
A local Thai woman
A Chiang Mai McDonald's
We took this picture to show Donnie how hard we were working :)
Meeting some great people from Australian mobilization
One of many meetings, an informal one with some other mobilizers from NZ, Australia and the US.
Melanie and I at the closing banquet
With Dr. Frizen, one of our board members who attended the conference. He has over 60 years of experience in missions, and was one of my favorite people there.A Sunday lunch with some more great Aussies. Time spent with them helped rekindle my passion for mobilization.
On Saturday night and Sunday I spent some time with Beth, who is living in Thailand, sent out from my home church in London. I appreciated the time spent with her, she is a fantastic girl. You can visit her blog here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

not-exactly-earth-shattering (but a big deal to me)

Well, I'm back home now. I arrived at my home finally early this morning. I had lots of time to think on the planes, in airports, and in Bangkok during my day there on my own. It was good, because there was a lot to think about and process. I wanted to share some of it.

More musings on love: I've been wrestling with this- what is appropriate, and what's not appropriate?

After a lot of wrestling with it- things I've been taught over the years, weighed with what I think God is telling me- I've come to the not-exactly-earth-shattering conclusion that I am ALWAYS one hundred percent free to love.

My own selfishness and weakness scare me, and I rightly know that I cannot trust my own self-serving motivations, or toxic version of love. But God's love in me I can always trust. I am always free to offer God's love, because God's love in me sincerely desires His best for each person. My own love would easily wound another as it seeks its own ends and gratification, but God's love in me will seek purely, for another's best. There is a precious, if sometimes temporarily bittersweet, joy, in laying down what I want, to embrace the choice to freely offer the pure and unconditional love of God to others.

On the last leg of my journey home late last night (and early this morning), as these conclusions were crystallizing, I thought about what I want to accomplish in this life, and I once again concluded that my desire is to leave a legacy of love. I want people to someday say that more than anything, the love of God flowed through me to them, in nourishing, empowering, and healing ways. I want my life to be an expression of the love of God.

I feel a bit silly saying this in such a public place, because I am all too aware of how open and vulnerable it leaves me to all of you, who know me, and know just how far my life and relationships fall from such a lofty goal.

There was one point at the conference where we were praying for each other in small groups, and I shared this desire, at the same time feeling silly and inadequate, knowing how I fall short. Their prayer for me affected me deeply, as they asked God to show me that the vision that He has given me, is one that He will bring to pass. They prayed that I would trust the desires that He places on my heart, as from Him.

So, I guess I share this all now, not thinking that I have it all figured out, and that you'd better all learn from me. :) I'm humbled to know how much more clearly you than I can see how much I fall short. But I do share with joy for the freedom I have to love, confidence that He will be faithful to complete the work He has begun in me, and excitement, to see how the road ahead unfolds.